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Reading in an Age of Catastrophe

Facing the Abyss: American Literature and Culture in the 1940s by George Hutchinson Columbia University Press, 439 pp., $35.00 1. George Hutchinson’s Facing the Abyss has bracing and revelatory things to say about American culture in the 1940s; also, by contrast and implication, about American culture today. The book brings into focus intellectual and emotional…

Letter of Recommendation: Letter of Recommendation: Ronnie James Dio

Letter of RecommendationImageCreditCreditIllustration by Kelsey DakeThere’s a unique kind of depression that comes from being broke during winter in Spokane, Wash., where I spent the better part of my 20s and 30s. It’s a place with decommissioned smokestacks on its skyline, where freight trains rumble on raised trellises in a constant metallic purr and where,…

How do you organize your books?

AVQ&AWelcome back to AVQ&A, where we throw out a question for discussion among the staff and readers. Consider this a prompt to compare notes on your interface with pop culture, to reveal your embarrassing tastes and experiences.  This week’s question comes from A.V. Club Managing Editor Caitlin PenzeyMoog:How do you organize your books?Caitlin PenzeyMoogPhoto: Caitlin PenzeyMoogI…

Climate change: young people striking from school see it for the life-threatening issue it is

Home Earth Environment February 14, 2019 February 14, 2019 by David Rousell And Amy Cutter-Mackenzie-Knowles, The Conversation Credit: Alexandros Michailidis/Shutterstock Students around the world are walking out of school once more, as part of ongoing strikes to protest governments’ inaction on climate change. Since August 2018, tens of thousands of young people have taken part…

By the Book: Maria Popova: By the Book

By the BookImageMaria PopovaCreditCreditIllustration by Jillian TamakiThe author of “Figuring” (and the brain behind the Brain Pickings website) likes how children’s books speak “a language of absolute sincerity, so deliciously countercultural in our age of cynicism.”What books are on your nightstand?I don’t have a nightstand per se — my bedroom is rather ascetic, with only…