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Long lost film illuminates 1938 Poland

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

In the spring of 2009, Glenn Kurtz uncovered a roll of 71-year-old film in his parents’ Florida basement. Deteriorated and shrunken with age, the film was just months away from being completely unwatchable. Instead, it became a rare window onto the lost world of a mostly Jewish town in Eastern Europe on the eve of the Holocaust and the impetus for Kurtz’s book Three Minutes in Poland. Once restored by researchers at the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington, D.C., the film showed footage from Kurtz’s grandparents’ 1938 European vacation, including three minutes in the Polish town of Nasielsk, where Kurtz’s grandfather David was born. …

Author defies categorization

Sunday, March 22, 2015

There are authors who write in tidy, classifiable, immediately recognizable genres – Jane Austen, Alexandre Dumas, William Faulkner, Gabriel Garcia Marquez, to name a few – and then there are those who adamantly do not. These others can surprise us with storylines and settings that are guises to be worn and shucked after …

A haunting tale

Sunday, March 22, 2015

M.J. Rose writes compelling tales with a gothic flair, and her latest novel, The Witch of Painted Sorrows, is her most heartfelt yet. Paris in 1894 is a vastly different society than what is experienced in today’s modern world. Sandrine Salome flees from New York City to Paris to escape an abusive and …

Explore Ian Fleming’s Jamaican retreat

Sunday, March 22, 2015

James Bond is a British icon, but the fictional spy hero really was born in Jamaica, just as the Caribbean island gained its independence from the waning British empire. The relationship between Bond’s author, Ian Fleming, and the …

‘Sapiens’: a struggle of morality versus existance

Sunday, March 22, 2015

Yuval Noah Harari is an emerging rock-star lecturer operating at the nexus of history and science. In a recent talk at Google on “Silicon Prophets,” he stunned the audience by convincing them that the most interesting place in …

Art heist history detailed in ‘Master Thieves’

Sunday, March 22, 2015

Twenty-five years ago this week, as Boston’s St. Patrick’s Day revelries eased into the wee hours of March 18, 1990, two men impersonating police officers entered the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum and made off with 13 works of …

Literary Hub wants to save literary culture

Sunday, March 22, 2015

Listening to Morgan Entrekin is a shot of adrenaline for anybody concerned about literary culture. “Independent publishing is the healthiest I’ve ever seen it,” said the president and publisher of Grove Atlantic, who recently passed 60 like a marathoner in the third mile. Far from planning his retirement, …

Just what is the truth?

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Lisa Gardner delivers another gut-wrenching emotional thriller with her latest psychological tale, Crash & Burn. Nicky Frank survives a horrendous car crash in the early morning hours, and she crawls up a hillside to flag down anyone for …

Dark satire ‘Welcome to Braggsville’ targets race and gender

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

The basic story line of T. Geronimo Johnson’s novel Welcome to Braggsville is straightforward and intriguing. Take four young, liberal-minded students at the University of California at Berkeley. Then send them on a class project that includes a …

‘The Last Policeman’ author to visit Concord this week

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

The author of The Last Policeman will this week visit Concord, the setting for his apocalyptic police novel. Ben Winters, brother of local attorney Andrew Winters, has written a trilogy about a fictional Concord cop named Henry Palace. The first book in his series was this year’s book …

Chrissie Hynde memoir coming in September

Sunday, March 15, 2015

Chrissie Hynde will tell the story of her life, with all its ups and downs. Penguin Random House announced Tuesday that the Pretenders singer was working on “an incredibly frank” memoir that will come out Sept. 8. The …

American Life in Poetry: Discovering magic in harmonica’s music

Sunday, March 15, 2015

You’ve heard of magic wands and potions. But a magic harmonica? In Pam Munoz Ryan’s new novel, Echo, this small musical instrument has a lot of power. The book opens with a fairy tale and a witch’s spell. …

Review: Dave Barry’s new book filled with humor, insight

Sunday, March 15, 2015

L ive Right and Find Happiness (Although Beer is Much Faster), Dave Barry’s latest book of essays, might be thin on page count, but it’s worth every penny when it comes to humor and insight. Barry’s weekly essays …