| Oct 5, 2010
| 11:34 AM
"The Secret Lives of Somerset Maugham: A Biography"
By Selina Hastings Random House, Inc., 640 pages, $35
In 1953 Sir Gerald Kelly, the President of the Royal Academy, organized a dinner in honor of Queen Elizabeth II’s visit to that august...
| Dec 2, 2011
| 9:54 AM
Vincent Van Gogh is an extraordinary artist about whom everything seems to be known. His brilliant work and tragic life, combined with a paper trail of letters to his art-dealer brother, Theo, have made him an irresistible subject for art historians,...
| Oct 8, 2010
| 5:17 PM
I recently saw the film "Howl," which is about Allen Ginsberg's poem of the same name, and I was once again blown away by my lack of knowledge on famous authors whom I really thought I knew - in this case it was Ginsberg.
The movie has four separate, yet...
| Oct 25, 2010
| 5:36 PM
"Muriel Spark: The Biography"
By Martin Stannard
W.W. Norton. 656 pages. $35
By nearly any measure Muriel Spark was a major 20th-century writer -- of longer fiction (twenty two novels); short fiction (sixty+ stories, published and republished in six...
| Jan 28, 2011
| 4:08 PM
"A Nation's Hope: The Story of Boxing Legend Joe Louis"
By Matt De La Pena, illustrated by Kadir Nelson
Dial, $17.99, ages 6-9
This picture book biography connects the history of the young Joe Louis with the political history of the 1930s, beginning with...
| Dec 11, 2011
Simon Sebag Montefiore's epic survey of Jerusalem's sanguinary history does not inspire confidence in the civilizing qualities of religion. The pile of corpses accumulated over millenniums from the persecutions both perpetrated and endured by all three of...
| Dec 25, 2010
| 1:21 PM
Rick Kogan, Tribune reporter
"The Last Boy: Mickey Mantle and the End of America's Childhood"
By Jane Leavy
Leavy's "The Last Boy" is as masterfully researched and beautifully written as any biography this year. Sox fans like me may...
| Apr 8, 2011
| 12:19 PM
When you regard an author as the best of her generation, and among the best of any generation, and you read just about everything she's ever written - which includes, in the case of Joyce Carol Oates, dozens and dozens of novels and short-story...
| Jun 3, 2011
| 8:17 AM
Memoir writing: How do you turn a life story into something more than a slog through boring facts? Perhaps Carol LaChapelle has an answer. 11 a.m., University Center/Multimedia Room
— Judy Hevrdejs, reporter
Tavern recipes: Susan and Drew...
| Apr 29, 2011
| 8:24 AM
After the long angry mutter of winter, spring is a glorious happy shout. And what better way to celebrate its coming than with a book that is physically beautiful and emotionally transporting? Reading Molly Peacock's new biography "The Paper Garden: An...
| May 2, 2011
| 3:13 PM
"Raggin' Jazzin' Rockin': A History of American Musical Instrument Makers"
By Susan VanHecke
Boyds Mills Press, $17.95, ages 11-15
This book is not well served by the first three words of its title, though the subtitle helps somewhat. We're not talking...