Reviews are pouring in for Hillary Clinton’s new memoir Hard Choices, and they’re all over the map. Robin Abcarian at the Los Angeles Times writes that the book “leaves no room for doubt about how she might conduct foreign policy (pragmatically), how she will defend herself against charges that she mishandled the attack on the American compound in Benghazi, Libya (robustly) and about how much she regrets giving President George W. Bush carte blanche to wage war against Iraq (deeply and eternally).” Michiko Kakutani over at the New York Times calls it “a subtle, finely calibrated work that provides a portrait of the former secretary of state and former first lady as a heavy-duty policy wonk” and compares it favorably to Clinton’s 2003 book, Living History. On the other hand, Isaac Chotiner at The New Republic refutes Kakutani, saying her review is filled with generalizations. He writes, ”if Kakutani is going to make claims for the book’s merits, she must follow through on her generic praise, and offer some sense of what is valuable in the book, or at least some sense of what she enjoyed about it.” And at Slate, critic John Dickerson says it’s filled with “safe, methodical writing.” In keeping with tradition, Clinton doesn’t reveal whether she’s running for president in 2016. Okay, Hillary; whatever you say.
Bill Watterson, the mind behind the Calvin and Hobbes comic strip, has been famously reclusive, withdrawing into private life after he finished the strip in 1995. But now, he’s back! Sort of. Watterson guest illustrated three strips of Pearl Before Swine by Stephan Pastis. Pastis wrote all about how the collaboration happened in his blog, likening Watterson to “the Bigfoot of cartooning.” [Pearls Before Swine]
Before Ulysses was frustrating English majors, James Joyce published Dubliners, a book of short stories and a novella. Dubliners (which is much more accessible than Joyce’s other work, by the way) is celebrating its 100th anniversary; to mark the occasion, Penguin Classics put together a new edition of the book with a forward by Irish-American novelist Colum McCann. [USA Today]
Haruki Murakami’s new short story in the New Yorker’s summer fiction issue has been de-paywalled. This year, the magazine opted to theme its issue on love stories. It also includes writing by Karen Russell, Rachel Kusher, Miranda July, and a slew of other luminaries. [The New Yorker]