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Books

This book cover image released by Farrar, Straus and Giroux shows "Listening to Stone: The Art and Life of Isamu Noguchi," by Hayden Herrera. (AP Photo/Farrar, Straus and Giroux)

A masterful new biography of artist Isamu Noguchi

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Isamu Noguchi was a difficult man who made art easy to look at. In his life and work, he was riddled with contradictions. Humble and egotistical. Steadfast and temperamental. Listless and energetic. A loyal friend and faithless lover. Art historian Hayden Herrera, who has written books about Noguchi’s artist friend Arshile Gorky and his romantic partner Frida Kahlo, explores his paradoxical personality in a new, meticulously researched biography, Listening to Stone: The Art and Life of Isamu Noguchi. Above all she focuses on the lifelong tension he felt as a result of his biracial heritage. Born in the U.S. to an Irish-American mother and Japanese …

‘Spinster’ is thought-provoking look at singlehood

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Even its opening lines are provocative: “Whom to marry, and when it will happen – these two questions define every woman’s existence, regardless of where she was raised or what religion she does or doesn’t practice . . . Men have their own problems; this isn’t one of them.” If Kate Bolick’s debut, …

Could you unplug for a year?

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Corporate lawyer Elyssa Friedland writes an honest love story with a bizarre twist in her debut novel, Love and Miss Communication. Readers must consider one thought-provoking question: Could you remain offline for a year? Evie Rosen’s future is looking bright. She recently broke up with her celebrity boyfriend, but her professional life is …

Rowling’s graduation speech gains little as illustrated

Saturday, April 18, 2015

In 2008, J.K. Rowling delivered the Harvard graduation speech, which quickly became the most-viewed commencement address on the university’s Web site. On Tuesday, just as strains of Pomp and Circumstance begin to swell once more, Rowling’s speech is …

Ghosts from the past

Saturday, April 18, 2015

Many years ago, my cousin and his wife rented a house outside Philadelphia that they swore was haunted. Footsteps echoed in an empty bedroom, a cold spot could be detected at the top of the stairs and cosmetics …

A story that is about more than football

Sunday, April 12, 2015

The Blind Side, a novel by Michael Lewis, is listed under “sports non-fiction” but it is much more than a book about football, even though there is at least one chapter devoted to various football maneuvers. Made into …

Cotton Malone is on the case in Berry’s ‘Patriot Threat’

Saturday, April 11, 2015

Cotton Malone tackles a case that could cause an uprising over taxes in Steve Berry’s new thriller, The Patriot Threat. A deposed North Korean leader believes he can regain his honor and return to power by bringing down …

Former banker focuses on financial crisis in new book

Saturday, April 11, 2015

A banker by trade, Forrest Russell Cook never intended to be an author. Now retired and living in Dublin, Cook ultimately decided to dabble in writing after reading a number of books and articles on the financial crisis …

After decades of silence, White House domestic staff share stories in new book

Saturday, April 11, 2015

Many of the men and women who have worked in the White House residence – serving presidents and their families in their private quarters – are breaking with a long-held tradition of silence: They are dishing about life …

Not your typical femme fatale

Saturday, April 11, 2015

The first-person narrator of The Bullet, Mary Louise Kelly’s thriller about long-buried family secrets and the limits of self-knowledge, could not be further removed from either the pistol-toting pulp-fiction dames who gave rise to the femme fatale, or …

A close-up look at the one-child policy

Saturday, April 11, 2015

When Mo Yan won the Nobel Prize for literature in 2012, the judges must have known about Frog, the socially conscious novel he published in China in 2009. While his other recent books, such as Life and Death …

Former poet laureate Charles Simic to stop by Gibson’s Bookstore

Thursday, April 9, 2015

Whether he is revealing the influence of literature on his childhood development, pondering the relationship between food and comfort or elegizing the pull to return to a homeland that no longer exists, Charles Simic shares his distinctive take …

A dazzling, funny series of memories

Saturday, April 4, 2015

‘Events! If you want those, you’d best stop reading now.” So proclaims Tom McCarthy’s Satin Island, a rather dazzling array of sentences and paragraphs and snippets of memory and thought that aren’t quite sure where they are. The …