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BOOK REVIEW: ‘Our Souls at Night’

Kent Haruf died at the end of last year, leaving behind one final tale. It’s set, like all his previous novels, in the fictional town of Holt, Colorado. Titled “Our Souls at Night” and just published, it will thrill aficionados of his earlier books and hook readers new to his work with simple yet concentrated language that gorgeously evokes the lives of its central characters Addie Moore and Louis Waters.

Rodgers and Hart before Hollywood

Even the most talented composer of songs is lucky if he can find one lyricist as a collaborator, but Richard Rodgers was blessed with two great ones, first Lorenz Hart and then Oscar Hammerstein.

Ferreting out the fakers

Fairly or not, polygraph examiners for the Central Intelligence Agency and other institutions that require security clearances for staff are not necessarily the most popular guys in the coffee shop. And for good reason: much of their professional lives are devoted to ferreting out secrets their subjects would prefer to leave untold.

Bringing historical insights to the bar

Perhaps it’s something in the water: The National Archives has an ongoing exhibit, “Spirited Republic,” celebrating America’s love affair with drink. And last week this newspaper reported skullduggery in Kentucky where whiskey has been burgled by the barrel and one brand of local hooch fetches $2,000 a bottle. Now comes a book to champion bourbon alone. Perhaps we’re getting over the hangover of Prohibition, and it’s OK to enjoy drinking again, “responsibly,” of course.

Brave women in war

For nearly a decade, American forces fighting in Afghanistan were largely blinded by a lack of intelligence from roughly half the Pashtun population of Afghanistan; that being women. Pashtunwali (the way of the Pashtun) decrees that women be protected from the eyes and presence of men not from their immediate families.

Where all the political bodies are buried

Sophisticated cynicism is the coin of the realm for distinguished British journalists like Andrew Marr, who has a reputation as an editor, a BBC political commentator and a historian. This is a dark and shining example of his talent as a satirist.

‘And now for something completely different’

For most diehard Monty Python fans, the excitement generated at the idea of John Cleese writing an autobiography must have been enormous. After the announcement of the book’s release, the speculation must have included thoughts such as:

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Justice is blind

I have followed China's brutal one-child policy from its inception in 1979. Living in China at the time, I saw how poor village women were being arrested, detained and tortured -- forced to undergo sterilizations and even abortions -- all in the name of controlling population growth. I left China with their cries for help ringing in my ears.

When a sensitive contract killer goes to Oslo

A professional hit man is a challenging topic for a crime writer, especially one as steeped in gore as Norwegian author Jo Nesbo. Yet the most intriguing kind of hit man usually possesses a cold charm perhaps as a result of a way of life that involves killing on contract.

How Churchill chose his ministers

How nervous was an unprepared Great Britain about a possible German invasion in 1940? The fears were made plain in a memo that Winston Churchill sent to the War Office soon after being made prime minister.

The unlikely friendship of two '60s titans

This is how Kevin Schultz, a history professor at the University of Illinois in Chicago, introduces his history of the '60s: "It was late fall, and the old man awoke in a sour mood. As he rolled out of bed, he saw the cold November winds outside . Compounding the changing weather, he was also sick and dying."

Kirsten Powers' new book explores the role of the Left in silencing those who disagree with them. (Regnery Publishing)

Kirsten Powers: 'How the left is killing free speech' and demonizing conservatives

- The Washington Times

There's much talk about free speech, and the right to it. Now comes a major book explaining who and what is eroding this most basic tenet. Out Monday, it's "The Silencing: How the Left is Killing Free Speech" by Kirsten Powers, a lifelong liberal and daughter of a feminist who converted to Christianity as an adult and is now a frequent contributor to Fox News.

BOOK REVIEW: 'Operation Nemesis: The Assassination Plot That Avenged the Armenian Genocide'

Vengeance is born when justice dies. "Operation Nemesis" is the gripping tale of how a small, ruthlessly determined group of Armenians hunted down the architects of the Ottoman Empire's World War I program of organized mass murder, specifically intended to eliminate a people, the Armenians, who had lived in Anatolia and other parts of the Ottoman Empire for thousands of years.

Following the trajectory of American song

If you love music, especially if you've been following its twists and turns and ever-changing styles all through your life, you will want to read "The B-Side: The Death of Tin Pan Alley and the Rebirth of the Great American Song."

An artist of many parts

Jackson Pollock didn't begin his meteoric career by dripping house paint on tarpaulins any more than Piet Mondrian started out painting white and colored spaces within black boundaries. They had to discover their abstract genres after years of making realistic pictures and learning from there.