Current Books

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Current Books
Current Books Vol 2, No 2.jpg
Current Books was a literary magazine published in the U.S. from 1992 to 1995.
EditorEdwin S. Grosvenor
Categoriesculture, literature
FormatPerfect bound
Circulation24,000 copies shipped[1]
First issue1992
Final issue
Fall 1995
CompanyCapital Communications Group, LLC
CountryUnited States
Based inBethesda, Maryland

Current Books Magazine was a literary magazine published from 1992 to 1995 that featured excerpts from current fiction, nonfiction, and poetry books. It was founded and edited by Edwin S. Grosvenor and its cover designed by the noted art director J.C. Suarez. The assistant editors were Joshua Dinman and Nathalie op de Beeck.

"A new magazine called Current Books debuts this week," reported USA Today on June 12, 1992. "It offers the busy reader an opportunity to browse while nestled at home."[2]

Over the next three years, Current Books was published quarterly and provided 20-25 excerpts of books per issue with an eclectic mix of writing by such authors as Margaret Atwood, Harold Bloom, Daniel Boorstin, E.L. Doctorow, Henry Louis Gates, Jr., Jane Goodall, Nadine Gordimer, Sue Grafton, Stephen Hawking, Richard Leakey, Naguib Mahfouz, John McPhee, Bill Moyers, Joyce Carol Oates, George Plimpton, Anna Quindlen, Salman Rushdie, Jane Smiley, Wallace Stegner, and John Updike.

It also published poetry by Maya Angelou, John Ashberry, Robert Creeley, Louise Gluck, David Ignatow, Galway Kinnell, Mary Oliver, Charles Simic, and Derek Walcott.

Current Books claimed to be "the most widely distributed book publication in bookstores" at the time with copies for sale in 3,840 stores.[1][3]

In July 1995, Dan Webster wrote in the (Spokane) Spokesman-Review that Current Books helped "to eliminate the guesswork associated with choosing" new books. "The newest edition, billed as the 'Third Anniversary Issue,' includes excerpts from such notable books as Anne Tyler’s 'The Ladder of Years,' Martin Amis’ 'The Information,' Norman Mailer’s 'Oswald’s Tale' and Sherman Alexie’s 'Reservation Blues'."[4]

However, Charles Trueheart's earlier observation about Current Books in The Washington Post -- "great idea, straightforward execution, tough market"[5] -- proved to be prescient. The magazine was unable to sustain publication beyond three years and forced to suspend publication after the Fall 1995 issue.


  1. ^ a b "Current Books house ad: "Now the Best-Selling Book Publication"". Current Books. II, No. 3 (Spring 1995): 9.
  2. ^ "New Magazine Makes Debut". USA Today (June 12, 1992).
  3. ^ Webster, Dan (July 30, 1995). "Current Books Opens Window Into Literature". Spokane Spokesman-Review: Features section.
  4. ^ Webster, Dan (July 30, 1995). "Current Books Opens Window Into Literature". The Spokesman-Review.
  5. ^ Trueheart, Charles (June 9, 1992). "Rolling Stone & the Spirit Of the Sages". The Washington Post: E 07.