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New York Times
8 Apr 2023

NextImg:What We’re Reading

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As you might guess, the editors who work at the Book Review usually have their noses in a book — and they’re not always new releases. In this episode, Gilbert Cruz talks to Tina Jordan and Greg Cowles about what they’ve been reading and enjoying.

Jordan, who loves suspense novels, recently picked up last year’s “The Appeal,” by Janice Hallett, following a recommendation from Sarah Lyall, the Book Review’s thrillers columnist. Cowles, as he likes to do, plucked an older book from the shelf that he’d never read: Willa Cather’s “My Ántonia.”

In honor of National Poetry Month, Cowles — who edits all of the Book Review’s poetry coverage — also talked about how he came to appreciate poetry. “I’ve always loved good sentences and surprising language,” he said. “A novel has room — and is even required — to have some slack language in it. If every sentence was perfectly chiseled and honed and used surprising metaphors, you wouldn’t have the patience to stick with it. But poetry, because it’s so distilled, requires that; any slack language stands out and would ruin a poem.”

Here are the books discussed in this week’s episode:

  • “The Appeal,” by Janice Hallett

  • “Field Guide,” by Robert Hass

  • “Also a Poet,” by Ada Calhoun

  • “Lunch Poems,” by Frank O’Hara

  • “Collected Poems,” by Ellen Bryant Voigt

We would love to hear your thoughts about this episode, and about the Book Review’s podcast in general. What do you want more of? Less of? Let us know at