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Books, authors and all things bookish
With 'Holy Cow,' David Duchovny is finally, officially a novelist

For his first book, David Duchovny is not telling behind-the-scenes stories of "The X-Files" or opening up about the sex scenes in "Californication": He's written a caper about a cow that goes on the lam.

"Holy Cow" (Farrar, Straus and Giroux: 224 pp., $24) is a fable for adults, full of puns and silly jokes. A turkey is jive. A pig peppers his speech with Yiddish like a grandpa in the Catskills. In fact, the story is set in upstate New York, where the three animal heroes, led by Elsie Bovary, decide to escape their farm to fly to countries where they'll be safe from being eaten.

Duchovny, who reads and signs "Holy Cow" at Barnes & Noble at the Grove on Feb. 18, spoke to us by phone from New York.

You interviewed Craig Ferguson onstage about his novel in 2006. Was writing a novel yourself on your mind back then?

It's been on my mind forever. If you'd asked me when I was 20, "What are you?" I would say, "I'm a writer," even though I had nothing to show for it. It's always been my...

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Frances McDormand joins Meg Wolitzer adaptation 'The Wife'

Hot off her SAG Award win for HBO's literary adaptation "Olive Kitteridge," Frances McDormand has signed on for another. Next up is a film adaptation of "The Wife," Meg Wolitzer's 2003 novel. As previoulsy announced, Glenn Close will star.

"The Wife" tells the story of the quiet (on the outside) wife of an acclaimed, big-personality novelist. "I was meek," she admits. "I had no courage. I wasn't a pioneer. I was shy. I wanted things but was ashamed to want them. I was a girl, and I couldn't shake this feeling even as I had contempt for it."

Our reviewer Laurie Stone found the novel "a rollicking, perfectly pitched triumph," writing, "Wolitzer's unqualified achievement is creating satire that's purged of sentimentality and that seeks to protect nothing. Not marriage, not family life, not traditional arrangements between the sexes, not any of the stations we arrive at after boarding the desire train. 'The Wife' is an obituary for the ways men and women have functioned together in the...

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Andrew Keen rages against the machine in 'The Internet Is Not the Answer'

 

Andrew Keen has a lot of bile to share. He hates selfies. Instagram, he writes in his latest polemic, "The Internet Is Not the Answer," "is a useful symbol of everything that has gone wrong with our digital culture over the last quarter century." Facebook's Mark Zuckerberg is "socially autistic" and Uber's Travis Kalanick is a "libertarian clown."

Silicon Valley, in general, is a seething hotbed of callow 21st century robber barons ripping off Americans, invading our privacy, and meretriciously (to borrow one of Keen's favorite words) selling us on the benefits of a bogus digital revolution that rewards the few with obscene riches while exploiting the many. If we don't do something fast, our collective future will look like Rochester, N.Y., "a landscape of boarded-up stores and homeless people ... smashed into smithereens over the last twenty-five years by a Schumpeterian hurricane of creative destruction."

Sounds grim, but to anyone who has encountered Keen's other work, the dismal...

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What's your favorite football book?
Coming of age with Asali Solomon's 'Disgruntled'

With her 2006 fiction collection "Get Down," Asali Solomon established herself as a short-form artist with a knack for writing misfits in black middle-class Philadelphia. Her first novel, "Disgruntled," is a fitting follow-up — a smart, philosophical coming-of-age tale featuring a vivid protagonist who battles "the shame of being alive."

When we first meet Kenya Curtis in the late '80s, she is in fourth grade at Henry Charles Lea School in West Philadelphia, where she has exactly one friend. Unlike the other kids in her class, Kenya celebrates Kwanzaa, calls her father Baba and is forbidden to eat bologna or say the Pledge of Allegiance. Her classmates, predominantly black, single her out for her peculiar blackness — they laugh at her when she's scandalized by the N-word, call her an "African bootyscratcher" and greet her with taunts of "boogeddy-boo."

Kenya's otherness springs from her unconventional upbringing as the only child of Sheila and Johnbrown Curtis. Sheila is the...

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Five must-see booths at the L.A. Art Book Fair

Hundreds of art books, zines, catalogs, one-of-a-kind artist books and out-of-print rarities will be on view starting Thursday at the L.A. Art Book Fair, which promises to be the biggest edition of the fair since it launched in 2013. Last year's fair drew more than 25,000 visitors over 3 1/2 days. This year, says organizer Shannon Michael Cane, upward of 30,000 attendees are expected.

The book fair, which is organized by the New York-based nonprofit Printed Matter, will feature more than 250 exhibitors from all over the globe — from Mexico and Denmark to Israel and Japan — as well as numerous publishing outfits from the United States, including more than 100 from California alone.

Culture stalwarts such as Artbook/D.A.P., Gingko PressSemiotext(e), X-Tra and Siglio Press will all be in attendance. But there will be countless other exhibitors too, from large museums to small alt culture outfits — all of it too much to take in during a single visit.

Here are five booths not to miss:

1....

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