| Sep 15, 2010
| 4:11 PM
Tom Wolfe is one of the reasons I got into journalism and, really, into writing in general.
His pieces mixed facts and traditional reporting with striking personal accounts and interesting literary techniques in way that appeased both my type-A...
| Oct 1, 2010
| 4:11 PM
"How Did You Get This Number"
By Sloane Crosley Riverhead, $25.95, 274 pages
Whether she likes it or not, Sloane Crosley keeps being compared to Carrie Bradshaw. Oregon Live called her book “I Was Told There’d Be Cake” “a cooler...
| 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...
| Aug 20, 2011
"Grief," writes Thomas Lynch, "is the tax we pay on our attachments."
It is a beautiful line. It is simple and lovely and true. If you don't feel love, then you don't feel sorrow; to live without a close connection to another person is to avoid all the...
| Mar 13, 2011
The Year I Fell in Love and Went to Join the War
Deb Olin Unferth
Henry Holt: 212 pp., $24
In the 1980s, Central America was astir with civil unrest, in Guatemala, El Salvador, Nicaragua. While nation-states and their proxies intervened...
| Apr 14, 2011
To face death without the architecture of belief may be devastating, but when endured by gifted writers, it results in a potent genre: the memoir of loss. There was Joan Didion's "The Year of Magical Thinking," about the death of her husband, which won...
| Sep 25, 2011
You're an outsider heading to the Westside of Los Angeles — not the beach cities, but Beverly Hills, Brentwood, Westwood and the nearby well-heeled neighborhoods south of the Santa Monica Mountains. This means you'll be well-fed, well-rested and...
| 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...