August 2, 2012 |
Presumed Republican candidate Mitt Romney's international tour was marked by missteps. One speech he gave at a fundraiser in Jerusalem was controversial for the figures he cited about the economic disparities between Israel and the Palestinians, and also for the conclusions he made about what that said about their cultures. And now, the author of one of the books he referenced in that speech is speaking out. Jared Diamond, author of the Pulitzer Prize winning book "Guns, Germs and Steel," says Romney "misrepresented my views.
September 25, 2010 |
A good book will leave you laughing or crying. I just read one that left me wanting to take a shower. It is titled "Play Their Hearts Out. " It is about youth basketball and the general slime that surrounds it. If you think Johnny and Joey get those college scholarships by shooting hoops over the garage door and being molded to greatness by venerable Coach Tom at Neighborhood High, think again. First, some disclaimers. The book is written by George Dohrmann, who worked for me on the sports staff of The Times from 1995 to 1997.
May 27, 2010 |
Chuck Palahniuk is as subtle as a straight right to the jaw, and just as bracing. His 1996 novel "Fight Club" was a terrific meditation on the decrepit state of modern manhood. It had a relentless pace, brutal honesty and pitch-black humor. Made into a terrifically disturbing film starring Edward Norton and Brad Pitt, the book showed Palahniuk's gift for speaking uncomfortable truths about taboo subjects, such as how the American male tends to treat his existential ennui with meaningless consumerism, tawdry sex and wanton violence.
July 11, 2013 |
Piper Kerman was a comfortably settled member of the Manhattan creative class on the day in 1998 when two police officers knocked on her door, telling her she'd been indicted for her brief but fateful involvement in a drug-trafficking operation years earlier. By the time she finally went to prison six years later, she was engaged, in her 30s and desperate to get her 15-month sentence over with. “The beginning of the sentence was the beginning of seeing the light at the end of the tunnel,” Kerman said this week, over a late lunch of heirloom tomatoes at the trendy New York City gastropub the Breslin -- a far cry from the iceberg lettuce and mystery meat she subsisted on while locked up at a federal prison in Danbury, Conn.
May 19, 2010 |
Instant histories of presidential administrations based on privileged access to White House insiders have become so de rigueur that vetting the appropriate journalist/historian really ought to be part of every new chief executive's transition process. The author needs to be discreet enough to abide by the rules of high-level access and sympathetic enough to be open to the administration's explanation of things, but sufficiently independent to produce a credible book. Barack Obama's decision to open the White House to Jonathan Alter meets all three criteria, and in "The Promise: President Obama, Year One," the longtime Newsweek columnist has produced a deeply reported, soberly appraised account of the president's tumultuous first months in office through passage of healthcare reform.
September 17, 2013 |
Among the many observations both endearing and illuminating in Linda Ronstadt's new memoir, “Simple Dreams” (Simon & Schuster, $25), which arrives Tuesday, Sept. 17, is the moment she recalls discovering her calling in life. “I can remember sitting at the piano,” she writes in the first chapter of the 242-page book. “My sister was playing and my brother was singing something, and I said, 'I want to try that.' My sister turned to my brother and said, 'Think we got a soprano here.' … I remember thinking, 'I'm a singer, that's what I do.' It was like I had become validated somehow, my existence affirmed.” She was 4. That moment of clarity didn't have anything to do with the worldwide fame Ronstadt would achieve as one of the most powerfully emotive singers of her generation, or the 10 Grammy Awards she eventually would win for a remarkably varied career spanning country and rock, classic pop and traditional Mexican folk music, opera and Broadway.
November 22, 2013 |
Cary Elwes is writing a book about the making of the film "The Princess Bride. " Elwes, who played the dashing hero Westley, will publish the book in the fall of 2014 with Touchstone. Its title is bound to charm the film's fans: "As You Wish: Tales from the Princess Bride. " “It was a joy to work on such a magical film with an amazing cast of talented actors and friends,” Elwes said in a release about the book. “It will be great fun to revisit 'The Princess Bride' and to share my fond memories of the unforgettable experience we all had.” Elwes was inspired to write the book after joining the cast for a 25th anniversary screening last year in New York.
September 30, 2012 |
Son A Novel Lois Lowry Houghton Mifflin: 393 pp., $17.99, ages 12 and up It's been 19 years since the publication of Lois Lowry's pioneering Newbery Medal winner, "The Giver," which painted a bleak picture of a future society in which color does not exist, love is suppressed and sameness is revered. No one would have guessed that almost two decades later, "dystopian" would be its own genre in the young adult biblioscape, giving rise to blockbuster franchises such as "The Hunger Games," "Divergent," "Matched" and now, a follow-up from the author who's credited with starting it. "Son" is the Rashomon-style conclusion to "The Giver," told from the perspective of the young birth mother whose infant was saved in the original book.
July 29, 2013 |
Near the end of Reza Aslan's strange, 10-minute television exchange with Fox News, the author of "Zealot: The Life and Times of Jesus of Nazareth," gives voice to a thought that's entered the mind of many an author while being interviewed: “I'm afraid it seems like you haven't read my book.” The interview, now circulating widely on social media sites, has helped propel the book to No. 1 on the Amazon bestseller list Monday. Aslan is a Muslim scholar of religion and a one-time Christian convert who's just published a popular book about the life of Jesus.
July 30, 2013 |
Having spoken earlier to author Reza Aslan about his viral video with a certain Fox News reporter, The Times took a few moments Tuesday to talk to the UC Riverside professor about his book and what's in it. "Zealot: The Life and Times of Jesus of Nazareth " (Random House, $27) is a lucid, intelligent page turner about "the historical Jesus. " It's a portrait of the violent and changing times he lived in and the decades that preceeded the ill-fated rebellion of the Jews against the Roman Empire and the destruction of Jerusalem. You say early in your book that your study of Jesus' life has made you “a more genuinely committed disciple of Jesus of Nazareth than I ever was of Jesus Christ.” What exactly do you mean by that?