Sunday, April 10, 2011

You’ll Be Smarter For It

Twice a month it arrives almost intimidatingly

Take this issue for example. Here are some of the topics. They’re more than reviews: Mahatma Gandhi biography. The letters of Saul Bellow. The implications of the royal wedding. Egypt. Charles Baxter’s new book of short stories. Mexican cooking. William Shawn’s twins. Google and its digital library ambitions. Zadie Smith on Orson Welles. Wall Street. Chinese art. The rivalry between Edwin and John Wilkes Booth. Ronald Dworkin. ‘When London was the Capital of America.’ Russia’s gulag. Hungary. Crime novelist James Ellroy. Our economic recovery. A murder trial in Queens.

These are all written by experts. They’re longer than you’re used to. You won’t read them all. I don’t anyway. When you finish a review, you feel you’ve done something. You have done something; it’s not TV.

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