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'Black Snow' Is A Lyrical Landscape Of Hope And Menace

Thu, 05/14/2015 - 11:03am

Former Dublin newsman Paul Lynch's new novel follows an Irish farmer in 1945, struggling against adversity. Critic Alan Cheuse says Lynch's prose is so gorgeous, it makes him want to give up writing.

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'Millionaire' Tracks One Man's Fruitful Obsession With The Bard Of Avon

Thu, 05/14/2015 - 8:03am

Andrea Mays' new book digs into the history of Washington, D.C.'s Folger Shakespeare Library, the legacy of oilman Henry Clay Folger — who, like William Shakespeare, found his greatest fame in death.

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In 'Paddy Buckley' Suffering Through Four Last Days With Dark Comedy

Thu, 05/14/2015 - 5:03am

Jeremy Massey's debut novel centers on an undertaker with magical abilities — like communicating with dogs and flies. Critic Jason Sheehan says Massey has an eye for black humor.

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A Fortune In Folios: One Man's Hunt For Shakespeare's First Editions

Thu, 05/14/2015 - 1:24am

Henry Folger once spent nearly a year's salary on a William Shakespeare first folio. In The Millionaire and the Bard, Andrea Mays chronicles his obsession with collecting the playwright's work.

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'Nimona' Shifts Shape And Takes Names — In Sensible Armor, Of Course

Wed, 05/13/2015 - 2:33pm

Comics creator Noelle Stevenson has written for Boom! Studios and Marvel's new female Thor. Her webcomic Nimona, about a young shapeshifter with a streak of villainy, has just been released as a book.

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Tom Brokaw Reflects On Cancer, 'Nightly News' And His 'Lucky Life'

Wed, 05/13/2015 - 12:53pm

The former NBC anchorman says his multiple myeloma diagnosis two years ago made him "more conscious of the fact that the days are more numbered." His new memoir is A Lucky Life Interrupted.

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Misadventures And Absurdist Charm Take Root In 'George Orwell's House'

Wed, 05/13/2015 - 11:40am

In Andrew Ervin's comic novel, a disillusioned advertising executive rents the cottage once inhabited by dystopian author George Orwell. Critic Maureen Corrigan says the funny book has a serious core.

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'Zombie Wars' Documents An Apocalypse Of Bad Decisions

Wed, 05/13/2015 - 8:03am

Aleksandar Hemon's darkly hilarious new novel follows a sad-sack Chicago teacher whose screenwriting dreams lead to catastrophe. Critic Michael Schaub calls it "crazy in the best sense of the word."

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Remembering A Troubled Brother In 'Lord Fear'

Wed, 05/13/2015 - 5:03am

Lucas Mann's new memoir pieces together family memories to create a portrait of his heroin-addicted older brother, who died of an overdose. Critic Heller McAlpin calls it difficult but necessary.

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Making Art Out Of Bodies: Sally Mann Reflects On Life And Photography

Tue, 05/12/2015 - 12:31pm

Mann has published pictures that show her young children naked, her husband's muscular dystrophy and dead bodies decomposing. She reflects on her life and work in a new memoir called Hold Still.

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Myth, Fantasy And Sci-Fi Dovetail In 'Archivist Wasp'

Tue, 05/12/2015 - 11:03am

Nicole Kornher-Stace's new novel follows Wasp, an Archivist tasked with hunting ghosts to scavenge information about the past for her primitive post-apocalyptic society — where all is not as it seems.

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The Artistry Fails In 'Trompe L'Oeil'

Tue, 05/12/2015 - 8:03am

Even talented artists have trouble creating the illusions known as "trompe l'oeil." Critic Michael Schaub says Nancy Reisman's tragic new novel of the same name never jumps into three dimensions.

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Exclusive First Read: Naomi Novik's 'Uprooted'

Tue, 05/12/2015 - 5:03am

Naomi Novik leaves behind the Napoleonic War setting of her previous books for a new stand-alone tale of a village girl, taken by a mysterious magician, who learns she's more than a match for him.

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In 'Organic Life,' The Making Of America's First Certified Organic Restaurant

Tue, 05/12/2015 - 1:40am

Nora Pouillon writes about her lifelong devotion to food in a new memoir, My Organic Life. Her restaurant has been a fixture in the Washington, D.C., food scene since 1979.

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Jerry Garcia's Advice To Bill Kreutzmann: 'Don't Rush'

Tue, 05/12/2015 - 12:03am

"You can learn so much from [Jerry Garcia]. Doesn't matter what instrument you play," the Grateful Dead drummer says. He has a new memoir out called Deal.

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New Book Explores Bobby Fuller's Mysterious Death

Mon, 05/11/2015 - 2:42pm

A new book tells the story of Bobby Fuller, who was best-known for the song "I Fought the Law." He was a talented guitarist and producer who moved from El Paso, Texas, to LA. He was on the verge of his big break when his body was found in his car doused in gasoline. The Los Angeles police ruled it an accidental death.

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The Great 'Beyond': Contemplating Life, Sex And Elevators In Space

Mon, 05/11/2015 - 11:51am

Astronomer Chris Impey discusses the future of space travel, sex in space and the connection between science and Buddhism. Impey is the author of Beyond: Our Future in Space.

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Danielewski Returns With A Long, Sideways Look At 'The Familiar'

Sun, 05/10/2015 - 4:10pm

The author famous for the cult classic House of Leaves is writing a novel about a little girl who finds a kitten. The book is planned to be epic — 27 volumes total. Volume 1 is more than 800 pages.

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In Oklahoma, The Sky Has No 'Mercy'

Sun, 05/10/2015 - 4:31am

In Oklahoma, tornadoes are just a fact of life — but sometimes a truly awful one comes along. In The Mercy of the Sky, Holly Bailey chronicles the deadly tornado that struck Moore, Okla., in 2013.

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If Science Could 'Clone A Mammoth,' Could It Save An Elephant?

Sat, 05/09/2015 - 3:13pm

De-extinction technology could soon bring back lost species — or preserve endangered ones. In her new book, evolutionary biologist Beth Shapiro explores the scientific and ethical challenges.

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