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Summer Stories: ‘Flow’

Sun., July 30, 2017, 5 a.m.

 (The Spokesman-Review / Molly Quinn)
“We’ll follow the river for the first bit.” Jessie grinned, flashing dimples Julie used to think were adorable. “Watch the road.” She closed her eyes and leaned against the window. She couldn’t see his frown, but his annoyance turned the air in the truck chilly against her skin. It surprised her how little she cared. She shouldn’t have gone on this trip, but they’d planned it for months and she’d never been to Lake Roosevelt.

Toni Morrison, Joan Didion among those in PEN online archive

Fri., July 28, 2017, 11:20 a.m.

In this May 29, 2012, file photo, author Toni Morrison receives her Medal of Freedom award during a ceremony in the East Room of the White House in Washington. PEN America, the literary and human rights organization, has assembled more than 1,500 hours of audio and visual material for a digital archive featuring Morrison and other leading writers and public thinkers of the past half-century. The literary and human rights organization told The Associated Press on Wednesday, July 26, 2017, that the archive has been in the works since 2011. (Carolyn Kaster / AP)
PEN America, the literary and human rights organization, told The Associated Press on Wednesday that it had assembled more than 1,500 hours of audio and visual material for a digital archive featuring many of the world’s leading writers and public thinkers of the past half-century.

Summer Stories: ‘Something Follows’

Sun., July 23, 2017, 5 a.m.

Ben Cartwright (Courtesy photo)
Simmons loved to run the river trail past what was normal – season, time of day, duration. If a normal person said the end of October was about the limit for trail weather, she bought ice cleats and made sure to run a 10k in January, shaving three minutes off her personal best. If a man at a gas station remarked on her 13.1 bumper sticker and told her, unsolicited, that a woman should never go running alone, she told him, unsolicited, about the man whose fingers she broke in Tikrit on her second tour. They left the pumps when you mentioned the bodily harm you’d done, the unspoken inference being that I can take your tarsals and metatarsals too, buddy, and turn them into splintered kindling, even if you have a gun rack. She never bragged about her run times, but was certain the longer she was forced to stay on bereavement leave, the more months the army chaplain kept insisting, the more miles she would devour. This October evening people were sparse on the trail, the shadows of ponderosa pines and Sitka spruce blending into a shared dark, the curve of the river through the boles of the trees a stripe of blue. Simmons was bundled up, everywhere except her nose. The temperature dropped in these parts, long before Halloween. She stopped concentrating on her breathing, and let her body settle into a rhythm. She let the trance of mile two wash over her, and then mile three. The setting sun at her back spilled orange. A speckled king snake darted from the bushes, nearly at her feet. She jumped, and it curled its way back. She craned her neck to watch its S behind her, in her wake.

Book World: The pain, and weirdness, of Alexie’s mother’s life and death

Sat., July 22, 2017

Sherman Alexie, pictured in 2016, at a celebration of Indigenous Peoples in Seattle’s City Hall. (Elaine Thompson / Associated Press)
For an author whose work in fiction and poetry is shot through with barely disguised personal elements, it’s, like, weird to get the story in a form that purports to be free of made-up stuff. Weird – but also inventively arranged, wonderfully told and always utterly heartwrenching.

2 new Harry Potter books set to be published in October

Wed., July 19, 2017, 10:13 a.m.

Harry Potter publisher Bloomsbury announced Tuesday that two new books from the Harry Potter universe are set to be released in October as part of a British exhibition that celebrates the 20th anniversary of the launch of the series. They will join two other recent Potter releases, "Harry Potter and the Cursed Child,” a stage play now running in London, and the prequel “Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them.” (Joel Ryan / AP)
“Harry Potter: A History of Magic – The Book of the Exhibition” promises to take readers through subjects studied at Potter’s wizarding school, Hogwarts. “Harry Potter – A Journey Through A History of Magic” will touch on mystical things such as alchemy, unicorns and ancient witchcraft.

Summer Stories: ‘White River’

Sun., July 16, 2017

Welcome to The River, the 2017 edition of The Spokesman-Review’s Summer Stories series. We will feature 10 new works of short fiction by Spokane-area writers in the Sunday Today section.

Review: A revealing look at the beloved, mysterious Harper Lee

Sat., July 15, 2017, 2:30 p.m.

In this Aug. 20, 2007 file photo, author Harper Lee smiles during a ceremony honoring the four new members of the Alabama Academy of Honor at the Capitol in Montgomery, Ala. The elusive author of "To Kill a Mockingbird" died Feb. 19, 2016. She was 89. A new book by Wayne Flynt details his friendship, and written correspondence, with Lee. (Rob Carr / AP)
Flynt’s “Mockingbird Songs” is a testament to their friendship and to the value of patient cultivation of friendships, loyalty and the value of skilled letter writing. She wrote to Wayne that “you are surely one of the era’s foremost practitioners of a moribund art,” saying his letters “should be kept forever.”

Michael Connelly writes at a killer pace

Sat., July 8, 2017

Michael Connelly, shown in 2016, is launching a new book series about a female detective in Los Angeles. (Chris Pizzello / Chris Pizzello/Invision/AP)
This month Connelly is publishing “The Late Show,” which kicks off a new series featuring LAPD Detective Renee Ballard. He spoke to the Washington Post by phone from Los Angeles. (This interview has been edited for length and clarity.)

Summer Stories at the River: ‘All Signs Dark’ by Shawn Vestal

Sun., July 2, 2017

 (Molly Quinn/The Spokesman-Review)
Welcome to The River, the 2017 edition of The Spokesman-Review’s Summer Stories series. Beginning this week, we will feature 10 new works of short fiction by Spokane-area writers in the Sunday Today section. First up is Shawn Vestal. Vestal, in addition to being a columnist for The Spokeman-Review, is the author of the award-winning story collection, “Godforsaken Idaho,” and the novel “Daredevils.”

Paddington bear creator Michael Bond dies at 91

UPDATED: Wed., June 28, 2017, 12:59 p.m.

In this Wednesday, Nov. 19, 2014 file photo, commuters alighting from a train pass by a statue of Paddington Bear on the platform at Paddington railway station in London. Publisher HarperCollins says Michael Bond, creator of globe-trotting teddy Paddington bear, died on Tuesday June 27, 2017, aged 91. (Alastair Grant / AP)
Ann-Janine Murtagh, executive publisher of HarperCollins Children’s Books, said Bond “will be forever remembered for his creation of the iconic Paddington, with his duffel coat and wellington boots, which touched my own heart as a child and will live on in the hearts of future generations.”

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