Diane Leach has a Master's Degree in English Literature from Humboldt State University. Her work has appeared in the Los Angeles Times, New Mobility, and The Collagist. She can be reached at [email protected]
Ayn Rand and the World She Made | 8 Nov 2009 // 3:59 PM
Ayn Rand set out to remake reality as if it were an ill-fitting dress: by sheer will, she tried to fashion a Balenciaga gown from a housedress.
Moonwalking | 7 Jul 2009 // 5:00 PM
My God, could that man dance. Michael Jackson moved like the love child of Gene Kelly and Cyd Charisse.
What It Was Like | 29 Jan 2009 // 3:00 PM
In the early '80s Detroit, Motown was as unquestionable as air. Who didn't like air?
Pink Floyd and the Girl on the Floor | 22 Oct 2008 // 5:59 PM
If Roger Waters existed, if Pink Floyd existed, there was a tiny margin of hope, a filament of promise thinner than jeweler’s wire.
Bibliotherapy | 17 Jun 2008 // 5:59 PM
Secondhand bookstores are about more than literary treasures. As Diane Leach explains, they contain personal histories that connect readers through the ages.
2013 Was a Fine Year to Have Your Head In a Book | 12 Jan 2014 // 9:05 PM
Five books published in 2013 that stayed with me, that I found myself urging on others, that I now say to you, Hey! Read this!
Riding Into a Nightmare: 'A Train in Winter' | 22 Jan 2012 // 4:00 PM
Caroline Moorehead's A Train In Winter, like Daniel Mendelsohn's The Lost, leaves nothing to the imagination, a decision that makes reading it simultaneously engrossing and deeply disturbing.
Ammon Shea Is Not In the Phone Book, But He Read It, Cover to Cover | 1 Feb 2011 // 4:00 PM
I’ve finally met somebody who possibly loves books more than I do, and certainly knows more about them.
Raymond Carver: A Writer's Life | 1 Mar 2010 // 4:00 PM
We so want our geniuses to be perfect people. Or at least nice people -- and so often they aren’t.
Joan Didion Bio 'The Last Love Song' Is an Example of What We Tell Ourselves When Our Subject Won't | 29 Sep 2015 // 9:04 PM
Tracy Daugherty's well-meaning but misguided biography of Joan Didion is marred by supposition and stylistic mimicking.
Margaret Atwood's Latest, 'The Heart Goes Last', Takes Us Back to Our Future Dystopia | 15 Sep 2015 // 2:30 AM
True love ultimately endures in The Heart Goes Last, but so do the real terrors ever-present in Atwood's novels.
'The Pawnbroker's Daughter' Tells Us How to Write Well and Live Beautifully | 25 Aug 2015 // 1:30 AM
Maxine Kumin's final memoir is painfully brief, but like all her work, ever lyrical.
Disco, AIDS and Nuclear War Permeate Jane Smiley's 'Early Warning' | 23 Aug 2015 // 9:05 PM
Smiley doesn’t overlook defining political moments in part two of her trilogy, including the 1981 presidential election of Ronald Reagan and the ensuing sociopolitical shift rightward.
When a Memoir Isn't | 11 Aug 2015 // 2:00 AM
In chapter after chapter of Hold Still, Mann unfolds the dark secrets of her father, her mother, her adulterous great-grandmother -- everyone, it seems, but Mann herself.
Consider, If You Will, the Pig //12.Jul.15
A Haint in Detroit //9.Jun.15
'Thirty Girls': What We Learned Later //2.Jun.15
'H Is for Hawk' and for Healing //23.Apr.15
The Heart Says Whatever in 'Hausfrau' //13.Apr.15
'Ravensbrück': The Nonfiction of Nightmares //13.Apr.15
Marge Piercy and the Geography of Home //25.Mar.15
What Some Folks Will Go and Do //15.Mar.15
'Vanessa and Her Sister' Is Enchanting //5.Mar.15
These Protestant Communities Understood Persecution Firsthand, and the Nazi Agenda Horrified Them //29.Jan.15
'The Transcriptionist' Is Immersed in Words //20.Jan.15
'Books That Cook' Is for the Literary Foodie Whose Reading Tastes Are of a Scholarly Bent //22.Oct.14
In 'Proof', Science Writer Adam Rogers Investigates Booze, and Suffers Gladly for His Art //10.Jul.14
'Truthful Fictions' Is Blinded by Theory //2.Jun.14
As Always, the Fuck Is Zipless //15.Jan.14
Are You Gonna Eat That? //10.Dec.13
How We Hurt Each Other: 'Dirty Love' //1.Dec.13
Katrina Onstad Explores the Concept of When A Child Is Not Enough In 'Everybody Has Everything' //28.Jul.13
'Life After Life' Bears Witness to the Future //11.Jun.13
When Sex Doesn't Mitigate Death: 'Wrecked' //22.May.13
'Fear of Food' by Harvey Levenstein //20.May.13
Fiddling While Rome Burns: 'The Perfect Meal' //12.May.13
Brad Tolinski's Comprehensive Look at the Musician: 'Light and Shade: Conversations With Jimmy Page' //24.Jan.13
A Call to Revolution: 'How We Do Harm: A Doctor Breaks Ranks About Being Sick In America' //2.Jan.13
Another Insane Devotion by Peter Trachtenberg //20.Nov.12
From Chopsticks to Sporks, 'Consider the Fork' //13.Nov.12
Zadie Smith Prowls London's Towns in 'NW' //17.Oct.12
On the Road, with Child: 'Nine Months' //15.Oct.12
Rachel Cusk's 'Aftermath' is Maddening //25.Sep.12
Books Like 'Happiness Is a Chemical in the Brain' Reassure Us that Short Fiction Is Alive and Well. //17.Sep.12
Twelve Patients, One Ailing Book: 'Twelve Patients: Life and Death at Bellevue Hospital' //26.Aug.12
The Impossibility of Orthodoxy: 'I Am Forbidden' //17.Jul.12
How She Left the Russian Forest: 'Enchantments' //23.May.12
The Search for Self: Ellen Ullman's 'By Blood' //10.Apr.12
Joel Salatin's Take on 'Normal' in 'Folks, This Ain't Normal' Isn't 'Normal' for Everyone //27.Feb.12
'Franklin and Eleanor: An Extraordinary Marriage': A Well-Known Topic Well Worth a Revisit //17.Jan.12
Things Fall Apart: Joan Didion's 'Blue Nights' //29.Nov.11
'The Marriage Plot': A Tale of Fortunate Naïveté //30.Oct.11
'Vaclav and Lena': His Lovely Assistant //19.Oct.11
'The House on Salt Hay Road' Is a Heartening Find Amid Summer Blockbusters and Beach Reads //17.Aug.11
When the Women Said No: 'The Uncoupling' //18.May.11
The Truth is Out There in 'The Raising', and Like Mulder and Scully Those Seeking It Will Pay Dearly //27.Apr.11
'Scandalous Women': Save Me the Waltz //13.Apr.11
'As Always, Julia': A Friendship Based on Knives //17.Feb.11
'Ape House': Things that Make You Say 'Ouch' //30.Nov.10
Essays from the Nick of Time by Mark Slouka //14.Nov.10
'Stranger Here Below': Beware the Blurbs //17.Oct.10
In 'Vanishing' Willis Shows Her Gift for Creating the Miniature Worlds Short Stories Demand //6.Oct.10
'Salvation City': Loving Thy Enemy //29.Sep.10
'A Geography of Secrets': Self In Place, In Time / Self In a Map, In the Making of a Map //16.Sep.10
'Life Would Be Perfect If I Lived In That House': A Chronic Case of Real Estate Sickness //16.Jun.10
'And the Heart Says Whatever' ... and So Do I //15.Jun.10
So Much For That by Lionel Shriver //26.Apr.10
The Professor and Other Writings by Terry Castle //21.Mar.10
Blacklands by Belinda Bauer //14.Feb.10
The Lacuna by Barbara Kingsolver //3.Feb.10
A Fair Maiden by Joyce Carol Oates //10.Jan.10
Picking Bones from Ash by Marie Mutsuki Mockett //30.Nov.09
Love and Summer by William Trevor //22.Nov.09
To Siberia by Per Petterson //12.Nov.09
The Music Room by William Fiennes //5.Nov.09
The Children's Book by A.S. Byatt //26.Oct.09
The Man from Kinvara by Tess Gallagher //6.Oct.09
The Year of the Flood by Margaret Atwood //4.Oct.09
Last Night In Montreal by Emily St. John Mandel //13.Sep.09
God's Mercy by Kerstin Ekman //20.Aug.09
The Size of the World by Joan Silber //26.Jul.09
A Brain Wider Than the Sky by Andrew Levy //13.Jul.09
Welcome to Oakland by Eric Miles Williamson //5.Jul.09
A Final Arc of Sky by Jennifer Culkin //16.Jun.09
The Little Stranger by Sarah Waters //1.Jun.09
The Servants' Quarters by Lynn Freed //31.May.09
It Will Come to Me by Emily Fox Gordon //27.May.09
A Fortunate Age by Joanna Smith Rakoff //14.May.09
Don't Cry by Mary Gaitskill //7.May.09
Spiced by Dalia Jurgensen //29.Apr.09
How to Cook a Tapir by Joan Fry //8.Apr.09
Somewhere Towards the End by Diana Athill //2.Apr.09
The Florist's Daughter by Patricia Hampl //15.Mar.09
The Music Teacher by Barbara Hall //11.Mar.09
Miles from Nowhere by Nami Mun //5.Feb.09
Eden's Outcasts by John Matteson //2.Feb.09
Once Again to Zelda by Marlene Wagman-Geller //7.Jan.09
Fault Lines by Nancy Huston //7.Dec.08
Mind Over Matter 4: The Images of Pink Floyd //3.Nov.08
When Will There Be Good News? by Kate Atkinson //12.Oct.08
The Savior //9.Jul.08
The Disorder of Longing by Natasha Bauman //8.Jul.08
Inglorious by Joanna Kavenna //24.Jun.08
The World Before Her by Deborah Weisgall //18.Jun.08
A Dangerous Age by Ellen Gilchrist //4.May.08
The Sorrows of an American by Siri Hustvedt //4.May.08
Jackalope Dreams by Mary Clearman Blew //8.Apr.08
Beginner's Greek by James Collins //23.Mar.08
Mudbound by Hillary Jordan //9.Mar.08
Christine Falls by Benjamin Black //26.Feb.08
Fair Shares for All by John Haney //12.Feb.08
People of the Book by Geraldine Brooks //21.Jan.08
When the Past Sits at Your Dinner Table: 'The Vilna Vegetarian Cookbook' | 9 Jul 2015 // 6:00 AM
Fania Lewando wrote the first European vegetarian cookbook in Yiddish. Then the Nazis the came.
The Struggle for Literacy, the Need for Booze, the Bay Area Book Festival | 22 Jun 2015 // 5:53 AM
As the Bay Area Rapid Transit escalator carried me upward, toward the first annual Bay Area Book Festival (6th and 7th, June), I repeated my new mantra. I would buy no books.
A New Edition of Sandra Cisneros's Poetry Looks at the "Girl Grief Decade" | 5 Jun 2015 // 6:18 AM
Few of us can wring art from our grief as Sandra Cisneros has, here.
'Astonish Me' Raised My Eyebrows, But Not for the Reasons You Might Think | 24 Apr 2015 // 5:17 AM
I can only agree with the title. I am astonished.
With 'Spices & Seasons' the Pleasure Is in the Results | 16 Apr 2015 // 6:00 AM
Today's cookbook buyer expects great writing, tight editing, and museum-level photography. We also expect fantastic food.