October 31, 1992
Now that the exhilaration over Madonna's new book "Sex" has begun to settle, I would like to point out the difference between the Madonna of yesterday and the Madonna of today. The Madonna of the '80s taught America that it was OK to be a woman. Controversial and not afraid to express her sexuality, she did more to liberate women than any ERA bill could have. Now, Madonna is trying to teach America that it is OK to be a slut. From a 22-year-old man's viewpoint--if you want to be a slut, you are going to live a lonely life.
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.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
April 3, 2010 |
At Mount Pleasant High School on Thursday morning, students practiced guitar in a courtyard and boned up on math before class. Parents met with the principal, and teens filtered in the doors. Faculty played an April Fool's joke, announcing that the school year had been extended. But amid the routine, tension rippled across the campus, set near the edge of a quiet San Jose neighborhood, over a book by Steve Poizner, a candidate in the Republican gubernatorial primary. Poizner, who spent a year teaching at the school, donated thousands of dollars to help its students and recorded his experiences in the book, has been told he is no longer welcome there.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.