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“The Masterpiece:” NYC’s Grand Central as One of the Stars

in Fiction by

Today’s radiant Grand Central Terminal belies the nadir of its seventh decade when decay, crime, and overreaching developers threatened its existence. Thanks to the genius of landmark preservationists and Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis, the building was rescued and restored to its original beauty during the 1980s. The iconic Manhattan train terminal – specifically the Grand Central School of Art, part of an artists’ cooperative that was founded in 1924 and occupied much of the sixth floor of the building – is the star of The Masterpiece (Dutton), Fiona Davis’s third novel about New York City.  A romantic thriller about art and architecture, it is set against the unlikely backdrop of two of our nation’s most dispiriting eras:  the Great Depression of the…

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Historic Wonder and What-if’s Bring James Mauro’s ‘Twilight’ to Life

in Non-Fiction by

I’m not a big fan of non-fiction… but with all those topics to choose from, surely I could find something I wanted to read about. I got the book at the library down the street. I needed to read Twilight at the World of Tomorrow because Mauro is a friend of mine. I was a little nervous because I didn’t know what I was going to say if I didn’t like it. I couldn’t imagine Jim writing anything mediocre – he was, after all, once an editor of the now defunct but iconic SPY magazine in Manhattan – but what if? The “what-if” went away pretty quickly- by the time I finished reading the author’s note at the beginning of the…

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