Books - The Buffalo News

FICTION "Number 11"                               By Jonathan Coe Knopf 333 pages, $27.95 “Number 11” is Jonathan Coe's 11th novel, but is that what the title means? Maybe; but if you watch the BBC news, you have a clue to more, much more. Number 11 is the address on Downing Street of the Chancellor of the Exchequer’s…

FICTION On Turpentine Lane By Elinor Lipman Houghton Mifflin Harcourt $24, 320 pages Starting a new romantic relationship is not unlike buying an older home. On the surface, all might seem fine. Lots of personality, charming features, solid foundation and all that. But upon closer inspection, you might discover that you have more of a fixer-upper than you ba…

FICTION DIFFICULT WOMEN By Roxane Gay Grove Press 260 pages, $25 HOMESICK FOR ANOTHER WORLD: STORIES By Ottessa Moshfegh Penguin Press 294 pages, $26 Sex is back in all its glory and contradiction – its power to hallow, its potential to harm -- in two unusual new story collections featuring individuals who, for good or ill, simply don’t fit t…

CHILDREN'S One Amazing Elephant by Linda Oatman High; HarperCollins, 257 pages ($16.99). Grades 3 to 7. ... Twelve-year-old Lily Rose and circus elephant Queenie Grace alternate as narrators in this poignant novel of friendship, family and home, set in the Magic Mountain Campground in West Virginia and the “circus town” of Gibtown, Fla., a designated “residentia…

FICTION The Refugees By Viet Thanh Nguyen Grove Press 209 pages, $25 In America, “where possessions counted for everything, we had no belongings except our stories.”  - Viet Thanh Nguyen The author dedicates this book of short stories to “all refugees, everywhere.” And for good reason: Our brothers and sisters are in need of validation. Puli…

NONFICTION City of Sedition: The History of New York City During the Civil War By John Strausbaugh Twelve 423 pages, $30. The City of New York holds a curious fascination for countless Americans, author John Strausbaugh among them. For some, it’s the excitement of the bright lights and tall buildings.  For others, it’s the tremendous wealth pulsing t…

“Norse Mythology” by Neil Gaiman, Norton, 293 pages, $25.95 In a recent edition of the classic “Bulfinch’s Mythology,” 292 is the number of pages devoted to Greece, Rome and the mythology of Southern European climes. Twenty-seven is the number of pages devoted to myths of the snowy North – without England, that is. As old Thomas Bulfinch smartly noted, no on…

Dick Hirsch has been sharing his dry and occasionally wry sense of humor for decades  in columns. The 84-year-old Buffalonian began writing columns in 1957 for the Buffalo Courier-Express. Later, he hosted and produced three TV shows on PBS -- "Call 17," "In Person" and "Man in the News" -- from 1968 to 1987. He also worked 25 years for a printing company, and owned a …

PICTURE BOOK Frederick Douglass: The Lion Who Wrote History by Walter Dean Myers; illustrated by Floyd Cooper; Harper, $17.99. Ages 4 to 8.  ... The illustrious Walter Dean Myers, a five-time Coretta Scott King Award winner, teams up with acclaimed artist Floyd Cooper, also a Coretta Scott King Award-winner, for this excellent illustrated biography of the great aboli…

A gritty street lawyer who represents addicts and crime lords and works out of a bulletproof van. A how-to book on the Japanese art of decluttering your home and your life. A teenager's struggle for identity in post-apocalyptic Chicago. The diaries of a wimpy middle schooler. Readers just couldn't get enough of them. They represent some of the hottest reads for…

YOUNG ADULT City of Saints and Thieves by Natalie C. Anderson; G.P. Putnam's Sons; 401 pages ($18.99) Ages 12 and up. ... Debut author Natalie C. Anderson used her background as a relief worker in Africa in crafting this pulse-pounding thriller of refugees, street gangs, murder, corruption, sacrifice and resilience set against the vivid backdrop of the fictional cit…

NONFICTION The Way Of The Strangers: Encounters With The Islamic State By Graeme Wood Random House 317 pages $28 What’s the big deal about this book? There are at least two important reasons for reading it. First, Canadian author Graeme Wood makes the case that “The Way of the Strangers” outlines “the definitive, electrifying account of the str…

FILM High Noon: The Hollywood Blacklist and the Making of an American Classic By Glenn Frankel Bloomsbury $28, 400 pages Many an Oscar aficionado considers 1952’s "The Greatest Show on Earth," Cecil B. DeMille’s three-ring  soap-operatic salute to big-top entertainment,  as the worst pick ever for best picture among the 88 titles that have been so hono…

MEMOIR My Life, My Love, My Legacy By Coretta Scott King, as told to the Rev. Dr. Barbara Reynolds Henry Holt and Company 358 pages, $30 "On Thanksgiving Night 1942, when I was fifteen years old, white racists burned our house to the ground," Coretta Scott King reveals first in this inspiring and still shocking memoir. Her father had built the house with hi…