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Books

The men who ‘may be everything’

Sunday, December 21, 2014

Thomas Jefferson’s description of the presidency as a “splendid misery” is often quoted. Less remembered is his comment on the vice presidency, an office he considered “honorable and easy.” Few readers of syndicated columnist Jules Witcover’s compendium of short portraits of the nation’s vice presidents will agree. In The American Vice Presidency: From Irrelevance to Power, Witcover maintains that for much of American history, the vice presidency “had little significance or utility in governing the nation’s affairs” – a reality that was all too apparent to the men who occupied the office until relatively late in the 20th century. Close to presidential power but denied …

‘World of PostSecret’ a vivid mosaic of life

Sunday, December 21, 2014

People literally have shared a ton of secrets with Frank Warren. Ten years ago, the Germantown, Md., resident launched a “community art project” with the goal of collecting 365 postcards bearing anonymous senders’ artfully depicted secrets. He got a bunch and started sharing them on a blog, PostSecret.com. A phenomenon was born: Warren …

‘I Must Say’ Martin Short’s endearing memoir

Sunday, December 21, 2014

One of Martin Short’s great on-screen moments arrives in John Landis’s 1986 comedy, ¡Three Amigos! in which he played a silent-film star alongside Steve Martin and Chevy Chase. Early in the movie, an unwitting village sends the trio a telegram begging to be rescued from an “infamous” outlaw known as El Guapo. “What …

Top-tier short fiction in Ron Rash collection

Sunday, November 9, 2014

For those unfamiliar with the beautiful and searing short stories of Ron Rash, Something Rich and Strange is a generous, well-timed introduction. Rash’s stories tell in crisp, gripping prose the emotional travails of life on the Appalachian outback …

Mindful Reader: Despairing lives, an epic journey and #YesAllWomen

Sunday, November 9, 2014

Concord native Michael Fournier’s new novel Swing State is set in the fictional mill town of Armbrister, N.H. Swing State is about three tragic characters: Roy Eggleton, an injured Afghanistan War vet with no family and nearly no …

Rare Steinbeck WWII story finally published

Sunday, November 9, 2014

In July 1944, Orson Welles wrapped up one of his wartime radio broadcasts with a brief, emotional reading of one of the country’s favorite authors, John Steinbeck. The piece was titled “With Your Wings,” an inspirational story about …

‘Gray Mountain’ won’t disappoint Grisham fans

Sunday, November 2, 2014

John Grisham has been writing legal thrillers and dramas that resonate with readers for almost 25 years, and his latest continues the theme of ordinary people who work in the law profession experiencing a crisis of conscience. Sometimes …

Brief Chaplin bio captures essence of ‘the Tramp’

Sunday, November 2, 2014

In 1914, Keystone Studios released two short films that gave a world marching to war a reason to laugh. Their titles, Kid Auto Races at Venice and Mabel’s Strange Predicament, are far less memorable than the character they …

Review: ‘Sometimes the Wolf’ is engrossing story

Sunday, November 2, 2014

A father-and-son relationship, perhaps broken beyond repair, fuels Urban Waite’s engrossing novel that skillfully exposes the complicated emotions that can stymie a once close family while also working as a superb action-adventure tale. In Sometimes the Wolf, the …

Three sci-fi books to ‘Spark’ your interest

Sunday, November 2, 2014

Two novels explore what it means to be human, while a third is a steampunk Western showdown. They were mechanics Jonathan Carroll’s Bathing the Lion begins with a rather banal setup: the separation of a seemingly ordinary couple …

‘The Marquis’: Lafa yette’s quest for glory

Sunday, November 2, 2014

‘Lafayette was born on September 6, 1757,” Laura Auricchio tells us at the beginning of The Marquis, but for whatever reason she neglects to tell us his full given name, an odd omission in an otherwise excellent book. …

How the occult informed rock ’n’ roll

Sunday, November 2, 2014

At the beginning of Season of the Witch, Peter Bebergal sketches an autobiographical scene right out of the movie Almost Famous: He’s 11 years old and his brother has left for the Air Force, leaving behind a superb, …

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Ben Hewitt / Home Grown: Adventures in Parenting Off the Beaten Path, Unschooling and reconnecting with the Natural World / today / 2 p.m. / Main Street Bookends / Warner / mainstreetbookends.com / 603-456-2700 Dr. Lawrence Climo / …