Books

Books

Book review: 'Radiant Child: The Story of Young Artist Jean-Michel Basquiat,' exuberant bio celebrates art and creative freedom

Parents need to know that "Radiant Child: The Story of Young Artist Jean-Michel Basquiat" is a bio of Basquiat, who grew up in Brooklyn, N.Y., the son of a Haitian dad and Puerto Rican mom. By his 20s he was an art star, hanging with Andy Warhol, Keith Haring, and Madonna. He played hard and died young of a drug overdose, information that's dealt with in an Author's Note. The bio emphasizes the support Basquiat got from his mom, as well as the challenges he faced, including his mom's mental illness. The book's written and illustrated by Javaka Steptoe ("In Daddy's Arms I Am Tall: African Americans Celebrating Fathers"), who understands the challenges. His own dad, John Steptoe, was an award-winning illustrator who died young, and his mom suffered from mental illness. Steptoe illustrates the book in his own vibrant style, incorporating trademark elements of Basquiat's art, and his empathy shines through.

Books

Best-sellers

Rankings for hard-cover books sold in Southern California, as reported by selected book stores:

Books

Best-sellers

Rankings for hard-cover books sold in Southern California, as reported by selected book stores:

Books

This week's best-sellers from Publishers Weekly

Here are the best-sellers for the week that ended Sunday, Jan. 15, compiled from data from independent and chain bookstores, book wholesalers and independent distributors nationwide, powered by Nielsen BookScan (c) 2017, The Nielsen Co.

Books

Book review: 'I Am Martin Luther King, Jr.,' offers kids a wonderful introduction to King's life and legacy

Parents need to know that "I Am Martin Luther King, Jr." is the eighth book in author and History Channel host Brad Meltzer's Ordinary People Change the World picture book biography series, which includes books on Abraham Lincoln, Jackie Robinson, Rosa Parks, and Lucille Ball. The narrative approach and at times comics-like design of each book is the same: A pint-sized, big-headed cartoon version of the person looking like his or her adult self gives a capsule first-person account of childhood through greatest accomplishments. So here's King, sporting his trademark mustache and wearing a mini-black suit and tie, as a child in segregated Georgia, then a minister, then leader of nonviolent civil disobedience actions and marches to effect change. Police beatings and the infamous water hoses turned against child protesters are referred to but not shown. Sophisticated concepts and vocabulary (" ... it was a wake-up call for the nation's conscience") make this a better bet for kids 7 and up than the 5 to 8 recommended by the publisher. In any case, parents and teachers should be ready to answer questions about this turbulent period of U.S. history.

Books

Literary prose, ancient texts and political manifestos covered in 'Eating Words'

This gift was in my holiday stocking, snuggled next to a gift certificate from the Davis Beer Shoppe and a bag of Kauai Coffee Koloa Estate beans. "Eating Words: A Norton Anthology of Food Writing" (W. W. Norton & Company; $19.95, 512 pages) compiles a millennium of literature related to one of the most universal human experiences. It includes writings from ancient Rome on the morality of eating meat as well as modern musings on Hot Dog on a Stick by the Pulitzer Prize-winning critic Jonathan Gold. In between is an essay on the political manifestos of PETA, a piece of short fiction by Anton Chekhov about a boy eating oysters for the first time, and so much more. And for those who like to fly the local flag, this anthology has a Sacramento-area connection: Co-editor Sandra M. Gilbert is a professor emerita of English at UC Davis. Sink into your favorite reading chair and dig in.

Books

Best-sellers

Rankings for hard-cover books sold in Southern California, as reported by selected book stores:

Books

Best-sellers

Rankings for hard-cover books sold in Southern California, as reported by selected book stores:

Videos

Atascadero woman who lost 150 pounds shows off new cookbook

Audrey Johns of Atascadero says she lost 150 pounds by giving up diet foods and cooking from scratch. Some of her clean eating recipes are featured in her new book "Lose Weight By Eating." Here, she talks about her "guilt-free comfort food" during a Facebook Live chat. The full clip and more information is available at http://www.loseweightbyeating.com/cookbook/
Courtesy of Audrey Johns
Atascadero woman who lost 150 pounds shows off new cookbook 3:09

Atascadero woman who lost 150 pounds shows off new cookbook

Atascadero's second annual Tamale Festival 0:44

Atascadero's second annual Tamale Festival

After calm afternoon, storm returns with fury along SLO County's coast 2:42

After calm afternoon, storm returns with fury along SLO County's coast

Downed trees and high water in Atascadero 1:30

Downed trees and high water in Atascadero