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Books

This book cover image released by Putnam shows "The Lost Key," by Catherine Coulter and J.T. Ellison. (AP Photo/Putnam)

Review: ‘The Lost Key’ is compelling thriller

Sunday, October 19, 2014

A sub that disappeared near the end of World War I plays a key role in a modern-day murder in Catherine Coulter and J.T. Ellison’s The Lost Key. Nicholas Drummond has left his job with British intelligence and is now an FBI agent. He’s teamed with female agent Mike Caine, and they are summoned to the scene of a murder on Wall Street. The victim is a bookstore owner who specialized in rare books, but as Drummond and Caine dig deeper, they learn he had a secret identity and was known in some circles as The Messenger. They stumble on the perpetrator, and during the …

w: The sources of our political distempers

Sunday, October 19, 2014

Why have millions of Americans turned their backs on civic affairs, trashed elected officials and come to distrust the federal government? What are the sources of our political distempers? Such questions occupy the center of Jonathan Darman’s Landslide: LBJ and Ronald Reagan at the Dawn of a New America, and his answers are …

‘Build a Girl’ a tale of survival

Sunday, October 19, 2014

In the author’s note to her rambunctious novel How to Build a Girl, Caitlin Moran insists that her teenage protagonist, Johanna Morrigan, is not herself, and that her story is fiction. But the plot mirrors Moran’s own unlikely leap onto the masthead of a storied music paper by the age of 16, as …

‘Murder at the President’s Door’ quick, but entertaining

Sunday, October 5, 2014

In Elliott Roosevelt’s Murder at the President’s Door a secret service agent is murdered right outside of President Franklin Roosevelt’s bedroom door in the White House! The Washington, D.C., metro police, as well as the FBI are called …

Real ‘Truman Show’-like delusion topic of ‘Suspicious Minds’ book

Sunday, October 5, 2014

If we were honest with each other, we might find that a whole lot of us – maybe even most of us – have been in the grip of one sort of delusion or another. Maybe you wear …

‘Culinary Imagination’ a journey down food memory lane

Sunday, October 5, 2014

The poet and literary critic Sandra M. Gilbert has made a career of throwing her arms around big topics. Having completed a capacious study in 2006 of death and grieving, she now turns her attention to life: specifically, …

Lena Dunham’s ‘Not That Kind of Girl’ is revealing without revealing it all

Sunday, October 5, 2014

Halfway through her new book, Not that Kind of Girl, Lena Dunham says, “I live in a world that is almost compulsively free of secrets.” You might already have imagined that to be true if you’ve seen the …

Deafness is a superpower in ‘El Deafo’ graphic novel

Sunday, October 5, 2014

The characters in Cece Bell’s El Deafo, a graphic novel based on her childhood, have bunny ears, but they are not rabbits. Instead, those bunny ears serve as a symbol for her own ears, which made her feel …

Blow speaks on the complexity of the black male experience in ‘Fire Shut Up in My Bones’

Sunday, September 28, 2014

New York Times columnist Charles M. Blow’s new memoir, Fire Shut Up in My Bones, was released Tuesday. So far, headlines about the book have focused almost entirely on one thing: Blow’s grappling with his attraction to other …

Easy Rawlins eyes Hearst-like case

Sunday, September 28, 2014

Walter Mosley evokes the curious turns of the Patty Hearst kidnapping saga and the fractured culture of that era in Rose Gold, his latest Easy Rawlins crime thriller. Rawlins, a black private investigator based in Los Angeles, follows …

Brilliant new biography of Tennessee Williams

Sunday, September 28, 2014

When The Glass Menagerie opened on Broadway in March 1945, the actress cast as Southern matriarch Amanda Wingfield got so drunk before the show that a bucket was placed in the wings so she could throw up between …

A boy, his dog and atheism: Weingarten talks about new children’s book

Sunday, September 28, 2014

Pulitzer Prize-winning Washington Post columnist Gene Weingarten is known for exploring morality in both somber and extremely silly ways, including an in-depth article on parents who mistakenly leave their children to die in hot cars and an essay …

On My Nightstand: ‘Red Sparrow’ a spy novel like no other

Sunday, September 28, 2014

Red Sparrow by Jason Matthews is a spy novel unlike any I’ve ever read. It hits like a freight train with double agents, double crosses, high-level espionage, pulse-pounding danger and relentless action that never stops! Need I say …