Murals of New York City Jan07

Murals of New York C...

Written by Glenn Palmer-Smith Photographs by Joshua McHugh Introduction by Graydon Carter Rizzoli Books In shops now The art and architecture of New York City is unrivaled in its majesty, and this new coffee table volume written by painter and muralist, Glenn Palmer-Smith is the next best...

Jane Austen Novel Notecards Jan06

Jane Austen Novel No...

Chronicle Books Now that the new year is officially upon us, the best way to begin 2014 is with your best foot forward.  Which means thank you notes for the kindness of gifts and cookies and company which we have received over the last couple months. With the temptation of cleaning...

Labor Day: Trailer Nov01

Labor Day: Trailer

It looks both sweet and creepy at the same time.  How often does that happen?

Caravaggio and His Legacy Jan08

Caravaggio and His L...

  Edited by J. Patrice Marandel Prestel In shops now Over the holiday I was finally able to see one of the most talked-about exhibits of the Los Angeles season. As you walk into the Resnick Pavillion at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, you can’t help but be overwhelmed by the...

Dick Tracy: Blu-ray Jan07

Dick Tracy: Blu-ray

  Walt Disney Studios Home Entertainment In shops now Before the holidays I went to an art talk at the Getty where Peter Weller was speaking about the renaissance in Florence.  He brought up a conversation he’d had with cinematographer, Vittorio Storaro about the painter Giotto. ...

A Simple Walk Into Mordor Dec10

A Simple Walk Into M...

  Watch Episode 1 Rooster Teeth Productions You may have a nerd-fit when you see this. Kerry Shawcross and Chris Demarais are obsessive LOTR fans on a mission to walk in the hairy, fat footsteps of Frodo and Sam – all the way from Hobbiton to Mount Doom. It’s a journey of 120...

Brave: Blu-ray

Walt Disney Studios Home Entertainment In shops now When Disney and Pixar get together to make a film and put out a DVD, they’re not messing about. “Brave” is the heroic journey that follows young Merida through the Scottish highlands around her family’s castle. ...

Monumental Venice

Vendome by Jacques Boulay If you’ve been lucky enough to travel to Venice then you already know what a marvel it is to behold.  Next to walking along the Grand Canal yourself, the only way to take it all in is with a panoramic view. Jacques Boulay’s photographs capture two things...

The Dark Knight Rise...

Blu-ray Combo Pack, DVD and Digital Download Warner Home Video In shops on 4 December After all the hubub  of teasers and trailers for the final installments of Christopher Nolan’s Batman trilogy, I managed to never find an opportunity to see it in the cinema. So I was delightfully...

Florence at the Dawn...

J. Paul Getty Museum, Los Angeles On view through 10 February 2013 16 March – 16 June 2013 / Art Gallery of Ontario Though Los Angeles has only been an incorporated city since 1850, it is quickly catching up to the major art capitals of the world.  Its patrons have always been happy to...

The Complete Bocuse

Flammarion In shops now The Black Friday emails have already begun.  Though we have just passed the American election, it seems as though Thanksgiving Hannukkah and Christmas are already on top of us. One of the best items to file under “Kiss the Cook” for this season’s...

Gran Cocina Latina

  by Maricel E. Presilla W.W. Norton & Company In shops now By this point it’s fairly well-known that I’m obsessed with cookbooks.  Despite calling Los Angeles home, however, I’ve never ventured all that deeply into the world of Latin cuisine.  But what enticed me most...

Banned Books Week Oct01

Banned Books Week

To honor the 30th anniversary of Banned Books Week, you’ll find 30 titles on this site that have been challenged, censored, banned, or even burned.  When you click on each title it gives a brief blip on why it was slapped on the list. Pretty fascinating...

Family Guy: Volume 1...

Fox Home Entertainment In shops now In the year that brought us “Ted” and Seth MacFarlane hosting ‘SNL’ with his cannon of voices, it’s pretty great to sit down with the perennial comedy classic that is ‘Family Guy.’ Not only is this edition...

Lola Versus Blu-ray Sep24

Lola Versus Blu-ray

Fox Home Entertainment In shops now It seems there was a lot of excitement about Greta Gerwig and this film in general on its approach, but it somehow fizzled out by the time it hit the cinemas.  To be frank though, I’m even happier to watch at home, and “Lola Versus” has a...

In One Person Sep12

In One Person

by John Irving Simon & Schuster In shops now The first chapter in “A Widow for One Year” is called ‘The Inadequate Lamp Shade.’  If you haven’t read it, then you should be doing that instead of this, for it immediately throws you into the world Mr. Irving...

Stuff Black Folks Say at Funerals (Part 1) Sep11

Stuff Black Folks Sa...

One of my favorite discoveries this past summer.

Glee: Season 4

FOX Premieres Thursday @ 9p There has been much discussion in the press over the last year or so about how “Glee” would be handling the batch of very talented graduating seniors as the story of this Ohio high school glee club went forward.  As the series returns this week, Rachel...

11/22/63 Feb15

11/22/63

by Stephen King Scribner In shops now Yes, this book has been out for quite some time (currently in its 14th week on the New York Times best-seller list), and yes, the folks at Scribner were kind enough to send me an early copy.  It just takes me a minute sometimes. For those of you out...

Royal Pains

Wednesdays @ 10p ET USA Network Let’s be clear, the main title sequence is terrible.  I don’t know what’s going on with that music and those graphics, but that ain’t the show we’re watching. There’s no doubt that USA has cornered the market on quirky...

Dead Poets Society Jan17

Dead Poets Society

Touchstone Home Entertainment In shops now Over the years there have been more than enough films about inspirational teachers.  “Stand and Deliver,” “Dangerous Minds” and “Freedom Writers” are among them, and they will certainly keep coming.  Peter...

White Collar

Tuesdays @ 10p ET USA Network Winter premieres of shows on basic cable are the reason I have no idea what time of year it is.  With all the half seasons and cliffhangers in weird places it can be most discombobulating. As we dive back into one of the best shows on television, Mrs. Suit has...

Alcatraz

Mondays @ 9p ET FOX I have no idea what’s going on.  Considering that J.J. Abrams is an executive producer, that is to be expected.  Creators Elizabeth Sarnoff (“Lost”) and Steven Lilien & Bryan Wynbrandt have created a series about 302 notorious prisoners from...

The Statistical Probability of Love at First Sight Jan12

The Statistical Prob...

by Jennifer E. Smith Poppy Books In shops now I don’t think I’ve read a young adult novel since the Harry Potter series, but this one managed to suck me in.  Jennifer E. Smith works as an editor in New York, and this, her third novel, proves that she knows how to spin a tale and...

The Tiny Book of Tiny Stories: Volume 1 Jan05

The Tiny Book of Tin...

by hitRECord & Joseph Gordon-Levitt itbooks In the world of tiny narratives like webisodes and Twitter feeds, tiny stories are rarely found in a tangible form.  “The Tiny Book of Tiny Stories: Volume I” is the first of a three-book series from Joseph Gordon-Levitt and his...

Apple Pie Cookies Jan04

Apple Pie Cookies

Just before the holidays, my sister-in-law sent me a link to Smitten Kitchen’s recipe for Apple Pie Cookies.  Just the concept and the photographs of these little nublets made me completely hysterical.  It’s apple pie.  In a cookie! I have since made this recipe twice.  The...

Jamie’s Americ...

BBC America Premieres Tonight @ 10p ET/PT Jamie Oliver can’t seem to get enough of the US of A.  His newest series, “Jamie’s American Roadtrip” has him going to some unexpected nooks and crannies of the country to explore American subcultures that have endured...

The Louvre: All the Paintings Jan02

The Louvre: All the ...

Black Dog & Leventhal In shops now This is the way to start off your year.  I have only been to the Louvre once – on a rainy April afternoon a few years back.  I got lost and found myself among the Dutch folks – thus beginning my love for Pieter Breugel the Elder.  There...

Neverland

Syfy Sunday and Monday / 4-5 December at 9p ET Over the past few years, Syfy has branded itself with miniseries events like “Alice” or “Tin Man” – beloved children’s classics with a dark, science fiction twist.  “Neverland” is their newest...

Shame: Original Motion Picture Soundtrack Dec02

Shame: Original Moti...

Sony Masterworks In shops on 6 December “Shame” is being released in less than a dozen cinemas today, so it will be tough to find it on a screen near you but you should. You really should. Michael Fassbender delivers a raw and astounding performance as a sex addict living in...