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A Sneak Peek at the First Major Biography of John Updike, the Man Who Made Rabbit Run

John Updike, circa 1955 John Updike not only wrote some of the past century's most provocative fiction but also inspired some of its most imaginative criticism—from Nicholson Baker and David Foster Wallace, to name two. Now Adam Begley, the former books editor at the New York Observer, joins in with the first major biography of the author, the juicy yet sensitive Updike (Harper, $35; out April 8). see more

An Illuminating Conversation With, You Know, What's-Her-Name

The many faces of Judy Greer. Actress Judy Greer, the consummate sidekick, best friend, or both in countless films, has been approached by so many people who can't quite figure out where they've seen her before that she wrote a book about it, I Don't Know What You Know Me From: Confessions of a Co-Star (Doubleday; out April 8). We asked her about being almost-famous. see more

Todd Selby (Finally) Dedicates a Book to Fashion

For a guy who made his name photographing the homes of fashionable people, it took Todd Selby a long time to dedicate an entire book to the world of style. One glimpse at The Fashionable Selby, which hits book stores today, proves the man still knows how to capture personality on the page. see more

The New Must-Read: Lorrie Moore's Bark

In a literary world obsessed with Franzenesque Big Novels, the release of a book of short stories rarely counts as a marquee event. An exception to the rule: Bark, Lorrie Moore's first collection since 1998's bestselling, multiple-award-winning Birds of America, featuring eight mordant, off-kilter tales. Take, for example, "Debarking," in which a newly divorced dad is set up with a slightly cracked pediatrician who invites her painfully awkward teenage son to accompany them on a date. And that's just for starters—wait until you get to the biker gang that crashes a wedding. see more

A Very Abridged Life of William S. Burroughs

The author in Chicago, 1981. We read Barry Miles' exceptional 736-page Call Me Burroughs: A Life (Twelve Books, $32; out now) so you don't have to. Below, a crib sheet. see more

True Blood's Joe Manganiello on His Bromance With Ah-Nold, Getting Bullied as a Skinny Kid, and His New Fitness Book

Everything about Joe Manganiello is big—from his six-foot-five-inch stature to his boulder-size biceps and chiseled chest. So, too, is the title of his first fitness book: Evolution: The Cutting-Edge Guide to Breaking Down Mental Walls and Building the Body You've Always Wanted. In it, the 36-year-old star provides a six-week, step-by-step program that got him into top werewolf form for True Blood (the actor shared elements of the workout with us back in 2011). In addition to the exercise regime, Manganiello writes about the hurdles he overcame in his fitness journey. Surprise: He wasn't born with superior genes and see more

Must-Reads: The Top 6 Design Books of 2013

Designed by Joseph Magliaro, the Penta-base Bookrest is modeled on a 1970s plastic vinyl-album organizer, so it's big enough to hold—and show off—oversize page-turners. Starting at $1,400; Upgrade your home library with the year's best design releases. see more
Guest Blogger

Objects of Desire: Building the Perfect Desk With Daily Rituals Author Mason Currey

Fifteen perfect accessories for the well-curated life. Item credits below. Let's just get this out of the way: I work in a closet. Granted, it's a pretty generously sized closet—about five feet by six feet—with a built-in dresser and vanity and enough room left over to accommodate a small desk and a bookcase. The space isn't any smaller than your typical cubicle, albeit one with no natural light and no ventilation—and in which my wife and I also store all of our luggage. Preparing to move from Brooklyn to Los Angeles last summer, I had entertained fantasies of something a see more
Food + Drinks

6 New Cookbooks from the Chefs at Le Pigeon, Daniel, Roberta's, Gramercy Tavern, Pok Pok & Kogi BBQ

Read 'em and eat: Some of the country's most celebrated chefs are divulging their most precious recipes and all-around gustatory know-how in books that are as at home in the kitchen as they are displayed on your bookshelf. Below are our top picks with the best pieces of expert advice and the recipes we'll be impressing our guests with next. Plus, cooking classes offered by restaurants where it can be tough to book a table, let alone go backstage. see more

5 Classic Books and Films That'll Make You Want to Quit Your Day Job and Drop Out of the Rat Race

Labor Day's over, and so's the summertime illusion of a life lived free from normal responsibilities—but that doesn't mean you can't fantasize about it. In Mary Kay Zuravleff's new novel, Man Alive! (Farrar Straus and Giroux, $25), a pediatric psychiatrist and family man named Owen Lerner is struck by lightning while feeding a parking meter. The electric shock rewires his brain, and now the only thing he wants to do is set up the grill in the backyard and cook—all day, every day. Of course, this novel is only the latest in a long line of fictional postwar explorations see more
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