| Dec 19, 2010
The Complete Series
2 volume, boxed set
Library of America, $70
There are writers whose books are stacked on my nightstand: G.K. Chesterton, Samuel Johnson, Thomas Babington Macaulay — writers whom I spend half an hour...
| Mar 18, 2011
| 5:02 PM
At the Fights
American Writers on Boxing
Edited by George Kimball & John Schulian
Library of America: 517 pp., $35
Part freak show, part sitcom, part mortal combat — ah, yes, behold the world of professional prizefighting, the face-break...
| Feb 3, 2012
And they accuse Barack Obama of not being able to speak without a TelePrompTer. Every time Mitt Romney goes even slightly off script, he utters inanities so maladroit that they almost sound like he spent time polishing them.
| Mar 15, 2012
| 9:23 PM
The first house I owned was quite small, but it came with a wonderfully mysterious basement. Among the treasures housed therein was a wringer washer, a green metal cabinet that opened with a deliciously coffin-like squeal and a collection of textbooks...
| Dec 19, 2007
| 6:21 AM
Frank Doubleday publishes Theodore Dreiser's novel that helps establish an enduring Chicago tradition: fiction in the raw, tawdry but compassionate.
Published on this date, Theodore Dreiser's "Sister Carrie" was among the most auspicious debuts in...
| Jun 28, 2008
It seems but a minor stretch—if that—to speculate that the seemingly redundant title of Ethan Canin's new novel, "America America," is to suggest that there are indeed second acts in American life.
The book abounds with them, in the first...
| Feb 1, 2009
It was Tuesday, May 30, 1922, the day of the dedication of the solemn and splendid memorial to Abraham Lincoln in Washington, and the ceremony on the Mall featured speeches by President Warren Harding and Chief Justice William Howard Taft.
| Apr 8, 2009
Cruelty, racism, poverty, lies, perversity and oversexed self-delusion: Could this be the stuff of the most lyrical love letter ever addressed to the City of Angels?
Yes, and it is "Ask the Dust," the 1939 novel by the late John Fante, who was born 100...
| Apr 4, 2009
Tom Braden, a former CIA operative who became a syndicated newspaper columnist, liberal co-host of the CNN talk show "Crossfire" and author of "Eight Is Enough," a 1975 memoir that spawned the popular television series, died of natural causes Friday at...
| Jul 19, 2009
Critics don't get much respect. (Pause here for raucous laughter.) If you doubt it, look up the word "critic" in any book of quotations and see what you find.
H.L. Mencken's "New Dictionary of Quotations" is full of zinger after zinger, most of which...
| Dec 11, 2009
You might remember "A Book of One's Own," Thomas Mallon's study of people who keep diaries. Well, 25 years later, he's come out with a companion volume, a book about letter-writers called "Yours Ever," and it's another mother lode for fellow...
| Nov 29, 2009
In 1947, jazz great Louis Armstrong got himself a new gadget -- a tape recorder, fresh out on the consumer market. It was a big, boxy machine that he set up in concert halls and jazz joints to record his six-piece All Stars so he could listen to each show...