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Whenever we get to this time of year, marked, as it is, by reflection and reminiscences of the past 12 months, we always find ourselves thinking the same thing: At least there was good stuff to read. This annual realization is no small thing; we don't take for granted that there is no such thing as a bad year for books. (And even if there were, we would happily spend a solid 365 days reading the best books of...
Infinite Home, the second novel by Brooklyn writer Kathleen Alcott, has a modest set-up, following the interconnected lives of one Brooklyn brownstone’s tenants at a crucial point in their histories and the building’s history. Yet what Alcott does with her small community is nothing short of magic. Through short scenes, written with an exacting care and beauty, she creates characters that are so well realized that by the novel’s end, it’s easy to mistake...
There’s a common perception that as the temperature starts to rise and we fling open our windows and off our clothes and make weekend plans to go to the beach, we also shed our intelligence. Or, at least, that’s the sense I get whenever I see a list of recommended beach reads, usually full of books as mind-numbing as the brain-freezes I always get from eating ice cream too fast. I’m not even quite...

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