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“Shackleton: The Biography” by Ranulph Fiennes; Pegasus Books (452 pages, $32) ——— Sometimes the greatest victories are hidden in defeats. Sir Ernest Shackleton wanted to be the first man to reach the South Pole, the first to cross Antarctica. He failed at both. Yet he became a hero anyway and is famous for his explorations. Ranulph Fiennes’ “Shackleton: The Biography” explains why. Part of an ...

MINNEAPOLIS — In 2007, after the death of his grandfather, Sequoia Nagamatsu flew off to Japan, where he had never been, to teach English and to grieve. It was there that he started writing. "My grandfather's death had a profound impact on me," Nagamatsu said in a recent interview from his home in Minneapolis. "I wasn't really able to say goodbye." In Japan, he was surrounded by reminders of ...

SEATTLE — Elizabeth George does have an endgame for her bestselling Inspector Thomas Lynley mysteries — the newest of which, "Something to Hide," arrived in bookstores Jan. 11. But, to the relief of the many fans of the series, she hasn't arrived there yet. George, speaking in a telephone interview from her Seattle home, said she's always delighted to begin a new Lynley book: "There's always a ...

Ulrich Boschwitz wrote his novel about a German Jew on the run in the days after Kristallnacht. One day last March, former U.S. Sen. Rudy Boschwitz opened his Wall Street Journal to find a review of a book that had been written by his cousin Ulrich. His cousin, who he hadn't known was a writer. His cousin, who had died in 1942. "I was startled when it appeared," Rudy said. "I had never heard ...

What does it take for one British-Nigerian woman to find a date to her cousin's wedding? A lot, apparently. "Yinka, Where Is Your Huzband?" by Lizzie Damilola Blackburn; Pamela Dorman Books (384 pages, $26) ——— If Lizzie Damilola Blackburn's debut novel, "Yinka, Where Is Your Huzband?," was to become a TV sitcom, it could run episode after episode, season after season, without losing steam on ...

The Bucci sisters were 4 and 6 when they were sent to Auschwitz. "Always Remember Your Name" by Andra and Tatiana Bucci, translated from the Italian by Ann Goldstein; Astra House (171 pages, $25) ——— The first book I reviewed for the Star Tribune documented the life of Mildred Harnack, the only American to lead a Nazi-resistance group in Germany during World War II. Tragically, she was ...

Set in England and China, a smart, expansive novel considers the toll of extremist beliefs. "The Sisters Mao" by Gavin McCrea; Scribe (560 pages, $28) ——— "The Sisters Mao," Gavin McCrea's second novel, is a stirring, perceptive exploration of radical politics. Two of the Irish writer's protagonists, sisters Iris and Eva Thurlow, are among a small number of disaffected Londoners who live ...

CHICAGO — Years ago I had a dream that I worked for Annie Leibovitz and she hated me, so she made me work on Thanksgiving and then she fired me because the alligator that I personally wrangled for Nicole Kidman to ride in a photograph for the next issue of Vanity Fair, the poor creature looked tired. I’m not joking about that dream. I think I had just read a biography of Rolling Stone founder ...

Here's hoping that 2022 brings us ... oh, at this point, I'll settle for anything halfway decent. But here are 15 much-anticipated books that might make the new year bright, arranged in order of planned publication. "To Paradise" by Hanya Yanagihara (Penguin Random House, Jan. 11) It's been seven years since the publication of Yanagihara's acclaimed previous novel "A Little Life"; now she ...

Lydia Davis' second essay collection is an engaging and erudite exploration of the pleasure and pains of language and translation. "Essays Two" by Lydia Davis; Farrar, Straus & Giroux (571 pages, $35) ——— Lydia Davis has thrice distinguished herself in the world of American letters. First, as a fiction writer (seven collections and one novel), then as a translator (Proust's "Swann's Way," ...

Hope you’re caught up on your 2021 books, because the 2022 list is rolling right in. Here are just a few notable books being published in the coming months. January What can we get for Serge Storms to celebrate Tim Dorsey’s 25th novel about Florida’s most lovable serial killer? A silver shiv? "Mermaid Confidential" finds Serge and Coleman taking a break from road trips to move into a condo ...

A dark and provocative wartime novel about a guilty man and his guardian angel. "A Guardian Angel Recalls" by Willem Frederik Hermans; Archipelago Books (510 pages, $20) ——— This year marks the centenary of one of the most significant Dutch authors of the 20th century. Willem Frederik Hermans (1921-1995) wrote compellingly dark and highly suspenseful wartime fiction, the best of which centers ...

The wrong man: inside the world of a Somali sailor hanged for murder. "The Fortune Men" by Nadifa Mohamed; Alfred A. Knopf (320 pages, $27) ——— Mahmood Mattan has been rescued. Given new life, he emerges from the pages of "The Fortune Men" as a full-blooded literary victim-hero with all the complexity that such a status tends to require. It's a miraculous feat by Somali-British writer Nadifa ...

Every year I review at least 50 books in the Tampa Bay Times, but I read many more than I review. Here are some of the books that I didn’t review this year but that stuck with me — and that might find a place on your holiday shopping list. 'Orwell’s Roses' by Rebecca Solnit If all you know about George Orwell is that he wrote "1984," allow Solnit to bring her astonishing capacity for ...

All kinds of books are good, but physical books can have a magical beauty. I seem to have annoyed some folks on Twitter, which is actually not all that hard to do (I've done it before). It always surprises me when this happens because I think I am tweeting something innocuous, but people sometimes read tweets much more carefully than I expect. In this case, I meant to praise physical books. I ...

A mother and son hiding decades-old secrets struggle to harmonize in Neel Patel's first novel. "Tell Me How to Be" by Neel Patel; Flatiron Books (304 pages, $26.99) ——— "My mother always told me to be a good boy. I suspect she knew that I wasn't," Akash Amin explains as Neel Patel's novel "Tell Me How to Be" begins. This melancholy drama is structured as a first-person duet between narrators ...

A probing character study with insightful perspectives on addiction and single parenthood. "Bright Burning Things" by Lisa Harding; HarperVia (336 pages, $26.99) ——— Sonya Moriarty was once a successful actress, but lately the erstwhile darling of the London stage finds that the real-life role she covets — that of a person who can say no to a drink — is beyond her reach. "How much easier it is ...

Sparkling essays on a wide range of topics from a self-described "intellectual vagabond." "Mothers, Fathers, and Others: Essays" by Siri Hustvedt; Simon & Schuster (304 pages, $26) ——— Siri Hustvedt is one of America's great minds, and her intellectual and cultural commentary is sparkling. In "Mothers, Fathers, and Others: Essays," she engages readers in heady discussions while simultaneously ...

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When Molly Stern was conceiving the idea for a new publishing company that would leverage the fan bases of celebrities and influencers to fuel sales, she made a list of people she dreamed of working with. Among them was the Emmy, Grammy, Oscar and Tony award-winning artist John Legend. Stern had worked with plenty of celebrities at Crown, where she was publisher until three years ago; she had ...

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 ...

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 ...

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 ...

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