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President George H.W. Bush casts into the surf at the mouth of the Mousam River in Kennebunk, Maine on Sunday, Sept. 25, 1989    T he President spent the weekend at his home on the Maine coast and came empty handed during his fishing outing. (AP Photo/Doug Mills)

‘41’: George W.’s ‘love story’

Sunday, November 23, 2014

George Herbert Walker Bush, the 41st president of the United States, is the only commander in chief in modern times who has declined to write a memoir. Now George W. Bush, the 43rd president, strides into the void with a book of his own intended to give voice to his modest father’s life and legacy. At the outset of 41, …

Three treasure-houses for young readers

Sunday, November 23, 2014

Here are three books young readers – from wannabe explorers to budding logophiles – will enjoy: Keep digging Is any childhood truly complete without at least one shovel-wielding foray into shoulder-deep dirt? Typically, the preferred destination is the other side of the Earth, but in Mac Barnett’s matter-of-fact anthem to the youthful urge …

‘Mona Lisa: A Life Discovered’ reveals the woman behind the smile

Sunday, November 23, 2014

The Mona Lisa’s enigmatic smile has captivated audiences for centuries, inspiring songs, poetry and film. But little is known about the woman behind what may be the world’s most famous painting. The consensus among art researchers and historians is that Leonardo da Vinci’s model was Lisa Gherardini del Giocondo, wife of a Florentine …

Stephen King’s newest book is released

Sunday, November 16, 2014

Stephen King’s latest novel is out. Revival was released Tuesday. His six-city book tour was to kick off in New York City, then go to Washington, D.C.; Kansas City, Mo.; Wichita, Kan.; and Austin, Texas, before wrapping up …

‘Superstorm’ crafts narrative from Sandy’s wrath

Sunday, November 9, 2014

This year’s hurricane season in the Atlantic was weak with little to worry U.S. coastal residents, but any forecaster will tell you: It only takes one storm to make a bad year. In 2012, that one storm was …

‘Empire of Sin’ lurid, scholarly, thoroughly entertaining

Sunday, November 9, 2014

Given the publication of so many books and articles about New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina, it’s instructive to remember that many of the city’s much-discussed problems – street violence, institutionalized racism, the push-pull between permissiveness and prohibition – …

Review: ‘The Killer Next Door’ is gripping mystery

Sunday, November 9, 2014

Desperation brings six people to a decaying Victorian apartment house where the tenants’ desolation pales in comparison with one neighbor’s despicable acts. Alex Marwood’s second stand-alone novel delivers a multilayered plot that succeeds as crime fiction, a gothic …

Book collects best of Jazz Age mag Vanity Fair

Sunday, November 9, 2014

Before Buzzfeed, before Spy, before Rolling Stone and the Paris Review, there was Vanity Fair. The smart-set magazine launched a century ago became famous as a sort of barometer of the Jazz Age and for its murderers’ row …

‘Spoiled Brats’ is brilliant, original, hilarious

Sunday, November 9, 2014

Feel the humiliation of the widowed guinea pig, so beaten down he contemplates suicide and questions his Christian faith. See through the eyes of the doting parents, who look past the signs of demonism – the pentagram birthmark …

Top-tier short fiction in Ron Rash collection

Sunday, November 9, 2014

For those unfamiliar with the beautiful and searing short stories of Ron Rash, Something Rich and Strange is a generous, well-timed introduction. Rash’s stories tell in crisp, gripping prose the emotional travails of life on the Appalachian outback …

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 …