Books

"While the City Slept: A Love Lost to Violence and a Young Man's Descent into Madness," by Eli Sanders. (Photo courtesy Amazon/TNS)

Reporter’s Book Details Seattle Murder Case

Sunday, February 7, 2016

We sat in the sun to talk, which made us both happy, since so much of what brought Eli Sanders and me to this meeting was steeped in darkness: The sweltering July night in 2009 when Jennifer Hopper and Teresa Butz were repeatedly raped, tortured and knifed in their South Park neighborhood home by an intruder who had appeared in their bedroom at 3 a.m., naked and holding a large blade. The death of Butz, who was stabbed in the heart and died in the street after throwing a nightstand through the bedroom window and scrambling out. The mind of Isaiah Kalebu, the man convicted …

America’s Secret Life

Friday, January 29, 2016

The writer Thomas Powers has spent the past 40 years thinking about the American intelligence community, beginning with articles he wrote for Rolling Stone on the CIA and its director Richard Helms, who served as director from 1966 to 1973, which led to his book The Man Who Kept the Secrets , published …

Book Review: Bill Bryson Takes a Turn for the Worse

Friday, January 29, 2016

The Road to Little Dribbling: Adventures of an American in Britain by Bill Bryson; Doubleday (380 pages, $28.95) The world is always in decline if you want it to be. In the 1880s, the English experienced an intense collective wistfulness for the period before 1850, which was the year that railroads had finally …

Books Always Make Great Gifts, Especially This Time of Year

Saturday, December 19, 2015

You wouldn’t know it by the recent weather — is this northern New England or North Carolina? — but Hanukkah has recently concluded, Christmas is around the corner, Kwanzaa is on its heels and the Feast of the Epiphany after that. This is the time of year when …

At 86, Eric Carle Is Still Turning Out Books for Children

Friday, December 18, 2015

What caterpillar? Eric Carle’s new picture book The Nonsense Show — a fresh and hilarious parade of flying fish, cat-taming mice and circus animals freed from all those silly rules — has gotten starred reviews from Kirkus, Booklist …

Boomers Lead Independent Bookstores

Sunday, December 6, 2015

New York — In 1974, Gayle Shanks was a 23-year-old idealist raised on the activism of the previous decade and eager to make a difference herself. So she opened a bookstore. “Books had changed my life and I …

Maguire Ventures Through Wonderland for His Latest Novel

Friday, December 4, 2015

As recently as the spring of 2012, Gregory Maguire didn’t know that a follow-up novel to Lewis Carroll’s Alice in Wonderland books was accumulating in what he called the “lint trap” of his literary imagination. Then his mentor …

Diary of Inadequacy

Friday, December 4, 2015

Lambert’s Cove, Martha’s Vineyard, Mass. — His fishing rod lay on the beam above the bookshelf for decades, long after he was gone. In his wake, she filled the room with velvet pillows, crystals, gauzy curtains, orchids. But …

New Book Details Orson Welles’ Rise to Fame

Sunday, November 29, 2015

One of Orson Welles’ more famous fiascos — and there were a few — is titled “It’s All True.” That title can never be applied to Welles himself. You’d be hard-pressed to find a figure in American arts …

Author Revisits Salem in ‘The Witches’

Sunday, November 29, 2015

Stacy Schiff has read more Cotton Mather treatises than any modern soul should have to endure. The shocker is, she did so eagerly. “You know you’re a goner,” said the prizewinning nonfiction author, “when your idea of a great book is a Puritan sermon.” Schiff spent much of …

A Biography on Malcolm X’s Biographer

Sunday, November 22, 2015

Alex Haley was a working freelance writer, not an ideologue. Yet he wrote two of the 20th century’s chief texts of African-American consciousness: The Autobiography of Malcolm X and the saga Roots. The latter was adapted for a …

Ta-Nehisi Coates Talks About His Book and Moment

Friday, November 20, 2015

Ta-Nehisi Coates’ Between the World and Me, a dark, angry and eloquent meditation on the state of being black in America, would seem a highly unlikely candidate for best-sellerdom. And yet, since it was published in July, this slim book (Spiegel & Grau, 150 pages, $24) has gone …

Book Review: ‘American Sweepstakes’ Chronicles New Hampshire’s Ground-Breaking Lottery

Friday, November 20, 2015

American Sweepstakes: How One Small State Bucked the Church, the Feds, and the Mob to Usher in the Lottery Age; by Kevin Flynn; ForeEdge Books; $29.95 When a proposal for a state sweepstakes first came up in the …