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  The Airport Bridge Club will celebrate Labor Day with games at 10 a.m. and 1:15 p.m. Monday, Sept. 4, with a free lunch between sessions. The club awards extra points at all of its games today, Saturday, Sept. 2, through next Saturday, Sept. 9. *  *  * Bridge Club Meridian will hold an extra-point game at 10:30 a.m. Monday, Sept 4. *  *  * The Buffalo Fal…

Delaware Park has two circles. They are like two sides of the same Buffalo nickel. The more famous is the Ring Road, which loops around the golf course. Buffalonians of all stripes get together there to walk it off, amid car stereos, personal stereos and noisy games of soccer. It's a kick. But Frederick Law Olmsted, the park's designer, would prefer that you take the…

Last week a band of Americans flew to Ireland with me to visit gardens and historical sites. Some also wanted to experience the country from which many of our ancestors emigrated. Many of the group — from Buffalo, Rochester, Syracuse, New York City and Florida — had specific expectations: Perhaps we would see small, pretty gardens (that might not achieve the standards …

FICTION The Golden House: A Novel By Salman Rushdie Random House 380 pages, $28.99 The night Donald Trump was elected president, Salman Rushdie turned off his social media and began writing this novel beginning with Obama’s election and ending with Trump’s. It contends that Obama’s election created a bubble of racism in high places that burst with the …

YOUNG ADULT Genuine Fraud by E. Lockhart;  Delacorte Press, 288 pages ($18.99) Ages 12 and up. (Sept. 5 publication) E. Lockhart, author of acclaimed 2014 best-seller "We Were Liars," delivers the goods again in this smartly crafted psychological suspense novel which unfolds in layers as she tells the tale in reverse. The tale revolves around Imogen, an orphan adopt…

NONFICTION Putin: His Downfall and Russia’s Coming Crash By Richard Lourie St. Martin’s Press 264 pages, $26.99 Many Americans are asking: Just who is this Vladimir Vladimirovich Putin who has so intoxicated our president with his strength and power, his vast fortune and his inherent iniquity? For sure, most of us know Putin is president of the Russia…

BIOGRAPHY Jimmy Buffett – A Good Life All The Way By Ryan White Touchstone 354 pages, $26.99 It was one of those "throwaway" songs, a silly little tune that Jimmy Buffett didn't give a whole lot of thought, one of many, many songs he wrote while traveling across the nation, one bar at a time. A song that took him no more than 20 minutes to write. He scr…

The Airport Bridge Club continues to award extra points, half red, at its games at noon today and next Saturday and at 11 a.m. Monday to Friday. Also holding extra-point games are the Bridge Center of Buffalo at noon today and Bridge Club Meridian at 10:30 a.m. Monday. *  *  * Beware the robots! Instead of taking a sit-out at an extra half-table at the Lockport Duplic…

FICTION Mrs. Fletcher By Tom Perrotta Scribner 307 pages ($26) One thing leads to another – and another – in Tom Perrotta’s latest comic foray into the customs and mores of this American moment. His new novel, “Mrs. Fletcher,” is in fact something of a time capsule when it comes to sex and gender in our country, a barometer (albeit a small one)…

One recent morning while walking across the parking lot into work, I felt the need to stop and rummage through my large tote bag. The laptop was there. So was the wallet. But where was my phone? My phone! Back to my car I went. Perhaps it had dropped out of my tote onto the floor. No phone. I looked through my tote again. No phone. I looked through the tote again…

In Blasdell, in the middle of a normal neighborhood, lies a gateway to the past. The serious past. We're not talking the 1970s. We mean the Middle Devonian Period -- a Tolkien-esque term for an era an astounding 380 million years ago in the Paleozoic Era. At that time, most of the state was covered by a shallow ocean. That means that every day in Western New York,…

When writers with cult followings online get book deals, and those books become New York Times bestsellers, you can always expect some possessive humble-bragging from the clique of early adopters.  It goes a little something like this: “OMG! That’s so great! I have been reading (x) for years, it’s fantastic to see the rest of the world catching on. Really, everyo…

“Good Booty: Love and Sex, Black and White, Body and Soul in American Music” by Ann Powers; Dey St., 418 pages, $26.99. Sure, sure, sure, we all know that the song that all-but-functioned as Rock’s Big Bang was “Tutti Frutti.” Its immortal beginning was “A-whomp-bobba-loo-bomp-a-whomp-bam-BOOM/Tutti Frutti/Aw Rootie.” Right? Wrong. Little Richard’s origi…

CHILDREN'S Refugee by Alan Gratz; Scholastic Press, 352 pages ($16.99) Ages 9 to 12. In this heartrending and important tale for our time, Alan Gratz offers parallel stories, in alternating narratives, of three children forced to flee their native lands with their families - Josef Landau in 1939 Berlin, Isabel Fernandez in 1994 Havana and Mahmoud Bishara in 2015 Aleppo. …

NONFICTION Victoria & Abdul: The True Story Of The Queen’s Closest Confidant By Shrabani Basu Vintage 336 pages, $16 paper Stephen Frears' film of this book starring Dame Judi Dench  is scheduled for release  late September. First, some background on Queen Victoria (1819 – 1901). The reason for beginning this way, rather than telling the Victori…