Underneath It All

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Not all stories have to be about grand, soaring adventure. Sometimes the little stories, the stories of ordinary wives and mothers, particularly of a certain age, are just as illuminating. So, without further ado, here are some picks for domestic fiction. Sima has a routine: open Sima's Undergarments for Women (also the title of Ilana Stanger-Ross' novel), […]

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And What Do You Do In Your Spare Time, Miss Lamarr?

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Can't live without your cell phone? Can't imagine an evening without your remote? Thank Hedy Lamarr and George Antheil, the inventors of spread spectrum signaling who were more famous for other things. Hedy Lamarr was a Hollywood star most famous for Cecil B. DeMille's Samson and Delilah, a blockbuster in its day, and she was billed by Sam […]

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What Looks Weird in an Ordinary Town….

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Joseph Fink and Jeffrey Craner have created a delightful science fiction/fantasy/mystery novel in Welcome to Night Vale. Based on a podcast of the same name, Welcome to Night Vale teams up a 19-year-old pawnbroker and a single mother to find the mother's son and the nature (and location) of King City. That the pawnbroker has been […]

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This Boy’s Life: 4 Books About Growing Up

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Poet and novelist James McManus has a new book of linked stories out, Education of A Poker Player. We follow Vince Killeen through adolescence as he grows away from his childhood desire to be a priest and thereby save his beloved grandmother from Purgatory. Nothing against his grandmother—girls and cards are just more fun. Set in Lisle […]

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Mysteries of China

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The well-traveled Elsa Hart has written her first novel, a mystery: Jade Dragon Mountain. Set just before the solar eclipse of 1708, exiled librarian Li Du must solve a murder in three days. The Emperor of China is to come to a restive backwater to command the eclipse. Of course, he knows when it will happen, […]

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Hair: The Obsession, The Romance, The Drama!

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Forget thighs and breasts, the body part that women universally obsess about is hair.  Elizabeth Benedict, author of both fiction and nonfiction, has edited a new collection of essays entitled Me, My Hair, and I. These female authors talk about their hair: African American hair, Jewish hair, Latina hair, Sri Lancan hair, and hair from […]

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Watch Her: Anjelica Huston’s Biography and Filmography

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I wrote about A Story Lately Told, the first half of Anjelica Huston's memoir, in a blog post last year when it was published and mentioned how I was anticipating the second volume: Watch Me. It does not disappoint.  While much of the first part of the book deals with Huston's tempestuous (and much-documented) relationship with Jack Nicholson, […]

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Cheerful Ladies: Women Sleuths of the 1920s

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There are plenty of mysteries set in the 1920s and solved by women, of which Agatha Christie's Miss Marple is perhaps the most famous, but I've decided to focus on the humorous ones to celebrate a new addition to the field. Come Hell or Highball is the first of what promises to be a new series by Maia […]

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Chicago Noir 2: The 1970s

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Michael Raleigh, author of the Paul Whelan mysteries, has written what will hopefully be the start of a new series set in 1970s Chicago. Peerless Detective follows Billy Fox, a vet from small-town Michigan, to Chicago in search of an old girlfriend. In a series of events, he ends up apprenticing in a detective firm, […]

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Darkness and Light: The Marriage of Opposites

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I always relish a new Alice Hoffman book, and I am not disappointed with The Marriage of Opposites; far from it. This is a story of people who defy convention to be their true selves. Rachel always wants her own way, and her father usually lets her have it, until he arranges for her to marry an older man to […]

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