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August 3, 2021

Life and Limb 

For The New York Times, a review of Damnation Spring, Ash Davidson’s debut novel about a logging community in Northern California.

June 2021


For McSweeney's, an interview with John Brandon, author of the novel Ivory Shoals, set in post-Civil War Florida.

May 2021

Thinking About Place When Thinking About Tech

A conversation in Zyzzyva with Xiaowei Wang, author of Blockchain Chicken Farm: And Other Stories of Tech in China's Countryside.

January 2021

'Lest We Forget the Horrors'

For McSweeney's, a catalog of Donald Trump's misdeeds.   

December 10, 2020

The dean of Bay Area booksellers

For Alta, an interview with Paul Yamazaki, now in his 50th year at City Lights Booksellers.


November 10, 2020

Recommended books about immigration

For Alta, a look at 10 titles that highlight the struggles of migrants.

May 7, 2020

Michael McClure, the poet whose roar helped launch the '60s, dies at 87

An appreciation in The Los Angeles Times.

May 1, 2020

Lois Lowry’s Ode to the Fallen in World War II

A New York Times review of Lowry's latest book, On the Horizon

April 7, 2020

The Patterns of History

A conversation in Zyzzyva with novelist Margaret Wilkerson Sexton.

Nov. 1, 2019

Keeping the Story of D-Day Alive

 A New York Times review of Allies, a novel for young readers by Alan Gratz.

Oct. 15, 2019

The Return of Olive Kitteridge, the Tart, Crotchety, Beloved Curmudgeon 

A New York Times review of Olive, Again, by Elizabeth Strout.

July 10, 2019

Deep River

A review for Alta of Karl Marlantes' new novel.

May 10, 2019

Finding My Mother in the Pages of Her Favorite Cookbook

An essay for Literary Hub about a marked-up copy of Mastering the Art of French Cooking as a repository of memories.   

April 21, 2019

Books That Expand the Possibilities of Boyhood

A New York Times review of new titles by David Macaulay, Marc Aronson, Pierre-Jacques Ober and Kate T. Parker. 

Jan. 28, 2019

A marathon for the mind

A preview of Night of Ideas, a free San Francisco festival focused on "the city of the future."

Jan. 16, 2019

Mixing drinks, books and music

North Light, a bar with a new twist, opens in Oakland.

Dec. 14, 2018

Michelle Obama goes back to her nonprofit roots

During her book tour, Obama pays a visit to a San Jose community center.

Oct. 18, 2018

Writing The Library Book

A podcast interview with Susan Orlean.

Oct. 11, 2018

Star wars

A podcast interview with Neil deGrasse Tyson, author of Accessory to War: The Unspoken Alliance Between Astrophysics and the Military.

Oct. 5, 2018

Eric Idle on his new memoir, Robin Williams and why Trump isn’t funny

An interview with the author of Always Look on the Bright Side of Life: A Sortabiography.

Aug. 27, 2018

Life with — and without — Steve Jobs

A review of Small Fry, a memoir by Lisa Brennan-Jobs.

May 22, 2018

Harvey Milk: His Lives and Death

A review of a biography by Lillian Faderman.

May 15, 2018

Tom Wolfe, pioneering journalist and novelist, dies at 88

The influential writer laid the foundation for so-called New Journalism and wrote the best-sellers The Right Stuff and The Bonfire of the Vanities.

April 26, 2018

‘Hi, this is Oprah’

An interview with Tayari Jones, whose novel An American Marriage was Oprah Winfrey’s 2018 book club selection.

March 19, 2018

Ferlinghetti speaks out at 99, his voice as vital as ever

A podcast interview with the legendary co-founder of City Lights.

Feb. 23, 2018

Contested terrain

An interview with Francisco Cantú, a former Border Patrol agent who has written a memoir, The Lines Becomes a River.

Jan. 8, 2018

Fire and Fury: Inside the Trump White House

A review of Michael Wolff's best-seller. 

Oct. 28, 2017

Jane Juska, author who chronicled search for sex late in life, dies at 84

Juska wrote the funny and frank best-selling memoir A Round-Heeled Woman: My Late-Life Adventures in Sex and Romance.

May 14, 2017

Neil deGrasse Tyson opens up on the universe, and more

An interview with the author of Astrophysics in a Hurry.

March 23, 2017

Joanne Kyger, trailblazing Beat poet, dies at 82

Kyger was a leading poet of the San Francisco Renaissance and a rare female voice of the male-dominated Beat generation.

March 16, 2017

Hitler, by Volker Ullrich, and Blitzed, by Norman Ohler

A review of two new books about Hitler.

March 9, 2017

Coming to America

A review of the graphic novel The Best We Could Do, by Thi Bui.

Feb. 1, 2017

Bharati Mukherjee, chronicler of Indian American life, dies at 76

Mukherjee's many works examined the Indian American immigrant experience.

Dec. 21, 2016

Farewell to the reader in chief

An essay on President Obama, who views the world in shades of gray — a quality enhanced by a lifetime of reading.

Oct. 20, 2016

Point Reyes Books names new owners

The small but vibrant Marin County bookstore turns a page.

Oct. 13, 2016

Dylan becomes first songwriter to win Nobel in literature

Dylan is the first American to be awarded the prize since Toni Morrison won it in 1993.


June 17, 2016

Late to the Ball

An interview with former New York Times Magazine editor Gerald Marzorati, who decided at age 54 to devote himself to becoming a competitive tennis player.

April 10, 2016

William Hamilton, New Yorker cartoonist who satirized high society, dies

The cartoonist was known for his wry depictions of the upper crust.

April 3, 2016

Readers unite! And raise a glass. It’s the Silent Reading Party

Daniel Handler and Dan Stone have founded a monthly event whose proceeds will help Bay Area libraries.

Jan. 6, 2016

Groucho Marx: The Comedy of Existence

A review of Lee Siegel's biography.

Nov. 5, 2015

Killing and Dying

A review of Adrian Tomine's graphic novel.

Aug. 4, 2015

Jimmy Carter discusses book, race and Willie Nelson’s love of pot

An interview with the former president, whose latest book is A Full Life: Reflections at Ninety

July 30, 2015

French connection

Two bookstores with Bay Area roots help literary life thrive in Paris.

July 11, 2015


A review of by Pamela Newkirk's biography of Ota Benga, who was kidnapped from the Congo and displayed in a cage at the Bronx Zoo.

March 4, 2015

The Sellout

A review of Paul Beatty's satirical novel on race.

Feb. 15, 2015

Philip Levine, bard of blue-collar America, dies at 87

The former U.S. poet laureate's poems dignified working-class life.

Jan. 11, 2015

Novelist Robert Stone dies at age 77

Stone's globe-spanning, often socially charged novels delved into his characters’ despair with bleak humor.

June 16, 2014

John Waters on the road

An interview with the film director and author of Carsick.

May 23, 2014

Another Great Day at Sea, by Geoff Dyer

A review of Dyer's book about his time on the USS George H.W. Bush.

May 9, 2014

Popcorn or no popcorn?

An interview with David Thomson, author of the New Biographical Dictionary of Film.

Feb. 14, 2014

All aboard

A review of Tom Zoellner's Train: Riding the Rails That Created the Modern World -- From the Trans-Siberian to the Southwest Chief

Jan. 24, 2014

Famous Writers I Have Known

A review of James Magnuson's comic novel.

Oct. 4, 2013

Literary map of the Bay Area

An interactive map that features hundreds of booksellers, authors, and literary landmark and passages.

Aug. 30, 2013

Pink Sari Revolution

A review of Amana Fontanella-Khan's book on women and power in India.

Aug. 16, 2013

Ninety Percent of Everything, by Rose George

A review of a book that explores the little-known world of shipping.

Feb. 15, 2013

Al Gore on the future

An interview with the former vice president, author of The Future: Six Drivers of Global Change.

Oct. 5, 2012

Andrew McCarthy at home and abroad

An interview with the author of The Longest Way Home: One Man's Quest for the Courage to Settle Down.

April 1, 2012

Making Babies

A review of Anne Enright's essay collection.

March 11, 2012

Whatever It Is, I Don't Like It

A review of an anthology by Howard Jacobson.

Dec. 18, 2011

The Beauty and the Sorrow, by Peter Englund

A review of an "intimate history" of World War I.

March 19, 2011

Back to nature

An interview with T.C. Boyle about his novel When the Killing's Done.

Sept. 4, 2011

Penn Jillette on the joys of atheism

An interview with the author of God, No! Signs You May Already Be An Atheist and Other Magical Tales.

Jan. 9, 2011

Radioactive: Marie and Pierre Curie: A Tale of Love and Fallout

A review of Lauren Redniss' mix of drawings, photo-collages and text.

Dec. 5, 2010

Cleopatra reconsidered

An interview with the biographer Stacy Schiff. 

Nov. 21, 2010

Infinite City

A review of Rebecca Solnit's San Francisco Atlas.

Nov. 7, 2010


A review of Keith Richards' memoir.

July 11, 2010

Golden Gate

A review of Kevin Starr's history of the bridge.

April 4, 2010

War stories

An interview with Tim O'Brien, author of The Things They Carried on its 20th anniversary.

Feb. 21, 2010

Robert Stone keeps it short

An interview with Stone, whose latest book is the story collection Fun With Problems.

Oct. 31, 2010

Running the Books

A review of Avi Steinberg's memoir of his time as a prison librarian.

Aug. 29, 2010

Big cat

A review of John Vaillant's The Tiger: A True Story of Vengeance and Survival.

Aug. 22, 2010

Baby, We Were Meant for Each Other

A review of Scott Simon's memoir on adoption.

May 23, 2010

The Last Hero

A review of Howard Bryant's biography of Henry Aaron. 

Nov. 28, 2009

Agassi's next chapter

An interview with the tennis great and author of the memoir Open.

Nov. 28, 2009

Over the border

An interview with Luis Alberto Urrea, author of the novel Into the Beautiful North.

March 22, 2009

New York story

An interview with Richard Price, author of the novel Lush Life

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