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POETRY I'm Just No Good at Rhyming And Other Nonsense for Mischievous Kids and Immature Grown-ups by Chris Harris, illustrated by Lane Smith; Little, Brown, 221 pages ($19.99) Ages 6 and up .... Chris Harris, writer and producer of "How I Met Your Mother," proves himself a worthy heir to the late, great Shel Silverstein ("Where the Sidewalk Ends") with this marvelous an…

NONFICTION Hell is a Very Small Place: Voices from Solitary Confinement Edited by Jean Casella, James Ridgeway and Sarah Shroud The New Press 226 pages, $17.95 Solitary confinement was the only thing they didn’t show me when I taught at Attica Correctional Facility. A no-nonsense sergeant told me how easy it would be to end up a prisoner if I didn’t play…

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The autumn leaves call for choices. Raking them can be a chore for tired homeowners who would rather do something else on the weekend. Raking leaves can be fun with children: As proof I have pictures of little Alice with cousin Elizabeth jumping in the piles. Raked leaves can be collected at the curb, at a cost to your city or village. (Only some towns compost them). Raked…

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BIOGRAPHY Reckless Daughter: A Portrait of Joni Mitchell by David Yaffe Sarah Crichton Books/Farrar, Straus and Giroux 448 pages, $28 Rock biographies tend to be monomyths: tales of a hero’s journey. We meet our protagonist at the humble beginning – he’s a special kid in difficult circumstances. He heeds the call to adventure, escapes his town full …

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BIOGRAPHY Leonardo da Vinci By Walter Isaacson Simon &  Schuster 572 pages, $35 Biographer Walter Isaacson has a thing for genius. He has chronicled the lives of Albert Einstein, Benjamin Franklin, Steve Jobs and Henry Kissinger. In this latest work he tackles Leonardo da Vinci, grandaddy of all polymaths, archetypical Renaissance Man and arguably, hist…

Local News

"Wearing the Letter P," a book about Polish women who were forced into labor in Germany from 1939 to 1945, will be the topic of a lecture at 7 p.m. Wednesday, Oct. 18, at Canisius College. Author Sophie Hodorowicz Knab wrote the book to keep a promise with her mother, who was a slave laborer during the war. German soldiers forced approximately 12 million people from al…

Lifestyles

  The Airport Bridge Club awards extra points at its game at noon today, Saturday, Oct. 14. Bridge Club Meridian has an extra-point game at 10:30 a.m. Monday, Oct. 16. *  *  *   The Buffalo Spooktacular Regional Tournament begins Tuesday, Oct. 17, in the Adams Mark Hotel, 120 Church St., in downtown Buffalo, and continues through to Sunday, Oct. 22. For…

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The timing couldn’t have been better. While at the hair salon recently, I noticed that the woman sitting in the chair next to me was looking at a page in People magazine filled with photographs of red boots – and several celebrities wearing them. Just then, a woman walked around a corner of the salon wearing a pair of rain boots. Knee-high, shiny and very much red. …

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If there were ever an autumn that begs us to plant bulbs, this is it. We’ve had lots of time. I’m imagining the garden center shelves are emptied. You all have new beds that will bursting with daffodils and crocuses next spring – right? But maybe not: I also know that new homeowners and gardeners start from scratch every year without much gardening knowledge, time…

Books

“Defining Moments in Black History: Reading Between the Lies” by Dick Gregory Amistad, 236 pages, $24.99 When Dick Gregory died Aug. 19 at the age of 84, he was still almost a month away from publication of this book. Had he lived and been vigorous enough to flog the book everywhere possible on the book hype tour, there is no question in my mind that this book wo…

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FICTION "A Legacy of Spies" By John Le Carré Viking 264 pages, $28 Spying is an old game the Good Book tells us. “God said to Moses, Choose twelve men, one from each of the tribes of Israel, and send them to spy on the land of Canaan.” John Le Carré’s latest spy novel, “A Legacy Of Spies,” is a book whose title is chosen carefully. John Banvi…

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FICTION The Ninth Hour By Alice McDermott Farrar, Straus and Giroux 247 pages, $26 “And about the ninth hour Jesus cried with a loud voice, saying, Eli, Eli, lama sabachthani? that is to say, my God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me?”  (Matthew 27:46) Alice McDermott reaches deep into the well of human experience once again in her superlative  “T…

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FICTION Origin By Dan Brown Doubleday 456 pages. $29.95 Exploring the competitive tensions between religion and science, Dan Brown’s “Origin” is a mystery that will appeal to readers looking for thoughtfulness and thrills. Brown tells the tale of Edmond Kirsch, a brash computer scientist and atheist activist who thinks his recent discovery about humani…

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Cheektowaga Garden Club will meet at 6:45 p.m. Oct. 16 in the Cleveland Hill faculty dining room on Mapleview Road, Cheektowaga. Use the playground entrance. Mark Carra, of Beaver Meadow Audubon Center, will present “Hummingbirds – Their Behavior and How to Attract Them.” Guests and new members welcome. Smallwood Garden Club will meet at 7 p.m. Oct. 16 in Williams…

Weddings

Lisa M. Frandina and Thomas D. Pearce were married at 2 p.m. on March 4, 2017, in Holy Angels Catholic Church, Buffalo, where The Rev. David Munoz, parochial vicar, heard their vows. Guests gathered for a reception at Salvatore’s Hospitality in Lancaster. The bride’s parents are Joseph M. and Barbara J. Frandina of Williamsville. The bride, a graduate of Williamsville …