New Years Eve Guide

lisa ryers

SF Station Writer

lisa ryers's Articles
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Kenneth M. Pollack's The Threatening Storm
By Lisa Ryers (Nov 01, 2002)
During my weekend forays I visited two bookstores and found vastly different displays in regards to our man of the hour, Saddam Hussein. At Books Inc. in Laurel Heights, I discovered The Complete Idiot's Guide to Middle East Conflict. At City Lights, I found four shelves devoted to a possible war with Iraq. The funny thing was that in neither spot did I find the book I'm reviewing today, The Threatening Storm: The Case for Invading Iraq, by Kenneth M. Pollack. More »
Kate Braverman's The Incantation of Frida K.
By Lisa Ryers (Aug 15, 2002)
I say, if you have a chance to read about a subject before the inevitable bio-pic, do it. In this case, the race is on to understand visual artist Frida Kahlo before inconagrapher Salma Hayek does it for you with the film, Frida, scheduled for release this fall. Author Kate Braverman offers an antidote with a dream melody of a book, The Incantation of Frida K. More »
Bernhard Schlink's Flights of Love
By Lisa Ryers (Mar 15, 2002)
In 1999, Oprah Winfrey made German author and professor of law Bernhard Schlink a household name by choosing his book, The Reader, for her infamous book club. Expect to see the film version of his book this year. But Schlink has not rested idly on Hollywood money. His latest effort, Flights of Love, is a collection of seven stories which investigate the themes put forth by The Reader: who is allowed to love whom? Can the Germans can take leave of the past while still honoring it? More »
Jan Morris's Trieste Elegizes
By Lisa Ryers (Mar 01, 2002)
With the onslaught of Italian travel memoirs in these past years -- Frances Mayes's Under the Tuscan Sun and Laura Frazier's musings on Florence in An Italian Affair to name just two -- most people would flee from yet another Italian literary spree. But Jan Morris's book, Trieste and the Meaning of Nowhere, departs from its comrades in both subject and slant. More »
But the Supporting Cast Steals the Show
By Lisa Ryers (Jan 15, 2002)
Reading David McCullough's biography of John Adams, I recalled something Warren Beatty once said about his method of script selection: he gravitates to scripts with good roles for everyone, not just himself (at least, that's what he said). Like Beatty's most memorable roles, John Adams' life was surrounded by a cavalcade of interesting supporting players whose highjinks easily outshone the machinations of the principal player. More »
Kogan's Shutterbabe Chronicles Both
By Lisa Ryers (Dec 01, 2002)
When was the last time you read an autobiography of a woman under 40 who wasn't hocking a weight-loss plan, a guide to financial riches, or an enlightened path for the uninitiated after rehab? Shutterbabe: Adventures in Love and War is a welcome departure from these mainstays. More »
Nancy Milford Profiles Edna St. Vincent Millay
By Lisa Ryers (Oct 01, 2001)
She was the first woman to win the Pulitzer Prize for poetry. Georgia O'Keeffe called her "the hummingbird." She was the subject of one of The New Yorker's first profiles. She devirginized Edmund Wilson. With these achievements in mind, is Edna St. Vincent Millay worthy of a 500 page biography? Writer Nancy Milford thought so. Best known for Zelda, the biography of Zelda Fitzgerald, Milford shifted her focus from wife of famous writer to famous writer/wife with her new book, Savage Beauty: The Life of Edna St. Vincent Millay. More »
Apples and Tulips and Marijuana, Oh My!
By Lisa Ryers (Jul 15, 2001)
With a name like Michael Pollan (say it, don't spell it), this author's cred as a garden writer should not be challenged. His previous book, Second Nature, chronicled the perils and pleasures of the home garden. Now, the New York Times Sunday Magazine writer investigates humanity's dependence on four particular plants: the apple (representing our desire for sweetness); the tulip (beauty); marijuana (intoxication) and the potato (control). Pollan focuses on these particular strains because he feels "they have great stories to tell." More »
Restaurant Tell-All Exposes the Dirty Truth
By Lisa Ryers (Jul 01, 2001)
Anyone who had the opportunity to read Bourdain's kitchen exposť in The New Yorker last year will recall how this executive chef from Manhattan's Brasserie Les Halles disenchanted our dining fantasy with a kitchen reality: that bread on your table was recycled from a previous table. Any fish you order on Monday has been sitting there since Friday. But Bourdain is no Upton Sinclair - he writes not to reform the industry, only to let you know what the real deal is. He wanted to write a book that "my fellow cooks would find entertaining and true." His book is a self-described memoir/rant. More »
lisa ryers's Articles
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