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Blogger helps raise $1 million so NYC kids can visit Harvard

Friday, January 30, 2015

A fundraising campaign inspired by the popular photo blog Humans of New York has raised more than $1 million to send middle school students from a high-poverty Brooklyn school on field trips to Harvard. Blogger Brandon Stanton featured 13-year-old Vidal Chastanet on Jan. 20. Vidal told Stanton about Nadia Lopez. She’s his principal at Mott Hall Bridges Academy in the Brownsville section of Brooklyn. He said Lopez inspires students by …

Where sports and race collide

Sunday, January 25, 2015

The score that night was Vanderbilt 90, Mississippi 72. Although the racist insults and threats of violence didn’t appear in the next day’s sports section, Perry Wallace, now an American University law professor, can’t forget that 1968 basketball game in Oxford, Miss. It wasn’t the first time he had withstood this kind of …

‘Literary thriller’ focuses on abducted girl

Sunday, January 25, 2015

The most common thriller plot may be that of the girl or young woman who vanishes and is feared to be either a captive or dead. That fear set in motion Stieg Larsson’s The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo, Dennis Lehane’s Mystic River, Laura Lippman’s What the Dead Know and countless other works. …

Amazon-Hachette feud headlines book news in 2014

Sunday, December 28, 2014

Like a serial for the digital age, the book world’s most dramatic story of 2014 unfolded in installments, often in real time. A dispute about e-book revenues between and Hachette Book Group led to Amazon’s removing buy buttons, cutting discounts and reducing orders for works ranging from …

A look back at 2014 crafts books

Sunday, December 28, 2014

If at the end of the year your creativity needs a boost, here’s a baker’s dozen of recent titles that’ll surely help. For families Let’s start with a charmer: In Playful (STC Craft/A Melanie Falick Book), author Merrilee …

The men who ‘may be everything’

Sunday, December 21, 2014

Thomas Jefferson’s description of the presidency as a “splendid misery” is often quoted. Less remembered is his comment on the vice presidency, an office he considered “honorable and easy.” Few readers of syndicated columnist Jules Witcover’s compendium of …

‘World of PostSecret’ a vivid mosaic of life

Sunday, December 21, 2014

People literally have shared a ton of secrets with Frank Warren. Ten years ago, the Germantown, Md., resident launched a “community art project” with the goal of collecting 365 postcards bearing anonymous senders’ artfully depicted secrets. He got …

‘I Must Say’ Martin Short’s endearing memoir

Sunday, December 21, 2014

One of Martin Short’s great on-screen moments arrives in John Landis’s 1986 comedy, ¡Three Amigos! in which he played a silent-film star alongside Steve Martin and Chevy Chase. Early in the movie, an unwitting village sends the trio …

Publisher plans to put Senate’s CIA report on shelves

Sunday, December 21, 2014

A paperback version of the Senate’s recently released report on the CIA’s interrogation techniques is expected in bookstores before New Year’s Day. The government posted the 528-page document for free online the week before last, and a PDF ebook version was almost immediately for sale on for …

Review: ‘Five’ by Ursula Archer is intriguing

Sunday, December 21, 2014

Geocaching – the contemporary treasure hunt in which a GPS is used to find hidden objects – lends itself to an intriguing melding of a gripping police procedural and an exciting update of the puzzle mystery in Austrian …

Black Captain America leading comic book diversity

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

For decades, comic books have been in color, but now they truly reflect all the hues of American society. The new Captain America is black. A Superman who is suspiciously similar to President Obama recently headlined a comic …

‘Killer Heels’ looks at the history of high heels

Sunday, December 14, 2014

Shakespeare mentions high heels in Hamlet, former New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg praised them and fashion designers from Dior to Manolo Blahnik have bewitched women and men with their versions. Killer Heels: The Art of the High-Heeled Shoe is a luxurious, fun and sexy look at the history …

The Mindful Reader: A sensible approach to mental strength

Sunday, December 14, 2014

My son saw my review copy of 13 Things Mentally Strong People Don’t Do by Amy Morin and said it’s all over social media, even though it’s not officially out until Jan. 1. Which is fitting, because the …