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Everything is Copy: When evil is comforting

When it comes to pleasure reading, we gravitate to what we need at the cultural moment. I seem to be in a trench of surrounding myself with female psycho killers.

10 things about Eli Saslow

The Pulitzer Prize winner shares what he’s reading, what he’s watching and his other interests.

American Life in Poetry: ‘Youth’ by David Steingass

It’s been a very long time since I was young, but I remember the giddiness of first love, and David Steingass, a Wisconsin poet, shows us in this poem how poetry can both recall and reflect that kind of emotional excitement.

‘Longmire’ author comes to Spokane on Oct. 10

UPDATED: Wed., Sept. 5, 2018, 9:46 a.m.

Craig Johnson, the best-selling author of the “Longmire” mystery series, joins the Northwest Passages Book Club on Oct. 10 to talk about his new book, “Depth of Winter.”

Book review: ‘How to Cuss in Western’ details a Western life filled with humor and wit

The deft essays in Michael Branch’s “How to Cuss in Western (And Other Missives from the High Desert)” remind me of Patrick McManus, the former Sandpoint resident, EWU professor, novelist and humorist. He collected his writing in books that began with “A Fine and Pleasant Misery” in 1978. Not that Mike Branch sounds like McManus; rather that he’s part of an enduring succession of outdoor journalists. From 2010 to 2016, for High Country News, Branch wrote an online column that he dubbed Rants from the Hill. In that column, he described life with his wife and daughters on 6,000-foot-high “Ranting Hill.” This year, the family came down from the hilltop to live again in Reno, the same year McManus died. Ordeals of biblical proportions afflicted the Branch family during its hilltop sojourn. Roads washed out, wildfires forced retreats, gophers and packrats pestered, snowstorms hurled down. Their solar abode caught fire. Such accounts blur and blend with those in the sister volumes “Raising Wild” (2016) and “Rants from the Hill” (2017). The family underwent a fine and pleasant misery in the high Nevada desert.

Everything is Copy: Keeping Clean

As a kid, I remember being baffled by the way my grandparents scurried about their Manhattan apartment before the cleaning lady showed up. As a young adult, I couldn’t believe how stressed my mother became while getting ready for her cleaner.

Summer Stories: Britnay

In week 8 of Summer Stories: The Road Trip, Spokane author Chelsea Martin watches as a daughter learns the hard lessons not passed down from her mother.

American Life in Poetry: ‘Covering the Mirrors’ by Carol V. Davis

Carol V. Davis lives in California, and once was an artist-in-residence at the Homestead Monument in Nebraska, where I met her. The following poem, her fourth to be published in this column, is from her 2017 book from Truman State University Press, “Because I Cannot Leave This Body.” I’m a sucker for poems about customs.

From Reese Witherspoon to SJP, the rise of celeb book clubs

Jimmy Fallon isn’t the only celebrity to follow in Oprah Winfrey’s footsteps with a book club. Reese Witherspoon has made such a success of her monthly literary picks that publishers are now putting Reese stickers on her selections.

Summer Stories: ‘Lakes’

In week 7 of Summer Stories: The Road Trip, English teacher, cartoonist and novelist Simeon Mills imagines a world where “the family you make” has a very different connotation.

Local author’s novel garners awards

For Mary Mendenhall, writing a book is not the stuff of dreams. It’s what happened to her when she was praying in a chapel in Kampala, Uganda.