Carolyn Kellogg

  • culture June 21, 2012

    A Hologram for the King

    More than any other writer of his generation, Dave Eggers is a brand. The 42-year-old author is accomplished in many fields — he's the founder of McSweeney's, a successful independent publishing house and innovative literary journal that grew out of a still-vital humor website. He's the head of the multi-city literacy nonprofit 826, which is partly supported by whimsical storefronts like the Brooklyn Superhero Supply Store. For his work, he's been awarded the TED Prize, the Heinz Award and the Los Angeles Times Book Prize Innovators Award. Yet inside all of that is Eggers the writer, who's

  • culture May 20, 2011

    The Psychopath Test by Jon Ronson

    Jon Ronson is fascinated by people who are bonkers. And insane people who appear to be normal, and ostensibly sane people doing crazy things. The British journalist's book The Men Who Stare at Goats — about a secret U.S. military wing that hoped to use mind power to walk through walls, become invisible and perform psychic executions — was the basis for the 2009 film of the same title.

    Now, Ronson's paddling around the swampy parts of sanity again in The Psychopath Test, a book that manages to be as cheerily kooky as it is well-researched.

  • culture June 23, 2010

    The Lovers by Vendela Vida

    The Mediterranean beach setting and amorous title may give the impression that Vendela Vida's new book, The Lovers, is a sexy vacation read. Not quite: There is a bit of romance, but it's just one of several kinds of love that are addressed in this novel, Vida's third.

  • The Invisible Bridge

    Andras Lévi and his brother, Tibor, have moved from the Hungarian countryside to Budapest and are ready to start their lives. Andras heads to Paris on an architecture scholarship; Tibor hopes to study medicine in Italy. But it’s 1937 and they’re Jewish. Their plans will be interrupted.

    This is the opening of Julie Orringer’s debut novel, The Invisible Bridge, an account of Andras and his brother in the years before and during World War II. Before the war begins in earnest, Andras has a couple of years, and nearly three hundred pages, in Paris. He learns the language, gets a day job, impresses