The Times has announced its notable books list for 2014.
Our new issue is out and, we submit, it’s kind of special. To celebrate our twentieth anniversary, we invited current and former contributors—including Geoff Dyer, Christian Lorentzen, Christine Smallwood, Lydia Davis, Luc Sante, J. Hoberman, Chris Kraus, and many others—to write about notable books of the past twenty years. Meanwhile, Heather Havrilesky points out the best-seller list’s spectacular mansplaining, Melanie Rehak reflects on the Brooklynification of all food, and Christopher Lyon picks out the best art books. You can get all of that if you buy the print magazine in a bookstore or, better yet, subscribe. Also in the issue, Parul Sehgal praises Claudia Rankine’s National Book Award–nominated Citizen; Astra Taylor writes about the hacktivist collective Anonymous, Kaitlin Phillips noodles on her computer for the sake of Lena Dunham, and Kerry Howley investigates Laura Kipnis’s investigation of men. Check out the TOC here.
The murder case that has been the subject of the transfixing podcast Serial is going to appeals court. Adnan Syed, who was convicted in 2000 of murdering his ex-girlfriend, Hae Min Lee, is now serving the fifteenth year of a life sentence. Syed has protested his innocence from the beginning, and his lawyer calls this appeal “his last best chance.” The podcast, produced and narrated by the reporter Sarah Koenig, has been exploring the case for nine episodes, and has reached more than a million and a half million listeners.
PJ Harvey is coming out with a book of poetry, The Hollow of the Hand, next October. The book is a collaboration with photographer and filmmaker Seamus Murphy, who directed the music videos for Harvey’s 2011 album, Let England Shake.
Reihan Salam, the new executive editor of the National Review, has been anointed “Brooklyn’s favorite conservative” by New York Magazine. Salam runs with a literary crowd, endearing himself to most and doing his best to endear himself to the rest too. He’s written for the Review for a number of years, and is a Slate columnist and a contributor to CNN.
Goodreads researched people’s reading habits and found that 90 percent of the time men prefer to read men and women to read women. (Men prefer to be men 100 percent of the time, but that wasn’t covered in the study.) Nevertheless, people of both genders think women are ever so slightly better at writing: Women rate women writers an average of 4 out of 5 stars, while they rate men an average of 3.8. Men rate men average of 3.8 stars, but allow women an average of 3.9.