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The Lower River by Paul Theroux

Ellis Hock bids adieu to his failing clothing store, bitter wife and avaricious daughter and returns to Malabo, Malawi where he served as a Peace Corps volunteer almost 40 years ago. But a place of hope and nostalgia and usefulness has deteriorated to one of corruption, deep distrust and danger. Ellis not only has nothing to do but is slowly consumed by the people he once loved until he discovers that there is a price on his head. Snakes play a major—if understated—role in this provocative tale. Theroux is a master story teller with the travel writer’s exquisite eye for detail.

Marcella Hazan: That's Italian!

Looking for real Italian dishes that you really can make yourself? Look no further than the classic cookbooks written by Italian-born homemaker and cooking instructor Marcella Hazan, who died recently at the age of 89.

RIP Vince Flynn

Readers of politicial thrillers mourn the passing of author Vince Flynn, whose bestselling Mitch Rapp series started with "Transfer of Power" in 1999 and will end with "The Survivor" (to be published in October). Flynn originally began writing as a way of overcoming his dyslexia but after his first self-published novel, "Term Limits", went on to become a New York Times bestseller, he turned writing into a successful career. If you're a Robert Ludlum fan, or just love sizzling globe-trotting military/CIA thrillers, try taking a Vince Flynn book to the beach with you this summer!

Superman: The High-Flying History of America's Most Enduring Hero by Larry Tye

Before the summer blockbuster “Man of Steel” hits theaters on June 14th, be sure to pick up Superman: the High-Flying History of America's Most Enduring Hero by Lexington native Larry Tye.

Gore Vidal, 1925-2012

Historian, novelist, essayist and political gadfly Gore Vidal died yesterday at 86. Especially lauded for his essays, he won the National Book Award for Nonfiction in 1993 for the collection United States: Essays 1952–1992.

Nora Ephron, 1941-2012

Sadly, writer, screenwriter & director Ephron died yesterday--yet even just reading the obituaries made me laugh. Read, for example, her reprinted comments ruing the fact that she was "probably the only young woman who ever worked in the Kennedy White House whom the president did not make a pass at"....perhaps because of her unfortunate permanent wave, or because she was Jewish, or because "JFK somehow sensed that discretion was not my middle name.

Ray Bradbury: An appreciation from a Sci-Fi Geek

Ray Bradbury passed away on Tuesday June 5th, 2012 and a light has gone out in the Universe.  To say that I was a fan of Bradbury's doesn't seem enough.  He inspired me.  I was introduced to Bradbury in my teens.  I was looking for something to read and while rifling through my mother's bookshelf, I came across a worn paperback.  On the cover, was a naked man sitting on a scaffold with his back to the audience.  He was completely covered from the neck down in tattoos (pardon me, illustrations).  The was

Happy Birthday, John Cheever

John Cheever was born in Quincy 100 years ago this month (on May 27, 1912). Sometimes called the "Chekhov of the suburbs", Cheever was lauded for his fiction, especially his short stories. He won many prestigious awards during his career, including a Pulitzer Prize and a National Book Award. Discover for yourself why Cheever's work mattered.

Boston Historian Thomas O'Connor Dies

South Shore resident and prominent historian of Boston, Thomas O'Connor died at home on Sunday.  O'Connor, a retired Boston College history professor, had written numerous books about the history of Boston and the people who live there.  Originally from South Boston, several of his books focused on the history of Boston Catholics, the Irish community and Southie.

Carlos Fuentes, 1928-2012

Explore the work of this celebrated Mexican writer who died on May 15. Try The Old Gringo (a best-seller in the U.S.

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