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Books

Burlesque dancer searches for missing infant, friend’s killer in ‘Frog Music’

By Connie Ogle
Emma Donoghue’s latest novel has many facets, all of them fascinating. Like her short-story collection “Astray” and her novel “Slammerkin,” “Frog Music” is a detailed slice of historical drama, this time set in the festering boomtown of San Francisco in …

‘Roosevelt’s Beast’ provides diverting expedition

By Hector Tobar
As even the most casual student of American history knows, Theodore Roosevelt was a larger-than-life figure. Besides being our 26th president, he was an outdoorsman, an explorer, a historian and a war hero. T.R.’s adventures on the campaign trail, the …

Hempfield native, 22, publishes with local independent press

By Rex Rutkoski
If Hempfield native Maggie Donohue were in a booth with some of the best contemporary young writers, author Lori Jakiela is convinced she would have …

New John Wayne biography hits target dead center

By Douglass K. Daniel
Who’s that on the cover of Scott Eyman’s splendid biography of Hollywood’s most enduring movie star? Surely that wavy-haired young fellow in the suit and tie isn’t John Wayne. Where’s the Stetson, the Winchester rifle, the six-shooter, the boots and …

New biography explores the genius of John Updike

By Ann Levin
During his lifetime, John Updike was acclaimed as one of the greatest writers of his generation, the poet laureate of middle-class, small-town, Protestant America. From the time he was a boy, submitting articles and drawings to school newspapers in his …

Artist tackles gender bias with a bold experiment in Siri Hustvedt’s terrific ‘The Blazing World’

By Connie Ogle
“An original thing would be so foreign, we wouldn’t be able to recognize it, would we?” muses a character in Siri Hustvedt’s new novel. But she’s wrong. “The Blazing World” is unique and recognizably so, a bracing examination of the …

Book fair gives lovers of print reams of happiness

By Rachel Weaver
Anyone with a love of literature or an affinity for ephemera, take note. The Northern Ohio Bibliophilic Society’s 32nd annual Akron Antiquarian Book and Paper …

Variety keyword of Pittsburgh Arts & Lectures series

By Tribune-Review
James McBride, who wrote the best-selling memoir “The Color of Water,” will open up the Pittsburgh Arts & Lectures 2014-15 series. The author’s most recent …

Roddy Doyle talks music, language in ‘The Guts’

By Patricia Reaney
Award-winning Irish author Roddy Doyle brings a few of his earliest characters back in his latest book, “The Guts,” an achingly funny novel about some …

Reporter Liam Mulligan  is back on the case  in tough ‘Providence Rag’

By Jeff Ayers
Bruce DeSilva uses his journalistic background to elevate “Providence Rag,” the third entry in his award-winning series to feature reporter Liam Mulligan. The brutal murder of two women and their children over the course of several years rocks a community …

Review: Harlan Coben is at his best with ‘Missing You’

By Jeff Ayers
Harlan Coben, master of the suburban thriller, delivers another outstanding look at the truth behind the facade with “Missing You.” New York police Detective Kat Donovan receives a subscription to a dating website as a gift from her best friend. …

Pitt festival attracts award-winning writers

By Shirley Mcmarlin
Nationally known writers, poets and filmmakers, along with professors, students and alumni, will share their work during the 14th annual Pitt-Greensburg Writers Festival. Readings and presentations will begin at 7 p.m. nightly from April 7 to 11 at the University …

O’Brien brings ‘sadness and joy’ to writing program celebration at Carlow

By Rege Behe
Edna O’Brien is often lauded as one of the leading figures in the history of Irish literature. Born in County Clare in 1930, she’s received …

Mt. Lebanon native Brian Cuban tackles male eating disorders through ‘Image’

By Rachel Weaver
Like many boys in the ’Burgh, Brian Cuban idolized Roberto Clemente and played on a Little League team as an adolescent. The Mt. Lebanon native …

‘The Accident’ is gripping, suspenseful

By Jeff Ayers
Chris Pavone, author of the compelling “The Expats,” returns with his new novel, “The Accident,” a journey into the world of book publishing and secrets. …

Levingston’s ‘Demon’ reimagines a true crime

By Maureen Mccarthy
Paris 1889. The city preened beneath its new Eiffel Tower as the world flocked to the Exposition Universelle. Visitors were mesmerized, which was fitting because the city was about to see the world’s first test case of murder by hypnosis. …

Reporters write the book on an episode of Philly corruption

By Rege Behe
It was bad enough that Barbara Laker and Wendy Ruderman uncovered evidence of police corruption. The Philadelphia Daily News reporters, acting on a tip from …

Review: Benjamin Black’s ‘Black-Eyed Blonde’ presents a Marlowe more gray than noir

By David Ulin
Raymond Chandler is among our most stylized writers, an innovator of what we might call high noir, with its cut-glass imagery, its cynical world-weariness (although …

Review: Actor Robert Wagner recalls old Hollywood’s style in ‘You Must Remember This’

By Douglass K. Daniel
Long before movies could talk, the people on the big screen were setting trends and styles for the rest of us. Even today, there’s a sense of curiosity about what the stars are doing behind the gates of those great …

Stones guitarist Richards to publish children’s book

By Reuters
Rolling Stones guitarist Keith Richards, famous for surviving years of rock ’n’ roll excess, will release a children’s picture book with illustrations by his daughter …