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Books

FILE - In this Aug. 20, 2007, file photo, author Harper Lee smiles during a ceremony honoring the four new members of the Alabama Academy of Honor at the Capitol in Montgomery, Ala. Lee, author of "To Kill a Mockingbird," said she never gave her approval to a new memoir that portrays itself as a rare, intimate look into the lives of the writer and her older sister in small-town in Alabama. "Rest assured, as long as I am alive any book purporting to be with my cooperation is a falsehood," Lee said in a letter released Monday, July 14, 2014. (AP Photo/Rob Carr, File)

‘The Mockingbird Next Door’

Sunday, July 20, 2014

What ever happened to Harper Lee? The Alabama native was 34 when her first novel, To Kill a Mockingbird, was published in 1960. This tale of childhood innocence and racial injustice in the Depression-era South won the Pulitzer Prize in 1961, was adapted for an award-winning film with Gregory Peck and became a staple of high school English curricula. But Lee shunned publicity and never published another novel, fueling occasional rumors that her friend Truman Capote — a childhood neighbor in the small town of Monroeville — had written or helped write Mockingbird. Lee went silent, but To Kill a Mockingbird endures, an American classic. …

Gordimer Grasped The Power Of Writing

Friday, July 18, 2014

Nadine Gordimer, who died Sunday at age 90, understood the power of writing as a moral force. Not only in terms of literature (although that too) but also politically, in a country — apartheid-era South Africa — where such commitment carried a high price. We think of Gordimer as an international figure, winner …

An American Commons: Photographic Study Celebrates Public Libraries 

Friday, July 18, 2014

The Public Library: A Photographic Essay, by Robert Dawson, Princeton Architectural Press, 192 pages, $35 Long before I could define philanthropist, I held Andrew Carnegie in the highest esteem. When I asked, at 10, why “Carnegie” was carved into the stone over the pillared portico of the Solvay Public Library in my upstate …

Haverhill Fiction Writers Open Circle for Short Story Discussion

Friday, July 18, 2014

Haverhill — Roughly once a week, several aspiring writers of fiction gather at the Haverhill Corner Library to talk amongst themselves about the stories and novels over which they’re laboring to give birth. On July 31, they’ll widen their circle to welcome fellow writers and readers alike to …

The Power of the Memorial

Sunday, July 13, 2014

It would be difficult to visit the Lincoln Memorial and not be moved. Few locations, in the nation’s capital or anywhere else, are as evocative. “When you’re at the memorial, thinking of all the events (that transpired) there, it’s where America goes to challenge itself,” said Jay Sacher. …

Amazon Killing Book Culture

Sunday, July 6, 2014

About a month ago I quit Amazon cold turkey, and I feel great. I have bought nothing from Amazon since May 16. Not a book, not a DVD, not an MP3. After years of purchasing pop culture from …

Writers Sign Amazon Letter

Saturday, July 5, 2014

New York — Stephen King, Nora Roberts and Robert Caro are among the hundreds of authors who have added their names to an online letter criticizing Amazon.com for restricting access to works published by Hachette Book Group. The letter, initiated by Hachette author Douglas Preston, urged Amazon to …

Two New Works Capture Only Fleeting Glimpses of J.D. Salinger

Friday, July 4, 2014

J.D. Salinger: The Escape Artist by Thomas Beller; New Harvest (192 pages, $20) My Salinger Year by Joanna Rakoff; Alfred A. Knopf (272 pages, $25.95) The famously reclusive J.D. Salinger wouldn’t allow himself to be known. And yet …

Tickets for Billy Collins Poetry Reading Are Going Fast

Friday, July 4, 2014

Woodstock — With the countdown to the sixth edition of the Bookstock literary festival at three weeks from today, organizers are still counting by the dozen the number of seats available for former U.S. Poet Laureate Billy Collins’s opening night appearance at Town Hall Theatre on July 25 …

Spinning a Publishing Mystery

Friday, July 4, 2014

The Silkworm, by Robert Galbraith; Mullholland Books (464 pages, $28) If J.K. Rowling had as much fun writing The Silkworm as I did reading it, she had a blast. As the woman who created Harry Potter, Rowling became …

Bio of Flying Ace Rickenbacker Reveals His ‘Enduring Courage’

Sunday, June 29, 2014

World War I fighter ace Eddie Rickenbacker and the internal combustion engine came of age together. Rickenbacker was a pioneering race car driver who relentlessly pursued faster speeds. He helped develop new technologies. And he survived the “world’s …

‘Second Amendment’ History on Target

Sunday, June 22, 2014

The Second Amendment is just 27 words long: “A well regulated militia, being necessary to the security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear arms, shall not be infringed.” But in that single, awkwardly constructed sentence, Michael Waldman suggests in The Second …

Kellie Martin: Actor to Writer

Sunday, June 22, 2014

Pasadena, Calif. — Actress Kellie Martin was celebrating the best role she’d ever had. Even though she’d starred on shows like Christy and Life Goes On, she was co-starring on ER, a cosmic hit on television. But Martin’s …