Archive: December 28, 2008 - January 3, 2009

Donald E. Westlake

Donald E. Westlake, the celebrated comic novelist who died on New Year's Eve, wrote more than 90 books during his 50-year career. Our regular reviewers loved him. Carolyn See called him "the funniest man in the world." And Michael Dirda noted that "Westlake knows precisely how to grab a reader."...

By Ron Charles | January 3, 2009; 9:53 AM ET | Comments (3)

Five Books About Peace

"We speak of peace and we make war," Nobel Laureate Oscar Arias Sanchez once said. As made clear by history and by our current conflicts, waging peace calls for continuous renewal, individually and collectively. Here are five books written in support of peace from radically different points of view. They...

By Ron Charles | January 1, 2009; 7:00 AM ET | Comments (0)

Used, But Not Used Up

Last week, my daughter sold back a barely opened $120 textbook for $35, which of course is a rip-off coming and going. But education publishers will tell you they're barely staying above water. Ironically, as all things on paper give way to the Internet, we're hearing a lot about the...

By Ron Charles | December 31, 2008; 7:00 AM ET | Comments (6)

Tony Blair's Holiday Reading

If you find yourself without New Year's Eve plans, fill the empty evening with a parlor game from across the pond: Guess the books on Tony Blair's reading list. Prime Minister Tony Blair and his wife, Cherie, in Sept. 2006 (Peter Macdiarmid/Getty Images) Blair and his wife Cherie sent out...

By Rachel Hartigan Shea | December 30, 2008; 7:04 AM ET | Comments (0)

A Sweet Farewell

It happens to me at the end of every year--that tendency to glance back nostalgically, usually at writers we have lost. In 2008 we saw the passing of David Foster Wallace, Arthur C. Clarke and Alexander Solzhenitsyn, three monumental authors consumed by three very different passions that even death won't...

By Marie Arana | December 29, 2008; 10:40 AM ET | Comments (8)


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