Complete book coverage for Sunday, Feb. 22, 2009

Inside this issue: The African Book of Names, A Mad Desire to Dance by Elie Wiesel, Who Will Write Our History? by Samuel Kassow, Waiting for the Apocalypse by Veronica Chater, Ablutions by Patrick Dewitt, Nine Lives: Death and Life in New Orleans by Dan Baum, The Sailor from Gibraltar by Marguerite Duras, What Makes a Child Lucky by Gioia Timpanelli, See You in a Hundred Years by Logan Ward, I Wouldn't Start from Here: The 21st Century and Where It All Went Wrong by Andrew Mueller, The Watchers Out of Time by H.P. Lovecraft, The Man in the Picture by Susan Hill

What’s in a book of names?

JACKET COPY

What’s in a book of names?

In "The African Book of Names," a new work compiled by Askhari Hodari, there are more than 5,000 names deriving from 37 nations and more than 70 ethno-linguistic groups. One thing that sets it apart from other name books is that it makes clear that it's not just for babies; it notes that adults have taken African names later in life. "New names can represent new stages of development," Hodari writes. " Sojourner Truth, Muhammad Ali, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar and El Hajj Malik El Shabazz ( Malcolm X) all took on new names as adults."

February 22, 2009

BOOK REVIEW

'Ablutions' by Patrick deWitt

Ablutions

Elie Wiesel: Embracing memory and madness

February 22, 2009

THE WRITER'S LIFE

Elie Wiesel: Embracing memory and madness

"Purple in the grays. Vermillion in the orange shadows, on a cold, fine day."

February 22, 2009

BOOK REVIEW

'Waiting for the Apocalypse' by Veronica Chater

Waiting for the Apocalypse

'Who Will Write Our History?' by Samuel D. Kassow

February 22, 2009

BOOK REVIEW

'Who Will Write Our History?' by Samuel D. Kassow

Who Will Write Our

February 22, 2009

BOOK REVIEW

A passport to peril

I Wouldn't Start

In "Couch," they bear a mysterious load

February 22, 2009

ASTRAL WEEKS

In "Couch," they bear a mysterious load

Like F. Scott Fitzgerald's " The Curious Case of Benjamin Button," Donald Antrim's seamless absurdities, Italo Calvino's "The Baron in the Trees" or David Lynch's "The Straight Story," Benjamin Parzybok's debut novel, "Couch" (Small Beer Press 280 pp., $16), hits on an improbable, even fantastic premise, and then rigorously hews to the logic that it generates, keeping it afloat (at times literally) to the end.

Los Angeles Times bestsellers for Feb. 22, 2009

February 22, 2009

PAPERBACKS

Los Angeles Times bestsellers for Feb. 22, 2009

Fiction

Words & Ideas

February 22, 2009

BOOK CALENDAR

Words & Ideas

Words & Ideas

In Lovecraft and Hill, every picture tells a story

February 22, 2009

THE SIREN'S CALL

In Lovecraft and Hill, every picture tells a story

HERE'S an unlikely pairing: Susan Hill and H.P. Lovecraft. Hill is a successful mystery writer living in England who also owns a small publishing house. A writer noted for her psychological detective stories -- "The Risk of Darkness," featuring inspector Simon Serrailler, will be published next month -- she seems the model of that writer who has a serene, bookish, rustic life (she and her Shakespeare scholar husband live in the North Cotswold countryside) while her prose is full of violent, unsettled passions and disturbing situations.

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