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Books

In this June 30, 2011 file photo, editor in chief Axel Alonzo poses at Marvel Comics in New York. Marvel Comics and DC Comics are leading a push for diversity in their industry’s mainstream characters. The new black Captain America comic book debuted in November. (AP Photo/Marvel Entertainment, Judith Stephens)

Black Captain America leading comic book diversity

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

For decades, comic books have been in color, but now they truly reflect all the hues of American society. The new Captain America is black. A Superman who is suspiciously similar to President Obama recently headlined a comic book. Thor is a woman, Spider-Man is part-Puerto Rican and Ms. Marvel is Muslim. Mainstream comic book superheroes – America’s modern mythology …

‘Killer Heels’ looks at the history of high heels

Sunday, December 14, 2014

Shakespeare mentions high heels in Hamlet, former New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg praised them and fashion designers from Dior to Manolo Blahnik have bewitched women and men with their versions. Killer Heels: The Art of the High-Heeled Shoe is a luxurious, fun and sexy look at the history of high heels, and it manages to be eye candy and thought-provoking, too. It’s on …

The Mindful Reader: A sensible approach to mental strength

Sunday, December 14, 2014

My son saw my review copy of 13 Things Mentally Strong People Don’t Do by Amy Morin and said it’s all over social media, even though it’s not officially out until Jan. 1. Which is fitting, because the book grew out of a blog post that went viral. By the time she was …

‘First Impressions’ wooden yet the author’s passion is hard to resist

Sunday, December 14, 2014

Charlie Lovett’s best-selling debut, The Bookman’s Tale, was an ­ old-fashioned suspenseful romp spanning centuries and continents and peppered with romance, skulduggery, forgery and murder, all driven by one of the enduring questions of literary scholarship: Was Shakespeare …

‘My True Love Gave to Me’ a plummy treat

Sunday, December 14, 2014

Love is in the peppermint-scented air in these 12 playful, often touching holiday tales, each by a popular young-adult author. There’s flirting and yearning – even an elf prom – amid the fir trees in a collection that …

11 Children’s books to add to your gift-giving list

Sunday, December 14, 2014

My kids loved Holly Hobbie’s I’ll Be Home for Christmas because it was full of holiday excitement and hushed wonder and plucky pink pigs. I loved it because it was a surprisingly soulful meditation on the push and …

First Alice Munro collection since Nobel Prize

Sunday, December 14, 2014

A year after Alice Munro won the Nobel Prize for literature and was cited for her mastery of the modern short story, her publisher has collected 24 of her stories published over the past two decades. Family Furnishings …

Karen Pirie is on the case in ‘The Skeleton Road’

Sunday, December 7, 2014

In The Skeleton Road, Val McDermid melds the political thriller with the police procedural for an intense novel that gives equal attention to each genre. McDermid pulls together a complicated tale of war and its aftermath for a …

‘Midnight in Siberia’ looks at Russia today

Sunday, December 7, 2014

As the West nervously watches a newly aggressive Russia, many commentators are trying to figure out what Vladimir Putin is thinking. But Midnight in Siberia reminds us of another important question: What are the Russian people thinking? David …

Ayn Rand novel ‘Ideal’ to be published in July

Sunday, December 7, 2014

An Ayn Rand novel written, temporarily shelved and later published as a play is finally being released in its original form. The New American Library, an imprint of Penguin Random House, announced Thursday that Rand’s Ideal would be …

A little humor in ‘Severed’

Sunday, December 7, 2014

Somewhat inexplicably, Frances Larson fails, in what must otherwise be the definitive book about decapitation, to mention or quote the most famous passage about that gruesome business. It comes, of course, from one of the greatest novels in …

De Niro: a look at the life from afar

Sunday, December 7, 2014

With a marked ability to become whatever character he’s playing, Robert De Niro presents any biographer with a vexing question: Who, exactly, is he? In this well-researched biography, Shawn Levy attempts to answer this question, but just as …

‘The Lodger’ an introduction to the modernist movement

Sunday, December 7, 2014

Louisa Treger’s earnest, carefully researched first novel spotlights a neglected pioneer of 20th-century literature: Dorothy Richardson, who published one of the earliest examples of stream-of-consciousness fiction, Pointed Roofs, in 1915. Fellow modernist Virginia Woolf praised her for inventing …