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The Slate Book Review

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Slate has launched a Book Review section of its site. Nice to see a new outlet for online book reviews. I've been concerned about Salon's Books coverage for a while now. Laura Miller's contributions seem fewer and farther between (is that just my imagination?), and the site is republishing stuff from the Barnes and Noble Review, which, though not original to the site, turns out to be pretty good!. I keep expecting Salon to fold.

Edited by Christian

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Posted · Report post

Slate has launched a Book Review section of its site. Nice to see a new outlet for online book reviews. I've concerned about Salon's Books coverage for a while now. Laura Miller's contributions seem fewer and farther between (is that just my imagination?), and the site is republishing stuff from the Barnes and Noble Review, which, though not original to the site, turns out to be pretty good!. I keep expecting Salon to fold.

Sweet. Adding it to my feed.

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Slate has launched a Book Review section of its site. Nice to see a new outlet for online book reviews.

Just looking over their reviews for the months of January and February shows a nice, fairly balanced and interesting selection. I read a few of them and doing so encouraged me to bump John Leonard's Reading for My Life and Katherine Boo's Behind the Beautiful Forevers up on my priority list.

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David Plotz, who is married to Hanna Rosin, has a great review of the childrens' book We Are in a Book! that makes me sad for him, his wife and, especially, his kids. But I appreciate his honesty:

Yet We Are in a Book! is far more moving—and terrifying—than you might expect a children’s book to be. It is genuinely freaky in its simple, direct depiction of death. What defines the human consciousness of death? It is not the fear of pain: Animals certainly can fear pain. It is our fear of the void—the idea of nothingness. I recently watched my middle child awaken to the realization that death is the void, and it was awful and disturbing to see his world rocked. One major benefit of religion is that it offers an alternative to the void, something rather than nothing. But those of us who live without the solace of belief in the afterlife (and who don’t offer our children that solace, either) instead find ourselves eyes wide open in bed, imagining … nothing. We Are in a Book! (the title’s jaunty exclamation point comes to seem like a taunt) smacks kids right in the face with that nothingness, shows them grotesquely—in the desperate prayers and mad gesticulations of a cartoon elephant—that death is to be feared because the void awaits us all.

I am going to track down this book for my own children and find a way to use it as a tool to discuss the joys of eternal life. Or to just make sure my kids don't go to sleep frightened.

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