Reflections on writing about the lives of Beckett, Beauvoir

Deirdre Bair has spent her life writing well-received biographies of some of the 20th century’s most fascinating people, including Al Capone and Carl Jung. Yet the only two subjects

Sample a bit of Jenny Slate’s imagination in ‘Little Weirds’

Jenny Slate is an artist in the broadest sense of the word. You may know her as a comedian, an actress, or a co-creator of short films.

Jack Reacher is in deep trouble in Lee Child’s ‘Blue Moon’

The narrative in “Blue Moon,” the latest Jack Reacher novel by author Lee Child, has the feel of an old Western where the town needs the sheriff

Ali Wong’s Raunchy Humor Charms in ‘Dear Girls’

In comedian Ali Wong’s “Dear Girls,” Wong opens by declaring that she was nervous to write a book because she didn’t feel smart enough. She found her groove, she

Grisham’s ‘The Guardians’ is suspenseful thriller

In John Grisham’s latest novel, “The Guardians,” a former priest named Cullen Post works for an organization called Guardian Ministries that scours court transcripts and personal letters

Smith takes readers on a wild ride in ‘Grand Union’

Acclaimed author Zadie Smith’s “Grand Union” is an enchanting collection that examines the complexity of contemporary life. This book of short stories, the author’s first, refuses to

‘The Liar’ makes a good case for telling the truth

As expected in a novel titled “The Liar,” lies abound in this engaging story that is part mystery and part coming-of-age tale. Actually, it is just one

‘Letters from Hollywood’ is a movie nerd’s dream

Paul Newman passes on an offer to co-star with Barbra Streisand in “Funny Girl,” saying he can’t carry a tune or dance. Col. Tom Parker suggests a story line

Author takes deep dive into creation of TV show ‘Friends’

In 1994, NBC was trying to find a show that could pull in ratings similar to the network’s mega-hit “Seinfeld.” Two writers pitched a show they saw as “Cheers”

Clive Cussler fans will savor ‘The Titanic Secret’

The investigation of an explosion in a mine propels Isaac Bell into a conspiracy with ties to the doomed ocean liner in “The Titanic Secret,” the latest

Rushdie writes modern Don Quixote for tale of love, family

Good news! You don’t have to read Cervantes’ masterwork to enjoy Salman Rushdie’s modern reinvention. You’ll probably pick up on hundreds of additional references and inside jokes

Harvard librarian Hester Thursby returns in ‘Missing Ones’

The pain that remains following a traumatic event is never easy to overcome, often influencing one’s behavior and life choices, as Edwin Hill shows in his second

‘The Murder List’ is compelling story by Hank Phillippi Ryan

Jack North is one of the best criminal defense attorneys in Boston. His reputation precedes him, and he’s known for applying tough but legal tactics for his

Author Timothy C. Winegard traces mosquito through history

Since the dawn of humankind, mosquitoes have been around to pester us, buzzing in an ear before selecting a blood vessel on which to feast. But these

Digital dating proves complicated in ‘Love at First Like’

Dating in the digital age can be tricky business, especially when you project an image on social media that is in no way a truthful depiction of

Red scare of ‘50s tests friends in ‘Chelsea Girls’

Best friends Hazel and Maxine, stars of Fiona Davis’ new book, “The Chelsea Girls,” never really got to be girls. Circumstances forced them to grow up quickly,

Baldacci’s latest novel doesn’t disappoint

Aloysius Archer fought in Europe for the Allies, and shortly after making his way back home, he found himself imprisoned for a crime he didn’t commit. He’s

‘Raised in Captivity’ reveals author’s warped imagination

Chuck Klosterman seems like a great hang. He’s the guy at the party who has everyone spitting out their drinks as they laugh while trying to swallow

‘Last Witnesses’ offers children’s memories of WWII

Does anyone suffer more in wartime than a child? All they know is at risk — parents, siblings, neighbors, homes, schools, even pets. All too soon they

A vile conspiracy is taken down in novel ‘Big Sky’

Former soldier and policeman Jackson Brodie, who last appeared nine years ago in "Started Early, Took My Dog," makes his long-anticipated return in Kate Atkinson's new novel, "Big

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