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Jeff Drifmeyer, of Williamsburg, Va., has published novels such as "Civil War Comes Home" as Jake McKenzie.  (Judith Lowery/Newport News Daily Press/MCT)

Going It Alone: Authors Discuss Their Decision to Abandon Traditional Publishing

Sunday, April 20, 2014

Newport News, Va. — “I should write a book.” We’ve all heard that statement before from friends or family or co-workers. We might even have said it ourselves. We all have stories to tell, whether real or fictional. In the past, those who wrote a book faced a limited number of options: They shopped their manuscripts around to agents and editors at publishers, a process that could take years, if ever. Alternatively, they could contract with a vanity press for production that could cost them thousands of dollars. They would have their book in print, but without the backing of publishing experts. With the introduction …

Five-Colleges Book Sale Sets Attendance Mark

Sunday, April 20, 2014

Lebanon — About halfway through Day One of the annual Five-Colleges Book Sale Saturday, book dealers Frank and Sue O’Brien were whittling through large stacks of books that they had plucked from tables around Lebanon High School, choosing which ones to buy and then sell through their online business. The couple, who had …

Garcia Marquez Was More Than Magical Realism

Saturday, April 19, 2014

Gabriel Garcia Marquez was a charmer. The great Colombian novelist, who died Thursday, called Mexico City home for much of his life, and it was there that I met him, at a chi-chi Mexican restaurant where he agreed to a sitdown with a half-dozen Los Angeles Times foreign correspondents and editors in 2004. …

Alarm Raised About Man’s Impact

Friday, February 28, 2014

Seattle — Elizabeth Kolbert started her journalism career as a stringer for The New York Times and worked in the trenches there as a political reporter, but once she took a job at The New Yorker and made …

A Sampling of Regional Books: Home, Heart, Race and More

Friday, February 28, 2014

For such small states, New Hampshire and Vermont have an outsized population of writers and artists, with a prodigious output. Some of that may be due to New England’s literary heritage, or the number of fine colleges and universities or, perhaps, the long winters and relative isolation. …

Why the Staple Singers Matter

Sunday, February 23, 2014

The 1970s are often thought of as a time when big, utopian dreams were scrapped for cramped, personal hopes. That zeitgeist known as the Sixties — all those fraught, sometimes fatal struggles for sociopolitical freedom and, too, for …

Norwich Bookstore Shares In Author’s Largesse

Saturday, February 22, 2014

The Norwich Bookstore will receive a $5,000 cash award from best-selling author James Patterson, a slice of $1 million he’s pledged to give to bookstores around the country to help them thrive. Liza Bernard, the co-owner of the Norwich Bookstore, said the money would go to expanding kids’ …

Gladwell’s New Idea: How Underdogs Win

Thursday, February 20, 2014

Over the last 14 years, Malcolm Gladwell has produced one best-seller after another. His books are so buzzworthy their titles become catchphrases, like Tipping Point and Outliers. Gladwell leads readers spellbound through stories that develop into counterintuitive insights …

Rebels in Pearls: The Flappers — Socialites, Actresses, Artists — Were Jazz Age Celebrities

Sunday, February 16, 2014

For most, the “flapper” evokes images of fingercurled bobs, drop-waisted dresses, and endless Charlestoning, like a scene from Baz Luhrmann’s The Great Gatsby on continuous repeat. She’s the spirit of the “Jazz Age,” with its connotations of excess …

Love at a Country Store: Romance Series Is Set in Vermont

Thursday, February 13, 2014

Weston, Vt. — The story began circulating this month: Over at the historic family-run country store (which, for discretion’s sake, shall remain nameless) father and sons were fighting when a New York City assistant totaled her car upon …

This Global Life: Hanover Retired Diplomat Says Diplomacy Has Great Value

Thursday, February 13, 2014

To convey how frequently the career of a diplomat is misunderstood, Raymond Malley, who retired from the Foreign Service in 1982 after a nearly 30-year career, tells a story told him by a friend at the State Department. …

Oates’ Latest Novel a Tale Of a Family Torn Apart

Thursday, February 13, 2014

“Carthage” by Joyce Carol Oates; Ecco (482 pages, $26.99) When a book begins by telling readers that a young woman, 19, has vanished into the deep woods, the expected outcome is rarely happy. But in Joyce Carol Oates’ newest book, Carthage, perhaps the outcome is not quite so …

Author Excited to See Her Novel ‘Labor Day’ Become Movie

Sunday, February 9, 2014

It took Joyce Maynard only 10 days to write Labor Day, The New York Times best-selling novel that serves as the basis for the movie of the same name that opened earlier this month. That kind of speedy …