Books

The "main" cover to "Star Wars" #1, which has many, many variant covers. (Photo courtesy Marvel Entertainment Inc./TNS)

When Comics and Galaxies Collide

Sunday, January 25, 2015

Star Wars is coming home. Not at the movies, but in the comics. On Jan. 14, Marvel released Star Wars No. 1 , a new series set right after the first movie, the one released in 1977 (which is now, chronologically, the fourth — and retitled Star Wars IV: A New Hope ). So the book will feature Luke Skywalker, Han Solo, R2-D2 and the ragtag rebel fleet fresh off the destruction of the Death Star (the first one). Long-time comics fans may have a sense of deja vu, because this has happened before. In 1977, Marvel Comics had only one licensed property in its …

Piermont Photographs Are a Love Letter to a Time and Place

Saturday, January 17, 2015

In 2012, M.L. Gitchel, known to her friends as Mel, decided she wanted to do something to commemorate the 250th anniversary of the founding of Piermont town, which was then two years away. Some people might bake a cake or wave a flag at a parade, and leave it at that. But Gitchel …

If There’s Sound Reason, It’s OK to Rhyme, but Don’t Push It

Friday, January 16, 2015

I have by now visited just shy of 100 Vermont community libraries to talk about my chosen art, this in accord with the aim I announced on being installed in 2011 as the state’s poet laureate. If, in that span, there is one issue I have encountered more than any, it is the matter of rhyme in poetry. A grumpy gent in Arlington, …

On Prose: For a Writer, What Isn’t in a Name?

Friday, December 19, 2014

Editor’s Note: This is the first “On Prose” column from Lyme novelist, essayist and story writer W.D. Wetherell. Intended as a companion to Sydney Lea’s “On Poetry” columns, “On Prose” will appear semi-regularly on the Valley News Books page.  Let’s start things off with a surprise quiz. …

Big Success for Author of ‘Wild’

Sunday, December 14, 2014

The big checks started coming in about nine months after Wild hit bookshelves and started its climb to the top of The New York Times best-seller’s list. To Oprah’s Book Club. And, as of this coming week, to …

Books to Buy for Fans of Felines

Sunday, December 14, 2014

Los Angeles — The felines are fighting back — on the bookshelf. Cats outnumber dogs in the U.S., but in bookstores, dog titles reign, the American Pet Products Association says. Fans insist felines are getting more popular as they ride the coattails of Internet sensations like Grumpy Cat, …

‘War’ Details Rising Military-Internet Link

Sunday, December 7, 2014

A thought commonly attributed to George Orwell holds that good people can sleep at night only because rough men are awake and ready to protect them. But in the modern world, two other groups are also vital to a sound sleep: software engineers and computer geeks. That’s the …

Writing Suffers When Language Turns Away From Physical Life

Friday, December 5, 2014

The French poet Stephane Mallarmé once opined (T.S. Eliot would echo him in his magisterial Four Quartets) that poetry’s object was to “purify the language of the tribe.” I’ve been thinking about that lately — less, though, in response to any poetic text than to a wonderful prose …

Authors Reflect On the Weight Of Books Given As Gifts

Friday, December 5, 2014

Once again, we asked authors to write about books they’ve given or received as gifts. I love this question because it isn’t really about recommendations — although it may inspire some. Our favorite gifts bind us to the …

Pulitzer-Winning Editor Describes Descent Into Poverty

Friday, December 5, 2014

“The rich,” writes William McPherson at the opening of his essay Falling, posted at the Hedgehog Review, “are all alike, to revise Tolstoy’s famous words, but the poor are poor in their own particular ways.” McPherson is writing from experience; a novelist and former editor of the Washington …

In ‘Prune,’ a Chef Speaks to Her Cooks

Saturday, November 29, 2014

New York — At 10:15 on a miserably rainy morning, a crowd huddled under the pink awning outside Prune. The restaurant, in the East Village, had been open for only 15 minutes, and already every one of its …

Gift Conundrum: What to Get for Someone Who Streams Everything?

Saturday, November 29, 2014

New York — Buying presents is hard. A good gift must be personal, but not too personal; affordable, but not cheap; useful, but not utilitarian. Ideally, it’s a physical object large enough to be worth wrapping, but not so large that you can’t carry it home. This confounding …

Bob Hope’s Legacy More Than Laughs

Sunday, November 23, 2014

New York — While today he may be thought of with misgivings, if at all, Bob Hope reigned for much of the last century as America’s wisecracking avatar of comedy. By the time he died in 2003 at …