The NY Literary Magazine

A Distinguished Selection of the Finest Modern Literature

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Book Reviews

On this page, you’ll find some of our book reviews, book recommendations, articles about famous books and notable authors, as well as lists of the best books to read.

Note: Some book reviews our critics write are only published in our newsletter.

Top 10 Must-Read Russian Classics

If you’ve already dipped your toes into the reservoir of Russian literature, you’re still sure to find some lesser-known gems here that will enhance your understanding of this country’s great literary culture. Check out our list of the 10 best Russian Classics ever written.

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Review of “Our Numbered Days” by Neil Hilborn

Our Numbered Days, Neil Hilborn’s debut book, is full of old soul poetry for the young mind. Hilborn is most known for his spoken word performances, specifically his poem “OCD,” which went viral on YouTube in 2013.
“OCD” sets the tone in giving a transitional look into Hilborn’s outlooks on mental illness and how it plays a critical part in navigating love and loss. With his poignant style and lyrical tone, Hilborn not only speaks about his struggles from an outside perspective but writes a letter to them for all that they are worth. Read More

“The Association of Small Bombs” Book Review

"The Association of Small Bombs" is a powerful and relevant book dealing with terrorism, and the aftermath left behind by the devastation. Author Karan Mahajan tells the powerful, tragic story of an innocent Indian man who experienced and survived a terrorist explosion. Read our review.

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“The Ocean at the End of the Lane” Fantasy Book Review

“The dream was haunting me: standing behind me, present and yet invisible, like the back of my head, simultaneously there and not there.”

The nameless narrator in Neil Gaiman’s hauntingly nostalgic novel revisits his childhood home in the English countryside. By doing so, he evokes memories from his youth that had been buried over decades.

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“The Japanese Lover” Book Review

Isabel Allende's latest brilliant novel "The Japanese Lover", delves into a seventy-year-long love story and reflects on what it means to have led a full and happy life. Read our book review.

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About Emily Bronte and her Famous Novel Wuthering Heights

Though the Bronte sisters are perhaps one of the most well-known families of writers in English literature, when they published their work in the nineteenth century, they were known as neither Brontes nor as sisters.

Hoping to avoid the biased criticism and claims of insubstantiality levied against the works of women, Anne, Charlotte, and Emily Bronte published under the names Acton, Currer, and Ellis Bell.

Their first publication was a collection of the sisters’ poems, and though the volume was not successful at the time, later assessment of Emily Bronte’s poems has, according to Encyclopedia Britannica, since distinguished her as the preeminent poetic talent of the three sisters.

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Review of “The Defining Decade” Book by Dr. Meg Jay

The Defining Decade is like having an excellent therapy session.
This book will help any confused twenty-year-old overcome issues they are struggling with, gain more self-confidence and find their path in life.
A recommended read!

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Top 10 Modern Retellings of Classic Stories

Here is a list of the top 10 famous classic stories retold in the modern day. These updated versions prove they are just as timeless as the original stories we know and love.

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“The Sleepwalker’s Guide to Dancing Book” Review

In the 70s Amina Eapen’s family went to India to visit her grandmother and uncle. But after an eventful night, the trip is cut short, but it continually haunts the family. Now, nearly two decades later, Amina’s father is talking to dead relatives.

Amina is now a photographer, a former photojournalist who now photographs weddings. She is facing a crossroads in her job and life, unsure if she’s really happy with what she is doing when she returns to her home in New Mexico to figure out what is wrong with her dad. Read More

Howard Dully’s “My Lobotomy” Book Review

My Lobotomy, a memoir by Howard Dully, tells the story of how a 12-year-old Howard Dully was unrightfully lobotomized at the insistence of his parents and with the help of the infamous Dr. Freeman.

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10 Books to Read on Flights

No matter what type it is, flights can be tedious and tiring, and a good book can help the time pass quickly. Below is a list of some books we think are perfect travel companions and are sure to entertain, even on the worst of trips! Read More

Editorial Book Review of “Oryx and Crake” by Margaret Atwood

Margaret Atwood's brilliant dystopian novel "Oryx and Crake" depicts a society destroyed by genetic engineering and bioterrorism in a tale readers will not soon forget. Read our editorial book review of "Oryx and Crake".

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“Decanting a Murder” Mystery Novel Book Review

Read our review of "Decanting a Murder", a cozy mystery novel by Nadine Nettmann.

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“Transatlantic” by Colum McCann Book Review

Transatlantic, a New York Times bestseller, seems to be an impossible feat as it endeavors to encompass generations of stories, succeeding in about 300 pages. The award-winning author Colum McCann shocks his audience once again with a novel that breaks the distance of time and of oceans, weaving together a fiction and nonfiction tale that follows three unforgettable crossings of the Atlantic Ocean.

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Book Review of “The Idiot” by Elif Batuman

In understanding any work of fiction, the consideration of words and language is, at minimum, implicitly essential—words allow the writer to build the fictional world and create the atmosphere that readers turn to when examining a text. While understanding words and their effects is central to any effort toward thoughtful reading, rarely does a book urge the reader to consider words and language the way Elif Batuman’s The Idiot does. Read More

“Astrophysics for People in a Hurry” Book Review

“We are stardust brought to life, then empowered by the universe to figure itself out—and we have only just begun.”

That at its core, is what famed astrophysicist Neil deGrasse Tyson’s latest, NY Times Bestselling book is about.
It is for the non-astrophysicist to begin to understand concepts that are so large and complex and yet are the very reasons the human race exists.

Tyson’s book “Astrophysics for People in a Hurry” travels through time and space, starting with The Big Bang.
He explains how scientists measure the universe, the ways in which everything we know is created, and the wonders that lie beyond our earthly horizons.

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“The Handmaid’s Tale” Editorial Book Review

“Ordinary, said Aunt Lydia, is what you are used to. This may not seem ordinary to you now, but after a time it will. It will become ordinary.”

Margaret Atwood’s classic novel, The Handmaid’s Tale, is a story that is uncomfortable and difficult to deal with. Set in a dystopian America, the government has been overthrown by religiously conservative extremists, the constitution is gone, and women have had their rights stripped from them. They are sorted into occupations that reverted back into traditional female roles, from being housewives and cooks and maids.

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“Walk the Blue Fields” by Claire Keegan Book Review

With the exploration of colorful characters living in rural Ireland, Claire Keegan's "Walk the Blue Fields" will become a favorite for generations to come.

Claire Keegan’s book explores the overarching theme of rural Ireland, dealing with characters that are either leaving it, escaping to it, or struggling to live their daily lives in it.

Read our editorial book review.

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10 Must-Read Memoirs and Autobiographies

Looking for a good true story to read? Here are ten of the best memoirs and autobiographies—some you may not know about. Add these to your personal collection and let us know what you think!

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Editorial Book Review of William Faulkner’s “Light in August”

“Memory believes before knowing remembers. Believes longer than recollects, longer than knowing even wonders.”

Can literary works that address struggles of race, identity, and terror, provide a lens that is comparable to the current reality of readers?

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