Writer Walter Dean Myers died on Wednesday after a brief illness at age 76, leaving mourners in the adult world and young readers who saw themselves in his books. He expanded the face of publishing so that many children of color saw themselves reflected in his work.
When summertime rolls around, we're all for eating outdoors, but the American heyday of the picnic may very well have been the 1950s.
Convenience food was newly popular; many mothers stayed home and had time to pack everything just right. Tupperware was taking off, picnic tables popped up on roadsides, and an outing in the fresh country air was often just what the doctor ordered.
If you're a fan of the Maisie Dobbs series — and if you're not, I highly recommend you give them a chance — you already know that Jacqueline Winspear has a formidable command of the history of the Great War, and a stunning ability to take some of the most amazing and horrible aspects of that era and bring them home.
The city of Jericho sits in the hot, flat Jordan Valley down the hill from Jerusalem. Jericho has bragging rights as one of the oldest towns on Earth. But one of its newest homes looks like it might have arrived from outer space.
Ahmad Daoud hired a firm of young Palestinian architects to build this house. Like Jericho's original homes, it is built of dirt. This one has a contemporary twist, though: It's constructed with earth compacted in bags that are then stacked and plastered over.
Daoud loves the domed rooms, the nod to the past and the environmental advantages.
Motorcycles provide an open road for literature — literally and figuratively. They're sometimes the dramatic device writers use to talk about many things: adventure, rebellion, even inner peace. But motorcycles aren't just a metaphor at Bartel's Harley-Davidson shop in Marina Del Rey, Calif. They're loud and shiny and very real.
In the late 1980s and early '90s, Washington, D.C., was a city under siege. As with other cities, it descended into near chaos because of the crack epidemic that claimed even innocent lives. Whole neighborhoods became war zones, and the nation's capital became the nation's homicide capital.
Movie theaters were swarming with Transformers this past weekend, and that'll also be true over the July 4 weekend. So this may not seem to be the best moment to bring out a sci-fi flick made on a budget that wouldn't cover catering for Optimus Prime. But "small" has its virtues sometimes, and the kid flick Earth to Echo is one of those times.
Our book critic, Maureen Corrigan, has a review of the new novel "Friendship" by Emily Gould who made her name in the blogosphere. A recent profile in the New York Times Sunday style section described Gould as a forerunner to Lena Dunham and other confessional female bloggers, writers and filmmakers or whom over-sharing has become an art form.