The Corner

Christmas Shopping with NRO

If anyone missed Wolf Hall by Hilary Mantel, it’s terrific.

The Tudors for grown-ups, with some of the best writing I’ve read in a while.

Prince of Thieves, by Chuck Hogan, is the crime novel on which Ben Affleck based his new film The Town. Hogan is under-read, but he writes beautifully and his story is top-notch — much better than the movie, though the movie’s not bad either.

House of Leaves, by Mark Z. Danielewski, is a postmodern cyber-textual something-or-other and so not an easy read, but if you have the energy, it’s worth it. It’s ghost story that essentially deconstructs deconstruction by demonstrating that all the intellectual blather in the world is as nothing compared to the love between a good woman and a brave man. But, of course, NRO readers already know that.

— Andrew Klavan’s latest thriller is The Identity Man.

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Economy & Business

The Compulsory Society

Vox may still be keeping up its risible just-the-facts posturing, but it is tendentious to the point of dishonesty: “Colorado baker who refused to serve gay couple now wants to refuse to serve transgender person,” it says. That is not true, of course. (But everybody knows that.) Phillips serves ... Read More
Books

The Maker of Middle-earth, in Gorgeous Detail

Oxford, England — After five months of ferocious and futile slaughter in “the Great War,” an Oxford undergraduate — knowing his deployment to the Western Front was inevitable — used his Christmas break in 1914 to cultivate his imagination. Twenty-two-year-old J. R. R. Tolkien began writing “The Story ... Read More