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Books

Fire Shut Up in My Bones

Blow speaks on the complexity of the black male experience in ‘Fire Shut Up in My Bones’

Sunday, September 28, 2014

New York Times columnist Charles M. Blow’s new memoir, Fire Shut Up in My Bones, was released Tuesday. So far, headlines about the book have focused almost entirely on one thing: Blow’s grappling with his attraction to other men. The author says that’s fair and that the attention to the issue is understandable. The story is about much more than just his sexuality, though. It poetically chronicles the writer’s life, taking readers on a journey from a painful childhood in a Louisiana town to a role as one of America’s most respected journalists, in a coming-of-age story with universal lessons. The Root spoke to Blow … 0

Easy Rawlins eyes Hearst-like case

Sunday, September 28, 2014

Walter Mosley evokes the curious turns of the Patty Hearst kidnapping saga and the fractured culture of that era in Rose Gold, his latest Easy Rawlins crime thriller. Rawlins, a black private investigator based in Los Angeles, follows leads from poor, simmering L.A. streets to secluded beachside mansions and laid-back hippie encampments. His … 0

Brilliant new biography of Tennessee Williams

Sunday, September 28, 2014

When The Glass Menagerie opened on Broadway in March 1945, the actress cast as Southern matriarch Amanda Wingfield got so drunk before the show that a bucket was placed in the wings so she could throw up between scenes. Seated six rows from the stage was the 34-year-old playwright, Tennessee Williams, who was … 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

‘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