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'How To Grow Up' Needs To Grow Up 
  Wed, 28 Jan 2015 07:03:13 -0500 
    Poet, novelist, memoirist and queer icon Michelle Tea makes a rare misstep in How To Grow Up, an essay collection that reviewer Michael Schaub calls "a well-intentioned, exasperating mess of a book."


After Father's Death, A Writer Learns How 'The Japanese Say Goodbye' 
  Tue, 27 Jan 2015 16:34:00 -0500 
    Lost in a deep depression, Marie Mutsuki Mockett visited a temple owned by her mother's family near Fukushima. There, she found traditions and ways of thought that helped her work through her grief.


'Mr. Mac' Paints Flowers In A Darkening World 
  Tue, 27 Jan 2015 07:03:00 -0500 
    Esther Freud's new novel Mr. Mac and Me traces an unlikely friendship between a lonely boy and a struggling artist. Reviewer Heller McAlpin says the book has both technical prowess and grace.


'Ghettoside' Explores Why Murders Are Invisible In Los Angeles 
  Mon, 26 Jan 2015 13:14:00 -0500 
    In her new book, journalist Jill Leovy studies the epidemic of unsolved murders in African-American neighborhoods and the relationships between police and victims' relatives, witnesses and suspects.


These 13 'Almost Famous Women' Stirred Up Trouble, Or Trouble Found Them 
  Mon, 26 Jan 2015 13:14:00 -0500 
    Megan Mayhew Bergman's stories about historical women are littered with bad-girl paraphernalia, like smashed-up motorcycles and morphine needles. In this collection, their lives are richly imagined.


In 'Fatherland,' A Daughter Outlines Her Dad's Radicalization 
  Sun, 25 Jan 2015 17:12:00 -0500 
    Falling in love with your handsome pen pal, moving overseas to marry him, then finding out he's part of a terrorist organization: That's the Bunjevac family story, told in a new graphic memoir.


In Winter, Keeping Warm With Beloved Books 
  Sun, 25 Jan 2015 07:03:00 -0500 
    Critic Juan Vidal says winter is a time for turning inward and warding off the chill with your favorite books, the ones you return to over and over again when the days get shorter and snow closes in.


For A Taste Of Grimdark, Visit The 'Land Fit For Heroes' 
  Sun, 25 Jan 2015 07:03:00 -0500 
    Richard K. Morgan's epic sword-and-planet (and alien technology) Land Fit for Heroes series is a good introduction to grimdark, a subgenre that aims to show the gritty underside of fantasy fiction.


In 'Dear Father,' A Poet Disrupts The 'Cycle Of Pain' 
  Sun, 25 Jan 2015 06:29:00 -0500 
    J. Ivy says his father grew up in pain and passed that pain on to the next generation. In his new book, he says that forgiveness is an ongoing act — and you must constantly remember to forgive again.


'Driving The King' A Story Long In The Works 
  Sat, 24 Jan 2015 17:02:00 -0500 
    Driving The King is a fictionalized account of the adventures of Nat King Cole and his bodyguard driver. Author Ravi Howard says the idea was planted long ago.


Huckabee Serves Up 'God, Guns' And A Dose Of Controversy 
  Sat, 24 Jan 2015 17:02:00 -0500 
    Former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee sees America as divided into "Bubble-ville" and "Bubba-ville," a cultural split he describes in his new book, Gods, Guns, Grits, and Gravy.


Why A Black Man's Murder Often Goes Unpunished In Los Angeles 
  Sat, 24 Jan 2015 08:42:00 -0500 
    From witnesses to reluctant gang members, Jill Leovy says, "everybody's terrified." Her book, Ghettoside, uses the story of one murder to explore the city's low arrest rate when black men are killed.


Two Outcasts Form An Artistic Bond In 'Mr. Mac And Me' 
  Sat, 24 Jan 2015 07:59:00 -0500 
    Painter's daughter Esther Freud weaves her own experiences into the story of a lonely little boy in a British seacoast town, who befriends the great Art Nouveau designer Charles Rennie Mackintosh.


Do You Have To Read 'Frog'? No, But You Might Want To 
  Sat, 24 Jan 2015 07:03:00 -0500 
    Reviewer Jason Sheehan says Mo Yan's Frog is not without issues, but still offers a thoughtful tale of a dark era in modern Chinese history, touched with humor and occasional magic.


When Pop Broke Up With Jazz 
  Fri, 23 Jan 2015 16:35:00 -0500 
    For the first half of the 20th century, Tin Pan Alley songwriters like Irving Berlin and the Gershwins dominated pop music. By the the 1950s, tastes had changed, and the music changed with them.
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