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Books

A zombie book where your brain feels a little nibbled on

Sunday, July 20, 2014

“The Girl With All the Gifts,” by M.R. Carey. Orbit. Most zombie stories follow the same formula: Brawny dudes use guns and makeshift weapons to protect nerds, women and children from the ravenous dead and from other survivors. Yawn. M.R. Carey’s The Girl With All the Gifts is a terrifying zombie novel, but not in the expected way. The real enemy here isn’t the walking dead or even the crafty … 0

‘Dark Aemilia’ a treat for Shakespeare lovers

Sunday, July 20, 2014

Sally O’Reilly’s wildly romantic novel Dark Aemilia is a pleasure for anyone who enjoys well-crafted historical fiction and a special treat for Shakespeare lovers. Drawing on the biography of a real-life woman proposed by some scholars as the model for the Dark Lady of the Bard’s sonnets, O’Reilly creates a fiery, proto-feminist heroine … 0

‘The Mockingbird Next Door’ a world caught just in time

Sunday, July 20, 2014

There are many reasons to be grateful for The Mockingbird Next Door, Marja Mills’s wonderful memoir of Harper Lee and her sister, and being enticed to reread To Kill a Mockingbird is just one of them. Improbable as it seemed even to Mills when she first was granted access to the two fiercely … 0

For young readers: ‘Gravity,’ a ‘Prince’ and ‘Liars’

Sunday, June 15, 2014

GRAVITY By Jason Chin. Roaring Brook. $16.99. Ages 5-8. Don’t expect anything too heavy from this lighter-than-air look at what holds our solar system together. In a mere seven sentences in Gravity, Jason Chin makes clear what we … 0

Koryta’s latest is thrilling adventure story

Sunday, June 15, 2014

Michael Koryta’s latest novel skillfully melds a thrilling adventure story set against the Montana wilderness with a poignant coming-of-age story. Those Who Wish Me Dead moves at a brisk pace as Koryta weaves in themes of redemption, survival … 0

‘Dear Leader’ is seen through the eyes of one of North Korea’s privileged few

Sunday, June 15, 2014

In the past 15 years, about 26,000 North Koreans have slipped across their country’s semi-permeable border with China and found their way to South Korea. This flood of informants, most of whom were poor and living on the … 0

Review: Alafair Burke’s latest is one of her best

Sunday, June 15, 2014

Alafair Burke tells a compelling tale that combines a police procedural and a legal thriller in All Day and a Night. Anthony Amaro, convicted of killing six women 18 years ago, has always claimed he is innocent and … 0

The Mindful Reader: ‘Claremont Boy’ tells his tale with wry sense of humor

Sunday, June 8, 2014

Joseph Steinfield wrote a column for the Monadnack Ledger-Transcript called “Looking Back,” where the short personal essays in his memoir Claremont Boy: My New Hampshire Roots and the Gift of Memory first appeared. Whether he’s writing about his … 0

Work your way through ‘Cubed’

Sunday, June 8, 2014

I don’t much like my cubicle. I have papered it with postcards of the pyramids, cartoons that amuse me, words to live by, colorful drawings by my children, magazine photos of the artist Doug Aitken’s nature-filled Los Angeles … 0

Eros, gender roles turn at novel’s heart

Sunday, June 8, 2014

Lily King’s new novel, Euphoria, unfolds on a South Pacific island where a trio of young anthropologists lives among isolated tribes to make groundbreaking studies of primitive cultures. Rich in detail, at times fascinating and harrowing, the story … 0

‘Untamed’ captures woman conservationist

Sunday, June 8, 2014

Boys and men who love the rugged outdoors have long had plenty of role models, from James Fenimore Cooper’s Deerslayer to Huck Finn and Teddy Roosevelt. But what about women who prefer woods and swamps to modern society? … 0

‘Michael Jackson, Inc.’ sheds the juicy stuff to get the nitty gritty

Sunday, June 8, 2014

The accountants must breathe a sigh of relief whenever a certain troublesome type of celebrity client dies unexpectedly. Take Michael Jackson. The singer was in debt when he died five years ago, but today his finances are in … 0

The lore of Tammany Hall turned on its head

Sunday, June 1, 2014

New York City’s Tammany Hall is synonymous in popular lore with graft, vote-buying and other abuses long associated with urban politics, but in Machine Made, Terry Golway asserts that this narrative is wrong. The real significance of the … 0