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Small things add up to epic tale in ‘We Are Not Ourselves’

Matthew Thomas’ first novel, “We Are Not Ourselves,” is an epic of small events. By that I don’t mean its story is insignificant but quotidian: the particular struggles of the day-to-day. A family...

Updated : 2014.08.28 20:16

‘Yeah! Yeah! Yeah!’ an eccentric, witty look at pop music history

The title suggests the folly of the endeavor: “Yeah! Yeah! Yeah! The Story of Pop Music from Bill Haley to Beyonce.” Really? The whole story? Yeah, that’s what Bob Stanley is going for here. Doo-wo...

Updated : 2014.08.28 20:14

Making wagonloads of money in pre-Civil War Independence

Merchants of Independence: International Trade on the Santa Fe Trail, 1827-1860By William Patrick O’Brien (Truman State University Press) Out in Independence, Missouri, the ornamental wagon wheel c...

Updated : 2014.08.28 20:13

‘I Can See in the Dark’ a well-paced tale narrated by a sociopath

I Can See in the DarkBy Karin Fossum (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt)Over the years, I’ve read lots of Scandinavian crime fiction, but nothing from Norwegian novelist Karin Fossum. In retrospect, that wa...

Updated : 2014.08.28 20:13

Korean poet Ko Un wins Golden Wreath Award

Renowned South Korean poet Ko Un has won this year‘s Golden Wreath, one of the world’s most authoritative awards for poets, the Korean National Commission for UNESCO said Monday.Ko received the awar...

Updated : 2014.08.25 20:11

‘Your Face in Mine’ a bold take on race, identity by Jess Row

Late in his novel “Your Face in Mine,” Jess Row cites a parable attributed to Zhuangzi, a Chinese philosopher from the fourth century BC. “Zhuangzi awoke from dreaming that he was a butterfly,” he...

Updated : 2014.08.21 19:59

‘Deep’ goes below the surface of the ocean

I grew up within sight of the ocean, close enough to hear the boom of the surf as it exploded across the sandbars. My grandfather pulled his living from the ocean, and a great uncle died in it. I spen...

Updated : 2014.08.21 19:58

‘All Our Names’ tells tale of exile, loss

All Our NamesBy Dinaw Mengestu (Knopf)At first glance, “All Our Names” seems to be a straightforward immigrant story. A young man, carrying the name of Isaac on his passport, has come from Uganda t...

Updated : 2014.08.21 19:57

‘Remember Me Like This’ evokes powerful sense of place, family

Remember Me Like ThisBy Bret Anthony Johnston (Random House) A page-turner of a plot alone usually is not enough to keep me reading long into the night, abandoning my dreams for a writer’s creative...

Updated : 2014.08.21 19:57

Amy Bloom’s ‘Lucky Us’ leaves little to care about

“There is no such thing as a good writer and a bad liar,” Amy Bloom wrote in her 1999 short story “The Story,” which remains my favorite of all her work. It’s a vivid bit of double vision, Bloom ...

Updated : 2014.08.14 21:05

Book artist probes act, art of reading

Peter Mendelsund’s “What We See When We Read” may be the liveliest, most entertaining and best illustrated work of phenomenology you’ll pick up this year.An acclaimed book-jacket designer and art ...

Updated : 2014.08.14 21:04

Ted Hope tells of indie filmmaking

Hope for Film: From the Frontlines of the Independent Cinema RevolutionsBy Ted Hope with Anthony Kaufman (Soft Skull)Ted Hope’s new book “Hope for Film” is part memoir, part manual, part manifesto...

Updated : 2014.08.14 21:03

Murakami recounts pilgrim’s progress

Colorless Tsukuru Tazaki and His Years of PilgrimageBy Haruki Murakami (Alfred A. Knopf)When the bottom falls out of your life, you can’t always figure out what the hell happened. You just have to g...

Updated : 2014.08.14 21:03

Jo Jung-rae wins first Simhun Literary Award

Jo Jung-rae, the author of popular history saga “Taebaek Mountain Range,” has been chosen as the recipient of the first Simhun Literary Award, the organizers of the award said Tuesday. The 70-years-...

Updated : 2014.08.12 20:45

Startling novel urges Abe to apologize

With Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe pushing agendas of nationalism and historical revisionism, Japan and South Korea’s ties are at their lowest ebb in decades with no immediate signs of a thaw. K...

Updated : 2014.08.07 20:49