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Books in brief "A Song of Comfortable Chairs" by Alexander McCall Smith; Pantheon (240 pages, $27) ——— That title could apply to virtually all of the 23 cozy, lyrical novels McCall Smith has written about Botswana's Precious Ramotswe, but it's particularly applicable to this one, in which the subject is frequently furnishings. Colleague Grace Makutsi's husband runs a furniture store that will ...

FICTION: A photographer documents the struggle for women's suffrage, while her husband struggles to make it to the South Pole. "Terra Nova" by Henriette Lazaridis; Pegasus (304 pages, $25.95) ——— In early 20th century Britain, heroic women risked their lives to win voting rights, and men defied death by launching expeditions to the Antarctic. On the surface, these historic struggles don't ...

CHICAGO — The new editor of Poetry magazine, one of the city’s most important and influential publications, is Adrian Matejka, a great poet and a good guy. My colleague Darcel Rockett conducted a fine interview with Matejka shortly after he took the job earlier this year. He is the magazine’s first Black editor, hired in the footsteps of Michelle Boone, who in 2021 became the first woman and ...

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