new england literary news | nina maclaughlin

New history of the Pats; prowling with owls at Eric Carle Museum

Patriots history lesson

For those Patriots fans who feel as if they need a little football fix to get through halftime, a lively new book that tells the origin story of the Pats may be just the thing to pass the 12-minute break in the action.

The recently published The Pats: An Illustrated History of the New England Patriots’’ (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt) was written by Vermonter Glenn Stout, series editor of “The Best American Sports Writing,’’ and Braintree resident Richard Johnson, curator at the Sports Museum of New England.

The book features full color images on almost every page, along with a smart and thorough history of the team, its management (starting with founder Billy Sullivan), its stars (from Jim Nance and Gino Cappeletti to John Hannah, Steve Grogan, and Tom Brady), its failures, its successes. And there are also numerous pieces by the likes of veteran sportswriters like Leigh Montville, Howard Bryant, Lesley Visser, and others.


Stout and Johnson will discuss the book on Dec. 4 at 6 p.m. at the Boston Public Library.

On the prowl for owls

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Their forward-facing eyes, necks on full swivel, the silence of their wide-winged flight through the forest — owls possess a force that looms large in our imaginations, symbols of wisdom, learning, magic, or coming calamity. The Eric Carle Museum of Picture Book Art in Amherst invites visitors to go on an owl prowl in its new exhibit, “Illustrated Owls: A Who’s Hoo from the Museum’s Vault,” which opens Dec. 8. The exhibit includes a playful lithograph from Maurice Sendak’s “A Kiss for Little Bear,’’ a bunch of E.H. Shepard images from the Hundred Acre Wood with Owl and his pals, Pooh, Tigger, and Eeyore, some Carle owls, and various other pieces. The museum will host a Night Owls PJ Party, with night-themed art projects, films, and storytimes on Dec. 27 from 6-8 p.m.

Gripping novel set in Worcester

Liz Rosenberg’s gripping and elegant new novel Indigo Hill’’ (Lake Union), set in Worcester, explores the way family secrets linger, emerging sometimes as minor vibrations and others as destructive earthquakes. The novel follows two grown sisters after the death of their mother and was inspired in part by a 1968 fire that killed five young people in the central Massachusetts city. Rosenberg, a former Globe children’s book columnist, is also a novelist, poet, children’s book author, and Binghamton University professor. She spends part of her time living in Worcester and will read and discuss the book on Dec. 8 at 2 pm at the Oak Barrel, 229 Grove St., in Worcester.

Coming out

North of Dawn’’by Nuruddin Farah (Riverhead)

Little Culinary Triumphs’’by Pascale Pujol, translated from the French by Alison Anderson (Europa)


“Away! Away!”by Jana Beňová, translated from the Slovakian by Janet Livingstone (Two Dollar Radio)

Pick of the Week

Marisa Neyenhuis at the Galaxy Bookshop in Hardwick Vt., recommends The Resurrection of Joan Ashby’’ by Clerise Wolas (Flatiron): “Joan Ashby is a literary prodigy who gives up her career to raise a family. When her sons are finally grown, she returns to writing, only to face a betrayal of epic proportion, which forces her to look at her life choices in a whole new light.”

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Nina MacLaughlin is the author of “Hammer Head: The Making of a Carpenter.” She can be reached at