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Books

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 one. With a twinkle of his blue eyes, he proclaimed: Romance begins at 80 And I ought to know. I live with …

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 ice that covers this opening bit of trail. I’m here to honor Noel (Ned) Perrin, …

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. What do the following all share in common? Tommy Traddles. Hannibal Chollop. Sissy Jupe. Peepy …

‘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 …

Books Offer Taste Of a Juicy History

Saturday, September 20, 2014

Apples of Uncommon Character, by Rowan Jacobsen, Bloomsbury, 311 pages, $35 Apples of New England: A User’s Guide, by Russell Steven Powell, Countryman Press, 214 pages, $19.95 Some years ago, I drove up to the Northeast Kingdom to …

‘Champagne Supernovas’: Exploring 1990s Fashion

Sunday, September 14, 2014

Champagne Supernovas: Kate Moss, Marc Jacobs, Alexander McQueen, and the ‘90s Renegades Who Remade Fashion puts readers in the front row and three of the era’s biggest names in the catwalk spotlight. Author Maureen Callahan contends that the …

A Young Man’s Confession

Friday, September 12, 2014

Confessions of an Ivy League Frat Boy, by Andrew Lohse; Thomas Dunne Books; 303 pages; $25.99 Dartmouth College hazing whistleblower Andrew Lohse published his memoir, Confessions of an Ivy League Frat Boy , a 303-page narrative detailing the …

Stories That Paint Sexuality In Its Teenage Complexity

Friday, September 12, 2014

Rainey Royal, by Dylan Landis ; Soho Press ; 246 pages, $25 A birth control pill with a glass of milk. This is what Howard Royal serves his daughter Rainey for breakfast every morning. He “waits until she …

Thriller Writer Labors to Turn U.S. Policy in Africa Into a Page-Turner

Friday, September 12, 2014

Washington — As he began writing his third book on U.S.-Africa policy and development, Todd Moss, a former State Department official, realized something. It would be boring. Just another text for the shelves of foreign-policy wonks, Ph.D.s and think tank denizens like himself. “I decided, ‘Let me try …

Robin Williams Biography Planned

Friday, September 12, 2014

Henry Holt has acquired the rights to a biography of the late Robin Williams, to be written by New York Times culture reporter Dave Itzkoff. “The book will provide the definitive, comprehensive account of Williams’s life and will recount his journey from lonesome youth to indefatigable comedian, and …

The Toll of Alzheimer’s

Sunday, September 7, 2014

Meryl Comer’s husband vanished more than a decade ago. Yet she has remained at his side, caring for him night and day as he drifted into the darkness of Alzheimer’s disease. The story of how Comer, an Emmy …

Minecraft Now a Publishing Sensation

Sunday, September 7, 2014

New York — Like millions of parents, Aaron Sacharow welcomes those moments when his son — 7-year-old Tyler — takes a break from video games and picks up a book instead. He will even settle for the book …

Reading Ferguson: Race, Police and Protest

Sunday, August 31, 2014

Nearly a half century before Michael Brown and Officer Darren Wilson crossed paths on a street in Ferguson, Missouri, a 21-year-old man named Marquette Frye was pulled over by the California Highway Patrol, just outside of Watts. Both incidents unfolded on an August day, with a crowd of …