| Sep 29, 2011
| 10:00 PM
It's tempting, looking at the fall's books, to think of this as a political season. Dick Cheney got it started with "In My Time: A Personal and Political Memoir," and in November we'll see a different (and perhaps conflicting?) take when Condoleezza...
| Sep 30, 2011
| 12:26 PM
It's tempting, looking at the fall's books, to think of this as a political season. Dick Cheney got it started with "In My Time: A Personal and Political Memoir," and Joe McGinnis pitched in with "The Rogue: Searching for the Real Sarah Palin." (That...
| May 15, 2011
Say Her Name
Grove Press: 350 pp., $24
Death has taken a conspicuous place in the recent works of several writers. Joan Didion lost her husband and wrote about it, as did Joyce Carol Oates. Elizabeth McCracken lost a baby; Christopher...
| May 15, 2011
When National Book Award-winning novelist William T. Vollmann went to Japan this spring to report on the crippled Fukushima nuclear power plant from inside the contamination zone, he did what any journalist would do. He bought a dosimeter to chart the...
| Dec 15, 2011
| 7:27 AM
There's a part of us that secretly likes disasters. Well, maybe not so secretly. That's why Joan Didion's famous riff on the Santa Ana winds — "the weather of catastrophe, of apocalypse" — is hauled out several times a year to explain what L....
| Dec 16, 2011
| 2:58 PM
As 2011 comes to a close, we take a minute to reflect on the year's best in the world of publishing. Here is the list of our favorites, all published this year:
"The Paris Wife" by Paula McLain
This gorgeous novel portrays the whirlwind...
| 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...
| May 28, 2011
— What makes Jane Fonda say "wow"? A bigger-than-capacity crowd of more than 200 booksellers waiting to hear about her latest, "Prime Time: Creating a Great Third Act," a rousing manual for aging well.
FOR THE RECORD:
| Jul 22, 2011
| 3:54 PM
In "Morning," one of Pablo Neruda's best-known love sonnets, the speaker gushes, "Naked you are blue as a night in Cuba; /You've vines and stars in your hair." In one bold image Neruda expresses his passion for both a woman and a country. Such...
| Apr 30, 2006
In "Ramona," her 1884 novel of Southern California, Helen Hunt Jackson did more than tell the story of the illicit romance between a mestizo orphan and an Indian sheepherder. Caught in the pages of her famous melodrama is a picture of the land that is...
| Mar 18, 2007
MARK MY words: Southern California is about to suffer a major earthquake. Probably a catastrophic fire too. And certainly a real estate collapse.
How do I know this? Because the gods (or Thetans) who look down upon our patch of paradise do not appreciate...
| Jan 30, 2009
It's a lovely irony: Gertrude Baines, 114, the world's oldest person, lives in L.A., the world's most youth-obsessed city. It's like finding a vintage Ferrari in a parking lot full of Yugos.
During the 20th century, we added almost three decades to the...