Archive for September, 2008

James Crumley, R.I.P.
By September 18, 2008 0 Comments Read More →

James Crumley, R.I.P.

I just heard from my father that James Crumley is dead. He hadn’t been well for quite some time, so it wasn’t a surprise, but it’s still a blow. The Wrong Case (1975) and Dancing Bear (1983) inspired me to try my hand at writing crime fiction–it’s a good thing I hadn’t read The Last Good […]

Happy Trails for You
By September 17, 2008 0 Comments Read More →

Happy Trails for You

Why are the people who live in some places happier than those who live elsewhere? How far would you go to find out? Those are the questions at the heart of NPR correspondent Eric Weiner’s entertaining book, The Geography of Bliss. A curmudgeon and world traveler, Weiner spent a year in search of elusive happiness. […]

Posted in: Book Groups
Manfiction
By September 16, 2008 0 Comments Read More →

Manfiction

As anyone who reads Kaite and David’s delightful and insightful “He Reads…” and “She Reads…” columns will attest, the reading habits of men and women is a fascinating topic.  In this week’s Entertainment Weekly, Stephen King takes on “manfiction” in his essay, “What a Guy Wants.”  As an EW subscriber, I look forward to reading […]

Posted in: Book Groups, Book News
A Chapter a Day
By September 16, 2008 0 Comments Read More →

A Chapter a Day

  I enjoy Alexander McCall Smith’s books, and I’ve been reading his new novel, Corduroy Mansions. I didn’t buy it at the bookstore, or check it out from my library, because it’s only available online at Telegraph.co.uk.  Like Smith’s 44 Scotland Street books,   Corduroy Mansions is being published as a serial, with a new chapter appearing each weekday […]

Posted in: Book Groups, Book News
That Is, If "Film Critic" Means "One Who Is Critical of Films"
By September 16, 2008 0 Comments Read More →

That Is, If "Film Critic" Means "One Who Is Critical of Films"

Know who could have saved the “At the Movies” franchise? Philip Roth. His acerbic takedowns would have filled a gap left empty since the death of Gene Siskel–and, come to think of it, there’s a slight physical resemblance as well. The only drawback? The show would have to limit its focus to adaptations of Roth’s own novels. […]

Posted in: Books and Authors
Two Major Discoveries, My Cat, and the Portland Tradeshow
By September 15, 2008 0 Comments Read More →

Two Major Discoveries, My Cat, and the Portland Tradeshow

I’m secretly packing my suitcase in the spare room, so my cat doesn’t see it. I’ve learned from bitter experience. He knows exactly what the suitcase means. Every year I travel down to Portland for the annual Pacific Northwest Bookseller Association tradeshow, for three days of sampling the autumn titles of all the major publishers, […]

Posted in: Book Groups, Book News
David Foster Wallace, R.I.P.
By September 15, 2008 1 Comments Read More →

David Foster Wallace, R.I.P.

David Foster Wallace, author of Infinite Jest (1996), has died, an apparent suicide (“David Foster Wallace, Influential Writer, Dies at 46,” by Bruce Weber, New York Times): In response to a question about what being an American was like for him at the end of the 20th century, he told the online magazine Salon in […]

Posted in: Book News
Room for discussion?

Room for discussion?

While attending a reading Saturday night, I was struck with an idea for my book group to enhance a discussion, but I’m not certain we’d have time for book chat when all is said and done. The event I attended was a deft mix of author reading, discussion of the author’s work and performance of […]

Posted in: Book Groups
Beyond Huck Finn: MY JIM
By September 13, 2008 2 Comments Read More →

Beyond Huck Finn: MY JIM

Great works of literature have often inspired other works in large and small ways.  Sometimes that inspiration takes the form of imitation or a classic becomes a jumping off point for another work. I’m talking about how Jean Rhys wrote Wide Sargasso Sea as a prequel to Charlotte Bronte’s Jane Eyre, telling the story of the mad […]

Posted in: Book Groups
Friday Funnies
By September 12, 2008 0 Comments Read More →

Friday Funnies

From America’s Finest News Source (“National Endowment for the Arts Funds Construction of $1.3 Billion Poem,” The Onion): WASHINGTON—The National Endowment for the Arts announced Monday that it has begun construction on a $1.3 billion, 14-line lyric poem—its largest investment in the nation’s aesthetic- industrial complex since the $850 million interpretive-dance budget of 1985. “America’s […]

Posted in: Book News