| 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...
| 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...
| 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...
| May 22, 2011
1974: Unhappy at summer camp, I holed up in my bunk and read Philip Roth's "Portnoy's Complaint" and Bernard Malamud's "The Natural." The camp might have been awful, but the books were anything but.
1980: In June, I attended a writers conference at UC...
| May 28, 2011
— What makes Jane Fonda say "wow"? A bigger-than-capacity crowd of more than 200 booksellers waiting to hear about her latest, "Prime Time: Creating a Great Third Act," a rousing manual for aging well.
FOR THE RECORD: