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Fil-Briton Candy Gourlay’s ‘Shine’ is an excellent, unusual ghost story


“Monsters are in the eye of the beholder.” This is the powerful phrase that keeps rising up throughout Candy Gourlay’s new novel, “Shine” (Anvil Publishing, Inc., Mandaluyong City, 2014, 232 pages), and it resonates with meaning for the fortunate reader who comes across it.

Posted: August 25th, 2014 in Arts and Books,Headlines,Lifestyle Stories | Read More »

‘The Home Place’ a strong debut for Carrie La Seur

This book cover image released by William Morrow shows "The Home Place," by Carrie La Seur. AP

Carrie La Seur’s finely crafted debut chronicles a woman’s complicated relationship with her hometown of Billings, Montana, her relatives who stayed behind and her ancestral history. La Seur’s graceful prose in “The Home Place” complements her incisive character studies of a family that has managed to keep most of its problems behind closed doors.

Posted: July 29th, 2014 in Arts and Books,Lifestyle Stories | Read More »

Veronica Roth shows her main man in ‘Divergent’ trilogy


By now, everyone knows about how American novelist Veronica Roth’s young adult “Divergent” trilogy conquered the bestseller list and how the 2014 feature film adaptation of the first book conquered the box office with three more films on their way.

Posted: July 28th, 2014 in Arts and Books,Headlines | Read More »

J.K. Rowling returns to detective work with ‘The Silkworm’


At first glance, Cormoran Strike sounds like a Frankenstein’s Monster of character qualities: imaginatively named, dedicated private investigator, missing half of one leg due to military service in Afghanistan, unwanted son of a rock star, armed with an uncanny memory, physically intimidating but internally sensitive. In the hands of a lesser writer, Strike would be a cardboard cutout. Luckily, J.K. Rowling can really write.

Posted: July 14th, 2014 in Arts and Books,Headlines | Read More »

Isabel Allende plays a deadly game in ‘Ripper’


As far as high-concept foundations for a novel are concerned, the idea at the heart of Isabel Allende’s “Ripper: A Novel” (translated from the Spanish by Ollie Brock and Frank Wynne, HarperCollins, New York, 2014, 478 pages) is quite intriguing.

Posted: July 14th, 2014 in Arts and Books,Headlines | Read More »