M/sunny
79°
M/sunny
Hi 81° | Lo 51°

Books

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 a terrifying zombie novel, but not in the expected way. The real enemy here isn’t the walking dead or even the crafty … 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 model for the Dark Lady of the Bard’s sonnets, O’Reilly creates a fiery, proto-feminist heroine … 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 it seemed even to Mills when she first was granted access to the two fiercely … 0

‘Weapons of Mass Diplomacy’ a must-read graphic novel

Sunday, June 1, 2014

Were I in the front row of the White House press briefing room, I would ask spokesman Jay Carney one question above all others: “Have you read Weapons of Mass Diplomacy and if not, why not?” It’s that … 0

Here’s hoping Adam Carolla’s America stays in his head

Sunday, June 1, 2014

Adam Carolla’s fans are legion. They’ve made his first two books best-sellers and The Adam Carolla Show one of the most popular podcasts on the web. And those fans have even loftier goals in mind for this acerbic … 0

The celebrated, maddening, brilliant Vanessa Redgrave

Sunday, June 1, 2014

In his new book, Vanessa, Dan Callahan, who proved himself an astute critic of acting in his biography of Barbara Stanwyck, has now focused on the celebrated, maddening, brilliant Vanessa Redgrave, daughter of Sir Michael, sister of Lynn … 0

A thoroughly researched, three-dimensional look at the lives of the Koch brothers

Sunday, June 1, 2014

Daniel Schulman’s riveting biography of the Koch family opens with a bang: It is 1950s Wichita, Kan., and teenage twins David and Bill Koch are swinging angry punches at each other on the side of a country road. … 1

‘To Rise Again’ a brilliant mess of a novel

Sunday, May 25, 2014

Joshua Ferris’s new novel is about a dentist, and like a good dentist, Ferris welcomes us in with a few jokes and some distracting chitchat. By the time we realize what we’re in for, we’re flat on our … 0

‘Save the Date’ has substance, but perhaps too much

Sunday, May 25, 2014

The book jacket for Jen Doll’s Save the Date – with the image of a woman’s strappy sandals beside a slice of buttercream cake – suggests that this memoir will be a Sex and the City-esque madcap comedy … 0

‘Hollow Girl’ fitting conclusion to Prager series

Sunday, May 25, 2014

The ninth installment in Reed Farrel Coleman’s series featuring Moe Prager, an ex-cop turned private detective, finds the protagonist wracked with guilt over the death of his girlfriend, Pam. Moe says guilt is a permanent infection: “The thing … 0

Finally, a nuanced portrait of Bertolt Brecht’s life

Sunday, May 25, 2014

Twenty years ago, John Fuegi created an uproar with the scathing Brecht & Co., which asserted with formidable documentation that one of the 20th century’s most revered playwrights was at best only the co-creator of such famous works … 0

Book review: Duncan Hines was a real guy, and kind of a jerk

Sunday, May 18, 2014

‘Mention the name ‘Duncan Hines’ to Americans under fifty-five today and the image their minds will undoubtedly conjure is a cake mix package,” writes Louis Hatchett in the introduction to Duncan Hines: How a Traveling Salesman Became the … 0

Book’s main character is the ‘Worst. Person. Ever.’

Sunday, May 18, 2014

‘I’m actually not a bad chap,” insists Raymond Gunt. But he’s wrong. A freelance photographer several months behind on his rent, Ray is the “worst person ever” at the black heart of Coupland’s 14th and most scabrously hilarious … 0