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Books

Where sports and race collide

Sunday, January 25, 2015

The score that night was Vanderbilt 90, Mississippi 72. Although the racist insults and threats of violence didn’t appear in the next day’s sports section, Perry Wallace, now an American University law professor, can’t forget that 1968 basketball game in Oxford, Miss. It wasn’t the first time he had withstood this kind of treatment, but it was one of the worst. In Andrew Maraniss’s thorough and engaging biography, Strong Inside, Wallace recalls people in the crowd screaming, “We’ll lynch you, boy!” Shortly before halftime came a blow “so fast that no one knows who threw the elbow,” Maraniss writes. It drew blood, to the delight …

‘Literary thriller’ focuses on abducted girl

Sunday, January 25, 2015

The most common thriller plot may be that of the girl or young woman who vanishes and is feared to be either a captive or dead. That fear set in motion Stieg Larsson’s The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo, Dennis Lehane’s Mystic River, Laura Lippman’s What the Dead Know and countless other works. …

New book to feature unpublished Hemingway conversations

Sunday, January 25, 2015

Previously unpublished conversations with Ernest Hemingway will be featured in a new book this fall. St. Martin’s Press announced recently that it had acquired A.E. Hotchner’s Hemingway in Love. Hotchner, 94, befriended Hemingway in the 1940s and would later write a controversial biography Papa Hemingway that came out in 1966. The author’s widow, Mary Hemingway, attempted unsuccessfully to block publication, alleging that Hotchner …

This case of amnesia might be worth forgetting

Sunday, January 25, 2015

Halfway through Peter Carey’s new novel, Amnesia, I began to worry I was suffering from it. Who wrote this tedious mess? Where was that two-time Booker winner who gave us such spectacular novels as Oscar and Lucinda and …

‘Honeydew’ a sweet treat for Pearlman fans

Sunday, January 25, 2015

If you have never read Edith Pearlman, you’re in for a lovely surprise, and if you have, you’re in for another treat. Honeydew, her first story collection since Binocular Vision, winner of the National Book Critics Circle Award …

Review: Sports guy Greenberg hits home run with latest novel

Sunday, January 25, 2015

Mike Greenberg knows sports. And talking about them. One-half of the long-running and ever-popular Mike & Mike national sports radio show, Greenberg (alongside co-host and former NFL player Mike Golic) spends the morning drive-time period touching on all …

Looking for a new winter hobby? Learning to knit can be easy

Sunday, January 25, 2015

When you’re stuck inside during a long, cold winter, working on a knitting project can be fun and rewarding. And although sweaters and lacy shawls can seem daunting, knitting is a fairly easy hobby to get started on. …

Sport’s connective power at heart of novel

Sunday, January 18, 2015

Given how central sports has become, culturally and economically, to Western society, I’m surprised that more science-fiction and fantasy writers don’t examine the games we play. When they do, we get the enormous pleasure of Quidditch in the …

An unusual new take on a classic

Sunday, January 18, 2015

History repeats itself. There’s nothing new under the sun. Some things never change. None of that sounds like a promising premise for a groundbreaking book, but those ideas are essential to Andrew Levy’s Huck Finn’s America, an unusual …

‘Unquiet Dead’ an outstanding debut by Khan

Sunday, January 18, 2015

War atrocities reverberate for generations, affecting those who fought on the battlefield and the civilian victims who were collateral damage. Ausma Zehanat Khan’s gripping first novel tackles questions of identity, culture, revenge and war horrors in a strong …

Patton Oswalt has a thing for the movies

Sunday, January 18, 2015

‘I started comedy when the boom was ending, in ’88; I started writing books when print began to die,” says actor, comedian and author Patton Oswalt. “I’m drawn to dying realms, man.” Oswalt is sitting in a Mid-City …

The influence of cotton on history

Sunday, January 18, 2015

Global history is very much the fashion in leading university history departments today. Some of them seek to replace courses in Western civilization with classes in global history – but usually such courses have to be team-taught by …

Self-help guru Tony Robbins wants to make you rich

Sunday, January 18, 2015

As one of the world’s most celebrated life coaches, Tony Robbins is best known for helping millions of people improve the quality of their lives in many personal and meaningful ways from losing weight and improving their relationships …