| Jun 12, 2013
| 9:34 AM
Hold on to your hats: Things are about to get hot around here. Hot, that is, for people who love books, who covet literary rarities and whose pulses race at the thought of holding a first edition of F. Scott Fitzgerald's "The Great Gatsby" in their very...
| May 8, 2013
| 6:30 AM
Happy birthday to Thomas Pynchon! The reclusive author of "Gravity's Rainbow," "The Crying of Lot 49," "Mason & Dixon" and more turns 76 today.
Unlike the attention-seekers that clog our cultural aqueduct, Pynchon isn't likely to show up on CNN or NPR....
| May 10, 2013
| 12:22 PM
No two readers are alike. No two mothers are alike. And the only way to really find out what might be a good book to get your mother for Mother’s Day is to ask her what she likes to read.
My own mother’s reading habits have always been a bit...
| Sep 14, 2012
| 12:50 PM
When the great English poet Philip Larkin worked at the University of Hull, he liked to say that the need to change trains in Doncaster meant most journalists, academics and other London irritants didn't bother to harass him.
The American writer David...
| Jul 27, 2012
| 2:09 PM
A funny thing happens when a retired journalist brings his 20-plus years of word craft to fiction writing — namely, the birth of a 12-year-old boy named Max, whose angles are shaped by David Foster Wallace, Norman Mailer and the author himself,...
| Aug 19, 2012
| 12:39 PM
This Thursday at 8 p.m. there will be a launch party for a new thingamajob I wrote titled the “The Great Dysmorphia: An Epistemological View of Ingesting Hallucinogenic Mushrooms at a 2012 Republican Presidential Debate”. Honestly, if the...
| Nov 12, 2012
On a warm September day in Chicago, Rishad Tobaccowala counseled a roomful of Leo Burnett executives on how to sell high-tech gadgets -- told in terms of hot dogs.
Tobaccowala, who has spent 30 years at Leo Burnett and affiliated agencies,...
| Feb 1, 2013
| 12:07 PM
We sped south on Cicero Avenue. Through Oak Lawn, Alsip, Crestwood, a flat, aging strip-malled landscape of crumbling pizza joints and ancient tanning parlors, fast-food chains, tile-supply stores and —
"Wow!" I shouted, "Look! The Brazen Head!"...
| Jan 25, 2013
| 1:28 PM
In the fall, I taught English 366: The Essay at Lake Forest College, a writing workshop devoted to the study of the essay as a unique genre. We were not midway through the first class meeting when a student asked me what the difference was between the...
| May 25, 2013
| 11:30 AM
Between 1920 and 1930, there were three writers with at least five books in the list of 10 best-selling books, according to Publishers Weekly. Two of them are Zane Grey and Sinclair Lewis. The other is Warwick Deeping.
| May 3, 2013
| 4:45 PM
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An infinite jest, Chicago lyricist Chance the Rapper's stellar new mixtape "Acid Rap" begins with a woman's seductive voice -- chanteuse Lili K. -- uttering, "Even better than I was the last time, baby,...
| Oct 15, 2012
| 12:17 AM
Josh Radnor, best known for the sitcom How I Met Your Mother, struck out on his first film – HappyThankYouMorePlease. In this movie, he hits it out of the park. Perhaps some of the themes you’ve seen before – age difference in...