| Nov 14, 2013
| 12:20 PM
It's not clear to me why anyone tries predicting anything, because no one is any good at it.
There is a tie at the top of the horrible prognosticators list between sports reporters and political pundits. Often, the greater the apparent expertise, the...
| Feb 28, 2014
If you are of a certain age and grew up in Chicago, there are three indelible figures of the local commercial pantheon: the Empire Carpet man, Earl Scheib and Evelyn Wood.
I remember Empire Carpet's phone number ("5-8-8-2-300-Empirrrre!"), but not the...
| Sep 29, 2013
The lowland at the heart of Jhumpa Lahiri’s new novel is a few acres of land behind two oblong ponds in a Calcutta neighborhood. After the monsoon, rain would fill the lowland “three or four feet deep.”
| Oct 16, 2013
| 5:21 AM
The 2013 National Book Award finalists were announced on MSNBC's "Morning Joe" Wednesday, and for the first time, the National Book Foundation has offered a free e-book series with samples of all the finalists' work available for download.
| Nov 10, 2013
These are my Top 5 Most Difficult Jobs: 5. Middle-school teacher; 4. Rahm Emanuel's relaxation consultant; 3. President of the United States; 2. Donald Trump's barber; 1. Comedian.
This piece first ran in Printers Row Journal,...
| Nov 3, 2013
Confession time, fellow readers, fellow bibliophiles, fellow bookaholics. Over the last month or so I've been reading my favorite book-centric publication (you're reading it) and holding back a rising tide of panic.
| Sep 22, 2013
Jhumpa Lahiri, who at 46 has already won a Pulitzer Prize (for her first book, the 1999 story collection "Interpreter of Maladies"), and was recently shortlisted for the Man Booker Prize (for her new novel, "The Lowland"), does a number of things...
| Sep 19, 2013
| 6:30 AM
So what about that National Book Awards fiction longlist? It’s a good one, and the last of the four longlists to be released by the National Book Foundation this week.
The list includes one of my favorite novels of 2013, “The Flamethrowers&...
| Sep 29, 2013
When I was 11 years old, I met my first novelist.
Growing up with a mother who owns a bookstore (as I did) comes with some perks, one of which is that when she asks the author of one of her son's favorite books to visit his sixth-grade class, the author...
| Feb 18, 2014
| 9:29 AM
Writer Mavis Gallant has died at age 91, her Canadian publisher announced Tuesday. She was primarily known for writing short fiction -- almost all of her 100-plus stories appeared in the New Yorker -- but she also penned two novels and a collection of...
| Nov 30, 2013
| 1:55 PM
WASHINGTON -- President Obama stocked up on more than 20 books Saturday in a rare stop at a local bookstore, part of an effort to support small businesses.
The president's visit the day after Black Friday to Politics & Prose, a Washington landmark,...
| Dec 23, 2013
| 10:54 AM
Book clubs can meet up in public places that serve alcohol, New Yorkers discover. Who knew?
Well, plenty of people, particularly those who attend book clubs in bars in L.A.
On Sunday, the Wall Street Journal reported on four book clubs in New York and...