Despicable cottages

Laura Miller

Laura Miller
New York, New York, USA
Senior Writer
I work for Salon, mostly writing about books, and occasionally about TV and film. I edited The Salon Reader's Guide to Contemporary Authors and am the author of the new book, "The Magician's Book: A Skeptic's Adventures in Narnia."


Laura Miller's Links
JANUARY 27, 2009 3:05PM

A few more reviews

Most of the reviews for The Magician's Book came in before Christmas -- editors quite reasonably saw it as a holiday title. But a few more have trickled in: "In this powerful meditation on 'the schism between childhood and adult...
Here are a couple of interviews I've done recently for The Magician's Book. First, there's a segment from the great public radio program "To The Best of Our Knowledge," in this episode on "magical thinking." Steve Poulson, who does most...
JANUARY 11, 2009 5:58PM

Critic's Bookshelf

The National Book Critics Circle, of which I am a member, does an interesting occasional feature that asks a critic to list five essential titles for any critic's shelf. I did one recently, and it is here. In the entry,...
JANUARY 11, 2009 4:57PM

Big review round-up

I’ve been remiss on the housekeeping for the site, so things have piled up. Here are a whole bunch of links to reviews and other press items about The Magician’s Book. “A recent request asked me which book I wished...

Read full post »

JANUARY 2, 2009 6:31PM

Sister Carrie

I’ve just finished reading Theodore Dreiser’s Sister Carrie, a novel I’ve been curious about since reading his An American Tragedy over 10 years ago. I’d somehow acquired the idea that Sister Carrie was the story of a climbing femme fatale,...

Read full post »

DECEMBER 22, 2008 6:47PM

Olaf Hajek

I knew from the moment I first saw the preliminary sketches for the cover illustration for The Magician’s Book that I was a very lucky author. The artwork is both beautiful and perfectly suited to the book itself: a mixture...

Read full post »

Here's this weekend's crop of reviews: Gregory Maguire, in the New York Times Book Review: "A welcome bit of magic: part reader’s log, part biography, part literary criticism... Miller has learned much from Lewis, not least a bracingly colloquial, honest,...

Read full post »

A little essay I wrote on the connections and similarities between Narnia and Christmas runs on the op-ed page of the New York Times today. It's meant to be a low-key counter to the whole War on Christmas palaver and...
DECEMBER 17, 2008 5:52PM

Signs and symbols

Desmond and Nini have gotten to the point where you can’t always be sure which cultural symbols they understand. It makes conversations with them weirdly disorienting. I might need to explain that a crate with a red cross painted on...

Read full post »

DECEMBER 14, 2008 11:40AM

New reviews of The Magician's Book

There are three new and very gratifying reviews of The Magician’s Book in Sunday papers today. Michael Joseph Gross calls it “easily the best book ever written about Lewis†in the Los Angeles Times. In the Washington Post, Elizabeth Ward...

Read full post »

There's a lovely review of The Magician's Book in the Wall Street Journal this weekend, by Meghan Cox Gurdon, and they're running an excerpt on their web site. Salon has a different excerpt (an adaptation of the chapter on why...
NOVEMBER 29, 2008 5:46PM

Culling your books

Here is an essay I wrote for the back page of this Sunday's New York Times Book Review about the thorny matter of deciding which books to get rid of when you need to clear some space on your shelves...
NOVEMBER 25, 2008 7:19PM

Your Narnia: A photo contest

We're holding a photo contest inviting people to send in pictures they've taken of Narnia-like places. Here's the Flickr page and a description. Have you ever seen a place -- a snowy wood, a green field, a seaside castle --...
NOVEMBER 20, 2008 4:10PM

What they ate

At one point in Don Quixote the knight takes it into his head to imitate his great role model, Amadis of Gaul, who, in disfavor with his lady love, goes mad and wanders through the wilderness in rags. Don Quixote...
NOVEMBER 20, 2008 4:10PM

Welcome October

Then came October full of merry Glee For yet his Noul was totty of the Must, Which he was treading in the Wine-fats see, And of the joyous Oil, whose gentle Gust Made him so frolick and so full of...

My neighborhood is suddenly full of high-end ice cream shops, and I love ice cream. More often than not, though, I walk out the door sans cup or cone after surveying the selection. I like ice cream with nuts, and, furthermore, as far as I'm concerned a brownie without… Read full post »

Editor’s Pick
APRIL 23, 2008 10:35AM

All the sad young literary novelists

Recently, I've noticed that the characters in literary novels, especially books by young writers, are just too *sad*. A pair of books by a married couple, Jonathan Safran Foer's "Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close" and Nicole Krauss' "A History of Love" are prime examples. The characters have suff… Read full post »

APRIL 22, 2008 1:20PM

Almond wafers

There's a kind of imported cookie I love, very thin, crisp wafers with sliced almonds embedded in them, made with real butter. Supplies seem to be erratic, however, and even when they're in stock, they're kinda expensive (like all good cookies). Then I found a recipe in a magazine,… Read full post »

Editor’s Pick
APRIL 21, 2008 11:57AM

Writing tools

I was pretty excited to get a copy of MacSpeech Dictate last week. This is a new Mac voice recognition program that uses the same engine as the Windows program Dragon NaturallySpeaking. DNS is so superior to any previous Mac voice rec that I went to the trouble of… Read full post »

Editor’s Pick
APRIL 17, 2008 12:49PM

Quote of the week

The universal, or approximately universal, opinion in these days is that the unpardonable sin is to be a bore.  This is a profound error.  If this awful phraseology is to be used at all, it may be safely said that the unpardonable sin is being bored. 


-- G.K.… Read full post »

APRIL 11, 2008 5:12PM

Who knew?

I just found out that the guy painting my apartment testified against Leona Helmsley during her trial for tax evasion in 1989. He was (very) uncharacteristically laconic on the subject of working for her. "That lady had a lot of problems," he said.

MARCH 14, 2008 3:21PM

April TV

There are only two things that will make TV worth watching this April, at least as far as I'm concerned: the beginning of the last pod of Season 4 episodes of Lost, and -- above all -- the return of Battlestar Galactica. It's still unclear whether BSG will get… Read full post »

Editor’s Pick
MARCH 3, 2008 12:07PM

"The Wire" predictions

I refuse to predict! I'm tired of the raging popular obsession with how series should end; the frenzy over "The Sopranos" was the last straw. 

One thing I really like about "The Wire" is its unpredictability. OK, it was obvious Omar had to go down, if only because Simon… Read full post »

FEBRUARY 27, 2008 3:57PM

Book cover

FEBRUARY 27, 2008 3:43PM

Linguine with Broccoli and Peppers

Ingredients:   ◠two handfuls Broccoli florets  ◠2 oz. dried linguine  ◠1 garlic cloves, minced   ◠2 tbsp. parmesan cheese, grated   ◠olive oil  ◠1 Red bell pepper  ◠20 Nicoise olives, pitted and chopped   ◠1 tsp. lemon juice
Halve and roast pepper…

Read full post »