M/sunny
49°
M/sunny
Hi 57° | Lo 23°

Books

Deb Baker, columnist

The Mindful Reader: Debunking ‘kids today’ theories

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

In The Myth of the Spoiled Child, Alfie Kohn uses some of his previous theories on the problem with rewards, homework and competition to debunk the prevailing view that “kids today” are overindulged, overprotected narcissists, and that their helicopter parents made them that way. Given his earlier research, he wondered what evidence supported such anecdotes. He notes that many of … 0

New John Wayne biography hits target dead center

Sunday, April 6, 2014

“John Wayne: The Life and Legend” (Simon & Schuster), by Scott Eyman Who’s that on the cover of Scott Eyman’s splendid biography of Hollywood’s most enduring movie star? Surely that wavy-haired young fellow in the suit and tie isn’t John Wayne. Where’s the Stetson, the Winchester rifle, the six-shooter, the boots and spurs? … 0

’Love & War’: Unlikely story of love and politics

Sunday, April 6, 2014

Love & War is the unlikely love story of one of America’s best-known power couples and how their marriage has survived despite their sharply different political views. The subtitle of the book by Mary Matalin and James Carville is Twenty years, three presidents, two daughters and one Louisiana home. That offers a hint … 0

New novel explores unsolved murder from 1876

Sunday, April 6, 2014

In 1876 in San Francisco, amid a heat wave and smallpox epidemic, an idiosyncratic frog-catching, pants-wearing, bicycle-riding woman is fatally shot through the window of a railroad boarding house. This real-life unsolved murder is the basis of Emma … 0

‘American Fun’: History with a twist

Sunday, April 6, 2014

The historian who revisits well-trodden ground must offer either something new or at least a new way of looking at it. In American Fun: Four Centuries of Joyous Revolt John Beckman does both – stringing unfamiliar episodes of … 0

Three complex modern romance heroes

Sunday, April 6, 2014

The romance genre has long honored tough-as-nails, cold-as-ice, champion brooders (think Darcy or Rochester). Even in 2014, when romance heroes are as varied as their genre, somewhere in them you can still always find the alpha male. No … 0

‘The Player’ a highly entertaining tale

Sunday, April 6, 2014

In fact and fiction, crusading, risk-taking, often wise-cracking reporters have long been luminaries of our popular culture. The muckrakers of the early 20th century exposed corruption and forced historic reforms. In 1928, Chicago reporters Charles MacArthur and Ben … 0

Review: ‘Without Warning’ is 1 of Rosenfelt’s best

Saturday, March 29, 2014

A hurricane and the collapse of a dam start a cascade of terrible events in Without Warning, David Rosenfelt’s latest twisted thriller. Police Chief Jake Robbins, who has a tumultuous relationship with the press, is forced to work … 0

Carter writes about prejudice against women

Saturday, March 29, 2014

“A Call to Action: Women, Religion, Violence, and Power” (Simon and Schuster), by Jimmy Carter In his new book, A Call to Action, former president and longtime Baptist church deacon Jimmy Carter says prejudice and discrimination against women … 0

Three book reviews: ‘Internet Apocalypse,’ ‘Tropic of Serpents,’ ‘Stone Boatmen’

Saturday, March 29, 2014

Apocalyptic stories usually keep us battling zombies, deadly viruses and environmental disasters, but Wayne Gladstone’s Notes from the Internet Apocalypse (Thomas Dunne/St. Martin’s, $23.99) deprives readers of those distracting action scenes. Instead, the only thing that’s crashed here … 0

‘Young Money’ a look at the lives of five entry-level financiers

Saturday, March 29, 2014

YOUNG MONEY: Inside the Hidden World of Wall Street’s Post-Crash Recruits By Kevin Roose. Grand Central. 320 pp. $27. ISBN 978-0446583251 Young Money chronicles the lives of eight ambitious, 20-something financial analysts as they attempt to climb the … 0

‘Astoria’: A tale of furs, America

Saturday, March 29, 2014

ASTORIA: John Jacob Astor and Thomas Jefferson’s Lost Pacific Empire: A Story of Wealth, Ambition, and Survival by Peter Stark. Ecco. 366 pp. $27.99. ISBN 978-0062218292 Few American families have stayed rich and famous as long as the … 0

Tale features a marvelously cranky heroine

Saturday, March 29, 2014

Scaling back from the epic scope of The Hakawati, his 2008 feast of storytelling, Rabih Alameddine confines himself to a single perspective in his new novel. Yet, in its way, An Unnecessary Woman is just as epic as its predecessor. Alameddine’s erudite narrator, Aaliya Saleh, enfolds her personal … 0