Nonrequired Reading – Wislawa Szymborska

In the author’s note that opens Nonrequired Reading, Polish poet and Nobel laureate Wislawa Szymborska writes about a reader’s freedom: to read intelligent books or stupid ones, to stop long before the end of a book, to eavesdrop, to  ...

Forever: A Novel – Pete Hammill

In his ninth novel, Forever, Pete Hamill tackles a number of classic themes: the longing for eternal life, the sins of the fathers passed to the sons, humankind’s unremitting quest for freedom, and the existential question of what makes  ...

A Love Supreme – John Coltrane

Jazz is all about making personal statements. The introspection which earns surprised plaudits in pop is routine in jazz. A jazz performer is expected to turn each album, each tune, into a journey through his own heart and mind,  ...

The Contortionist’s Handbook – Craig Clevenger

The protagonist of The Contortionist's Handbook, John Dolan Vincent, Jr., began life as an abnormally gifted child, in a chaotic and violent blue-collar household. His puny size and his remarkable, fully-formed sixth digit on one hand have contributed to  ...