April 22, 2010 |
In an age when economic downturns and new technology pose huge challenges to the publishing world, public events — like the Los Angeles Times Festival of Books this weekend at UCLA — offer a different type of interactivity than can be found either on the page or screen. The book business has taken a beating in the national recession, and the latest figures from the Assn. of American Publishers are not encouraging: Sales dropped 1.8% in 2009 to $23.8 billion. E-books registered the biggest single gain, with sales of $313.
December 6, 2009 |
Note: This is the first of a two-part column on the current state of contemporary detective fiction. This month: series characters as viewed by their creators. In an essay for the Wall Street Journal last spring, Alexander McCall Smith explains the curious relationship readers have with characters created by other people and the expectations that build up for authors as a result. He describes one encounter with a reader highly critical of a plot turn in one of his Isabel Dalhousie novels, to the point where McCall Smith muses, after the fact, "that was me put in my place.
March 26, 1992 |
The Bush Administration on Wednesday rejected suggestions that it should meet with author Salman Rushdie and portrayed his visit to Washington this week as an effort at book promotion rather than as a campaign for freedom of expression. "There's no reason for any special relationship with Rushdie," White House Press Secretary Marlin Fitzwater told reporters. "I mean, he's an author. He's here. He's doing interviews and book tours and things authors do.
April 10, 2014 |
Krista Bremer's cross-cultural journey began on a North Carolina jogging path, where the one-time California surfer girl met a scientist from Libya who romanced her and swept her away. Bremer, one of the authors at this weekend's Los Angeles Times Festival of Books at USC, chronicled that experience in a memoir titled "My Accidental Jihad. " The "accident" refers to an unexpected pregnancy; "jihad" (Arabic for "effort" or "struggle") is her way of describing the "effort" of her marriage and of all marriages in general.
November 16, 1990 |
Bret Easton Ellis said the first "rumblings" he heard that Simon & Schuster might not release his new novel began last Friday. By Wednesday, Simon & Schuster Chairman Richard E. Snyder had released a statement saying that "American Psycho" was "not a book that Simon & Schuster was going to publish." The book had been under fire in the media because of its lurid depiction of violence against women. Ellis, 26, said he was flabbergasted. "I literally couldn't believe it," he said.
April 1, 2012 |
My assignment: Read almost 300 literary biographies in more than 800 pages, all of English-language authors, beginning in the 17th century and ending in the present day. "That's like reading a reference book!" said a shocked friend. Yes, but no: Every entry in "Lives of the Novelists" is written by just one person, British critic John Sutherland, so the book has an internal continuity that makes it read like history, not an encyclopedia. And Sutherland's writing is just plain delightful.
December 10, 1990 |
The room is No. 206, Hemingway's room. The wallpaper has been changed. So have the furniture, the plumbing, the lights, the lock--everything changed and modernized many times. Everything but the mystique. About twice a month on the average, year in and year out, devotees of the enduring writer and epic character are drawn to Sun Valley Lodge to book his old room and undertake a subtle, personal and sometimes moving journey of rediscovery of a man whose memory lives on here and in nearby Ketchum.
March 11, 2013 |
A new breed of powerful magnets found in toys and jewelry poses a growing and potentially deadly risk to small children who swallow them, according to a study published Monday in the Canadian Medical Assn. Journal. Neodymium-iron-boron magnets are created from rare-earth elements and are 10 to 20 times stronger than traditional ferrite magnets. Developed in the 1980s, the magnets are often found in novelty desk toys, children's construction sets and jewelry clasps. Years ago, when a child swallowed a weaker magnet, parents and physicians could usually rely on the object passing through the patient's digestive system.
December 30, 2012 |
What is it about pirates that fascinates us so much? It is not just the swords and swashbuckling (although I have three young sons who would disagree with that statement), since pirates have reappeared in so many guises over the years. In the decades after World War II, the label was attached to rebellious disc jockeys broadcasting rock 'n' roll off the U.S. coast. At the dawn of the present century, it has been attributed to teenage nerds creating websites in their bedrooms to make free music downloads and software available to the masses.
April 19, 2012 |
What do Sugar Ray Leonard, Judy Blume, Betty White, T.C. Boyle, Rodney King, Joseph Wambaugh and Kareem Abdul-Jabbar have in common? They're just a few of the high-profile personalities appearing this weekend at the Los Angeles Times Festival of Books. Now in its second year at USC, the 17th annual festival offers another robust two-day program of writers and celebrity authors unmatched by any other literary event across the country. More than 400 authors are scheduled to appear in panel sessions and on eight stages set up across USC's University Park Campus.