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Books

President George H.W. Bush casts into the surf at the mouth of the Mousam River in Kennebunk, Maine on Sunday, Sept. 25, 1989    T he President spent the weekend at his home on the Maine coast and came empty handed during his fishing outing. (AP Photo/Doug Mills)

‘41’: George W.’s ‘love story’

Sunday, November 23, 2014

George Herbert Walker Bush, the 41st president of the United States, is the only commander in chief in modern times who has declined to write a memoir. Now George W. Bush, the 43rd president, strides into the void with a book of his own intended to give voice to his modest father’s life and legacy. At the outset of 41, …

Three treasure-houses for young readers

Sunday, November 23, 2014

Here are three books young readers – from wannabe explorers to budding logophiles – will enjoy: Keep digging Is any childhood truly complete without at least one shovel-wielding foray into shoulder-deep dirt? Typically, the preferred destination is the other side of the Earth, but in Mac Barnett’s matter-of-fact anthem to the youthful urge …

‘Mona Lisa: A Life Discovered’ reveals the woman behind the smile

Sunday, November 23, 2014

The Mona Lisa’s enigmatic smile has captivated audiences for centuries, inspiring songs, poetry and film. But little is known about the woman behind what may be the world’s most famous painting. The consensus among art researchers and historians is that Leonardo da Vinci’s model was Lisa Gherardini del Giocondo, wife of a Florentine …

Brief Chaplin bio captures essence of ‘the Tramp’

Sunday, November 2, 2014

In 1914, Keystone Studios released two short films that gave a world marching to war a reason to laugh. Their titles, Kid Auto Races at Venice and Mabel’s Strange Predicament, are far less memorable than the character they …

Review: ‘Sometimes the Wolf’ is engrossing story

Sunday, November 2, 2014

A father-and-son relationship, perhaps broken beyond repair, fuels Urban Waite’s engrossing novel that skillfully exposes the complicated emotions that can stymie a once close family while also working as a superb action-adventure tale. In Sometimes the Wolf, the …

Three sci-fi books to ‘Spark’ your interest

Sunday, November 2, 2014

Two novels explore what it means to be human, while a third is a steampunk Western showdown. They were mechanics Jonathan Carroll’s Bathing the Lion begins with a rather banal setup: the separation of a seemingly ordinary couple …

‘The Marquis’: Lafa yette’s quest for glory

Sunday, November 2, 2014

‘Lafayette was born on September 6, 1757,” Laura Auricchio tells us at the beginning of The Marquis, but for whatever reason she neglects to tell us his full given name, an odd omission in an otherwise excellent book. …

How the occult informed rock ’n’ roll

Sunday, November 2, 2014

At the beginning of Season of the Witch, Peter Bebergal sketches an autobiographical scene right out of the movie Almost Famous: He’s 11 years old and his brother has left for the Air Force, leaving behind a superb, …

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Ben Hewitt / Home Grown: Adventures in Parenting Off the Beaten Path, Unschooling and reconnecting with the Natural World / today / 2 p.m. / Main Street Bookends / Warner / mainstreetbookends.com / 603-456-2700 Dr. Lawrence Climo / …

Review: Jon Land delivers with ‘Strong Darkness’

Sunday, October 26, 2014

In 1883, Texas Ranger William Ray Strong, assisted by the state’s famous “hanging judge,” Roy Bean, is on the trail of a serial killer who butchers Chinese railroad workers by cutting off their heads and then sewing them …

Self-discovery in the time of Auschwitz

Sunday, October 26, 2014

In the afterword to his latest novel, The Zone of Interest, Martin Amis confronts the persistent question of why the German people, “the most highly educated nation the earth had ever seen,” were gripped by such an irrational …

Living life in an uneasy eternal replay mode

Sunday, October 26, 2014

Meg Wolitzer’s 2013 best-seller, The Interestings, featured a group of precocious teenagers who met at summer camp in 1974. Wolitzer’s gift for capturing youthful exuberance and insecurity in that book suggested that she’d also be a natural at …

Review: Couple finds a lost spark in ‘Brightwell’

Sunday, October 26, 2014

At the heart of this light, energetic tale of a group of wealthy eccentrics on holiday at a seaside resort in England emerges a story of a marriage. Yes, there’s a juicy scandal, snobbish comments and petty disagreements …