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Gord Downie wasn’t just a rock star—he was a real poet, too

Downie's lyrics leapt out of radio playlists 'because his use of language was so evocative, so rich with meaning and allusion' The post Gord Downie wasn’t just a rock star—he was a real poet, too appeared first on

What are the Next Steps When Divorce is Inevitable?

12 hours agoEntertainment / Books : Old Hag

  Marriage is not always easy. Many married couples go through tough times and some manage to come through it stronger than ever. Unfortunately, there are some couples who cannot seem to get past their problems and divorce becomes inevitable. When this happens, there are a few steps that you will need to take to […]

8 Easter Activities for Everyone

12 hours agoEntertainment / Books : Old Hag

If you’re hosting the Easter celebrations this year, and are still looking for ways to make your party fun and exciting for everyone, then here are 8 Easter activities that both kids and adults will like: 1. Bunny Hop Set a starting point and a finishing point. The contestants have to put their legs inside […]

Books newsletter: Barry Gifford, Book Festival news, calligraphy for Nowruz and more

Good morning! I’m Carolyn Kellogg, books editor of the L.A. Times, with this week’s newsletter. THE BIG STORY Barry Gifford is famous for his tales of outsiders, including Sailor and Lula in “Wild at Heart.” Jim Ruland sits down with the author in his Berkeley studio to talk about his inspirations,...

'The Best Part of the Story': New short fiction by Barry Gifford

Roy and four other boys, all of them twelve or thirteen years old, were standing in front of Papa Enzo’s Pizza Parlor talking and smoking cigarettes, just hanging out even though the temperature outside was well below freezing. A foot of snow had fallen the day before, most of it had hardened and...

Today’s pirate gold is the Patagonian toothfish

Catching Thunder describes a thrilling sea chase across the Southern Ocean to prevent the illegal poaching of this endangered species

Barry Gifford's lifetime of outsiders

The first thing you see when entering Barry Gifford’s writing studio in West Berkeley is the portrait of Jack Kerouac. There isn’t a computer on the desk or a television mounted on the wall. A small portable CD player is the only concession to the modern age. Otherwise the studio resembles a dorm...

In 1968, even supercilious Boston was ankle-deep in LSD

The stately Jamesian city was then home to acid-addled groupies and the acoustic sound of Astral Weeks

Mexican novelist Julián Herbert's 'Tomb Song' marks him as one of the most innovative prose stylists of our time

A mother lies dying. Is she really sick? Will she survive? Is the writer by her side a son, a man or merely another doomed citizen? These are the questions that fuel the new novel “Tomb Song’s” rollicking, surprising and deft flurry of chapters, some as short as a paragraph, others spooling along...

Who is monitoring the 200 million videos available daily on YouTube?

Kevin Allocca tells us everything about the website’s upsides — but nothing about political propaganda or the extremist clips that go viral

The National Book Critics Circle winners are announced — and they're all women

Women swept the National Book Critics Circle awards, announced Thursday night in Manhattan. Women prevailed in all of the six competitive categories. Joan Silber took the fiction prize for her novel “Improvement,” published by independent press Counterpoint. The story of a single mother in Harlem...

A nightmare scenario in the city of dreaming spires

Brian Martin’s new novel revolves around the scandals lurking at the heart of a respectable Oxford college

Festival of Books, coming in April, will feature Diana Gabaldon, Junot Diaz, Patton Oswalt, Joyce Carol Oates and hundreds more

Friends and neighbors, ready your book bags. Today the L.A. Times announces the lineup for the 23rd annual Festival of Books. Featured authors include Junot Diaz, Walter Mosley, Gabrielle Union, Patton Oswalt, Viet Thanh Nguyen, Joyce Carol Oates, Jorge Ramos, John Scalzi, Tayari Jones, Lawrence...

Quantum physics made fun

Clifford V. Johnson adopts the graphic novel approach, while Philip Ball decides which myths need busting

Ketabsara bookstore owner Masud Valipour creates artwork from Persian poetry for Nowruz, the New Year

“The Farsi language is a poetic language,” says Masud Valipour, owner of Ketabsara Persian Calligraphy and Books in Westwood’s Persian Square. He gestures along the store’s walls where turquoise, jade, maroon and marigold canvases are alive with Valipour’s sweeping black calligraphy. Ketabsara...

Frankenstein’s monster is more frightening than ever

A vengeful ghoul, stitched together from the body parts of the dead, appears in Baghdad in Ahmed Saadawi’s prize-winning novel

Amber Tamblyn and Lidia Yuknavitch talk about the patriarchy and more at the L.A. public library

“There’s not a choice to be quiet about certain things,” said Amber Tamblyn from the stage at the Mark Taper Auditorium at the Los Angeles Central Library on Tuesday night. The poet, actress and Time’s Up activist said that the election “felt like a catalyst for me… an intensified catapult” that...

What did the Romans ever do for us when it comes to viticulture?

We don’t know how their wine tasted, or even which grapes they planted. But Nina Caplan still muses on what their influence might have been

Kate Wilhelm: An appreciation

Way back in 1970, as a 14-year-old aspiring writer, I was drafted by Chelsea Quinn Yarbro to be an usher for the Nebula Awards ceremony at the Hotel Claremont in Berkeley. At the evening presentation, I shuffled awkwardly around among the various writers I admired (Norman Spinrad, Harlan Ellison,...

Lucy Mangan has enough comic energy to power the National Grid

In her delightful memoir of childhood reading she admits to a deep distrust of Babar’s obsession with smart suits

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