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Summer by Ali Smith (book cover)

BOOK REVIEW: ‘Summer’

Ali Smith’s “Summer,” the final novel of her seasonal quartet, is a remarkable book, rich in word-play and language, witty puns and deep concern for the catastrophes facing humanity today.

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Countdown 1945 by Chris Wallace (book cover)

BOOK REVIEW: 'Countdown 1945'

Before there were baby boomers there were baby bombers. I was one of them, the cohort of kids who came along just as World War II was ending and the Nuclear Age was beginning.

The Man in the Red Coat by Julian Barnes (book cover)

BOOK REVIEW: 'The Man in the Red Coat'

Was it truly beautiful, the Belle Epoque, as the period in France, and to some extent in England, between the Franco-Prussian War of 1870-71 and World War I is known. In his book, "The Man in the Red Coat," Julian Barnes lays bare the elegance and superficiality of the period and its beau monde, the beautiful people.

The Rise of the G.I. Army by Paul A, Dickson (book cover)

BOOK REVIEW: 'The Rise of the G.I. Army, 1940-1941'

An axiom of British military history is that "the battle of Waterloo was won on the playing fields of Eton" -- referring to the development of superior character by young men playing such games as cricket in boarding schools.

Death In Her Hands by Ottessa Moshfegh (book cover)

BOOK REVIEW: 'Death in Her Hands'

- Associated Press

Dark doesn't even begin to describe Ottessa Moshfegh's latest novel, "Death in Her Hands." Try horrifying, macabre, fashionably self-referential and exceptionally well-written - a book, as the publisher's blurb says, that asks us to consider how the stories we tell ourselves both reflect the truth and keep us blind to it. Plus, it's got a great dog.

Dumb Luck and the Kindness of Strangers by John Gierach (book cover)

BOOK REVIEW: 'Dumb Luck and the Kindness of Strangers'

- The Washington Times

Eric Engberg, one of my fishing buddies a couple decades ago, was an on-the-air reporter for CBS News for 26 years until he had emergency bypass surgery, bagged his television career in 2002, bought a used trawler and retired to Florida to fish and enjoy the good life.

Dare to Fly  by Martha McSally (book cover)

BOOK REVIEW: 'Dare to Fly'

When she was 12, Martha McSally's father died unexpectedly, telling her on his deathbed, "make me proud." And that, throughout a distinguished career of service to her country, is precisely what she's done, as she tells us in this well-written, highly-readable personal narrative of overcoming a battery of obstacles to become a genuine American hero.

Black Flag by David Ricciardi (book cover)

BOOK REVIEW: 'Black Flag'

His superb 2018 debut thriller, "Warning Light," found readers and critics proclaiming that in David Ricciardi this genre had a new star. "One of the best thrillers you'll read this year," Lee Child called it.

A Most Wicked Conspiracy  by Paul Starobin (book cover)

BOOK REVIEW: 'A Most Wicked Conspiracy'

There's something about gold. Since earliest times it has obsessed mankind like no other element. The ancient Greek legend of the "Golden Fleece" is both myth and fact. The factual side is based on the real practice of prehistoric prospectors in Colchis, part of what would become the modern-day Republic of Georgia.

Lou Gehrig: The Lost Memoir by Alan D. Gaff (book cover)

BOOK REVIEW: 'Lou Gehrig: The Lost Memoir'

- Associated Press

In the pre-television and Internet era, it's hard to imagine the wattage a star player such as Lou Gehrig created or the emotion generated by his famous 1939 farewell speech at Yankee Stadium.

Tales From The National Press Club by Gil Klein (book cover)

BOOK REVIEW: 'Tales from the National Press Club'

As current National Press Club President Michael Freedman points out in his foreword to this engaging pocket history of one of Washington's most colorful institutions, "The National Press Club is 'the stuff of legends,' most of which have the added benefit of being true." Substitute the word "many" for the word "most" and the argument is unassailable.

The Book of Longings: A Novel by Sue Monk Kidd  (book cover)

BOOK REVIEW: 'The Book of Longings'

- Associated Press

"I am Ana. I was the wife of Jesus ben Joseph of Nazareth. I called him Beloved and he, laughing, called me Little Thunder." With these opening words, Sue Monk Kidd launches into her ambitious new novel, "The Book of Longings."

If It Bleeds Stephen King (book cover)

BOOK REVIEW: 'If It Bleeds'

- Associated Press

I like to think of Stephen King as a high-paid starting pitcher. Between starts -- bestselling novels often thick enough to be doorstops -- he works in the bullpen, writing novellas. Over the years, many of those have been made into movies that are now essential parts of the King canon like "Stand By Me" and "Shawshank Redemption."

The Shanghai Factor (book cover)

A look back at spy novelist Charles McCarry

I wonder what the late, great spy novelist Charles McCarry would make of the COVID-19 outbreak and the Chinese connection, be it the Wuhan "wet markets" or the science labs near Wuhan. McCarry, who died last year at the age 88, set his 2013 novel "The Shanghai Factor" in China.

The Moment of Tenderness by Madeleine L'Engle (book cover)

BOOK REVIEW: 'The Moment of Tenderness'

- Associated Press

"The Moment of Tenderness" gifts readers with a new batch of stories from the late Madeleine L'Engle, beloved bestselling author of "A Wrinkle in Time."

Tombstone: The Earp Brothers, Doc Holliday, and the vendetta ride from Hell by Tom Clavin (book cover)

BOOK REVIEW: 'Tombstone'

- Associated Press

In 1881, five Earp brothers gathered in hopes of finding their fortunes in Tombstone, Arizona, the last boomtown in what was still left of the untamed American West. They were relatively young men - Wyatt, the middle brother, just 31 - when they joined a growing community of shopkeepers, prospectors, gamblers, prostitutes, and rustlers drawn by a silver strike in the nearby Dragoon Mountains.

'Broken' (book cover)

BOOK REVIEW: 'Broken'

After publishing a big crime novel like "The Cartel," "The Force" and "The Border" every two years, Don Winslow decided to publish "Broken," a collection of five novellas and one short story. Inspired by the novella collections of Jim Harrison and Stephen King, Don Winslow sees the quick potential of selling the six stories to television and films.

'Simon the Fiddler' (book cover)

BOOK REVIEW: 'Simon the Fiddler'

- Associated Press

"Simon the Fiddler" is the origin story of Simon Boudlin, a traveling musician who appears in Paulette Jiles' 2016 novel, the National Book Award finalist "News of the World."