Books

‘Landline’ calls on time travel for fun plot

Writers have pondered the possibility of time travel — its benefits and possible repercussions — for years. In Omaha-based author Rainbow Rowell’s new book, “Landline,” she takes the argument in a new direction: [...]

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Iowa City Book Festival

IOWA CITY — When Marilynne Robinson’s first novel, “Housekeeping,” a meditative story of two sisters raised by their eccentric Aunt, was released in 1980, it was not predicated to be a hit — or even draw many rev [...]

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“While the Gods were Sleeping”: Fascinating, frustrating memoir

Elizabeth Enslin begins her memoir “While the Gods were Sleeping” with the story of her son’s birth in a small village in Nepal in 1987. After a long labor that wasn’t progressing, she takes off through the rural roads [...]

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‘Some Luck’: Readers of Smiley’s new book are the lucky ones

The title of Jane Smiley’s new novel doesn’t go far enough to describe the reader’s experience. Reading “Some Luck” (Knopf, 395 pages $26.95) is akin to hitting it big in a literary lottery. This first entry in a [...]

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Smiling on Iowa: Jane Smiley’s latest novel debuts at book festival Oct. 5

IOWA CITY — Jane Smiley’s novel new, “Some Luck,” is the first book of a trilogy that follows a family with Iowa roots from 1920 through 2019.

“That was the initial idea,” Smiley says in a phone int [...]

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Local best-sellers

1. “My Prairie Cookbook” Gilbert

2. “Blood Lyrics” Ford

3. “One Kick” Cain

4. “10:04” Lerner

5. “The Distance Between Us” Grande

6. “Undergr [...]

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Ellroy an impressive engineer in “Perfidia”

When we think of epic novels, we tend to think of Tolstoy or Marquez: sweeping, multigenerational works with hefty character lists and complex plots. We tend not to think of crime novels. At least, not yet.

James Ellroy is looking to change [...]

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‘Bumperhead’: Author masters novel about growing up

In his last graphic novel, “Marble Season,” artist and author Gilbert Hernandez explored the childhood of one imaginative boy growing up in 1960s California.

Using an episodic narrative style and stunning, spare drawings, Hern [...]

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‘California’ dreaming: Author Edan Lepucki to visit Iowa City

Edan Lepucki has had a pretty wild summer.

Her first novel, “California,” was released in July.

“I was really excited for my book to come out. I was going on a three city book tour and it made some best of summer r [...]

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Wine, dine and meet romance authors at Fireside Winery

Fill your bookshelves in anticipation of a long winter of reading at a multi-author event at Fireside Winery on Sept. 28.

Meet multiple authors, purchase books and get author autographs, wine and dine and listen to live music from 1 to 5 p. [...]

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“Downfall”: Whodunnit creates likable character

When Pen Wilkinson, an attorney and paraplegic, learns that someone is attempting to make her the scapegoat in a scandal that threatens the company she works for, she decides to fight back. “Downfall” (Conquill Press, 347 pages, $15) [...]

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Author Kerry Weber speaks of personal merciful journey at Mount Mercy University

A few years ago, journalist Kerry Weber was sent to California’s San Quentin State Prison to write about its religious outreach program.

As she prepared for the trip, Weber, managing editor of the faith-based America magazine, came ac [...]

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‘Little House’ star launches cookbook tour at Iowa City, Cedar Rapids libraries

CEDAR RAPIDS — Actress Melissa Gilbert burst into tears when she saw how many people turned out Tuesday afternoon for her booking signing and talk at the Cedar Rapids Public Library.

A standing-room-only crowd of about 250 filled the [...]

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‘One Kick’: Iowa City Name reads from thriller Monday

Chelsea Cain’s latest thriller, “One Kick” (Simon & Schuster, 309 pages, $25.99), is the first book in a new series featuring Kick Lannigan, a young woman who suffered the horror of abduction and child pornography. Ten years a [...]

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‘The Secret Place’: Deep dive into drama detracts from story

Fans of acclaimed mystery writer Tana French can be a bit, well, fanatical about her work. I should know. I’m one of them.

And while her latest novel, “The Secret Place,” delivers on a number of French’s trademar [...]

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