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Novelist imagines the life of Pissarro’s mother

Saturday, August 29, 2015

Midway through Alice Hoffman’s latest novel, the mother of the great impressionist painter Camille Pissarro takes her 2-week-old son into the forest to find a medicine man she hopes can cure him of the malady that has kept him from eating or sleeping since birth. The herbalist, who lives in a shack the budding artist will one day use as a makeshift studio, studies the infant, then renders his diagnosis. There’s nothing the matter with him, he says. “He just has other things on his mind. . . . He sees what you can’t see.” A 2-week-old? Unlikely. But realism is beside the point in …

The fight over proper usage

Saturday, August 29, 2015

How you say something matters as much as what you say. At least that’s the opinion of many grammarians, who have been quibbling about Americans’ use of language for as long as there has been an American language to fight over. Rosemarie Ostler’s Founding Grammars chronicles these word wars in wonderful, wonkish detail. …

Hummingbird rehabber saves numerous birds

Saturday, August 29, 2015

You don’t have to be a bird person in general or a hummingbird person specifically to read Fastest Things on Wings. You don’t need to know anything about birds at all. The very gifted bird whisperer Terry Masear has you covered. She’s one of California’s hardest-working hummingbird rehabilitators. What she knows about these …

The Insiders: Be glad your mom didn’t write a book, then come to Gibson’s to learn about the one this mom did write

Tuesday, August 11, 2015

Imagine if your mom wrote a memoir of motherhood. You’d probably be terrified. Think about the possibilities: Chapter 6, the bed-wetting years. Thankfully, there’s a good chance your mom was so busy keeping you out of trouble she …

Newcomers bring NWA to life

Monday, August 10, 2015

To turn three unknown actors into Ice Cube, Dr. Dre and Eazy-E, they’d have to become friends for real. Straight Outta Compton director F. Gary Gray was looking for chemistry when he cast the stars of the N.W.A. …

‘Fantastic Four’ bombs, ‘Mission’ tops

Sunday, August 9, 2015

Hollywood’s summer has had runaway sensations (Jurassic World) and heartwarming hits (Inside Out). It now has its fiasco. Fantastic Four, 20th Century Fox’s attempt to reboot the superhero team-up franchise, debuted with just $26.2 million at North American …

The Insiders: Put your feet up today and then use them to check out these Concord 250 events

Saturday, August 8, 2015

You should probably rest up today, because you’ve got a busy week ahead of you. It’s City Celebration Week for Concord’s 250th! So take the day off. (Note: please confirm with spouse before clocking out for the afternoon. We’re not really the bosses of you.) But then get …

PHOTOS: Old Home Days at Loudon and Epsom 2015

Saturday, August 8, 2015

Epsom and Loudon held Old Home Day celebrations with parades, food, performances, childrens’ games and more yesterday. …

The romance of the duel in literature

Saturday, August 8, 2015

A duel is inherently stupid, being largely a form of ritualized murder or suicide. Perhaps chance will favor one opponent over another, a foot might slip, a gun misfire. But, in general, the better swordsman or more practiced …

1920 defined a century

Saturday, August 8, 2015

Blame Downton Abbey if you must, but the 1920s are hot right now. Enter Eric Burns, a TV correspondent turned author and media critic whose new book, 1920, may capitalize on this interest. Burns does not merely argue …

Barclay delivers gripping story in ‘Broken Promise’

Saturday, August 8, 2015

Linwood Barclay returns to the small town of Promise Falls for his latest novel, Broken Promise, bringing back several characters and delivering another gripping tale. In this story, journalist David Harwood returns to his childhood home to create …

Sequel doesn’t live up to hype

Saturday, August 8, 2015

James Abel’s follow-up to the stellar White Plague, the new Protocol Zero, is intriguing, but ultimately doesn’t live up to the premise or anticipation generated by the earlier novel. Marine Joe Rush has dealt with many things that …

Ike Barinholtz book coming in 2017

Saturday, August 8, 2015

Ike Barinholtz is the latest funny person with a book deal. Grand Central Publishing announced Monday that it had acquired a collection of humorous essays by the writer-performer whose credits include The Mindy Project and MADtv. The book, …