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Life as a commercial: John Kenney's Truth in Advertising

Gwyneth Paltrow, 1984 , and dirty diapers aren't an obvious mix.
By: CLEA SIMON  |  January 15, 2013


It's in the cards: Karen Engelmann's new book

Historical fiction is a perfect winter indulgence.
By: CLEA SIMON  |  December 03, 2012


Animal Magnetism: Lauren Slater's collection of essays about ''non-human citizens''

Musashi and Lila, the title pooch of Lauren Slater's The $60,000 Dog: My Life with Animals (Beacon Press), have crossed the rainbow bridge.
By: CLEA SIMON  |  November 21, 2012


Michael Chabon feels the flow

Michael Chabon has a thing for pop culture.
By: CLEA SIMON  |  September 28, 2012


Hilary Mantel's power play

King's Man
Endings, perhaps more than beginnings, set the tone in historical fiction.
By: CLEA SIMON  |  May 11, 2012

Mankell list

Mankell says goodbye to his hero — and his readers

No fun
Henning Mankell has no respect for his readers. That's the only conclusion possible after finishing his latest, The Troubled Man , but it has been a long time coming.  
By: CLEA SIMON  |  April 19, 2011

Wesley Stace

Wesley Stace's sublime puzzle book

Ah, sweet music
Early morning, June 23, 1923, a gunshot wakes the neighbors. The resulting discovery -- two persons poisoned, one shot in an apparent murder suicide -- shakes not only quiet Kensington but also the musical world.
By: CLEA SIMON  |  March 01, 2011

michael macdonaldmichael-macdonald-66.jpg

Michael Patrick MacDonald writes the Dropkicks' backstory

Common ground
Who is Cornelius Larkin, and how did his obituary come to be on the cover of the new Dropkick Murphys disc, Going Out in Style ?    
By: CLEA SIMON  |  February 23, 2011


Talking cures

Aminatta Forna's memories of war
Letting go is never easy. No matter what our reasons, every move we make away from someone we once loved involves regret. In a normal life, this can be bittersweet, tinged with melancholy and the sweetness of memory. In the aftermath of brutal civil war, the sadness is likely to be more palpable: absence as a wound.
By: CLEA SIMON  |  February 02, 2011


Lawton and le Carré share their information

Data basics
Information is dangerous currency.
By: CLEA SIMON  |  October 05, 2010


Review: Cheap Trick and Squeeze

Live at Bank of America Pavilion, July 14, 2010
Live at Bank of America Pavilion, July 14, 2010
By: CLEA SIMON  |  July 24, 2010


Interview: Naomi Novik on her Temeraire series

From Neverwinter Nights to the Napoleonic War — with dragons
With her sixth Temeraire fantasy, Tongues of Serpents , out this week, New York Times bestseller Naomi Novik takes on dragons, Peter Jackson, and the beginning of the end of a beloved series.
By: CLEA SIMON  |  July 16, 2010


Tana French gets her characters where they live

Faithful Place proves a rich mystery
Frank Mackey's life changed when he was 19. The year was 1985, and he and his girlfriend Rosie Daly were about to run away together.
By: CLEA SIMON  |  July 06, 2010


Summer treats

Whether classical, jazz, pop, or folk, 'tis the season to get out and enjoy the music
From Andean to zydeco, pick your flavor and there's a summer music festival ready to serve it up.
By: CLEA SIMON  |  June 18, 2010


Good grief

Deborah Noyes’s séance in Captivity
Grief bogs one down, sapping energy and confusing even the simplest thoughts with the static of regrets.
By: CLEA SIMON  |  June 09, 2010


Life after Pi

Yann Martel’s next allegory
In contemporary literature, the Holocaust is the okapi in the room: looming and somehow irresistible.
By: CLEA SIMON  |  April 13, 2010


Tired sleuth

Can Walter Mosley kick the crime-novel habit?
Has Walter Mosley gone off crime fiction? With the creation of Easy Rawlins in 1990, Mosley perfected the African-American side of the genre — along with a poetic and insightful take on post-war LA up through the 1960s — in 11 consistently solid books, the most recent coming out in 2007.
By: CLEA SIMON  |  March 16, 2010


Wolf man

Henning Mankell stalks globalization
A lone wolf lopes across a border, searching for food.
By: CLEA SIMON  |  February 09, 2010


Sterling-Cooper sells the season

Behind the scenes of the Phoenix' s Gift Guide, starring the cast of Mad Men
The Guide to the Season isn’t about any particular gift, just like it’s not about any particular holiday. It’s a feeling. A sensation. A supplement.
By: CLEA SIMON  |  December 10, 2009


What Would Joan Do?

Jackie or Marilyn, Pete or Roger — they are what they eat. So, who are you?
So you've got a party coming up, a gift due, or a difficult-to-please significant other.
By: CLEA SIMON  |  December 08, 2009
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