| 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...
| Jan 4, 2015
Scarcely have the holidays departed, the last bite of figgy pudding or sip of egg nog cycled through our system, the last present sorted for use or reuse, than the winter television season comes crashing down upon us, laden with gifts of its own. Yes,...
| Nov 20, 2014
| 2:30 AM
Q: I am trying to have a hearing with the homeowners association (HOA) in the subdivision where my rental property is located.
The property management company sent my request to the board. Nobody from HOA is responding to me and I've been receiving...
| Oct 7, 2014
| 3:20 PM
“Questions for Lena? Do you have a question for Lena? Would you like to ask Lena Dunham a question?”
Early Monday night the Lena Dunham book tour and circus of earnestness and irony rolled into Chicago, promising cultural spectacle and...
| Nov 20, 2014
| 7:07 AM
Sometimes, when I'm asked, "What's the last book you read?" I'll freeze up for a second because I'm not sure how to answer. Often, I'm reading several books at once, and it's not clear if I'm being asked about the last book I finished or what I'm...
| Nov 25, 2014
| 7:44 AM
One little-recognized reality of poverty in America is how closely it lurks beneath the surface of even a successful professional life. A bad career turn, a couple of financial missteps, and -- here comes the dizzying plunge from middle class to...
| Nov 26, 2014
| 11:47 AM
Christmas is the most exciting time of the year for book lovers. Suddenly, books become relevant to people that normally don't give them a second thought, as they realize that purchasing a book as a gift for the literary-minded people in their lives might...
| Oct 23, 2014
| 4:55 PM
Be afraid. Be very afraid.
This in essence is the message of "Citizenfour," Laura Poitras' highly anticipated documentary on Edward Snowden's decision to expose the National Security Agency's ravenous appetite for clandestinely collecting the personal...
| Oct 22, 2014
| 5:31 AM
The word of the night at the Mark Twain House & Museum Tuesday was "wicked" and it had nothing to do with Halloween.
The evening was a VIP reception for "Wicked" book author Gregory Maguire and "Wicked" musical composer and lyricist Stephen Schwartz,...
| Oct 23, 2014
| 9:23 PM
At the risk of sounding like I'm "mansplaining": Female nonfiction writers are having a moment. How do I know this? The literary ether has whispered it for months: Lena Dunham ("Girls") recently Instagrammed a picture of Megan Stielstra's book of essays,...
| Oct 26, 2014
| 3:00 AM
For those of you inclined to send a message to Washington on Election Day, herewith a list of grievances that should get you plenty revved up:
Spending: A federal debt approaching $18 trillion. Interest on the debt cost taxpayers $221 billion last...