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Books

This book cover image released by Minotaur shows "City of Ghosts," by Kelli Stanley. (AP Photo/Minotaur)

Miranda Corbie confronts her own ‘City of Ghosts’

Sunday, September 14, 2014

A love of San Francisco – its flaws, strengths and eccentricities – permeates Kelli Stanley’s intriguing novels about private detective Miranda Corbie. Stanley’s novels capture San Francisco – and the United States – in the years just before World War II. War has been on Miranda’s mind since she was a nurse in the Spanish Civil War. In City of Ghosts, set during 1940, Miranda cautiously watches what’s happening in London, especially when it appears that her long-lost mother may be living in England. The private detective has little hope that she could bring her mother back to the United States until James MacLeod, an … 0

‘Politics is a Joke!’ highlights importance of late-night TV for candidates

Sunday, September 14, 2014

In September 2008, as the economy was imploding, John McCain suspended his campaign for the presidency and canceled a guest spot on David Letterman’s late-night TV show. “I’m more than a little disappointed by this behavior,” fumed the comedian, who liked to warn politicians – only half-jokingly – that “the road to the … 1

On My Nightstand: ‘Pliney Fiske’

Sunday, September 14, 2014

Pliney Fiske, a young Concord man, stayed home to care for his ailing father, the local druggist. But now that the Civil War is over, those returning soldiers resent his nonparticipation and nickname him “Mama Fiske,” insinuating he is a mama’s boy. He serves his country instead by verifying that men applying for … 1

Shedding light on true naval prowess

Sunday, August 31, 2014

Military action during the American Revolution conjures up images of colonial militia on Lexington Green or British regulars marching to surrender at Yorktown. If the war at sea is mentioned at all, one mostly remembers John Paul Jones’s … 0

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. … 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, … 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 … 0

‘Back Channel’ re-imagines Cuban Missile Crisis

Sunday, August 24, 2014

Stephen L. Carter, the author of this fictionalized account of the 1962 Cuban missile crisis, is both a law professor at Yale and a prolific writer. His nonfiction books offer serious reflections on politics, race, religion and law. … 0

‘Sixteen Handmade Doors’ the story of a house, and more

Sunday, August 24, 2014

It’s a two-bedroom cedar-shingle on the Kennebec River in Maine, a woodsy getaway built by a painstaking do-it-yourselfer in the 1950s. But to the house’s current owner, Petroski, a professor of engineering and history at Duke University, it’s … 0

‘I Am Having So Much Fun Here’ a book for everyone

Sunday, August 24, 2014

Courtney Maum’s first novel, I Am Having So Much Fun Here Without You, is a publicist’s dream. Its snappy title promises ironic humor, and it leaves one wondering if the “I” will end up with the “you.” The … 0

Book series continues ‘Frozen’ adventures

Sunday, August 24, 2014

The adventures of sisters Anna and Elsa of Frozen fame will continue, at least on paper. Random House Children’s Books announced recently that they will launch a new series next year tied to the blockbuster Disney movie. The first two books, Anna & Elsa #1: All Hail the … 0

‘The Confessions of Frances Godwin’ a story of maturity, by maturity

Sunday, August 17, 2014

The worldwide success of the Harry Potter series has led to a great emphasis on young adult crossover novels in contemporary publishing. For years, teen wizards, warriors, werewolves and vampires have dominated publicity and sales in what seems … 0

Despite fumblings, ‘Green Girl’ strives toward optimism

Sunday, August 17, 2014

Long before Lena Dunham and her Girls, writers have wrestled with youth’s peculiar blend of narcissism and self-hatred: the sense that success is just around the corner and that one’s best days are long gone. Early in Hamlet, … 0