An open letter to J.K. Rowling: Please, just stop.

Many fans are euphoric about the new Harry Potter release on Sunday. I’m not one of them.

“Love’s Labour’s Lost,” presented by the Commonwealth Shakespeare Company, on Boston Common.

Things to Do

The Weekender: Bourne, the Bard, and flying nannies

Everything fun to do this weekend in Boston and beyond.

The late extreme skier Doug Coombs (above) is the subject of the new book “Tracking the Wild Coomba.”  Coombs is shown in La Grave, France, in 2004.

On the trail of extreme skiing pioneer Doug Coombs

Author Rob Cocuzzo set out to understand the man often called the greatest skier ever, who died in a 2006 ski mishap.

Four Takes

The colorful history of political conventions

A look at “National Party Conventions,” “By One vote,” “Five Days in Philadelphia,” “Miami and the Siege of Chicago.”

Latest Books headlines

The Story Behind the book

Tracing the 19th-century cultural war over marriage

Mary Baker Eddy and Victoria Woodhull argued over whether marriage was a threat to women’s equality.


Across decades, a girl unravels the mystery of her computer expert father

Liz Moore’s “The Unseen World” is a wry, gentle coming-of-age story and an intriguing look at artificial intelligence.

The Discovery

Discovery: “War No More: Three Centuries of American Antiwar & Peace Writing”

The book draws on about 150 sources, including poets and songwriters.


Great Boston author readings July 31-Aug. 6

A weekly calendary of literary events.

Books in Brief | Michael Andor Brodeur

On poetry

New from Sara Nicholson, Tyemiba Jess, John Beer, and Simone White.

More Books headlines

short stack

Close encounters of the charming kind

The aliens in Antoinette Portis’s “Best Frints in the Whole Universe” will seem very familiar to earthlings, especially small ones.

Jonah Lehrer

Book Review

4 years after scandal, Jonah Lehrer’s new book falls short

“A Book About Love” explores the science behind the mysteries of love — with mixed success.

Lionel Shriver


Lionel Shriver: Novelist who hates novels about novelists

Lionel Shriver now lives in London, but she’s never entirely left her native country.

the Discovery

‘GoatMan: How I Took a Holiday From Being Human’ by Thomas Thwaites

Thomas Thwaites tackles zany projects by applying established principles and a sense of humor


Greater Boston author readings July 24-30

A weekly calendar of literary events.

Pamela Rotner Sakamoto

The Story behind the book

Tale of Japanese family split by internment and war

Seeing the whole history of US-Japan relations through one family’s lives.

Hisham Matar

Libyan refugee’s return home to search for his missing father

“The Return’’ is a son’s account of his desperate quest for closure.

An unexpected lesson in the guise of a standardized test

In “Multiple Choice,” Alejandro Zambra uses the form of a test to question the value of coherence and comprehension.

Debut saga of three desperately poor women trapped by their lives, dreams in Jamaica

Set against a rapidly changing Jamaica, Nicole Dennis-Benn focuses of the lives of three extraordinary black women, each struggling to survive.

A painting of Donald Trump is seen as police officers stand guard outside Public Square at the Republican National Convention in Cleveland.

Study finds Harry Potter readers have lower view of Trump

Could the books about the boy wizard be a secret weapon for the Democrats?

Author Ben H. Winters

Book Review

‘Underground Airlines’ looks at race through a tale of an America where slavery never ended

Ben H. Winters’s mystery is set in an alternative universe that echoes many of the issues in our own.

In Eggers’s ‘Heroes,’ a woman goes on the lam with her kids to Alaska

“Heroes of the Frontier” feels like a classic road novel, a more domestic version of “On the Road,” only here it’s a woman with her two children driving the tale.

Illustrations from “The Hole Story of the Doughnut.”

New England Literary news

‘The Hole Story’ is a sweet tale

Pat Miller’s kids book “The Hole Story of the Doughnut” unspools the real life story of Hanson Gregory.

Match Book

Taking a look at what everyone seems to be reading

A letter writer seeks recommendations for her book group.

Books In Brief | Kate Tuttle

South African murder, meditation on trails, homage to Bowie

Kate Tuttle reviews “We Are Not Such Things,’’ “On Trails,’’ and “On Bowie’’

Revolution Books in Harvard Square to close

Representatives say that the move is part of a shifting of resources to further their political cause.

Community Bulletin Board

Upcoming events in the communities south of Boston.

The Southern geographic variant of the timber rattlesnake.

new england literary news

Rattlesnakes, Ploughshares, and Print in Portland

Updates on a new book about rattlesnakes, Ploughshares celebrating 45 years, and Portland getting a new bookstore.


A fan of the mysteries of family

Joe Finder’s plan was to get a master’s in Russian studies but he became a mystery writer instead.

book review

From Nazis to Russian occupation, the history of 20th century Germany through the life of a house

“The House by the Lake” traces lives, loves, and foibles of residents through Nazi politics, Russian occupation, Stasi spying.

the story behind the book

Lindsay Hatton on ‘Monterey Bay’

In writing her first book, Cambridge author Lindsay Hatton sought a familiar landscape — her hometown of Monterey Bay.

the discovery

‘Einstein: An Illustrated Biography’

In their new graphic novel, author Corinne Maier and illustrator Anne Simon tell a fast-paced story of the German-born scientific genius.


Greater Boston author readings for July 17-23

Weekly calendar of author readings and literary events.

For summer travel, 6 classic children’s audiobooks

Here are a half dozen classics that would be perfect to share with the kids on those long summer vacation trips.

Struggling to find the right ‘Place’

Maggie O’Farrell’s “This Must Be the Place” incorporates many of the elements found in her previous works: secrets of the past, family turmoil, and unconventional women.

Donald Ray Pollock’s new novel is “The Heavenly Table.”

Book Review

Donald Ray Pollock sets a full ‘Table’

The author’s new novel is a bloody, Southern Gothic tale leavened with humanity and social criticism.

Robert Nye, 77, English poet, novelist

In one of his books, Mr. Nye invented a rollicking afterlife for Shakespeare’s Falstaff.

Dancers on Boston Common for the opening of the Outside the Box festival.


The Weekender: ‘Ghostbusters,’ McCartney, and back-flipping chefs

Everything fun to do this weekend in Boston and beyond.

book review

Smart, funny, elliptical debut follows a former grad student set adrift

Voice is everything in “Pond,” which arrives from Ireland trailing rhapsodic British reviews

Novelist Emma Donoghue will be among the speakers at the Boston Book Festival.

Boston Book Festival announces lineup

This year’s event, Oct. 14-15, will feature more than 100 authors across a series of genres.

short stack

Story time with a monster — and donuts

Nicole Lamy reviews “The Not So Quiet Library” by Zachariah OHora.

Photos of World’s End by David Henningsen are on display in the Hingham Library.


Celtic music shines ‘Under the Stars’ in Hingham

South Shore Conservatory’s Evenings Under the Stars summer concert series presents “A Celtic Sojourn: Roots and Branches.”

Greater Boston author readings for July 10-16

A weekly calendar listing of author readings and literary events.

the discovery

A weighty look at the feather

Robert Clark, author of “Feathers: Displays of Brilliant Plumage,” became fascinated with bird feathers while on assignment for National Geographic.

book review

Absurd, poignant stories on beauty of prayer but need for action

In Joy Williams’s “Ninety-Nine Stories of God,” the prose is airily laid out; some pieces are only a single sentence long, yet there is weight here.


Steve Hely: A taste for history and humor

The TV comedy writer talks about his writing and travels in “The Wonder Trail: True Stories from Los Angeles to the End of the World.”

book review

Literary critic Cynthia Ozick’s latest collection shows the power of criticism is still alive

The 88-year-old novelist and critic hasn’t lost her voice in “Critics, Monsters, Fanatics, and Other Literary Essays.”

Army officers at Yellowstone with buffalo heads confiscated from a poacher in 1894.

new england literary news

A Yale museum takes its measure as it turns 150

Peabody Museum of Natural History has published a history and a catalog of its collections.

the story behind the book

Anna Noyes writes of small-town Maine

Most of the short stories are “dark,’’ “twisty,’’ and set in Noyes’s home state.

An outdoor party at the Institute of Contemporary Art in 2015.


The Weekender: Beach Boys, cyberwar, and swinging tap dancers

Everything fun to do this weekend in Boston and beyond.

Lin-Manuel Miranda in

four takes

Obsessed with ‘Hamilton’? Read these books.

As if the smash Broadway musical didn’t bring enough attention to Alexander Hamilton, there’s a fresh cast of books on the Founding Father, from this year and last.