Reining in a book group

Book groups: keeping them on course takes some effort.

Q.  I’m in a book group that has become a talkfest about everything about the book. Young moms talk about their kids, older members pass around pictures of their grandchildren, and so on. We are all friends, so it’s interesting, but it’s not why we are there. We eventually do get around to ...

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2014 Hyundai Genesis 3.8 — Astonishingly good car

2014 Hyundai Genesis 3.8

For years now, Hyundai has been building cars that elicit an almost unanimous response from critics and car aficionados: It’s better than I expected, but it’s still a Hyundai, which means it’s emphatically not a BMW, Audi or Lexus. The time is fast approaching when such thoughts will have to be ...

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Miraculous comfort in the kitchen — garlic!

Garlic — comforting in so many ways.

“When love and skill work together, expect a masterpiece.” —John Ruskin Whenever I am in the kitchen, I realize there is no other place in the world that offers a more comforting, loving and cozy atmosphere. Here is where we can gather with family and friends and enjoy the great pleasures of ...

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Hartford Stage presents Hamlet – A thriller

Zach Appelman stars in the Hartford Stage production of ‘Hamlet.’ —T. Charles Erickson

What perfect timing for Hartford Stage’s Artistic Director Darko Tresnjak to mount Shakespeare’s Hamlet. At its core, Hamlet is a true thriller. It is full of dark secrets, danger, deceit, murder, graveyard scenes complete with skulls and bones, and most importantly, a ghost. What better time ...

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Some entertaining gems

Lily Tomlin, Dolly Parton and Jane Fonda in 9 to 5.

Entertaining gems from the Hollywood archive are easy to find this weekend on broadcast and cable television. What better ways to enjoy movie time? Check out these titles. Nine to Five (1980) Every time the great Lily Tomlin appears on screen — or on stage or television — she teaches us how a ...

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The Blue Room tells a compelling story in a short time

Stéphanie Cléau (left) and Mathieu Amalric in a scene from “The Blue Room.“

Films don’t have to be lengthy to feel complete. When a director chooses how to tell a story, he or she sets a pace for the narrative. While some movies let sloppy rhythm add unnecessary minutes to the running time, others remain focused to stay tight. Few in recent memory get the job done ...

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Extra! Extra! ‘Newsies’ moves from Palace to Philly

The ‘Newsies’ ensemble at the Palace Theater in Waterbury. —Deen Van Meer

Leave it to Disney to wave a wand and turn a flop of a movie into a hit of Broadway musical called Newsies. It’s true that by all critical accounts the movie was a bomb when it opened in 1992 and the film lost a lot of money for Disney. In all fairness to the... Read More