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"Make It Scream, Make It Burn" by Leslie Jamison; Little, Brown (272 pages, $28) ___ The title of Leslie Jamison's "Make It Scream, Make It Burn" refers to 19th-century photographer Jacob Riis becoming so focused on creating an image that he nearly lit his subjects on fire. Which neatly summarizes Jamison's own attitude toward the people she writes about. Jamison's essays are united by her ...

If you attend an author's reading, you could walk away with a signed book, a brief connection with someone whose work you admire, possibly a tote bag. Or maybe the author will write a book inspired by your life. The writer in the last scenario is Alice Hoffman. After a reading at a Florida library, a well-dressed woman collared Hoffman, whose best-sellers include "Practical Magic" and "The ...