Books


Book review: Mysterious dolls come alive in tale

Readers looking for things that go bump in the night will enjoy “The Doll Graveyard: A Hauntings Novel” by Lois Ruby.

4 days ago


Mystery and ivory: 'Leaving Time' by Jodi Picoult

A novel about tragedy, friendship and love that binds animals and humans together.

5 days ago


 John Darnielle

Role games people play: 'Wolf in White Van' by John Darnielle

The debut novel by John Darnielle of the Mountain Goats is a very good, idiosyncratic effort.

5 days ago


 James Carroll, author of "Christ Actually: The Son of God for the Secular Age."

‘Christ Actually’ asserts that Jesus is human, Jewish and divine

James Carroll’s work, subtitled “The Son of God for the Secular Age,” discusses the effort to save Jesus from the distortions of history.

6 days ago


 Amy Jo Burns, author of "Cinderland."

'Cinderland': Amy Jo Burns crafts a memoir about small-town life, guilt and what is left unsaid

As a teenager in Mercer, Amy Jo Burns lived with her sin of omission, described perceptively in this memoir.

6 days ago


 Andreas Norman

‘Into a Raging Blaze': A Swedish spy thriller fueled by red-hot topics of security and privacy

Andreas Norman’s novel, set in European Union bureaucracy, starts with a spark, and then simmers before reaching the state of its title.

6 days ago


  The Capitol dome, lantern, and spire. From "Cass Gilbert's West Virginia State Capitol,"

Book shines light on West Virginia Capitol and its architect

“Cass Gilbert’s West Virginia State Capitol,” written by Ann Thomas Wilkins and David G. Wilkins, details the building’s construction.

1 week ago


 Christopher R. Hill

'Outpost': Ambassador Christopher Hill, one of America's best, provides a fascinating look at U.S. diplomacy

A former ambassador to Iraq, Macedonia, Poland and South Korea, he writes beautifully about complex realities.

1 week ago


'Moriarty': Victorian England must grapple with the legacy of Sherlock Holmes’ archnemesis

Anthony Horowitz introduces us to two investigators who run the novel’s engine by behaving in Holmesian and Watsonian ways.

1 week ago


 Richard Ford: "It’s about bearing witness — to stand before someone in a way and help them so that they will feel that they are present by virtue of your attentions."

Lecture preview: Richard Ford gets frank about bearing witness

Pulitizer Prize-winning novelist Richard Ford speaks Monday night as part of the Pittsburgh Arts & Lectures series.

1 week ago


Psycho killer: 'Night Terrors' by Dennis Palumbo

Pittsburgh cop and psychotherapist Daniel Rinaldi returns for the third installment of Dennis Palumbo’s mystery series.

1 week ago


No hometown advantage: 'Phantom Limb' by Dennis Palumbo

Pittsburgh psychotherapist crime solver Daniel Rinaldi is refreshingly low-key. This installment has some issues, though.

1 week ago


 Heather Terrell "shows in both humorous and provocative ways how easily history can be distorted to suit man’s need to control his environment."

Girl from the North Country: 'Boundary: The Books of Eva' by Heather Terrell

The second installment of Pittsburgh writer Heather Terrell’s “Books of Eva” trilogy continues the cold-numbing quest for answers.

1 week ago


Cruel, but not unusual: 'The Roman Guide to Slave Management: A Treatise by Nobleman Marcus Sidonius Falx'

Author Jerry Toner gives as complete a picture as we have of the indignities and cruelties of slavery in ancient Rome.

1 week ago


Visible hand: 'How Adam Smith Can Change Your Life: An Unexpected Guide to Human Nature and Happiness'

Economist Russ Roberts shows how Adam Smith’s ideas can have relevance today.

1 week ago


A jewel in the rejection pile: 'Skylight' by Jose Saramago

An unpublished novel by Jose Saramago makes its American debut.

1 week ago


Civil War sensation: 'American Queen: The Rise and Fall of Kate Chase Sprague'

John Oller crafts a biography of a “Gilded Age Woman of Scandal,” and considered by some to be the most brilliant woman of her time.

1 week ago


 Aubrey Hirsch, author of "Why We Never Talk About Sugar."

'Why We Never Talk About Sugar': A story collection explores relationships without the sugar coating

Published by Pittsburgh’s Braddock Avenue Books, Aubrey Hirsch’s stories draw you in with plots to confront our deepest insecurities.

2 weeks ago


 "The Best American Poetry 2014" edited by Terrance Hayes.

'The Best American Poetry 2014': Editor Terrance Hayes makes a brave attempt to identify the 'best'

Is this meant to be the last word in American poetics? Or should we just relax and approach it as a casual ramble?

2 weeks ago


'Literchoor Is my Beat': A solid bio of Pittsburgh-born James Laughlin, the last of the ‘gentleman publishers’

With access to a trove of papers, biographer Ian MacNiven emerges with a crammed portrait of a complicated man of wide tastes.

2 weeks ago


Follow the Dear Leader of North Korea: 'Without You, There Is No Us'

A starkly revealing look at the Hermit Kingdom by South Korean-born American Suki Kim.

2 weeks ago


Paint it black: 'Brian Jones: The Making of the Rolling Stones'

Veteran music writer Paul Trynka clears away much of the myth surrounding Brian Jones and the Rolling Stones.

2 weeks ago


Guitar heroes: 'Rock Star: The Making of Musical Icons from Elvis to Springsteen'

Carnegie Mellon professor David Shumway examines the nature of rock stardom through seven rock legends.

2 weeks ago


Original 'Alice' manuscript to travel to U.S. museums

Lewis Carroll’s original handwritten, illustrated manuscript for “Alice in Wonderland” will travel to the U.S. for its 150th anniversary.

3 weeks ago


'Lincoln and the Power of the Press': War of words

Lincoln’s fascination with newspapers led to both a charm offensive and an iron fist in shaping public opinion.

3 weeks ago


 "The Collapse" by Mary Elise Sarotte

'The Collapse': When the Berlin Wall came tumbling down

Mary Elise Sarotte charts the sudden end of the Cold War in “The Collapse: The Accidental Opening of the Berlin Wall.”

3 weeks ago


'A Backpack, A Bear, and Eight Crates of Vodka': an excellent primer on Soviet life

Lev Golinkin’s book is a sober reminder of what it took for Soviet emigres to get to America.

3 weeks ago


Sugar-coated despair: 'Sweetness #9'

Stephan Eirik Clark’s novel is about the side effects of artificial sweeteners and living inauthentic lives.

3 weeks ago


Meet me at the genius bar: 'Divine Fury: A History of Genius'

Darrin McMahon’s engaging history of genius as a cultural ideal and social construct.

3 weeks ago


Shelter from the storm? 'The House of Journalists' is an uncomfortable read

Tim Finch’s novel upends liberal pieties about the morality of political exiles and refugees.

3 weeks ago


Bad father, good writer: 'Suitable Accommodations: The Letters of J.F. Powers, 1942-1963'

J.F. Powers’ daughter Katherine A.Powers assembles her late father’s letters into something resembling an autobiography.

3 weeks ago


A cornucopia of forensic excess: Patricia Cornwell's 'Flesh and Blood: A Scarpetta Novel'

The world’s most stylish and sought-after forensic pathologist is back in her 22nd novel.

3 weeks ago


  Former Temple Israel in New Castle

God's Houses: 'The Synagogues of Central and Western Pennsylvania: A Visual Journey'

A West Virginia photographer catalogs many of this region’s famous and obscure synagogues

3 weeks ago


Offsides punt: 'Striking Gridiron: A Town's Pride and a Team's Shot at Glory During the Biggest Strike in American History'

Greg Nichols’ narrative about the 1959 United Steel Workers strike and the Braddock football team misses half the drama.

3 weeks ago


Book review: 'Conversion' ties together two eerie tales

Katherine Howe’s young adult novel juxtaposes two real-life stories — one modern, the other centuries old — in one compelling tale.

1 month ago



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