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Bakersfield: The backdrop for ‘Psycho,’ both real and on celluloid

The small town of Bakersfield, California, is the setting for Manuel Muñoz’s debut novel, “What You See in the Dark.”

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Daniel Tammet: A very different boy

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In 2004, Englishman Daniel Tammet recited more than 22,000 digits of pi, an unimaginable feat for most of us. It took him five hours and nine minutes. He didn’t miss one number.

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Picoult tackles tricky end of life issues

Author Jodi Picoult has made a solid career writing books about life’s more emotional quandaries.

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Literary treasure

Every now and then, a brilliant book comes along and changes the way you judge literature. English author Julian Barnes’ “The Sense of an Ending,” last year’s Man Booker Prize winner, is such a book.

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Classic letdown

Hillary Jordan’s provocative novel, “When She Woke,” is a futuristic reworking of “The Scarlet Letter,” Nathaniel Hawthorne’s distinguished tale of Hester Prynne, a fallen woman scorned by a society gone rigid with zealotry.

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