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Language is the defining feature of our humanity. It separates us from all other life on the planet. Language allows us to communicate the complex experience of our existence with deftness and subtlety. The written form allows communication to transcend time, so we can reach backwards into history and forward into the future. A writers’ festival not only celebrates our common humanity but defines us as a society in time and place.

The Brisbane Writers Festival is more than a Festival for writers, it’s for everyone who reads. From the world’s headlines, climate change, China or the US Elections, BWF is an event that has meaning and relevance to every single one of us, in every aspect of our lives. This year, there are strong personal voices emanating from the pages of the Festival’s books.

The 2008 festival will bring together approximately 220 writers from around the world including some of the world’s leading authors including the winners of some of the world’s most prestigious literary awards including the Man Booker Prize, the Orange Broadband Prize for Fiction, the Commonwealth Writers’ Prize as well as the winners of the Prime Minister’s Literary Awards, the Queensland Premier’s Literary Award and the Miles Franklin Literary Award.

We welcome many fine writers including, for the first time to Australia,Yann Martel (Life of Pi), the winner of the Reuters Foundation Best Environmental Reporter in the World, Alanna MitchellLloyd Jones(Mister PipKate Grenville with the world exclusive release of her new novel The LieutenantRobert Drewe, Simon Winchester, biographerRichard HolmesChris AbaniLawrence HillGwynne Dyer, the controversial James FreyMahvish Khan – an interpreter at Guantanamo Bay, and many more to excite, challenge and entertain you.



Posted on August 15, 2008 by Editor

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Righting The Pit Bull’s Bad Rap

from the Los Angeles Times

Oakland couple rescues pit bulls and works to redeem breed’s image

The pair tackle their biggest job yet: finding homes for Michael Vick’s battle-scarred animals.

By John M. Glionna, Los Angeles Times Staff Writer

August 15, 2008


For Tim Racer and Donna Reynolds, the dog rescues started with an open-door policy.

Cruising around Chicago on winter nights, they pulled up beside bedraggled strays and swung open the car door. If the animal didn’t skitter away, if it wasn’t too beaten down to contemplate jumping inside, they figured, there was a chance to save it.

Often, their hearts got the best of them. They bolted from the car and chased down dogs of all shapes and sizes. Once they found a home for one animal, they’d soon spot another needy outcast.

“There was this satisfying sense of justice,” Racer recalled. “We knew those dogs should not be allowed to die.”

Moving west, the two commercial artists focused their rescue efforts on American pit bull terriers, which they consider the nation’s most misunderstood breed. In 1999, they formed Bay Area Doglovers Responsible About Pit Bulls, or BAD RAP, to help reverse the dogs’ criminal image.

Now they’ve set their sights on the most vilified outcasts of all: fighting pit bulls taken from disgraced football star Michael Vick’s Bad Newz Kennels.

[ click to read full article at the LA Times ]

Posted on August 15, 2008 by Editor

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NY Bohemia at Burning Man

from the New York Times

Art Bound for the Black Rock Desert


Members of several New York-area groups headed to Burning Man loaded their equipment and art onto container trucks in Jersey City.

Nothing is for sale at Burning Man except ice and coffee. Campers are responsible for everything they need for survival and comfort, and that can pose difficulties for East Coasters. Many transcontinental participants ship their supplies or buy them in Reno on the way to the site. Last weekend the New Yorkers filled three tractor-trailer containers with makeshift kitchens, bicycles and desert art sculptures.

Photo: Robert Stolarik for The New York Times 

[ click to view complete slideshow at ]

Posted on August 15, 2008 by Editor

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An LCD Projector For This English Teacher


Since I only know about five people in Hood’s Little-Black-Book-of-a-contact-list, the polite thing to do would be to introduce myself before asking for your money: I’m Stephen, I graduated in 2000, and I teach English at a high school in New York City.  I won’t be teaching Ulysses, or Dalloway, or anything remotely Hoodian this year, but I am following his example by asking you to donate to a good cause, namely, my classroom.  And I’m not asking for much: a large number of $5-$10 donations would help me to reach my goal of getting an LCD projector for my class (although larger donations by those able to make them are perfectly welcome, too!).

Here’s the deal.  A few months back I submitted a proposal to DonorsChoose, which is a site that links teachers with private donors.  The way it works, in a nutshell, is that a teacher writes a grant proposal, then philanthropic souls peruse the proposals and donate money to those projects they deem most worthy.  I tried this out last year and an anonymous donor funded my start-up library for my remedial reading class within 48 hours.  This year I decided to try for something bigger — an LCD projector — that I’ll use to deliver lessons, have students give powerpoint presentations and generally impress with their technological savvy, etc.  As I describe in the proposal, it’s an instrument that I have used often in the past, but my school only has one projector per academic department, so quite often there’s a battle to get your hands on it.  I’m hoping to acquire one that will remain in my classroom to be used almost daily.  When I wrote the grant in April, I thought it would be funded quickly and anonymously like the last one, but — probably due to the larger cost — anonymous donors have gravitated towards the smaller projects that they can fund in one donation.  So this time around I’m turning to my nearest and dearest folks (and strangers with whom I share a steadfast bond to a remarkable professor) with the hope that several smaller donations will get this thing funded before school begins next month.    

With that said, all donations are tax deductible.  For donations of $100 or more you’ll get a packet of photographs and handmade thank you notes from my students (via DonorsChoose), perfect for that company newsletter or just your dusty old scrapbook….but donations of all sizes are welcome — like I say, I imagine this getting funded through many small donations rather than a few large ones.  

So please take a look at the website, read the proposal, and if you’re feeling inclined, donate.  It won’t feed any people living in the third world, and it won’t help your candidate-of-choice air pugilistic ads during the Olympics, but it will help a classroom in Chinatown get creative with technology — and that’s gotta count for something, right?  Also, whether you make a donation or not, please forward this to anyone you might know whom you think would be interested.

The link:

 Many thanks!  And my apologies for the lack of anything even remotely salacious in this email, as promised in the subject line.  If I had only promised to be solicitous then you never would have read it…would you?


Posted on August 14, 2008 by Editor

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“Hey, what’s going on with the Red Wings game? I just want to make sure I’m not having some sort of hallucination.”

Posted on August 14, 2008 by MJS

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July Mysteries


Independent Mystery Stores: Top Sellers in July


The following were the bestselling titles at member stores of the Independent Mystery Booksellers Association during July:


1. Chasing Darkness by Robert Crais (S&S)

2. A Royal Pain by Rhys Bowen (Berkley)

3. Swan Peak by James Lee Burke (S&S)

4. Illegal Action by Stella Rimington (Knopf)

5. Fearless Fourteen by Janet Evanovich (St. Martin’s)

6. Murder at the Bad Girl’s Bar & Grill by N.M. Kelby (Shaye Areheart)

7. Moscow Rules by Daniel Silva (Putnam)

7. Uneasy Relations by Aaron Elkins (Berkley)

7. Cockatiels at Seven by Donna Andrews (St. Martin’s)

7. The Last Patriot by Brad Thor (Atria)

7. Master of the Delta by Thomas H. Cook (Harcourt)

Posted on August 14, 2008 by Editor

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Ask Tom Wolfe A Question. Or Ten.

from TIME Magazine


Posted on August 14, 2008 by Editor

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SPACED OUT with John McWhinnie @ Glenn Horowitz

from Glenn Horowitz Bookseller

Spaced Out - Radical Environments of the Psychedelic Sixties

Come celebrate the publication of
Alastair Gordon’s new book:

Spaced Out
Radical Environments of
the Psychedelic Sixties
(Rizzoli International)


Friday, August 15th, 2008
3pm to 6pm
The Bridge
1180 Millstone Road, Bridgehampton
For directions call 1 631 537 8902 x 1
Rsvp to Fran Reres

Co hosted by Robert Rubin
Stéphane Samuel
John McWhinnie
Glenn Horowitz

87 Newtown Lane
East Hampton, NY 11937
P: 631.324.5511

Art Gallery & Bookshop
Mon thru Sat: 10am to 5pm
Sun: 12pm to 4pm
Closed Wed & Thurs, Oct thru April


Posted on August 14, 2008 by Editor

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BigDog Got OZBINOZ’d

Posted on August 13, 2008 by Editor

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Willie On His Willy On His 75th

from who knows where? 


Posted on August 13, 2008 by MJS

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When Art Stills The Restless Hand

from the LA Times


Los Angeles thwarts family in fight over graffiti

Los Paisanos market

Jacob Antonio Jr.

Highland Park owners had a mural painted to deter taggers. But the city painted it over and the taggers are back.


Steve Lopez, August 13, 2008


In today’s installment of Read It and Weep: Your Tax Dollars at Work, we visit a besieged Highland Park mom-and-pop grocery store owned by the Antonio family.

The Antonios can only guess at the number of times they’ve begun their day with a can of paint brushing over fresh graffiti left on the side of their store by taggers.

“Maybe 70 times,” said Jacob Antonio Jr., 27. His father, Jacob, begged to differ “More than 100 times,” he said with exasperation.

They learned that if you hired the right muralist, the taggers would respect the work and not mess with the mural. So they shelled out $3,000 to hire a team that included a guy known as Playboy Eddie and Israel “Ezra” Cervantes.

In no time at all, Los Paisanos market had a praying Virgin Mother on a front corner along with “Jesus Saves.” On the side of the bright yellow building was a colorful but edgier painting that looked like a two-headed serpent slithering through a junk yard. Just above that was a more traditional rural scene, with a couple of paisanos in sombreros.

All in all, it wasn’t quite the mural the Antonios had in mind, and they weren’t sure what the snakes represented. But after years of torment, they were in a compromising mood. To the relief of the entire Antonio family, the taggers didn’t come near the mural. But three months into the respite, an even more menacing monster reared its ugly head.

City Hall bureaucracy.

[ click to read original piece at ]

Posted on August 13, 2008 by Editor

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The Future of Dog

from Boston Dynamics

The Most Advanced Quadruped Robot on Earth

BigDog is the alpha male of the Boston Dynamics family of robots. It is a quadruped robot that walks, runs, and climbs on rough terrain and carries heavy loads. BigDog is powered by a gasoline engine that drives a hydraulic actuation system. BigDog’s legs are articulated like an animal’s, and have compliant elements that absorb shock and recycle energy from one step to the next. BigDog is the size of a large dog or small mule, measuring 1 meter long, 0.7 meters tall and 75 kg weight.

BigDog runs at 4 mph, climbs slopes up to 35 degrees, walks across rubble, and carries a 340 lb load. BigDog is being developed by Boston Dynamics with the goal of creating robots that have rough-terrain mobility that can take them anywhere on Earth that people and animals can go.  The program is funded by the Defense Advanced Research Project Agency (DARPA). 


[ click to visit Boston Dynamics ]

Posted on August 12, 2008 by Editor

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The Dark Side of Books

from the The Times South Africa

Henrietta Rose-Innes on the dark side of books

Writers on reading

Reading is, of course, a good and precious thing, and my career — and the existence of this column — is based on the understanding that people love to read, need to read, should, indeed, be reading more.

But literacy has a dark side too, doesn’t it? Bookish people drolly claim to be addicted. I think, in some cases, this is literally true. I’d like to know the brain chemistry involved — what pleasure centres ignite when you part the pages of a new book and sniff the ink. It seems those neural pathways are laid down young: you’re hooked early or not at all. And from that point on, you need to keep feeding the habit with progressively larger doses of word, no matter how cut and contaminated.

Highs and lows, altered states… in my life, books have often played a pharmaceutical role, either sedative or stimulant. I’ve read to forget, as well as to remember. Worse: hardcore, compulsive reading can sometimes feel like secret drinking or binge eating, like going on a bender. I can’t say I’ve ever had a crack cocaine book experience — although a couple of authors come quite close — but I’ve sure read Valium. And who among the readers of these pages hasn’t had a literature jones? Fortunately, it’s a benevolent dependency, most of the time. Expensive, though. (The library fines alone can drive a woman to crime.) And sometimes, you just want to go clean.

I suppose this makes me a small-time pusher, holding a couple of capsules of a novel compound, looking for vulnerable readers for whom it might turn out to be habit-forming. There’s enough of them. When I walk into a bookshop — one of the big ones, a vast dispensary stacked with complex uppers and downers — I can’t help thinking, my God, what army of junkies is all this feeding?

So when someone asks what the purpose of literature is, as people occasionally do, I can’t give a very high- minded answer. It feels physiological. I read to self-medicate. And because I get antsy if I can’t and because, well, it’s a trip. Which is as good a way as any of describing the transports of a really good book.

Henrietta Rose-Innes is the author of Shark’s Egg and The Rock Alphabet. Her short story Poison won this year’s Caine Prize for African Writing.

click to listen to this interview

[ click to read interview at The Times South Africa ]

Posted on August 12, 2008 by Editor

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“We’re going to make a Mentos and Coke rocket, using a condom.”

Posted on August 12, 2008 by Editor

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Sh!t Flies At Swiss Art Museum

from AFP via Yahoo News

Flying piece of art causes museum chaos in Switzerland

GENEVA (AFP) – A giant inflatable dog turd by American artist Paul McCarthy blew away from an exhibition in the garden of a Swiss museum, bringing down a power line and breaking a greenhouse window before it landed again, the museum said Monday.

The art work, titled “Complex S(expletive..)”, is the size of a house. The wind carried it 200 metres(yards) from the Paul Klee Centre in Berne before it fell back to Earth in the grounds of a children’s home, said museum director Juri Steiner.


The inflatable turd broke the window at the children’s home when it blew away on the night of July 31, Steiner said. The art work has a safety system which normally makes it deflate when there is a storm, but this did not work when it blew away.

Steiner said McCarthy had not yet been contacted and the museum was not sure if the piece would be put back on display.

[ click to read article at Yahoo News ]

Posted on August 11, 2008 by Editor

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The Beauty Queen & The Mormon In The Mink Handcuffs

from AP via Commercial Appeal Memphis

Cloned pups expose 31-year mystery woman


SALT LAKE CITY — A woman who made news around the world when she had five pups cloned from her beloved pit bull Booger looked very familiar to some who saw her picture.

She’s the same woman who 31 years earlier was accused of abducting a Mormon missionary in England, handcuffing him to a bed and making him her sex slave.

The story of Joyce McKinney is the stuff of pulp fiction: a North Carolina-born beauty queen who moved west, won the title Miss Wyoming USA and went on to college at Brigham Young University, where she became obsessed with a Mormon fellow student.

When that young Mormon took a missionary trip to England, authorities say McKinney hired a private detective so she could locate and follow him.

She and a male accomplice were accused of abducting the 21-year-old missionary as he went door to door, taking him to a rented 17th-century “honeymoon cottage” in Devon and chaining him spread-eagle to a bed with several pairs of mink-lined handcuffs.

There, investigators say, he was repeatedly forced to have sex with McKinney before he was able to escape and notify police.

In a 1977 court hearing mobbed by the British press, Joyce McKinney said she’d fallen head-over-heels in love with the Mormon man and acknowledged tracking him to England. “I loved him so much,” she told a judge, “that I would ski naked down Mount Everest in the nude with a carnation up my nose if he asked me to.”

But she denied a sexual assault, saying the young man was a willing partner.

In her call to the AP on Saturday, McKinney repeated the same argument her lawyer made all those years ago: There’s no way she could have overpowered the young Mormon because he was much bigger and stronger.

“I didn’t rape no 300-pound man,” she said. “He was built like a Green Bay Packer.”

Joyce McKinney surfaced again in Utah in May 1984 and was arrested for allegedly stalking the workplace of the same Mormon man she was accused of imprisoning in England. Other charges include passing bad checks, an assault on a public officials and an 2004 animal cruelty charge alleging she failed to take proper care of a horse. That charge was dismissed.

[ click to read full story at ]

Posted on August 10, 2008 by MJS

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Isaac Hayes Gone

from CNN

— Soul singer Isaac Hayes, who won Grammy awards and an Oscar, has died at his home in Tennessee, police say.

Posted on August 10, 2008 by Editor

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Bright Shiny Blair

from Accidental Sexiness

Who Owns This Booty? August 9, 2008

It’s Selma Blair! She is on set of her new t.v. show for NBC entitled, Kath and Kim. She is holding a copy of James Frey’s book, “[Bright Shiny Morning].”


[ click to visit the Accidental Sexiness blog

Posted on August 9, 2008 by Editor

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Signing and Exhibit of WIVES, WHEELS WEAPONS w/James Frey, Terry Richardson & Richard Prince


Sunday, August 10th, from 5-7pm

Book release party for Wives, Wheels, Weapons

On Sunday August 10th, from 5-7 pm, join Glenn Horowitz Bookseller in celebrating the latest release of JMc & GHB Editions: James Frey’s Wives, Wheels, Weapons. Published as a companion volume to Frey’s latest novel, Bright, Shiny Morning(Harper Collins, 2008), Wives, Wheels, Weapons is an artists’ book made in collaboration with Terry Richardson and Richard Prince. The book excerpts three vignettes, “Wives”, “Wheels”, and “Weapons,” from Frey’s novel and presents them alongside a photo essay by photographer Terry Richardson. The hardcover edition features dust-jacket images by Richard Prince. Frey, Richardson and Prince will attend and copies of the book will be available for signing.

The book contains historical vignettes of LA, tracing its corruption and its foibles, until – as always happens in the best novels – the city itself becomes a character; a wild and volatile multi-tentacled beast capable of bestowing great hurt (and the odd chunk of real love) on those who are enmeshed in it.–Irvine Welsh, The Guardian.

Wives, Wheels, Weapons is an edition of 2,000, of which 1,000 hardcover and 1,000 softcover copies have been released simultaneously. Hardcover: $75; softcover: $45. 


[ click to read details at Glenn Horowitz Bookseller ]


Posted on August 9, 2008 by Editor

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Donatelli’s Storage Unit Workout

a Donatelli short from babyoven

Posted on August 8, 2008 by Editor

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French Criminals Invade West Village

from The Village Voice

French Crime Wave: Film Noirs and Thrillers, 1937–2000

Date/Time:Daily from Sun., August 10 until Thu., September 11

Price: $10.50


France’s most hardened outlaws come to Film Forum



Lock your doors—crime is on the rise this month in the West Village (and we can’t say we mind), thanks to Film Forum’s five-week series CRIMINAL MINDSFrench Crime Wave: Film Noirs and Thrillers, 1937–2000, where you’ll come face to face with some of France’s most hardened tough guys (Jean-Paul Belmondo, Jean Gabin, Alain Delon) and calculating femme fatales (Catherine Deneuve, Simone Signoret, Jeanne Moreau). With an emphasis on the filmmakers of the ’50s and ’60s, the program of 38 noir films and thrillers includes works by Louis Malle (Elevator to the GallowsThe Thief of Paris), François Truffaut (Shoot the Piano PlayerMississippi Mermaid), Henri-Georges Clouzot (La Vérité, starring Brigitte Bardot in her best performance ever), and Jean-Luc Godard (Pierrot Le FouBreathless). Tonight, see Rififi (1955), which J. Hoberman said “more or less invented the idea of French film noir” and won Jules Dassin a Cannes Best Director prize. Later in the series, catchLa Cérémonie (1995), a psychological thriller about a bourgeois couple in search of a housekeeper, andMurderous Maids (2000), based on the true story of two fiendish sisters who kill their employer and her daughter. 

[ click to read at ]

Posted on August 8, 2008 by Editor

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Adam McEwen: Chicken or Beef? – Exhibiting @ Glenn Horowitz

from Glenn Horowitz Bookseller 

Adam McEwen: Chicken or Beef? - New Exhibit at Glenn Horowitz Bookseller

Adam McEwen: Chicken or Beef?
August 9 to September 15, 2008

Please join us at a reception for the artist
Saturday, August 9th from 6 to 8 pm


Adam McEwen’s work is concerned with revitalizing our senses by drawing attention to the pervasive dullness of our usual visual experience. He works in a peripatetic variety of media, but the sense of déja vu is his consistent throughout. The more familiar the object the better it serves as a handy trope for re-awakening perception. The work combines a Pop sensibility with a wry sense of humor. His series of obituaries celebrating the lives of (still living) individuals like Kate Moss and Richard Prince brought him wide recognition and scrutiny at the 2006 Whitney Biennial. These darkly humorous works play off of celebrity culture and call attention to the usually overlooked codes that are embedded within conventional mass media, while invoking tragic mortality and its attendant glamour in a context disassociated from actual reality.
Visit our website for more information.


87 Newtown Lane
East Hampton, NY 11937
P: 631.324.5511

Art Gallery & Bookshop
Mon thru Sat: 10am to 5pm
Sun: 12pm to 4pm
Closed Wed & Thurs, Oct thru April


Posted on August 8, 2008 by Editor

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Classic Clash At Shea At Last

from Billboard

The Clash’s Shea Stadium Gig Heading To CD


Joe Strummer

Jonathan Cohen, N.Y.

Long bootlegged and sought after by collectors, the Clash‘s Oct. 13, 1982, performance at New York’s Shea Stadium will finally see official release Oct. 7 via Legacy.

The gig found the Clash opening for the Who on the latter band’s “farewell” tour, and features a wealth of favorites, from “London Calling” and “Police on My Back” to “The Magnificent Seven” and “Clampdown.”

The band, which at the time was touring in support of its recent album “Combat Rock,” also offered up the singles from that effort, “Should I Stay or Should I Go” and “Rock the Casbah.” According to Legacy, late guitarist Joe Strummer found the Shea tapes while preparing to move into a new house.

In other Clash news, a new biography culled from extensive band interviews, “The Clash by the Clash,” will be released Nov. 4 via Grand Central Books.


[ click to read at ]

Posted on August 8, 2008 by Editor

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Alan Kaufman is The Outlaw

from the OUTLAW Facegroup



Recent News


The OUTLAW BIBLE OF AMERICAN POETRY (Basic Books) has just gone into its 11th printing.


A SPECIAL Welcome to Dominique Lowell who joinedOUTLAW today. Not only is she featured in The Outlaw Bible of American Poetry but in her performing days she was internationally regarded as the Janis Joplin of Spoken Word–an incindiary poet who torched stages from San Francisco to  Berlin. To have been priviledged as I was to perform  and tour with her was just an incomparable experience! BIG LOVE TO YOU DOMINIQUE!

JOIN UNMUZZLED OX TODAY!!! Back in the mid-late 20th Century anyone with a substantive inclination to become a kulture superstar knew that Michael Andre’s lit&art mag THE UNMUZZLED OX was the Sexus, Nexus and Plexus of the scene.  Now it’s back on Facebook, stampeding into the  21st Century under the stewardship of Andre, today a distinguished writer and art critic and you  can join the mad charge by joining the Group UNMUZZLED OX today!

Congratulations to James Frey on his novel ‘Bright Shining Morning’ which is a work of superbly avant garde narrative innovation and compelling interest.

[ click to read more of the OUTLAW on Facebook ]

Posted on August 7, 2008 by Editor

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Teen Talia On Discovering The Meaning Of Life

from The Democrat and Chronicle

Discover the meaning of life

Talia Gonzalez
Teen Council member

Living in this day and age brings more than just awareness. It brings almost an involuntary knowledge of the world around us.

Even at the age of 10, my friends and I were aware of the politics around us.

How could you not in 2001? The Sept. 11 tragedy left this country reeling. And we knew it.

Our parents couldn’t hide the look in their eyes.

There aren’t many ways to react to war. And I am including not only America’s war, but other wars all over the world as well. Holy and unholy. Racial and civil.

And why people fight is in direct relation to what they believe in. And what you believe in is where you find personal meaning. What your purpose on earth is.

And of course this varies from person to person.

The meaning of life according to my favorite author James Frey is “Whatever you want it to be.”

I agree completely. I’m still young and already I have learned so much about life. I have learned when to let go and when to hang on. I have seen and experienced true beauty. And the best part is that I am nowhere near being finished yet.

When I was in 11th grade, a very good friend told me that she thought the meaning of life was to simply experience.

We were sitting in our Human Relations class and that was the topic of discussion. And as Mr. Ruggeri gripped his podium he asked the class, “What is your meaning of life?” And that was when she told me — experience.

I have adopted that same ideal in everything I do.

I try to incorporate that philosophy in all my decisions. Whether it is to experience religion, different lifestyles or points of view.

And experiencing branches off into so many other things. It is such a blanket word.

Anything can be experienced. Being poor or wealthy. The choice of whether to live life on the edge.

In one lifetime one will experience so much.

It is in itself a religion because everyone is devoted to it in one way or another. Without it, there wouldn’t be any insight or purity.

Teen Council members advise the editorial board and write occasional columns.

[ click to read piece at ]

Posted on August 7, 2008 by Editor

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The Day California Kicked Côtes du Rhône’s Rear

from the Los Angeles Times

Movie ‘Bottle Shock’ recounts the historic 1976 Paris wine-tasting contest


Robert Durell / Los Angeles Times

A film based on the historic event that put California wine on the map — starring Alan Rickman and Bill Pullman — opens in Southern California.

By S. Irene Virbila, Times Restaurant Critic
August 6, 2008


“Bottle Shock,” a new independent film based, very loosely, on the famous 1976 blind tasting in Paris in which two California wines came out on top, much to the chagrin of the expert — and very French — wine tasters, opens today at theaters across the Southland.

From the husband-wife filmmaking team of Randall Miller and Jody Savin (he’s directing; they’re co-writers and producers), the film stars Alan Rickman (Professor Severus Snape in the “Harry Potter” films) as British-born, Paris-based wine merchant Steven Spurrier, who organized the tasting; Bill Pullman (“Independence Day,” “Sleepless in Seattle”) as Jim Barrett, the beleaguered owner of Chateau Montelena(which won for its 1973 Alexander Valley Chardonnay); and Chris Pine (“Carriers,” “Just My Luck”) as Jim’s long-haired son Bo Barrett.

Filmed in the Napa and Sonoma valleys, “Bottle Shock” takes a romantic view of winemaking and the significance of that long-ago tasting, embellishing and heightening the drama for the screen.

Four writers took a stab at the screenplay, which in places reads like Wine 101 with the Spurrier character pompously opining that “great wine is great art. I am a shepherd . . . .” Hokey violin music playing in the background doesn’t help.

[ click to continue reading at ]

Posted on August 7, 2008 by Editor

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Guess the 100 Most Common Words in the English Language

from Codebox Software


Posted on August 6, 2008 by Editor

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Win the UK version of BRIGHT SHINY MORNING from InStyle

click to enter contest at InStyle




Win one of ten copies of James Frey’s latest novel, Bright Shiny Morning

Critically acclaimed writer James Frey returns with yet another moving tale, this time the purely fictional Bright Shiny Morning. Set in Los Angeles, it follows the lives of a group of characters in pursuit of their dreams in the relentless metropolis, from the bum on the boardwalk to the Hollywood mega-star with a big secret. is offering you the chance to win a copy of this moving book as it hits bookshelves this week. Simply fill in your details below.

Find out more at

[ click to enter contest ] 

Posted on August 6, 2008 by Editor

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Natación Sincronizada

from The Guardian UK

Beijing, China: Members of Spain's Olympic synchronized swimming team practice in the pool

Beijing, China: Members of Spain’s Olympic synchronized swimming team practise in the pool.  Photograph: Mark Terrill/AP 


[ click to view today’s 24 Hours in Pictures at Guardian UK ]

Posted on August 6, 2008 by Editor

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Nectarine Berry Pie with Black Pepper Crust

from The Chicago Tribune



Posted on August 6, 2008 by Editor

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Follow The Bouncing Sitcom

from the NY Daily News

[ click to view full slideshow at ]

Posted on August 6, 2008 by Editor

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from The New York Observer

Pretty Good, For a Book Publisher! Harper Collins Stars Frey, Wall, Oz Earn Rupert Murdoch … Millions!


James Frey

Getty Images

News Corp.’s fourth quarter earnings report is in, and it looks like HarperCollins made Rupert Murdoch about as much money this year ($160 million) as it did in 2007. His TV, cable, and film divisions, meanwhile, made him about $1.3 billion each!

Sorry, sorry, just some perspective. Back to HarperCollins: earnings for this quarter ($29 million) were down slightly compared to Q3, but up by a full third compared to Q4 last year. According to the summary provided in the report, the biggest titles of the quarter were James Frey’s Bright Shiny Morning, Elissa Wall’s Stolen Innocence, and an updated edition of YOU: The Owner’s Manual by Michael F. Roizen and Mehmet Oz.

For reference, Bright Shiny Morning has clocked 59,973 copies on BookScan, which means that it has actually sold somewhere in the neighborhood of 86,000. List price for the book was $26.95 per book, which puts gross sales for each copy at about $13.50 and gross sales overall at about $1.2 million.

[ click to read at ]

Posted on August 5, 2008 by Editor

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“Trust me, dude, you don’t want that sh@t – It tastes like dookey.”

from Funny Or Die


See more Nick Swardson videos at Funny or Die

Posted on August 5, 2008 by Editor

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