| Jan 25, 2015
| 10:18 AM
Just after sundown on a January evening 55 years ago — Jan. 29, 1960, to be exact — Zora Neale Hurston died at the segregated St. Lucie County nursing home where she had been transferred in late October after suffering the first of two...
| Dec 18, 2014
Dear Readers: This is one of my favorite days of the year because this is the day I get to step out from behind my desk and advocate — simply and sincerely — for literacy. I choose this particular day because it is my mother's birthday. She...
| Dec 3, 2014
| 8:29 AM
Here are eight new books perfect for animal lovers this holiday season. Several are inspirational, others are funny, and still others just plain useful.
1. "Unlikely Heroes: 37 Inspiring Stories of Courage and Heart from the Animal Kingdom," by...
| Dec 4, 2014
| 2:30 AM
By Ilyce Glink and Samuel J. Tamkin
Q: My husband and I are 57 and need to relocate to a major metropolitan area, where we want to be very close to public transportation due to our jobs. Housing costs are very high: $400,000 for a modest townhouse to...
| Dec 4, 2014
| 7:00 AM
Barring some kind of monumental screw-up, Amazon will be the dominant e-book retailer forevermore.
Amazon is certainly capable of screwing up. The Fire Phone that was launched to great fanfare before being quickly discounted to 99 cents seems like a...
| Dec 8, 2014
| 4:30 AM
"I love being alive" — these are the first words Susan Sontag speaks in "Regarding Susan Sontag," Nancy Kates' documentary on the late American novelist, critic and ponderer of culture high, low and whatever.
For all that she was as a professional...
| Dec 8, 2014
| 11:41 AM
Considering how devoted everyone involved in the meltdown of The New Republic is to the principles of trenchant journalism and lucid policy analysis, the most remarkable thing about the event is how obtuse they all are about the magazine's past, present...
| Dec 10, 2014
| 9:03 AM
Less than a week after "All Joy and No Fun" was named to Slate's Top 10 books of the year list, author and New York magazine editor Jennifer Senior trekked to Chicago's North Side to talk 21st-century parenting.
A capacity crowd of just over 100...
| Nov 15, 2014
| 8:52 PM
As I was promoting this year's local version of the international Bulwer-Lytton Fiction Contest, I offered one of my own efforts.
The goal for my writers was to submit the first sentence to the worst possible novel, inspired by Edward George Bulwer-...
| Jan 26, 2015
| 10:22 AM
In a surprise backstage maneuver involving British crooner Sam Smith's Grammy-nominated breakout hit, "Stay with Me," both Tom Petty and Jeff Lynne's names have been added to the song's writing credits. Despite never having officially collaborated, Smith,...
| Jan 27, 2014
| 2:00 PM
"A good countenance is a letter of recommendation," wrote Henry Fielding, the author of "The History of Tom Jones, a Foundling," in 1749. It's a timeless truth understood best by those of us whose countenance is, to put it generously, mediocre.
To be in...