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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New book to feature unpublished Hemingway conversations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Previously unpublished conversations with Ernest Hemingway will be featured in a new book this fall.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 …

Miranda July’s first novel takes quirky to new level

Sunday, January 18, 2015

The highly peculiar Cheryl Glickman narrates The First Bad Man, a darkly comic, frustrating and uneven first novel by Miranda July, who’s also a filmmaker and performance artist. Cheryl is a misfit, a socially inept, well-meaning, often inappropriate …

Review: Book balances funny, fragile times of Bob Hope

Sunday, January 11, 2015

At one time, Bob Hope was the hottest thing in comedy, a fresh face with a fresh delivery. Really. He was cutting edge in the 1930s, practically inventing the monologue as a delivery system for jokes. Hope went …

New novel explores Van Gogh’s silent period

Sunday, January 11, 2015

When Vincent van Gogh steps off the train in the coal-mining region of Belgium known as the Borinage, his artist’s eye is immediately captivated by his surroundings. “The haze of coal smoke made it seem as if night …

Review: Fishing guide plunges into evildoings in thriller

Sunday, January 11, 2015

Vivid scenery and a likable protagonist mark the second book in a series by David Riley Bertsch. In River of No Return, Wyoming fishing guide Jake Trent, a former Department of Justice operative with a violent past that …

Life doesn’t live and die on the internet

Sunday, January 11, 2015

Sincere criticism of the mounting technopolies swallowing American culture (Amazon, Facebook, Google et al.) will often result in the critic being labeled a Luddite. For who but a nostalgic Luddite would try to halt such a big and …

A disastrous death, a rationalized crime

Sunday, January 11, 2015

A day after leaving the bludgeoned body of Harriet Krohn in her blood-spattered kitchen, Charlo Torp calmly drives to a riding stable and arranges an expensive purchase: a handsome bay gelding, trained in dressage, to be paid for …

Pedro Martinez memoir coming in May

Sunday, January 11, 2015

It’s a year for the books for Pedro Martinez, who was voted into the Baseball Hall of Fame last week: Now the pitcher has a memoir coming out in May. The book was first acquired in 2013 by …

Gerritsen’s ‘Die Again’ rock solid

Sunday, January 4, 2015

Tess Gerritsen delivers another outstanding thriller in her continuing series featuring Boston police Detective Jane Rizzoli and medical examiner Dr. Maura Isles. The murder of a big game hunter spurs the duo into action. The victim was bound …

Goodness, gracious!

Sunday, January 4, 2015

Is Jerry Lee Lewis hellbound? That question haunts the legendary rocker, who fears he may experience profoundly undesirable climate change in the next world thanks to his success in this one. “Can a man play rock ‘n ‘ …

Throwing Yahoo a life preserver

Sunday, January 4, 2015

Of all the tech companies in the world, it’s hard to imagine one less appealing for exhaustive treatment in a book than Yahoo, a firm that has meandered from one bad strategy to another for more than a …