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Books

This book cover image released by Gotham shows "The Crossword Century: 100 Years of Witty Wordplay, Ingenious Puzzles, and Linguistic Mischief," by Alan Connor. (AP Photo/Gotham)

Author’s ode to crosswords is right on the mark with ‘Crossword Century’

Sunday, August 31, 2014

If you love solving crosswords, you know how it feels to be in the fraternity. There’s the rush of matching wits with a mysterious puzzle-maker, the thrill of nailing an elusive answer and the satisfaction of filling in the final square. There’s a charm in playing the game, a charm that can be hard to describe. But Alan Connor, a British quizmaster who writes a column on crosswords for the Guardian newspaper, is more than up to the challenge. Connor is the author of The Crossword Century: 100 Years of Witty Wordplay, Ingenious Puzzles, and Linguistic Mischief. The book details the history and evolution of … 0

‘Harold and Jack’ a persuasive account of world leaders’ accidental friendship

Sunday, August 31, 2014

Christopher Sandford begins this account of the relationship between British Prime Minister Harold Macmillan and American President John F. Kennedy with a meeting between the two in southern England. It occurred in June 1963, at which point Kennedy had been in office for 29 months and had weathered severe tests around the world, … 0

‘Field Guide’ highlights D.C.’s beauty

Sunday, August 31, 2014

There are major cities around the world where humans seem to have excluded nature by extruding concrete. Washington isn’t one of them. With its low skyline, two languid rivers and a stream named Rock Creek that could keep a Romantic poet inspired for years, the District is a city that embraces the natural … 0

Compelling characters in Atkins’s ‘The Forsaken’

Sunday, July 27, 2014

Sheriff Quinn Colson has been working to clean up corruption and injustice in Ace Atkins’s compelling crime fiction series, but he can’t change the past of Jericho, Miss., when he’s faced with a decades-old crime that leads to … 0

Burke fashions epic story in ‘Wayfaring Stranger’

Sunday, July 27, 2014

Author James Lee Burke is a descendant of tough Texas lawmen. In fact, his maternal great-grandfather once tangled with some of the West’s most notorious gunslingers. Although Burke is most famous for hard-boiled crime novels featuring Louisiana lawman … 0

‘Hounded’ is new legal thriller by David Rosenfelt

Sunday, July 27, 2014

David Rosenfelt deftly works in wry humor, a love of dogs and New Jersey gangsters in Hounded, his highly entertaining 12th legal thriller featuring attorney Andy Carpenter. Andy, who lives comfortably but not outlandishly on an inheritance, likes … 0

A wave of pressure

Sunday, July 27, 2014

Sometimes debates come up that clarify the values and conflicts of our society. They needn’t involve the grand questions of the day – which most often are endlessly partisan and complex – but they nonetheless can offer unmistakable … 0

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 … 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 … 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 … 0

Author of ‘Unruly Places’ reminds us we can still be explorers

Sunday, July 20, 2014

Now that we all carry around constantly updating, infinitely detailed maps on our cell phones, the world should feel small and brightly lit, right? Not so, says Alastair Bonnett, a “psychogeographer” at Newcastle University, which is somewhere off … 0

Three tales of women’s struggles and secrets

Sunday, July 20, 2014

In three new summer novels by best-selling authors, women handle struggles and secrets in different ways. Shea Rigsby doesn’t just love football, she lives football. Specifically, Walker University football. In Emily Giffin’s The One and Only (Ballantine, $28), Shea recites obscure stats and cheers for the Texas team … 0

Archie Comics namesake to be shot saving gay friend

Monday, July 14, 2014

Archie Andrews will die taking a bullet for his gay best friend. The famous freckle-faced comic book icon is meeting his demise in tomorrow’s installment of Life with Archie, when he intervenes in an assassination attempt on Kevin … 1