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Books

Laugh After Death: California Mortician Shares Funny Funeral Industry Stories in New Book

Sunday, September 28, 2014

Signal Hill, Calif. — When it comes to death, mortician Ken McKenzie says people are far too serious. After creating a “Men of Mortuaries” calendar featuring buff, shirtless morticians wielding shovels in 2007 and releasing Mortuary Confidential in 2010, the California mortuary owner has a new book out. Over Our Dead Bodies: Undertakers Lift The Lid a collection of his own stories, as well as experiences from funeral directors across …

Ex-Rep. Frank Takes on Harvard

Sunday, September 28, 2014

Cambridge, Mass. — After retiring from Congress at the end of 2012, Barney Frank sat down to write a political memoir. As one of the first openly gay members of Congress, and a lifelong fighter for LGBT rights, the former Massachusetts Democratic representative had plenty of material to work with. The only problem …

Academic v. High Court: Making a Case

Sunday, September 28, 2014

Erwin Chemerinsky has made an exemplary career out of teaching, writing and lecturing about the U.S. Supreme Court. And though he has strongly liberal views, he is widely admired for his ability to explain the work of the court in a way that is thoughtful, clear and fair. But in his new book, The Case Against the Supreme Court, he says he regrets …

Watching Them Swim: Book Captures Puppies Underwater

Sunday, September 28, 2014

The blue eyes of Brando, an 8-week-old pit bull puppy, are open as he calmly watches air bubbles stream out of his nose. By contrast, the enormous brown eyes of 6-month-old Monty look wild and excited as the Cavalier King Charles spaniel chases a tennis ball through the …

Project Turns Film Scripts Into Books

Friday, September 26, 2014

Lyme author and publisher Ed Gray sees a future in dime novels. Well, not literally dime novels, but more like written movies, short e-books and paperbacks drawn from never-produced screenplays that will play in your head like a …

Writing a World to Explore

Friday, September 26, 2014

When readers pick up S.S. Taylor’s latest book, The Expeditioners and the Secret of King Triton’s Lair, she has a few goals in mind for them: To be engaged, to have fun and to sympathize with the characters. …

Lahr’s Biography Doesn’t Give Tennessee Williams His Literary Due

Friday, September 26, 2014

Tennessee Williams: Mad Pilgrimage of the Flesh by John Lahr; W.W. Norton (765 pages, $37.95) One day a comprehensive literary biography of Tennessee Williams will be written that won’t resemble a psychiatric case study. Until then let’s savor …

‘Three Cups’ Author Plans To Return

Sunday, September 21, 2014

Bozeman, Mont. — Greg Mortenson doesn’t want to talk about his best-selling Three Cups of Tea book, but everybody else does — including his own charity. Three years ago, 60 Minutes and author Jon Krakauer alleged that Mortenson fabricated much of the book and mismanaged the charity he …

Books Offer Taste Of a Juicy History

Saturday, September 20, 2014

Apples of Uncommon Character, by Rowan Jacobsen, Bloomsbury, 311 pages, $35 Apples of New England: A User’s Guide, by Russell Steven Powell, Countryman Press, 214 pages, $19.95 Some years ago, I drove up to the Northeast Kingdom to …

‘Champagne Supernovas’: Exploring 1990s Fashion

Sunday, September 14, 2014

Champagne Supernovas: Kate Moss, Marc Jacobs, Alexander McQueen, and the ‘90s Renegades Who Remade Fashion puts readers in the front row and three of the era’s biggest names in the catwalk spotlight. Author Maureen Callahan contends that the …

A Young Man’s Confession

Friday, September 12, 2014

Confessions of an Ivy League Frat Boy, by Andrew Lohse; Thomas Dunne Books; 303 pages; $25.99 Dartmouth College hazing whistleblower Andrew Lohse published his memoir, Confessions of an Ivy League Frat Boy , a 303-page narrative detailing the …

Stories That Paint Sexuality In Its Teenage Complexity

Friday, September 12, 2014

Rainey Royal, by Dylan Landis ; Soho Press ; 246 pages, $25 A birth control pill with a glass of milk. This is what Howard Royal serves his daughter Rainey for breakfast every morning. He “waits until she …

Thriller Writer Labors to Turn U.S. Policy in Africa Into a Page-Turner

Friday, September 12, 2014

Washington — As he began writing his third book on U.S.-Africa policy and development, Todd Moss, a former State Department official, realized something. It would be boring. Just another text for the shelves of foreign-policy wonks, Ph.D.s and think tank denizens like himself. “I decided, ‘Let me try …