| Mar 28, 2010
William Lindsay Gresham's novel "Nightmare Alley" (NYRB Classics: 288 pp., $16) tells the rise-and-fall story of Stan Carlisle, a hustling carnival wanna-be who transforms himself into the Great Stanton, a big-time stage magician, and then into a fake...
| Dec 27, 2009
| 4:34 PM
White House pets -- every president needs one even if they never wanted one before -- tend to become national pets too....
| Dec 17, 2009
| 4:32 PM
Daniel Green, who wrote "The Perfect Pitch: The Biography of Roger Owens, The Famous Peanut Man at Dodger Stadium," passed away Tuesday, according to a posting on his Facebook page by his wife, Julia. Green was Owens' nephew. In my......
| Nov 22, 2009
When I was 12, I emerged from an intense depression by imagining the book I'd write about the things that had caused me to take to my bed.
I remember crossing the field from the library to our small apartment and starting to compose the story in my head....
| Oct 27, 2009
| 4:34 PM
When the third season of âFriday Night Lightsâ wrapped in late 2008, star Kyle Chandler was under the belief that heâd be hanging up his coaching cleats for good. The series, which touches on the political, social and familial impacts......
| Oct 10, 2009
| 4:32 PM
As for Baseball . . . Now that the madness has abated slightly, let us take a calm second look. The Dodgers, a Horatio Alger team, won a stirring victory, breaking all known records for everything. With it came a degree of hysteria that was at times...
| Jun 3, 2009
Anthony Bourdain didn't invent the chef memoir, but he revolutionized it. And judging by the latest crop of books, I'd say he has a lot to answer for.
In the old days, chef stories followed a pretty staid outline: childhood in sunny France, first job,...
| Apr 22, 2009
When he died 99 years ago this week, Mark Twain was this country's most beloved writer, yet his status as both an author and protean example of the now-familiar pop cultural celebrity seems to grow with each passing decade.
"Who Is Mark Twain?" -- a...
| Mar 29, 2009
How Muscular Millionaire Bernarr Macfadden Transformed the Nation Through Sex, Salad, and
the Ultimate Starvation Diet
Harper: 292 pp., $25.99
Before Jack LaLanne and Jane Fonda, an odd man with an odd name reigned as America's...
| Jan 15, 2009
The cover art for Alex Vernon's slim cultural biography "On Tarzan" is a photo of winding green tendrils and vines, vines being the equivalent of the cross-town bus for the Lord of the Apes.
But the photo is also a warning of the thicket we are about...
| Jun 8, 2008
Minders of Make-Believe
Idealists, Entrepreneurs, and the Shaping of American Children's Literature
Leonard S. Marcus
Houghton Mifflin: 402 pp., $28
It seems a long way from the 1689 (or so) publication of the first American children's book, which...