Reporter’s murder shows cost of pursuing the truth

The confluence of corrupt governance, poverty, drug trafficking and reporters who can be bought is a dangerous place for reporters and democracy. Accomplished Mexican investigative

WWII novel sets high bar for historical fiction

Gundi, Irma and Hilde all find themselves at a Lebensborn Society house for future mothers who are deemed to be racially fit. Each woman is there

History of movie academy favors facts over melodrama

Film historians and others digging for a deeper vein of Oscar knowledge than mere trivia will turn up many nuggets in “The Academy and the Award,” which

‘Proving Ground’ profiles first women programmers

When the world’s first general-purpose, programmable, electronic computer, known as ENIAC, debuted in 1946, great fanfare was given to the men who created it, John Mauchly

Bourland autopsies the princess myth with precision

It's about time someone took the princess story that’s normalized to girls and autopsy it with absolute precision.  “The Force of Such Beauty” opens

‘Mermaid of Black Conch’ melds history and magic

David is a fisherman and Aycayia is a mermaid. It’s pretty obvious where the story goes from here: David falls for Aycayia. But author Monique Roffey

An Irish hitman juggles murder with parenthood

Patrick Callen, a Dublin, Ireland hitman with a mild case of obsessive-compulsive disorder, stays organized by making lists. On his first day in Keith Bruton’s debut

A slice-of-life novel both meaningless and profound

As a freshman, Nina has a crush on her English teacher.  That’s how “The Most Precious Substance on Earth” begins. Author Shashi Bhat wastes

‘The Lies I Tell’ is a hard to put down thriller

Clear your schedule to read “The Lies I Tell” because this book is nearly impossible to put down from the first page. It begins from

Birdsong offers three powerful portraits of womanhood

Destiny O. Birdsong’s “Nobody’s Magic” tells three separate stories, each centering on a Black albino woman living in Shreveport, Louisiana.  First, we meet 20-year-old Suzette,

Book It | Allende’s ‘Violeta,’ an epic South American tale

Chilean writer Isabel Allende’s latest novel is “Violeta,” an epic tale that transports readers across a century of South American history, through economic collapse, dictatorship and

Book It Memoir: Leaving the Children of God ‘sex cult’ and her Macau childhood

Faith Jones’ vivid memoir “Sex Cult Nun” chronicles her 23 years in the infamous Children of God cult and her slow journey to leave. Born into the

Book It | In memoir, it’s good to be comedy king Mel Brooks

Besides an uncanny memory for food, Mel Brooks has the skill of an alchemist turning the base metal of others’ ideas into comedy treasure. But the lead comes before the

Book It | ‘Baby Girl’ about Aaliyah is a singer’s tragic tale

R&B singer Aaliyah is best known for two events that bookended her career: becoming involved with infamous singer R. Kelly as a teen, and the tragic plane crash that ended

Book It | For such a small place, Iceland has a big influence

How has small Iceland been able to play such a big role in the world? The confluence of geology, fish and rugged explorers seems to have infused Icelanders with their

Book It | Jhumpa Lahiri’s new novel is very novel

Pulitzer Prize winner Jhumpa Lahiri is back with what is sure to be one of the more unique “novels” of the year. Readers can debate in book clubs whether it’s a

Book It | New collection of columns by the late Jenny Diski

A lot of criticism doesn’t age well because it’s tied to ephemeral moments in our cultural life. Jenny Diski’s is likely to stand the test of time because it offers

Book It | An insider’s look behind the ‘60 Minutes’ stopwatch

Long-time multi-award-winning producer Ira Rosen has written a sometimes sad, often funny, always revealing portrait of American television’s most famous and successful news show, “60 Minutes.” Rosen certainly had reporting time

Book It | Priyanka Chopra Jonas reveals private life details

Priyanka Chopra Jonas’s memoir, “Unfinished,” is a moving story of her rise to fame — and of her life before anybody knew her name. Chopra Jonas never intended to become the

Book It | Journalist’s first collection of fiction excels

A Chinese tech company recently made headlines for its use of “smart” cushions in office chairs to monitor its employees’ workplace performance. It’s the kind of creepy surveillance you’d expect

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