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Kevin Starr will never be replaced: William Deverell remembers the historian and author

Kevin Starr mastered the stage whisper.  At a stiff faculty or committee meeting, and with twinkle in his eye, he’d bring a hand or a book to his mouth, and, thus poorly disguised, offer a thought, a bon mot, an impertinent question, or even a joke.  It was his version of sotto voce, but it came out basso profundo, since he raised, instead of lowered, his voice when he spoke in this way.  He sometimes

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National Book Critics Circle announces finalists, but misses one of the biggest novels of 2016

The National Book Critics Circle selected award finalists in six categories and announced three other prize winners Tuesday, but managed to miss one of the biggest books of 2016.

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Just in time for Martin Luther King Day, Rep. John Lewis' books sales soar after harsh words from Donald Trump

Rep. John Lewis was inspired by and worked with Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. When Lewis, head of the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee, helped lead a group of civil rights marchers across the Edmund Pettis Bridge in Selma, Ala., on March 7, 1965 — the day that became known as Bloody Sunday — Lewis was beaten so badly that his skull was fractured.

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Kevin Starr on history: 'You don't make up your world. You find it.'

The agricultural development of the Imperial Valley should be dry as dust, but in Kevin Starr’s hands, it was a riveting tale of politics and personalities, environment and ambition and commerce, echoing so many themes of California as a whole. I remember exactly where I was when I read it: in my yard in Echo Park, sitting on the damp green grass.

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Dave Dutton, the landmark L.A. bookstore owner, dies at 79

Dave Dutton was a young man wandering Europe on a $5-a-day budget when his parents sent him a wire. They’d found a location for the bookstore they’d always dreamed of opening. Would he run the place?, they wondered.

Dutton agreed, but cautioned that he would do it for only a year. He was young, and the world beckoned.

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Irreverant stories of Arab-American women fill Randa Jarrar's 'Him, Me, Muhammad Ali'

One is a tightrope walker in a French circus who tries to lasso the moon. Another is a child who’s been kidnapped from a Pathmark in New Jersey by people kinder than her own mother.

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