‘Team Seven’: Teen coming-of-age story scores

“Team Seven,” the debut novel from Iowa Writers’ Workshop graduate Marcus Burke, is the story of Andre Battel, a young African-American man coming of age in Milton, Mass., a small town just south of Boston. Beginning when Andr [...]

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‘The Farm’: Thriller puts new spin on family turmoil

Imagine receiving a call from your father alerting you that your mother is suffering from delusions. Now imagine the next call is from your mother who maintains your father is lying and that she is attempting to expose a great evil. Who would you [...]

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Our state fair

Where some might see something ordinary, 62-year-old photographer and writer Kent Ullrich sees something extraordinary. In his first photo book, “The Iowa State Fair,” Ullrich takes readers on a journey through the 150-year-old insti [...]

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‘The Iowa State Fair’: Photographer celebrates Iowa’s state fair

The 2014 Iowa State Fair is just a few weeks away, and Kurt Ullrich’s collection of photos from last year’s fair might help you get in the mood for this year’s big event. “The Iowa State Fair” (University of Iowa [...]

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‘Little Mercies’: Readers will likely grant author mercy over missteps

New York Times best-selling author and Dubuque native Heather Gudenkauf is back with a new novel that’s a perfect read for a summer afternoon.

“Little Mercies” takes place in Cedar City, Iowa, and follows the lives of ve [...]

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Mt. Vernon celebrates new Little Free Library

Duane Eash’s newly constructed Little Free Library stood empty as community members gathered in front of his home in Mount Vernon, but it would be filled with books by the end of the day.

On Sunday, people around the area gathered for [...]

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‘Inside Man’: A suspenseful read worthy of a good beach

During a recent trip to Fort Lauderdale, I decided to read a thriller with a southern Florida flavor. Jeff Abbott’s “Inside Man” (Grand Central Publishing, 389 pages, $26) is the fourth novel featuring ex-CIA man Sam Capra (an [...]

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Berg weaves a tapestry of literature

While it certainly seems to be the right fit for novelist Elizabeth Berg, she’s not afraid to admit that writing is a lonely profession.

But Berg won’t be lonely Friday when she visits Cedar Rapids where she’ll be speak [...]

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‘My Family and Other Hazards’: Charming memoir details life on, off golf course

Writers are always told to “write what you know,” but let’s face it: some writers have more material than others. Thankfully, non-fiction writer and Decorah native June Melby has plenty, as evidenced by her charming — a [...]

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‘The Fever’: Author captures teenagers thinking, behavior

“The Fever” is loosely based on a real-life situation when 18 teenage girls at one New York high school suffered from tics and tremors.

Megan Abbott took that story and made it into a novel that will make all parents of teena [...]

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‘Worst. Person. Ever.’: Not Coupland’s best book ever

I read Douglas Coupland’s 1991 novel “Generation X” while I was in college. An X-er myself, I loved the book, and I remember thinking that Coupland had captured an essential ... something ... about my generation. Each of his n [...]

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‘The Weight of Blood’: Laura Mchugh’s debut novel striking

“The Weight of Blood” by debut author Laura McHugh begins the way all good crime novels should: with a body.

When the dismembered body of Cherie, a troubled teen, is discovered stuffed in a tree, residents of the small town of [...]

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Grand Central: Original Stories of Postwar Love and Reunion

Last year Grand Central Station turned 100 years old. This drew a renewed interest in its history and the millions of stories of people who had passed through its doors. A group of best-selling authors decided to create their own stories set at G [...]

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In like a Lamb

Wally Lamb doesn’t hesitate to admit he’s like his father.

“Ask him the time and he’ll tell you how to build a clock,” he says as an example of how his father’s answers to questions tend to be drawn [...]

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‘The Beautiful American’: Readers will want to devour, savor novel

I love historical fiction, but fiction that is based on the lives of real people makes it even more fascinating.

I had never heard of Lee Miller before Jeanne Mackin’s “The Beautiful American” but found myself on Googl [...]

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