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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. …

David Lynch shines through in all his weirdness in new bio

Sunday, January 24, 2016

In The Man From Another Place, David Lynch, the buttoned-up Eagle Scout who created such classics as Eraserhead and Blue Velvet, shines forth in all his weirdness. Film historian Dennis Lim tells us why that weirdness matters. Lim’s …

‘Grant Park’ a combination of historical and contemporary fiction

Sunday, January 24, 2016

Malcolm Toussaint is a Pulitzer Prize-winning columnist who, at 60, has lost meaning in his life. His wife is dead. A reader has called him the n-word. Another teenager has been shot to death by police. It’s Election …

‘Welcome to Braggsville’ author wins Gaines literary award

Sunday, January 24, 2016

The winner of the 2015 Ernest J. Gaines Award for Literary Excellence was formally introduced to the public this week. New Orleans native T. Geronimo Johnson received the recognition Thursday at a ceremony at the Manship Theatre in Baton Rouge, La. He’s receiving the award for his latest …

‘Subway Art’ looks at New York’s ‘War on Graffitti’

Sunday, January 24, 2016

In 1972, New York Mayor John Lindsay declared a “War on Graffiti,” with the goal of eradicating the “plague” afflicting the subway trains. At the time, the city was facing bankruptcy and the subway system barely functioned – …

‘Road to Little Dribbling’ a humorous book with serious message

Sunday, January 24, 2016

A little more than 20 years ago, Bill Bryson wandered the green and pleasant lands of his adopted home, Britain, and found amusingly cantankerous things to say at nearly every turn. The weather, the public transit systems, the …

Actor David McCallum pens entertaining debut novel

Sunday, January 17, 2016

David McCallum – yes, actor David McCallum of The Man from U.N.C.L.E. and NCIS fame – confidently embarks on a second career in his highly entertaining debut that mixes the espionage novel with the mystery thriller. McCallum, 82, …

‘Olive Kitteridge’ author publishes new novel with peculiar voice

Sunday, January 17, 2016

The narrator of My Name is Lucy Barton, Elizabeth Strout’s new novel, has a peculiar voice for a twice-married, successful writer and mother of two grown daughters. She sounds like a little girl. Indeed, readers may wonder at …

Children’s books on class and Winnie the Pooh win prizes

Sunday, January 17, 2016

Matt de la Pena’s and Christian Robinson’s Last Stop on Market Street nearly made history twice Monday. The illustrated exploration of race and class through the eyes of a boy and his grandmother won the Newbery Medal for …

Surreal novel ‘Beatlebone’ blends reality, fantasy surrounding John Lennon

Sunday, January 17, 2016

This extraordinary book is at once so brilliant and so deeply flawed that it presents an enjoyably knotty conundrum for a reviewer. Kevin Barry’s Beatlebone is a strange, intense and slightly incoherent extended fantasy about two months that …

‘Red Icon’ plays with theme of faith vs. skepticism

Sunday, January 17, 2016

As the cold nights of winter close in, Sam Eastland’s Red Icon is one of the best thrillers a fan can pick up from the bedside table. Comforter drawn up, the reader follows Inspector Pekkala, “the Emerald Eye,” …