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Tis the season to take a look back at what was good to read in sports books in the past year. It was a pretty good year, all things considered, with some really terrific efforts. Here's my top 10 (at least that I read), with links to my reviews on my own blog or to a News review: Playing Through the Whistle - S.L. Price: It's probably my favorite sports book of the y…

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Absolutely on Music: Conversations with Seiji Ozawa By Haruki Murakami Knopf 325 pages; $27.95 This is a new English translation of the book published in 2011 in Japan, a series of conversations between the now almost legendary Seiji Ozawa, who was music director of the Boston Symphony Orchestra for 29 years, and Murakami, a prize-winning novelist with a distin…

FICTION SERIOUS SWEET By A. L. Kennedy Little A 485 pages, $24.95 THE GUINEVERES By Sarah Domet Flatiron Books 342 pages, $25.99 Coming of age in a convent, and finding decency amidst corruption, are the province of two unconventional new novels – one but a year long, the other a day, both books, while brimming with life’s vicissitudes, limned wi…

YOUNG ADULT My Sister Rosa by Justine Larbalestier; SohoTeen, 320 pages, $18.99. Ages 12 and up. ... A 17-year-old boy makes it his mission in life to curb the murderous impulses of his psychopathic 10-year-old sister, Rosa, as their oblivious parents seem to notice nothing amiss, in this thrilling, terrifying new novel from the author of “Liar” and “Razorhurst.” Che Ta…

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MEMOIR The Princess Diarist By Carrie Fisher Blue Rider Press 257 pages, $26 If you were a kid of movie-going age in 1977, you can probably recount exactly when, where and how you first witnessed the cultural supernova that was “Star Wars” (for me I was 10, it was at the Holiday Theaters on Union Road in Cheektowaga, the first week of June, with my father). …

Books

“Float” By Anne Carson; Knopf, 22 unpaginated chapbooks contained in plastic case. $30. Anne Carson is one of the greatest living American writers (Canadian, if you want to be technical). But she’s more than that. She is also one of the more accomplished and delightful formal experimentalists in American literature. Her partnership with the venerable publisher Knopf has…

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Fifty-five writers, including many well-known former residents, and six photographers contribute to a new collection of stories about Buffalo. The book is called "Right Here, Right Now: The Buffalo Anthology" (Belt Publishing, 237 pages, $19.99). It's edited by Jody K. Biehl, who directs the journalism program at the University at Buffalo. The book is the seventh in …

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In an age when even toddlers have I-Pads in crashproof rubber cases, loaded with games and their personalized NetFlix account, a case can still be made for the tactile experience of words on paper, for turning pages, for the gorgeous full-page illustrations of a bound book. Among the wonderful book offerings from publishers this year are: Christmas books Margaret …

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Beyond any reasonable doubt, the finest popular music-related tome to hit the book shelves this year was Bruce Springsteen’s autobiographical “Born to Run,” a game-changing work notable for, among many other qualities, kicking the notion that “rock stars need ghost writers” straight to the curb. That Springsteen can write was not a surprise. That he writes that little bit …

Books

The best thing about giving books as gifts is also the worst thing about them: they're so personal. You've got to be very careful about what your gift book says to your recipient. If, for instance, you give a new John Grisham novel to a spouse who's a reluctant reader of anything at all just because you want to read it, your spouse will be able to guess their true (seco…

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This year has brought a bumper crop of cookbooks for deserving people in your life. I’ve got suggestions appropriate for the armchair traveler and sensation-hunters, the home cook looking for new ideas, and the accomplished cook looking to add more flavor to their year. There’s also a love letter to Harlem, in words and recipes, from one of New York City’s star chefs…

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The delightful thing about home decor books is that you not only can get ideas on how to decorate, you also can decorate with them. It's the same with fashion books. Usually oversized with eye-catching covers, they command a strong presence on the coffee table or artfully arranged bookcase. This season's roundup includes some real beauties but there's also a practical g…

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By Jean Westmoore In an age when even toddlers have I-Pads in crashproof rubber cases, loaded with games and their personalized NetFlix account, a case can still be made for the tactile experience of words on paper, for glossy pages, for the gorgeous full-page illustrations of a bound book. Among the wonderful book offerings from publishers this year are: Christma…

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Frequent Buffalo News reviewers picked their favorite books among all those they had reviewed in 2016. Barkskins, by Annie Proulx, Scribner, 713 pages, $32. If ever there was a book for yuletide giving, it is Annie Proulx’ majestic “Barkskins” – a novel so exciting, timely and readable that, even at 713 pages, one doesn’t want it to end. For here, in a single handsome v…

Books

Culture is what sustains us in uncertain times. So we can be thankful that even in the annus horribilis of 2016 -- when so many of our great artists, musicians and cultural forces departed for greener pastures -- yielded an astounding collection of worthy books. Whether you're interested in more deeply exploring local treasures like the Albright-Knox Art Gallery and …