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Books

Stevie Nick's record "Belladonna" at Pitchfork Records.

Sex, drugs and mystification

Saturday, February 28, 2015

Stevie Nicks wrote the only No. 1 Billboard hit Fleetwood Mac ever had (“Dreams”), but Zoe Howe’s fawning new biography, Stevie Nicks: Visions, Dreams and Rumours, offers ample evidence that talent and stage charisma aren’t the only reasons the 66-year-old rocker has for so long overshadowed her bandmates: Nicks has rarely stopped supplying salacious material to writers more interested in …

A straight-forward look at the war in Afghanistan

Saturday, February 28, 2015

Post-9/11 CIA memoirs keep coming with a frequency that must elevate the blood pressure of those Langley traditionalists who believe that the agency’s past should be forever entombed. Former CIA directors, division chiefs, station chiefs, lawyers, case officers and analysts have all offered their takes on recent history. The work, collectively, tends toward …

Monopoly inventor isn’t who you think

Saturday, February 28, 2015

Nations, politicians, athletes, icons – they all need their foundation myths. But George Washington did not chop down the cherry tree. Michael Jordan was not cut from his high school basketball team. And Charles Darrow did not invent “Monopoly.” Yet for decades Parker Brothers peddled the story: how Darrow, an out-of-work salesman, was …

A study of deception, and other stories

Sunday, February 1, 2015

You can’t judge a book by its cover, but how about what’s written on it? Since The Way Home (2009), George Pelecanos’s jackets have promoted him not as Washington’s premier crime novelist, but as someone who helped make …

Behind the scenes and long ago

Sunday, February 1, 2015

‘Earmuffs For Everyone!’ Like her 2010 picture book, Pop, a delightful history of bubblegum, Meghan McCarthy’s new book, Earmuffs for Everyone! gives young readers a behind-the-scenes look at how a familiar item came to be. In the case …

Richard Pryor – man and persona

Sunday, February 1, 2015

At the end of the cultural and political tumult called the 1960s, five major African-American stand-up comics were poised to achieve crossover greatness. Each, in his own way, represented a clear break with the earlier image of black …

Biographer of World War I hero Alvin York wins $5,000 prize

Sunday, February 1, 2015

A biographer of one of World War I’s most famous veterans, Sgt. Alvin York, has won a $5,000 prize. Officials announced last week that Col. Douglas V. Mastriano won the William E. Colby Award for Alvin York: A New Biography of the Hero of the Argonne. The award, …

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 …

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 …

‘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 …

New book to feature unpublished Hemingway conversations

Sunday, January 25, 2015

Previously unpublished conversations with Ernest Hemingway will be featured in a new book this fall. St. Martin’s Press announced recently that it had acquired A.E. Hotchner’s Hemingway in Love. Hotchner, 94, befriended Hemingway in the 1940s and would later write a controversial biography Papa Hemingway that came out …

This case of amnesia might be worth forgetting

Sunday, January 25, 2015

Halfway through Peter Carey’s new novel, Amnesia, I began to worry I was suffering from it. Who wrote this tedious mess? Where was that two-time Booker winner who gave us such spectacular novels as Oscar and Lucinda and …

‘Honeydew’ a sweet treat for Pearlman fans

Sunday, January 25, 2015

If you have never read Edith Pearlman, you’re in for a lovely surprise, and if you have, you’re in for another treat. Honeydew, her first story collection since Binocular Vision, winner of the National Book Critics Circle Award …