Cloudy
6°
Cloudy
Hi 17° | Lo -7°

Books

** FILE * Theodore Roosevelt, is shown speaking when he stumped the country for William McKinley during the Presidential Campaign of 1900. Roosevelt was McKinley's running mate on the Republican ticket. Speaking loudly and carrying on like. It's a rare part of the 2008 presidential campaign rhetoric that crosses party lines. Democrats and Republicans alike are frequently invoking the words of the nation's 26th president and renowned political maverick. (AP Photo)

A look at Teddy Roosevelt and the birth of the primary process

Sunday, February 7, 2016

If Donald Trump wins the Republican nomination for president, over the strenuous efforts of party regulars to derail him, he ought to send a note of thanks to Geoffrey Cowan. Almost 50 years ago, Cowan led a campaign among the Democrats to strengthen the system of primary elections and reduce the power of party bosses. The campaign succeeded, giving the …

‘When Breath Becomes Air’ details dying doctor’s quest to find meaning

Sunday, February 7, 2016

In his posthumously published When Breath Becomes Air, Paul Kalanithi gets straight to the sudden turning point in his life: the day the Stanford neurosurgery chief resident looked at a scan showing he had advanced cancer and likely little time left. What follows is a poignant account of his life, his quest to …

A workaholic dad learns to adapt in ‘This Was Not the Plan’

Sunday, February 7, 2016

Charlie Goldwyn’s life plan has gone awry. He didn’t plan on being raised by a single mother. He didn’t plan on his wife dying. He didn’t plan on relying on his twin sister to help him parent his eccentric 5-year-old son, Caleb, who has only imaginary friends and an obsession with female accessories. …

‘The Language of Secrets’ an action-packed cop drama

Sunday, February 7, 2016

The hot-button issues of religion and culture – sometimes wrapped in controversy and suspicion – make a compelling foundation in Ausma Zehanat Khan’s second novel about Esa Khattak, head of Toronto’s Community Policing Section that handles minority issues. …

‘The Cowshed’ a stark reminder of dark time in China

Sunday, February 7, 2016

China doesn’t make it easy for its people to openly discuss sensitive issues. Some were surprised, then, when a professor at one of the country’s most prestigious universities published this memoir in 1998 of his abuse during the …

Author kicks off new series with ‘Orphan X’

Sunday, February 7, 2016

Gregg Hurwitz delivers a masterpiece of suspense and thrills with his latest novel, Orphan X, that invokes the best of Batman, The Bourne Identity and The Equalizer films. The Orphan Program is a secret government program that takes …

’American Housewife’ depicts uproarious picture of wifedom

Sunday, January 31, 2016

An organized kidnapping mission rescues beauty pageant escapees. A neighborly feud draws blood. A dying wife secures a brassiere around the chest of her opponent. In her collection of short stories highlighting the women who manage (and at …

New James Dean bio offers cool trivia but nothing new

Sunday, January 31, 2016

The 60th anniversary of James Dean’s fatal car accident Sept. 30, 1955, catalyzed, as major anniversaries unfailingly do, new biographies of the short-lived but idolized actor. In Too Fast to Live, Too Young to Die, Keith Elliot Greenberg, …

Superb Margaret Thatcher bio sets record straight

Sunday, January 31, 2016

On Dec. 15, 2015, after the Victoria and Albert Museum refused to accept the collection for its fashion archives, Margaret Thatcher’s clothes and memorabilia were auctioned by Christie’s. While the left-wing British press mocked the auction as a …

‘Bad News’ a testament to author’s bravery

Sunday, January 31, 2016

In Bad News, Anjan Sundaram writes that a story’s first paragraph should “contain the essential information and grab the reader, yet be brief.” His own first sentence does just that: “I felt swallowed by the wide road, the …

Carol Goodman delivers thrilling ‘River Road’

Sunday, January 31, 2016

Grief can not only emotionally paralyze a person, making that individual retreat from relationships, but it also can make that person vulnerable to manipulation by others, as Carol Goodman shows in her intense River Road. Creative writing professor …

On my nightstand: ‘Angel of Light’ bursting with frantic energy

Sunday, January 31, 2016

I used to read a lot of Joyce Carol Oates’s novels many years ago. When I recently picked up her Angel of Light novel (1981), I knew I was in for a whirlwind experience and I certainly wasn’t …

Take ‘Too Much of a Good Thing’ with a grain of salt

Sunday, January 24, 2016

It may be hard to believe, but overeating was once considered a good thing. For early humans, anyway, it was beneficial for stocking up when the next opportunity to get food might be days away. But today, that …