| 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...
| Dec 21, 2011
How'd they do it?
That is often thought to be the primary motivation behind our fascination with the life stories of business behemoths: a curiosity about the means – both noble and scurrilous – by which mammoth fortunes are made. "Steve...
| May 4, 2011
| 12:37 PM
Former longtime Chicago Tribune reporter Bill Barnhart and his writing partner, Gene Schlickman, were among five Chicago-area writers winning recognition from the Society of Midland Authors, which announced winners of its annual Author Awards Wednesday...
| May 15, 2011
| 7:15 PM
In Michael Feeney Callan's fawning new biography, we get plenty of the actor, director and environmentalist we already know but only a tantalizing, too-brief glimpse of a young man we almost never hear about: Charles Robert Redford Jr., Angeleno.
| Oct 10, 2010
Penguin Press: 906 pp., $40
On Dec. 14, 1799, an ominous, fog-like gloom hung over Mount Vernon. Sixty-seven-year-old George Washington was dying. The ex-president, his doctors believed, was suffering from "quinsy" (a...
| Jan 30, 2011
The Art of Not Sitting Pretty
St. Martin's Press: 479 pp., $35
Here comes that old question, the one that pops up when a new biography of a prominent artist or writer is published: Do we judge an artist by the life or the work?...
| Oct 10, 2010
If Trouble Don't Kill Me
A Family's Story of Brotherhood, War, and Bluegrass
Ralph Berrier Jr.
Crown: 304 pp., $25
We're all familiar with the standard musician biography: down-and-out upbringing, often involving the death of — or at least...
| Nov 3, 2010
Some years ago, I shared a barber with the late Mel Tormé. It was a small, low-key shop where the talk was usually sports and the music on the radio was always jazz or vocals from the American Songbook.
One morning, Tormé and I found ourselves pausing...
| May 17, 2011
It hardly seems possible that there could be room for yet another important biography on so iconic a star as Marlene Dietrich, already the subject of a remarkably candid yet detached memoir by her daughter Maria Riva and of the late Steven Bach's...
| Nov 23, 2010
The relationship of Eleanor and Franklin Delano Roosevelt has fascinated observers ever since they married. Friends and relatives were surprised in 1905 by the wedding of a handsome, flirtatious, fun-loving mama's boy to his serious-minded cousin, who did...
| Apr 10, 2011
The Last Greatest Magician in the World
Howard Thurston Versus Houdini & the Battles of the American Wizards
Tarcher/Penguin: 377 pp., $26.95
It takes some courage to write the biography of a man the reading public has mostly forgotten....