After reading quite a lot of fiction by younger writers for The New Yorker’s 20 Under 40 issue, I’m reading a few new books in galleys—novels by Jonathan Franzen (Freedom) and Philip Roth (Nemesis), Ron Chernow’s biography of George Washington, plus Diana Trilling’s memoir of her marriage to Lionel Trilling, and (a discovery thanks to a Barnes & Noble re-issue), Abraham Joshua Heschel’s book on Maimonides. Thomas Barfield’s Afghanistan is a sobering history. And August is reserved for re-reading the Pevear and Volokhonsky translation of Anna Karenina, which my son is reading for school. That way we can talk about something beyond the state of the Yankee pennant prospects.
David Remnick has twice been a finalist for an NBCC Award: in 1993 in nonfiction for Lenin’s Tomb: The Last Days of the Soviet Empire and in 1998 in biography for King of the World: Muhammad Ali and the Rise of an American Hero. His latest book is The Bridge: The Life and Rise of Barack Obama, which was published earlier this year. He is the editor of The New Yorker. (Photo: Time Out New York)