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Books

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. Over Our Dead Bodies: Undertakers Lift The Lid a collection of his own stories, as well as experiences from funeral directors across …

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, the former Massachusetts Democratic representative had plenty of material to work with. The only problem …

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. But in his new book, The Case Against the Supreme Court, he says he regrets …

The Nature Of Writing

Monday, July 28, 2014

Woodstock — Former Middlebury College English and Environmental Studies Professor John Elder encouraged students to see the outdoors in a new way through a workshop at the Forest Center at Marsh-Billings-Rochefeller National Historic Park in Woodstock on Friday …

‘The Mockingbird Next Door’

Sunday, July 20, 2014

What ever happened to Harper Lee? The Alabama native was 34 when her first novel, To Kill a Mockingbird, was published in 1960. This tale of childhood innocence and racial injustice in the Depression-era South won the Pulitzer …

Gordimer Grasped The Power Of Writing

Friday, July 18, 2014

Nadine Gordimer, who died Sunday at age 90, understood the power of writing as a moral force. Not only in terms of literature (although that too) but also politically, in a country — apartheid-era South Africa — where …

An American Commons: Photographic Study Celebrates Public Libraries

Friday, July 18, 2014

The Public Library: A Photographic Essay, by Robert Dawson, Princeton Architectural Press, 192 pages, $35 Long before I could define philanthropist, I held Andrew Carnegie in the highest esteem. When I asked, at 10, why “Carnegie” was carved …

Haverhill Fiction Writers Open Circle for Short Story Discussion

Friday, July 18, 2014

Haverhill — Roughly once a week, several aspiring writers of fiction gather at the Haverhill Corner Library to talk amongst themselves about the stories and novels over which they’re laboring to give birth. On July 31, they’ll widen their circle to welcome fellow writers and readers alike to …

The Power of the Memorial

Sunday, July 13, 2014

It would be difficult to visit the Lincoln Memorial and not be moved. Few locations, in the nation’s capital or anywhere else, are as evocative. “When you’re at the memorial, thinking of all the events (that transpired) there, it’s where America goes to challenge itself,” said Jay Sacher. …

Amazon Killing Book Culture

Sunday, July 6, 2014

About a month ago I quit Amazon cold turkey, and I feel great. I have bought nothing from Amazon since May 16. Not a book, not a DVD, not an MP3. After years of purchasing pop culture from …

Writers Sign Amazon Letter

Saturday, July 5, 2014

New York — Stephen King, Nora Roberts and Robert Caro are among the hundreds of authors who have added their names to an online letter criticizing Amazon.com for restricting access to works published by Hachette Book Group. The letter, initiated by Hachette author Douglas Preston, urged Amazon to …

Two New Works Capture Only Fleeting Glimpses of J.D. Salinger

Friday, July 4, 2014

J.D. Salinger: The Escape Artist by Thomas Beller; New Harvest (192 pages, $20) My Salinger Year by Joanna Rakoff; Alfred A. Knopf (272 pages, $25.95) The famously reclusive J.D. Salinger wouldn’t allow himself to be known. And yet …

Tickets for Billy Collins Poetry Reading Are Going Fast

Friday, July 4, 2014

Woodstock — With the countdown to the sixth edition of the Bookstock literary festival at three weeks from today, organizers are still counting by the dozen the number of seats available for former U.S. Poet Laureate Billy Collins’s opening night appearance at Town Hall Theatre on July 25 …