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Summer by Ali Smith (book cover)


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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BOOK REVIEW: 'Hid From Our Eyes'

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Julia Spencer-Fleming makes a triumphant return to her series about Episcopal priest Clare Fergusson and her police chief husband, Russ Van Alstyne with "Hid From Our Eyes."

'The Meritocracy Trap' (book cover)

BOOK REVIEW: 'The Meritocracy Trap'

Meritocracy has taken quite a beating lately. Even as COVID-19 has reduced the global power elite to awkward Zoom chats and toilet paper humor, we are still not spared the obligatory weekly article about unfulfilled millennials, overburdened baby boomers, and failed promises to the best and brightest.

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Patsy Cline and Loretta Lynn only knew each other a short time before Cline's death at the age of 30, but the friendship formed between two trailblazers of country music is enough to fill a book.

'Winning Your Audience' (book cover)

BOOK REVIEW: 'Winning Your Audience'

Republican presidents have had constant difficulty in communicating their initiatives and accomplishments to the American people, due to an overwhelmingly hostile, activist and politically liberal/left press corps.

''Redhead by the Side of the Road' (book cover)

BOOK REVIEW: ''Redhead by the Side of the Road'

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After more than 20 books, Anne Tyler still finds ways to challenge herself. Her new novel, "Redhead By the Side of the Road," is, of course, set in her longtime home of Baltimore and features the family and romantic entanglements and other narrative touches Tyler fans know well.

Devoted by Dean Koontz (book cover)

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In this vast universe, Dean Koontz notes, two species have formed an unbreakable bond: Dogs and human beings. And this bond, he predicts in his new thriller, "Devoted," is about to become even stronger.

'More Myself' (book cover)

BOOK REVIEW: 'More Myself'

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As a young woman growing up in the 1980s and '90s in New York City's Hell's Kitchen -- "the name was exactly accurate for what it looked like, what it felt like," as Alicia Keys recalls it -- the budding musician born Alicia Cook would purposely wear baggy clothing and Timberland boots as she walked to and from the one-bedroom apartment she lived in with her mother.

 'Machiavelli' (book cover)

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Upbraiding his countrymen for failing to obey a national lockdown order, French President Emmanuel Macron decried what he called their "insouciance." Mr. Macron, who wrote a youthful essay on the Italian Renaissance philosopher Niccolo Machiavelli (1469-1527), might well have applied the same word to France's eminent intellectual historian Patrick Boucheron, who has produced a breezy series of reflections on the thinker.

'Mengele' (book cover)

BOOK REVIEW: 'Mengele'

Josef Mengele was one of the most notorious war criminals in history. During World War II the Nazi doctor performed medical experiments in a concentration camp on unwilling children and adults, and with a jerk of his thumb he sent many unlucky men, women and children to their immediate deaths.

'Darling Rose Gold' (book cover)

BOOK REVIEW: 'Darling Rose Gold'

Stephanie Wrobel begins "Darling Rose Gold" with crucial information from Patty Watts, one of the two protagonists. "My daughter didn't have to testify against me. She chose to. It's Rose Gold's fault I went to prison."

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The book reads like a Who's Who of past and present Chinese spies, saboteurs, agents, assassins, intelligence officers, military officers and security and police officials, as well as Chinese Communist Party (CCP) leaders.

'The Glass Hotel' (book cover)

BOOK REVIEW: 'The Glass Hotel'

Near the beginning of "The Glass Hotel" Emily St. John Mandel introduces Paul, who is studying finance at the University of Toronto. He'd prefer to study musical composition, but "His mother was unwilling to entertain the idea of an impractical degree, for which after several expensive rounds of rehab he couldn't easily blame her."

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How society should treat a person who has killed another has been a dilemma for millennia. In our attempt to make the punishment fit the crime, we have divided such killings into more and more subcategories, with the penalties varying according to our concept of their enormity.

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BOOK REVIEW: 'When the Tempest Gathers'

"When the Tempest Gathers" is a fascinating, gripping and insightful war memoir by a decorated Marine Corps Special Operations commander who was operationally involved in U.S. military activities over the past two decades in far-off countries such as Somalia, Colombia, Ethiopia, Liberia, Libya, Iraq and Afghanistan.

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BOOK REVIEW: 'A Time to Build'

Yuval Levin is worried about the increasing dysfunction in American society. He decries the deepening negativity of both right and left, the desire to tear down rather than to build up, and he fears that our country has entered a period of decline that has gutted many of the traditional institutions that sustain and reinforce a civil society. Who can disagree with that?

 'Long Range' (book cover)

BOOK REVIEW: 'Long Range'

Reading C.J. Box is sheer delight. Just as Larry McMurtry is the gold standard for novels of the Old West, C.J. Box is without rival when it comes to thrilling crime mystery novels set in our modern-day West.

'Leadership Strategy and Tactics' (book cover)

BOOK REVIEW: 'Leadership Strategy and Tactics'

To be one of the most popular books ever at all on is quite a feat. "Leadership Strategy and Tactics: Field Manual" by former U.S. Navy SEAL Jocko Willink is one of those books. It's a quick, engaging, no-nonsense guide to effective leadership in just about every professional and personal setting.

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BOOK REVIEW: 'We Ride Upon Sticks'

In "We Ride Upon Sticks," Quan Barry writes of the Danvers High School 1989-90 field hockey team, which seriously sucks until all of a sudden it doesn't. Its members -- 10 girls and one boy -- develop a winning strategy that takes them all the way to the Massachusetts state final.