The London Review of Books is simply the best generalist journal on topics of literature, the arts, culture, history, politics, philosophy published in the world today--it now beats the NY Review of Books in terms of giving you the full picture and leaves the TLS back in the dust. If you want to get your bearings in the world of culture and politics, this is must reading.
Denis Jonnes Washington D. C./Kitakyushu, Japan
A Great Journal for American Intellectuals as well as our British Counterparts
I love this journal. The way they review books is like no other book review page or magazine I've ever read. I find that by reading these articles we can as Americans involved in the world of ideas understand European thinking. Either way I'm renewing next year!
I love books, and I read a great deal. The LROB is the standard for reviewing (as well as NYROB). It's oversized and made of newsprint, and ships in a plastic sleeve...a big deal as the NYROB doesn't and sustains more damage in transit. The personals section is hysterical, and almost worth the subscription price alone for the laughs.
BUT, this is high brow stuff. The books reviewed are generally historic or political, with a few fiction titles thrown in. The articles are in-depth by established authors (Colum McCann, Jonathan Franzen) and often link to other books in the same genre or style. This doesn't cover any mass market titles, and seems to be quite shy of small press publishers as well.
It's a great resource, and a treat to browse, but I still find the best variety and reviews online. And also, it makes you quite jealous for some of the literary events over the pond that you miss out on here in the US...you can only read about the exhibitions and readings and drool.
Is there such a thing as a non- left wing book-reviewer?
I may be wrong, but whenever I have seen political pieces in the 'London Review' they have tended to the extreme Left. The 'party line' approach makes it difficult to enjoy the other fare.