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Festival of Books 2015

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  • Kate Atkinson moves backwards through a life in 'A God in Ruins'
    Kate Atkinson moves backwards through a life in 'A God in Ruins'

    About 50 pages into "A God in Ruins," I got confused. As the book picked up momentum, it was throwing Teddy Todd, a World War II pilot, 40 years ahead to a full life of parenthood and grandparenthood. But hadn't Teddy died during the war in Kate Atkinson's last novel, "Life After Life"?

  • John Lydon recalls life as a punk (and beyond) in 'Anger Is an Energy'
    John Lydon recalls life as a punk (and beyond) in 'Anger Is an Energy'

    Most lives do not have second acts, as F. Scott Fitzgerald incessantly reminds us from beyond the grave. John Lydon is lucky enough to have enjoyed two distinct and significant acts. The trouble is they fell just a couple of years apart.

  • An intimate look at a fluid family in Maggie Nelson's 'The Argonauts'
    An intimate look at a fluid family in Maggie Nelson's 'The Argonauts'

    The unchecked reign of three ideas — children as the future, families as the building block of society, and parenthood as the ultimate vocation — is breeding broad discontent. This spring, browsing the new-book table, we can see these topics discussed in Kate Bolick's "Spinster" and Meghan Daum's...

  • Oliver Sacks' 'On the Move' a memoir of an extraordinary life
    Oliver Sacks' 'On the Move' a memoir of an extraordinary life

    Neurologist Oliver Sacks has engaged, amazed and enlightened readers with his case studies of neurological aberrations, which include "Awakenings," "The Man Who Mistook His Wife for a Hat" and "Musicophilia." His 13th book, "On the Move," picks up where "Uncle Tungsten," his 2001 memoir of his...

  • 'Children of the Stone' a moving look at music's power in Palestine
    'Children of the Stone' a moving look at music's power in Palestine

    A shipping container bound for Palestine holds cargo worth half a million dollars — not military hardware or food aid but musical instruments. This is the gripping material of Sandy Tolan's moving and diligently told new book, "Children of the Stone." Whereas his 2006 book, "The Lemon Tree," told...

  • Swept away by 'What About This: Collected Poems of Frank Stanford'
    Swept away by 'What About This: Collected Poems of Frank Stanford'

    Poet Frank Stanford didn't live long. He shot himself three times in the heart with a pistol at age 29. But you come through a Frank Stanford poem, you know you've lived. Rabbit blood under your nails. The snake handler showing you the fang marks. The white backs of strange women.

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