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Articles filed under Literature

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  • New book offers ‘Game of Thrones’ back story Oct 28, 2014 6:00 AM
    George R.R. Martin knows all the signs of Boba Fett Syndrome. For Martin, this has meant not just the usual demands for the next “A Song of Ice and Fire” fantasy novel (don’t ask, he’s still working on it), but constant letters and emails asking for information on everything from dragons to Aegon Targaryen’s war against the Seven Kingdoms. Martin’s new book, released this week, is “The World of Ice & Fire: The Untold History of Westeros and the Game of Thrones,” 300 pages of back story and original artwork by the some of the world’s top fantasy illustrators.

  • ‘Time Out of Mind’ is rich study on Dylan Oct 27, 2014 5:45 AM
    The second installment of Ian Bell’s two-part biography of Bob Dylan, “Time Out of Mind,” is a compelling, focused examination of the latter half of the elusive singer-songwriter’s life and career, starting off with his acclaimed “Blood on the Tracks” album in 1975 and bringing readers close to the present day. For Dylan’s many obsessive fans, who have been offered a wealth of analyses of this singular artist over the years, Bell delivers the goods.

  • TV pioneer and sitcom king Norman Lear pens a book Oct 25, 2014 6:15 AM
    From the moment Norman Lear began writing his memoir, he knew what the first line would be: “When I was a boy I thought that if I could turn a screw in my father’s head just a sixteenth of an inch one way or the other, it might help him to tell the difference between right and wrong.”

  • Book notes: Kiss’ Gene Simmons signs ‘Me, Inc.’ at Tivoli Oct 25, 2014 6:45 AM
    Gene Simmons, of rock band Kiss, signs copies of his new book, “Me, Inc.,” at 4 p.m. Tuesday, Oct. 28, at the Tivoli Theatre in Downers Grove. And New York Times best-selling author Jodi Picoult discusses her new novel, “Leaving Time,” at 7 p.m. Tuesday, Oct. 28, in Wentz Concert Hall at Naperville's North Central College.

  • Poets to ready from ‘The Walmart Republic’ Oakton Oct 24, 2014 9:38 AM
    A black poet from Oklahoma and a white poet from Texas share the narratives of their separate journeys from the Bible Belt to Chicago during a unique evening of storytelling at Oakton’s Footlik Theater on Wednesday, Nov. 5. This free event is part of the college’s Chicago Writers Series.

  • Rowling writes back story of Potter character Oct 24, 2014 2:10 PM
    Harry Potter fans can look forward to a Halloween treat, with some tricks, from J.K. Rowling. In an announcement posted Friday on her website,, the author revealed that she has prepared a 1,700-word story about the witch and former Hogwarts professor Dolores Umbridge.

  • Learn how to write realistic crime novels Oct 23, 2014 4:31 PM
    Want to write a crime or mystery novel, but worried about getting your details right because you don’t work for a police department? The Schaumburg Township District Library may be able to help. The library is hosting a full day of free writing workshops presented by Sisters in Crime Chicagoland and Mystery Writers of America Midwest on Saturday, Nov. 8.

  • 'Gray Mountain' won't disappoint Grisham fans Oct 21, 2014 11:44 AM
    “Gray Mountain” introduces readers to Samantha Kofer, John Grisham's latest character to tackle walking the line between right and wrong. Kofer is working for a giant Wall Street law firm when the financial world collapses in 2008. She goes to work in a legal clinic in rural Virginia without pay and soon becomes involved in the intricacies of helping those who can't afford legal help find justice.

  • 'Superstorm' crafts narrative from Sandy's wrath Oct 21, 2014 5:45 AM
    It's been a weak hurricane season in the Atlantic so far, with little to worry U.S. coastal residents, but any forecaster will tell you: It only takes one storm to make a bad year. In 2012, that one storm was Superstorm Sandy, a hurricane that grew larger even as it lost its tropical characteristics and combined with an early winter storm and blast of arctic air. Kathryn Miles' “Superstorm” explores the human drama that unfolded in the storm's path from its late October genesis in the southwestern Caribbean through its terrifying landfall near Brigantine, New Jersey.

  • Couple finds a lost spark in ‘Brightwell’ Oct 20, 2014 6:00 AM
    At the heart of this light, energetic tale of a group of wealthy eccentrics on holiday at a seaside resort in England emerges a story of a marriage. Yes, there’s a juicy scandal, snobbish comments and petty disagreements among people of a certain class. But “Murder at the Brightwell” by Ashley Weaver also proves to be an insightful look at a marriage that started with a strong, physical attraction and now has frayed because neither Amory Ames nor her husband, Milo, has figured out how to communicate.

  • Harris’ atypical life is now atypical book Oct 19, 2014 6:30 AM
    From starring in two popular TV series, hosting award shows and appearing on Broadway, Neil Patrick Harris has many experiences to fill a book. Yet, when the opportunity arose, he didn’t feel he was at a place in his life where he could write a memoir. “Part of that process is to be able to have larger morals to pass on, and at 41, that’s not how I’m processing information yet,” he said.

  • Book notes: Mario Batali intros new book at Tivoli Theatre Oct 18, 2014 6:45 AM
    Chef, restaurateur, TV personality and author Mario Batali introduces his new book, “America Farm to Table,” co-authored by Jim Webster, at 7 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 23, at the Tivoli Theatre in Downers Grove.

  • Sisters in Crime workshops coming to Schaumburg Library Oct 20, 2014 8:16 AM
    A day of free writing workshops, offered by Sisters in Crime Chicagoland and Mystery Writers of America Midwest, will be from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., Saturday, Nov. 8, in the Adult Classroom of the Schaumburg Township District Library, 130 S. Roselle Road, Schaumburg.

  • Exhibition probes the mystery of Sherlock Holmes Oct 17, 2014 1:13 PM
    Sherlock Holmes is among the most famous Londoners of all time. It seems logical that the fictional detective's creator, Arthur Conan Doyle, must have known the city intimately. In fact, historian David Cannadine said, “Conan Doyle himself didn't spend that much time in London." That is just one of the surprises provided by a myth-busting new Museum of London exhibition that explores a character who has been endlessly adapted while retaining his essence.

  • ‘The Glass Cage’ is an absorbing read Oct 17, 2014 5:45 AM
    Nicholas Carr’s “The Glass Cage: Automation and Us” refers to the glass cockpit found in modern airplanes, instruments of advanced technology that ostensibly render human pilots redundant. Autopilots are supposed to make planes safer by eliminating the risk of human error; Carr notes, however, that this leads to situations in which human pilots are not adequately trained for what to do if and when the computers flying the planes fail.

  • Tory Burch book gives look at what inspires her Oct 15, 2014 5:45 AM
    Tory Burch’s new book is all about color, a compilation of the influences that inspire her, from people to music to art to culture to travel to home design. “It’s this eclectic mix, and that’s really what our company’s about as well, so it made perfect sense,” Burch said. “Tory Burch in Color,” released Tuesday, is arranged by color, with each chapter featuring photographs and anecdotes related to a different hue.

  • Australians cheer Flanagan’s Booker Prize win Oct 15, 2014 7:32 AM
    Australian literature-lovers cheered Wednesday after Richard Flanagan won the prestigious Booker Prize with a visceral story of wartime brutality and its aftermath — a novel the head of the judging team said was as powerful as a kick in the stomach. The country’s government may be less pleased. Flanagan in a post-awards interview said that Prime Minister Tony Abbott’s environmental policies made him “ashamed to be Australian.” Flanagan drew on his father’s experiences as a World War II prisoner of the Japanese for “The Narrow Road to the Deep North,” which centers on the Burma Death Railway.

  • Grandfather preserves his bedtime stories in a memoir Oct 13, 2014 7:50 AM
    Stories that enthralled his kids and grandkids at bedtime turned into a memoir: “Grand Crossing: Coming of Age on Chicago's South Side during the Great Depression."

  • Easy Street was a bumpy ride for Ron Perlman Oct 13, 2014 5:30 AM
    Looking for Easy Street? Just follow the horned Hellboy, badass biker Clay Morrow or Vincent the lion man from “Beauty and the Beast.” The guy behind the facades is Ron Perlman whose self-professed Neanderthal bone structure and leading-man blue eyes have made him a household face.

  • ‘Truth Be Told’ has drama, romance, humor Oct 12, 2014 6:00 AM
    Hank Phillippi Ryan’s latest entry to feature investigative reporter Jane Ryland showcases the author’s ability to balance humor, gripping drama, romance and contemporary issues. In “Truth Be Told,” Ryland is investigating families who have lost their homes due to foreclosure. While on-site at a house that a bank is taking away from a family, Ryland sees police and then the medical examiner arrive. When Detective Jake Brogan arrives on the scene, Ryland realizes there’s been a homicide.

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