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When Trust Confuses Teens

Books

Sarah and David, the teenage protagonists of Susan Choi’s new novel “Trust Exercise,” have the kind of tumultuous connection that begs recognition, even when they are trying to avoid it themselves. Their unpredictable acting teacher Mr. Kingsley delights in bringing that tension to the forefront of his classes.

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Syrian Cookbook Builds Bridges

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Bridges are good things, higher and longer than walls. Bridges bring journeys to mind; walls don’t.
“The Bread and Salt Between Us” by Mayada Anjari provides a true bridge experience, bringing the reader and cook into communion with not only authentic Syrian recipes, but also the Syrian family, Mayada and Ahmad Anjari, who abandoned their battle-ravaged home town in Syria, to walk with their children over countless nights through the desert to the safety of Jordan. 

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Travel to Greece To Learn the Etymology of English

Books: ‘Greek To Me: Adventures Of The Comma Queen’

Mary Norris’s new book, “Greek to Me: Adventures of the Comma Queen,” takes readers on a personal voyage across the wine-dark seas of Greek history, mythology, geography and especially etymology, a word that derives from the Greek ἐτυµολογία (etumología), itself from ἔτυµον (étumon), meaning “true sense,” and the suffix -logia, denoting “the study of.”

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Power, Sex And Regret

Books: ‘You Know You Want This’

The phrase “going viral” is so ubiquitous it has almost lost any sense of drama.  Originally the phrase described the unprecedented phenomenon of an innocuous piece of internet-based media that was so widely viewed that it became, however briefly, a cultural touchstone. Warhol’s dictum that every person would have their own 15 minutes of fame can now apply to video recordings that are less than 15 seconds long. 

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When The Model Became The Artist

Books: ‘The Age Of Light’

Women and art have always had a bad relationship. No, let’s rephrase that. Art, as pulled from sewage of common life, singled out from history’s clutter, buffed, shined and hung for all to see as exemplary, yes, that kind of art, has rarely considered the work of women. As a 1989 screen print by the anonymous female artist collective Guerrilla Girls famously stated of The Metropolitan Museum of Art, “Less than 5% of artists in the Modern Arts Sections are women, but 85% of the nudes are female.”

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Religious Intolerance In Old Lakeville

Book: ‘Lakeville Crucifix: A Religious War in 19th Century Connecticut’

Divisiveness is as old as the hills.
If you think the present political climate is tense wherever people are still willing to speak to one another, it wasn’t so different in late 19th century Lakeville. 
In a recently published, thoroughly researched book, “Lake-ville Crucifix: A Religious War in 19th Century Connecticut,” local author Geoffrey Brown explores the genesis of religious intolerance, suspicion of immigrants, and divided politics.  

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The Strike That Changed History

Books: ‘The Edge of Anarchy’

We are conscious of living in a time of bitter factionalism and stark polarization, but there is possibly some comfort in knowing that the country has seen worse. Jack Kelly’s “The Edge of Anarchy” (Saint Martin’s Press, 2018) takes us back to the 1890s, the so-called Gilded Age, a time of great income disparity and economic turbulence that produced social upheavals on a scale we have not seen in our lifetimes.

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A Drunken Ride Through Modern Literary England

Books: ‘Francis Plug, Writer in Residence’

Paul Ewen’s new ride through the arteries of his labyrinthine brainpan is no predictable Lyft. You get dropped off somewhere not near where you were headed. But you sure went fast. You sure went far. And you really wanted to, because you were riding with Francis.

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FitzGerald To Discuss Evangelicals

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In the months leading up to the 2016 presidential election, candidate Donald J. Trump, a reality television star on his third marriage, was quoted saying that if Ivanka was not his daughter he’d like to date her, a tape was released of him bragging to a TV journalist about how women let him grab them “by the pussy,” and he claimed that the Bible was his favorite book but he was unable to quote a single verse from it.  
In 2016, 80 percent of evangelicals voted for Trump.   

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An Interview With Style Icon Carolyne Roehm

Books: ‘Design & Style, A Constant Thread’

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