A Particular Kind of Genius,’ by Nick Hornby

A Particular Kind of Genius,’ by Nick Hornby

By Kevin Canfield Star Tribune (Minneapolis) Both had rough childhoods, after which they worked tirelessly in what amounted to apprenticeships. In their 20s, both made attention-getting breakthroughs — and romantic decisions — they’d regret. Both died in their late 50s but remain bankable stars. Does this make Charles Dickens and Prince creative soulmates? Of course … Read more

New Orleans cocktail book shows city’s elegant side

New Orleans cocktail book shows city’s elegant side

REBECCA SANTANA Associated Press If your idea of a New Orleans cocktail is a Kool-Aid colored, alcohol-heavy concoction served in a plastic hand grenade or a novelty glass resembling a hurricane lamp, stop thinking like a college freshman on his first trip to Bourbon Street and take a look at the new book from upscale … Read more

Movie fans will roar, growl over ’50 MGM Films’ book

Movie fans will roar, growl over ’50 MGM Films’ book

By DOUGLASS K. DANIEL The Associated Press The title of film historian Steven Bingen’s new book is reminiscent of B-movie trailers of the 1950s that breathlessly hype “The Most Important Picture of the Year!” But like many of those overripe flicks, “The 50 MGM Films that Transformed Hollywood” can be entertaining, too. The qualifications for … Read more

John Irving writes long tale ‘The Last Chairlift’

John Irving writes long tale ‘The Last Chairlift’

By ROB MERRILL The Associated Press After 54 years and 15 novels, John Irving’s finally done it. He’s written a book longer than most editions of “Moby-Dick.” And by the time you’re done reading it, you’ll chuckle every time you see the hyphen in Melville’s title. It’s difficult to do justice to this book in … Read more

Emily Post’s etiquette tome overhauled for 21st century

Emily Post’s etiquette tome overhauled for 21st century

LEANNE ITALIE Associated Press NEW YORK — Embracing without permission. Disparaging one parent in front of children struggling with divorce. Flaunting privilege. Being a bad listener — or, worse, a terrible loser. The world and all its interactional black holes would likely have Emily Post spewing her tea. The grande dame of all things manners … Read more

What’s so controversial about the new Anthony Bourdain book? Plenty, it turns out | Entertainment

What’s so controversial about the new Anthony Bourdain book? Plenty, it turns out | Entertainment

A new biography about the late chef and TV personality Anthony Bourdain, who took his own life while filming CNN’s “Parts Unknown” in 2018, has been raising hackles well in advance of its Oct. 11 publication date — especially among those who knew Bourdain best. The Times dipped into “Down and Out in Paradise: The … Read more

In this retelling of Hawthorne’s ‘The Scarlet Letter,’ a gifted seamstress embroiders color into a society shrouded in its sins

In this retelling of Hawthorne’s ‘The Scarlet Letter,’ a gifted seamstress embroiders color into a society shrouded in its sins

By Lorraine Berry Star Tribune (Minneapolis) Laurie Lico Albanese’s “Hester” opens as Isobel Gamble arrives in the port of Salem in the early 1820s, after leaving Scotland. Isobel has a gift for the colors she uses in embroidery and dressmaking, but she has hidden the true extent of her talent: a form of synesthesia that … Read more

America’s graveyards reveal surprises, segregation

America’s graveyards reveal surprises, segregation

By JEFF ROWE The Associated Press It turns out that America’s graveyards are much more than keepers of our bodily remains until the organisms within the soil reclaim everything. Cemeteries tell us about our beliefs, principles, economics and cultural values, says Greg Melville in this fascinating examination of how we treat, and mistreat, our dead. … Read more