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YOUNG ADULT Midnight at the Electric by Jodi Lynn Anderson; 272 pages ($17.99) Ages 14 and up. ... This lovely novel, of learning to love again after unspeakable loss, delicately interweaves the stories of three teenage girls across a 150-year sweep of history. Anderson, author of critically acclaimed "Tiger Lily" and "The Vanishing Season," brings to vivid life three v…

NONFICTION Talking Pictures: How to Watch Movies By Ann Hornaday Basic Books 320 pages, $26 To paraphrase Clint Eastwood’s Dirty Harry, opinions are like backsides. Everyone has one. Of course, the loose-cannon cop used a less family-friendly anatomical term to refer to one’s posterior. But his observation has never been more pertinent, thanks to our obs…

The tears we cry from peeling an onion are different than our tears of joy or sorrow. The latter tend to contain hormones to lift our spirits or ease our pain. “They’re 50 percent water and 50 percent love,” said David Kessler, a leading grief and healing expert who will lead daylong seminars in Buffalo, Rochester and Syracuse next week. The pain that comes …

Popular: The Power of Likability in a Status-Obsessed World by Mitch Prinstein; Viking, 273 pages, $36. Mitch Prinstein has news for us and it’s not especially good. In life, “The enduring power of popularity can be traced to the fact that those same (childhood) dynamics are still a part of our daily lives.” The factors of popularity aren’t much different. As in…

BIOGRAPHY Ernest Hemingway: A Biography By Mary V. Dearborn Knopf 738 pages, $35 “In life one must (first of all) endure,” said Ernest Hemingway (1899 – 1961). Regrettably, the same must be said of Mary V. Dearborn’s exhausting biography of Hemingway, the first, her publisher said, in 15 years. There’s a reason for that: Hemingway’s inbox of s…

CHILDREN'S NONFICTION Vincent and Theo: The Van Gogh Brothers by Deborah Heiligman; Henry Holt, 424 pages ($19.99) ... Deborah Heiligman was a National Book Award finalist for her marvelous biography "Charles and Emma" for young readers, and she brings the same original perspective, artistry, meticulous research and love for her subjects to this ambitious, heart-wrenc…

NONFICTION Albright: The Life and Times of John J. Albright By Mark Goldman Buffalo Heritage Press 132 pages, $45.95 hardcover, $35.95 softcover. It's February 1929, and John J. Albright is being lavishly praised by the University of Buffalo in bestowing upon him its prestigious Chancellor's Medal. "The name of the recipient is well known to every citize…

Dig If You Will the Picture: Funk, Sex, God and Genius in the Music of Prince By Ben Greenman Henry Holt 286 Pages, $28 If you fall from that highwire bridging the chasm between fanboy love letter and sturdy critical inquiry, it's a long, lonely fall, and there will be no one there to catch you at the bottom. Journalist Ben Greenman loves Prince, and through…

FICTION You Belong to Me By Colin Harrison Sarah Crichton Books (FSG) 322 pages, $27 Every book-reviewing cliche about a good thriller is not just true about Colin Harrison's latest novel, but literally true. It really is riveting in the sense that you are not likely to move from your location once you start it. It really is a page-turner, and those page…

BIOGRAPHY Martin Luther: Renegade and Prophet By Lyndal Roper Random House 540 pages, $40 This fall marks the 500th anniversary of the day an Augustinian monk at a backwater university in today’s east-central Germany hung his 95 theses on a door peg at the Wittenberg Castle Church and provided the spark that would ignite a firestorm of religious reformatio…

MEMOIR "Kirk and Anne: Letters of Love, Laughter, and a Lifetime in Hollywood." By Kirk and Anne Douglas with Marcia Newberger Running Press 221 pages, $25 Kirk Douglas could see his future. It was 1958 and the actor was in London filming "The Devil's Disciple." But he was missing his wife, Anne, who had stayed in California after the birth of their second s…

“American Epic: The Companion to the PBS Series” by Bernard McMahon and Allison McGourty with Elijah Wald (Touchstone, 277 pages, $29.99). The PBS Series “American Epic” just completed its first run on Channel 17. Consider, just to begin with, those listed as the names “presenting” the series -- T-Bone Burnett, Robert Redford and Jack White. That should tell…

NONFICTION The Revolution Of Robert Kennedy               By John R. Bohrer Bloomsbury Press 384 pages, $30 This is a good time for a biography of Robert Kennedy: right after the 100th anniversary of the birth of his brother John F. Kennedy (1917 – 1963), the 35th President of the United States. This well-written partial biography, “T…

CHILDREN'S The Unexpected Life of Oliver Cromwell Pitts by Avi; Algonquin Young Readers, 320 pages ($16.95) Ages 8 to 12. ... This entertaining work of historical fiction, set in 1724, comes from prolific author Avi, who  won the 2003 Newbery Medal for "Crispin: The Cross of Lead" set in 14th century England. The unfortunately named Oliver Cromwell Pitts wakes up in …