Streams

Heller McAlpin

Heller McAlpin appears in the following:

Equal Parts Sarcasm, Silliness And Smarts In 'Let's Be Less Stupid'

Tuesday, July 14, 2015

Patricia Marx's comic memoir chronicles her four-month attempt to boost her brainpower. Critic Heller McAlpin says anyone clever enough to have written this book shouldn't worry about her brain.

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Too Much 'Word,' Not Enough 'Nerd' In This Scrabble Story

Wednesday, June 17, 2015

Professional Scrabble fan John D. Williams' new memoir is chock full of interesting tidbits (like lists of important words with Q, X and J) but gets bogged down in tedious biographical detail.

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Mama's Still Alive Today: 'Meursault' Investigates A Literary Murder

Wednesday, June 10, 2015

In The Stranger, Albert Camus' antihero Meursault famously killed a nameless Arab; Algerian writer Kamel Daoud's new novel reworks Camus from the point of view of the murdered man's brother.

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Coping With Calamity In Shimmering 'Cathedral'

Tuesday, June 09, 2015

The aging characters in Kate Walbert's new novel are learning to go with the flow as waters rise and life takes strange turns. Critic Heller McAlpin praises Walbert's ability to capture women's lives.

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Dennis Hastert Pleads Not Guilty At Chicago Arraignment

Tuesday, June 09, 2015

The former House speaker was indicted by a federal grand jury over charges that he lied to the FBI about paying hush money over his "past misconduct."

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You'll Be Caught Fast By This Delightful 'Fly Trap'

Tuesday, June 02, 2015

Fredrik Sjöberg's wry memoir celebrates the beauty of limitations, tiny wonders and intense focus; in Sjöberg's case, a focus on the hoverflies he studies on his home island of Runmarö in Sweden.

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Remembering A Troubled Brother In 'Lord Fear'

Wednesday, May 13, 2015

Lucas Mann's new memoir pieces together family memories to create a portrait of his heroin-addicted older brother, who died of an overdose. Critic Heller McAlpin calls it difficult but necessary.

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'I Take You' Is Madcap Marital Mayhem

Monday, May 04, 2015

Eliza Kennedy's snappy new novel follows Lily Wilder, a high-powered litigator conflicted about her upcoming wedding because she's having too much fun with sex, booze and work to settle down.

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What Luck! 'Early Warning' Continues Smiley's Farm Family Saga

Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Readers eager to catch up with the Iowa farming family Jane Smiley introduced in Some Luck will enjoy the latest installment, which follows the five children off the farm and into the postwar era.

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Memoir, Perfectly Punctuated In 'Between You & Me'

Wednesday, April 08, 2015

New Yorker copy editor Mary Norris' new book is part life story, part grammar guide. Reviewer Heller McAlpin says the book is delightful, and Norris is a "stickler who can't resist schtick."

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'B & Me' Is Intelligent, Immoderate, And A Bit Belabored

Wednesday, March 11, 2015

J.C. Hallman's audacious account of his engagement with the erotic writing of Nicholson Baker makes a splash, but critic Heller McAlpin says the book sometimes runs aground in self-indulgence.

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A Life Examined — And Examined And Examined In 'Ongoingness'

Tuesday, March 03, 2015

Writer Sarah Manguso has been a compulsive diarist since childhood; her new memoir documents the ways motherhood has changed her writing. Critic Heller McAlpin says it's full of lovely observations.

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Cozy 'Blue Thread' Is Unabashedly Domestic

Tuesday, February 10, 2015

Anne Tyler's 20th novel will feel comfortably familiar to her fans — A Spool of Blue Thread is the long-haul story of an ordinary Baltimore family thrown into disarray by illness and sudden tragedy.

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'Funny Girl' Is A Book Made For Binge-Watching

Tuesday, February 03, 2015

Yes, you read that right. Nick Hornby's charming, light yet thoughtful tale of the creative team behind a fictional BBC sitcom in the 1960s takes the pejorative sting out of the word "heartwarming."

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'Mr. Mac' Paints Flowers In A Darkening World

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Esther Freud's new novel Mr. Mac and Me traces an unlikely friendship between a lonely boy and a struggling artist. Reviewer Heller McAlpin calls says the book has both technical prowess and grace.

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There's Nothing Sketchy About This 'Outline'

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Reviewer Heller McAlpin says Rachel Cusk, known for her lacerating memoirs, begins to bring her fiction and nonfiction closer together in Outline, an "impressive deepening" of her work.

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Playful And Serious? 'How To Be' Is Both

Saturday, December 06, 2014

Ali Smith's new How To Be Both combines inventive structural trickery and warm, sardonic writing in in parallel tales of a bereaved modern teenager and an Italian renaissance fresco painter.

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Behind The Famous Story, A Difficult 'Wild Truth'

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

When Christopher McCandless died in the wilds of Alaska, his story became famous all over the world. A new memoir by his sister Carine reveals some of the reasons he chose to walk away from the world.

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'Republic Of Imagination' Sings The Praises Of Literature

Thursday, October 23, 2014

The author of Reading Lolita in Tehran returns, this time with a paean to the importance of literature in a democratic society. Reviewer Heller McAlpin says Azar Nafisi may be preaching to the choir.

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The Feathery Saga Of A 'Sucker For Unwanted Birds'

Sunday, October 12, 2014

Michelle Raffin's new The Birds of Pandemonium is an impassioned but occasionally jumbled memoir of her adventures in the noisy, smelly, exhausting, rewarding world of rare bird conservation.

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