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Star Tribune's our top critics share their favorite books of the year: ____ "Diary of a Young Naturalist" By Dara McAnulty. (Milkweed Editions, $25.) Dara McAnulty was 14 when he wrote this wonderful memoir, and his knowledge at such a young age is astounding — not just of the natural world, but of literature, Irish history and legends, music and politics. The book follows a year in his life ...

PITTSBURGH — A morbid dream planted the seed for what would become Brian Cuban's debut novel. The 60-year-old Dallas resident and Mt. Lebanon native — who, yes, is the brother of billionaire Mark Cuban — was having a recurring dream about throwing dead bodies onto a bonfire at the site of an old general store in his hometown. He would wake up "scared s***less" and wondering when the police ...

I’ve been reading new books about books. Even a few books about books about books. Frankly, it got out of hand, got away from me — became a whole thing, as the kids say. Like trying every pizza within a single ZIP code, or watching every episode of “It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia” in eight days. When I got a PlayStation 20 years ago I played through the night, until the morning glowed ...

LOS ANGELES — When Nikole Hannah-Jones' "The 1619 Project: The New Origin Story" was greenlighted, she didn't want to mince words in her sweeping and eye-opening exploration of slavery and its legacy in America today. The New York Times Magazine investigative journalist and her collaborators created a style guide to ensure they would be mindful of the language used: Human beings would be ...

California Gov. Gavin Newsom has struggled with dyslexia since elementary school. Now he's telling his story through Ben, the baseball-loving protagonist of his new children's book who has a tough time reading, too. "Ben & Emma's Big Hit" parallels Newsom's experience with dyslexia, which he learned he had in fifth grade. The 54-year-old governor said parenting his own children, who also have ...

On her second night in Scotland, Tabitha Lasley slept with one of her sources. He was, in fact, the first person she'd interviewed on her self-fashioned journalistic assignment. She'd traveled to Aberdeen in hopes of talking to offshore oil riggers like him — men who made their living on platforms in the North Sea, working for three months at a time hundreds of miles from land. She was hoping ...

When we think of yoga, most of us think of serenity and relaxation. On Devil’s Beach, yoga just might get you murdered. Devil’s Beach, a fictional barrier island off Florida’s west coast, is the setting of "Cold Brew Corpse," the new mystery by Tara Lush and the second in her Coffee Lover’s series, after "Grounds for Murder." Lush, whose real name is Tamara Lush, is a former Tampa Bay Times ...

The perfect crime rarely is. Even the cleverest killer can slip up somewhere. A footprint in the flower bed, a fingerprint on a doorknob, a strand of hair by the body – something’s always left behind. Adam Selzer’s “Murder Maps USA: Crime Scenes Revisited” details dozens of these stray clues, and the killers they helped catch. Or didn’t. Not every real-life detective is a TV show, able to ...

Betty White has been a TV star as long as there’s been TV. Hired by a pioneering L.A. broadcaster, she made her tube debut in February 1939. Standing under hot lights in a primitive sixth-floor studio, the teen performed a number from “The Merry Widow.” The show was brief and local. Really local. “The picture went all the way down to the lobby,” White said. But the experimental transmission ...

HarperCollins is scrapping plans to publish a book by former CNN host Chris Cuomo about the Trump years and COVID-19 pandemic. The move comes after the journalist was fired from CNN last weekend following revelations over his involvement in managing the sexual harassment scandal that forced his brother Andrew Cuomo to resign as governor of New York in August. "Custom House does not intend to ...

Here are the bestsellers for the week that ended Saturday, Nov. 27, compiled from data from independent and chain bookstores, book wholesalers and independent distributors nationwide, powered by NPD BookScan © 2021 NPD Group. (Reprinted from Publishers Weekly, published by PWxyz LLC. © 2021, PWxyz LLC.) HARDCOVER FICTION 1. Go Tell the Bees That I Am Gone. Diana Gabaldon. Delacorte 2. The ...

NONFICTION: An adventure of a lifetime in a trade nearly killed by the internet — bookselling. "The Last Bookseller: A Life in the Rare Book Trade" by Gary Goodman; University of Minnesota Press (200 pages, $19.95) ——— "A ghost story" is how Gary Goodman characterizes his memoir "The Last Bookseller: A Life in the Rare Book Trade," and there is a whiff of sepia among its pages. It is, after ...

Alone and out of touch on the Galapagos during the COVID-19 lockdown, a young woman reconsiders her life. "Wish You Were Here" by Jodi Picoult; Ballantine Books (338 pages, $28.99) ——— March 13, 2020. The first words of Jodi Picoult's novel strike dread, or at least trepidation. Do we really want to relive those disorienting, soul-crushing first days of the shutdown felt around the world? ...

A collection of essays from a wide-ranging group of Minnesota writers exploring life during COVID-19 and the aftermath of the murder of George Floyd. "We Are Meant to Rise," edited by Carolyn Holbrook and David Mura; University of Minnesota Press (224 pages, $18.95) ——— Who is allowed to tell their story? Who is silenced? And what is lost when stories go untold? As the anthology "We Are Meant ...

You’ve probably heard that the supply-chain crisis has been particularly hard on bookstores. These next few weeks, the most sought-after titles could be frustratingly sought after, even after you’ve stopped soughting on Christmas Eve. Santa is facing ships stuck outside ports, nonexistent warehouse space and manufacturing stoppages. Laying a finger aside of his nose, while laying another ...

If you're reading this: Congratulations! You've made it to the first semi-post-pandemic holidays and almost to the end of a tough year. What better way to escape from — or face up to — troubles past and future than with books? The following six should carry you into 2022. Our most anticipated December releases include a professor's memoir about his tumultuous relationship with his late father, ...

A father of daughters wrestles with what to do about abuses he discovers at a Magdalen laundry in 1950s Ireland. "Small Things Like These" by Claire Keegan; Grove Press (128 pages, $23) ——— Claire Keegan, award-winning author of two collections of short stories and a novella, now gives us her best work yet. "Small Things Like These" is a short, wrenching, thoroughly brilliant novel mapping the ...

This lovingly curated volume of Woody Guthrie's song lyrics, photos and other ephemera will introduce the singer to a whole new generation. "Woody Guthrie: Songs and Art, Words and Wisdom" by Nora Guthrie and Robert Santelli; Chronicle Books (340 pages, $40) ——— Sitting on the front porch of our farmhouse outside of Buffalo, New York, in 1964, I played and sang Woody Guthrie's signature song, ...

When I look over this list of the best books of 2021, I see what’s not there, what didn’t make the final cut and deserved the hosannas. Rebecca Solnit’s discursive biography “Orwell’s Roses.” Clint Smith’s sobering travelogue “How the Word is Passed.” Matt Bell’s climate-change epic “Appleseed.” Even Seth Rogan’s “Yearbook,” a consistently thoughtful collection of essays on the strangeness of ...

Here are the bestsellers for the week that ended Saturday, Nov. 20, compiled from data from independent and chain bookstores, book wholesalers and independent distributors nationwide, powered by NPD BookScan © 2021 NPD Group. (Reprinted from Publishers Weekly, published by PWxyz LLC. © 2021, PWxyz LLC.) HARDCOVER FICTION 1. "The Judge’s List: A Novel" by John Grisham (Doubleday) Last week: 2 ...

Here are the bestsellers for the week that ended Saturday, Nov. 20, compiled from data from independent and chain bookstores, book wholesalers and independent distributors nationwide, powered by NPD BookScan © 2021 NPD Group. (Reprinted from Publishers Weekly, published by PWxyz LLC. © 2021, PWxyz LLC.) HARDCOVER FICTION 1. The Judge’s List. John Grisham. Doubleday 2. Mercy. David Baldacci. ...

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