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New England Literary News
Karla Van Vliet's new collection includes a series of asemic writing.

A collection of asemic writing and poetry by Karla Van Vliet and an exhibit of work by Kadir Nelson

News of a bookish bent from around the region.


Local bestsellers for the week ending Nov. 28

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

Rick Berlin, shown in 2017 at Papercuts JP. He'll be doing a reading of "The Big Balloon (A Love Story)" at the Jamaica Plain bookstore on Dec. 9.

Rick Berlin’s stuff has a lot of stories to tell

The musician has written his second book, “The Big Balloon (A Love Story),” inspired by the things in his home and the memories and feelings they evoke.


Stop romanticizing World War II, a historian urges

Elizabeth D. Samet will make plenty of people angry with “Looking for the Good War.” In her searching analysis of changing American attitudes toward World War II over the course of 75 years, she characterizes its current glorification as “shaped…by nostalgia, sentimentality, and jingoism.” Instead, she wants readers to rethink the war and look more carefully at the mythology left in its wake.

Mo Willems.

Mo Willems loves books on artists and Genghis Khan

When asked how many books he’s published, the prolific illustrator and author doesn’t give an exact number. “Over 50. I love them all equally.” He’s published at least three since August alone: “Doodling 101,” “Opposites Attract,” essentially an art book for the under-2 set, and “Guess What,” a new addition in his Unlimited Squirrels series. He talked with us about his own reading habits.


Fun with languages from Lydia Davis

“All art is quite useless,” according to Oscar Wilde, but even the jolt conveyed by that artful line means art does something, and so it must have some use. Or maybe it just feels useful — I don’t know; how useful is a short story compared to a spoon? The essays of Lydia Davis are helpful on this subject.

Meg Reynolds's book of poetry comics documents a year post-break-up.

A post-breakup poetry collection and more local award-winning authors

All the bookish news from around the region.

Author Claire Keegan.

A new Claire Keegan book is cause for celebration

“Small Things Like These” is an ideal title for this exquisite novella in which Keegan closely attends to the daily life of a modest County Wexford coal vendor.