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Articles filed under Literature

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  • 5 things to know about the new Goddess of Thunder Jul 21, 2014 5:00 AM
    When superhero comics publishers alter a character, they often wait and hope for the clap of approval. This week, Marvel Comics’ big announcement brought a thunderclap. Marvel announced ­— on the friendly venue of ABC’s “The View” — that a big switch is coming this fall to the God of Thunder: There will be a new wielder of Mjolnir, the mystical hammer of Thor.

  • Burke fashions epic story in 'Wayfaring Stranger' Jul 21, 2014 1:36 PM
    Author James Lee Burke is a descendant of tough Texas lawmen. In “Wayfaring Stranger,” Burke introduces another member of the Holland family (inspired by the Hollan side of his family), Weldon Avery Holland. When we first meet him, it's 1934, and Weldon, a teen, is living on a hardscrabble Texas farm with his mentally ill mother and his grumpy grandfather. The epic story Burke has fashioned is thick with tension to the very end. His characters, both heroes and villains, are superbly well-drawn, and the poetic descriptions of both urban and country settings bring Texas to life on the page.

  • Arlington Heights author digs up ‘Wizard of Oz’ history Jul 21, 2014 7:02 PM
    Longtime Arlington Heights resident David J. Hogan has written “The Wizard of Oz FAQ,” a highly detailed and exhaustively researched look at the classic, 75-year-old movie that has spawned inferior movie sequels and prequels, zillions of “Oz” conventions and a watershed industry of memorabilia. “There is a reason why, 75 years later, people still respond to it,” Hogan said.

  • Composed Maine South song, wrote book, and BTW, dated Hillary Jul 20, 2014 8:08 AM
    Gary Koca of Pingree Grove wrote the Maine South High School fight song, broadcast games with radio partner Steve Goodman years before "Go, Cubs, Go," and would rather talk about his book, "Forgotten Movie Stars of the 30's, 40's and 50's." But it's hard to look past that he went on a date with classmate Hillary Rodham.

  • Comic Book Mania Convention visits Elgin library Jul 19, 2014 8:39 PM
    The fifth annual Comic Book Mania Convention drew large crowds (with a few people in costume) to the Gail Borden Public Library in Elgin Saturday. “For me it’s more about the community of it than the comics themselves,” said Jamie Sarno, whose dad was in the business.

  • ‘Days of Rage’ is fast-paced thriller Jul 17, 2014 1:01 AM
    The world of Special Ops seems to be a new trend in publishing, but author Brad Taylor, a former Delta Force operative, knows how to unveil the behind-the-scenes action.

  • Harper Lee says she didn't OK new book about her Jul 16, 2014 8:22 AM
    The reclusive author of “To Kill a Mockingbird,” one of the most acclaimed novels of the 20th century, says she never gave her approval to a new memoir that portrays itself as a rare, intimate look into the lives of the writer and her older sister in small-town Alabama. “Rest assured, as long as I am alive any book purporting to be with my cooperation is a falsehood,” Harper Lee said in a letter released Monday, just as the new book, “The Mockingbird Next Door: Life with Harper Lee” was about to released.

  • ‘The Bone Orchard’ is satisfying mystery Jul 16, 2014 1:01 AM
    “The Bone Orchard” (Minotaur Books), by Paul Doiron Mike Bowditch’s recklessness and insubordination, along with his struggle with a series of personal tragedies, seemed to make him a bad match for his job as a Maine game warden. So, as the fifth novel in this fine series opens, it comes as no great surprise that Mike has quit law enforcement and taken refuge as a fishing guide in the state’s great North Woods. But Sgt. Kathy Frost, Mike’s former mentor in the warden service, is in trouble. A suicidal Afghanistan war vet she was assigned to help has been shot dead. The ex-soldier’s politically connected parents and former army buddies blame her. And she is under investigation for her role in the affair. Thinking he might be able to help, or at least offer a sympathetic ear, Mike drives to her cabin and comes under sniper fire in her driveway. He finds his old friend critically wounded. A civilian now, Mike has no business getting involved. As reckless and impetuous as always, he dives in anyway. The authorities suspect the dead soldier’s old army buddies for the attack on Kathy. Mike casts his net wider as he pursues the case from the urban landscape of Portland to the desolate farming villages of Aroostook County. As always, Doiron describes his state so vividly that it becomes not just the setting but also a character in its own right. As Mike’s list of suspects grows, he digs deeply into Kathy’s past. Along the way, he also keeps running into people from his own past, including old friends, old enemies and an ex-wife. The encounters lead to much soul-searching — so much that for a good portion of the book, the biggest mystery Mike confronts isn’t who shot Kathy, it’s what kind of man Mike has become. This makes “The Bone Orchard” both a rich exploration of character and a satisfying mystery story.

  • Former ‘Bachelor’ winner writes of finding love Jul 14, 2014 5:30 AM
    When Courtney Robertson appeared on ABC’s dating competition series “The Bachelor” in 2012, she was quickly elevated to villain status. Many viewers — and her fellow contestants — believed the 30-year-old model was catty, mean to the other women and couldn’t be trusted. In the end, Robertson won winemaker Ben Flajnik’s heart and a marriage proposal. They later split up. She’s now sharing her story in “I Didn’t Come Here to Make Friends: Confessions of a Reality Show Villain.”

  • Modern Russian fable superbly drawn Jul 14, 2014 5:45 AM
    Twin brothers Yarik and Dima were virtual lookalikes as boys growing up in rural Russia. As they grew up, they became opposites. This tale, told by Josh Weil in his captivating first novel, “The Great Glass Sea,” is a kind of sweeping historical fable. It is set in a fictional Russia in a future time, but it encompasses the former land of struggling Communist workers and apparatchiks and more recent billionaires full of “loot-fueled dreams.”

  • 10 business books for your summer reading list Jul 13, 2014 6:13 AM
    Planning on doing some summer reading? Throw one of these books into your beach tote at the suggestion of the experts at the University of Maryland’s Robert H. Smith School of Business. These reads are meant to help you get ahead in your career, better manage teams, sharpen your leadership skills or just learn something new.

  • Review: Unlimited e-book services offer plenty Jul 12, 2014 8:16 AM
    Two startups are trying to do for e-books what Netflix does for movies. Oyster and Scribd let you read as many books as you want for a monthly price — $10 for Oyster and $9 for Scribd. I was skeptical at first, but they surprised me.

  • Book notes: Chris Bohjalian stops at Naperville's Anderson’s Jul 12, 2014 5:45 AM
    “Close Your Eyes, Hold Hands” author Chris Bohjalian discusses and signs copies of his book at 7 p.m. Thursday, July 17, at Anderson’s Bookshop in Naperville.

  • Bohjalian’s heroine a troubled teen escaping a nuclear meltdown Jul 11, 2014 5:45 AM
    Wiser than the adults around her yet convinced she’s a hopeless loser, Emily Shepard is a literary descendant of Holden Caulfield. Like J.D. Salinger’s famous teenage misfit, Emily relates her harrowing story of escape and survival from within the confines of a mental institution. But unlike Holden, the resourceful heroine of Chris Bohjalian’s “Close Your Eyes, Hold Hands” is on the run from a full-blown nuclear disaster.

  • Harry Potter is back in new J.K. Rowling story Jul 8, 2014 9:24 AM
    Harry Potter is back — mysterious, married and going gray. J.K. Rowling has given fans a glimpse of the grown-up boy wizard in a new story posted Tuesday on her Pottermore website. It’s the first update since “Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows” was published in 2007, but Rowling spokesman Mark Hutchinson said there are “no plans” for a new Potter novel. The 1,500-word story describes Harry, about to turn 34, attending the final of the Quidditch World Cup with his family and old friends Ron and Hermione.

  • New Neil Armstrong book glides, not soars Jul 8, 2014 5:30 AM
    There’s not a negative word about America’s space hero in Jay Barbree’s new book, "Neil Armstrong: A Life of Flight." Barbree — the NBC News space correspondent who has covered every manned U.S. mission — was friends with Armstrong for decades. The book draws on their conversations as well as hundreds of other interviews and NASA transcripts to recount Armstrong’s entire “life of flight,” from combat missions in North Korea to those historic lunar steps and beyond. So it’s a little disappointing that it’s not more of a page-turner.

  • ‘Act of War’ is heart-pounding thriller Jul 7, 2014 1:45 PM
    In Brad Thor’s latest thriller, “Act of War,” Scot Harvath finds his hands full when a snag-and-grab operation for a terrorist unveils surprising information. It involves a top-secret operation by a few key individuals in the Chinese government with the goal of devastating the United States. The ambitious plan has every chance of success and would take down the country before a response could be mounted.

  • Jeff Abbott’s ‘Inside Man’ doesn’t disappoint Jul 7, 2014 1:18 PM
    “Inside Man,” the fourth novel by Jeff Abbott to feature bar owner and ex-CIA agent Sam Capra, continues one of the best ongoing series in the thriller genre. Readers will be hooked from the start when a friend of Sam’s — who doesn’t know about his spy past — asks for a favor. Steve occasionally takes security positions, and he hopes Sam will help him protect a young woman by becoming an inside man. Before Sam can learn more, Steve is shot and killed in front of the bar.

  • Actress Jenny Mollen puts it out there in new book Jul 7, 2014 5:45 AM
    Jenny Mollen has no filter. And she’s fine with that. The actress often tweets raunchy commentary about ABC’s “The Bachelor” and “The Bachelorette” with her husband, Jason Biggs. Howard Stern was so impressed he asked them to tweet live when “America’s Got Talent” is on. Now, she’s compiled some of her outrageous life into a book, “I Like You Just the Way I Am: Stories About Me and Some Other People.” Mollen, 35, talks about the book, motherhood and Twitter.

  • Book notes: Meet Chris Colfer at local book signings Jul 5, 2014 5:45 AM
    Actor, singer, producer and best-selling author Chris Colfer signs copies of his newest children's book, "The Land of Stories: A Grimm Warning," at 7 p.m. Friday, July 11, at Anderson's Bookshop in Naperville and noon Saturday, July 12, at Barnes and Noble in Skokie.

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