lisa ryers

SF Station Writer

lisa ryers's Articles
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A Good Cause for a Smile
By Lisa Ryers (Jul 01, 2008)
Mary Roach writes in [b]Bonk[/b] ‘s introduction that her study of sexual physiology should not come as a shock to readers familiar with her other books, [b]Stiff[/b] (the world of cadavers and undertakers) and [b]Spook[/b] (the milieu of the supernatural). Perhaps the most understanding person in Roach’s life is her husband who apparently didn’t mind using vacation time to go to London in order to subject himself to a coital imaging machine for a book that his wife would later title subtitle: [i]The Curious Coupling of Science and Sex[/i]. More »
Pace is the Trick
By Lisa Ryers (May 06, 2008)
In the 1980s, if you took the train to work in Chicago, you might have seen Scott Turow scribbling what later became known as [b]Presumed Innocent[/b]. Critics praised the rapid but even pacing of the novel which might have been affected by his commute. [b]Judgment Day[/b], by Bay Area corporate attorney Sheldon Siegel, is the sixth in a series of crime novels involving ex-husband and wife team attorney Mike Daley and Rosie Fernandez. More »
Minnesota Malaise Meets New York Neurosis
By Lisa Ryers (Apr 09, 2008)
The ellipsis, in grammatical terms, is what English teachers would call an “unsaid thought.” For therapists, the ellipsis is their bread and butter. Once the patient fills in the ellipsis, the job is theoretically done. [b]The Sorrows of an American[/b] by Siri Hustvedt creates a panorama of characters that suffer from ellipsis override. More »
Do You Know Where Your Kids Are?
By Lisa Ryers (Mar 11, 2008)
Were bookstores more like record shops with their endless streams of subcategories (metal, thrash, emo-metal, hair metal), then within the field of “fiction” and “literary fiction” you would find plastic dividers for “southern gothic novel” populated by modern day Faulkners such as Christopher Rice and then we would have “chicklit southern gothic (without vampires)” and there we would find Joshilyn Jackson’s work. Her third novel is entitled [b]The Girl Who Stopped Swimming[/b]. More »
Pull the Trigger, Punch the Zoom
By Lisa Ryers (Nov 06, 2007)
As any documentarian knows, even the rawest material requires the director’s unique voice of organization. In a Michael Moore film, we expect to see his burly form stumbling somewhere. Barbara Kopple allows her subjects, striking labor forces, to speak for themselves with close-ups that linger for spates of time. Ross McElwee used the path of Sherman’s March to investigate his own personal longings and between interviews we hear him moaning off-camera, and witness him bleakly staring into mirrors. Ken Burns will, well, pan and diffuse a lot. There is no such thing as the ritual standard, yet all are “documentaries.” More »
Down Under Comes On Top
By Lisa Ryers (Jul 17, 2007)
Wasn’t it Gore Vidal who said, “Sydney is the city that San Francisco thinks it is”? In Australian short story writer David Malouf’s milieu, Australia is probably the country that California thinks it is. Malouf’s characters shift between urban and rural settings, always conscious of their man-made habitats: houses are made of pinewood and sandstone, kids play on warm bitumen. Here we see buddleia to be noticed, quince to be picked and blackfish to be angled. But like the reality of today’s California, people constantly converge on one another, parents on children, teenagers on playmates, in-laws on well-meaning couples. More »
The Education of Today’s Sushi Chef
By Lisa Ryers (Jul 03, 2007)
Following an injury that extinguished her soccer avocation, twenty-year old Kate Murray found herself in search of her next big love. Sushi helped her body recover and nightly visits to the sushi bar lightened her spirits. Soon she began thinking about sushi in a professional way: as an opportunity to parlay to others the joy she got out of the sushi experience. It could also end her string of dead end jobs. So says her biographer of this point of her life, Trevor Carson, in his new book, [b]The Zen of Fish: The Story of Sushi from Samurai to Supermarket[/b]. More »
A Children’s Book for Twenty-Somethings
By Lisa Ryers (Jun 06, 2007)
If you remember how Norman Juster’s classic juvenile novel [b]The Phantom Tollbooth[/b] started, you will remember that the bored character of Milo finally notices a box that says: "For Milo who has plenty of time.” Once he opens the box, he constructs the tollbooth therein along with one of the signs: “Please have your destination in mind.” More »
A Bedtime Story for the Brave
By Lisa Ryers (May 08, 2007)
There is a line towards the end of [b]The Big Girls[/b] that comes from an unlikely source. The speaker is Angie, the Hollywood starlet who is counseling her boyfriend during a time of parental duress. She tells him that her acting teacher taught her that you must take responsibility before you can become an artist: all choices are meaningful only if you are responsible. Angie is not deep. Her most vivid memory is perhaps of learning how to cook ham with Coca Cola. She is not a “Big Girl” but she aspires to be one. More »
Discovery through a Roadtrip
By Lisa Ryers (Mar 27, 2007)
Dissecting Eric B. Martin’s new novel challenges the reader in precisely the same way analyzing a good piece of drama does. Writer/director David Mamet’s take on this is that the bad play marginalizes the audience as “other” while the good play involves the audience as a participant by somehow creating empathy with the principal characters. Martin’s novel, [b]The Virgin’s Guide to Mexico[/b] accomplishes this empathic strain. More »
lisa ryers's Articles
Page:   1 2 3 4 5  Next » | 1 to 10 of 48