Why We Remember: Unlocking Memory’s Power to Hold on to What Matters by Charan Ranganath

Doubleday Review by Walter Cummins It occurred to me that one approach to reviewing of Ranganath’s explanation of human memory would be to test my own memory as I recall…

The Secret History of Bigfoot: Field Notes on a North American Monster by John O’Connor

Sourcebooks Review by George Yatchisin How much of writing is staring down the dark. (Just ask Dante and his selva oscura.) Of course that also means, how much of life…

Roxy and Coco by Terese Svoboda

West Virginia Review by Walter Cummins My fine feathered friends. That phrase, dating back to the 1500s, occurred to me after I read Terese Svoboda’s novel Roxy and Coco. The…

The Anxious Generation: How the Great Rewiring of Childhood Is Causing an Epidemic of Mental Illness by Jonathan Haidt

Penguin Review by Walter Cummins We’ve all probably witnessed similar scenes afternoons when school is out, middle schoolers gathered in groups, all fixated on their smartphone screens and ignoring each…

Come and Get It by Kiley Reid

Putnam Review by George Yatchisin Kiley Reid’s second novel Come and Get It might appear to be a campus-set comedy of manners, but the joke will be on you if…

Passport Photos by Amitava Kumar

California Review by Walter Cummins A tangle of borders dominates Amitava Kumar’s Passport Photos. The most obvious are the boundaries between nations that require verification of a small booklet to…

American Spirits by Russell Banks

Knopf Review by Walter Cummins It may be me, but I find the three stories of Russell Banks’ posthumous American Spirits collection to be examples of gallows humor despite the…

Last Acts by Alexander Sammartino

Scribner Review by George Yatchisin If fathers and sons didn’t exist, novelists would have had to invent them. Alexander Sammartino, in his debut novel Last Acts, dishes up quite a…

3 Shades of Blue: Miles Davis, John Coltrane, Bill Evans, and the Lost Empire of Cool by James Kaplan

Penguin Review by Walter Cummins Despite the depiction of the many triumphs of three of the greatest jazz musicians—many might argue of musicians in any genre—3 Shades of Blue is…

The Freaks Came Out To Write : The Definitive History of The Village Voice, The Radical Paper That Changed American Culture by Tricia Romano

Public Affairs Walter Cummins In my long-ago youth I was one of the thousands of young poseurs, the wannabes from the outlying regions like New Jersey, who descended on Greenwich…