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The New York Times (250 news in all)
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Books of The Times: An Exhilarating Work of History About Daring Adventures in Love In “Wayward Lives, Beautiful Experiments,” Saidiya Hartman writes about young black women in the early 20th century who tossed out the narrow scripts about intimacy they had been given.


Nonfiction: The Life-or-Death Struggle of Refugees Braving the Mediterranean Crossing In “Notes on a Shipwreck,” the Italian journalist Davide Enia bears witness to the suffering of migrants fleeing Africa for the island of Lampedusa.


Front Burner: Michelin Issues Its First Cuisine-Focused Guide The guidebook covers Cantonese food in Asia, Europe and the United States.


Fiction: In This New Caper Novel, a Yearbook Reveals Family Secrets Elinor Lipman’s “Good Riddance” offers an up-to-the-minute look at a young woman’s life in Manhattan.


Books of The Times: ‘The Border’ Is a Stunning and Timely Conclusion to Don Winslow’s Drug-War Trilogy The third novel in this propulsive, violent series trains a fictional lens on some of today’s most pressing issues, including the opioid crisis and political corruption.


The New York Times Sunday (28 news in all)
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Nonfiction: The Case for Covering Your Ears in Noisy Times Two new books, “How to Disappear,” by Akiko Busch, and “Silence,” by Jane Brox, explore the benefits of tuning out.


By the Book: ‘Why Have a Large Library and Not Use It?’ Janet Malcolm: By the Book The journalist, whose new book is “Nobody’s Looking at You: Essays,” read indiscriminately in her youth: “Bookish children are not critics. They just like to read.”


Fiction: A Dark Fairy Tale of American Oddballs and Candlepin Bowling “Bowlaway,” Elizabeth McCracken’s first novel in 18 years, is a family saga, a burlesque chronicle of eccentrics and a fractured, fanciful fable.


Books News: Get a First Look at the Cover of Ta-Nehisi Coates’s Forthcoming Novel “The Water Dancer,” out in September, is about an enslaved man whose life is altered by a near-death experience.


The Shortlist: Five Essay Collections by Women of Color Urgent new reading on the subjects of race and gender disparities in America.


Fiction: A Comic Novel About the George W. Bush No One Knows Thomas Mallon’s “Landfall” imagines the goings-on inside the Bush White House.


The Guardian (312 news in all)
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Making Evil by Julia Shaw review – the 'science' behind humanity’s dark side Does evil exist? Are we all born killers, saved only by impulse control? A chattily written study of inexcusable actsIs evil just in the eye of the beholder? At the beginning of this book, the criminal psychologist author cites Nietzsche’s claim that “thinking evil means making evil” – though Hamlet got there first with “there is nothing either good or bad, but thinking makes it so”, and the Stoics long before him. But what about murderers?It turns out, Julia Shaw wants to argue, that we all have the capacity to commit murder and other heinous acts, and it boils down to a matter of moral luck that most of us have the impulse control that prevents us acting out our dark fantasies. “I regularly feel like I want to kill people,” she admits disarmingly, “you know, just a little bit.” Look more closely at the context of a crime – or inside a person’s head – and you will not fail to find extenuating circumstances. Shaw recounts the sad case of a man who stabbed his father to death because he had been convinced by an alcoholism counsellor that his substance abuse problems must have been caused by sexual abuse in his childhood. Meanwhile, it may be the case that an absence of empathy, of the kind characteristic of psychopaths and killers, is neurologically determined at birth. Can it be anyone’s fault to be born with such a brain? Continue reading...


From Tales of the City to Tipping the Velvet: top 10 books about coming out Novelist Kate Davies picks the best books about a task that never happens just onceComing out is one of the most daunting things a queer person will have to do. My parents are very liberal, but I still felt sick when, aged 25, I realised I had to tell them I was a lesbian: it felt like too much information, as though I was announcing I liked it from behind. This was just the last in a series of comings-out. When I was 12, my friends read my diary and realised I had a crush on another girl. Soon afterwards, an actual boy kissed me on the cheek at his bar mitzvah and everyone forgot about the girl. Aged 14, I told a few people I was gay, but then I developed a crush on Eddie Izzard and decided I was bisexual. Finding another woman to be bisexual with seemed like a lot of effort, though, so I pretty much forgot about fancying women until I was in my 20s.Coming out never happens just once. First you have to acknowledge your sexuality or gender identity to yourself. Then you might tell your friends and family, add a rainbow flag to your Twitter bio, ostentatiously read Sarah Waters novels on the train, that sort of thing. But it doesn’t end there. You’ll come out over and over again for the rest of your life – to the new guy at work who asks whether you’re married, to the family friend who assumes “partner” means “business associate”, and to the estate agent who thinks your wife is your daughter. (This has happened to me twice. Twice.) Continue reading...


Giovanni’s Room shows the fearful side of dauntless James Baldwin A love story ever on the brink of ‘self-contempt’, the novel shows the private terrors that beset the fearless public campaignerToday James Baldwin is most frequently encountered as a “trailblazer of the civil rights movement”; a magnificent prophet who declared that “ignorance, allied with power, is the most ferocious enemy justice can have”.His contemporary relevance is so obvious it hardly needs to be stated – although it’s always good to be reminded. To watch him in the recent documentary I Am Not Your Negro is exhilarating, showing just what an unstoppable moral and intellectual force he was. It’s not just that it’s hard to disagree with him; it’s impossible to argue with him. Representatives of the old order charge towards his machine-gun rhetoric like sword-waving cavalrymen and they are mown down. Continue reading...