Cloudy
38°
Cloudy
Hi 38° | Lo 29°

Books

‘Beautiful You’ feels phoned-in

Sunday, November 16, 2014

Chuck Palahniuk is something of a devilish demigod in gross-out social satire. Over the years, his signature attention to minutiae and his generous hand with carnal humor in books such as Fight Club and Choke have broadened his fan base to include geeks and bros alike. One might call him the king of red Solo cup literati. In Beautiful You, Palahniuk­ turns his gimlet eye to the subject of female pleasure and the ways in which it can be manipulated to affect society and boost the bottom line. At the center of the novel is Penny Harrigan, a 20-something Queens-dwelling Nebraska transplant and law-office drone. …

Review: Richard Ford brings back Frank Bascombe

Sunday, November 16, 2014

When the final novel in the Frank Bascombe trilogy was published in 2007, its author made it plain that a fourth book about the introspective sportswriter-turned-real estate broker wasn’t even a remote possibility. But now, seven years later in Let Me Be Frank With You, Richard Ford has resurrected his anti-hero in a …

Healing words in ‘Small Victories’

Sunday, November 16, 2014

Fans of author Anne Lamott know reading her work is like finding a favorite sweater from the depths of the closet on the first crisp fall day: warm, comforting, familiar and easy. Her new book, Small Victories: Spotting Improbable Moments of Grace, is a collection of beautifully written essays, filled with nuggets of …

Mindful Reader: Despairing lives, an epic journey and #YesAllWomen

Sunday, November 9, 2014

Concord native Michael Fournier’s new novel Swing State is set in the fictional mill town of Armbrister, N.H. Swing State is about three tragic characters: Roy Eggleton, an injured Afghanistan War vet with no family and nearly no …

Rare Steinbeck WWII story finally published

Sunday, November 9, 2014

In July 1944, Orson Welles wrapped up one of his wartime radio broadcasts with a brief, emotional reading of one of the country’s favorite authors, John Steinbeck. The piece was titled “With Your Wings,” an inspirational story about …

‘Gray Mountain’ won’t disappoint Grisham fans

Sunday, November 2, 2014

John Grisham has been writing legal thrillers and dramas that resonate with readers for almost 25 years, and his latest continues the theme of ordinary people who work in the law profession experiencing a crisis of conscience. Sometimes …

Brief Chaplin bio captures essence of ‘the Tramp’

Sunday, November 2, 2014

In 1914, Keystone Studios released two short films that gave a world marching to war a reason to laugh. Their titles, Kid Auto Races at Venice and Mabel’s Strange Predicament, are far less memorable than the character they …

Review: ‘Sometimes the Wolf’ is engrossing story

Sunday, November 2, 2014

A father-and-son relationship, perhaps broken beyond repair, fuels Urban Waite’s engrossing novel that skillfully exposes the complicated emotions that can stymie a once close family while also working as a superb action-adventure tale. In Sometimes the Wolf, the …

Three sci-fi books to ‘Spark’ your interest

Sunday, November 2, 2014

Two novels explore what it means to be human, while a third is a steampunk Western showdown. They were mechanics Jonathan Carroll’s Bathing the Lion begins with a rather banal setup: the separation of a seemingly ordinary couple …

‘The Marquis’: Lafa yette’s quest for glory

Sunday, November 2, 2014

‘Lafayette was born on September 6, 1757,” Laura Auricchio tells us at the beginning of The Marquis, but for whatever reason she neglects to tell us his full given name, an odd omission in an otherwise excellent book. …

How the occult informed rock ’n’ roll

Sunday, November 2, 2014

At the beginning of Season of the Witch, Peter Bebergal sketches an autobiographical scene right out of the movie Almost Famous: He’s 11 years old and his brother has left for the Air Force, leaving behind a superb, …

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Ben Hewitt / Home Grown: Adventures in Parenting Off the Beaten Path, Unschooling and reconnecting with the Natural World / today / 2 p.m. / Main Street Bookends / Warner / mainstreetbookends.com / 603-456-2700 Dr. Lawrence Climo / …

Review: Jon Land delivers with ‘Strong Darkness’

Sunday, October 26, 2014

In 1883, Texas Ranger William Ray Strong, assisted by the state’s famous “hanging judge,” Roy Bean, is on the trail of a serial killer who butchers Chinese railroad workers by cutting off their heads and then sewing them …