CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
January 30, 2012 |
They were an unlikely couple, the Latin American immigrant and the West Virginia divorcee whose paths crossed in mid-1950s Los Angeles. But, by Margaret Runyan Castaneda's account, she and Carlos Castaneda were kindred spirits whose time together helped turn him into a countercultural phenomenon. Carlos wrote "The Teachings of Don Juan," a 1968 bestseller that told of his peyote-fueled adventures with Don Juan Matus, a Mexican shaman who purportedly guided him to an alternate realm inhabited by giant insects, witches and flying humans.
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.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
May 15, 2010 |
When Akasha Lonsdale was a child in London, her agnostic family prohibited her from participating in religious services at the Church of England school she attended. Required to sit at the back of a Hebrew class for the school's Jewish students, she befriended a girl whose family invited her to the Friday night Sabbath meal. "I found it an enriching experience," says Lonsdale, who years later became a therapist and then an interfaith minister. "Even from age 4, I was aware there was something more than this earthly life.
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.
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 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.
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.
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.
April 19, 2014 |
During four decades, Annie Leibovitz has been a dominant force in portrait photography, first at Rolling Stone and then with increasing skill and vision at Vanity Fair and Vogue. At 64, Leibovitz works hard at it still and isn't ready for a broad career retrospective but takes a look back at some of her most lasting images in "Annie Leibovitz," a huge limited-edition book from Taschen. In the tradition of Helmut Newton's "SUMO," the new volume is about 20-by-27 inches and 476 pages deep.
September 2, 2012 |
Question: On Aug. 1, I tried to book a round-trip flight on American Airlines between San Diego and Philadelphia for Oct. 1 using my frequent-flier miles. I thought a two-month lead would facilitate the reservation. There were no seats available for 25,000 miles for October. I paid $25 to speak to a human. She tried her best but with the same result. If I were willing to expend 50,000 miles, there were plenty of seats. How far ahead does AA release its frequent-flier seats? Is this bait and switch?