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CHICAGO — Cynthia Clampitt thinks well of the Midwest region. So much so that “Destination Heartland: A Guide to Discovering the Midwest’s Remarkable Past,” is the food and travel writer’s third book focused on the region. The Pittsburgh native who grew up in the Chicagoland area has traveled to 37 countries on six continents while following her love for the “history of everything.” “The ...

FICTION: Nell Zink's sixth novel in seven years is about a woman's rise from dire beginnings. "Avalon" by Nell Zink; Knopf (224 pages, $27) ——— Over six novels in seven years, Nell Zink has honed a talent for prose that's assertive, even breezy in the face of ostensibly sad subjects: toxic relationships and environmental destruction, racism and prejudice, dysfunctional families and poverty, ...

Actress Viola Davis recently said that critics serve no purpose. Is that true? Two things happened recently that caused me to think hard about this weird business I'm in of passing judgment on other people's creative work. First, actress Viola Davis, unhappy with reviews of her performance in a show called "The First Lady," said this to the BBC: "Critics absolutely serve no purpose." And about ...

FICTION: Written over a 30-year-period, this engrossing novel focuses on an apparent crime and its ruinous effect on two families. "All the Secrets of the World" by Steve Almond; Zando (416 pages, $28) ——— Steve Almond's first novel is about a missing-persons case, a subgenre that tends to present a writer with a very 21st-century challenge: How to explain a character's disappearance in an age ...

FICTION: A Korean War survivor-turned-obstetrician must confront his past when corporate ownership closes the Minnesota community hospital where he works. "The Evening Hero" by Marie Myung-Ok Lee; Simon & Schuster (432 pages, $28.99) ——— Marie Myung-Ok Lee's sweeping novel, "The Evening Hero," opens with a depiction of an eventful day for Dr. Yungman Kwak, who for decades has delivered the ...

"Metropolis" by B.A. Shapiro; Algonquin Books (355 pages, $27.95) ——— Part mystery, part sociological study, B.A. Shapiro's new novel, "Metropolis," springs from a fascinating premise. Zach Davidson, former drug dealer gone straight, buys a castle-like storage facility in Cambridge, Massachusetts, called Metropolis. These aren't the corrugated metal units you see out on the edge of town; these ...

FICTION: Dan Chaon's violent, beautiful novel is a triumph of literary genre-bending. "Sleepwalk" by Dan Chaon; Henry Holt (320 pages, $27.99) ——— Say what you will about Quentin Tarantino: His films are violent but often hilarious, exulting in the history of cinema, from spaghetti westerns to slasher films to auteurs such as Welles and Kurosawa. The same can be said of Dan Chaon's brash, ...

BALTIMORE — The line to meet John Waters at the book signing for his debut novel, “Liarmouth: A Feel-Bad Romance,” stretched from Atomic Books down Falls Road past Vu Skateboard Shop. Fans from as far away as Nashville, Newark and London waited for up to four hours on May 9 for a 30-second encounter with the cult filmmaker, who was masked and behind a plexiglass shield in accordance with ...

Sure, you could be spending these pre-summer days doing outdoor activities — but wouldn't you rather be reading? For those whose answer to that question is an enthusiastic "yes," here are four new books worth staying indoors for. "Love Marriage: A Novel" by Monica Ali (Scribner, $27.99). This is one of those enchanting books full of people making bad decisions, but you find yourself rooting ...

FICTION: In this sequel to "The Idiot," Selin returns for her sophomore year at Harvard. "Either/Or" by Elif Batuman; Penguin Press (360 pages, $27) ——— When we last met Selin, the singular protagonist of Elif Batuman's Pulitzer Prize-finalist novel "The Idiot," she spent the summer after her Harvard freshman year teaching in a Hungarian village, an opportunity that Ivan, her ambiguous love ...

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Actress Mary Lynn Rajskub played a counterintelligence expert in the spy drama “24,” but in her new memoir, she claims to have been duped into an unwanted kiss from late right-wing broadcaster Rush Limbaugh. According to Rajskub’s book that came out Tuesday, “FAME-ISH: My Life at the Edge of Stardom,” that forced kiss came in 2006 when she was invited to a conservative gathering in Washington, ...

Here are the bestsellers for the week that ended Saturday, May 14, compiled from data from independent and chain bookstores, book wholesalers and independent distributors nationwide, powered by NPD BookScan © 2022 NPD Group. (Reprinted from Publishers Weekly, published by PWxyz LLC. © 2022, PWxyz LLC.) HARDCOVER FICTION 1. "22 Seconds" by James Patterson and Maxine Paetro (Little, Brown) Last ...

Here are the bestsellers for the week that ended Saturday, May 14, compiled from data from independent and chain bookstores, book wholesalers and independent distributors nationwide, powered by NPD BookScan © 2022 NPD Group. (Reprinted from Publishers Weekly, published by PWxyz LLC. © 2022, PWxyz LLC.) HARDCOVER FICTION 1. 22 Seconds. Patterson/Paetro. Little, Brown 2. The Summer Place. ...

Colin Kaepernick is planning to share more of his life story, this time with a certain audience in mind. The former NFL quarterback and civil rights activist is scheduled to release a young adult graphic novel, “Colin Kaepernick: Change the Game,” next spring. “Change the Game’ is the true story of my high school years—a period punctuated by the trials and triumphs of adolescence,” Kaepernick ...

It is an awful, uncomfortable yet indisputable truth that we, as societies and individuals, often treat differently those who look or love or sound or worship differently than we do. We don't always become suspicious, but too often we do. We don't always feel threatened, but too often we do. We don't always respond with violence, but too often we do. Sometimes these contrasts come purely from ...

When Dennis Hopper met Brooke Hayward on a Broadway stage in 1961, you wouldn’t have expected the two actors to connect, get married and help shape the cultural landscape of Los Angeles in the ’60s. Hopper was a wild card, a Method actor who’d made his Hollywood debut in “Rebel Without a Cause,” and at 24 had already earned a reputation as a stubborn maverick determined to be an artist in ...

In 1991, Doug Bower and Dave Chorley came clean: They — not aliens, or whatever the going theory was at the time — had taken planks of wood and lengths of rope and made crop circles in the south of England, starting in the late 1970s. What began as a lark turned into a 13-year-long hoax. Author Benjamin Myers uses the efforts of the real-life Bower and Chorley as the jumping-off point for his ...

Of course kids want a good story and engaging pictures. But there's nothing wrong with a lesson, too. These 10 picture books — most with a Minnesota connection — celebrate nature, applaud diversity and protest racism, especially the murder of George Floyd. Most of these books include endnotes with reading guides, information and advice on how children can get involved. Sarah Rising By Ty ...

In late April, one week before a trial began that would decide how much Alex Jones should pay the families of first-graders murdered in the 2012 massacre at Sandy Hook Elementary in Connecticut, the conspiracy theorist filed a motion in federal bankruptcy court. Jones, at the helm of a multi-million dollar right-wing media echo chamber, sought relief from the financial reckoning that was ...

Ricardo Flores Magón might not be a household name in much of the U.S., but nearly a century after the Mexican activist died in a Kansas penitentiary, his legacy lives on. That's the argument that Kelly Lytle Hernández makes in her new book, "Bad Mexicans" — and it's a convincing one. Lytle Hernández's book covers the decade leading up the Mexican Revolution of 1910, focusing on Flores Magón ...

As night falls during the hot turbulent summer of 1989, two men slip into the darkened fields of England to manufacture strangely inspired artworks that transfix and baffle the nation. The two conspirators, one a former soldier of the Falklands War and the other an eccentric wanderer, devise vast elaborate crop circles in the wheat and the barley, leaving no trace but their designs and ...

CHICAGO -- Writer and photographer Jessica Mlinaric wants Chicagoans back on the streets. The last time we heard from her, it was 2018 and she was revealing tidbits of Chicago information, like where one can sunbathe on a Lake Michigan shipwreck and where one could ride in one of Chicago’s only manually operated elevators — all details found in her book “Secret Chicago: A Guide to the Weird, ...

In 2006, sleep specialist Sara Mednick wrote an award-winning book, "Take a Nap! Change Your life." Now, 16 years later, she is following it with a how-to guide for re-charging your batteries while you're awake. Mednick, who lives in Kensington, California, is a professor of cognitive science at UC Irvine. She runs a sleep lab there that collects and analyzes data on people's sleep patterns ...

As an American, I find the idea of bowing (or curtseying) to someone abhorrent. And yet, after reading Tina Brown's revealing book about the House of Windsor, I bow to her. "The Palace Papers" is entertaining and illuminating, but not tawdry, even as she deals with all kinds of tawdry actions. Its theme could be "so many unfulfilled people." A monarch must produce an heir and a spare, but the ...

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