Books

"Trolley-New Orleans" is a 1955 image by photographer Robert Frank. (Courtesy National Gallery of Art)

National Gallery’s Show of Photobooks Follows in Footsteps of Robert Frank

Thursday, August 27, 2015

Washington — From the earliest days of photography, images were collected in albums, the way a botanist might save pressed flowers. All that changed in 1959 with the publication of Robert Frank’s photobook The Americans. With this collection of stark yet idiosyncratic images, photography was no longer just an objective representation of our world but an artist’s experience of it. …

Didion Bio Offers Little Beyond Her Own Writing

Thursday, August 27, 2015

The Last Love Song: A Biography of Joan Didion by Tracy Daugherty; St. Martin’s Press (752 pages; $35) Someday someone will write a biography worthy of Joan Didion, an author known for her razor-sharp insights and crystalline style. This is not that book. Tracy Daugherty’s The Last Love Song fails to tell Didion’s …

A Look Inside Hemingway’s Cuban Estate

Sunday, August 23, 2015

When he was not writing letters or working on the books that earned him the Nobel Prize, Ernest Hemingway wrote notes, in pencil, on his walls and in the margins of many of the 8,000 books in his library. At his estate near Havana, Finca Vigia, known as Museo Hemingway since 1962, Hemingway …

Summer Readings Make Noise After the Fourth’s Fireworks

Friday, July 3, 2015

For bibliophiles who enjoy hearing authors and poets recite from their work in person instead of on tape (OK, iPod or CD), the options for summer reading series hereabouts come tantalizingly close to The Promised Land. How close? …

Karolina Waclawiak Writes Novels From the Outside

Friday, July 3, 2015

Karolina Waclawiak wants to talk about class. We’re sitting at Stark Bar on the campus of the Los Angeles County Museum of Art. It’s the end of the workday, and office workers and museum-goers alike are letting themselves …

The Woman Who Brought Yoga to the West

Sunday, June 21, 2015

Millions of Americans practice yoga as a workout, a spiritual exercise or a combination of the two. Those who wonder if their pigeon pose or sun salute carry centuries of Hindu tradition from India to their sleek modern …

Judd Apatow Digs Into His Past for Stories About a Funny Life

Friday, June 19, 2015

New York — The comedy education of Judd Apatow began with unusual access to great comic minds, which he pried for straightforward instruction: How do you tell a joke? Growing up on Long Island as a comedy nerd …

Little Known Tales of Bold Women

Sunday, June 14, 2015

In my fantasy version of summer, I am sitting on a beach, no schedule or deadlines, a pile of books at my side. There are lovely people for company, a pack of sandwiches and cold lemonade, and there is reading and swimming and more reading. Late in the …

A Comic’s Children’s Book

Sunday, June 14, 2015

New York — Jimmy Fallon spends his evenings as host of NBC’s The Tonight Show, having fits of laughter with Bradley Cooper, pretending to be a teenage girl whose favorite word is “Ew!” and coming up with hashtags, …

King’s Latest Is a Thrill

Sunday, June 7, 2015

Many people start reading Stephen King while still in their teens, then get hooked for life. The experience of your first King novel (especially the old ones, such as Salem’s Lot or The Shining or The Stand or …

Film Pioneers Describe Early Days in ‘My First Time in Hollywood’

Sunday, June 7, 2015

Everyone’s first time was different. Screenwriter Ben Hecht said his first day in Hollywood in 1926 was “like a year in Siberia.” Screenwriter Frances Marion arrived in 1912 and was shocked when she tried to find an apartment. …

On Prose: A Writer’s True Art — Rewriting

Friday, June 5, 2015

An empty blue-book for a student writing an essay in an important exam. A blank white computer page for someone composing a cover letter for a job they desperately need. A soft linen sheet of stationery awaiting just the right words to console a friend who’s suffered a …

Book Notes: Hanover Resident’s New Poems Address Loss and Life Changes

Friday, June 5, 2015

Hanover poet Carol Westberg’s new collection of poems, Terra Infirma (David Roth Books, $18) is a reflection on a time in life when fragile health, tragedy and sadness occupy too much space and haunt too many dreams. These delicately crafted and tender poems, which deal with Westberg’s loss …