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Laura Hillenbrand found Seabiscuit through a tattered paperback book that she loved as a child. "I read it so much all the pages fell out," said Hillenbrand, on the phone with The Buffalo News from her home in Washington, D.C. "I still have it downstairs - held together by a rubber band." Growing up, Hillenbrand became so enamored of the spunky racehorse that she wrote an …

By all outward appearances, Dennis Maher's house on Fargo Avenue fits right into its historic neighborhood at the edge of the D'Youville College campus on Buffalo's West Side. It was built in 1890 by a prosperous family. But over the century that followed, its slow slide into disrepair mirrored the declining fortunes of the city that surrounds it. By 2009, the state of the…

Lifestyles

NONFICTION Waging Heavy Peace: A Hippie Dream By Neil Young Blue Rider Press 502 pages; $30 By Jeff Miers NEWS BOOK REVIEWER More than 35 years ago, Neil Young wrote a song known as "I Am a Child." It's a plaintive, misty acoustic ballad hovering around a D minor tonality, with occasional surprising shifts into D major. More significantly, perhaps, the tune's lyrics offe…

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Nearly 3,500 people have watched Corey Scherrer go down on one knee and propose marriage to Ashleigh Gravel. That's in addition to the zoo employees, videographer and the 8,945-pound elephant named Surapa who were present when Scherrer popped the question last summer. ¶ Scherrer's unusual surprise proposal inside the elephant house at the Buffalo Zoo has been a hit on Yo…

Lifestyles

Lucy A. Candelario, 52, is heading into her 18th year as executive director of West Side Community Services. Candelario, a University at Buffalo graduate, first worked as weatherization program director for the Belle Center. When she took a job at West Side Community Services, she started as its executive director. Candelario oversees community center services that benefit…

Lifestyles

PITTSBURGH - Falling temperatures and falling leaves . it's time for apples and pumpkins, ghosts and goblins. Desperate to enjoy the spectacular weather, we set our compass south and headed toward Pittsburgh, where three distinct experiences await fall sightseers. Do one for a long day-trip, or all three over a weekend. Fall foliage will be hitting its peak soon as you ri…

Fakes: An Anthology of Pseudo-Interviews, Faux Lectures, Quasi-Letters, "Found" Texts and Other Fraudulent Artifacts edited by David Shields and Matthew Vollmer; Norton, 361 pages ($18.95 paperback original.) The fraudulent text is one of the oldest ideas in the history of fiction. Consider, after all, Cervantes and "Don Quixote," and Defoe and "The Journal of the Plague Y…

Q: A couple of years ago I lost my wife to cancer. We had been married for 10 wonderful years and were very much in love. It's been hard to move on, but I've fallen in love again. The tricky part is that the woman I'm involved with now is my late wife's sister, who also lost her husband around the same time. As time went on, we got closer, and we've been secretly dating on…

Lifestyles

While members of some cultures wear an evil eye for protection to ward off nefarious spirits, I wear a special charm to calm, inspire and protect me. My talisman is a hot pink, leaping runner from the Dirty Girl Mud Run, held Sept. 8 at Kissing Bridge winter resort. If you look carefully, you can detect her ponytail. This circular charm hangs from a metal chain resembling …

I finally figured out what that odd-shaped space under the basement stairs was really made for. Storing headboards!Full headboards that have been bumped by queen- or king-size ones. Twin headboards that would be right at home in a 1960s or '70s family sitcom. Inherited headboards. Abandoned headboards. Tired white wicker headboards.No, we don't have all of those stashed un…

Lifestyles

Classical music listeners will wake up to a new voice next week on WNED-FM 94.5. Peter Johnson, most recently of KUNC-FM in Greeley, Colo., will start hosting "Morning Classics" from 6 to 10 a.m. Thursday, said Gabe DiMaio, station program director. "We looked at a lot of candidates with a lot of experience from a lot of different radio stations all around the country," Di…

Let's just cut to the chase: What'd you cook last night? "Uhhhh, pasta with sausage and sweet onion and tomatoes," Mark Bittman tells me. "And a fennel and celery salad." But this is Bittman, the New York Times columnist, author of several cookbooks and the guy who is doing what he can to cut America's consumption of junk food, soda and - apologies to the great states of T…

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An older woman, sitting with two friends in the lobby of Delaware Nursing and Rehabilitation Center on Delaware Avenue spots the large black dog standing outside the records office, where he spends his days."Fletcher!" she calls out. "Fletcher, come here!"Hearing his name, Fletcher, a black lab/boxer mix, lopes across the lobby toward the woman, who sits with her hand outs…

Lifestyles

As the fall TV season kicks into gear with weeks of season - and series - premieres still to come, it's easier than ever to catch up on what you might have missed. ABC Studios has released many of its series in nicely packaged, multiple DVD sets, including the final season of "Desperate Housewives" and the first season of two of the more intriguing new shows - and hits - f…

I come from a Republican family. Not my parents, heaven knows. They were largely apolitical throughout my youth. In the case of my father, who was in the menswear business, there were two standing jokes: 1) That Harry Truman was occupational kin because he'd once done time in a haberdashery selling suits and ties to fellow citizens, and 2) that my father was always on the…