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Suggesting a gripping tale, but not delivering

The first page of “Red, White, Blue” notes that Anna had inherited grace. “She was, some might say, born for public life. She was also born temperamentally disposed against it, against even the occasional party.”

When productive Americans are ignored

The most memorable line of the 2016 presidential campaign was delivered in a speech by Hillary Clinton to a group of donors, in which she said “you could put half of Trump’s supporters into what I call the basket of deplorables racist, sexist, homophobic, xenophobic, Islamophobic, you name it.”

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When an unreliable husband sells the house

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When a madman with super-human powers stalks Oklahoma

If you want complex characters drawn with the insight of a psychiatrist, you go to John Updike or Saul Bellow. If you want intricately detailed plots you go to Scott Turow, Philip Roth or back to Updike. And if you want spot-on, totally authentic dialogue, Elmore Leonard is your man. But you go straight to Stephen King if you want your pants scared off.

Bertie Wooster meets Peter Stuyvesant

With 16 books and one play to his credit, Christopher Buckley no longer needs to be identified as "the son of William F. Buckley Jr.," although he has every reason to be proud of the connection.

Tracing organized crime in Russia

With Russia in the forefront of the news these days, one might be interested in reading a bit of Russian history. Mark Galeotti's "The Vory: Russia's Super Mafia" offers a comprehensive history of organized crime in Russia.

Where ingenuity and innovation thrive

Israel is known as one of the world's pre-eminent start-up nations in high-tech, with famous innovations such as Waze, a widely used app for navigating in traffic, anti-breaching cyber security software and the Iron Dome anti-rocket defensive system. What are less known, but as significant, the author of this important book points out, are a series of highly clever Israeli high-tech innovations that are "repairing the world" in areas such as agriculture, water conservation, medicine and energy.

Examining a Founder's vision of a working economy

Some people will remember reading about Alexander Hamilton in their history books due to his fatal July 11, 1804, duel with Vice President Aaron Burr. Others will instantly recall the award-winning Broadway musical "Hamilton," which dealt with aspects of his life and career through song and dance.

How the Cuban-American underworld took hold

While much is known about Italian, Russian and other ethnic organized crime groups, not much is known about Cuban-American organized crime. That lack of knowledge can be corrected easily by reading T.J. English's book "The Corporation: An Epic Story of the Cuban American Underworld."

The splash of Pope Francis

You have to wonder about an incoming pope whose personal motto is "Make a mess!" For those of you who didn't know, "Hagan lo!" -- which means exactly that in Spanish -- is a favorite expression of the current occupant of the Throne of Saint Peter. If he hasn't made a mess yet, Pope Francis, born Jorge Bergoglio to Argentine parents of Italian immigrant stock in 1936, has certainly made a splash.

Healing loss, finding love on the road

- The Washington Times

Pival Sengupta, a recent widow from India, leads the narrative. Her authoritarian husband has died, and with new-found freedom she decides to travel to America in search of Rahi, her son who has disappeared under mysterious circumstances. Constrained by years of yielding to a dominant spouse who rejected Rahi when he disclosed he was gay, the First Class India USA Destination Vacation Tour Company offers Pival a way forward.

Baseball's evolution into respectability and America's transition

That verse, writes Mr. Rapp, "would soon become the manifesto for an epic American saga," that saga being baseball's evolution into respectability and our national pastime. Interestingly, that verse may have also helped propel its author into a bigger writer's league. As Mr. Rapp points out, "F.P. Adams would one day claim a charter seat at the Algonquin Round Table. a member of the Manhattan literati and celebrity circuit until his death in 1960."