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Books

Long lost film illuminates 1938 Poland

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

In the spring of 2009, Glenn Kurtz uncovered a roll of 71-year-old film in his parents’ Florida basement. Deteriorated and shrunken with age, the film was just months away from being completely unwatchable. Instead, it became a rare window onto the lost world of a mostly Jewish town in Eastern Europe on the eve of the Holocaust and the impetus for Kurtz’s book Three Minutes in Poland. Once restored by researchers at the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington, D.C., the film showed footage from Kurtz’s grandparents’ 1938 European vacation, including three minutes in the Polish town of Nasielsk, where Kurtz’s grandfather David was born. …

Author defies categorization

Sunday, March 22, 2015

There are authors who write in tidy, classifiable, immediately recognizable genres – Jane Austen, Alexandre Dumas, William Faulkner, Gabriel Garcia Marquez, to name a few – and then there are those who adamantly do not. These others can surprise us with storylines and settings that are guises to be worn and shucked after …

A haunting tale

Sunday, March 22, 2015

M.J. Rose writes compelling tales with a gothic flair, and her latest novel, The Witch of Painted Sorrows, is her most heartfelt yet. Paris in 1894 is a vastly different society than what is experienced in today’s modern world. Sandrine Salome flees from New York City to Paris to escape an abusive and …

You don’t know ABCs like this

Sunday, February 22, 2015

N ow I know my ABCs, next time won’t you sing with me? If you’ve ever chanted the alphabet song or taught it to a child, you’ve lied there at the end. You don’t know your ABCs – …

Sunday, February 22, 2015

Published almost simultaneously, these two mysteries from London form an interesting pair. Each features a troubled Englishwoman who takes an almost morbid interest in another person or persons. At first merely voyeurs, the two women soon become meddlers. …

A photo life, and other stories

Saturday, February 14, 2015

‘Gordon Parks’ From inauspicious beginnings, Gordon Parks (1912-2006) became a pioneering photographer and filmmaker as well as a novelist, composer and poet. In this picture-book biography, Caldecott honoree Carole Boston Weatherford focuses on Parks’s photographic career, particularly the …

On love that is given, yet is not returned

Saturday, February 14, 2015

When the student is ready, the Buddhists say, the teacher will appear. My sentiments exactly, I thought, the day Lisa A. Phillips’s book Unrequited landed in my lap at the precise moment I realized that a man I …

‘Crazy Love You’ is complex and surprising

Saturday, February 14, 2015

Lisa Unger takes what appears to be a tale of finding true love and adds in a nightmare element in her latest chiller, Crazy Love You. Ian tells his story of trying to escape the past and find …

Anne Tyler’s 20th novel continues her streak

Saturday, February 14, 2015

Anne Tyler published her first novel in 1964, and some 50 years later she is still going strong. A Spool of Blue Thread, her 20th novel, is a miracle of sorts, a tender, touching and funny story about …

Addario reveals vulnerability in memoir ‘It’s What I Do’

Saturday, February 14, 2015

Photojournalists, particularly the ones who repeatedly cover war zones, have a reputation for being tough, fearless, sometimes cavalier and repeatedly lucky in a way that defies logic. So, it’s striking the number of times Lynsey Addario writes in …

3 E.B. White classics will soon be available as e-books

Saturday, February 14, 2015

Three E.B. White classics read by millions of parents to their children will soon be available on the digital screen. HarperCollins announced last week that Charlotte’s Web, Stuart Little and The Trumpet of the Swan can be purchased …

Book offers info on establishing family values

Sunday, February 8, 2015

Money can be a touchy subject for people of all income levels, but a new book on the importance of teaching kids to handle their finances suggests parents stop avoiding the topic and start talking turkey. The Opposite …

Strong storytelling in Spanish ‘The Siege’

Sunday, February 8, 2015

Arturo Perez-Reverte’s latest book is a riveting wartime murder mystery that won the Crime Writers’ Association’s International Dagger award. It is, also, a historical novel that is at risk of being thwarted by the author’s ambition. Set in …