5 Most Popular Posts: May 2020
- June 1, 2020
We here at the Independent love every piece we run. There are no winners or losers. Seriously, though, here are May’s winners.
- “What’s in a Name?” by Elizabeth Foxwell. “The panorama of today’s mystery offerings can be bewildering, given the myriad categories and classifications. Definitions inevitably provoke debate, but researchers often turn to the work of critics and scholars such as Jon L. Breen, Howard Haycraft, H.R.F. Keating, and Julian Symons for help in painting the landscape. What follows below can serve as a starting point in understanding the many variations of the mystery form.”
- “6 Books Similar to ‘The Princess Bride’” by Carrie Callaghan. “Whether you’ve seen it three dozen times or (gasp) just once, chances are you liked ‘The Princess Bride.’ Or at least got a kick out of the brilliant Mandy Patinkin’s character: ‘My name is Inigo Montoya. You killed my father. Prepare to die.’ (We decline to consider cases where you’ve either not seen the movie or did not like it.) Here are a few books that might strike that same delicious, witty, romantic chord for you.”
- Janet A. Martin’s review of The German Heiress: A Novel by Anika Scott (William Morrow Paperbacks). “Not since college years ago have I read a book straight through in one sitting. But recently, with The German Heiress by Anika Scott, I found myself one morning in a plush armchair, suggesting excuses for supper leftovers to my husband, or, in a pinch, slow cooking in a crockpot — anything I could think of to allow me to stay put and savor this alluring novel about a woman known as the ‘Iron Fraulein.’”
- Kenneth Jost’s review of Let the People Pick the President: The Case for Abolishing the Electoral College by Jesse Wegman (St. Martin’s Press). “The Electoral College has never worked as the Framers envisioned and does not work today in the way its supporters contend. Those are perhaps the two most important conclusions that Jesse Wegman, an editorial writer for the New York Times, offers in Let the People Pick the President, a thoroughly researched and forcefully argued attack on the odd system enshrined in the Constitution for selecting the president of the United States.”
- Joel Looper’s review of Heaven and Hell: A History of the Afterlife by Bart D. Ehrman (Simon & Schuster). “Those familiar with Ehrman’s reputation but not his work might be struck by the final two sentences of this paragraph. Despite being viewed (in the pleasantly snarky words of Michael Bird) as a ‘bogeyman’ by conservative Christians and a ‘godsend’ by secularists, he aims at something quite different in Heaven and Hell than disabusing the faithful of any hope they had in the hereafter. Instead, Ehrman sets out to explain how Christians came to spend the last 1,500 years holding views of life after death that diverge dramatically from those in the Bible itself.”