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Books

President George H.W. Bush casts into the surf at the mouth of the Mousam River in Kennebunk, Maine on Sunday, Sept. 25, 1989    T he President spent the weekend at his home on the Maine coast and came empty handed during his fishing outing. (AP Photo/Doug Mills)

‘41’: George W.’s ‘love story’

Sunday, November 23, 2014

George Herbert Walker Bush, the 41st president of the United States, is the only commander in chief in modern times who has declined to write a memoir. Now George W. Bush, the 43rd president, strides into the void with a book of his own intended to give voice to his modest father’s life and legacy. At the outset of 41, …

Three treasure-houses for young readers

Sunday, November 23, 2014

Here are three books young readers – from wannabe explorers to budding logophiles – will enjoy: Keep digging Is any childhood truly complete without at least one shovel-wielding foray into shoulder-deep dirt? Typically, the preferred destination is the other side of the Earth, but in Mac Barnett’s matter-of-fact anthem to the youthful urge …

‘Mona Lisa: A Life Discovered’ reveals the woman behind the smile

Sunday, November 23, 2014

The Mona Lisa’s enigmatic smile has captivated audiences for centuries, inspiring songs, poetry and film. But little is known about the woman behind what may be the world’s most famous painting. The consensus among art researchers and historians is that Leonardo da Vinci’s model was Lisa Gherardini del Giocondo, wife of a Florentine …

Author delivers ‘Star Wars’ tour de force

Sunday, October 12, 2014

Chris Taylor, deputy editor of the social media website Mashable, lets his geekdom shine with How Star Wars Conquered the Universe: The Past, Present, and Future of a Multibillion Dollar Franchise. Taylor tries to accomplish several things: He …

‘This Changes Everything’ tackles global warming

Sunday, October 12, 2014

Cutting the vast amounts of man-made pollution that feed global warming is an enormous challenge for societies that gobble up coal, oil and gas. But in This Changes Everything: Capitalism vs. the Climate, Naomi Klein argues that those …

Review: New feast of stories in Theroux collection

Sunday, October 12, 2014

The title piece of Paul Theroux’s new short story collection, Mr. Bones: Twenty Stories, is a son’s account of the conflicted time in the early 1950s when his father began practicing for the role of a black man …

‘Recognition’ of the problems with memory, homelessness

Sunday, October 12, 2014

A bedraggled figure begging for money at a busy intersection – it’s a familiar sight, and in this case, the intersection happens to be in the Washington, D.C., area. Some panhandlers are patiently silent, some are hostile, but …

The literary ghosts of ‘Neverhome’ haunt its pages

Sunday, October 12, 2014

Ghosts crowd thick in Laird Hunt’s Civil War novel, Neverhome, and they’re not just the shades of dead Blues and Grays. A host of literary allusions haunt this book, from Cold Mountain to The Red Badge of Courage …

The Mindful Reader: ‘Lightkeeper’s Wife’ strays from the ordinary

Sunday, October 12, 2014

Cape Cod author Sarah Anne Johnson’s debut novel The Lightkeeper’s Wife begins as an ordinary work of historical fiction. In 1843, Hannah Snow is the lighthouse keeper’s wife on a treacherous stretch of coast. There’s a wreck one …

‘Murder at the President’s Door’ quick, but entertaining

Sunday, October 5, 2014

In Elliott Roosevelt’s Murder at the President’s Door a secret service agent is murdered right outside of President Franklin Roosevelt’s bedroom door in the White House! The Washington, D.C., metro police, as well as the FBI are called …

Real ‘Truman Show’-like delusion topic of ‘Suspicious Minds’ book

Sunday, October 5, 2014

If we were honest with each other, we might find that a whole lot of us – maybe even most of us – have been in the grip of one sort of delusion or another. Maybe you wear …

‘Culinary Imagination’ a journey down food memory lane

Sunday, October 5, 2014

The poet and literary critic Sandra M. Gilbert has made a career of throwing her arms around big topics. Having completed a capacious study in 2006 of death and grieving, she now turns her attention to life: specifically, …

Lena Dunham’s ‘Not That Kind of Girl’ is revealing without revealing it all

Sunday, October 5, 2014

Halfway through her new book, Not that Kind of Girl, Lena Dunham says, “I live in a world that is almost compulsively free of secrets.” You might already have imagined that to be true if you’ve seen the …