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Books

Memorial reading in Bloomfield to honor award-winning poet Kinnell

By Rege Behe
Galway Kinnell accomplished much in his 87 years. The Rhode Island native, who died in October, was the recipient of numerous honors, including a Pulitzer Prize, a National Book Award and the Frost Medal for poetry. But Kinnell’s contribution to ...

Bloomfield bookstore owner bucks naysayers

By Rege Behe
When Lesley Rains decided to become a bookseller in 2011, she was bucking a few trends. Bookstores — especially small, independent bookstores — were closing ...

‘Hilltop’ views everyday absurdism in occupied territories

By David L. Ulin
Assaf Gavron’s 2010 novel “Almost Dead” does something I would have thought impossible — it makes satire out of terrorism. The story of a man ...

Fishing guide plunges into evildoings in thriller

By Andrew Selsky
Vivid scenery and a likable protagonist mark the second book in a series by David Riley Bertsch. In “River of No Return,” Wyoming fishing guide Jake Trent, a former Department of Justice operative with a violent past that has left ...

‘The Girl on the Train’ thriller has a realistic plot

By Oline H. Cogdill
How many times have you been on a train and wondered about the people who live near the tracks and leave their curtains open so ...

Phil Hogan delivers clever psychological thriller

By Oline H. Cogdill
William Heming is the proverbial quiet man, nondescript, keeping to himself, mastering “the skill of being likable, but not memorable.” Yet, Heming seethes with self-righteous contempt for others and a propensity for vengeance and violence that erupts when he feels ...

‘How to Be Both’ offers 2 clever, playful tales

By Connie Ogle
Ali Smith is a playful writer, but her sense of fun thrives in unlikely places. It’s evident in the language of the terrible death of the young chambermaid in a dumbwaiter in Hotel World (“Woooooooo-hooooooo what a fall what a ...

New novel explores Van Gogh’s silent period

By M.l. Johnson
When Vincent van Gogh steps off the train in the coal-mining region of Belgium known as the Borinage, his artist’s eye is immediately captivated by ...

Wilkinsburg poet Leslie Mcilroy tells it like it is

By Rege Behe
In a 2001 essay on poets.org, William Meredith wrote that poets serve three roles — dissidents, apologists and “as solitary.” “There is no implicit agreement ...

Fitzgerald fascination: Stewart O’Nan book, new biographies, film projects focus on F. Scott

By Rege Behe
By general consensus, the last years of F. Scott Fitzgerald’s life were mired in alcoholism and indigence. The author of “The Great Gatsby” and ...

Robotics degree fuels CMU grad’s science fiction success

By Michael Machosky
With a Ph.D. in robotics from Carnegie Mellon University — considered by many the best place in the world to study such things — it’s ...

Oakmont mystery book store up for sale

By Tribune-Review
Two years after purchasing Mystery Lovers Bookshop, owner Laurie Stephens has put the Oakmont business up for sale. Founded in 1990 by Mary Alice Gorman and ...

Cornwell continues to seek balance between characters, science

By Sarah Bryan Miller
Author Patricia Cornwell has come a long way since her days as a crime reporter for the Charlotte Observer and a computer analyst at the chief medical examiner’s office in Richmond, Va. She’s published more than 30 books; 22 of them ...

Dialogue, twists make ‘Woman With a Gun’ seem like a Lifetime movie

By Oline H. Cogdill
Phillip Margolin takes a lighter approach with “Woman With a Gun,” an entertaining novel that, however, lacks the tight plotting and insight into the law of his legal thrillers. Instead, “Woman With a Gun” is more like a Lifetime movie ...

Novel ties 1970s Pittsburgh, struggles in the South

By Rege Behe
In his new novel, “The Life of the World to Come” (University of South Carolina Press, $29.95), Joseph Bathanti portrays two ostensibly different families on ...

Carnegie Mellon University keeps writer-educator Schmitt’s memory alive

By Rege Behe
Her novels sold millions of copies and her short stories were published in magazines including Collier’s, Harper’s Bazaar and The  Atlantic Monthly. At Carnegie Mellon ...

Old-school booksellers learn to survive, thrive in digital age

By Andrew Conte
John Schulman didn’t think much of the Internet back in the early 1990s, when he and his wife opened Caliban Book Shop in Pittsburgh. He still ...

Uniontown self-help book author finds ‘Inner Peace’ through writing

By Mark Hofmann
A Uniontown woman’s nine-year journey to write a self-help book to find inner peace started with inspiration from the mind, but finished with inspiration from ...

Lamott offers healing words in ‘Small Victories’

By Brooke Lefferts
Fans of author Anne Lamott know reading her work is like finding a favorite sweater from the depths of the closet on the first crisp fall day: warm, comforting, familiar and easy. Her new book, “Small Victories: Spotting Improbable Moments ...

First Munro collection released since Nobel win

By Ann Levin
A year after Alice Munro won the Nobel Prize for literature and was cited for her mastery of the modern short story, her publisher has collected 24 of her stories published over the past two decades. “Family Furnishings” serves as ...