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Books

‘The Confessions of Frances Godwin’ a story of maturity, by maturity

Sunday, August 17, 2014

The worldwide success of the Harry Potter series has led to a great emphasis on young adult crossover novels in contemporary publishing. For years, teen wizards, warriors, werewolves and vampires have dominated publicity and sales in what seems to be a literary high school. Robert Hellenga’s immensely satisfying seventh novel, The Confessions of Frances Godwin, is, by contrast, an adult book – and by “adult,” I don’t mean tediously pornographic. As in Hellenga’s earlier novels (The Sixteen Pleasures, Philosophy Made Simple, Snakewoman of Little Egypt), the main characters are academics past middle age with a lifetime of experience, accomplishments and regrets. Frances Godwin is a … 0

Despite fumblings, ‘Green Girl’ strives toward optimism

Sunday, August 17, 2014

Long before Lena Dunham and her Girls, writers have wrestled with youth’s peculiar blend of narcissism and self-hatred: the sense that success is just around the corner and that one’s best days are long gone. Early in Hamlet, Polonius tells his daughter, “You speak like a green girl, unsifted in such perilous circumstance.” … 0

‘Blue Mind’ a study of emotional, psychological, physical connections

Sunday, August 17, 2014

As I look up from the pages of this book, there’s nothing between me and the horizon but water. The only sounds are the hypnotic hiss of stones as they are dragged back by waves and the occasional call of a gull. Fresh air gusts over the water’s surface, picking up notes of … 0

‘Good Hunting’ gives peek inside CIA

Sunday, July 6, 2014

There is an art to writing a CIA memoir. You must divulge enough insider tradecraft and gossip that readers feel they’re getting a glimpse behind the curtain, but not so much that the censors swoop down. You have to describe covert operations in colorful detail, without revealing still-classified … 0

Verdon’s cleverness shines in new thriller

Sunday, July 6, 2014

John Verdon’s skillful melding of the puzzle mystery with the police procedural and the psychological thriller brings a unique spin to his series about retired NYPD homicide Detective Dave Gurney. Peter Pan Must Die again presents Dave with … 0

Writer David Levithan on LGBT books for the young

Sunday, June 29, 2014

Writer David Levithan last year marked the 10th anniversary of his Boy Meets Boy, a romantic teen comedy where the homecoming queen was once a guy and the gay-straight alliance was aimed at helping the straight kids learn … 0

Review: Karin Slaughter’s ‘Cop Town’ is engrossing

Sunday, June 29, 2014

Karin Slaughter wraps an intense thriller around a legacy of sexism, race relations and politics in the engrossing Cop Town. Slaughter, author of the Will Trent best-sellers, keeps her first stand-alone novel from becoming a history lesson by … 0

Eggers’s ‘Fathers’ an angry take on changing world

Sunday, June 29, 2014

Dave Eggers is angry. A writer both beloved and criticized for his distinctly sentimental bursts appears to be seething, worried about crumbling institutions, lost privacy, diminished intimacy and humanity in general. At least, that’s the impression left after … 0

Review: ‘Ways of the Dead’ is fast-paced narrative

Sunday, June 29, 2014

Neely Tucker’s debut novel is an utterly thrilling mystery set in Washington, D.C., in the late 1990s, just before the internet and the rise of smart phones changed the landscape of print journalism. Sarah Reese, the teenage daughter … 0

‘A Farm Dies Once a Year’ an elegant memoir

Sunday, June 29, 2014

The 95 acres of New Morning Farm sprawl across hill and valley in south-central Pennsylvania. Jim and Moie Crawford purchased the farm in 1976, two years before their son Arlo was born. The Crawfords began organic farming with … 0

Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders to sign books at Warner event

Friday, June 27, 2014

Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders will speak and sign books at an event hosted by MainStreet BookEnds in Warner on Saturday as part of the store’s new “Rebuilding Our Economy and Restoring Our Democracy” series. Sanders has written two … 0

Gibson’s Bookstore to host reading from ‘The Widow’s Handbook’

Thursday, June 26, 2014

A group of nine New England writers will gather at Gibson’s Bookstore tonight to read from The Widow’s Handbook: Poetic Reflections on Grief and Survival, a collection of poems and short essays written by widows and published in 2014. “The title is actually a bit ironic, because it’s … 0

Stephanie Plum returns in ‘Top Secret Twenty-One’

Sunday, June 22, 2014

Janet Evanovich delivers another hilarious entry in her Stephanie Plum series with Top Secret Twenty-One. Life is never dull for bounty hunter Stephanie Plum. Her boyfriend, hot cop Joe Morelli, wants to take their relationship to the next … 0