| Oct 28, 2011
| 4:36 PM
My pals who are big sports nuts love to heap scorn on Hollywood sports movies, especially when the discussion is unfolding in a bar. Their biggest complaint? The films are squishy, full of more easy sentiment than soul, with the victories being achieved...
| Feb 7, 2011
| 4:33 PM
Los Angeles Times file photo [Update: This photo stumped the brain trust! And perhaps with good reason. It was apparently never published in The Times and is from a somewhat obscure movie called “The Fixer,” which is not on Netflix......
| Mar 31, 2011
| 4:34 PM
This list of nine best baseball books by David L. Ulin includes Robert Coover -- and leaves out Boys of Summer....
| Mar 31, 2011
Five years ago, on the eve of the 2006 baseball season, I put together a list of nine favorite baseball books — one for each inning, one for every player on the field. Such a list was not meant to be definitive (how could it be?), but since then I'...
| Sep 16, 2011
| 4:06 PM
There should be a Biblical saying — For if a new novel, for which the publisher has paid an enormous amount of cash, lives up to its hype, all shall considered themselves blessed — and if that novel cometh from the Midwest, homeland to Floyd...
| May 22, 2011
For me, summer reading has always been about freedom. Not the freedom to dumb down with mindless entertainment but the freedom to wise up, to be ambitious, to pursue the passions that, during the rest of the year, often take a backseat to the...
| May 22, 2011
1974: Unhappy at summer camp, I holed up in my bunk and read Philip Roth's "Portnoy's Complaint" and Bernard Malamud's "The Natural." The camp might have been awful, but the books were anything but.
1980: In June, I attended a writers conference at UC...
| Jul 1, 2011
| 1:13 PM
He was a man in motion — the beautifully controlled fury of a great athlete.
How, though, to convey that energy and grit and grace on the flat page of a graphic novel? How to suggest the up-and-at-'em vigor of a Roberto Clemente in a venue that...
| Apr 13, 2012
| 1:42 PM
Each novelist requires circumstance — a situation to describe, from which a conflict arises — and the ivy-covered college hall or dormitory room provides such context readily. It would take research and, thereafter, expertise to write about...
| Apr 1, 2012
| 6:45 PM
The perfect book for group discussion is one that's challenging but not impenetrable. It transports you to a different time and place, but is smooth enough to avoid motion sickness. It's a book that feels like there's a lot at stake.With those...
| May 18, 2012
| 11:25 AM
Earlier this year, when Russian President Vladimir Putin proposed a 100-book required reading list for his compatriots, it provoked anxiety, rekindling memories of Soviet-era censorship. The furor underscored an important point: that literature plays a...
| Mar 14, 2010
Backing Into Forward
Nan A. Talese/Doubleday: 450 pp., $30
Whether newspapers live or die, the prognosis for the comic strip doesn't look promising. The extinction of the form not much more than a century after its birth would...