MixedNew York Journal of BooksA true treasure of literature ... The Bright Book of Life is not the incisive criticism the literary community has come to seek from Bloom. Within this tome, the tone is light, the critical insights often cursory or too abbreviated for a serious plowing under of a work’s hidden meaning. Clearly, that was not Bloom’s intent with this book. The Bright Book of Life is the reflection of a lifetime of reading from a great, deep, exhaustive reader of novels ... any reader of Bloom will immediately recognize the large blocks of quoted text. This is the Bloom style and is one that would, fairly or unfairly, earn low marks in a college composition. In this way, The Bright Book of Life edges closer to a commonplace book—a work of lengthy quoted passages that often far outweighs the few sentences of unpacking commentary that follow .... Bloom’s argument for rereading is loose and comes off more as an assumption on his part than a forceful thesis.
RaveThe New York Journal of Books... is not by any means a myopic view, for that would be anathema to the Bryson style. The Body is expansive, a panorama of stories about people, history, medicine, and yes, body parts. It is a packed with delightful nuggets alongside startling statistics and intriguing facts. In fact, the work is so compressed with interest and detail that reading it straight through only one time does the book a great disservice ... Things that are glossed over or buried in countless esoteric science journals are here delivered with clarity and aplomb ... has a keen knack for unearthing the forgotten wonders of health and medicine ... A complaint, if one be had, is that The Body becomes so interesting in parts that a reader will feel compelled to share, share, and share again. Thus, the review shall close with a SIDE EFFECT DICLAIMER: The Body may have a negative impact on friends and family due to a compelling desire for a reader to share an abundance of TMI. Ultimately, Bryson has produced a compelling, overly engaging work that is written for Everyman. It is a book that one can imagine being dipped into here and there for a long time as The Body demands the reader return to it for more.
F. Scott and Zelda Fitzgerald, Eds. Cathy W. Barks and Jackson R. Bryer
PositiveThe New York Journal of Books... the letters capture the couple’s unending connection and bond. While it isn’t frequently that one sets out to read a book of letters since their attraction is unique and particular, their content specific, the appeal of letters between F. Scott and Zelda Fitzgerald is greater than many other figures, and the reward of reading these letters outshines a simple scholarly appeal ... a certain one-sided conversation exists here and throughout...Certainly, as a collection purporting to contain the correspondence of both Zelda and F. Scott, it would be remiss not to point out that deficiency ... The editors frame Dear Scott, Dearest Zelda with supportive biographical material and fill in other details by providing helpful footnotes, making the work a quasi-biography. Even a reader naïve to the Fitzgeralds’ lives will glean much about them here. All readers will appreciate the elegance of both writers here, and will, moreover, relish the couple’s unending devotion to each other.
Ivo Andrić Trans. by Celia Hawkesworth
RaveThe New York Journal of Books...an often neglected work ... These stories within stories contain several marvels that highlight Andrić’s ability at narrative ... Unfinished at his death in 1968, Omer Pasha Latas feels whole here, for Andrić brings us closer to capturing something of the historical Bosnian past. Ultimately, this book is a welcome addition to Andrić’s works where the Balkans are revealed in measured prose and where Andrić’s post-modern narrative will elicit many well-deserved accolades.
RaveNew York Review of Books\"Nine Pints—whose title alludes to the number of pints of blood circulating in our bodies—is part history, part essay, part investigation, but is a conversational and expansive narrative whose brisk pace flows along faster than, well, blood ... Nine Pints is a fascinating read... George’s tightly-woven research propels the reader through the stories of blood—its wholeness, its parts, its relationship to therapy and disease, to people and places. A certain joy exists in reading a book so packed with esoteric, unique, and, yes, vital information. The book delivers on its promise: this superbly researched work is indeed a captivating journey through the histories and mysteries of blood.\