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  1. Review: Whitehead's 'Underground Railroad' an unforgettable journey through slavery

    In July, after first lady Michelle Obama mentioned in her speech at the Democratic National Convention that the White House had been built by slaves, Fox News pundit Bill O'Reilly huffed that those slaves "were well-fed and had decent lodgings." As if the only problem with slavery was the lunch menu.
    "The Underground Railroad" by Colson Whitehead; Doubleday (306 pages, $26.95) (Doubleday)  1188624
  2. Review: 'Service of My Country' a complex portrait of William Tecumseh Sherman

    William Tecumseh Sherman is primarily known as the Civil War general who stated that "War is all hell" and who proved it in autumn 1864 by burning Atlanta and cutting a 60-mile-wide swath through Georgia in his destructive march to the sea. Determined to make the South "howl in my barbarity and cruelty," he told …
  3. What's Stephen Metcalfe reading?

    NightstandStephen MetcalfeOn the introductory page of his new novel, The Practical Navigator, Metcalfe writes: "Navigation is the process of charting a course from one place to another.'' It does not take long before the reader understands the importance of navigation to his story. …
    Stephen Metcalfe’s new novel is “The Practical Navigator.”
  4. Notable: History reimagined in fiction

    NotableHistory reimaginedThree novels of historical fiction revolve around real people and events in America's past.
  5. Events: Craig Pittman to discuss 'Oh, Florida!' at Safety Harbor Library

    Book TalkTampa Bay Times staff writer Craig Pittman (Oh, Florida! How America's Weirdest State Influences the Rest of the Country) will discuss and sign his book at 6:30 p.m. Thursday at Safety Harbor Public Library, 101 Second St. N.
  6. The Art of Politics: How colors, film, comedy, fashion influence our views

    Human Interest
    Pablo Picasso said, "Art is the lie that enables us to realize the truth."
    The Art of Politics. Image by Cameron Cottrill, Times.
  7. From biographies to satire, taking politicians by the book

    There's one sure winner every election cycle: book publishers.
    A supporter of Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton holds a copy of Hard Choices, one of the five books she has written, at a May campaign stop in Indianapolis.
  8. Events: Michael Koryta in conversation with Times book editor Colette Bancroft

    Book TalkBestselling thriller author Michael Koryta (Rise the Dark) will appear in conversation with Tampa Bay Times book editor Colette Bancroft, followed by a signing, at 4 p.m. Aug. 21 at Harbor Hall, University of South Florida St. Petersburg, 1000 Third St. S. The …
  9. Review: Koryta's 'Rise the Dark' a dark mix of spirits and science

    Many people go to Cassadaga looking for ghosts. The northeast Florida town, founded in 1895 by spiritualists who believed it is possible to communicate with the dead, is still home to dozens of mediums and psychics who offer their services to the public.
    Michael Koryta skillfully captures Cassadaga, the spiritualist community near Lake Helen, off Interstate 4 east of Orlando, in the novel.
  10. What's Mark Bircher reading?

    NightstandMark BircherBircher, a graduate of the U.S. Naval Academy and retired Marine Corps Reserve brigadier general, was the first Republican to jump into the race in the redrawn 13th Congressional District last December. Now, as he nears the finish line for the Republican primary, he's up …
    Mark Bircher is a candidate for the 13th Congressional District.