Republican presidential hopeful Mitt
Romney is a political chameleon: a man of many faces and a past shrouded
in mystery, half-truths and secrets. That’s according to The Real Romney, by Boston Globe
reporters Michael Kranish and Scott Helman, the first comprehensive
biography of the man many believe will be the 2012 Republican
If you had a way to travel back in time
and change the course of history, what would you do? If you’re Jake
Epping, the mild-mannered Maine high school teacher who discovers a
portal to the past in Stephen King’s latest classic, 11/22/63,
you’d go back half a century and try to prevent the assassination of
President John F. Kennedy.
Dan Chaon grew up in rural Nebraska. Lonely and bored, he took refuge in his uncommonly active imagination. “It was one of those small elevator towns
where there were like 15 people who lived there, and I was the only kid
even close to my age,” Chaon says by phone from his current home in
In his compelling new history, The Beauty and The Sorrow: An Intimate History of the First World War,
historian Peter Englund has chosen firsthand accounts from 20 very
different and disparate individuals who either fought in the war or were
touched in some fashion by “The Great War,” as it has been called.
He calls his own prose “country noir” and
writes about a very unique kind of American: people living their lives
with nothing left to lose and operating on a level that many have
described as “desperate.” Now, with the publication of 12 devastatingly
gritty and somewhat surreal short stories in The Outlaw Album, 57-year-old Daniel Woodrell is finally getting the attention and respect that he deserves.
At her home in Michigan on the occasion
of Pulitzer Prize-winning writer and former Punk rocker Patti Smith’s
45th birthday, the multitalented Smith crafted together a modest
collection of memories from her childhood, vignettes, poems and tributes
to other writers and performers like Sam Shepard.
With her tough, tense and taut tale of
one rural family’s bitter and bloody fight for survival in the days
leading up to Hurricane Katrina, 2011 National Book Award-winner Jesmyn
Ward has secured herself a place among such other great Southern writers.
It’s always a treat when a book comes along that lives up to the hype. That is the case with John Jeremiah Sullivan’s Pulphead,
a collection of 14 brilliant experiential essays in which the writer
places himself at the center of the story. The 37-year-old Southern-born
Sullivan is now being compared with first-person journalists like Tom
Wolfe, Hunter S. Thompson and David Foster Wallace.
Most histories of World War II are
successful because they focus on specific battles or campaigns. The
global conflict that seemed to define the last century was so complex
and multifaceted, it would seem foolhardy to attempt to cover it in one
It’s hard to believe it has been 50 years
since President John F. Kennedy and the days of Camelot in the White
House. Fortunately, this anniversary already has produced two revealing
new portraits of John Fitzgerald Kennedy, one a written appreciation of
his life by television commentator Chris Matthews, the other a recently
unsealed conversation between historian Arthur Schlesinger Jr. and
Jacqueline Kennedy, conducted just four months after President Kennedy
Earlier this year, the Internet was abuzz with a series of videos entitled Art Thoughtz.
In them, artist Jayson Musson performs as his fitted-cap-wearing,
flashy-chain-dangling alter-ego Hennessy Youngman, while offering sharp,
LOL-worthy commentary on the contemporary art world. He tackles
concepts like relational aesthetics and post-structuralism.
Dennis Lehane’s distinctive, often
disturbing visions have made their way into 10 novels, including his
ongoing series of crime thrillers featuring the working-class detective
duo Patrick Kenzie and Angela Gennaro, the widely acclaimed Mystic River and The Given Day, a dense, well-researched historical novel set, like nearly all of his narratives, in the author’s hometown of Boston.
What a long strange trip from Miami University and back it’s been for 1958 graduate Ken Babbs. He returns to Miami, where he graduated in 1958, at 7:30 p.m. Monday and Tuesday for two Sixties Extravaganza
free public events at the school’s Leonard Theatre in Peabody Hall. On
Monday, there’s a screening of the new documentary featuring him —
director Alex Gibney’s Magic Trip.