Message in a Bottle
The Lost Art of Book Reviews

The ratio of books published to books reviewed has grown increasingly disproportionate in the last few years. The Los Angeles Times halted their Sunday book section in 2007 and The Washington Post nixed theirs in 2009. The New York Times and The San Francisco Chronicle book sections persevere, but for how long?

Amidst the crumbling of tradition, out of the ashes comes Slate’s new book review section, which will be published on the first Saturday of each month. The first edition debuted this month, featuring a feast of fantastic offerings. Just try this article by David Plotz that examines a 2010 Mo Willems children’s book, We Are in a Book!, that presents the scariest existential metaphor I’ve ever seen:

Terrifying. I love that the Slate writers are talking about books that speak to them, not just new releases or celebrity authors. This is good stuff. And a piece from Allison Benedikt that calls out the mean-girl tone in What to Expect When You’re Expecting? Yes! Finally!

What I’m trying to say this week is, after you’ve skimmed the ramblings from us Island Books nerds, head over to Slate and delight in the return of a dying art form.


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