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‘The Story of a New Name,’ by Elena Ferrante

The Story of a New NameBook Two of the Neapolitan NovelsBy Elena Ferrante; translated from the Italian by Ann Goldstein(Europa Editions; 471 pages; $18 paperback)The elusive yet volcanic Italian author Elena Ferrante has [Read entire story]

LITERARY GUIDE

SundayBuddy Biancalana "The 7 Secrets of World Class Athletes." 1 p.m. Book Passage, 51 Tamal Vista Blvd., Corte Madera. 7 p.m. Book Passage, 51 Tamal Vista Blvd., Corte Madera. 4 p.m. Book Passage, 51 Tamal Vista [Read entire story]

HOROSCOPE for Friday, 12/13/13 by Christopher Renstrom

ARIES. (March 20 - April 18): Don't be so quick to go on the defensive. You'll want to hear the other party out because he's looking to extend an olive branch. [Read entire story]

Ken Burns talks about how he Ken Burnses

The guest of honor was PBS' superhero documentarian Ken Burns, lured to the forum by one of its organizers, Chris Boskin, former chair of the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, newly elected board member of National [Read entire story]

Selling your dreams down by the bay

[...] I don't hate to say it; I enjoy saying it, in a smug and thoroughly annoying sort of way. The economic gain to the city was also far below the $902 million projected by Mayor Ed Lee and his gaggle of paid experts, [Read entire story]

‘The Last Days on Mars’ review: Unfriendly planet

"The Last Days on Mars" reverses the premise of H.G. Wells' "War of the Worlds," in which humanity finds salvation in the bacteria and viruses that make Martians sick enough to drop off or leave. In this new film, human [Read entire story]

Golden Globes TV nominees an odd array

The TV part of the nominations may give television PR departments something to throw on ads, but unlike movies, TV nominations aren't even remotely considered harbingers of bigger awards. Globes buzz may or may not [Read entire story]

S.F. Ballet review: A sparkling ‘Nutcracker’

Visions of sugarplums (not to mention soaring Cossacks, corkscrew-tailed mice and Barbary Coast ribbon twirlers) danced both on the War Memorial Opera House stage and in the heads of hundreds of mercifully quiet [Read entire story]

CD review: David Aaron Carpenter, ‘Dreamtime’

Classical Splendid young violist David Aaron Carpenter, a musician of versatility and grace, continues to add luster to his growing discography with this fine new collaboration with members of the Berlin [Read entire story]

DVD review: ‘High Plains Drifter’

Lago takes on a strange look when the townspeople literally paint it red, adding to the mystical overtones of the screenplay by Ernest Tidyman ("The French Connection," "Shaft") and Dean Riesner ("Dirty [Read entire story]

Bay Area weekend picks, Dec. 12-15

S.F. Symphony Chamber SeriesFrom the orchestra, violinists Alexander Barantschik and Florin Parvulescu, violist Jonathan Vinocour and cellist Peter Wyrick perform chamber works by Prokofiev, Dvorák and Shostakovich. 2 [Read entire story]

Grammys to honor rock ‘n’ roll photographer Jim Marshall

At the same event, the Beatles, Kraftwerk, Kris Kristofferson and the Isley Brothers will receive the Recording Academy's lifetime achievement award. Some of Marshall's best-known shots include Johnny Cash raising his [Read entire story]

Golden Globes nominations: Who will get call from Oscars?

People get sentimental about the Oscars - winners start crying and feel their life choice has been validated, that all their struggle has been worth it - but the Golden Globes are something else. Academy members know [Read entire story]

‘The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug’ review

After making three films from three Tolkien books, Jackson has now made the second of three films from one comparatively brief novel, a 161-minute would-be epic, in which the strain to stretch and inflate is apparent in [Read entire story]

‘Saving Mr. Banks’ review: Some will love it

Film that details the making of 'Mary Poppins' has the feel of a Disney promo production Maybe Pamela Travers (the author of "Mary Poppins") really did curl up in bed holding a stuffed Mickey Mouse. [...] you can't [Read entire story]

HOROSCOPE for Thursday, 12/12/13 by Christopher Renstrom

ARIES. (March 20 - April 18): It hasn't been easy selling a superior on your plan for the future, but you win his endorsement today. Get ready to make your dreams a reality. [Read entire story]

’12 Years a Slave’ leads SAG Award nominations

Osage County, Jean-Marc Vallee's AIDS drama Dallas Buyers Club and the sweeping White House servant tale Lee Daniels' The Butler topped the list of outstanding performances for the 20th annual Screen Actors Guild [Read entire story]

The Chief welcomes change and more change

In the British Cameroons (today part of Cameroon), where the photo was taken, the young men were invited to Government House, and eventually, introduced to the prime minister of the country. After a conversation and the [Read entire story]

Huntington Park Christmas lights go modern

The Christmas lights in Huntington Park switch on at 5:06 p.m., and the dog walkers of Nob Hill scrunch their noses as if they had just smelled something bad. Hate the color, says Helen Spalding, as her eyes adjust to [Read entire story]

Amikam Toren finally able to live by his art

Sitting in his small, bleak, unheated studio in the East London borough of Tower Hamlets, Amikam Toren explained the personal background to his paintings and cardboard box constructions in " 'Of the Times' and Other [Read entire story]