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Posted on April 19, 2008 by Editor

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This Week’s NY Times Fiction Bestseller List

from the New York Times

April 27, 2008

Hardcover Fiction

On List
1 WHERE ARE YOU NOW?, by Mary Higgins Clark. (Simon & Schuster, $25.95.) A woman searches for the truth about her brother, who is alive but has disappeared. 1
2 UNACCUSTOMED EARTH, by Jhumpa Lahiri. (Knopf, $25.) Stories about the anxiety and transformation experienced by Bengali parents and their American children. 1 2
3 CERTAIN GIRLS, by Jennifer Weiner. (Atria, $26.95.) A girl discovers the sexy, somewhat autobiographical novel her mother wrote years earlier. 1
4 BELONG TO ME, by Marisa de los Santos. (Morrow, $24.95.) When she moves to the suburbs, a woman becomes enmeshed in complications and secrets. 5 2
5 * SMALL FAVOR, by Jim Butcher. (Roc, $23.95.) Book 10 of the Dresden Files series about a wizard detective in Chicago. 2 2
6 THE APPEAL, by John Grisham. (Doubleday, $27.95.) Political and legal intrigue ensue when a Mississippi court decides against a chemical company accused of dumping toxic waste. 4 11
7 COMPULSION, by Jonathan Kellerman. (Ballantine, $27.) Several Los Angeles women are murdered, and the psychologist-detective Alex Delaware investigates. 3 3
8 CHANGE OF HEART, by Jodi Picoult. (Atria, $26.95.) A prisoner on death row begins performing miracles. 6 6
9 BULLS ISLAND, by Dorothea Benton Frank. (Morrow, $24.95.) An investment banker returns to the South Carolina island home she had left 20 years before. 1
10 A THOUSAND SPLENDID SUNS, by Khaled Hosseini. (Riverhead, $25.95.) A friendship between two women in Afghanistan against the backdrop of 30 years of war. 8 47
11 * REMEMBER ME?, by Sophie Kinsella. (Dial, $25.) After an auto accident, a London woman loses her memory. 7 7
12 ZAPPED, by Carol Higgins Clark. (Scribner, $24.) The adventures of several New Yorkers, including the P.I. Regan Reilly, on the night of the 2003 blackout. 1
13 7TH HEAVEN, by James Patterson and Maxine Paetro. (Little, Brown, $27.99.) In San Francisco, Detective Lindsay Boxer and the Women’s Murder Club hunt for an arsonist. 9 10
14 DEAD HEAT, by Joel C. Rosenberg. (Tyndale, $24.99.) With the world on the brink of war, terrorists plot to assassinate a candidate in a closely fought presidential election. 13 4
15 THE BRIEF WONDROUS LIFE OF OSCAR WAO, by Junot Díaz. (Riverhead, $24.95.) A Dominican-American in New Jersey struggles to escape a family curse. 3
16 WINTER STUDY, by Nevada Barr. (Putnam, $24.95.) The national park ranger Anna Pigeon returns to an island park in Lake Superior, where a monstrous wolf is at large. 10 2
Also Selling
17 A PRISONER OF BIRTH, by Jeffrey Archer (St. Martin’s)
18 WORLD WITHOUT END, by Ken Follett (Dutton)
19 GUILTY, by Karen Robards (Putnam)
20 HOLLYWOOD CROWS, by Joseph Wambaugh (Little, Brown)
21 LUSH LIFE, by Richard Price (Farrar, Straus and Giroux)
22 PLEASURE, by Eric Jerome Dickey (Dutton)
23 THE THIRD ANGEL, by Alice Hoffman (Shaye Areheart)
24 SEPULCHRE, by Kate Mosse (Putnam)
25 THE DARK TIDE, by Andrew Gross (Morrow)
26 TEN-YEAR NAP, by Meg Wolitzer (Riverhead)
27 LOST SOULS, by Lisa Jackson (Kensington)
28 HONOR THYSELF, by Danielle Steel (Delacorte)
29 WRATH OF A MAD GOD, by Raymond E. Feist (Eos/HarperCollins)
30 PEOPLE OF THE BOOK, by Geraldine Brooks (Viking)
31 DUMA KEY, by Stephen King (Scribner)
32 THE WINDING WAYS QUILT, by Jennifer Chiaverini (Simon & Schuster)
33 BUCKINGHAM PALACE GARDENS, by Anne Perry (Ballantine)
34 BLACK WIDOW, by Randy Wayne White (Putnam)
35 CHRIST THE LORD: THE ROAD TO CANA, by Anne Rice (Knopf)

[ click to view list at ]

Posted on April 18, 2008 by Editor

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Emo Roadtrip With Dad to See Putrid Doo in Bakersfield

 from the sketch site

Posted on April 18, 2008 by Editor

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Music As Memoir

from Publishers Weekly

Music as Memoir

Life stories with a backbeat.

by Mark Rotella — Publishers Weekly

 In a poem set to music by his lover Benjamin Britten, W.H. Auden implored the patron saint of music, “Blessed Cecilia, appear in visions/ To all musicians, appear and inspire.”

Nikki Sixx

Or as Nikki Sixx, bassist and songwriter for heavy metal band Mötley Crüe, acknowledges inspiration in his bestselling memoir, The Heroin Diaries: “I remember Iggy and the Stooges’ song ‘Search and Destroy’ reaching out from my speakers to me like my own personal anthem.”

And the authors of books on music—be they history or critical analysis, biography or autobiography—have surely felt a similar pull to write about music. In a field of music writing one might label “music as memoir,” authors reveal just how much music speaks to them and use music as a prism through which to view the world around them.

“Your man or your woman’s gone, the whiskey don’t work no more, you’re aching for the homeplace—and God ain’t listenin’,” writes Dana Jennings in Sing Me Back Home (Faber and Faber, May), drawing on his own dirt-poor family in New Hampshire to explain 20th-century rural America. “You just need to wallow sometimes,” Jennings acknowledges in a Hank Williams–inspired chapter titled “I’m So Lonesome I Could Cry.”

“You’ve got music fans who want a valentine of or homage to their favorite artists, and you’ve got those who just want the dirt,” says Lissa Warren, senior publicity director at Da Capo. “Some of these guys are just over the top,” says Warren’s colleague, executive editor Ben Schafer. “They have decadent stories—of women, sex and drugs.”

And riding in on the heels of autobiographies such as last year’s Slash by the Guns ‘n’ Roses guitarist are such down-and-dirty tell-alls as Stephen Davis’s Watch You Bleed (Gotham, Aug.) and W.A.R.: Axl Rose (St. Martin’s, Feb.) by Mick Wall—both of which are on, you guessed it, Guns ‘n’ Roses. Of course, old-time rockers are still garnering ink in such books as AC/DC by Murray Engleheart (Harper Entertainment).

“There has been a trend toward rock stars finally telling their life stories themselves,” says Schafer at Da Capo. “Once something like Clapton happens, they say, ‘Hey, I can do this.’ ”

Eric Clapton, Nikki Sixx, Slash, Tommy Lee, and the Police’s Andy Summers and Sting—the list goes one—have all joined the confessional club.

[ click to view full article at Publisher’s Weekly ]

Posted on April 18, 2008 by Editor

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The Hooded Negro On Jacques Derrida

Posted on April 17, 2008 by Editor

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Gabriel’s Filter

from the Los Angeles Times

Peter Gabriel wants to help organize entertainment options

The tech-savvy musician is launching a website that helps viewers sift through recommendations.

By Geoff Boucher, Los Angeles Times Staff Writer

Peter Gabriel by Arnold Newman / Real WorldPETER GABRIEL has always roamed the sector between art and science. “My father was an electrical engineer,” the English musician said, “and while I didn’t inherit his talent for invention, I did pick up a love of innovation, a passion for finding the next.”

The search for next has taken Gabriel into a dizzying array of directions (his pioneering CD-ROM “Xplora1” in 1995, for instance, framed many of the Digital Age possibilities for musicians), but right now he is most excited about an endeavor that narrows the number of ideas: The Filter.

“We’ve all sat there at the computer with muscle fatigue in our thumbs and faced with so much information without focus,” said Gabriel, a partner in the new website. “Getting the good stuff without the grief, that is the dream. And I’m not talking just about music, I mean everything. Not just a disc jockey, but a life jockey.” has a beta launch today and goes public in May to join a wide and churning group of recommendation engines. (Many track only music preferences; the Filter aspires to add film to the mix.)

Clearly, many people realize that the Internet can create a “tyranny of too much choice,” as the Filter’s chief executive officer, David Maher Roberts, puts it. The Filter combines purchase, consumption and browsing data (it tracks accounts on Netflix, Flixster, etc.) to create an experience map. The next level, Gabriel said, will be to meld your profile with someone else’s.

“If you have a friend who knows more about reggae than you, or there’s a critic or a composer who intrigues you, you can mash-up your profiles. That’s where we want to go. That’s where a lot of people would like to go.”

[ click to read full article at the LA Times ]

Posted on April 17, 2008 by Editor

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Rock Poster Illustrator Steven Wilson

from The CoolHunter


Here are a selection of images straight from the folio of highly sought after Brighton based illustrator Steven Wilson. With an impressive client list including everyone from Coke to Nike to BBC to MTV, it is probably likely that at some stage you have come across one of his beautiful works. Inspired by circus imagery, tribal art and 70’s rock posters amongst other things, Steven can often be found sifting through flea market stalls to find obscure books to use as reference points and to ensure his works stand above from the crowd.With a particular passion for working on albums covers, his pieces certainly define and represent the new wave of illustrated art. 

By Brendan McKnight

click to view original page at The Coolhunter ]

Posted on April 17, 2008 by Editor

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Granite Monument to History of Humanity Installed at the Official Center Of The World

from the LA Times

Desert monument captures history on stone

In a forlorn stretch of desert, a tirelessly inquisitive Frenchman confidently builds his History of Humanity.

By Mike Anton
Los Angeles Times Staff Writer

April 16, 2008

FELICITY, CALIF. — A stiff wind blows grit across Jacques-Andre Istel’s latest and greatest undertaking, a History of Humanity etched on hundreds of granite panels a few turns of a tumbleweed from the Arizona border. 

He understands if you don’t immediately understand.

Jacques-Andre Istel - the Mayor of Felicity - and his wife Felicia for whom the town is named 

“You might ask: What qualifications do I have to write a history of humanity?” says Istel, 79, who is French by birth but American in his individualism. “Well, I would ask: What were my qualifications to design parachutes when I was a banker?”

Good point. Istel has always zigged where others zagged. He is a tireless wayfarer with an insatiable curiosity and no tolerance for boredom, who has pingponged through life like a character in a picaresque novel.

He fled Paris with his family in advance of the Nazis. He hitchhiked across the U.S. when he was 14. After a stint in the Marine Corps, he chucked a career on Wall Street to take up parachuting — which he learned by leaping from a plane with virtually no instruction. He eventually fathered the sport of sky diving in America. Later, having grown antsy running a business, he circumnavigated the globe in a twin-engine airplane, at times not certain he’d make it. 

In the mid-1980s, he founded the town of Felicity on about 2,800 acres of California desert. He built a marble-and-glass pyramid the size of a large garage and proclaimed it the Official Center of the World; thousands have paid a couple of bucks each to step inside, even though it’s not even the center of Imperial County. More recently, Istel moved 150,000 tons of dirt to create the nearby Hill of Prayer on which he built the Church on the Hill — even though he’s not particularly religious.

“You’ve got to admit, that’s interesting,” Istel says.

[ click to read full article in the LA Times ]

Posted on April 17, 2008 by Editor

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Early English Reaction To Train Wreck

I fucking love England.

UK cover for James Frey's BRIGHT SHINY MORNINGOutside the crime genre (Raymond Chandler, James Ellroy, Walter Mosley) and the novels of John Fante, Charles Bukowski has stood alone as the great fictional chronicler of Los Angeles life. Until now. Brilliant though he is, his novels do not have the ambition, scope and pin-sharp execution of James Frey’s truly exceptional debut novel, Bright Shiny Morning.

From the grotesquely ostentatious lifestyles of the super-rich to the panhandling itinerants of Venice Beach, Frey has brought us a huge array of LA characters and pulled together a brilliant and multi-faceted portrait of the City of Angels, combining snippets of fact and history with multiple fictional threads to produce a mind-blowing work of fiction.

Harsh reality, humour, extreme violence and moments of the utmost tenderness can all be found here in a virtuoso novel that is sure to resonate for many years to come as the first great LA novel. A modern masterpiece of American fiction, which should have DeLillo, McCarthy and other American fiction heavyweights pondering on the sudden arrival of a stranger in their midst.

Posted on April 17, 2008 by JF

Filed under Bright Shiny News | | 2 Comments »

Zombie Strippers – Enough Said

from the Village Voice

Everything You Could Hope For in a Movie Called Zombie Strippers

Sometimes titles don’t lie

by Luke Y. Thompson

April 15th, 2008 12:00 AM

Zombie Strippers one sheetDuring George W. Bush’s fourth term as president, the administration’s desire for crises and predisposition toward fuck-ups leads to the creation of a zombie virus that the government hopes will help replenish troops for its various overseas conflicts. Infected women become super-strong and maintain their intelligence, but the men remain your typical, shambling, mindless undead. So when the virus leaks into a strip club, the place becomes the most popular illegal joint in town. All too often with horror/cult movies, a catchy title masks a low budget and an even lower level of talent, but director Jay Lee (The Slaughter) delivers absolutely everything you could possibly hope for in a film called Zombie Strippers, with a consistently hilarious, brutal, and titillating mash-up of Return of the Living Dead and Showgirls that actually beats out Mark Pirro’s Nudist Colony of the Dead for the unofficial title of best naked zombie movie ever. He even manages some George Romero–style social commentary, with zombie-dom as a metaphor for plastic surgery—that star Jenna Jameson’s plasticized, pre-zombie face is actually scarier than the final monstrous version only proves the point.   

[ click to view article at Village Voice ]

Posted on April 17, 2008 by Editor

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Why Some Boys Play With Barbies

Posted on April 17, 2008 by Editor

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Novel by Swarm

from The Washington Post

 Bethesda Start-Up Makes Writing a Little Less Lonely

By Kim Hart
Washington Post Staff Writer

On the Web, everyone can be a published author.

Amateur and professional writers alike have found voices in blogs and social-networking profiles, bypassing the cut-throat competition of old-line publishing. Now a Bethesda start-up is trying to leverage that community of would-be authors to help write books, or at least improve them.

click to visit 

WEbook, which launched last week, invites writers, editors, topic experts and anyone else who has something to say to put their virtual pens together to work on literary projects. If the finished works get high marks from the site’s members, WEbook publishes hard copies and sells them through online booksellers such as and retail stores including Barnes & Noble. Some books can also be read via mobile phones or in e-book format.

WEbook’s first published novel, a 58-chapter thriller called “Pandora,” was written by 17 people and will hit shelves next week.

By adopting the growing crowd-sourcing model, which aims to tap into the wisdom of a wide range of people, and the collaborative style of Wikipedia entries, WEbook hopes to help frustrated writers realize their potential.

“The idea is that a book would turn out better if the author could get fast, early feedback during the writing process,” said WEbook President Sue Heilbronner, a former lawyer whose pent-up creative ambitions drove her to the entrepreneurial world.

Novel-writing isn’t considered to be the most social activity, Heilbronner says. That’s why many of the 90 projects on the site take the form of anthologies of first-person essays, how-to guides and short-story collections. Current works in progress include “101 Things Every Man Should Know How to Do,” a playful tutorial on how to cook a steak or break dance, and “The First Year,” a collection of essays about the experiences of first-time teachers.

In addition to attracting writers, WEbook hopes to tap into the expertise of people with detailed knowledge of more esoteric fields. Heilbronner hopes experts in law or espionage, for example, could lend their know-how to make a legal thriller more authoritative.

WEbook plans to pull in revenue by selling content produced on the site, mostly through hard copies of books, e-books or even audio books. For works not selected for publication, the company will give members the option of self-publishing their manuscripts through WEbook. Eventually, the site plans to charge for premium listings for highly skilled writers or book promotions.

WEbook isn’t the first to experiment with collaborative publishing. Last year, Penguin Books in Britain launched a wikinovel project called “A Million Penguins” to see what happens when dozens of people weigh in on the plot, characters and title of a manuscript. Book publisher HarperCollins tried a similar venture by letting teens contribute chapters for a teen novel, now available as an e-book. Each November, National Novel Writing Month, thousands of aspiring writers gather in groups across the country to hammer out 50,000-word novels in social settings.

[ click to read full article at WaPo ]

Posted on April 17, 2008 by Editor

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James Frey Doodles For Charity (this is a good cause – So Donate.)

Visit – working to cure neurofibromatosis

James Frey

James Frey’s first memoir of his treatment at an alcohol and drug addiction rehabilitation facility, A Million Little Pieces (2003), and its follow-up, My Friend Leonard (2005-also a memoir), became New York Times #1 bestsellers. 

A Million Little Pieces remained on the New York Times best seller list for 44 weeks, selling in excess of 4.5 million copies. The New Yorker praised the book as “A frenzied, electrifying description of the experience.”

His latest work, Bright Shiny Morning, published by HarperCollins, will be released in June 2008. This new book, a novel, is set in contemporary Los Angeles and tracks the lives of various characters from different backgrounds. These include a male movie star, a Mexican maid, and a homeless man from Venice Beach.

Frey’s books have been published in thirty-one languages worldwide.  Visit his Official website.


As part of NF Awareness month, celebrity doodles will be available for auction on eBay from May 8th – 18th.These doodles have a very important aim: the funds they raise will benefit NF, Inc., an organization dedicated to providing support to individuals and families affected by neurofibromatosis (NF).Neurofibromatosis is a genetic disorder that affects one in every 2,500 births. NF is more common than Cystic Fibrosis, Muscular Dystrophy and Huntington’s Disease combined. Funds raised from the Doodle Day auction will go to support education, advocacy, coalitions, and research for treatments and a cure.To learn more about NF, please visit more information about National Doodle Day, contact email

Neurofibromatosis, Inc.Neurofibromatosis, Inc.    National Doodle Day UKDoodle Day UK

Posted on April 17, 2008 by Editor

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Now I Want A Photo of Sarko In The Buff

from the New York Observer

Sacre Bruni!

Gorgeous, Stylish, Occasionally Nude … Does Mrs. Sarkozy Matter? France’s 21st-Century Lady of State, Merger of Sex, Power, Art; ‘She Arouses Envy,’ Says Tony Judt, ‘Let ’em Eat Cheesecake!’


Until last Thursday, when a nude photograph of Carla Bruni, the 40-year-old model-turned-pop-star-turned-first lady of France, sold at Christie’s for $91,000, more than 20 times its expected price, Ms. Bruni hadn’t been the Carla Bruni by Philip Burkesubject of much conversation among New Yorkers. But over the last week, her name popped out of pursed lips at cocktail lounges and long lunches across the city, as men and women started to catch on that a new icon of fashion, sex and sensibility—a 21st-century amalgam of Jackie O, Lady Di and J-Lo—was emerging across the Atlantic. News of the photo sale even made it onto Saturday Night Live’s weekend update.

Thanks to the Internet, the photograph—taken by Michael Comte in 1993, when Ms. Bruni was working as a model—made the rounds. Her face all wide planes, her small breasts pointing off in two directions, she stands with her hands forming a diamond over her nether regions, a sort of ironic Eve pose, but she doesn’t seem to be covering up for her own sake. Her expression—her lips are parted in a parody of innocence, her eyes are semi-frozen—says she had little need for shelter. Her skin is just the outfit she’s put on for the picture, as easy to model as a Dior suit or an Yves Saint Laurent gown. This woman has nothing to hide.

Indeed, in our own political season, when concealment, attack and counterattack are so rife, there was something Edenic about the photo of a first lady standing naked, unapologetic, challenging the viewer to choose between arousal and admiration. Because frankly, she looks great. The fact that the photo was taken 15 years ago is irrelevant, because Ms. Bruni has continued her full-frontal, forward surge of sex and power to this current day.

[ click to read full article in the New York Observer ]

Posted on April 16, 2008 by Editor

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New Book Titles Out Next Week


Attainment: New Titles Out Next Week

Selected new titles appearing next Tuesday, April 22:

So Brave, Young and Handsome: A Novel by Leif Enger (Atlantic Monthly, $24, 9780871139856/0871139855) recounts the journey of a failed novelist and an outlaw from Minnesota to Mexico during the early 20th century.

The Whole Truth by David Baldacci (Grand Central, $26.99, 9780446195973/0446195979) follows government and media leaders during a geopolitical crisis.

The House at Riverton: A Novel by Kate Morton (Atria, $24.95, 9781416550518/1416550518) follows the servant of a struggling English family during World War I.

Quicksand by Iris Johansen (St. Martin’s, $26.95, 9780312368067/0312368062) is the 12th novel featuring forensic sculptor Eve Duncan.

Santa Fe Dead by Stuart Woods (Putnam, $25.95, 9780399154904/0399154906) is the third thriller with attorney Ed Eagle.

The Third Circle by Amanda Quick (Putnam, $24.95, 9780399154843/0399154841) is the fourth entry in the Arcane Society series.

Willie Nelson: An Epic Life by Joe Nick Patoski (Little, Brown, $27.99, 9780316017787/0316017787) chronicles the life and career of a cultural icon.

[ click to visit ]

Posted on April 16, 2008 by Editor

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It Doesn’t Take Any Brains To Be An Author

from the NY Times

He Wrote 200,000 Books (but Computers Did Some of the Work)

Sandy Huffaker for The New York Times

Philip Parker says he has computers do the substantial amount of repetitive work that is required in the writing of so many books.

By NOAM COHEN Published: April 14, 2008


It’s not easy to write a book. First you have to pick a title. And then there is the table of contents. If you want the book to be categorized, either by a bookseller or a library, it has to be assigned a unique numerical code, like an ISBN, for International Standard Book Number. There have to be proper margins. Finally, there’s the back cover.


Oh, and there is all that stuff in the middle, too. The writing.


Philip M. Parker seems to have licked that problem. Mr. Parker has generated more than 200,000 books, as an advanced search on under his publishing company shows, making him, in his own words, “the most published author in the history of the planet.” And he makes money doing it.


Among the books published under his name are “The Official Patient’s Sourcebook on Acne Rosacea” ($24.95 and 168 pages long); “Stickler Syndrome: A Bibliography and Dictionary for Physicians, Patients and Genome Researchers” ($28.95 for 126 pages); and “The 2007-2012 Outlook for Tufted Washable Scatter Rugs, Bathmats and Sets That Measure 6-Feet by 9-Feet or Smaller in India” ($495 for 144 pages).


But these are not conventional books, and it is perhaps more accurate to call Mr. Parker a compiler than an author. Mr. Parker, who is also the chaired professor of management science at Insead (a business school with campuses in Fontainebleau, France, and Singapore), has developed computer algorithms that collect publicly available information on a subject — broad or obscure — and, aided by his 60 to 70 computers and six or seven programmers, he turns the results into books in a range of genres, many of them in the range of 150 pages and printed only when a customer buys one.


If this sounds like cheating to the layman’s ear, it does not to Mr. Parker, who holds some provocative — and apparently profitable — ideas on what constitutes a book. While the most popular of his books may sell hundreds of copies, he said, many have sales in the dozens, often to medical libraries collecting nearly everything he produces. He has extended his technique to crossword puzzles, rudimentary poetry and even to scripts for animated game shows.


And he is laying the groundwork for romance novels generated by new algorithms. “I’ve already set it up,” he said. “There are only so many body parts.”


As part of his love of words, and dictionaries in all languages, Mr. Parker said he has taken to having his computers create acrostic poems — where the first letter of a series of words spells a synonym of those words, often to ironic effect.


Of course, one of the difficulties of generating a hundred thousand poems is stepping back and assessing their quality.


“Do you think one of them is Shakespeare?” he was asked.


“No,” he said. “Only because I haven’t done sonnets yet.”


[ click to view full article at NY Times ]

Posted on April 16, 2008 by Editor

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Half Gallery Opens

from the New York Times

April 15th, 2008 11:11 AM

Gallery Opening | Crass Commercialism


Half Gallery owners Andy Spade, Bill Powers, James Frey. (Kaya Yusi)

Half Gallery, the new gallery on Forsyth Street owned by Andy SpadeBill Powers and James Frey, held its inaugural show last Thursday night for Matt Damhave, best known as a co-founder of Imitation of Christ. Since leaving the label, Damhave has created graphics for the band Gang Gang Dance and most recently contributed artwork to Chloë Sevigny’s look book for Opening Ceremony. Chloë’s brother, Paul Sevigny, was the first to buy a piece, an image called “Already Crass.” The exhibition runs through May 10th. For more information, go to

The artwork of Matt Damhave. (Kaya Yusi)


 [ click to visit the half gallery website ]

Posted on April 15, 2008 by JF

Filed under Bright Shiny News, Culture Music Art | | 1 Comment »

“Yes to a riding crop, but no to a saddle…”

Posted on April 15, 2008 by Editor

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The WELL AND THE MINE by Gin Phillips


Shelf Sample: The Well and the Mine

Hawthorne Books and Literary Arts publishes some fine books–American literary fiction and narrative nonfiction, although they say “we won’t turn down a good international title if we find one.” Additionally, the books are beautiful:click to buy The Well and the Mine by Gin Phillips trade paperbacks with acid-free paper, sewn bindings and French flaps. Of course, all this matters not a whit unless the books are good, and they are. One of the latest is The Well and the Mine by Gin Phillips ($15.95, February 2008), a novel set in 1931, in a small Alabama coal mining town. The story begins with nine-year-old Tess seeing a woman remove the cover off her family’s back porch well and drop a baby inside. At first, no one believes her, but then they look, aren’t particularly surprised, and Phillips makes us understand why. She writes about life in the mines, racism, poverty and backbreaking work with grittiness, but there is beauty and love, too, and her spare, graceful prose shines when she writes about the tenderness between Tess’ parents, or the simple fact of coffee:

I pulled his coffee cup from the cabinet and poured over the sink, with the heat from the cup warming my fingers as the brew rose to the top. Just a ground or two floating. Black as night, so hard looking it didn’t seem right that a spoon could move through it.

“Must taste like coal,” I said under my breath, stopping up the pot’s spout with a bit of cloth and setting it back on the stove to keep warm.

“Coffee?” He took a sip, smiled, and closed his eyes as he leaned back. “No, ma’am. Tastes like daylight.”

Marilyn Dahl 

[ click to view original review at ]

Posted on April 15, 2008 by Editor

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Maori Tattoos

from the LA Times

New Zealand’s Maori rediscover themselves in tattoos


Paul Watson / Los Angeles Times

Oriana McLeod endured the stinging pain of Mark Kopua’s tattoo gun for an hour and a half, and felt the better for it when she saw the design, which depicts the sea and the tossed net of Te Hukiad, a venerated ancestor and tribal leader. “I’ve just found a calling with my Maori-tanga, my Maoriness. It’s a reawakening,” she said.

Ta moko, an art form that once seemed destined for oblivion, is again a solemn declaration of the native people’s identity and dignity.

By Paul Watson, Los Angeles Times Staff Writer April 15, 2008

NEW PLYMOUTH, NEW ZEALAND — With a little ink, some stinging pain and a helping hand from the ancestors, Mark Kopua can heal a wounded soul.

He is a modern master of an ancient art called ta moko, one of the world’s oldest forms of tattooing and a renewed source of pride for New Zealand’s indigenous Maori people. 

Maori history told in ink


Maori history told in ink

To those who know how to read the twists, turns and spirals of the ink lines, they tell a rich history of a person’s accomplishments and ancestry. The centuries-old designs turn the faces and bodies of women and men into testaments to their identity, and offer spiritual healing.

“I learned very quickly that moko was therapy for people,” Kopua said. “If you ail inside, and you get taken to a grandparent for advice, the elders are involved in your healing. This is very similar to that.” 

The designs have both fascinated and frightened outsiders for generations. In the 19th century, curiosity seekers traded gunpowder with the Maori for the tattooed heads of their dead warriors. Dozens of the dried heads are in a macabre collection hidden away in New York’s American Museum of Natural History. 

The tattoos also brought scorn on the Maori from missionaries and other foreigners who saw them as primitive. Even today, some Maori adorned with moko complain that they suffer discrimination when looking for work, or just a drink at a bar.

But in recent years, as Maori stand up to safeguard their culture, an art that once seemed doomed by the onslaught of Western culture is again a solemn declaration of Maori identity and dignity. Their sacred, serpentine designs now adorn foreign celebrities such as British pop star Robbie Williams and boxer Mike Tyson, and Maori are vigorously defending their claim over motifs that many feel are being exploited by outsiders.

[ click to read full article at ]

Posted on April 15, 2008 by Editor

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My Train Wreck

Sara Nelson, the esteemed Editor-In-Chief of Publishers Weekly, calls my new book un-put-downable, a real page turner, and a train wreck. Thanks Sara. See review below, or see it here:

And if you want to see me read from my un-put-downable, page-turning, train wreck of a novel, here’s my tour schedule: 

– posted by JF

Publisher's Weekly

Reviewed by Sara Nelson 

Bright Shiny Morning

James Frey. Harper, $26.95 (512p) ISBN 978-0-06-157313-2

When James Frey imploded as a memoirist in 2006, many said his A Million Little Pieces should have been—and perhaps initially was—presented as a novel, and that Frey—a sometimes screenwriter—was, both by nature and design, a fiction writer. Bright Shiny Morning is his first official book of fiction. If it’s not quite a novel, less believable in its way than his “augmented” memoir ever was, there’s no doubt it’s a work of Frey’s imagination. Ironic, isn’t it?

Set in contemporary Los Angeles, Bright Shiny Morning is not a cohesive narrative but a compilation of vignettes of several characters (if this were a memoir, we’d call them “composites”) who have come to the city to fulfill their dreams. Some examples: Dylan and Maddie, madly-in-love Midwestern runaways who survive through the kindness of near strangers; Esperanza, a Mexican-American maid tortured by a body that could have been drawn by R. Crumb; a group of drunks and junkies who create a community behind the shacks on Venice Beach; Amberton Parker, a hugely famous married movie star who is secretly—you guessed it—gay. Interspersed with these rotating portraits are random historical and statistical factoids (which better have been fact-checked, even if there is a nudge-nudge, wink-wink disclaimer up front: “Nothing in this book should be considered accurate or reliable”) about L.A.: that, for example, “approximately 2.7 million people live without health insurance” and “there are more than 12,000 people who describe their job as bill collector in the City of Los Angeles.” Frey’s intention, it seems, is to create an onomatopoetic jumble, a cacophony of facts and fiction, stats and stories, that replicate the contradictory nature of the place they describe.

I expect, given the sharpness of the knives that some critics have out for Frey, that many will say the book flat out doesn’t work. First off, there’s that voice, the hyperbolic, breathless, run-on, word-repeating voice that was much better suited to a memoir (or even a novel) in which the hero was a hyperbolic, breathless alcoholic and drug addict. And then there’s the frat-boy swagger that angered some readers of AMLP turning up here, too, so faux-cynical as to be naïve: the gang father’s attaboy about his five-year-old son’s desire to be a cold-blooded killer, and the prurient, adolescent take on sex. (And couldn’t someone have stopped him from exclaiming “woohoo” after some of his “fun” and “not fun” factoids?)

Yet the guy has something: an energy, a drive, a relentlessness, maybe, that can pull readers along, past the voice, past the stock characters, past the clichés. Bright Shiny Morning is a train wreck of a novel, but it’s un-put-downable, a real page-turner—in what may come to be known as the Frey tradition.

Sara Nelson is the editor-in-chief of Publishers Weekly.

Posted on April 14, 2008 by JF

Filed under Bright Shiny News | | 3 Comments »

Definitely More Chick Flicks, Please

from the New York Times

Wary Hollywood Plans More Chick Flicks (Hoping to Lure the Guys)

TriStar Pictures

A scene from “My Best Friend’s Wedding” (1997), a so-called chick flick that was a box office success.

Published: April 9, 2008

LOS ANGELES — In Nora Ephron’s “Sleepless in Seattle” a weepy Rosie O’Donnell, watching “An Affair to Remember” with a sniffling Meg Ryan 15 years ago, said, “Men never get this movie.”The notion of the “chick flick” thus came into its own. And Hollywood has been fretting about it ever since, trying to recapture that box office magic yet chafing at a label that is increasingly viewed as a marketplace trap. In New York and other locations, two of the most successful directors of the form — Nora Ephron and P. J. Hogan — are currently shooting what might pass for a couple of next-generation chick flicks. But those involved seem determined to avoid having that classification hung on their films, even if it is rooted in honest observation.

Mr. Hogan, who directed the 1997 hit “My Best Friend’s Wedding,” starring Julia Roberts, is filming “Confessions of a Shopaholic,” with Isla Fisher in the lead role, for Touchstone Pictures, owned by the Walt Disney Company. The film is based on a literary series that began with the British publication of Sophie Kinsella’s novel with that title in 2000, about a financial journalist with relationship problems and a penchant for overspending.But the movie is not just for women, the filmmakers insist. “We all have spending habits, a lot of us do,” said Jerry Bruckheimer, one of the film’s producers, speaking by telephone last week.“

If we do our job right, this could be another ‘Wedding Crashers,’ ” added Mr. Bruckheimer, best known for testosterone-fueled entertainments including “Bad Boys”and the “Pirates of the Caribbean” trilogy. He was referring to the 2005 comic hit that included Ms. Fisher, but actually starred Vince Vaughn and Owen Wilson as a couple of playboys who cruise weddings for easy sex — really not the stuff of chick flicks.

But that could be a guy thing, right? “We hope this will be a movie for everyone who likes eating,” said Laurence Mark (“Dreamgirls,” “Working Girl”), one of the film’s producers. He spoke briefly after conferring with Ms. Ephron, who declined to be interviewed for this article.In fact, both films are rooted in a phenomenon — widely styled “chick lit” — that has swept the publishing world in the last decade. The books are written for, and mostly by, professional women in their 20s. The covers are often bright and fluffy, with amusing illustrations. And narrative is often rooted in the first person singular.And the outlook is unabashedly feminine. “There were a lot of romans à clef, from the young working girl’s point of view,” said David Kuhn, of Kuhn Projects, a New York literary agency.

“The Devil Wears Prada,” Lauren Weisberger’s 2003 novel about the travails of a young working girl in the cutthroat New York fashion magazine industry, spawned the genre’s biggest movie hit, for 20th Century Fox, in 2006. The film, which was directed by David Frankel and starred Ms. Streep and Anne Hathaway, took in about $125 million at the domestic box office, and more than $200 million abroad.“Bridget Jones’s Diary,” based on Helen Fielding’s novel about a British woman, made about $72 million at the domestic box office for Miramax Films in 2001.But “The Nanny Diaries,” based on a 2003 novel by Emma McLaughlin and Nicola Kraus, about the travails of a worker in the competitive New York child care business, did less well for the Weinstein Company last year. (Its domestic box office total came in a tad under $26 million.)

At the same time, a run of recent female-oriented romantic films — “The Holiday” with Cameron Diaz and Kate Winslet“Catch and Release” with Jennifer Garner“27 Dresses”with Katherine Heigl“Music & Lyrics” with Drew Barrymore; “P.S., I Love You” with Hilary Swank; and “The Jane Austen Book Club,” with an ensemble cast — has stopped far short of the peaks established years before by films like “Sleepless,” “My Best Friend’s Wedding,” “Runaway Bride” and “Notting Hill.”

Trying to pin down what, exactly, constitutes a supposed chick flick is more of a parlor game than a science. “An Affair to Remember,” in which Cary Grant and Deborah Kerr played star-crossed lovers, clearly makes the cut. “Knocked Up,” in which Ms. Heigl and Seth Rogen played a star-crossed couple of another sort, probably does not.

click to read full article at ]

Posted on April 13, 2008 by Editor

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BRIGHT SHINY MORNING Billboard on Sunset Blvd.

Here is a copy of the billboard for James Frey’s BRIGHT SHINY MORNING that will appear on Sunset Boulevard in West Hollywood right before the Book Tour begins. The second date of the tour will be just down the street at the Whiskey A Go Go on the Sunset Strip with author Josh Kilmer-Purcell and rippin’ band Black Tide.

Sunset Strip billboard for James Frey’s BRIGHT SHINY MORNING

 Click here to see the current book tour cities and dates.

Posted on April 12, 2008 by Editor

Filed under Bright Shiny News | | 7 Comments »

God’s New Social Network Site

The Cool Hunter Launches New Site “Dear God” – Spirituality For The New Millennium


From the founder of the cool hunter comes; a startlingly new concept of spirituality where people from all over the planet reveal their innermost hopes and fears in the form of prayers to god. 

Dear God is completely non-demoninational and the term god is used in the broadest sense – encompassing every religion’s concept of a higher power; be it a Christian god, a Muslim god or simply a fluid idea of universal energy. 

In its first week, the site has sparked an organic revolution, with people all over the world embracing the opportunity to unburden themselves, to share their hopes and fears with others in an effort create hope, healing, inner peace and clarity. 


From the poignant and the heart-wrenching to even the light-hearted and the humorous, the posts on dear god cover the gamut of human experience, providing a powerfully raw and honest insight into our world today. 

As one online site stated: “After viewing this website I found it to be so honest of the world’s reflection and thoughts. See we as believers probably wonder and ask the same types of questions, but never express them to anyone. There are a lot of different views about what and who God is and that is reflected in this site. Try to not view this with a closed mind….Try not to debate that you know the right answer….Try to view this as an opportunity to peek into the heart of our world”. 

[ click to view full article at ]

Posted on April 12, 2008 by Editor

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Niggy Tardust’s Full List of Demands

All the good stuff the commercial leaves out…

Posted on April 12, 2008 by Editor

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Inside The Straight Edge

from The Boston Globe

Exploring the two sides of the ‘straight edge’ culture

“Straight edge” teens should be a godsend for anxious parents and vigilant police officers everywhere. Young people in the movement choose to abstain from alcohol, tobacco products, and drugs, and to resist peer pressure. But a more radical and violent side of the movement is changing the definition of what it means to be straight edge.

photo by National Geographic

“Inside Straight Edge,” a powerful hourlong documentary airing tonight on the National Geographic Channel, explores the two faces of this growing youth culture: positive, tight-knit communities that try to set an example through abstinence; and more militant, fanatical groups that use their intense focus on wiping out substance abuse as justification for violence.

Sonic Youth frontman Thurston Moore narrates the documentary. His presence may help the filmmakers attract an audience interested in a youth movement that’s becoming more prevalent – and harder to define.

The term straight edge was first used in 1981 by the punk band Minor Threat. Their 45-second song “Straight Edge,” famous for the line, “I’ve got the straight edge,” unintentionally sparked the beginning of a movement focused on self-control and protest.

The images associated with straight edge are punk rockers with Mohawks, hardcore kids with tattoos covering their arms and legs, and skaters with X’s written on their hands. The message of abstinence is spread at high-energy concerts, where teens bond over their commitment and release pent-up energy and frustration from the pressures of being young.

Straight edge has grown exponentially over the past few decades and has even become something of the norm in certain towns and cities across the country. “Inside Straight Edge” looks at three cities where the movement is substantial: Boston, Salt Lake City, and Reno.

Director Shadrack Smith’s focus on these cities might seem limiting, but he includes wide-ranging interviews with teens committed to the movement for a host of different reasons, as well as police officers and parents.

Some teens, such as Pat Crane of Massachusetts and Nevada native Zeke Bilyeu, contend they are scapegoated because of violence committed by others who have very different definitions of straight edge. Bilyeu, along with members of the straight edge band Armed for Battle, take issue with a journalistic characterization of them as “white suburban terrorists.” Yet they do make clear that if antagonized, they will defend themselves and members of their community.

According to the film, law enforcement officials in Salt Lake City and Reno, where acts of straight-edge violence are common, now consider anyone affiliated with straight edge to be potentially dangerous. As a result of violence against drug dealers and users on Lansdowne Street in Boston by aggressive straight edgers and the murder of a 15-year-old in Salt Lake City, police officers in those two cities now classify the movement as a gang.

Near the end of the documentary, an eighth grader from suburban Boston stares intensely at the camera while differentiating between the positive version of the straight edge community and the violent side. Asked about his future involvement, he says, “We’re not going to go out and kill people, but I’m not going to tolerate drugs around me and the ones that I love.”

It’s an answer that ends “Inside Straight Edge” on a suitably unsettling note.


[ click to read original article at The Boston Globe ]

Posted on April 12, 2008 by Editor

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Exposing Society’s Great Swindle, the Mailer Way

snipped from Variety

 Norman Mailer celebrated at Carnegie

Random House stages poignant tribute to scribe


Norman Mailer was remembered as equal parts novelist, pugilist, activist and patriarch during a touching and lengthy memorial Wednesday at Carnegie Hall.


“There were so many lives and each of them so worth exploring,” noted Charlie Rose, the day’s emcee, who said he interviewed Mailer a dozen times.

In all, 28 notables and family members paid tribute with words or music to Mailer, who died last November at 84. Random House, his publisher for the last 24 years of his life, organized the memorial. Scheduled to speak at the late-afternoon event were Sean PennTina BrownJoan Didion and Mailer’s wife of 33 years, Norris Church Mailer.

Novelist William Kennedy, who was a film critic when he met Mailer in 1968, recalled the writer describing the essence of his 32 books, scores of articles, screenplays and plays.

“‘It is the great swindle that society is pulling on itself that there are two literary forms, fiction and nonfiction. Nonfiction is fiction because you never get it right,'” Kennedy said.

Mailer’s nine children, many of whom have wound up working in the arts, painted a vivid group portrait. “It’s hard to rebel against your father when your father is Norman Mailer,” observed Kate Mailer, a writer and performer.

“He was the writer in opposition who stood up against power and reached for a handful himself,” said author Don DeLillo.

Laughs and sardonic witticisms were plentiful at the memorial, relieving the forlorn notes of grief still resonating six months after Mailer’s death. Gina Centrello, prexy and publisher of Random House, set the tone with an anecdote about an editing session during which she told Mailer his book could do without one sizable, digressive passage.

” ‘That would make it more of a page-turner,'” she remembered him saying. ” ‘But Gina, I hate page-turners.’ “

[ click to view original Variety article ]

Posted on April 12, 2008 by Editor

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“I don’t want sex I’m just waiting on the bus.”

Posted on April 12, 2008 by Editor

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Beautiful Losers On Screen

from Creativity-Online

Beautiful Losers Hit the Big Screen

A new documentary examines key figures in contemporary art and street culture.


In March 2004, the “Beautiful Losers” exhibition debuted at the Cincinnati Contemporary Arts Center and brought together a stunning collection of contemporary and “street” artists whose work is influenced by skateboarding, punk, graffiti, hip hop and an overall DIY approach. After a successful run in Cincinnati, the show traveled to San Francisco, Orange County, Baltimore, then on to Europe, Asia and Australia by last year. There is also the accompanying book and now, theBeautiful Losers documentary.

Beautiful Losers: Trailer | Full View »

The film doesn’t feature every artist from the gallery show, instead choosing to focus on a core group — Harmony Korine, Mike Mills, Stephen Powers, Thomas Campbell, Margaret Kilgallen, Shepard Fairey, Jo Jackson, Ed Templeton, Geoff McFetridge, Chris Johanson and Barry McGee — representing a cross section of the personalities and styles in this particular art movement. While many documentaries tend to discuss subjects well past the studied time frame, director Aaron Rose, also the co-curator of the original art exhibit, wanted to examine this movement while it was still happening. The approach gives the film a welcome immediacy and avoids much of the back-in-the-day pitfalls that can plague any story being told through the often rose-colored lens of hindsight. That’s not to say there isn’t a healthy dose of nostalgia for the days these artists gathered in New York’s Alleged Gallery on the Lower East Side as a group of youthful unknowns, but a good portion of the film also looks at their more recent transition from art world nobodies to working with high profile brands and having work displayed in major galleries and museums around the world. In that way, it’s very much a coming-of-age story, of both the individual artists, their careers and style of art, itself.

We spoke to Rose after the film’s AIGA screening in New York.


 [ click to view full article at Creativity-Online ]

Posted on April 12, 2008 by Editor

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Tapes ‘n Tapes

from the NY Daily News

Tapes ‘n Tapes are very cool copycats

 4:00 AM

Tapes ‘n Tapes

TAPES ‘N TAPES. “Walk It Off” (XL Recordings)

Everything sputters and whines in the music of Tapes ‘n Tapes. Jittery guitars, fidgety synths and pointy bass parts rattle around the agitated tunes, making every T-N-T song shake.

Crucially, the band knows how to make these neurotic little outbursts catchy. Unfortunately, a lot of other groups figured that out first.

It’s impossible to hear T-N-T’s second album, “Walk It Off,” without thinking of the Pixies, Pavement or Modest Mouse. That is, when you’re not thinking about their antecedents in creative abrasion: Talking Heads and Sonic Youth.

Essentially, T-N-T strikes a fun, fleet but too familiar mean between the classic reference points of noise-pop. Small wonder “Walk It Off” sounds like a compendium of pre-existing strategies, even if they’re undeniably well applied.

Certainly, the group knows how to make potentially irritating music winning. The CD’s opening track, “Le Ruse,” spins out busy little guitar riffs so compelling it anchors another ax devoted to total dissonance.

It’s the balance between the memorable and the difficult that made Tapes ‘n Tapes stand out from the start. The group formed in chilly Minneapolis in late 2003, led by guitarist/singer/lead writer Josh Grier (otherwise known as Tapes 1). They went through a host of personnel changes before releasing their debut, “The Loon,” in late 2005. The disc drew raves in the blogs, no surprise considering the sound had something in common with two other bands hailed by that blabby world: Clap Your Hands Say Yeah and the Arcade Fire.

Like Clap and Arcade, T-N-T has some of the shaky distraction of early Talking Heads. But on the new album, TNT hones its riffs and tunes to find something more pop than either. “Time of Songs” features a liquid guitar that could have fallen off a Bread single from the ’70s. “Hang Them All” has a jerky backbeat you’ll have to move to.


[ click to view full article at NY Daily News ]

Posted on April 12, 2008 by Editor

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Book Tour Schedule for James Frey’s BRIGHT SHINY MORNING

Following is the appearance and event schedule for James Frey’s BRIGHT SHINY MORNING

New York, NY  
Tuesday, May 13, 2008

7:00 PM EST
With Josh Kilmer-Purcell
127 E 23rd St
New York, NY 10010
Sponsored by Barnes and Noble
  Portland, OR
Wednesday, May 21, 2008

7:00 PM PST
With Josh Kilmer-Purcell
3702 SE Hawthorne Blvd
Portland, OR 97214
Sponsored by Powells Bookstore
Los Angeles, CA
Thursday, May 15, 2008

7:30 PM
With Josh Kilmer-Purcell
& music by Black Tide

8901 Sunset Blvd
West Hollywood, CA 90069
Sponsored by Vroman’s and Book Soup
  Ann Arbor, MI
Thursday, May 22, 2008

7:00 PM

612 E Liberty St
Ann Arbor, MI 48104
Sponsored by Borders
San Francisco, CA
Friday, May 16, 2008

7:00 PM PST
With Stephen Elliot, Josh Kilmer-Purcell
& music by Third Rail

333 11th St
San Francisco, CA 94103
Sponsored by Books Inc.
  Philadelphia, PA
Tuesday, May 27, 2008

7:00 PM
Montgomery Auditorium

1901 Vine ST
Philadelphia, PA 19103
Sponsored by the Free Library of Philadelphia
Marin, CA
Saturday, May 17, 2008

1:00 PM
With Josh Kilmer-Purcell
51 Tamal Vista Blvd
Corte Madera, CA 94925
  Boston, MA  
Wednesday, May 28, 2008

6:00 PM EST
290 Harvard St.
Brookline, MA 02446
Sponsored by Brookline Booksmith
Seattle, WA
Monday, May 19, 2008

7:30 PM
With Josh Kilmer-Purcell
8th Ave
Elliott Bay Book Company
Seattle, WA 98101
Sponsored by Elliott Bay Books
  Toronto, ON  
Tuesday, June 3, 2008

7:00 PM

55 Bloor St. West
Toronto, ON M4W 1A5
Sponsored by Indigo Books
Seattle, WA
Tuesday, May 20, 2008

6:30 PM

4th and University
W Hotel Seattle
Seattle, WA 98101
Sponsored by Words and Wine Series
  Amagansett, NY
Saturday, June 7, 2008

5:30 PM EST

Amagansett Square
154 Main ST
Amagansett, NY 11930
Sponsored by Bookhampton
    Brooklyn, NY
Thursday, July 24, 2008

7:00 PM EST

163 Court St.
Brooklyn, NY 11201
(718) 875 3677

Posted on April 9, 2008 by Editor

Filed under Bright Shiny News | | 108 Comments »

Memoir From Guyville

from MediaBistro’s GalleyCat

Oh My God, Liz Phair Is Writing A Novel

Liz PhairThis weekend we learned via the Times Book Review, where Liz Phair reviewed Dean Wareham’s memoir ‘Black Postcards,’ that she is working on a book of her own — “fiction, not memoir.” “It was 4 am and the light was gray, like it always is in paperbacks” is probably not the first line, but wouldn’t that be awesome? 

This definitely counts as a career upswing for Phair: Fans of her initial incarnation as the absolute ultimate goddess of post-collegiate stoned romantically confused totally frank lady-wisdom have lately been baffled by the Matrix-produced, CW drama soundtracky direction of her last two albums. The explanation probably lies in Phair’s long-ago admission that “it’s nice to be liked, but it’s better by far to get paid.” So we hope that she gets a fat advance for that novel! Or maybe she’s already gotten one? Publisher’s Marketplace doesn’t know, but maybe one of you does. Tell! Also, can Phair write, you know, not-songs? Let’s take a look at that book review.

Well, it’s pretty great, though Phair ultimately fails to answer the question — “Guilty? Not guilty? What are we as a jury to think?” — that she poses about Galaxie 500 and Luna frontman Wareham’s confessions, which she compares stylistically to “good courtroom testimony” at the review’s outset. She’s funny and evocative, not too conversational, and not afraid to be a little goofy: “Even his writing style has a rhythm to it: passages move rapidly back and forth between incident and impression, creating a kind of (I’m not kidding) rock ‘n’ roll.” It’s disappointing that she closes the review by quoting what seems like Wareham’s garden-variety midlife therapy session, rather than weighing in on whether he should be held accountable for his unabashed commitment to the rock’n’roll lifestyle.

But then, who is Liz Phair to judge? Actually, maybe the exact perfect person. Anyway, that novel is going to be amazing.

 [ click to view original blurb at MediaBistro ]

Posted on April 9, 2008 by Editor

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Organ Harvester Pleads Mercy

Master ghoul in body parts scam wants plea deal

Sunday, April 6th 2008, 4:00 AM

Organ Harvesting Is CoolA former oral surgeon who admitted trafficking stolen body parts in New York is now trying to cut a deal in Philadelphia to avoid serving more time for a similar body-snatching charge.

Michael Mastromarino wants his latest sentence to run concurrently with the 18- to 54-year sentence he is already serving – meaning he would not spend one extra day in jail. But prosecutors are balking at the two-for-one proposal and want the so-called master ghoul to serve an additional 20 to 40 years in the slammer.

Mastromarino, 44, was the boss of a multimillion-dollar body-snatching ring that plundered at least 44 corpses, according to Philadelphia prosecutors. He has already pleaded guilty to carving up hundreds of corpses at area funeral homes in New York and illegally selling body parts. He was sentenced in that case last year.

Mastromarino did not appear at a pretrial hearing in Philadelphia on Friday but defense lawyer Charles Peruto Jr. vowed to push for concurrent sentences.

With News Wire Services

[ click to view original article at NY Daily News ]

Posted on April 8, 2008 by Editor

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