Barnes & Noble Picks the Best Books of the Year..So Far

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It’s mid-year check-in season. This and more in today’s collection of book links.

Barnes & Noble Picks the Best Books of the Year…So Far

Barnes & Noble continues its recent format for best books list: grouping titles not by genre, but by….other things (books with sprayed edges, modern love, and others). Let me just highlight a few wild cards: being one of the four literary fiction titles selected (and literary fiction being in the top carousel), Real Americans‘s inclusion in the “spredges” category (sometimes gimmicks work), sports romances get their own group, and, as far as I can tell, no group dedicated to YA.

The Gulag Archipelago at 50

On to another anniversary, this one I got through with harrowing slowness. This essay makes a case for its singular greatness — in execution and importance (of far lesser concern but still — The Gulag Archipelago might be the greatest title of all time). I remember being stunned at the scale — more than 10 million killed as part of Stalin’s war on his own people. Solzhenitsyn made understanding the reality of that number barely possible — where it was simply impossible before.

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