Books

This undated image released by Simon & Schuster shows Richard Zoglin, author of  the Bob Hope biography "Hope: Entertainer of the Century." (AP Photo/Simon & Schuster)

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 age 100, Hope had conquered vaudeville, Broadway, recordings, live concerts, radio, films and, from its infancy, TV, where he remained a welcome presence into his 90s. “By nearly any measure, he was the most popular entertainer of the twentieth century,” writes Richard Zoglin. That alone should bear out Hope’s career-long theme song, Thanks for the Memory. Yet memories of Hope have already dimmed, and his achievements, still …

Story Brings Apocalypse to Upper Valley

Friday, November 21, 2014

When I was in high school, one of my English teachers had us read William Faulkner’s Nobel Prize acceptance speech. Delivered in December 1950, it remains the most soaring statement about the power of literature, and a sharp rebuke to writers who allow their work to be warped by the near-universal fear of …

Dartmouth Graduate’s Iraq War Novel Wins National Book Award

Friday, November 21, 2014

At the 2014 National Book Awards ceremony on Wednesday evening, author Ursula K. Le Guin stole the show. The next morning, speaking by phone from a Manhattan hotel, Le Guin was feisty, smart and pointed, speaking about the responsibilities of writers and publishers in the current era. “I don’t want to pit writers …

Bill Cosby: Master of the Riff

Sunday, October 5, 2014

You could make a case that Bill Cosby is America’s most popular jazzman. For most of his life, Cosby has been riffing, improvising, playing off audiences and other performers, all the while making it sound like he knew where he was going all along. When he hit the …

Amtrak Announces First Writers in Residence

Friday, October 3, 2014

In the 1930s, hobos illicitly rode the rails; nowadays, authors are being invited onto trains thanks to Twitter and a new writers residency program launched by Amtrak. On Sept. 24, Amtrak announced the first class of resident writers, 24 authors who will ride its long-distance routes over the …

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. …

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, …

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. …

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 …