Over the past few years, newspapers, magazines, and media organizations have shrunk book coverage substantially, shuttering standalone book review sections and lowering the budget and editorial energy devoted to books. Well, here at Slate, we pride ourselves on going against the conventional wisdom. That’s why we’re proud to announce a grand expansion of our books coverage with the launch of a new monthly Slate special section: the Slate Book Review.
The first weekend of every month, the Slate Book Review will take over Slate’s home page, delivering reviews of the newest fiction and nonfiction; essays on reading, writing, and the great (and terrible) books of years gone by; author interviews; videos and podcasts; and much more. We’re proud to bring together Slatesters whose work you know and love with great new writers who’ve never appeared in our magazine before, all in one smart, essential package.
We’ll be rolling out sneak previews from this month’s issue all day today, Friday—with all our fantastic new pieces going live on Saturday morning. So this weekend, as you curl up on the couch with a tablet or take your laptop to brunch, enjoy:
- David Plotz on the most existentially terrifying children’s book ever written
- David Weigel on what the Republican candidates can learn from a 2,076-year-old election guide
- Allison Benedikt on the madness of What To Expect When You’re Expecting
- Dana Stevens on Geoff Dyer’s discursive exploration of Andrei Tarkovsky
- Paul Ford on the ethics of having children, as reflected in his own family’s struggles with infertility
- Wesley Morris on a poet's investigation of blackness in American culture
- Jenny Davidson on Ellen Ullman’s alienating novel By Blood
- Troy Patterson on John Leonard and the purposes of criticism
- Glen Weldon on a sprawling British adventure that’s perfect for fans of hyperliterate circumlocution
And a lot more!
You’ll notice as well that this month’s Slate Book Review is illustrated by cartoonist Derf Backderf, whose excellent graphic novel My Friend Dahmer comes out this month. Each issue of the Review will feature the work of a different cartoonist, who will also customize the Slate Book Review logo to suit his or her fancy.
TODAY IN SLATE
Smash and Grab
Will competitive Senate contests in Kansas and South Dakota lead to more late-breaking races in future elections?
Even When They Go to College, the Poor Sometimes Stay Poor
Republicans Want the Government to Listen to the American Public on Ebola. That’s a Horrible Idea.
The Most Ingenious Teaching Device Ever Invented
Tom Hanks Has a Short Story in The New Yorker. It’s Not Good.
Marvel’s Civil War Is a Far-Right Paranoid Fantasy
It’s also a mess. Can the movies do better?
An All-Female Mission to Mars
As a NASA guinea pig, I verified that women would be cheaper to launch than men.