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A new partner for the Monitor's Books section

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For readers of the Monitor's Books section, this is just more of a good thing. Starting this week, we will occasionally post on our site reviews from The Barnes & Noble Review site. And they will sometimes feature a Monitor book review on their site.

Why are we doing this? It seems like a natural fit.

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The reviews on the Barnes & Noble site are of a high caliber, not infrequently written by some of the same reviewers who work for the Monitor. Offering them to our readers helps us to expand our book coverage.

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This week, for instance, we'll be running a review of Paul Theroux's "The Tao of Travel" by a Barnes & Noble reviewer – a book we wouldn't otherwise have been able to squeeze into our lineup. And last week we were able to offer reviews of Robert Gottlieb's enlightening "Lives and Letters" and sci-fi-fantasy thriller "Embassytown" by China Miéville, courtesy of Barnes & Noble.

The majority of the reviews on our site will still be pieces written exclusively for the Monitor. But we hope you will also enjoy the chance to occasionally learn about the books the Barnes & Noble reviewers are reading.

We will also be offering, attached to each review, buttons that allow readers to buy the book mentioned directly from Barnes & Noble. Or, for readers who prefer to patronize local booksellers, another button offers the chance to buy from a nearby independent bookstore instead. The Monitor now has affiliate relationships with both Barnes & Noble and IndieBound, the trade association for independent booksellers.

(P.S. – Do reviews paid for by a bookseller seem suspect? Please note that the reviewers writing them are professional book critics – people not likely to want to harm their reputations with partisan reviews. And then you might try reading the reviews themselves. That should tell you all you need to know about their quality.)

Marjorie Kehe is the Monitor's Books editor.

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