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Books

This book cover image released by Farrar, Straus and Giroux shows "Listening to Stone: The Art and Life of Isamu Noguchi," by Hayden Herrera. (AP Photo/Farrar, Straus and Giroux)

A masterful new biography of artist Isamu Noguchi

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Isamu Noguchi was a difficult man who made art easy to look at. In his life and work, he was riddled with contradictions. Humble and egotistical. Steadfast and temperamental. Listless and energetic. A loyal friend and faithless lover. Art historian Hayden Herrera, who has written books about Noguchi’s artist friend Arshile Gorky and his romantic partner Frida Kahlo, explores his paradoxical personality in a new, meticulously researched biography, Listening to Stone: The Art and Life of Isamu Noguchi. Above all she focuses on the lifelong tension he felt as a result of his biracial heritage. Born in the U.S. to an Irish-American mother and Japanese …

‘Spinster’ is thought-provoking look at singlehood

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Even its opening lines are provocative: “Whom to marry, and when it will happen – these two questions define every woman’s existence, regardless of where she was raised or what religion she does or doesn’t practice . . . Men have their own problems; this isn’t one of them.” If Kate Bolick’s debut, …

Could you unplug for a year?

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Corporate lawyer Elyssa Friedland writes an honest love story with a bizarre twist in her debut novel, Love and Miss Communication. Readers must consider one thought-provoking question: Could you remain offline for a year? Evie Rosen’s future is looking bright. She recently broke up with her celebrity boyfriend, but her professional life is …

‘The Forgotten Room’ unleashes its secret

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

In The Forgotten Room, professor Jeremy Logan tackles another baffling case – that might be his last. Lincoln Child, of the writing duo Preston & Child, has written several outstanding thrillers featuring Logan, who specializes in analyzing and solving possible supernatural mysteries. This time, Logan is sent to …

‘Pedro’ is an easy read with lots of insight

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

It was September 2001, and the Boston Red Sox were in the final month of a miserable season. Ace pitcher Pedro Martinez had been shut down for the rest of the year with a rotator cuff injury, and …

Second book released in continuation, not triology

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Clocking in at almost 500 pages, Early Warning, the middle volume of Jane Smiley’s three-volume saga of the Langdon family, is a good reminder of our culture’s conflicted tastes. In an era of tweets, texts and flash fiction, …

Young Readers:

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

‘Tommy Can’t Stop’ With his big round eyes, toothy grin and fizzy energy, little Tommy is a character easily recognizable to both parent and child. He leaps, kicks and stomps – quite literally bringing down the house. “ …

The invention of handguns in medieval London

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

You will be forgiven if, upon completing Bruce Holsinger’s novel The Invention of Fire, you decide that the author spent his early years in late-14th-century London, later to be magically transported to our own time. Holsinger is a …

Stephen King wins Edgar for best mystery novel

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Stephen King isn’t only a master of horror. He’s also a man of mystery. King and Gillian Flynn were among the winners at the 69th annual Edgar Awards on April 29, presented by the Mystery Writers of America. King’s crime story Mr. Mercedes received the best novel prize …

Stories from the attic: Two new books draw on experiences of past generations

Thursday, May 14, 2015

Grandparents’ experiences are the inspiration behind two books with local connections that were released Tuesday. When Emilie Christie Burack of Hopkinton discovered a box of cassettes her grandfather made documenting his life and his family, the find led …

‘Pleasantville’ has gripping, believable plot

Sunday, May 10, 2015

The compelling Pleasantville continues Attica Locke’s insightful look at African-American life in Houston, where politics, race and classism converge in myriad ways. Locke sets her third novel in Pleasantville, a Houston neighborhood that was built after World War …

A colorful account of the birth of modern art in Paris

Sunday, May 10, 2015

At the dawn of the 20th century the Parisian district of Montmartre was still largely rural, a hillside village dotted with windmills, vineyards and tumbledown shacks. There, a ragtag band of young artists, many of them foreigners, gravitated …

An ordinary person’s guide to love

Sunday, May 10, 2015

On a single day in 2009, Ellen McCarthy became the wedding reporter for the Washington Post and broke up with her boyfriend of nearly two years. At age 30, she was suddenly a chick-flick cliche, interviewing florists and …