| Jun 1, 2014
| 3:21 PM
The title the Chicago Symphony Orchestra has attached to its ongoing festival — "Truth to Power" — would apply far better to the contrasting political satires Chicago Opera Theater is staging for its spring season at the Merle Reskin Theatre...
| Oct 13, 2013
Joseph Epstein got it right. With wit and maybe just a smidgen of venom — his patented brew — the veteran essayist and literary critic based in Evanston described the frustration of encountering a famously difficult novel: “The first...
| May 25, 2013
| 11:29 AM
"Who's got a gag for me today?"
Early on in "CO-MIX: A Retrospective of Comics, Graphics and Scraps." Art Spiegelman's upcoming career-spanner that's due out in September, we see a drawing of a much younger Spiegelman saying this to four tiny characters...
| Jan 17, 2014
At some point in my early teens, I ran out of age-appropriate books.
Today, most of the book culture excitement is in young adult literature. There's something for everyone: "Harry Potter" for fantasy lovers and "Twilight" for romance. The "Hunger...
| Jan 30, 2014
| 4:45 AM
We still can't see a whole lot of what's going up at Wizarding World of Harry Potter — Diagon Alley at Universal Studios. That construction wall is maddening to anxious Potterheads, who must wait until summer for unveiling and exploration.
| Jan 23, 2014
| 5:54 AM
All students at the Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry have worn the Sorting Hat. It's a big deal. The tattered, brown topper magically divides the student body into members of different "houses" — Gryffindor, Hufflepuff, Ravenclaw or...
| Dec 19, 2013
| 9:53 AM
Back in October, I wrote about books that just seem to resonate with us, as though they are custom-pitched to our own unique frequencies. I equated the feeling to how my dog, Oscar, ignores everything on television except the "Double Jeopardy" "pchoo...
| Nov 10, 2013
"What is being done to silence this man?"
At the risk of stealing the great first line from Claudia Roth Pierpont's immensely likable, generous and engrossing new critical biography of Philip Roth, “Roth Unbound: A Writer and His Books,”...
| Dec 21, 2013
| 11:47 AM
"Can you recommend a book?" is a frequent question in my line of work, and I plan to recommend "The Novel Cure: From Abandonment to Zestlessness: 751 Books to Cure What Ails You" to the next person who asks me.
Authors Ella Berthoud and Susan Elderkin...
| Sep 22, 2013
Jhumpa Lahiri, who at 46 has already won a Pulitzer Prize (for her first book, the 1999 story collection "Interpreter of Maladies"), and was recently shortlisted for the Man Booker Prize (for her new novel, "The Lowland"), does a number of things...
| Jul 11, 2014
Ruth Graham recently declared in Slate that adults who read young adult literature should be "embarrassed when what you're reading was written for children."
The outrage was swift and predictable. As of this writing, there are more than 3,000 comments...