‘The Monogram Murders’: Poirot mystery reboot lacks Christie’s touch

When I was in junior high, I had one essential life goal: to read all of Agatha Christie’s novels.

I made a decent run at it before ot ... »

‘The Elf on the Shelf’: Enjoy this naughty treat for the Christmas season

Cedar Rapids native Andrew Shaffer found himself on the best-seller list this year with “How to Survive a Sharknado and Other Unnatural Disa ... »

‘Syllabus’: A book to get you back to the drawing board

In “Syllabus,” Lynda Barry’s charming, often insightful, always entertaining new work (Drawn and Quarterly $19.95), the cartoo ... »

‘Ramblin’: Recollections of 30 Years on the Road’: celebrates what we have in common

If your faith in mankind feels a bit tattered these days, you can spruce it up by reading Dave Rasdal’s latest collection of stories about E ... »

‘Little Things Long Remembered’: Book offers ideas for making every moment special

Twenty years ago, Susan Newman wrote the original version of “Little Things Long Remembered.”

This year she released an update ... »

‘In Pursuit of Enlightenment’: Author still seeking enlightenment by end of book

Stephanie Rivera recounts the story of her family in “In Pursuit of Enlightenment (on a shoestring budget)” (FriesenPress, 149 pages, ... »

“A Map of Betrayal’: Spy storyline sluggish but thoughtful

In most novels and movies, the life of a spy is a glamorous one. But for many real spies, a successful career means a quiet life: a split-level hou ... »

‘Outlander’: Diana Gabaldon in Davenport today

Diana Gabaldon's “Outlander” series is red-hot at the moment. In August, a television show based on the books debuted on Starz. Just th ... »

‘Peter Paul and Mary: Fifty Years in Music and Life’ - Trio collaborated on book looking back over 50 years of music with a mission

“Peter Paul and Mary: Fifty Years in Music and Life” chronicles the history of the famous trio as both musicians and activists. Fille ... »

‘Twilight of the Eastern Gods’: English translation of Kadare’s ‘Twilight’ cause for celebration

The name Ismail Kadare is often batted around as a possible recipient for the Nobel Prize in Literature — especially since Kadare received t ... »

‘Four Before Their Time’: Have tissues handy while reading this memoir

Anne is an army officer, physician and wife. When she and husband Rob decide to start their family they become pregnant with quadruplets.

As ... »

‘The Lovers Set Down Their Spoons’: Short fiction winners worthy of the prize

The stories in Heather A. Slomski’s “The Lovers Set Down Their Spoons” (University of Iowa Press, 125 pages, $16) are driven b ... »

‘Pioneer Girl: The Annotated Autobiography’: Book is a must for any Ingalls fan

In 1929, when Laura Ingalls Wilder was 63 years old, she sat down with a pencil and six writing tablets and wrote the story of her life growing up ... »

‘When Mystical Creatures Attack!’: Collection of linked stories explores dark places

Don’t let the whimsical title and cover art fool you. “When Mystical Creatures Attack!” (University of Iowa Press, 163 pages, ... »

‘Loitering’: Collection invites reader to loiter

In the preface to his new collection of essays, Charles D’Ambrosio writes of his initial attraction to the form: “Essays were the wor ... »

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