Category Archives: Books

The Girls, by Emma Cline

Since I am the type of person (is there such a type) who created a Google alert for “Leslie van Houten” (so that I can have up-to-date information on her various parole hearings), the subject of The Girls: A Novel … Continue reading

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R.I.P. Michael Herr

War journalist and screenwriter Michael Herr has died at the age of 76. His Dispatches, the classic of war journalism and so influential you can’t even measure it, is on most Best Nonfiction Books of All Time worth their salt. … Continue reading

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Rejoyce. It’s Bloomsday.

Some men send flowers to commemorate an anniversary. James Joyce wrote Ulysses. You know, whatever works. James Joyce, Nora Barnacle On June 15, 1904, young James Joyce sent a note to Nora Barnacle, who was a waitress at Finn’s Hotel. … Continue reading

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Stuff I’ve Been Reading

I’ve been on the move. Out in LA for 6 days, staying first with Alex and Chrisanne, and then checking into the Hotel California with my mother and two sisters. There was no pink champagne on ice, and we were … Continue reading

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“Why do they strike us? What is our offense?”

On Alex and Christine’s balcony. Heartbroken. From Tennessee Williams’s Notebooks: Tuesday – Jan 5, 1943 This is the first time that anybody ever knocked me down and so I suppose it ought to be recorded. Unhappily I can’t go into … Continue reading

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My Favorite Elvis Album/Book/Movie: for critic Padraic Coffey

Irish film critic Padraic Coffey (now based in Vancouver) runs a really fun series on his site Fan of Words called “My Favourite Things.” The gist is: Coffey asks a writer/critic/blogger to pick their Favorite album, their Favorite book, and … Continue reading

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Excerpt from Slouching Towards Bethlehem: ‘John Wayne: A Love Story’, by Joan Didion

For John Wayne’s Birthday A second excerpt from the essay collection: Slouching Towards Bethlehem: Essays (FSG Classics), by Joan Didion This is one of the best things written about John Wayne. It’s not just an essay about who he was … Continue reading

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Happy Birthday, Margaret Wise Brown

Born in 1910, Margaret Wise Brown always wanted to be a writer, but her journey towards the almost unprecedented success she eventually achieved, was not direct (how could it be? If you set out to create a children’s classic along … Continue reading

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The Books: Cults In Our Midst: The Hidden Menace in Our Everyday Lives, by Margaret Thaler Singer

Next book on the Cults shelf (and everyone should have a “cults shelf”): Cults in Our Midst: The Continuing Fight Against Their Hidden Menace, by Margaret Thaler Singer This is the Cult Bible. First published in 1996, it continued to … Continue reading

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“Does it all sound depressing to you? Queasy? Well, I’m not ashamed.” – Barbara Payton

No secret that I love Kim Morgan’s writing. No secret either that we are friends. But this piece, on the re-issue of the autobiography of poor messed-up Barbara Payton – actress, drunk/heroin-addict, prostitute, bar-fly, dead at the age of 39 … Continue reading

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