Out this week: The King Is Always Above the People by Daniel Alarcón; In the Midst of Winter by Isabel Allende; The Kites by Romain Gary; Blood Brothers by Deanne Stillman; The Art of Loading Brush by Wendell Berry; and a new edition of our own Garth Risk Hallberg’s A Field Guide to the North American Family. For more on these and other new titles, go read our most recent book preview.
Sex ed for teenagers is a famously knotty subject, which explains why Pavel Astakhov, Russia’s children’s ombudsman, wants to eschew sex ed classes in favor of literature courses. “It is unacceptable to allow things that could corrupt children,” he said in a television interview. “The best sex education that exists is Russian literature.” (No word yet on what he thinks of Crime and Punishment.) (h/t The Paris Review)
The 2014 National Book Awards were just announced earlier this week. In celebration, The Paris Review took a look back at the American Book Awards, which “serve as a reminder that ostensibly prestigious institutions—institutions whose authority and taste depend on their perceived stability—are just as susceptible to whims and trends as the rest of us, which is to say very.”
Jason Diamond looks at why “books are in [such] abundant supply in the menswear world.”