April 17, 2012 |
The staff of the Pleasure Chest, a high-end West Hollywood sex shop, were first tipped to the "Fifty Shades of Grey" phenomenon by their accountant, who noticed a curious spike in sales a few weeks ago. New customers had been drawn to the store after reading the erotic novel about a young woman's submissive sexual relationship with a wealthy businessman, and wanted some products described in the book. Now the Pleasure Chest is organizing "Fifty Shades of Pleasure" workshops at its West Hollywood, Chicago and New York locations.
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.
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.
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.
May 23, 2010 |
In the spring of 1949, Eleanor Roosevelt turned in the manuscript for her second memoir — this one on the White House years — to her editors at Ladies' Home Journal. "You have written this too hastily," came the reply, "as though you were composing it on a bicycle while pedaling your way to a fire." Roosevelt's editors asked her to revise the manuscript with the help of a ghostwriter, but she refused. "I would have felt the book wasn't mine," she said. She ended up selling her book's serial rights to the Journal's biggest rival, McCall's, for $150,000.
September 7, 2009 |
This fall, there will be nothing bigger in bookstores than Hurricane Dan. On Sept. 15, Dan Brown's "The Lost Symbol," the follow-up to "The Da Vinci Code" -- which sold 80 million copies worldwide and is said to be the biggest-selling novel ever -- arrives with high expectations; fans have spent six years waiting for Harvard symbologist Robert Langdon's next adventure. As a consequence, perhaps, some publishers have gotten quieter literary fiction on the shelves in advance. Los Angeles novelist Michelle Huneven's "Blame" is about the lifetime of consequences that result from an alcoholic's mistake.
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.
December 1, 2013 |
Several new style books focus on great American jewelry design. Here we zero in on two of the stand-out volumes of the season. David Webb: The Quintessential American Jeweler Ruth Peltason Assouline, $85 American jewelry designer David Webb was a fixture on New York's social scene during the 1960s and '70s, beloved by Diana Vreeland, Nan Kempner, Doris Duke, Elizabeth Taylor, Barbra Streisand and many other style-setters. Webb is perhaps best known for his animal bracelets, more fierce than cute, featuring lions, tigers and dragons, which were part of the ladies-who-lunch uniform of the day. But his legacy encompasses so much more, writes Ruth Peltason in "David Webb: The Quintessential American Jeweler.
October 1, 2013 |
Nick Offerman, the man behind the best mustache on "Parks and Recreation," knows how to satirize machismo, but his home woodworking shop is no joke. Offerman's turn as Ron Swanson has introduced him to TV audiences, but his very funny new memoir, "Paddle Your Own Canoe: One Man's Fundamentals for Delicious Living" (Dutton, $26.95), will allow readers to get to know the comedian behind the 'stache. In the book, Offerman reveals he is a former student of kabuki fight theater, a guitarist, a woodworker, former set designer and that, as a break dancer (!
March 4, 2010
Palin plans next book Sarah Palin is ready for the next chapter of her publishing career. Publisher HarperCollins announced Wednesday that the former Alaska governor and Republican vice presidential candidate is working on a "celebration of American virtues and strengths." The book is currently untitled, and no release date has been set. Palin's memoir, "Going Rogue," released last fall by HarperCollins, has sold more than 2 million copies. -- associated press Bon Jovi to echo Obama's call The audience at Bon Jovi's L.A. tour stop Thursday night at Staples Center will get the first look at a new video in which the New Jersey rock band's frontman, Jon Bon Jovi, goes to bat for President Obama's call for increased community volunteerism.