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The Book Smugglers of Timbuktu by Charlie English – review
28 June 2017 | 2:29 am Books | The Guardian

This exemplary work tells a remarkable story of the saving of precious manuscripts and explores the meanings of the ‘African Eldorado’, but exposes a mythIn April 2012, the jihadist army of the Saharan branch of al-Qaida drove a fleet of their armoured pick-up trucks into the centre of the ancient caravan town of Timbuktu in northern Mali. As black flags were hoisted atop the minarets, and as trapped and terrified government conscripts scrambled out of their uniforms, the jihadists...

Margaux Fragoso, Memoirist Who Wrote Hauntingly of Sexual Abuse, Dies at 38
27 June 2017 | 8:59 pm NYT > Books

“Tiger, Tiger,” Ms. Fragoso’s graphic account of her relationship with a much older man, was considered one of the more notable books of the year when it was released in 2011....

Rabbi Meir Zlotowitz, Who Made Jewish Prayer Books Clear to All, Dies at 73
27 June 2017 | 5:38 pm NYT > Books

His company, ArtScroll Mesorah, provides prayer books and volumes of the Torah and Talmud for the Orthodox Jewish community written in everyday English....

Books of The Times: Review: Francis Spufford’s First Novel Is a Swashbuckling Tale
27 June 2017 | 5:40 pm NYT > Books

“Golden Hill” follows the misadventures of a handsome young stranger who arrives in New York from London, hoping to cash in on a fortune....

Books News: Liveright to Publish Nelson Mandela’s Letters From Prison
27 June 2017 | 5:54 pm NYT > Books

The publisher expects to issue a volume of selected letters in 2018, with a fuller two-volume set to follow....

Powerful Photos Show Former Gang Members Without Tattoos
27 June 2017 | 5:36 pm Book Reviews, Excerpts, eBooks and Reader Exclusives - HuffPost Books

“I did it for people to not be intimidated by gang tattoos, so they take time to listen to people’s stories.”...

The Number Of Babies Named 'Barack' Is Back On The Rise
27 June 2017 | 3:08 pm Book Reviews, Excerpts, eBooks and Reader Exclusives - HuffPost Books

The name declined after peaking in 2009, but it seems to be growing in popularity again....

Ian Gibb obituary
27 June 2017 | 1:06 pm Books | The Guardian

My friend and colleague Ian Gibb, who has died aged 91, played a key role in ensuring that the British Museum Library (BML) became a fully fledged part of the new British Library (BL).Born in Eastbourne, East Sussex, and raised in London, he was the son of John Gibb, an engineering draughtsman, and his wife, Mary (nee Owen), who worked in a bank. On leaving Latymer Upper school, Hammersmith, he studied French and German at University College London, and after six years working in UCL’s...

How 'Harry Potter' Saved Young Adult Fiction
27 June 2017 | 11:07 am Book Reviews, Excerpts, eBooks and Reader Exclusives - HuffPost Books

Authors, publishers and booksellers discuss the remarkable popularity of J.K. Rowling's books....

'Be Free or Die,' tale of escaped slave who became a Union hero
27 June 2017 | 12:06 pm GANNETT Syndication Service

Cate Lineberry's new book tells the little-known story of Robert Smalls, a ship pilot.

Front Burner: Picnic Ideas From the Fortnum & Mason Cookbook
27 June 2017 | 10:53 am NYT > Books

Written by the British food critic Tom Parker Bowles, this cookbook includes English recipes for a plethora of stately occasions....

Reading group webchat: post your questions for John Kennedy Toole's biographer
27 June 2017 | 10:25 am Books | The Guardian

Cory MacLauchlin will be here at 1pm (BST) on Friday 30 June to discuss Butterfly in the Typewriter, his life of A Confederacy of Dunces’s author 3.21pm BSTOn Friday 30 June at 1pm (BST), Cory MacLauchlin will be joining us to discuss his biography of John Kennedy Toole, Butterfly in the Typewriter.His book tells a story almost as fantastical as A Confederacy of Dunces. It’s a compelling and sympathetic portrait of Toole’s larger than life personality, his complicated...

Books News: Sarah Jessica Parker Reveals First Book Acquisition, and Her A.L.A. Book Club Pick
27 June 2017 | 7:00 am NYT > Books

Her first acquisition, by the debut novelist Fatima Farheen Mirza, follows an Indian-American family....

Memoir: How friendship saved a heart-transplant patient
27 June 2017 | 7:00 am GANNETT Syndication Service

Amy Silverstein's girlfriends gathered to see her through a medical crisis.

OED serves up volley of new definitions from tennis
27 June 2017 | 8:05 am Books | The Guardian

The dictionary’s latest online update has added a clutch of ‘new’ terms describing the game, some dating back to the 16th centuryTennis lovers will have more than the quality of their champagne and strawberries to contemplate between matches at Wimbledon this year. The game is the source of more than 80 new words and senses, the bulk of the new definitions added to the Oxford English Dictionary in its latest online update.Some well-known terms make their debut in the venerable...

Match Book: Dear Match Book: What Books Best Capture Science and Nature?
27 June 2017 | 5:00 am NYT > Books

A book club focused on literature of the environment, from nature memoirs to natural history and science, seeks to expand its reading list....

The Shortlist: Four Timely Memoirs from the Halls of Medicine
27 June 2017 | 5:00 am NYT > Books

Four doctors—a nephrologist, a pediatrician, a cardiologist and a psychiatrist—on what ails their patients and their profession....

Nonfiction: A Life of Toscanini, Maestro With Passion and Principles
27 June 2017 | 5:00 am NYT > Books

In his new biography, “Toscanini: Musician of Conscience,” Harvey Sachs presents a demanding but tenderhearted genius who stood up to fascism and hate....

Miroslav Penkov: why we should all claim this America as ours
27 June 2017 | 5:00 am Books | The Guardian

The novel Stork Mountain draws on Muslim-Christian conflict, but the Bulgarian-born author says it is not a call to turn away from the US in response to hostilityIn January, anticipating the paperback edition of my novel, I was invited to write a few words for this column. For days I walked around in poor disposition. I kept writing and rewriting. Then on 28 January in Victoria, Texas, some 300 miles from where I live, a mosque that had been attacked twice before was destroyed in a fire. Two...

Nick Laird: ‘Sometimes my wife and I will play very competitive and incompetent chess’
27 June 2017 | 6:10 am Books | The Guardian

The poet and novelist on why his local New York library makes a perfect place to work and how the art of writing is in scraping pattern out of daily chaosI wake about six or so and try to get back to sleep, sporadically checking the clock radio. Either the dog or one of the children, or all of the above, will have climbed in during the night so the bed’s usually full. I get up at seven and get the kids and the dog breakfast, and make a packed lunch for my son. I walk the kids to their...

Roller Girl by Victoria Jamieson review – thrills and spills for girls
27 June 2017 | 4:00 am Books | The Guardian

The fearsome, feminine world of roller derby is brought to life in this perceptive coming-of-teens graphic novel“Tough! Strong! Fearless!” is the mantra of Roller Girl’s protagonist, 12-year-old novice skater Astrid – or Asteroid, as she is known on the skate track. It also perfectly describes the tone of this vivid and funny graphic novel from American illustrator Victoria Jamieson, a runner-up for last year’s prestigious Newbery medal.Facing a long, empty summer...

How an independent bookstore took on anti-feminist trolls and won
27 June 2017 | 12:59 am Books | The Guardian

When Avid Reader shared Clementine Ford’s Facebook post, the Brisbane bookseller’s social media page was attacked by trolls, prompting an extraordinary counterattack by the writer’s fans and Australia’s literary communityOn Monday morning, independent Brisbane bookstore Avid Reader shared a Facebook post from Australian feminist writer Clementine Ford, who was happily announcing that she’d signed a contract to write her second book. Ford described the book, Boys...

In the Days of Rain: A Daughter. A Father. A Cult by Rebecca Stott; A Book of Untruths by Miranda Doyle – review
27 June 2017 | 2:30 am Books | The Guardian

Two desperate childhood memoirs reveal girls at the mercy of patriarchal powerIn the Days of Rain by Rebecca Stott and Miranda Doyle’s A Book of Untruths are each powerful, distinctive memoirs in their own right, but they have threads in common, such as dysfunctional family, charismatic, flawed fathers, damage, loss, love, and how institutions have the power to destroy individuals.Both books come with the blessing of key family members. In Stott’s case, her dying father asks for her...

Hope Ryden, Wildlife Protector and Photographer, Dies at 87
26 June 2017 | 9:43 pm NYT > Books

Mr. Ryden developed a passion for photography during breaks abroad as a flight attendant, and became a full-time naturalist and animal-rights advocate....

My Daughter's Summer Reading List Is Old School, And Not In A Good Way
26 June 2017 | 3:07 pm Book Reviews, Excerpts, eBooks and Reader Exclusives - HuffPost Books

If your kid comes home with a list that makes you cringe, you can easily be a part of the solution....

Op-Ed Contributor: Why Grown-Up Muggles Should Read ‘Harry Potter’
26 June 2017 | 6:55 pm NYT > Books

On the 20th anniversary of J.K. Rowling’s series, a superfan explains why the books still make him cry....

As if He Isn’t Busy Enough: Met Museum Head to Write Book
26 June 2017 | 4:04 pm NYT > Books

Daniel H. Weiss has sold a book about America’s experience in the Vietnam era to Public Affairs, he confirmed Monday. He became the museum’s top official this month....

Books of The Times: Edwidge Danticat Wrestles With Death, in Life and in Art
26 June 2017 | 5:00 pm NYT > Books

“The Art of Death” chronicles the death of the author’s mother, as well as the ways other writers, from Tolstoy to Didion, have treated the end of life....

Grenfell Tower: Philip Pullman set to name new book character after fire victim
26 June 2017 | 3:21 pm Daily Express :: Books Feed

HIS DARK MATERIALS author Philip Pullman is set to name a character in his upcoming The Book of Dust series after a Grenfell Tower fire victim, following bidding in a charity auction....

Hygge under threat from friluftsliv as lifestyles battle for bookshop supremacy
26 June 2017 | 12:44 pm Books | The Guardian

UK publishers reach for Norwegian philosophy of fresh air to grab the lucrative coffee-table self-help market from the bestselling Danish design for cosy livingSnuff out the tea lights and stick the hearthrugs back in the attic. It is official: hygge, the Danish “art” of cosy living, is as past-it as the Tory manifesto.For those of us who regard making the bed as a “lifestyle statement”, the news is not good, because in 2017 its place will be filled by the far more...

7 Small Ways To Celebrate Harry Potter's 20th Anniversary
26 June 2017 | 12:21 pm Books - The Huffington Post

Happy 20th birthday to “Harry Potter”! The series, that is.

These Real, Magical Texts Are Straight Out Of 'Harry Potter'
26 June 2017 | 12:51 pm Books - The Huffington Post

Hippogriffs and centaurs, veela and grindylows, unicorns and basilisks ― thanks to J.K. Rowling and “Harry Potter,” mythical beasts like these have become familiar to millions. When he discovers he’s a wizard, Harry is swept off to a school where he learns about these fantastical creatures, as well as magical herbs and powerful potions gleaned from old scrolls of parchment and a library packed with yellowing old books. But Rowling didn’t originally invent most of...

J.K. Rowling Celebrates Harry Potter's 20th With A Perfect Tweet
26 June 2017 | 10:39 am Books - The Huffington Post

Monday marks 20 years since the publication of the first book in a series that would change the world: J.K. Rowling’s “Harry Potter.”

Oprah picks debut novel 'Behold the Dreamers' for book club
26 June 2017 | 10:24 am GANNETT Syndication Service

Imbolo Mbue, whose debut novel 'Behold the Dreamers' is Oprah Winfrey's latest selection.

Grenfell Tower appeal to see Philip Pullman character named after victim
26 June 2017 | 10:01 am Books | The Guardian

Drive to commemorate teenager Nur Huda el-Wahabi, who died in the tragedy, has raised in excess of

Harry Potter SHOCK: Major study says most British people would be sorted into THIS house
26 June 2017 | 9:20 am Daily Express :: Books Feed

HARRY POTTER landed into the public consciousness 20 years ago today - and a big new survey has been taken in celebration....

Oprah's New Book Club Pick Has 'Everything That's Grabbing The Headlines In America Right Now'
26 June 2017 | 8:56 am Books - The Huffington Post

This morning, Oprah Winfrey announced her latest selection for “Oprah’s Book Club” ― and it’s as topical as it is gripping. Behold the Dreamers is a powerful novel by 36-year-old Imbolo Mbue, whose own experience as an immigrant from Cameroon is woven through a tale of Jende and Neni Jonga, a couple from Central Africa who come to America believing it will grant all their wishes.“It’s got everything that’s grabbing the headlines in America right...

JD Vance, Steve Case want the heartland's start-up pitches
26 June 2017 | 7:03 am GANNETT Syndication Service

Best-selling author JD Vance and AOL co-founder Steve Case plan a 5-state Rise of the Rest tour.

Harry Potter quiz: 20 years, 20 questions
26 June 2017 | 7:00 am Books | The Guardian

It’s exactly two decades since the first of JK Rowling’s books was published. Try our Nastily Exhausting Wizarding Test to see how much you have learned since thenWhat is Albus Dumbledore's full name?Albus Percival Wulfric Brian DumbledoreAlbus Patrick William Bob DumbledoreAlbus Brian Percival Wulfric DumbledoreAlbus William Bob Patrick DumbledoreHow many years in a row had Slytherin won the House Cup before Harry's arrival at Hogwarts in 1991?Three yearsSeven yearsTen yearsEight...

Nonfiction: Why America’s Great Cities Are Becoming More Economically Segregated
26 June 2017 | 5:00 am NYT > Books

In “The New Urban Crisis,” Richard Florida argues that the revival of central cities has made them more unequal and more segregated....

Fiction: From City to Jungle, a New Novel Summons the Politics and History of Two Islands
26 June 2017 | 5:00 am NYT > Books

Northern Ireland and Papua New Guinea don’t seem so different in Nick Laird’s new novel, “Modern Gods.”...

Poem of the week: In No Strange Land by Francis Thompson
26 June 2017 | 5:10 am Books | The Guardian

A Victorian mystic’s appeal to the eternal in the everyday includes some gritty details from a troubled life In No Strange Land O world invisible, we view thee,O world intangible, we touch thee,O world unknowable, we know thee,Inapprehensible, we clutch thee! Continue reading......

It's time to bring Branwell, the dark Brontë, into the light
26 June 2017 | 6:00 am Books | The Guardian

Though his life was dense with literary and other failures, he was a decisive influence on their work and his own story is worth hearingWe are currently in the middle of Bront

Twenty years of Harry Potter – the 20 things we have learned
26 June 2017 | 3:00 am Books | The Guardian

Retail wars, legal battles and vibrating broomsticks ... two decades of JK Rowling’s boy wizard1 Some first editions can appreciate in value pretty fast. There were only 500 hardback copies of Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone printed in the first run in 1997, of which 300 went to libraries. If you find one of these knocking about in your downstairs loo – the print line on the copyright page is 10 9 8 7 6 5 4 3 2 1 – it’s worth a small fortune. Expect...

First Confession: A Sort of Memoir by Chris Patten – review
26 June 2017 | 4:00 am Books | The Guardian

The former Tory ‘wet’, Hong Kong governor and BBC chairman has worn a variety of hats while retaining a guiding belief in one-nation ConservatismAlthough of modest origins, Chris Patten has led a golden life. Born to a lower-middle-class family in Ealing, he passed every exam he ever sat with flying colours, won every scholarship and was in due course elected Tory MP for the beautiful city of Bath. Before long he was writing speeches for the prime minister, then gradually rose...

The 100 best nonfiction books: No 73 – Tales from Shakespeare by Charles and Mary Lamb (1807)
26 June 2017 | 12:45 am Books | The Guardian

A troubled brother and sister team produced one of the 19th century’s bestselling volumes and added to the deification of ‘the bard’In the autumn of 1796, at the age of 21, Charles Lamb, a city clerk with a lifelong stutter, came home from his desk at the East India Company to find that his sister, Mary, had stabbed their mother to death in a mad seizure. He described the events of 22 September in a letter to a friend:“I will only give you the outlines. My poor dear...

American Heiress: The Kidnapping, Crimes and Trial of Patty Hearst by Jeffrey Toobin – review
26 June 2017 | 2:30 am Books | The Guardian

This retelling of Patty Hearst’s life on the run with cack-handed revolutionaries is strangely uninvolvingFew cases in the history of American crime can have been more picked over than that of Patty Hearst, the heiress who was kidnapped in 1974 by the ramshackle revolutionary outfit known as the Symbionese Liberation Army: by my count, there are already more than a dozen nonfiction books about her, not to mention two novels, her own memoir, a feature film, several documentaries, numerous...

Q. & A.: Tell Us 5 Things About Your Book: ‘The Mind of God’
25 June 2017 | 5:57 pm NYT > Books

The neurologist Jay Lombard discusses the brain and its connection to what he describes as our deeper, spiritual underpinnings....

The Seabird’s Cry by Adam Nicolson review – gritty, poetic and soaring
25 June 2017 | 7:00 am Books | The Guardian

A beautiful exploration of 10 species of seabirds – and the threats they faceAdam Nicolson says this “paean to the beauty of life on the wing” began when he read a Seamus Heaney lecture exploring French philosopher Simone Weil’s aphorism: “Obedience to the force of gravity. The greatest sin.” It says everything about this gorgeous book: a poetic, soaring exploration of 10 species of seabirds: gull, guillemot, gannet and so on – which revels in the way...

Teju Cole: ‘My camera is like an invisibility cloak. It makes me more free’
25 June 2017 | 5:00 am Books | The Guardian

Nigerian American writer Teju Cole also takes vivid photographs which, in his latest book, Blind Spot, he matches with passages of allusive prose. Here he talks about travel, memory, and the day he lost his sightIn April, 2000, Teju Cole woke up in his room in a writer’s colony in upstate New York to find that he could not see clearly. He was taken to the small town of Hudson nearby, where an ophthalmologist advised him to see a specialist in Manhattan. Walking to the train station, Cole...

Himself by Jess Kidd review – humour and horror collide
25 June 2017 | 5:00 am Books | The Guardian

Dark things lurk beneath the surface in this village mystery set on the west coast of IrelandJess Kidd’s novel opens with the brutal death of a young girl in the 1950s before skipping forwards in time to the 70s, when a charismatic stranger, Mahony, arrives in the small village of Mulderrig on the west coast of Ireland. He brings with him a photograph of himself as a baby and is trying to find out what happened to the mother who, as he understands it, left him on the steps of a Dublin...

Red Sky at Noon by Simon Sebag Montefiore review – love in dark times
25 June 2017 | 6:00 am Books | The Guardian

The final, gripping instalment in the historian’s Moscow trilogy tells of a man wrongly imprisoned in the Gulags and his fight for redemption“My name is Nothing, my surname is Nobody” – this saying of Gulag prisoners is an epigraph to the meticulously researched third novel in the author’s Moscow trilogy. Here, given not only a name but a powerful personality, is Benya Golden, imprisoned in the Gulags but innocent. Set in Stalingrad in the sweltering summer of...

Joshua Ferris: ‘Good fiction is a recapitulation of a dream’
25 June 2017 | 3:00 am Books | The Guardian

The American author on humour in his fiction, the benefit of having a spouse as your sternest critic, and why short stories are as difficult to write as novelsUS writer Joshua Ferris, 42, is the author of three novels including Then We Came to the End (2007) and To Rise Again at a Decent Hour (2014), which was shortlisted for the Booker prize. His new book is a collection of short stories, The Dinner Party.Many of the stories have been published separately over the past 20 years. What was it...

The New Village by John Spinks – review
25 June 2017 | 4:00 am Books | The Guardian

There’s more than meets the eye in these quietly ominous photographs of a Warwickshire mining villageThe indeterminate stretches of land where suburban housing estates end and the English countryside begins can often carry a strange sense of foreboding. In the paintings of the contemporary British realist artist George Shaw, for instance, gable ends and rows of disused garages appear oddly ominous. Likewise, the scraggy paths that lead into nearby fields or woodlands, where ragged strips...

A Bold and Dangerous Family review – unlikely heroes in the war on fascism
25 June 2017 | 1:30 am Books | The Guardian

Caroline Moorehead’s gripping account of two Jewish brothers’ fight against Mussolini shines a light on an overlooked chapter of Italian historyIt’s often said that Italy has managed to get away with its fascist past. There’s no great communal guilt or shame; the country paid a pittance in terms of war reparations. Of course the crimes of Mussolini’s thugs, horrifying as they often were, seem minor when set against the industrialised genocide of the Third Reich....

Broken River by J Robert Lennon review – wickedly plotted slowburner
25 June 2017 | 2:00 am Books | The Guardian

A psychological thriller about a middle-class family’s ill-starred house move, from a writer at the top of his gameIf Lennon’s previous novel, Familiar – the story of a mother trapped in a parallel dimension – lifted sci-fi tropes for a riddling exploration of parenthood, his equally brilliant new book borrows ingredients from horror and crime narrative to electrify a story of middle-class marital breakdown. After Karl, a sculptor, and Eleanor, a novelist, relocate...

A Manual for Heartache review – sound advice for the grieving
25 June 2017 | 2:30 am Books | The Guardian

Cathy Rentzenbrink, who wrote a moving memoir about losing her brother, now offers help to fellow sufferersWhen Cathy Rentzenbrink was a teenager her life was thrown into turmoil when her life-force of a brother was knocked over by a car. Emergency brain surgery prevented his death. A 10-day coma was followed by eight years of unthinkable family nightmare as he lay in a persistent vegetative state (“ugly words for an ugly condition”). Eventually, after complex legal proceedings, he...

America’s Incarceration Crisis: Are We ‘Doomed To Repeat The Same Failed Policies’?
24 June 2017 | 12:27 pm Books - The Huffington Post

In this week’s episode of “Scheer Intelligence” for KCRW, Robert Scheer speaks with James Forman Jr. The Yale Law School professor once clerked for former Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O’Connor and is a former public defender. His new book, “Locking Up Our Own: Crime and Punishment in Black America,” delves into the issue of systemic incarceration of black men in the United States.“We rarely have good alternatives to offer to prison—...

What lies beneath the brave new world of feminist dystopian sci-fi?
24 June 2017 | 5:45 pm Books | The Guardian

From the Bailey-prize-winning The Power to the bleakly compelling The Handmaid’s Tale, Leading writers explain why the genre is thrivingOn an Earth blasted by the hot winds of a changed climate 200 years from now, who will be in charge? Will men be riding by in Mad Max steam-punk chariots, as their beleaguered wives drag children and sacks of provisions home along dusty tracks? Or will a liberated generation of Lycra-clad superwomen be running the world?Much of the established political...

Modern toss – cartoon
24 June 2017 | 7:00 am Books | The Guardian

Read all about it: it’s Independent Bookshop Week from 24 June to 1 July Continue reading......


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