James Patterson spares Stephen King’s life

Patterson won’t be publishing the book “The Murder of Stephen King” after all.

Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band perform at Super Bowl XLIII.

Books

Springsteen memoir is portrait of an artist with ‘ravenous ambitions’

“Born to Run’’ is earnest, lyric, rollicking, loud and long.

Michael Gambon as Professor Dumbledore (left) and Daniel Radcliffe as Harry Potter. The best-selling book series by J.K. Rowling is now the basis “Harry Potter and the Sacred Text,” currently the most popular podcast on the iTunes spirtuality and religion charts. The show, produced by two Harvard Divinity School graduates, is downloaded about 100,000 times a week.

Could ‘Harry Potter’ give rise to a new religion?

A Cambridge podcast treats the boy wizard’s story as holy and reflects on life’s big questions using the series as a guide.

Matthew Weiner

‘Mad Men’ creator gets book deal

Been bereft since the series wrapped? Good news: The show’s creator, Matthew Weiner, is set to return to fictional New York City.

Latest Books headlines

2 New Englanders named to 5 under 35 fiction list

Greg Jackson, who grew up in Maine and Greater Boston, is the author of the story collection “Prodigals,” and Burlington’s S. Li was chosen for his novel, “Transoceanic Lights.”

Book Review

Ronald White’s magisterial new biography offers a fresh view of Ulysses S. Grant

The book is both striking and comprehensive, but it does leave the reader with less psychological insight than might be hoped.

match book

Birthday picks for a fan of World War II-era tales

With so many books out there it will be hard to choose just one.

Book Review

Alexander Weinstein’s characters inhabit a high-tech future with timeless human problems

Weinstein evokes a vaguely dystopian, domestic existence where virtual reality, cybernetics, and social media are second nature.

More Books headlines

J.K. Rowling retweeted a photo of Harambe.

J.K. Rowling comments on whether Harambe is part of Potter universe

When two of the Internet’s most favorite things collide.

The One thing

Minimum waste, maximum style

New coffee-table book touts prefabricated homes as superior in more ways than one

Margot Livesey’s ‘Mercury’ wraps character study in some trappings of mystery

The novel is less about the piecing together of clues than the surprisingly moving study of a phlegmatic optometrist.

the story behind the book

iO Tillett Wright’s coming-of-age tale as transgender man

Memoir that would become “Darling Days” was sparked by Wright’s 2013 TED talk about his childhood.

Shakespeare and Company owner George Whitman and his daughter Sylvia in front of the Paris bookstore in 1984 from “Shakespeare and Company, Paris: A History of the Rag & Bone Shop of the Heart.”

new england literary news

Celebrating Shakespeare and Company in Paris and the Concord book fest

At the heart of the new history of the legendary Paris bookstore is owner and Salem native George Whitman.

the discovery

‘Curated Closet’ helps you take control of your wardrobe

Anuschka Rees outlines how to analyze your wardrobe and lifestyle.

four takes

Four books on fashion as Boston Fashion Week arrives

Capsule reviews of “The Battle of Versailles’’; “Alexander McQueen’’; “Wear and Tear’’; and “Tales from the Back Row’’

Author John le Carré in 1980.

book review

John le Carré sheds new light on his life, works

“The Pigeon Tunnel: Stories from My Life” is an artful sequence of essays by the famous spy novelist.

bookings

Greater Boston author readings Sept. 25-Oct. 1

A weekly calendar of literary events and author readings.

bibliophiles

Alan Cumming writes and talks memoirs

Actor/author says he enjoys reading about people and how they present themselves to the world.

Daniel Radcliffe in “Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2.”

Ah, Pottermore, you sucked us in again

Pottermore, the online home of the “Harry Potter” universe, released a new quiz Thursday that lets would-be wizards discover their Patronus.

Susan Faludi, author of “In the Darkroom.”

Books

Four Greater Boston writers named finalists for Kirkus Prize

Matthew Desmond, Susan Faludi, Adam Haslett, and Amor Towles have been selected as finalists.

Book review

Escaped prisoner triggers manhunt for trailblazing woman cop in turn-of-the-century Jersey

“Lady Cop Makes Trouble’’ is the second book in Amy Stewart’s charming and illuminating mystery series based on the real law enforcement career of Constance Kopp.

Books in Brief | Kate Tuttle

From African-American mathematicians who lifted the space program to Monet and more

Capsule reviews of “Hidden Figures,’’ “Mad Enchantment,’’ and “The History and Uncertain Future of Handwriting.’’

Short Stack

‘They All Saw a Cat’ displays extraordinary vision

Nicole Lamy reviews Brendan Wenzel’s first book as both author and illustrator.

bibliophiles

A novelist with a fascination for novellas

Ian McEwan just published his 15th novel, “Nutshell,” which has a surprising narrator.

Top: Image of “The Lord Speaking to Joshua” from

new england literary news

Exhibits of Gilded Age Bostonian’s collected books and memoir of black family caught in cult

“Beyond Words” will be on display at three sites and feature manuscripts and books from the ninth to the 17th centuries.

the story behind the book

Changing the look of the history of the Renaissance period

In “The Black Prince of Florence,” Catherine Fletcher writes about Alessandro de’ Medici who she says might be “the first person of color to rule a modern Western state.”

book review

Tracy Kidder’s new book trails struggles of a bipolar software entrepreneur building successful start-up

“A Truck Full of Money” traces Kayak founder Paul English’s rocket rise during the Internet’s founding era.

book review

Over a half century, blended family, born of a near random affair

Ann Patchett’s embraceable new novel, “Commonwealth,” is lush, humane, and mischievously comical.

bookings

Greater Boston author readings Sept. 18-24

A weekly calendar of literary events and author readings.

book review

Emma Donoghue’s latest novel examines 19th century case of child who is living on just water

“The Wonder” is a fine work, adept and compelling in voice, plot, and moral complexity.

book review

New biography looks at Jane Jacobs, who taught urban planners about community

In “Eyes on the Street’’ a portrait emerges of an independent thinker and a caring mother, wife, and friend as well as a courageous if reluctant heroine.

the discovery

‘Even monkeys fall from trees’

Ella Frances Sanders gathers about 50 phrases in her new book “The Illustrated Book of Sayings: Curious Expressions from Around the World.”

7 New England writers on National Book Award long lists

Among the contenders are Adam Haslett, Andrew J. Bacevich, and Donald Hall.

Mara Wilson

Mara Wilson on the rocky road from ‘Matilda’ to being a writer and playwright

At 29 years old, Wilson speaks about the challenges of being a child star and finding a sense of vocation as an adult.

AP NewsBreak: George W. Bush paintings book coming in 2017

The next book from former President George W. Bush will be more about pictures than words.

Tim Kaine held up

Sales of Hillary Clinton’s new book are off to a slow start

“Stronger Together,” which provides a policy blueprint for if Clinton is elected president, sold just 2,912 copies in its first week on sale.

A self-portrait of George W. Bush and a portrait he painted of his father, George H.W. Bush, at an exhibit at the Bush Presidential Library and Museum in Dallas in 2014.

The next book from George W. Bush will be more about pictures than words

The former president’s new book will feature 66 paintings and a four-panel mural drawn by Bush of military veterans and those in active service.

CNBC anchor Bill Griffeth

Names

TV news anchor’s DNA test revealed ‘deep dark family secret’

When Bill Griffeth’s cousin asked him to take a DNA test, he never would have guessed what the results would be.

Otessa Moshfegh

Newton native on Man Booker Prize shortlist

Ottessa Moshfegh has been named a finalist for this year’s Man Booker Prize for Fiction for her debut novel, “Eileen.’’

BOOK REVIEW

‘Eileen’ by Ottessa Moshfegh

Moshfegh’s excellent debut novel, “Eileen,” contains a nightmare rendering of 1960s working-class New England.

Brown Bear by Eric Carle

‘Brown Bear, Brown Bear,’ the book that launched Eric Carle’s career, turns 50

“Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What Do You See?” turns 50 this year, and the Eric Carle Museum in Amherst is celebrating.

Affinity Konar’s novel “Mischling” takes place in Josef Mengele’s special section of Auschwitz.

Book REview

Affinity Konar’s novel of twins in Mengele’s ‘Zoo’ and life after

“Mischling’’ is written in the style of an adult fairy tale. It works, as much as possible, which is to say partly.

Match Book

More books for word lovers

A high bar set in this book challenge.

Author Keith Houston

book review

A lively lesson in the anatomy and biography of the book

“The Book” is a delightful exploration of the global history, filled with facts and trivia to entertain and enchant.

fall arts preview

There’s a lot of amazing art, music, movies, and more coming this fall

Get ready, Boston, it’s going to be a busy autumn.

Darcy James Argue and his 18-piece Secret Society have a new album, “Real Enemies.”

Fall arts preview

The paranoid style in American jazz music

A new contemporary jazz orchestra piece by Darcy James Argue, “Real Enemies,” is inspired by American conspiracy theories.

fall arts preview

Curl up with a new book this fall. There are a lot of good ones.

We’re looking forward to upcoming fall books for a lot of reasons.

Bookings

Greater Boston author readings Sept. 11-17

A weekly calendar of literary events.

The Story Behind The Book

Looking at the urgency of family stories

The selections for the second edition of John Freeman’s literary journal, Freeman’s, is strikingly international.