| Aug 7, 2011
The Mostly True Story of Jack
Little, Brown: 323 pp., $16.99, ages 8 and up
Fantastical middle-grade mysteries have long been populated with protagonists confronted with evildoing and tasked with righting wrongs. A negligent...
| Jul 3, 2011
There is nothing juvenile about the three Tyrannosaurus rex skeletons at the heart of the Natural History Museum's new Dinosaur Hall, crouching with their great heads and menacing teeth hovering just above an unlucky duck-billed Edmontosaurus skeleton ...
| Mar 4, 2012
"The past is never dead," Faulkner famously wrote in "Requiem for a Nun." "It's not even past" — and nothing demonstrates that maxim better than the discovery of a "new" painting by a revered, long-dead artist.
Suddenly, it is as if that person...
| Jun 15, 2011
I picked him up at 10:30 Monday morning. He was waiting on the sidewalk outside his apartment with a cello, a violin, a guitar, a trumpet, a walking stick and a backpack full of music.
"Good morning, Mr. Ayers."
"Good morning, Mr. Lopez."
| Oct 29, 2011
Who wrote Shakespeare? Sounds like "Who's buried in Grant's tomb?" Yet about 150 years ago, people on both sides of the Atlantic began asking how an otherwise obscure William Shakespeare of Stratford-upon-Avon could have crafted the most brilliant works...
| Sep 22, 2011
If you've ever enjoyed a baked potato or an order of French fries, you have Peru to thank. Of course, we all learned in school that the potato came from Peru and that people there enjoy a gazillion different varieties. Anything more about Peruvian...
| Nov 14, 2010
The Mind's Eye
Alfred A. Knopf: 270 pp., $26.95
Oliver Sacks has built a reputation on exploring the medical mysteries of individual patients to illuminate the larger mysteries of human experience.
"The Mind's Eye," a collection of essays...
| Feb 11, 2011
"Cold Weather," the latest micro-budget movie from writer-director-editor Aaron Katz, is like an exquisite minimalist painting — its beauty will move you, its simplicity will fool you. For there are layers and complexities to be found in the film,...
| Nov 26, 2010
Finding "Naked Heat" by Richard Castle simmering on the bestseller list wouldn't be unusual — it's the second in a mystery series, with a sexy cover and a blurb from author Michael Connelly — but for one thing: There is no Richard Castle. He's...
| May 1, 2011
The intersection of DeSoto and State streets here doesn't look like anything special.
On the southeast corner of the roads is H Town Custom Wheels. Across DeSoto to the west is Beer & Bud Mart, which faces a Church's Chicken stand. Immediately to the...
| Oct 9, 2011
How survivors of the Chicago Fire sought scapegoats 140 years ago
Even as the embers of the Chicago Fire cooled, the saga of Mrs. O'Leary began. For 140 years, she has been alternately accused and exonerated of setting off the inferno that consumed...