Books

Legacies at sea.

FROM THE ARCHIVE:For 30 years, the Louis Vuitton Cup has been a rite of passage for those looking to claim victory at America’s Cup, the world’s most prestigious sailing competition.

Books by Leslie Jamison, Ben Lerner, and Jenny Offill.

There’s no end to the catalogue of ways humans suffer, and manage to inflict suffering: illness and injury, psychic suffering, material deprivation, heartache, loneliness, catastrophe, separation, history, bad luck.

Five selections for the year.

There is always time to read—the challenge is deciding which story to immerse yourself in. We’ve narrowed down the dizzying number of options to five.

Books by Adam Phillips, Mireille Silcoff, and Eimear McBride.

Consider for a moment the possibility that our very selves—our centred, internal, ever-present cluster of backstories we identify with the letter I—comprise as much everything we haven’t done as everything we’ve done. Everyone we haven’t become as much as who it is we find we have. Can anything useful be gleaned from the premise?

Ian McEwan.

FROM THE ARCHIVE: Ian McEwan, the acclaimed author of Amsterdam, Atonement, and Saturday, among many other works, talks about his youthful “reckless pessimism”, his currently optimistic world view, and what it means to live a good life.

The Long Hello by Cathie Borrie.

The Long Hello: Memory, My Mother, and Me by Cathie Borrie is a compassionate telling of the love that exists in extreme conditions.

Lord of the brush.

J. R. R. Tolkien’s malevolent dragon Smaug is just one of hundreds of iconic Tolkien characters and mythical landscapes brought to life by visionary illustrator and conceptual artist John Howe.

Books by Rachel Kushner, Geoff Dyer, and Peter Gizzi.

Many contemporary novels, however enjoyable, seem content tracing the doings and events and psychologies corralled inside their clearly delineated piece of fictional terrain. Other novels, however, throw open the windows and let the world’s chaos blow throw a narrative.