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Books

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 a movie by the same name, starring actress Sandra Bullock (for which she won an Academy Award), it is a true story about a huge black adolescent, Michael Oher, who doesn’t even know his real name, his birthday or his father. He has no permanent address, is one of 13 children born to a crack cocaine-addicted mother. He has no social skills and is totally illiterate. A …

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 the United States. He stumbles on the works of an author named Howell, who postulates …

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 and deciding that there was a key perspective missing. “A lot of people hate bankers, …

American Life in Poetry: Discovering magic in harmonica’s music

Sunday, March 15, 2015

You’ve heard of magic wands and potions. But a magic harmonica? In Pam Munoz Ryan’s new novel, Echo, this small musical instrument has a lot of power. The book opens with a fairy tale and a witch’s spell. …

Review: Dave Barry’s new book filled with humor, insight

Sunday, March 15, 2015

L ive Right and Find Happiness (Although Beer is Much Faster), Dave Barry’s latest book of essays, might be thin on page count, but it’s worth every penny when it comes to humor and insight. Barry’s weekly essays …

Beneath the face of beauty

Sunday, March 15, 2015

The premise of Amanda Filipacchi’s appealingly odd fourth novel is unveiled a few pages in, when an overweight, unattractive woman sits down in a therapist’s office. After some prodding that’s aimed at uncovering emotional pain (low self-esteem, difficult …

Filling in the Doctor Dread reggae story

Sunday, March 15, 2015

It might be said that Doctor Dread drank the Kool-Aid – except that the Washington, D.C. native’s transformation into an honorary Jamaican had nothing to do with a beverage. As Dread writes in this memoir, his conversion involved …

Examining the beastly nature of people

Sunday, March 15, 2015

Mark Kurlansky’s newest book, City Beasts, is a work of fiction. If you don’t realize this at first, you’ll be forgiven. While the title rings with whimsy, his prose – detailed but not improbably over-the-top – lifts the …

A perpetual prince

Sunday, March 8, 2015

Had Prince Charles’ household ignored Catherine Mayer’s biography, the headlines generated by the book’s serialization – thanks to its suggestions that the prince intends to be an “activist” king and that even the queen worries about how he …

New but timeworn faces

Sunday, March 8, 2015

Kevin Gillooly, the 14-year-old narrator of Christopher Scotton’s debut novel, The Secret Wisdom of the Earth, falls into the timeworn tradition of orphans, latchkey kids and boy adventurers who by circumstance or necessity are left to their own …

‘Dead Wake’ author, historian will present book at Concord High

Sunday, March 8, 2015

Historian Erik Larson will discuss his latest book, Dead Wake: The Last Crossing of the Lusitania, at Concord High School on Friday at 7 p.m. Dead Wake is the story of the British oceanliner the Lusitania, which was …

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 …

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 …