Books

For the Love of Books, Go to Tumblr

Sunday, April 26, 2015

To express her love to Judy Blume, a 1970s tween would have had to write a letter. These days, a young reader enchanted by YA books — by, say, author Rainbow Rowell — can make nail art that matches a book cover and share it on Tumblr, where the author herself might see and share it with her followers. “When someone who lives in Kansas and has never met an …

The Wallenberg Mystery: Dartmouth Author’s Novel Looks at the Diplomat’s Life

Friday, April 24, 2015

W hen the writer Alan Lelchuk lived in Budapest from 1999 to 2000, teaching American literature at a local university, his errands routinely took him past a statue of Raoul Wallenberg, the Swedish diplomat who saved tens of thousands of Hungarian Jews from deportation to death camps during World War II. Lelchuk knew …

Morrison’s Writing Still To the Point

Friday, April 24, 2015

In 1970 Toni Morrison detonated a beautiful atom bomb of a debut novel called The Bluest Eye. In telling the story of Pecola Breedlove, a little Ohio girl taught to hate her black skin, Morrison laid bare society’s poisonous obsession with racial appearance. She also introduced a theme that would run throughout her body of work, including her latest short novel, God Help …

The Best Gift? When a Friend Recommends A Great Read

Thursday, January 1, 2015

As a Los Angeles-based business reporter, I’ve always boarded eastbound flights with a shoulder bag of documents to review before landing. Preparing for intense interviews is akin to cramming for exams. Return flights? Those are an entirely different matter. I want a novel or engrossing biography, preferably one …

Three Decades in Print: Chelsea Green Publishing Revels in Its Independence

Thursday, January 1, 2015

Thirty years ago, Ian and Margo Baldwin, transplants from Brooklyn, started a small publishing company on Chelsea’s South Green. Very small, as in the two of them. Like other publishers who go into business waving an idealistic flag, …

2014 in Review: The Commonplace Was a Common Thread in the Year’s Books

Thursday, January 1, 2015

What was the upshot of my year in reading, the ideas, the through lines that most stirred or provoked me in 2014? The dominant thread was what we might call that of common experience, work that finds significance …

Publisher Releases Torture Report

Thursday, January 1, 2015

Washington, D.C. — What better to give someone this holiday season than a paperback copy of the Senate’s report on the U.S. government’s torture practices. Wait, what now? Well, we’re not exactly sure what people are planning to do with the Senate Torture Report, but it appears that …

Fan Fiction Begets Publishing Success

Sunday, December 28, 2014

It starts with a familiar name, but then takes a turn. Jay Gatsby actually faked his death, and is now reunited with Daisy. Scandal’s Olivia Pope is somehow working on Robert Kennedy’s presidential campaign. And a member of the boy band One Direction is falling in love on …

Danish ‘Cartoon Crisis’ Editor Reflects in Book

Sunday, December 28, 2014

Amid the murder threats and security alerts and thrown axes, Flemming Rose is not, he says, confrontational by nature. Rose is best known as the Danish newspaper editor who — in reaction to what he saw as increasing self-censorship by visual and verbal artists — nearly a decade …

Kirk Douglas Publishes Poetry Book

Sunday, December 21, 2014

Kirk Douglas may be one of the biggest actors of his era, with starring roles in 1960’s Spartacus, 1949’s Champion and 1951’s Ace in the Hole. But on a recent crisp morning, he was having a grand time simply reciting his poetry by heart for an audience of …

A Legacy In Letters and on the Land

Saturday, December 20, 2014

It’s Nov. 21, 2014, about 10 a.m., and I’m heading up the Bill Hill trail in Thetford Center. The morning has been cold and squally, and right now fat snowflakes ride ripples of the shifting wind, settling onto …

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 …