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Books

This book cover image released by Current shows "The End of Absence: Reclaiming What We’ve Lost in a World of Constant Connection," by Michael Harris. (AP Photo/Current)

An insightful look at digital-age clutter

Sunday, August 24, 2014

I fall asleep to the glow of Netflix and, when I awake, begin the digital litany of my day: the relentless email and news, the Facebook and Twitter feeds, the blogs and mindless videos, and on and on. I remember somewhat vaguely when I used pay phones to dictate the story of the day, when an online life was limited to the screeching dial-up of AOL and, as a child, when even that was a foreign idea. Michael Harris offers in his book The End of Absence a fascinating assessment of this moment we inhabit and, for those old enough to remember, highlights the rare … 0

On My Nightstand: Make time for Patterson’s romantic novel ‘Sam’s Letters to Jennifer’

Sunday, August 24, 2014

Patterson’s latest is a three-hanky novel James Patterson is one of the world’s greatest writers of thrillers. But did you know he also writes romantic fiction? Sam’s Letters to Jennifer is one of these novels. The main character, Jennifer, has recently lost her beloved husband in a car accident. She moves into her … 0

‘The End of Absence’ an insightful look at digital-age clutter

Sunday, August 24, 2014

Quentin Coldwater – a moody, man-child magician – is finally growing up. And just in time to save everything, mostly, that’s ever mattered to him. The Magician’s Land is the final book in the three-book Magicians trilogy, a genre-busting adult fantasy series. The books follow Quentin and an ever-growing cast of magicians, magicians’ … 0

‘The Property’ graphically illustrates war’s devastating effects

Sunday, August 10, 2014

In her superb graphic novel The Property, Israeli author Rutu Modan writes of war’s devastating effects from the long view of multiple generations, even drawing upon the experiences of her ancestors in Poland. So it was especially gratifying … 0

‘What We See When We Read’ a small, shallow pond of a book, but ‘Cover’ is worth a look

Sunday, August 10, 2014

Let me get the brickbat out of the way. What We See When We Read is a small, shallow pond of a book in which author Peter Mendelsund exhaustively swims around without ever going very deep. The premise … 0

‘The Invisible Bridge’ goes far beyond political history

Sunday, August 10, 2014

You can learn a lot by reading newspapers, especially if you have helped write them. Frederick Lewis Allen was a journalist of the 1920s who became a book author by taking what he and other journalists had written … 0

‘Red or Dead’ a postmodern epic and ultimate sports novel

Sunday, August 10, 2014

Sports novels generally rank low on the literature scoreboard – unless you regard Moby-Dick as a harpooning competition. But Robert Coover, Don DeLillo and David Foster Wallace have shown that it is possible to write ultraliterary, even experimental … 0

‘Price of Inheritance’ has plenty to savor

Sunday, August 10, 2014

Karin Tanabe’s heroine, young Carolyn Everett, wasn’t born grasping a Tiffany rattle, but she grew up in the guesthouse on the grounds of one of the toniest estates in Newport, R.I. After graduating from Princeton, she continues her … 0

‘The Bees’ a parable about consequences of hive mentality

Sunday, August 10, 2014

Bees – which is to say, the fear of them – dominated many summers of my childhood. Especially when walking (inevitably barefoot) through a particular Eastern Shore clover patch, I could focus on little else than trying to … 0

An unlikely odyssey and an even more uncommon bond between soldier and translator

Wednesday, August 6, 2014

It was off the beaten path that retired U.S. Marine Lt. Col. Michael Moffett first heard about Fahim Fazli. Moffett, a lifelong New Hampshire resident, was in Afghanistan’s volatile Helmand Province in 2010 on assignment as a field … 0

‘Locust’ a dark and fantastical tale

Sunday, August 3, 2014

The stories we tell to explain autism go back centuries. The Celts believed fairies stole healthy babies and replaced them with elfin spirits. Bruno Bettelheim insisted the problem was cold, witchy mothers. Later, pediatricians and needles would be … 0

‘Lies’ a study of WWI virtues

Sunday, August 3, 2014

Unlike the books in Jacqueline Winspear’s popular Maisie Dobbs series, The Care and Management of Lies is not a mystery – although its scenes of World War I trench warfare certainly leave a reader in suspense. As much … 0

‘Book of Life’ crowded, complicated

Sunday, August 3, 2014

Time-tripping witch and scholar Diana Bishop returns in The Book of Life, the final installment of Deborah Harkness’s best-selling “All Souls” trilogy. When last encountered in Shadow of Night, Diana and her husband, aristo vampire geneticist Matthew Clairmont, … 0