December 26, 2012 |
There were trainer Richard Mandella, veteran owner and mogul B. Wayne Hughes … and KISS frontman Gene Simmons in the winner's circle after the $300,000 Malibu Stakes on Wednesday at Santa Anita Park. Posing, pictures and polite chatter. What did Mandella and Simmons have to talk about after Hughes' stubborn chestnut colt named Jimmy Creed won the Grade I race for 3-year-olds at seven furlongs? "I wanted to sing a little bit and see if he might pick me up for the band," joked Mandella, Jimmy Creed's trainer.
October 15, 2012 |
Who Am I A Memoir Pete Townshend Harper: 544 pp., $32.50 Pete Townshend has always been rock 'n' roll's reluctant warrior. The driving force behind the legendary band the Who, Townshend revolutionized rock with his guitar and pen. He wrote numerous anthems, including "My Generation," "See Me, Feel Me," "Baba O' Reilly" and "Won't Get Fooled Again," and, when he wasn't smashing guitars, embraced his role as the thinking man's...
October 14, 2012 |
The Twelve Justin Cronin Ballantine Books: 592 pp., $28 No one expected Justin Cronin to sink his teeth into a post-apocalyptic vampire novel. He was an award-winning author of quiet literary fiction when he drafted a story so compelling and frightening that he landed a $3.75-million, three-book deal. The trilogy began in 2010 with "The Passage," a 784-page runaway bestseller, one of the few books that could boast of billboards on Sunset Boulevard. "The Twelve" is second in the series, but even the most devoted fans may notice a bit of a sophomore slump.
October 14, 2012 |
"Marvel Comics: The Untold Story" performs an act of what superhero comics fans might term "retcon" - or retroactive continuity - by returning to the beginning of the superhero industry and telling the tale again with a number of previously invisible heroes suddenly added to the story: the men and women who created superhero comics. Superhero comics has always been a bit of an oddball, a niche genre with a small but fiercely devoted fan base and a penchant for stories about flawed, outcast heroes who struggle not only to save the world but find their place in it. Sean Howe's book traces the byzantine histories of the colorful characters on the comics pages and in the Marvel offices, from the inception of the superhero in the 1930s through the modern era, and finds the real and the fictional equally laced with epic triumphs, tragic reversals of fortune, backstabbing and melodrama.
October 8, 2012 |
We Sinners A Novel Hanna Pylväinen Henry Holt, 189 pp., $23.00 Hanna Pylväinen's debut novel, "We Sinners," is remarkably funny for a book about a deeply religious family grappling with loss of faith. Pylväinen tells the story - in alternating chapters from the point of view of the parents and several of the nine children - of the Midwestern Rovaniemi family, members of a Finnish sect of Lutheranism called Laestadianism. They live in a house too small to fit them all and get around in a vehicle so "mortifying to drive" that it is known as the "character-building van. " They are supposed to renounce television, popular music and, of course, dating outside the church.
October 7, 2012 |
Panorama City A Novel Antoine Wilson Houghton Mifflin Harcourt: 292 pp., $24 In fiction, when country naifs ship off to the big city to reinvent themselves, they go to New York or Paris. On the off chance they end up in Los Angeles, they usually skulk around muggy corners in Hollywood hawking scripts. They do not often go to the outer San Fernando Valley, unless they are perhaps looking for employment in the field of cinematic sexual stamina. That's where Oppen Porter, the 28-year-old narrator of Antoine Wilson's second novel, "Panorama City," winds up on a quest to become a "man of the world.