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Books

"The Bartender's Black Book" as seen Wednesday, Sept. 2, 2015.

(ELIZABETH FRANTZ / Monitor staff)

Bartending author surprised book recalled due to sexual drink names

Friday, September 4, 2015

The Massachusetts author of a bartending manual was “extremely surprised” to learn his books had been recalled from New Hampshire state liquor stores over concerns that some drink names were too sexually explicit.  “We’ve worked with states, big states, and we’ve never had a problem like this,” said Stephen Kittredge Cunningham, who wrote the Bartender’s Black Book Tenth Edition. The …

Novelist imagines the life of Pissarro’s mother

Saturday, August 29, 2015

Midway through Alice Hoffman’s latest novel, the mother of the great impressionist painter Camille Pissarro takes her 2-week-old son into the forest to find a medicine man she hopes can cure him of the malady that has kept him from eating or sleeping since birth. The herbalist, who lives in a shack the …

The fight over proper usage

Saturday, August 29, 2015

How you say something matters as much as what you say. At least that’s the opinion of many grammarians, who have been quibbling about Americans’ use of language for as long as there has been an American language to fight over. Rosemarie Ostler’s Founding Grammars chronicles these word wars in wonderful, wonkish detail. …

Tornado tragedies

Saturday, August 22, 2015

As a massive tornado approached their Oklahoma house in 2013, an elderly couple named Jerrie and Hemant Bhondem had little time to prepare. Hemant’s osteoporosis prevented him from making it down into a storm shelter, so the two …

World Cup soccer star Carli Lloyd has book deal

Saturday, August 22, 2015

World Cup soccer star Carli Lloyd, whose three goals in the 2015 final led the U.S. to a 5-2 victory over Japan, has a book deal. The 33-year-old Lloyd is working on a memoir that Houghton Mifflin Harcourt …

African American and space histories mingle

Saturday, August 15, 2015

On April 12, 1961, Russian astronaut Yuri Gagarin became the first human in outer space. The timing was significant because the Russians had accomplished something the United States had not. Indeed, they were far ahead of us in …

Unspeakable acts

Saturday, August 15, 2015

Why do we spend good money to read horror stories, watch horror movies and climb aboard amusement-park rides that will have us howling with fear? Presumably for the thrill of facing danger and surviving. As Winston Churchill said, …

A lost love is rediscovered

Saturday, August 15, 2015

Nina George’s international best-seller The Little Paris Bookshop looks like a triumph of the confectioner’s art: pink, glossy, garlanded with icing rosettes in the form of admiring blurbs from readers and authors. It’s oozing with the sort of …

Stoddard tracks the steel industry

Saturday, August 15, 2015

When romantic poets speak of the sublime, they are usually thinking of Mont Blanc or the Simplon Passor other ­awe-inspiring natural vistas. The term sublime, after all, suggests a combination of power and magnificence, touched with terror or …

Book is soundtrack of female power

Saturday, August 15, 2015

When I was 12, I was riddled with angst and the overwhelming feeling that no one could possibly vocalize the cocktail of emotions that powered my preteen existence. My dad sensed that – was it the pouting, the …

The story of America’s deadliest cook

Saturday, August 15, 2015

There’s some irony to the title of Susan Campbell Bartoletti’s new book Terrible Typhoid Mary. As this engaging account makes clear, Mary Mallon (1869-1938) was hardly a “terrible” person, either before or after she became known in the …

The romance of the duel in literature

Saturday, August 8, 2015

A duel is inherently stupid, being largely a form of ritualized murder or suicide. Perhaps chance will favor one opponent over another, a foot might slip, a gun misfire. But, in general, the better swordsman or more practiced …

1920 defined a century

Saturday, August 8, 2015

Blame Downton Abbey if you must, but the 1920s are hot right now. Enter Eric Burns, a TV correspondent turned author and media critic whose new book, 1920, may capitalize on this interest. Burns does not merely argue …