| 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...
| Nov 27, 2011
She rejected the title by which posterity knows her, preferring always to conceal her steely ambition and regal pride under a mask of modesty and service. Yet "Catherine the Great" was indeed an apt sobriquet for the subject of Robert K. Massie's latest...
| 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...
| May 20, 2011
| 3:33 PM
"The Convert: A Tale of Exile and Extremism"
By Deborah Baker
Graywolf, $23, 246 pages
Conversion narratives have been a staple of American writing since the Puritans arrived in New England. But if the form that stories of spiritual rebirth take is...
| 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...
| Jun 28, 2011
| 9:43 AM
For fashionistas, thumbing through a book could be the key to better understanding the world of style, discovering a new trend or finding a new way to wear a piece you already own. These style-centric publications, will make any in vogue beach babe look...