| Jun 19, 2013
| 7:55 PM
James Gandolfini's untimely death at the age of 51 was as shocking as the abrupt cut-to-black conclusion of his most famous series, "The Sopranos."
Although most people became familiar with the imposing-looking Italian American actor after seeing him...
| Jun 20, 2013
| 3:50 PM
"Far out isn't far enough" is the way the once-banned children's book illustrator/writer Tomi Ungerer describes his belief that creativity should have no limits, should face no boundaries.
That line in the sand gives the brash new documentary on the...
| Feb 26, 2013
| 6:39 PM
The first touring exhibition of Maurice Sendak's illustrations since his death at 83 last May is making its debut at the Bowers Museum in Santa Ana. It's called "Maurice Sendak: 50 Years, 50 Works, 50 Reasons," but a more apt title might have been...
| Aug 14, 2013
| 3:28 PM
What fabulous, cool weather we have had during the first part of this month. Whoever thought that those two words would ever describe August weather in our area, for crying out loud? I hope my words don't jinx the situation.
I have to keep pushing the...
| Sep 5, 2013
| 2:00 PM
Come on, enough already! This humid weather makes me feel like I’m in the middle of a Mississippi summer — and that isn’t my cup of tea, even if you put sugar in it.
I’m already autumn dreaming and yearning for cool, crisp...
| Nov 20, 2013
| 10:46 PM
The more than 70 children's books by Charlotte Zolotow are not, in many cases, escapist, fantasy fare.
"My Grandson Lew" is about a boy struggling with the death of his grandfather; "The Old Dog" concerns the loss of a beloved pet; "The Hating Book"...
| Nov 24, 2013
Barbara Park's "Junie B. Jones" books, more than any haphazardly kept journal or carefully curated photo album, capture how dramatically my parenting has changed in the past eight years.
And how dramatically parenting has changed me.
Park's death at...
| Dec 13, 2013
| 9:00 AM
Joaquin Phoenix refused to hug it out.
On an overcast November afternoon, in a $13-million Hollywood home with a skyline view stretching from downtown L.A. to the Palos Verdes peninsula, the notoriously press-averse actor was throwing a fit of pique...
| Jun 7, 2013
During a 2003 "Fresh Air" interview with NPR's Terry Gross, Maurice Sendak, the much-praised children's book artist responsible for "Where the Wild Things Are," admitted that he never created picture books with children in mind. "I've convinced myself...
| Jan 27, 2014
| 1:43 PM
In an effort to correct the missteps of literary history, Bookslut has launched the Daphne, a prize for the best book published 50 years ago. Sure, there was a National Book Award in 1963 -- but Bookslut thinks it went to the wrong title.
| Dec 21, 2013
Opening on Christmas day, along with "Grudge Match" and a few other films with which it has nothing in common, writer-director Spike Jonze's "Her" is the most beguiling and imaginative picture of 2013, the one I'd miss the most if it hadn't been made....