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  • Celebrity memoir quiz

    Celebrity memoir quiz

    Hooray for childhoods! Without them, we'd have so much less to complain about as adults. And by adults, I'm referring to the only important folks in our world today: You, me, and celebrities. As you and I work on our multi-volume memoirs – you are writing one, yes? – perhaps we can learn a thing from the early lives of the stars. Luckily, several Hollywood types looked back upon their awkward younger days in books published in 2011. Can you match these memories and memoirs?

  • 6 books you should resolve to read in 2012

    6 books you should resolve to read in 2012

    It’s common practice, as the year draws to a close, to reflect on the past twelve months – to think back on what you did, how you spent your time, and who you spent it with. My years, more than anything, are shaped by books so when I look back I’m thinking about what I read. The same goes for thinking about the year to come: When I make my New Year’s resolutions, it’s pretty much just a long list of books that I want to get my hands on. And so, in looking forward to 2012, here are some things that I’ve already gotten my hands on; it would be wise of you to do the same. If what I’m reading (and loving) is any indication, 2012 is going to be a strange and wonderful year.

  • 5 books to keep kids happy on a trip

    5 books to keep kids happy on a trip

    If you're going over the river and through the woods for a holiday trip to relatives, long drives (or plane trips) can make kids a little squirmy once the novelty of that new toy has worn off. Here are five books that are sure to keep them turning pages until you get there. (Just make sure to check out the age ranges listed so you're getting a book that's age-appropriate.)

  • 13 best 2011 author interviews

    13 best 2011 author interviews

    A loose young woman in Nazi-era Berlin. A titanic failure of courage on the Titanic. A Supreme Court justice with a thing for hot blondes. An American president's scandalous love child.  Book authors answered questions about these earthy topics and many more – from sandwiches to Shakespeare – during Monitor interviews with me this year. Here's a baker's dozen of the memorable things that these authors had to say. Click on the links to read the full interviews.

  • Good Living Street

    Good Living Street

    An Australian art critic probes the past of his family – Austrian Jews who enjoyed one of Vienna's grandest eras, only to lose it all in the face of World War II. 

  • Top 10 sports biographies I wish somebody would write

    Top 10 sports biographies I wish somebody would write

    Call this a wish list to publishers. Of course it's true that’s there hardly any major sports star who hasn’t already achieved hardcover immortality a time or two or more. So why check back in with some already familiar sports luminaries? With the passage of time comes fresh perspectives on playing days, teammates, and rivals. And maybe even a little more honesty. So here goes, in no particular order: the Monitor’s Top 10 sports figures we’d put in the publishing on-deck circle.

  • The Best American Poetry 2011

    The Best American Poetry 2011

    This collection of 2011 poetry offers both consolation and honest assessment in the face of a difficult year. 

  • Almost President

    Almost President

    Why some of the candidates who lost the race for president ultimately had a bigger impact than many of those who won.

  • On Conan Doyle

    On Conan Doyle

    Washington Post book critic Michael Dirda offers a love letter to Arthur Conan Doyle, the author he credits with changing his life.

  • 10 book-to-movie adaptations coming this holiday season

    10 book-to-movie adaptations coming this holiday season

    From the ultra-violent 'The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo' to 'Hugo,' Martin Scorsese's love letter to silent films, the movie listings this holiday season are full of films that came from the printed page. Here are some that are already out as well as a few that are yet to be released.

  • HBO makes great TV from books

    HBO makes great TV from books

    How do you compress a complicated novel into a two-hour, cinema-friendly format? The answer, most often, is: you can't. A better solution for many authors is to have their books turned into HBO series. The end result is often an in-depth adaptation – with story and characters intact – that would have been impossible get at the multiplex. Here are some of the best-known books that have been turned into successful HBO series – with many more to come.

  • End to an era at legendary Paris bookshop Shakespeare and Company

    Chapter & Verse End to an era at legendary Paris bookshop Shakespeare and Company

    George Whitman, longtime owner of the beloved Shakespeare and Company, died in Paris last week.

  • 'Daughter of Smoke and Bone' film rights acquired by Universal

    Chapter & Verse 'Daughter of Smoke and Bone' film rights acquired by Universal

    'Daughter of Smoke and Bone,' one of 2011's most popular young adult novels, could be adapted into a film by Universal Pictures

  • Killing the Cranes

    Killing the Cranes

    After decades in Afghanistan, a Monitor journalist offers a memoir and field report.

  • Better World Books' bestseller list: more classics than new titles

    Chapter & Verse Better World Books' bestseller list: more classics than new titles

    Better World Books' 2011 bestseller list: everything from 'The Shack' to 'To Kill A Mockingbird'

  • More books, more choices: why America needs its indies

    Chapter & Verse More books, more choices: why America needs its indies

    Farhad Manjoo thinks corner bookstores are simply comfy and quaint. He couldn't be more wrong.

  • Christopher Hitchens: 10 memorable quotes

    Christopher Hitchens: 10 memorable quotes

    Christopher Hitchens, who passed away this week in Houston at age 62, was remembered for his one-liners and willingness to write or speak about any controversial subject. Over the years, he published books including 'God Is Not Great' and the collection of essays that came out this September, 'Arguably.' He also wrote for Vanity Fair, the New Yorker, Slate and the magazine The Nation and often served as a TV commentator. Here are some of his more memorable opinions.

  • Is Slate's Amazon-defending blogger really a 'moron'?

    Chapter & Verse Is Slate's Amazon-defending blogger really a 'moron'?

  • 5 best mysteries of the holiday season

    5 best mysteries of the holiday season

    I've often thought that Ebenezer Scrooge's famous indictment of holiday well-wishers would make a terrific set-up for a mystery. "If I could work my will," said Scrooge indignantly, "Every idiot who goes about with 'Merry Christmas' on his lips should be boiled with his own pudding, and buried with a stake of holly through his heart." Failing that, here are five 2011 mysteries for the suspense lover on your Christmas list. A legend returns, officially; murder pays a visit to Austen; an Old Bailey hack reminds us how much we miss his creator; a Scottish writer returns to old haunts with a new hero; and a freelance journalist stumbles onto murder and Noel Coward impersonators in rural Michigan.

  • 5 of America's best presidential losers

    5 of America's best presidential losers

    Henry Clay. Al Smith. Thomas E. Dewey. Their names probably prompt hazy recollections of high school history class – but not much else. By missing out on the presidency, many would say they lost their place in history, too. But even those who didn't take the oath on Inauguration Day had their impact. Here are five great examples from Scott Farris's new book 'Almost President: The Men Who Lost the Race but Changed the Nation.'

 
 
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