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Aug 31,2007
Jump in your time machine and set the dial for the 1960s - it's time for a flashback ... if you were around back then. MGM has released a boxed set of DVDs starring Frankie Avalon and Annette Funicello. Though these movies were popular then, they don't stand the test of time today.   BEACH BLANKET RETRO - Frankie Avalon, Annette Funicello, Deborah Walley and John Ashley wore sunny smiles in 1965's 'Beach Blanket Bingo.' CNS ... [full story]
1740 times read - No comment posted

Mar 02,2007
Alert and friendly in spite of fragile health, Eva Zeisel sat nestled against a small sofa inside the Mingei International Museum in San Diego, her snowy hair in striking contrast to her black evening clothes. Polite admirers fluttered around this 100-year-old lady, one of the 20th century's most remarkable and revered designers of tableware and furniture. Zeisel had flown from her home in New York City the previous day to attend the opening of the ... [full story]
2186 times read - No comment posted

Apr 04,2008
"Blue Star: The True Story of One Man's Spiritual Awakening and Vision Quest" by Robert Harding; Cronos Press; 188 pages; $13. This supernova of a book chronicles the true experiences of a man intent on believing and trusting his intuition as he lives out his spiritual journey.   'BLUE STAR' - 'Blue Star' by Robert Harding chronicles the true experiences of a man intent on believing and trusting his intuition as he lives out his spiritual ... [full story]
1840 times read - No comment posted

Oct 26,2007
The gentle giant, Harvey Fierstein, whose voice resembles a bass kazoo, was kidding with that mock of the underground rehearsal hall where he, the 10-member cast and creative team of "A Catered Affair" assembled to meet the local media and the Old Globe staff in San Diego.   THE HARVEY 'AFFAIR' - Harvey Fierstein spent much of his early career in downtown New York basements -- most notably the off-off-Broadway La Mama in a converted frankfurter ... [full story]
1244 times read - No comment posted

Oct 26,2007
The glow's the same in person as on stage: warm, feminine, direct - no frills or frippery. At the Old Globe in San Diego, where she's performing in her first one-woman show, "Oscar and the Pink Lady," Rosemary Harris, who's just turned 77, said she took the plunge because "It's a wonderful role and there's something about the message - although I don't like that word. There's a philosophy that this book and the play ... [full story]
1518 times read - No comment posted

Feb 16,2007
"Twenty-Eight Artists and Two Saints: Essays" by Joan Acocella; Pantheon; 524 pages; $30. I pretty much read these 30 essays over the course of 30 evenings, and by the end of the first week it had become like returning time and again to a drop-dead thriller at about the second-to-last chapter. You know the feeling, or at least I hope you do: The sharp little leap of the heart as you collapse onto the bed ... [full story]
1670 times read - No comment posted

Mar 30,2007
"Ascent" by Jed Mercurio; Simon & Schuster; 243 pages; $24. Neil Armstrong, Johnny-Come-Lately? He will be if the Russians have their way in Jed Mercurio's full-throttle "Ascent." The novel opens in the rubble of postwar Stalingrad, where young Yefgenii Yeremin and other orphans toil away at the backbreaking work of rebuilding. Horribly brutalized by the older boys, Yefgenii, a bright, talented kid, sees an opportunity - every year one orphan is selected to be groomed ... [full story]
1253 times read - No comment posted

Feb 01,2008
Jake at last seems on the brink of cracking the best-seller list - and with any luck, breaking it wide open. Actually, writer Brian Alexander, 48, hasn't been Jake, Glamour magazine's (formerly anonymous) dating-advice columnist, since 1996. But with "America Unzipped: In Search of Sex and Satisfaction," he has taken his reluctantly won reputation as a go-to guy for naughty stuff - he's currently the twice-monthly "Sexploration" columnist for msnbc.com - and fashioned it into ... [full story]
1026 times read - No comment posted

Apr 13,2007
First, you have to know about Joe Pike. Pike lives in Los Angeles. He wears a cutoff sweat shirt, jeans and sunglasses - summer and winter, rain or shine, day or night. His red Jeep Cherokee is always spotless and gleaming. He has a red arrow tattooed on the shredded deltoids of each shoulder. He's ex-LAPD and an expert on weaponry large, medium and small. He will speak when necessary, but he prefers silence. He ... [full story]
1415 times read - No comment posted

Feb 02,2007
"The Little Book of Plagiarism" by Richard A. Posner; Pantheon; 116 small pages; $11 Many, if not most of the sentences we speak and write have never been produced before, and will never again see the light of day or dark of night. They're unique, even though they contain familiar, even shopworn phrases like "light of day" and "dark of night." (Exceptions: ordinary "housekeeping" sentences - "Your mother called," "That lane's moving faster," "When are ... [full story]
1152 times read - No comment posted

Apr 06,2007
"Dreaming Baseball" by James T. Farrell; Kent State University Press; 317 pages; $28. Joe never did say it wasn't so. Because it was. "Joe" being Shoeless Joe Jackson, the great slugger who, with seven Chicago White Sox teammates, threw the 1919 World Series to the Cincinnati Reds. It's one of the signal events in our cultural history, and marks one of the many times America was said to have lost its innocence. (Somehow we keep ... [full story]
1466 times read - 1 comments posted

Jul 20,2007
Writers read. The ability to write - to write, that is, not just to write - is achieved in large part through osmosis: By reading, you come to intuit why one string of words rings with clarity while another, every bit as grammatical, goes thunk on the page, or rather, clang in the ear.   SUSAN VREELAND - Susan Vreeland's latest novel is 'Luncheon of the Boating Party.' CNS Photo by Nelvin C. Cepeda. But for some ... [full story]
1111 times read - No comment posted

Dec 22,2006
"How Language Works: How Babies Babble, Words Change Meaning, and Languages Live or Die" by David Crystal; Overlook; 500 pages; $32.50. In a scene in Italo Svevo's antic novel "Confessions of Zeno" (1923) the hopelessly hypochondriacal narrator hears a friend describe the musculature of the leg. He thereupon begins to obsess on the muscles of his own legs, causing him to limp - and he limps for the rest of his life. I sometimes wonder ... [full story]
1625 times read - No comment posted

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