Recommended Reading: Walter Kirn’s “Confessions of an Ex-Mormon,” which has my vote for the best long form article on American religions since Lawrence Wright’s profile of Paul Haggis and the Church of Scientology.
Girls creator Lena Dunham’s first book is on shelves, as is the new short story collection by Man Booker laureate and recent Millions interviewee Hilary Mantel. Also out: On Immunity by Eula Biss; A Sudden Light by Garth Stein; Consumed by the filmmaker David Cronenberg; The Ploughmen by Kim Zupan; and The Zone of Interest by Martin Amis. For more on these and other titles, check out our Great 2014 Book Preview.
Norman Rockwell was an unhappy and enervated man who became iconic by painting scenes of happy, energetic people. He developed a style that became synonymous with idyllic visions of America. At Page-Turner, Lee Siegel reads Deborah Solmon’s American Mirror, a new biography of Rockwell that acknowledges the painter’s contradictions without “mocking or scolding” him for the gulf between his life and his art.
Michael Diamond (aka Mike D) and Adam Horovitz (Ad-Rock) have signed on to write a Beastie Boys memoir for Spiegel & Grau. The book is scheduled to publish in 2015. However if you need your Beastie fix now, you can head on over to Brooklyn’s Palmetto Playground tomorrow for its renaming ceremony. Its new name? Why, Adam Yauch (MCA) Park, of course.
“Russian author Leo Tolstoy’s entire body of work – all 90 volumes – along with comprehensive biographical materials has been posted online and will be available for free, a descendant said.”
“Readers have grown tired of the slew of celebrity memoirs,” reports The Guardian. “About time,” we say.
Some of the best novels out there — Huckleberry Finn, Of Mice and Men — deal largely with fictional friendships. Yet depictions of close friends that are central to the plot are considerably rare in modern novels. At The Guardian, AD Miller notes this isn’t the case for movies and TV shows, and suggests a number of reasons why. You could also read our own Kevin Hartnett on friendship in the age of Facebook.