A Vietnam-generation storyline of World War II China is deconstructed, with due given to Chiang Kai-sheks army and the nations suffering population for holding out against the Japanese over eight years and 14 million deaths.
You generally love this sort of post-modern gamesmanship, but this time you feel its too late for that. Youre still not satisfied. Yes, you have to say it, you were expecting more from Tim Finchs characters. You sense that this is simply not the great novel you were expecting, but you still feel confident that Finch is capable of writing one. And when he does, you will be eager to read it.
To get progressive legislation through a Congress dominated by old-guard conservatives, Roosevelt had to mobilize public sentiment, explained Doris Kearns Goodwin, author of The Bully Pulpit: Theodore Roosevelt, William Howard Taft, and the Golden Age of Journalism. Goodwin speaks at 7 p.m. Friday at at Unity Temple on the Plaza.
It would be folly to try to find a common thread in the 100 books contained within, except that they were chosen by committed readers of various stripes. In our annual attempt to recommend the years best reading, we have identified five books that stand out: three works of fiction (one of those for younger readers) and two of nonfiction.
In The Running Kind, Kansas City-based author David Cantwell contends the prolific songwriter never got his mainstream due. He is probably the best songwriter America has ever produced, Cantwell says. You can talk about him in he same breath as Cole Porter. Just a magnificent songwriter.
The Hunter and Other Stories, compiled and edited by scholars Richard Layman and Julie M. Rivett, presents compelling evidence that Dashiell Hammett longed to shed the constraints that came with his hard-boiled reputation.
Gregg Easterbrook is not a sportswriter. In many quarters, this might be a compliment, even for the author of a book called The King of Sports: Footballs Impact on America. The subtitle promises a wide scope, and so one might expect the book to struggle for coherence. But it didnt have to be such a slog.
Although Ann Patchett is best-known for her fiction, her nonfiction exudes quiet emotion, each essay filled with tiny bits of brilliance skipping across the pages and each displaying Patchetts gift for understatement and reflection.
As detailed in a University of Missouri history professors book, Self-Help Messiah: Dale Carnegie and Success in Modern America, Carnegies rise came not through one eureka moment but a series of smaller revelations.
Born in the Dominican Republic and raised in New Jersey, Junot Díaz, whos speaking this week at the University of Kansas, culls from his own life experiences as an immigrant. His books have earned him much critical acclaim, a Pulitzer Prize and, just a year ago, a $500,000 MacArthur Foundation fellowship, the award known as a genius grant.
With her post-apocalyptic settings and dystopian futures, author Margaret Atwood has been ahead of the curve in mass-appeal pop fiction. She prefers to categorize her work as speculative fiction, saying she depicts events that could possibly happen, whereas science fiction, in her view, focuses on impossible fantasy.
Prince is one of those rare musicians who inspire a reverence that is borderline religious. What is it about this enormously talented, enigmatic performer that commands such profound awe, particularly among fans who, just as they reached adolescence, learned what it sounds like when doves cry? Thats the question Touré Neblett attempts to answer in I Would Die 4 U.
The most memorable magic in Daniel Alarcons engaging and illuminating new novel, At Night We Walk in Circles, comes when his three main characters, all actors, perform on various stages in their impoverished but beautiful country.
Upon President Warren Hardings death in 1923, admirers resolved to build a handsome memorial. They had it complete by 1927, but President Calvin Coolidge wouldnt travel to Marion, Ohio, Hardings hometown, to dedicate it. It was radioactive, said Phillip Payne, author of Dead Last: The Public Memory of Warren G. Hardings Scandalous Legacy.
Authors Rainbow Rowell, Jacqueline Woodson and John Green will be part of the 2013 Young Adult Literature Festival, presented by the Reading Reptile and held Saturday at the Kansas City Public Librarys Plaza branch.
Is the new “S&S” worth reading? Unequivocally yes.
Despite the regional specialties and the regional traditions, the core argument of food writer Peggy Wolffs thoughtful, addicting, occasionally spotty new anthology that the Midwest (where the whole food industry began) is culinarily distinctive, wondrous and unappreciated is a tough sell.
FYI Book Club readers get to the bottom of what “True Grit” means.
While an entire city cant be blamed for the heinous act of one man, it can create an atmosphere of such toxic political extremism a culture of hate that violent, even murderous, notions can take root and flourish. Thats the idea explored by journalists Bill Minutaglio and Steven L. Davis in Dallas 1963.
Zooming by in your car, you might mistake them for bird McMansions. Or plus-size mailboxes. But to really appreciate a Little Free Library for what it is, you should encounter one on a stroll through the neighborhood. Then youll see its a tiny house where books live. Free for the taking. No strings attached.
Amy Tan sets her hefty novel of an elaborate courtesan culture, The Valley of Amazement, in early 20th century China. In this fictional worlds, economic security is precarious, and women adopt and manipulate subservient roles to gain power.
Wendy Lowers chilling new work, Hitlers Furies: German Women in the Nazi Killing Fields, shows how German women were not just insignificant cogs in a larger machine but instead crucial members of the Third Reichs genocidal empire.
In The Book of Matt: Hidden Truths About the Murder of Matthew Shepard, journalist Stephen Jimenez presents evidence that the young mans beating death in Wyoming was less about his gayness and more about drugs and money.
Home is such a resonant idea, says Wyatt Townley, who last spring was named Kansas poet laureate. We think of home as the walls that surround us the house, the apartment, the room we live in. Maybe its bigger than that, maybe its smaller, maybe its portable, maybe its invisible. And then theres the mobile home of the body. Its been with us since birth.
A lot has been made of how much Donna Tartts new book resembles a Charles Dickens novel, a comparison Tartt invites so eagerly she may as well be drawing a young boy into her house for play. In The Goldfinch, art transfixes and inspires, but its value also gives it the power to infect, to corrupt.