| Jan 19, 2011
When it comes to the crime-based fiction that long has played such an important role in the literary life of Los Angeles, we're living through what amounts to a golden age.
The dark ecstasies of James Ellroy, Michael Connelly's artful probing of the...
| Aug 29, 2010
It may seem, thanks to her ManBooker Prize winning novel 'Wolf Hall' (just out in paperback, Picador: 608 pp., $16), that the novelist Hilary Mantel needs no more attention; but in fact the large body of her work — and she's been publishing for more...
| Aug 26, 2011
"Brighton Rock" is beautiful and visually accomplished yet numbingly bleak and ultimately unpleasant and unexciting.
A certain sordidness is inevitable given the seedy ambience of the celebrated Graham Greene novel (on which the movie is based) about the...
| Oct 14, 2011
"Went the Day Well?" is the innocent-sounding title of one of the most subversive films to come out of World War II, a British drama that was unsettling in its day and is even more so now.
Playing for a week at the New Beverly Cinema in a 35mm...
| Jun 4, 2011
Indigo is something of a mystery. It sits between the more familiar purple and blue of rainbows. And it's the elusive center of Catherine E. McKinley's "Indigo: In Search of the Color That Seduced the World" which like its eponymous shade, falls somewhere...
| Jun 19, 2011
Mexico and the Mexicans
Jorge G. Castañeda
Alfred A. Knopf: 294 pp., $27.95
Mexicans, like their Spanish forebears, love to quote proverbs as a way of underscoring eternal truths and imparting folk wisdom to younger generations....
| Feb 19, 2012
"Don't go there," a well-traveled friend said when I mentioned my plans to visit Capri, a sunny island off southern Italy. Why? "You're not going to want to come home," he said.
I laughed. My friend, a know-it-all author, loves to give advice. I didn't...
| Mar 11, 2012
In Hanoi, soup is a way of life — the connective tissue of Vietnamese culture. With noodles, herbs and sinew, it strings together twisting streets and varied lifestyles. Here the bones, crumpled napkins and squeezed limes that litter the ground...
| Apr 23, 2008
IMAGINE the cookbook as Lonely Planet guide -- trail-stained, river-logged, loaded with maps and pictures, the recipes like scrawled postcards -- and you get an idea of the kind of books Jeffrey Alford and Naomi Duguid write.
"Beyond the Great Wall:...
| Feb 3, 2008
By Richard Rayner
"A good writer can make you believe time stands still. Yet the end of all stories, even if the writer forbears to mention it, is death," wrote the English writer Angela Carter, who died 16 years ago this month. At the time Carter was...
| Jun 22, 2008
The small market town of Hay, nestled on the border between England and Wales, is an unlikely setting for one of the world's biggest book festivals. It has a population of less than 2,000, and the nearest train station is 30 miles away. Yet each year,...