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Books

‘Dry Bones’ a disturbing debut for Bouman

Sunday, July 27, 2014

Tom Bouman is a serious writer – literate, understated, elegant – and Dry Bones in the Valley is an exciting and disturbing debut. His detective, Henry Farrell, comes alive in a way that pulls us into his story from our first glimpse of him barefoot on his porch with a cup of coffee. Farrell is a thoughtful police officer in Wild Thyme Township, in rural northeastern Pennsylvania, a land of … 0

Dystopian ‘California’ amusing, if not convincing

Sunday, July 27, 2014

The environment is a disaster. Government has failed. Food is scarce. Untreatable viruses run rampant. Humans have lost the ability to reproduce. Welcome to the robust genre of post-apocalyptic dystopian fiction, otherwise known as “something really bad happened and now everything sucks.” This subset of science fiction reached its acme in Cormac McCarthy’s … 1

Another author boosted by ‘Colbert Bump’

Sunday, July 27, 2014

The “Colbert Bump” is becoming contagious. Edan Lepucki, whose novel California became a best-seller thanks to a plug from Stephen Colbert, has in turn helped another book catch on. During an interview on Comedy Central’s The Colbert Report that aired Monday night, Lepucki recommended Stephan Eirik Clark’s Sweetness #9. By Tuesday morning, the … 0

Mindful Reader: Gilmanton, noir and ‘Perfectly Miserable’

Saturday, July 12, 2014

Jessica Lander, author of Driving Backwards, was eight when her family bought a “two-century old house” on Stage Road in Gilmanton, a place to spend their summers. Their neighbors, David and Lizzie Bickford, kept them well-supplied with pies … 0

Terry Brooks delivers in latest fantasy tale

Saturday, July 12, 2014

Terry Brooks is a grandmaster of the fantasy genre, and his latest will both captivate and surprise readers. Epic fantasy usually details world building with a large cast of characters. The land of Shannara has been detailed extensively … 0

Review: ‘Act of War’ is heart-pounding thriller

Saturday, July 12, 2014

In Brad Thor’s latest thriller, Act of War, Scot Harvath finds his hands full when a snag-and-grab operation for a terrorist unveils surprising information. It involves a top-secret operation by a few key individuals in the Chinese government … 0

A troubled teen in flight from a nuclear meltdown

Saturday, July 12, 2014

Wiser than the adults around her yet convinced she’s a hopeless loser, Emily Shepard is a literary descendant of Holden Caulfield. Like J.D. Salinger’s famous teenage misfit, Emily relates her harrowing story of escape and survival from within … 0

Modern Russian fable superbly drawn

Saturday, July 12, 2014

Twin brothers Yarik and Dima were virtual lookalikes as boys growing up in rural Russia. Their joys and dreams entwined. Often when one spoke, the other would finish his sentence. Their innocent world of fantasy and mirrored lives … 0

Can living like a star produce a happy ending?

Saturday, July 12, 2014

Author and celebrity-watcher Rachel Bertsche spent nearly a year emulating the lifestyles of several famous female stars, seeking contentment, productivity and better arms. Her new book, Jennifer, Gwyneth & Me: The Pursuit of Happiness, One Celebrity at a … 0

Review: New Neil Armstrong book glides, not soars

Saturday, July 12, 2014

This is not a definitive biography of the man who first walked on the moon. It’s not even authorized by his family, whatever that means. But it certainly should be. There’s not a negative word about America’s space … 0

In ‘The Inevitable City’, Tulane president offers account of rebuilding New Orleans

Sunday, July 6, 2014

There’s a lot of sensible stuff in this account of post-Katrina New Orleans by the outgoing president of its most prominent educational institution, Tulane University, but there’s a lot of soapy stuff, too. In The Inevitable City, Scott … 0

Meg Gardiner’s latest thriller, ‘Phantom Instinct,’ is her best yet

Sunday, July 6, 2014

Meg Gardiner’s latest thriller, Phantom Instinct, begins with a shootout at the club where Harper Flynn works. Harper’s boyfriend is killed, a police officer is severely wounded, the bar burns to the ground and leaves no evidence of … 0

‘Supreme City’: How New York rose to the top

Sunday, July 6, 2014

E.B. White, the affectionate chronicler of Manhattan life, believed that New York comprised three cities: one of people born there and a second of the commuter. “Third,” he added, “there is the New York of the person who was born somewhere else and came to New York in … 0