How much was JFK influenced by his mother?

JFK can thank his mom for his sparkling wit, says author Barbara A. Perry.

Above: A photo of Osama bin Laden in Tora Bora, Afghanistan, in 1996.

book review

Following bin Laden’s years on the run and his last days in Abbottabad

Two acclaimed British investigative reporters offer a breathtaking, vivid accounting of Osama bin Laden’s life from Sept. 11 to the end.

Each room in the Amazing World of Dr. Seuss museum is painted in bright colors and features murals from many of his books.

Oh, the places you’ll go when visiting the new Seuss museum

Crews are scrambling to put the finishing touches on the Amazing World of Dr. Seuss, the first museum dedicated to the life and work of the revered children’s author.

Neil Gaiman in Cannes, France, for the 70th Cannes Film Festival.


Is Neil Gaiman really doing a live reading of the Cheesecake Factory menu?

Sara Benincasa had an idea: What if “American Gods” novelist Neil Gaiman did a live reading of the lengthy Cheesecake Factory menu for charity?

Latest Books headlines

Your week ahead

Five things to do, May 29-June 4

Boston Game Expo!, book talk by Jill Lepore, family fun at Edaville, and more.

book review

The seeds for David Sedaris’s comic essays on family, sex, and a lot of bad habits

The writer reveals excerpts from the diaries (from 1977-2002 for now) that he drew on to create such works as “Santaland Diaries.”

new england literary news | NINA MACLAUGHLIN

A story cending machine at the Pru; talking about marriage

The Prudential Center began playing host this week to a free story dispenser, one of the first of its kind in the nation.

the story behind the book | kate tuttle

Reimagining the lives of Ruth and Bernie Madoff

Author Randy Susan Meyers says while she did use real-life details depicting the marriage — which was the part that interested her most — the story is an act of imagination.

the discovery

A generous, gently humorous tale of coping with a father’s death

Mark Polanzak’s hybrid novel-memoir imagines writing and rewriting the tragic story with shifting details.

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Greater Boston author readings May 28-June 3

A weekly calendar of literary eventsand author readings.


Finding treasure in overlooked books

A friend once gave Mohsin Hamid a novel by a writer he’d never heard of. Now it is one of his favorites, which leads him to believe there are many others like it out there.

book review

Where the Russian Revolution went wrong

In “October: The Story of the Russian Revolution,” a talented novelist and committed Marxist examines a seminal event of the 20th century.

book review

‘M’ is for the many times she left her immigrant son

Lisa Ko’s debut is most compelling when it focuses on the emotional trajectories of undocumented Chinese immigrant Polly and her son, Deming.

From left: Bryan Koop, executive vice president at Boston Properties, Christophe Sibieude, cofounder of Short Edition, Mary Fagan, office manager at Boston Properties, and Loic Giraut, business developer for Short Edition, with the short-story dispenser in the Prudential Center.

Got a little time on your hands? A machine at the Pru will give you a free short story.

A new short-story dispenser slated for the Prudential Center will be one of the first of its kind in the United States.

Mrs. Fritz, a Wheaton College graduate, visited places where her subjects had lived as part of her thorough research.

Jean Fritz, 101, prolific author of history books for children

Part of Mrs. Fritz’s inspiration for exploring American history came from her childhood, which was spent in China.

Ms. Dick at her home in Point Reyes Station, Calif., in November 2010.

Anne R. Dick, 90, memoirist and writer’s muse

The events and emotions of her marriage to Philip K. Dick turn up again and again in his novels, transfigured into science fiction.

new england literary news | Nina MacLaughlin

Finding heart in finance, sources of inspiration

In his new book Harvard business professor Mihir Desai has tried to give finance a beating heart by viewing it through the lenses of literature, art, philosophy, music, movies, and TV.


Mostly nonfiction, with a foray into Harry Potter

W. Kamau Bell says his favorite book is “The Autobiography of Malcolm X.”

Local bestsellers

A list of bestsellers Based on reporting from the independent booksellers of the New England Independent Booksellers Association and IndieBound.

book review

Otis Redding’s revolution

Jonathan Gould’s biography sets the narrative of the R&B legend’s life against the backdrop of the tumult of the 1960s, the Jim Crow South, and the history of American popular music.

book review

Mapping the dark shadow of history in Jamaica

In “Augustown,’’ characters see both the dark history of their place — and the hope of the future.

the discovery

A poetic response to the age of Trump

Editor Amit Majmudar says the works in “Resistance, Rebellion, Life: 50 Poems Now’’ represent the “negative images” of the new president.

book review

Dark violence and atrocities of the Revolutionary War

Holger Hoock offers a sobering corrective to the sanitized version of the American Revolution passed down through generations by the victorious United States.

book review

Troubling blend of child murder and a writer’s memories of abuse

Alexandria Marzano-Lesnevich’s “The Fact of a Body’’ flings readers into a pit of ominous subject matter and ethical uncertainty.

the story behind the book | kate tuttle

Muhammad Ali’s fight of conscience

“Sting Like a Bee” traces the years Muhammad Ali, who had converted to Islam in 1964, challenged the military draft.


Greater Boston author readings May 21-27

A weekly calendar of literary events and author readings.

Dennis Lehane

Book Review

Dennis Lehane’s psychological noir thriller offers much, except sense of place

“Since We Fell” is a clear statement of the author-screenwriter and would-be show runner’s status and ambitions.

Luis Croquer

Rose Art Museum names new director

Luis Croquer, the new head of the Brandeis museum, brings broad international experience. 


David Ortiz book signing, an asparagus field trip, and a bike tour

Comings and goings of businesses and other organizations in the suburbs west of Boston.

The Massachusetts delegation on the floor of the Democratic Convention in Chicago in 1956.

book review

Making of the president, the reboot

Perhaps the best thing about “The Road to Camelot’’ is its affection for that many-splendored thing, the American presidential campaign.

From far left: Charlie Wright, Jason Drucker, Alicia Silverstone, and Tom Everett Scott in “The Long Haul.”


‘Wimpy Kid’ gets a facelift

Jeff Kinney has now been making movies long enough that he and the franchise’s producers had to move on to a new cast.

book review

In unadorned language and image, tale of French kidnap victim in Caucasus

“Hostage” is the riveting story of aid worker Christophe André’s kidnapping as he recounted it to graphic novelist Guy Delisle.

book review

Women who are not to be underestimated

“The Purple Swamp Hen and Other Stories” is British author Penelope Lively’s sharp-eyed and cherishable new collection.


British writer drawn to books that are cruel . . . in the best sense

Tessa Hadley’s new story collection, “Bad Dreams and Other Stories” will be published this week.

new england literary news | NINA MACLAUGHLIN

Write-in to support immigrants, refugees; Johnston wins story prize

The GrubStreet writing center will join the BPL and the Facing History and Ourselves education nonprofit in hosting an afternoon of civic action.

the discovery

Grappling with rift between mother and her newly trans son

Mary Collins, a Central Connecticut State University professor, and Donald Collins, a recent Emerson grad, wrote their memoir, “At the Broken Places,’’ together.

story behind the book | kate tuttle

Middle school jazz band learned to play through its grief

In “Mr. Clark’s Big Band” Meredith O’Brien chronicles that first painful year after student Eric Green’s death, as Jamie Clark and his students healed through music.


Greater Boston author readings for May 14-20

A weekly calendar of literary events and author readings.

David Ortiz speaks to the Fenway crowd after the Marathon bombings in 2013.

Book Review

This is David Ortiz’s [expletive] memoir

This as-told-to account, done with radio personality Michael Holley, offers little of Papi’s personal life but a good bit of inside detail about the career of the Red Sox great.

Amy Schumer and Goldie Hawn star in “Snatched.”


The Weekender: WikiLeaks, New Kids, and the great Goldie Hawn

The Globe’s picks for everything fun this weekend.

In this combination photo, former President Bill Clinton, left, appears at a political event at Upper Moreland High School in Willow Grove, Pa. on April 12, 2012, and author James Patterson appears at a photo session in New York on Aug. 30, 2016. Clinton and Patterson are collaborating on a thriller, “The President is Missing,” to come out June 2018. The book will be a joint release by Alfred A. Knopf and Little, Brown and Co. publishers. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon, left, and Taylor Jewell, File)

Bill Clinton and James Patterson’s upcoming political thriller is likely headed to the big screen

The authors of the upcoming ‘‘The President is Missing’’ are planning to woo Hollywood directors in meetings ‘‘later this spring.”


Meet the authors at Belmont’s Chenery Middle School book fair

Thirteen authors will be making presentations Thursday, May 11 at “Spring into Summer Reading: Author Festival & Book Fair.”

Dr. Sebastian Sepulveda (pictured at his Chelmsford office) is a specialist in emergency medicine and end-of-life care whose book, “At Death’s Door,’’ details some of the lessons he’s learned from patients over the years.

Mass. doctor’s book on death and dying finds new life in Hollywood

Sebastian Sepulveda shares lessons learned at the bedside of the terminally ill and aims to remedy misguided notions about the end of life.


A Mother’s Day brunch, an author speaks, and a jazz show

Comings and goings of businesses and other organizations in the suburbs west of Boston.

J. Michael Lennon (third from left) and Donna Pedro Lennon (far left) donated a rare issue of Harper’s Magazine from 1851 with an excerpt of “Moby-Dick” to the Provincetown Public Library.

new england literary news

Honoring ‘Moby-Dick’ and the art of letter writing

Two Westport residents donated a rare copy of an 19th century issue of Harper’s with a chapter from “Moby-Dick’’ to Provincetown Public Library.

book review

In ‘Men Without Women,’ the men are all pilgrims following devastating loss

In Haruki Murakami’s story, most of these are men without women, but they are also largely men without friends, families, orientation, certainty, or happiness.

book review

You can go home again — but it’s not a great idea in ‘Mother Land’

Paul Theroux follows a narrator who is a twice-divorced, once-successful novelist in late midlife who is pulled deeper into his mother’s orbit than he would like to be after his father dies.


Paula Poundstone loves to read — slowly

She says because she is far from a speed reader she choose books carefully because she’s “only going to get through so many books in my lifetime.’’

book review

In ‘The House of Names,’ an ancient tragedy draws fresh blood

Tóibín has found the gaps in the myth, reimagining all as a profoundly gripping and human tale.


Greater Boston author readings May 7-13

A weekly calendar of literary events and author readings.