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Long lost film illuminates 1938 Poland

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

In the spring of 2009, Glenn Kurtz uncovered a roll of 71-year-old film in his parents’ Florida basement. Deteriorated and shrunken with age, the film was just months away from being completely unwatchable. Instead, it became a rare window onto the lost world of a mostly Jewish town in Eastern Europe on the eve of the Holocaust and the impetus for Kurtz’s book Three Minutes in Poland. Once restored by researchers at the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington, D.C., the film showed footage from Kurtz’s grandparents’ 1938 European vacation, including three minutes in the Polish town of Nasielsk, where Kurtz’s grandfather David was born. …

Author defies categorization

Sunday, March 22, 2015

There are authors who write in tidy, classifiable, immediately recognizable genres – Jane Austen, Alexandre Dumas, William Faulkner, Gabriel Garcia Marquez, to name a few – and then there are those who adamantly do not. These others can surprise us with storylines and settings that are guises to be worn and shucked after …

A haunting tale

Sunday, March 22, 2015

M.J. Rose writes compelling tales with a gothic flair, and her latest novel, The Witch of Painted Sorrows, is her most heartfelt yet. Paris in 1894 is a vastly different society than what is experienced in today’s modern world. Sandrine Salome flees from New York City to Paris to escape an abusive and …

Much to savor and laugh about in ‘Last American Vampire’

Sunday, February 8, 2015

History buffs with a sense of humor and an unslaked thirst for the macabre will find much to savor in The Last American Vampire, Seth Grahame-Smith’s latest, delightfully loopy riff on our nation’s past. The novel takes up …

Review: Duchovny writes funny tale of Elsie the cow

Sunday, February 8, 2015

The actor known for playing Fox Mulder on the TV series The X-Files and Hank Moody on the show Californication shows his comic side with Holy Cow, a tale of Elsie the cow. Elsie enjoys life on the …

Thievery, minus the romanticism

Sunday, February 8, 2015

The brotherhood of criminals gets an incisive, gritty look in this highly entertaining launch of John Clarkson’s new series. Among Thieves shows the importance of unconditional loyalty and business acumen for those who operate outside the law. Yet …

Mark Zuckerberg makes 3rd book club pick

Sunday, February 8, 2015

Mark Zuckerberg’s new book club pick is a best-seller about a sociologist’s time in a Chicago housing project and his unexpected friendship with a gang leader. The Facebook CEO posted on his page Monday that he had selected Sudhir Venkatesh’s Gang Leader for a Day, first published in …

The emperor’s stolen actress

Sunday, February 8, 2015

Imagine you’re a film producer who’s developing a new movie to be based – like your Oscar-winning The Last Emperor (1987) – on a true story. What could be more cinematic than the bizarre tale of how North …

Amid ‘Mockingbird’ sequel buzz, worries about Lee’s wishes

Thursday, February 5, 2015

Hometown friends and fans of To Kill A Mockingbird author Harper Lee are struggling to reconcile a publisher’s sensational announcement – that her decades-old manuscript for a sequel has been rediscovered and will be released – with the …

Second Harper Lee novel to be published in July

Wednesday, February 4, 2015

To Kill a Mockingbird will not be Harper Lee’s only published book after all. Publisher Harper announced yesterday that Go Set a Watchman, a novel the Pulitzer Prize-winning author completed in the 1950s and put aside, will be …

Book Review: ‘Fear the Darkness’ is solid story

Sunday, February 1, 2015

Relationships require a certain amount of vulnerability – the willingness to expose yourself emotionally, hoping that happiness is the ultimate goal, but realizing that being hurt comes with it, too. Becky Masterman’s superior series explores how former FBI …

An icon through the eyes of a friendship

Sunday, February 1, 2015

This book appears just in time. How many people under age 50 even recognize the name Gore Vidal? No, he’s not television’s onetime horror host Count Gore De Vol. Possibly some millennials will recall a few of Vidal’s …

A study of deception, and other stories

Sunday, February 1, 2015

You can’t judge a book by its cover, but how about what’s written on it? Since The Way Home (2009), George Pelecanos’s jackets have promoted him not as Washington’s premier crime novelist, but as someone who helped make …