| May 30, 2010
The Secret Lives of Somerset Maugham
Random House: 640 pp., $35
The story of William Somerset Maugham, the stammering young boy who became a doctor and then the world's most famous writer since Dickens, has often been told,...
| Jan 7, 2010
Dan Naddor, a real estate broker who coped with cancer diagnosed five years ago by learning to construct crossword puzzles that were regularly published in the Los Angeles Times and other newspapers, died Dec. 28 in Newport Beach. He was 53.
| Jan 10, 2010
Among the 2 million annual visitors to St. Paul's Cathedral, the architectural and spiritual heart of London, only a few ever notice the grimy, charcoal-gray stone just inside the Great West Door.
It is, after all, just a single ugly slice of rock. And...
| Mar 1, 2010
Leonardo da Vinci took them, as did Napoleon Bonaparte, Johannes Brahms and Winston Churchill. You could probably use one right now.
Midday naps have long been touted as a good thing, lowering blood pressure and driving down the risk of heart attack. And...
| Apr 3, 2011
So you hate royal weddings. Or you love them. Or maybe you've caught yourself attending to arcane details of Prince William and Kate Middleton's plans for April 29, but you can't say exactly why.
Here's one reason: They defy time.
Start with just the...
| Dec 5, 2010
"Oh sleep! It is a gentle thing, beloved from pole to pole," British poet Samuel Taylor Coleridge wrote in "The Rime of the Ancient Mariner." And, I might add, place to place. There's something special about bedding down where Albert Einstein, Marilyn...
| Dec 15, 2010
In their time, the daughters of the second Baron Redesdale, better known as the Mitford sisters, were an industry. Their trade, for the most part, was their mere existence — swanning about British society, leaving scandal and newsprint in their...
| Dec 19, 2010
A Rope and a Prayer
A Kidnapping From Two Sides
David Rohde and Kristen Mulvihill
Viking: 362 pp., $26.95
"A Rope and a Prayer" is not the book David Rohde set out to write when he traveled to Afghanistan in 2008 on leave from his reporter's job at...
| May 8, 2011
In Love and War
Mary S. Lovell
W.W. Norton: 640 pp., $35
Intelligent and well-written, like all of Mary S. Lovell's biographies, "The Churchills" provides a vivid introduction to the family of English aristocrats whose nation-preserving...
| Jan 27, 2011
It's the way that we talk that fascinates Ralph Keyes. The words we choose to express the hurtful, the bawdy and what we perceive as shameful are of particular interest — because those are the subjects society feels the need to cover up.
| Sep 23, 2010
Eileen Nearne, a reclusive World War II heroine who operated as an undercover radio transmitter in France during the D-day invasion, helping coordinate the Allied war effort until she was caught by the Gestapo, died Sept. 2 of a heart attack at her home...