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‘Home’ explores how habitats make us human

Sunday, February 14, 2016

When traveling in a foreign city, or even just working late at the office, we may suddenly be flooded with a feeling: I just want to go home. There’s a scientific reason behind that yearning, says neuroanthropologist John Allen. Unlike any other species, he writes in his new book, we are “fundamentally home-minded.” In his engaging and informative natural history, Home, Allen explores “how habitats makes us human.” To demonstrate, he takes readers on an evolutionary tour, with stops at ape nests, ancestral human hearths and American cities where thousands go without homes. Rest, restoration and relationships – what I will call the 3Rs – …

‘Keith Richards: A Life in Pictures’ a treat for super-fans

Sunday, February 14, 2016

It really bugs me when people say that Keith Richards looks like a pirate. Don’t these pseuds know that they’re talking about one of the coolest-looking rock stars to press his boot prints into this uncool Earth? How can Keith Richards look like anything other than Keith Richards? Close your eyes and ask …

Jihadist terrorism not a threat?

Sunday, February 14, 2016

Confession: I burst out laughing when I read the jacket copy of Peter Bergen’s new book. Not because of the title – United States of Jihad: Investigating America’s Homegrown Terrorists isn’t what you’d call a rib-tickler. And not because of the intriguing and timely premise. Bergen seeks to explore why some Americans are …

A refreshing, crazy debut novel

Sunday, January 3, 2016

Eileen Curtright’s first novel, The Burned Bridges of Ward, Nebraska, is as refreshing as it is occasionally insane. When we meet Rebecca Meer, she’s celebrating her new partnership in a fertility clinic in her hometown. But because Ward, …

‘The Force Awakens’ book makes the film proud

Sunday, January 3, 2016

If you can’t get enough of the new Star Wars movie, Obi-Wan Kenobi is not your only hope. Use the Force – of a book. Alan Dean Foster has dozens of novels to his credit, as well as …

‘The Looting Machine’ explains why Africa isn’t rising

Sunday, January 3, 2016

In one of Africa’s most celebrated surprises of 2015, Nigerian voters unseated President Goodluck Jonathan. The election of Muhammadu Buhari defied expectations of electoral fraud and violence, and his anticorruption platform sparked hopes for reform and economic growth. …

Becky hits the road in ‘Shopaholic to the Rescue’

Sunday, January 3, 2016

Becky Brandon (nee Bloomwood) is back in Shopaholic to the Rescue, and she’s on a mission. The latest addition to this light-hearted series by Sophie Kinsella finds Becky, with friends and family, on a road trip from Los …

Actress Mary-Louise Parker now respected writer

Sunday, January 3, 2016

The latest round of raves for Mary-Louise Parker is not for her acting, but for her writing. Parker’s Dear Mr. You, a collection of lyrical and often emotional essays about men addressed to everyone from former (and unnamed) …

‘Bread, Wine, Chocolate’ makes environmental issues tasty

Sunday, January 3, 2016

The lands, waters and atmosphere of our planet are under tremendous stress from the appetites and endeavors of more than 7 billion people, and such issues often make for grim reading. But environmentalist Simran Sethi has an appealing …

‘Game of Thrones’ author blogs that he missed book deadline

Saturday, January 2, 2016

Winter is not coming. Game of Thrones author George R.R. Martin says he missed a Dec. 31 deadline to finish The Winds of Winter, the latest book in his fantasy series. That means the HBO season based on that sixth novel will start airing in April, while he’s …

Hitler’s ‘Mein Kampf’ returns to German market in new form

Sunday, December 27, 2015

For 70 years since the Nazi defeat in World War II, copyright law has been used in Germany to prohibit the publication of Mein Kampf – the notorious anti-Semitic tome in which Adolf Hitler set out his ideology. …

‘Andy & Don’ chronicles real-life friendship on and off the screen

Saturday, December 26, 2015

There was a lot going on in the ’60s – war protests, the sexual revolution, rock concerts, drug abuse, the civil rights movement, the nuclear arms race – but somehow none of that found its way to Mayberry, …

From coloring books to Harper Lee, a good year for paper

Saturday, December 26, 2015

From adult coloring books to a new novel by Harper Lee, it was a year for unexpected hits and hits that sold well in paper editions. As e-book sales remain stalled at some 25 percent of the market, …