| May 6, 2009
Some years ago, when they still lived in Malibu, the late John Gregory Dunne and his wife, Joan Didion, entertained a prominent magazine journalist and author at dinner. It was December and, afterward, they invited their guest to accompany them to their...
| Aug 2, 2009
"Inherent Vice" is Thomas Pynchon doing Raymond Chandler through a Jim Rockford looking glass, starring Cheech Marin (or maybe Tommy Chong). What could easily be mistaken as a paean to 1960s Southern California is also a sly herald of that era's end....
| Sep 18, 2009
In the prologue to "Nothing Was the Same," Kay Redfield Jamison writes, "It has been said that grief is a kind of madness. I disagree. There is a sanity to grief, in its just proportion of emotion to cause, that madness does not have."
| Mar 22, 2009
Important Artifacts and Personal Property From the Collection of Lenore Doolan and Harold Morris, Including Books, Street Fashion, and Jewelry
Sarah Crichton Books / Farrar, Straus & Giroux: 129 pp., $18 paper
In a 1979 New York Review...
| Oct 24, 2010
The Breaking of Eggs
Penguin: 342 pp., $15 paper
In his debut novel, "The Breaking of Eggs," British writer Jim Powell surveys an impressive breadth of time — and trains his focus on a small slice. The book's historical...
| Sep 16, 2010
During the all-too-brief life of their physically disabled son, Jesse, who died in his sleep five years ago at the age of 17, the actors Marianne Leone (who played the mother of actor Michael Imperioli on HBO's "The Sopranos") and Chris Cooper (an Academy...
| 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...
| Jun 5, 2010
| 8:27 AM
"A Visit From The Goon Squad"
By Jennifer Egan
Knopf, 288 pages, $25.95
Jennifer Egan's decision to render portions of her new novel, "A Visit From the Goon Squad" (Knopf), as a PowerPoint presentation is: Clever. Edgy. Groundbreaking.
The novel by...
| Jan 31, 2010
Brian Moore was born in Northern Ireland, immigrated to Canada and spent much of his life living here in California, in Malibu. He wrote scripts, short stories and a string of novels, many of which, like "The Lonely Passion of Judith Hearne," "Black Robe"...
| Feb 7, 2010
It's the night after New Year's Eve and hundreds of kids are crammed into the Smell, the downtown DIY tabernacle of the Los Angeles avant-garde. A sweating mass of art students, skate punks and subterranean scene staples ecstatically moshes to a...