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Boston

“My Family Was Crazy, So Now I’m a Psychiatrist”

in Non-Fiction by

One day at the age of 10, as a student at a New England boarding school, young Ned Hallowell was told to report to the school psychologist at the request of his mother. Getting right to the point, Dr. Merritt asked, “Well, how about if you tell me about your life so far?” “I remember starting to talk, and out of the blue the floodgates opened,” recalls Hallowell in his new memoir, Because I Come From a Crazy Family (Bloomsbury). “I talked and talked and cried and cried… Dr. Merritt sat there, not saying a word.” What Dr. Merritt said next, according to Hallowell, “makes me believe he was either the best or the worst psychologist on the planet. He…

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Part One: BookTrib Q&A with Bestselling Author Lisa Gardner

in Thrillers by

There’s something great about reading the next book in a series – it’s like an exciting new adventure with an old friend. You know all their secrets, passions and dreams; and, even though some time has passed since you were last together, when you open that book cover it’s as though you’d never been apart. This is what bestselling author Lisa Gardner accomplishes in her Detective D.D. Warren series: she has made it her specialty to take us to places we never thought we’d go. Look For Me, sees the return of both beloved Detective D.D. Warren and Flora Dane, the victim-turned-vigilante from Find Her and takes them on a case involving the brutal deaths of an entire family, with one teenager missing. It may…

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Part Two: BookTrib Q&A with New York Times Best Selling Author Lisa Gardner

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This is Part Two of our interview with Lisa Gardner. Click here to read Part One. New York Times best selling author Lisa Gardner’s latest novel in the Detective D.D. Warren Series sees the return of not only D.D., but also Flora Dane, the victim-turned-vigilante from Gardner’s previous bestselling novel, Find Her. Now, in Look For Me, D.D. is given a case where an entire family has been murdered, and the teenage daughter, Roxy, is missing. With a ticking clock on how much time is left, D.D. is confronted with one of the most complex cases of her career. BookTrib got to talk with Lisa Gardner about the research behind her novel, returning to old characters, writing kick-ass women and more.   BookTrib: As…

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‘Green’ by Sam Graham-Felsen Explores Friendship and Diversity in 1990s Boston

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It is the 1990s and Dave, son of Harvard educated hippies, is one of only a few white kids in his Boston middle school.  Having a difficult time connecting with the other students, he becomes drawn to Marlon, a black kid from the projects who seems to have similar interests: video games, the Boston Celtics and getting into the better high school.  They become friendly but both are ashamed of their home lives and there is always a distance between them even as they become closer.  Still, they spend hours watching vintage basketball games and have conversations about lots of subjects. I felt compassion for both Dave, as he struggled to fit in, got pushed around on the bus, wanted…

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Independent Bookstores You Need to Visit on a Summer Getaway

in Potpourri by

In a country of big corporations and homogenized megastores, the little shop down the street has become all too rare. Everywhere I go I try to find that bookstore where I can have my own little keepsake; My own memory of the places I’ve been to. Since Memorial Day Weekend is upon us, here are five independent bookstores that you should visit on a long weekend (like this one) or on a summer getaway. Mermaid Books: Williamsburg, VA On a Saturday morning after having a much needed breakfast by the William and Mary campus, I came across Mermaid Books. Resting below a flight of stairs leading to a basement, this little store sells all kinds of vintage used books. In a…

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Personal Ink: Tattoos of the Lovebirds Who Almost Didn’t Meet

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It’s once again time for Personal Ink—our monthly column where we showcase authors and the tattoos that grace their skin. A tattoo is never just a careless image: whether sentimental or silly, it’s always an expression of the person behind the ink. This month we’re featuring two writers, Kassi Underwood and Mike Murphy. Kassi has been published in The New York Times, The Atlantic Online, Al Jazeera America, and Guernica. Mike studied nonfiction and is currently teaching high school in Lawrence, Massachusetts. The fellow authors met at the prestigious Columbia MFA program, where their love of writing helped bring them together. Now they’re getting married at the end of July and their matching tattoos have become part of their story.…

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Boston Marathon just keeps inspiring

in Non-Fiction by

Twenty-six miles in under three hours? Oh, my aching feet! Before folks like me even get started in the Boston Marathon (at my 15-minute per mile pace it would take me—gulp!—6.5 hours) the winners were already smiling for the cameras and chugging sports drinks. Lelisa Desisa of Ethiopia zipped in at 2:09:17 and the first woman to cross the finish line, Caroline Rotich of Kenya, sped in at 2:24:55. Before you shake your head at the 15-minute time difference, consider this: the race’s very first woman, Kathrine Switzer, who was physically attacked by the race co-director for illegally entering (women were barred due to being too frail) finished in 4:20. By 1975 she whittled that time down to 2:51. This…

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Spinning whale vomit into gold

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by Elisabeth Elo The first seed of North of Boston was planted when I read an article about ambergris – whale excrement or vomit that floats in the sun, washes up on beaches, and eventually becomes a substance that was highly prized in ancient times for its healing and aphrodisiac qualities and that was—and in some cases, still is—used as a base of perfumes.  I loved the paradox, the fusion of opposites.  To think that something so disposable could be transformed through natural processes into something so valued.  Yet its essence was the same. It reminds me of the fairytale Rumpelstiltskin. (I digress, I know, but isn’t that a writer’s prerogative?)  The heroine is given the impossible task of spinning…

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