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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. …

Author: ‘Gone Girl’ Success Is ‘Insane’

Sunday, February 2, 2014

Miami — With the runaway success of Gone Girl, Gillian Flynn has arrived. After more than a year on bestseller lists, her deliciously poisonous ode to a marriage gone bad is heading to the big screen with Ben Affleck starring, David Fincher directing and Flynn writing the screenplay. …

At 67, Writer’s Debut Novel Wins Plaudits From Critics

Saturday, February 1, 2014

Natick, Mass. — Emily Dickinson wrote her poems in a second-floor bedroom overlooking her beloved garden. Ernest Hemingway developed his spare style, writing in a Parisian bistro watching life swirl by. For 20 years, James Whitfield Thomson has been writing short stories, novels and a memoir in a …

Amazon Debuts a Faith-Based Line of Books

Friday, January 31, 2014

Seattle — While moves aggressively into all sorts of new businesses — everything from grocery delivery to infrastructure computer services — it’s not slowing its onslaught into its original business: books. Amazon on Thursday launched its 15th book imprint, Waterfall Press, which will specialize in Christian fiction …

Art in The Age Of Data

Friday, January 31, 2014

“Orfeo” by Richard Powers; W.W. Norton ($26.95) It’s tempting to read Richard Powers’ 11th novel Orfeo through the filter of the present: surveillance, genomes, government control. The story of a 70-year-old composer named Peter Els, who becomes known …

Sue Monk Kidd’s ‘Invention of Wings’ Opens Eyes

Friday, January 31, 2014

“The Invention of Wings” by Sue Monk Kidd; Viking ($27.95) Oprah hasn’t had much time for reading lately, it seems; it’s been a year since her last Book Club pick, The Twelve Tribes of Hattie. Now Sue Monk …

Elegy For a Good Man

Friday, January 31, 2014

It’s been a sad season in our household. My beloved wife lost her brother, who was also among my dearest friends, just before Christmas. Carol Shults-Perkins, the huge-hearted director of Central Vermont Adult Basic Education, whose board I chair, lost her husband shortly thereafter, and then, shortly following, …

A Poet’s View: ‘Closely Observed, Deeply Felt’

Friday, January 31, 2014

If, in Wallace Stevens’ adage, the “poet is the priest of the invisible,” then Phyllis Beck Katz has spent her life paying attention to the ephemera many of us miss or choose to ignore. In Migrations, her second …

Books Go From Page to Screen and Back Again

Sunday, January 26, 2014

The memoir 12 Years a Slave was published in 1853, a year after Harriet Beecher Stowe’s classic, Uncle Tom’s Cabin. Now Solomon Northup’s personal narrative is a bestseller — 161 years after it first came out — through a tie-in to the celebrated movie version of his memoir. …

TV’s Would-Be Kingmaker Roger Ailes: Is the Book Fair and Balanced?

Friday, January 24, 2014

Weeks before its release, The Loudest Voice in the Room: How the Brilliant, Bombastic Roger Ailes Built Fox News — and Divided a Country set the media universe popping and fizzing. And no wonder. The unauthorized biography of …

A Couple Made in Young Adult Genre

Sunday, January 19, 2014

Santa Monica, Calif. — Ransom Riggs and Tahereh Mafi spend their days in Santa Monica, sitting side by side at a shared desk in identical chairs in their backyard office, wearing headphones, working at their laptops. Across a cool green expanse sits their Spanish-style house, hidden behind a …