Books

Clean Reader App Fails, Dirty Literature Prevails

Sunday, April 12, 2015

I was almost sorry to see the developers of the Clean Reader app — which would have allowed squeamish or morally didactic readers to remove profanity from books — take “immediate action to remove all books from our catalogue” in March, in response to authors outraged about their work being expurgated. Not because I want my literature tampered with, but because the issues raised, about who owns a piece of …

Book Notes: Alice Fogel Wins Award for Poems Inspired by Bach’s ‘Goldberg Variations’

Friday, April 10, 2015

Like Johann Sebastian Bach’s famous G oldberg Variations, New Hampshire Poet Laureate Alice B. Fogel’s new collection of poems, Interval, begins and ends with the same verses, titled Aria , and tucks 30 variations in between. Fogel has transformed Bach’s music into language. She probes the intervals between changes in her 31 poems, …

How the Bombs Reached Boston

Friday, April 10, 2015

The Brothers: The Road to an American Tragedy by Masha Gessen; Riverhead (272 pages, $27.95) Masha Gessen does something unexpected with The Brothers: The Road to an American Tragedy. In a book about Tamerlan and Dzhokhar Tsarnaev and their role in the 2013 Boston Marathon bombing, she barely describes the crime. Here it …

On Poetry: The Moral Force of Jean Connor’s Poems

Friday, February 27, 2015

It has been almost two years since I celebrated one of Vermont’s literary treasures, Jean Connor, a poet who, after a long career as a librarian in upstate New York, now lives at Wake Robin in Shelburne, Vt. Here I offer such celebration again, for no especial reason …

‘What Pet Should I Get?’ New Dr. Seuss Book Due Out in July

Friday, February 27, 2015

Another recently-discovered manuscript is coming to summer reading lists, this time in the form of a new Dr. Seuss book. The manuscript by the late author Theodor Geisel, a 1925 Dartmouth College graduate known to readers as Dr. Seuss, is coming out in July-the same month as the …

Romance Writers Get Some Love

Sunday, February 22, 2015

Washington — Who among us, even in the dyspeptic climate of Capitol Hill, does not yearn for the HEA? For the cool of heart and the calculating of temperament, the Happily Ever After is the delicious denouement expected …

Stewart Helped Books Prosper

Sunday, February 15, 2015

Tuesday night, when Jon Stewart announced that he would be stepping down from The Daily Show, millennials across the country were shocked and saddened. But book publicists were crushed. In an increasingly fractured market, The Daily Show has …

Book Notes: Thetford Author Brings a Fable Back Into Print

Friday, February 13, 2015

Once upon a time, before many of us were living so much in cyberspace, Thetford author Dean Whitlock wrote a fable imagining the origin of the kite for the Magazine of Fantasy & Science Fiction. And while he …

On Prose: A Short Story Can, and Should, Contain a Big Moment

Friday, February 13, 2015

My friend Hortense Calisher could never resist a good aphorism, particularly if she could add to it her own humorous spin. And so, when young writers asked for a useful definition of the short story, she would hesitate, smile mischievously, then bring it out: “A story is a …

Sequel to a Masterpiece

Friday, February 13, 2015

I first encountered Harper Lee’s To Kill a Mockingbird in ninth grade. Like so many others, I was struck not just by the book’s vivid narrative of racial justice, but also by its nuance: The inner life of …

An Open Book

Saturday, February 7, 2015

At 96, Emma Mosher has had enough stuff thrown at her by life to fill a novel, maybe two novels. Mosher was married at 18, had six children, saw the marriage fail, raised the kids by herself for …

Has America Killed Off Satire and Turned Into a Spoof of Itself?

Friday, January 30, 2015

Did postmodernism kill literary satire? I’ve been wondering about this in the wake of the terror attack on the French satirical newspaper Charlie Hebdo, known for its caricatures of the prophet Muhammad; one appears on the cover of the first issue after the attack, brandishing a placard that …

Book Notes: New Works by Local Authors and Readings Scheduled, Including Bookstock 2015

Friday, January 30, 2015

Best-selling author John Vaillant will be talking about his new novel, The Jaguar’s Children, on Saturday afternoon at Woodstock’s Norman Williams Public Library. Vaillant, who lives in Vancouver, B.C., is the son of Woodstock resident Nan Bourne. He …