Pulling together this year’s list of the 60 best picture books was both torment and delight. Delight, because what could be better than sitting around looking at picture books? Torment, because I love way more than just 60. A picture book can be a sublime aesthetic experience, transporting children geographically, temporally, and emotionally in just a few page turns.
Atinuke and Laura Tobia take readers to “Amazing Africa,” where there’s Double Trouble for Anna Hibiscus when the ebullient biracial ...
We highlight some of the best coffeetable books available this holiday season.
Receiving coffeetable books gives us a big smile, too.
Beloved Dog by Maira Kalman
Kalman is revered for her idiosyncratic, philosophical musings paired with her charming, intimate art. Beloved Dog is a reflective, funny, affecting book that any dog lover will cherish.
Hyper Nature by Philippe Martin
If gnarly, hairy bugs aren’t your thing, the vibrant, up-close photos in Hyper Nature of centipedes, spiders, geckos, snails, and snakes might not win a place in your heart. But for kids (or adults) who want a ...
Authors of LEO: A GHOST STORY
Barnett and Robinson by Irene Kim
Lonely Leo longs for a friend—someone who sees and accepts him for who he truly is. The seeing part is the problem.
“This is Leo. Most people cannot see him,” Mac Barnett writes at the beginning of Leo. The accompanying illustration, by Christian Robinson, is of a windowed, wallpapered room with a table holding books and a candlestick phone. No Leo.
Turn the page, and that image gets a notable addition: a bow-tied boy sits under the table, reading ...
We talk to some of the masterminds reinventing cookbooks
Mario Batali just took me on a guided tour of his latest cookbook, America Farm to Table—and he’ll happily do the same for you.
“All the recipes in this book are inspired by farmers in appreciation of the incredible amount of work they do to bring quality food to our table,” Batali says. “Let’s take a walk through this amazing interactive ebook and explore the tools I’ve developed to guide your cooking.” He ends with an ...
We ask the store’s co-founder Betsy Burton about her success as an indie bookseller
Betsy Burton of The King's English
In 1977, Betsy Burton co-founded The King’s English Bookshop in Salt Lake City. Burton, the president of the American Booksellers Association, wrote a book about life owning and running her modestly sized, well-loved indie bookstore entitled The King’s English: Adventures of an Independent Bookseller. Here, she talks about odd and obscure titles, accidentally locking an author’s belongings in her mom’s car, and 38 years of bookselling.
What is The King’s English Bookshop famous for?
I’m not sure how famous we ...
Patrick McGilligan photographed at the University of Texas Book Festival 2011
“Orson has a reputation as somewhat of a—I’m trying to think of a better word than liar—someone who exaggerates and embellishes everything,” says Patrick McGilligan. His newest biography of Orson Welles’ life up to the release of Citizen Kane, Young Orson: The Years of Luck and Genius on the Path to Citizen Kane, makes the case that, contrary to film buff lore, for the most part Welles told the truth to interviewers like Peter Bogdanovich, friends, and colleagues when ...
Paris Review editor Lorin Stein talks to us about the anthology of writing that is “the opposite of self-promotion.”
Lorin Stein photographed by Poppy de Villeneuve
When Lorin Stein re-launched The Paris Review five years ago, he didn’t plan on editing an anthology. In fact, he says, he usually isn’t drawn to anthologies. He came to the Review because he felt writing in its shorter forms had “fallen out of the conversation about American literature somewhat.”
“But in the last five years, that generation”—writers in their 20’s and 30[s, he means, who all grew up with the internet as a fact of life—“has really ...
Hanya Yanagihara photographed by Jenny Westerhoff.
One way to describe a novel you like, maybe the quickest way, is to say that you can’t put it down. People say that all the time. There are also novels that compel trickier, but no less passionate, emotions. They are books that confront you and make you wrestle with them. You might feel protective of the characters and their fates; maybe you feel like the writer is talking directly to, or about, you and you are delighted but spooked ...