The elemental beauty and depth that can be found only in great works of literature.

I’m still not above watching vapid reality shows about meth-addicted Tiger tamers. Nor am I dismissive of the compelling fare we find on streaming media — we are living in a golden age of middlebrow culture. Certainly the world doesn’t need another writer praising the virtues of Moby-Dick. And that’s not my point. Sitting here in isolation, I come to praise the elemental beauty and depth that can be found only in great works of literature. Moby-Dick demanded my attention, imagination, and time. — David Harsanyi on reading Moby Dick

Ahab’s Return by Jeffrey Ford

The book is part mystery (finding Ahab’s family) and part fantasy (the mythical characters). The mythical characters and the settings are intriguing. I have never been a big fantasy reader, but this one kept me interested throughout because of the strong plot and engaging characters.

Moby-Dick, Cain and Joan of Arc in the New York Times

Three iconic figures and three books I want to read covered in the New York Times: Kathryn Harrison reviews Nathaniel Philbrick’s recently released Why Read Moby-Dick? Philbrick, whose “In the Heart of the Sea: The Tragedy of the Whaleship Essex” recounted the real-life inspiration for Melville’s shipwreck, wears his erudition lightly. He broaches …

Moby-Dick, Cain and Joan of Arc in the New York Times

Three iconic figures and three books I want to read covered in the New York Times: Kathryn Harrison reviews Nathaniel Philbrick’s recently released Why Read Moby-Dick? Philbrick, whose “In the Heart of the Sea: The Tragedy of the Whaleship Essex” recounted the real-life inspiration for Melville’s shipwreck, wears his erudition lightly. He broaches …