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Books

This book cover image released by Doubleday shows "American Housewife," by Helen Ellis. (Doubleday via AP)

’American Housewife’ depicts uproarious picture of wifedom

Sunday, January 31, 2016

An organized kidnapping mission rescues beauty pageant escapees. A neighborly feud draws blood. A dying wife secures a brassiere around the chest of her opponent. In her collection of short stories highlighting the women who manage (and at times destroy) the home fronts, author Helen Ellis takes readers into the unexpected corners of wifedom in American Housewife. The 12 compact tales are delightfully dark and leave readers always rooting for the housewife, no matter how twisted her plots. From a reality show to a getaway car to a Manhattan penthouse, each setting provides a unique space in which these women can truly shine and scheme. …

New James Dean bio offers cool trivia but nothing new

Sunday, January 31, 2016

The 60th anniversary of James Dean’s fatal car accident Sept. 30, 1955, catalyzed, as major anniversaries unfailingly do, new biographies of the short-lived but idolized actor. In Too Fast to Live, Too Young to Die, Keith Elliot Greenberg, a specialist in reconstructing famous figures’ final hours, narrates Dean’s drive from Los Angeles toward …

Superb Margaret Thatcher bio sets record straight

Sunday, January 31, 2016

On Dec. 15, 2015, after the Victoria and Albert Museum refused to accept the collection for its fashion archives, Margaret Thatcher’s clothes and memorabilia were auctioned by Christie’s. While the left-wing British press mocked the auction as a garage sale of tasteless old tat, it brought in nearly $5 million. Thatcher’s iconic handbags …

Macdonald says memoir will not be ‘subliterate’

Sunday, December 20, 2015

Comedian Norm Macdonald, considered by no less than David Letterman one of the funniest men alive, is going to get another crack at a wider audience this fall when his memoir, Based on a True Story, is published. The Random House book will chart Macdonald’s childhood in rural …

James Patterson announces gifts to booksellers, libraries

Sunday, December 20, 2015

The beneficiaries include a manager at the Brazos Bookstore in Houston with a passion for works in translation and a community school in Pittsfield, Mass., dedicated to reaching as many readers as possible. They are part of James …

New Hall collection could be his best

Sunday, December 20, 2015

T he Selected Poems of Donald Hall (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, $22) may be the crowning achievement for Hall, whose verse and essays have made him one of the most important American literary figures of the past 50 years. …

The power of the penguin

Sunday, December 20, 2015

Tom Michell seems like the sort of fellow you’d like to have dinner with sometime. He would no doubt regale you with fascinating tales of life in Argentina during the 1970s: living with high inflation and the collapse …

Wilson thrives with ‘Bassoon King’

Sunday, December 20, 2015

Dwight Schrute, when last we left him, was regional manager of Dunder Mifflin Paper Co. in Scranton, Pa. But that exalted title doesn’t begin to pin him down. He was also a corporate suck-up, a Battlestar Galactica fanatic, …

Entertaining and occasionally educational

Sunday, December 20, 2015

Christopher Buckley claims that he stopped writing political satire because “American politics have reached the point of being self-satirized.” It’s true that the author of Thank You for Smoking and The White House Mess has turned to another …

Speak the same language about eating right

Sunday, December 20, 2015

I never seem to say the right thing to my kids. I remember feeling that way about my mother and promised myself I wouldn’t be “that mom.” But here I am, uttering words in front of my children’s friends that result in a stare, pleading me to stop …

New photo book takes a journey across New Hampshire

Wednesday, December 16, 2015

Visit – and draw – 234 cities and towns. In just two years. That was the mission Sue Anne Bottomley of New London gave herself after returning to her native New Hampshire. This year, she published the finished …

Keith Hernandez’s memoir scheduled for 2017

Sunday, December 13, 2015

Keith Hernandez, the outspoken broadcaster, Seinfeld favorite and former All-Star first baseman is working on a “no-holds-barred” memoir. Little, Brown and Company told the Associated Press that I Am Keith Hernandez is scheduled for 2017. Hernandez, 62, is …

Bartok biography a dry trove of facts

Sunday, December 13, 2015

In 1920, shortly after the end of World War I and the dissolution of the Austro-Hungarian Empire, the borders of the Kingdom of Hungary were radically redrawn. As a consequence of the Treaty of Trianon, Hungary lost a …