The A.V. Club’s favorite books of 2017

Something about this year made reading books feel not just crucial, but a little bit transgressive. Maybe it’s the assault on education and freedom of the press, or maybe it’s just that between reading new reports of abusive men and Trump’s latest attempt to chokehold the nation, simply reading for pleasure feels…

From Victorian England to the Women’s March, women taking to the street is political


Flâneuse is a book about a woman walking through cities. But it is also about reading and writing, seeing and being seen, youth and age, architecture, urban planning, rebellion, protest, romance, heartbreak, longing, and belonging. In the introduction, “Flâneuse-ing,” author Lauren Elkin’s explains her “imaginary…

Not all is as it seems in Margaret Atwood’s earthy adaptation of The Tempest


Hag-Seed is the latest offering from Hogarth Shakespeare, a series that takes Ben Jonson’s quote “He was not of an age, but for all time” seriously and publishes novels by acclaimed and best-selling authors retelling Shakespeare’s plays. Hag-Seed is Margaret Atwood’s contribution—a brilliant retelling of The Tempest

The Taming Of The Shrew retelling Vinegar Girl could use more of the original’s bite


Anne Tyler’s Vinegar Girl is a retelling of Shakespeare’s The Taming Of The Shrew, the latest in the Hogarth Shakespeare series in which contemporary novelists adapt the Bard’s plays for a 21st century audience. So it’s likely you already know the basic plot of the book—whether from reading the original play or seeing…

In Navel Gazing, Michael Ian Black takes a hard look at the middle-aged body, and laughs


Who wants to read a book that examines someone’s belly button lint? If it’s Michael Ian Black’s—whether or not you’ve seen his Stella or The State or read My Custom Van or You’re Not Doing It Right—your answer should be “I do.” The book’s full title—Navel Gazing: True Tales Of Bodies, Mostly Mine (But Also My Mom’s,

Our favorite books of the year

After a stellar year for the written word, The A.V. Club provides some of our favorite books for your consideration as you buy, borrow, or download your next read. Besides some flops and disappointments—the less said about Go Set A Watchman, the better—2015’s output showcases some surprisingly awesome celebrity-penned…

The latest adaptation of Frankenstein fails to bring the original creature to life

The movie Victor Frankenstein opens with the line “You know the story.” But do you? Mary Shelley’s novel has been adapted so many times that the real story, the novel published in 1818, feels like it’s become almost as much of a myth as its monster. The popular book was made into a theater production in 1823, and the…