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Books

In this recent photo composite image from NASA made over a span of several months and from different angles, the earth can be seen from space, 1007.  Using a collection of satellited-based observations, scientists stitched together months of observations of the land surface, oceans, sea ice, and clouds into a seamless mosaic of every square mile of the planet.  (AP Photo/NASA)

‘The Human Age’ says there’s hope of saving the world

Sunday, September 21, 2014

In Paris, flowers, butterflies and birds live on the exterior of the Quai Branly Museum, a cultural destination that doubles as a natural ecosystem. A garden stuffed with breathing plants in the thousands, and soon to house frogs and lizards as well, climbs the building and purifies the surrounding air. At Stockholm’s central railway station, 250,000 commuters a day lend their body heat to a 13-story office building nearby. Most are probably unaware that they are part of green architecture rigged up by Swedish engineers: The rail station’s ventilation system grabs the travelers’ natural heat, using it to warm water in underground tanks that is … 1

Women in politics: Gillibrand and Davis release memoirs

Sunday, September 21, 2014

Two prominent women in politics, New Yorker Kirsten Gillibrand, who replaced Hillary Clinton in the U.S. Senate, and Texas gubernatorial candidate Wendy Davis, who shot to fame in pink sneakers with an abortion-rights filibuster, are out this month with memoirs. Forgetting to Be Afraid chronicles Davis’s hardscrabble journey from teen mom in a … 0

17th-century Amsterdam reimagined

Sunday, September 21, 2014

Jessie Burton’s accomplished first novel, The Miniaturist, is many things – a deftly plotted mystery, a feminist coming-of-age drama and a probing investigation of marriage. Burton evokes the sights, sounds and smells of 17th-century Amsterdam as she brings to life a cast of sensitively rendered characters, each longing to be free. As the … 0

‘The Shadow Hero’ exceptionally well-spun

Sunday, September 7, 2014

Before you crack the spine on this beautiful new book that helps unmask arguably the world’s first Asian American superhero, let’s reveal the true heroes in this thrilling literary escapade: Able to leap the building blocks of narrative in a single bound volume, our real adventurer is Gene … 0

Minecraft now a publishing sensation

Sunday, September 7, 2014

Like millions of parents, Aaron Sacharow welcomes those moments when his son – 7-year-old Tyler – takes a break from video games and picks up a book instead. He will even settle for the book being a guide … 0

Author’s ode to crosswords is right on the mark with ‘Crossword Century’

Sunday, August 31, 2014

If you love solving crosswords, you know how it feels to be in the fraternity. There’s the rush of matching wits with a mysterious puzzle-maker, the thrill of nailing an elusive answer and the satisfaction of filling in … 0

‘Harold and Jack’ a persuasive account of world leaders’ accidental friendship

Sunday, August 31, 2014

Christopher Sandford begins this account of the relationship between British Prime Minister Harold Macmillan and American President John F. Kennedy with a meeting between the two in southern England. It occurred in June 1963, at which point Kennedy … 0

‘Field Guide’ highlights D.C.’s beauty

Sunday, August 31, 2014

There are major cities around the world where humans seem to have excluded nature by extruding concrete. Washington isn’t one of them. With its low skyline, two languid rivers and a stream named Rock Creek that could keep … 0

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