| May 11, 2008
City of Thieves
Viking: 260 pp., $24.95
DAVID BENIOFF'S second novel (after "The 25th Hour," which Spike Lee directed for the screen) features a snappy plot, a buoyant friendship, a quirky courtship, an assortment of menacing bad...
| May 11, 2008
The driver tossed our bags into the trunk of a white Ambassador cab and pressed his palms together.
"Welcome to India, sir. Is this your wife?"
"No, she's my mother."
Mom giggled; neither of us was sure whether the driver's motivation was flattery...
| Jun 3, 2008
Primal rock and blues musician Bo Diddley, who helped cast the sonic template of rock more than 50 years ago with a signature syncopated rhythm that became universally recognized as "the Bo Diddley beat," died Monday. He was 79.
Diddley died of heart...
| 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,...
| Jul 16, 2008
MY 9-YEAR-OLD son asked me the other morning why I was dancing around the breakfast table singing "Take a Chance on Me." I don't usually sing in the morning. I definitely don't dance. And I didn't know I knew any ABBA songs (I've never actually bought...
| Jul 27, 2008
The YIVO Encyclopedia of Jews in Eastern Europe
Gershon David Hundert, editor in chief
Yale University Press: Two volumes, 2,400 pp., $400
Say "the six million" and some will know what you mean, that you're referring to the number of Jews killed in the...
| Sep 21, 2009
Like a lot of kids in the summer of 1972, I was riveted by a strange spectacle unfolding in Iceland: a chess match between Soviet grandmaster Boris Spassky and Bobby Fischer, the mercurial young American.
The games weren't televised -- Fischer...
| Nov 22, 2009
A decade ago, art historian and impresario RoseLee Goldberg, who literally wrote the book on performance art -- "Performance Art: From Futurism to the Present," first published in 1979 -- found herself being pushed by her publisher for an updated...
| Jun 4, 2009
Koko Taylor, a Chicago musical icon who became one of the most revered female blues vocalists of her time with signature hits such as "Wang Dang Doodle," "I'm a Woman" and "Hey Bartender," died Wednesday at Northwestern Memorial Hospital in Chicago of...
| Mar 29, 2009
Tzara & Lenin Play Chess
Princeton University Press: 238 pp., $16.95 paper
The job is gone, the 401(k) is gutted, college tuition is due, and "Grey's Anatomy" is a shadow of its former self. Can't decide...
| May 19, 2005
A long time ago in a galaxy far, far away — well, actually in 1983, and in this solar system — the first "Star Wars" video game landed in arcades. Gamers dropped quarter after quarter into the mock X-Wing cockpit to assume the role of Luke...