A recent Barnard College graduate, Allyson is still anxiously awaiting her Hogwarts letter. She is a lifelong resident of Geekville, though she likes to pretend she's Canadian. Allyson is widely acknowledged to be the only sentient being on the planet who genuinely loved the ending of Lost. She tends to overuse the word "literally" and is not even remotely sorry.

Why Molly’s ‘Sherlock’ Ending Was So Problematic

In “The Final Problem,” the season finale of the fourth series of Sherlock, one contentious scene stood out. The fans, cast, and creators alike have many opinions on it. I'm talking, of course, about Molly Hooper's forced love confession to Sherlock…
By Allyson Gronowitz

What We Can All Learn from 'Percy Jackson'

I'm unclear why The New Yorker’s Rebecca Mead deemed it necessary to brandish her literary pitchfork at Rick Riordan’s beloved Percy Jackson series in last week's article "The Percy Jackson Problem." In writing about how she believes the children's…
By Allyson Gronowitz

13 Unfortunate Moments from 'Unfortunate Events'

If I were Lemony Snicket, chronicler of the hapless Baudelaire orphans, I would advise you to close the tab on this article immediately. I would insist that there’s still time to avoid the misery and woe implicit in a piece recounting the most…
By Allyson Gronowitz

14 Best Graduation Mortarboard Designs

Graduation season has passed for college grads and is almost here for high school kids, which means that bizarre, barely-used words such as "tassel," "baccalaureate," and my new personal favorite, “mortarboard,” are once again worming their way back…
By Allyson Gronowitz

What We Learned From the 'Hitchhiker's Guide'

Hold on to your Joo Janta 200 Super-Chromatic Peril Sensitive Sunglasses, you hoopy froods. Towel Day is once again upon us! Established in 2001 in memory of the late, great Douglas Adams, Towel Day marks a celebration of Adams’ best-known creation,…
By Allyson Gronowitz

How to Choose Your First Comic Book

Self-identified literary snobs often thumb their noses at comic books — I should know, because I used to be one of them. I viewed illustrated stories as a lesser form of storytelling... until I cracked Neil Gaiman's wildly popular Sandman…
By Allyson Gronowitz

10 Books for Holocaust Remembrance Day

On April 28, 1945, American troops liberated the infamous Dachau Concentration Camp. In 1978, this date was adopted by the United States to honor the memories of the six million European Jews and countless other minorities who were systematically…
By Allyson Gronowitz

10 Things You Didn't Know About NFL Spandex

By Allyson Gronowitz

Olympic Athletes We'd Like to See Hook Up

By Allyson Gronowitz

7 Fascinating Facts About Sochi

By Allyson Gronowitz

This is How 6 Olympic Athletes Eat

By Allyson Gronowitz

Realism in Said Sayrafiezadeh's 'Brief Encounters'

What Saïd Sayrafiezadeh accomplishes in Brief Encounters with the Enemy (The Dial Press) is extraordinary — that is, he gives a compelling, truly believable voice to the utterly ordinary. The Whiting Writers’ Award-winner manages to nail the…
By Allyson Gronowitz

Can We Still Admire Disgraced Heroes in Memoir?

Humans are liars. This is not news. Or, rather, it is the reason we have news. Go ahead and check today’s headlines. I’ll wait. But over the past decade or so, this widespread compulsion to lie has leaked into the memoir genre — one that is…
By Allyson Gronowitz

'The People in the Trees': Twisted and Riveting

Hanya Yanagihara is far from the first author to invoke William Shakespeare’s The Tempest as a template for her wildly original, enthralling debut novel, The People in the Trees (Doubleday). But it is without a doubt one of the most memorable. Even…
By Allyson Gronowitz

10 Things Every Book-Lover Must Have (Kind of)

What’s the best thing to buy a book-lover? Duh: a book. Yet even the most dedicated bibliophile likes to read in style. Sure, we literature nuts frequently have our heads buried in the crisp, white pages of the latest paperback novel or the musty,…
By Allyson Gronowitz

Less is More in Paul Yoon's 'Snow Hunters'

Snow Hunters (Simon & Schuster) barely stretches to 200 pages and measures in at about 5 inches laterally. Its miniature proportions, coupled with the pastel-yellow hue of the cover, gives it the appearance of a children’s book, but Paul Yoon’s…
By Allyson Gronowitz

Good Reads: 2013 PEN Literary Award Winners

OK, we know that TBR books pile keeps growing but hear us out — these are more titles that are really, really worthy of adding into the queue. PEN, the worldwide association of writers that aims to encourage freedom of expression among authors of…
By Allyson Gronowitz

Q&A: Susan Conley on 'Paris Was the Place'

Poet Gertrude Stein declared that Paris was the place where the avant garde artistic movement — of which she was an integral part — was born. Using Stein’s declaration as a muse, Susan Conley’s heartfelt Paris Was the Place (Knopf) taps into the all…
By Allyson Gronowitz

To Be Or Not To Be? Shakespeare Remixes To Love

Double, double, toil and trouble! A tempestuous swarm of Shakespearean mash-ups has been hitting bookstores lately, each one more entertaining than the last. The latest Bard-inspired work of fiction to emerge is Ryan North’s To Be or Not to Be: That…
By Allyson Gronowitz

Nick Offerman Tackles Your Summer Reading For You

Much to the dismay of literature teachers everywhere — and to the delight of their students — Nick Offerman (of Parks and Recreation fame) stopped by Jimmy Kimmel Live Tuesday night to liberate schoolchildren from the droll responsibility of…
By Allyson Gronowitz