Book Review: Animal, Vegetable, Miracle by Barbara Kingsolver

Book Review: Animal, Vegetable, Miracle by Barbara Kingsolver

Camille and Lily Kingsolver are lucky. Their mother, acclaimed novelist Barbara Kingsolver, has raised them to know when tomatoes are in season, how to collect chicken eggs, the best way to stuff sausage, and that potatoes have stems and leaves.  They also know how to make pickles.  Other children aren’t so fortunate, we find out … Continue reading


[LA Weekly] Clean Plates Los Angeles 2012: Attempts Healthy L.A. Dining Guide

By Daina Beth Solomon Mon., Jan. 9 2012 at 11:47 AM Clean Plates Los Angeles 2012: A Guide to the Healthiest Tastiest and Most Sustainable Restaurants for Vegetarians and Carnivores, released last week by New York City-based “health coach” Jared Koch, is more than another list of restaurant recommendations. First, the book’s 52-page “Design Your Own Diet” … Continue reading


Foreshadowing in The Onion Field: The Embedded Messages of Nonfiction

People tell stories to express histories, events, concepts and ideas and writers understand that such stories can never be impartial or objective. Rather than simply reporting facts, stories shape facts, giving them new significance and relevance. By stressing certain points and omitting or downplaying others, writers seek to express a certain slant or angle. In the process, writers often distort or modify the truth –intentionally developing their stories to support a theme or message…. Continue reading


Writing a World: Baby Insane and the Buddha

Over recent decades, the story of gangs in American cities has become increasingly convoluted and disheartening. Yet, it is a story that must be told and in enlightening ways that capture and maintain the reader’s attention. Stories must offer new insights, perspectives and conclusions. They must bring situations and characters to life, transformed from statistics, analyses and crime reporting. Bob Sipchen’s book Baby Insane and the Buddha sets out to tell the story of San Diego’s inner-city gangs and the criminal justice system put in place to eradicate or at least control them…. Continue reading


[LA Times] ‘Werewolves’ is an anti-‘Twilight’ tale that runs red in watercolor

When Paul Jessup brainstormed the story for “Werewolves,” the illustrated book that hits stores this week, he thought about what was missing in popular supernatural tales such as “The Lost Boys” or “Twilight.” What he heard in his head was the voice of a strong female character…. Continue reading

BOOKS & LITERATURE / Jewish / LA Times

[LA Times] In the shadows of a world torn apart by war

For Alan Furst, writing about European history in the 1930s and 1940s is like exploring “a room with a thousand corners.” His latest World War II book, “Spies of the Balkans,” is his 11th in a series of espionage novels set in Europe after Hitler’s ascent to power and seeks out yet another corner of the conflict… Continue reading