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Book: Fresh memories and old notes

Jill McCorkle weaves stories both sad and happy in ‘Life After Life’

‘Life After Life’
By Jill McCorkle. Algonquin Books; 352 pgs., $24.95.

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An eye on the future

Nearly a century after its release, ‘The Great Gatsby’ still speaks to America’s class, cultural and racial shifts

Spoiler alert: If you skipped “The Great Gatsby” in high school and never bothered to read the Cliff’s Notes, proceed with caution.

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Book: New food for thought … about food

Michael Pollan discusses ‘Cooked’

‘Cooked: A Natural History of Transformation’
By Michael Pollan. Penguin Press; 469 pgs., $27.95.

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Book: Bewilderment breathes life into death

‘Bewilderment: New Poems and Translations’
By David Ferry. The University of Chicago Press; 115 pgs., $18.

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Book: The complicated animal

Rebecca Gayle Howell releases ‘Render / An Apocalypse’

‘Render / An Apocalypse’
By Rebecca Gayle Howell. Cleveland State University Poetry Center; 88 pgs., $15.95.

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Fanfare for the common man

Acclaimed Kentucky poet Maurice Manning captures the lost world of rural America

When Maurice Manning was working his first job out of college in the early ’90s, he used to grab a cup of coffee most mornings at a little greasy spoon near the Centre College campus in

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Mr. Bourbon

Historian Michael Veach traces bourbon’s heritage in ‘Kentucky Bourbon Whiskey’

Michael Veach stands up from behind the stacks of books on the table and clinks a pocketknife against a snifter glass.

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Book: ‘It’s totally normal to not be normal’

The Bloggess releases ‘Let’s Pretend This Never Happened’

Best known as “The Bloggess,” the irreverent and unpredictable Jenny Lawson is a blogger and author of the book “Let’s Pretend This Never Happened,” which relates thro

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Book: A rambling mess of a ‘Holiday’

Commentator loses focus on his path

‘Every Day is an Atheist Holiday’
Written by Penn Jillette. Blue Rider Press; 288 pgs., $25.95.

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Book: What happened in Haiti after the quake?

In new book, reporter Jonathan Katz examines what went wrong

As the only full-time U.S.