| Jul 30, 2013
| 10:08 PM
There's a popcorn shop in downtown Chicago that generates long tourist lines, and most locals, like me, don't get it. I don't think the popcorn is better than at any other place that puts a little effort into its popcorn, and if your time in Chicago is...
| Mar 1, 2013
| 12:33 PM
Don't mess with Jodi Picoult. The author of a string of best-selling popular novels with weighty themes ripped from the headlines, Picoult pulls no punches. Her latest book, out this month, is "The Storyteller," which is about a young woman who finds...
| May 14, 2013
| 5:50 PM
Picking a volunteer vacation is a lot like dating: The choices are mind-boggling, but finding the right fit takes work. Treat the search like a job.
Opportunities to travel and immerse yourself in a different culture are everywhere. You can enlist...
| Dec 7, 2012
| 12:13 PM
Every journalist's nightmare is the interview with the subject who responds to questions with one-sentence (or even one-word) answers. Fortunately, the writer Nathan Englander — who was in Chicago recently as the inaugural Crown Speaker Series...
| Dec 7, 2012
| 12:10 PM
Eboo Patel is an idealist. A hopeless romantic. A dreamer. The Chicago-based founder of the Interfaith Youth Core and one of President Barack Obama's faith advisers doesn't believe people of different faiths should just all get along. They should work...
| Nov 9, 2012
| 5:49 PM
My father told me little about his agonies in the Holocaust. He never mentioned the beatings he suffered in various concentration camps starting in 1942, nor the death march he survived in January 1945, en route to Buchenwald.
For nearly the...
| Feb 1, 2013
| 3:08 PM
The great theorist of psychoanalysis Jacques Lacan envisioned desire as “caught in the rails of metonymy, eternally extending toward the desire for something else.” In the rhetorical figure of metonymy, a signifier points toward something...
| Mar 19, 2013
| 6:49 PM
FERRARA, Italy — Venice's Jewish ghetto is better known, perhaps, but by no means was it the only one in Italy. In the mid-1500s, Ferrara had become a haven for Jews fleeing hostility elsewhere in Europe. The Este dynasty invited Jews here and...
| Oct 26, 2012
| 1:43 AM
RIGA (Reuters) - A city of the medieval Hanseatic league of trading nations with a mix of Latvian, Germanic and Russian cultures, Riga has a rich 800-year history and a vibrant modern buzz.
A trip to the Latvian capital is an opportunity to see world...
| May 25, 2013
| 11:36 AM
The intersection of visual art and language in a graphic novel tilts the reading experience. The reader has no choice but to slide into the author's more specifically defined — and designed — world. The hallmarks of great literature are the...
| Apr 3, 2013
| 1:25 PM
For years, people who read Ruth Prawer Jhabvala's novels assumed she was born in India. She wrote about swamis, social climbers, duplicitous landlords and other characters from the Indian bourgeoisie who inevitably found themselves colliding with...