Book Review: A Treacherous Paradise / Henning Mankel

Henning Mankell is one of my favorite authors, both for his series of mysteries featuring troubled police detective Kurt Wallander and for general novels such as “Italian Shoes.” His writing is spare, but evocative; dark, but enlightening.

Book Review: China Dolls / Lisa See

Review by Starla Pointer Grace Lee runs away from her home in Plain City, Iowa, in 1938, arriving in San Francisco on the eve of the World's Fair. She thinks she'll use her considerable dancing talents ...

DVD Review: Trading Places

Review by Don Iler Louis Winthorpe III (Dan Akroyd) is a highly successful commodities trader in Philadelphia. He leads a life of luxury and privilege, waited upon by his butler. His employers, the Duke ...

Book: Another time, another life

“Another Time, Another Life” is a far-reaching novel that takes off from a real event, the April 1975 occupation of the West Germany Embassy in Stockholm, Sweden. Six terrorists from the Red ...

DVD: Amadeus

Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart is a young composer new to Vienna, the capital of the Hapsburg Empire and center of the musical world. He has a hard time breaking into the scene, unable to obtain influential commissions ...

DVD: Breakfast at Tiffany's

I had a streak there for a few years as nearly woman I was interested in had a poster of Audrey Hepburn from “Breakfast at Tiffany’s” hanging in her apartment or house. For a while I ...

Book: Gentlemen and Players

What a well-crafted book “Gentlemen and Players” is, carefully plotted to have the maximum impact not only at the end, but all the way through. It’s no wonder the sections are labeled ...

Book: Lost Lake

Full disclosure: I interviewed Phillip Margolin in the early 1980s, a few years after his first novel was published. It was “Heartstone,” based on a murder that happened in Portland in 1960, ...

DVD: The Interview

If ever there was a time that I felt watching a movie was a patriotic duty, it was while watching "The Interview," the buddy comedy romp that caused an international incident after North Korean agents ...

Book: The Secret Place

“The Secret Place” is one of those novels you won’t want to put down. And yet, you’ll hate to reach the final pages, because you don’t want it to end. Irish author Tana French ...

DVD: Restrepo

In a remote mountainous valley in Afghanistan, a platoon of U.S. soldiers establishes an oupost. The Korangal Valley had a repuatation for being one of the most dangerous places in an already dangerous ...

DVD: The Retrieval

The Emancipation Proclamation is a year in the past and the end to the Civil War is still a long way off as the characters in "The Retrieval" are introduced. Will, an adolescent boy on the cusp of manhood, ...

Book: Funeral Food

You’d think there would be a funeral in “Funeral Food,” but you’d be wrong. There is food, however, since the main character, Tory, is a waitress and much of the story takes place ...

DVD: The Master

“The Master” is all about the acting. From its initial hallucinatory scenes of a drunken Freddie Quell (Joaquin Phoenix) siphoning ethanol from torpedoes in the South Pacific during World War ...

Album: No Cities to Love

Sleater-Kinney had a decade-long, seven-album run that ended in 2005 and supplanted the female rock from Olympia firmly into American music history. They were quintessential ‘90s and the on the forefront ...

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