Books Features

Interviews & Features

  • Bringing audiobooks to life in the Valley

    Bringing audiobooks to life in the Valley

    The next time you’re stuck in gridlock on the 405 listening to an audiobook, squint past the guard rails and mini malls:  There’s a chance that book was recorded mere exits away. Behind a wrought-iron gate in a residential area of Northridge, Deyan Audio Services sits on what looks like a country...

  • Carrie Fisher the writer: Witty and vulnerable, she took us to the edge of our comfort zone

    Carrie Fisher the writer: Witty and vulnerable, she took us to the edge of our comfort zone

    Out on the Internet, along with the many heart-touching tributes to Carrie Fisher, photographs of her as Leia Organa, either as princess (the original trilogy) or general (from “The Force Awakens”) and with her beloved French bulldog Gary, there’s another picture, originally placed there by cinema...

  • Cathy O'Neil, author of 'Weapons of Math Destruction,' on the dark side of big data

    Cathy O'Neil, author of 'Weapons of Math Destruction,' on the dark side of big data

    Cathy O’Neil calls herself a data skeptic. A former hedge fund analyst with a PhD in mathematics from Harvard University, the Occupy Wall Street activist left finance after witnessing the damage wrought by faulty math in the wake of the housing crash. In her latest book, “Weapons of Math Destruction,” O’Neil...

  • Faces to watch: Remember these authors and their books

    Faces to watch: Remember these authors and their books

    LILLIAM RIVERA Lilliam Rivera completed the Emerging Voices program of Los Angeles’ PEN Center USA in 2013. It’s designed to give aspiring writers who haven’t gone to graduate school that education and then some: Fellows are mentored by professional writers, take workshops in writing and the world...

  • In 2017, publishing really needs a blockbuster

    In 2017, publishing really needs a blockbuster

    This year, publishing needs a hit. Not that 2016 was bad; it was fine. Books sales basically held steady — down a little here, up some there — for the most recent period for which we have numbers, from January to July. Although the Assn. of American Publishers wants to crow about the fact that...

  • The 10 most important books of 2016

    The 10 most important books of 2016

    Books are slow food. It generally takes two years, two hardworking years, to cook up a book from idea to publication. Some writers can go faster — those who publish a book a year (or more) are working at top speed — while others write much more slowly, ruminating and reworking and false-starting...

  • The most important moment in books of 2016: The death of Harper Lee

    The most important moment in books of 2016: The death of Harper Lee

    It was as if Scout herself had died. Of course, everyone knows that Harper Lee, who died Feb. 19 at age 89, was not Scout, the protagonist of her novel “To Kill a Mockingbird.” But the book was so beloved, and Lee herself had withdrawn so completely from public life, that she and Scout became twin...

  • Amor Towles: A gentleman in New York

    Amor Towles: A gentleman in New York

    In the last month, Amor Towles says, he’s been getting notes from readers. Most of them had some version of this sentiment to share: “I’m going to have to deal with the Trump presidency the way that Count Rostov dealt with the Soviets.” These notes were, obviously, mostly from liberals. Count Rostov...

  • 13 YA authors on writing in the age of Trump

    13 YA authors on writing in the age of Trump

    The raw, initial reaction to Trump’s nomination has subsided; now many young adults are processing how they might be affected by the new administration. Students expressed their support on Twitter for DACA, the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals immigration protection measure, sharing tweets...

  • Sex in a pan, an elk on the car: food and the stories we tell

    Sex in a pan, an elk on the car: food and the stories we tell

    In September, in Nebraska, my dog and I saw an elk head on the roof of a white Suburban, the spreading antlers glistening with dew, the massive skull wrapped in blue plastic, in a service area off Interstate 80.  Then three slight young men wearing traditional Amish clothing stepped from the back...

  • It's not your grandma's Book of the Month Club

    It's not your grandma's Book of the Month Club

    Before Oprah Winfrey anointed bestsellers with her book club picks, there was the Book of the Month Club. And now it’s coming back for another round.   The Book of the Month Club, a pioneer of book distribution and marketing, relaunched late last year with a new approach and new attitude. The reboot...

  • William Trevor explored the fictional possibilities of every type of person but himself

    William Trevor explored the fictional possibilities of every type of person but himself

    If you have been devotedly reading William Trevor over the past several decades, there’s a good chance you never learned much about William Trevor.  This is because Trevor, like many great writers, explored the fictional possibilities of almost every type of person but himself.  In 11 short-story...

55°