Apparently, there are substantial dangers in recommending books. Geotectonic plates have been known to shift. Tsunamis have spontaneously erupted in Middle America shortly after someone recommended The Kite Runner for the 892nd time in one day. Remember, kids, don’t recommend books while driving.
One more reason to love Alice Munro: she’s behind some eco-friendly publishing. That’s great, but I have to ask. Wouldn’t she have better results if she stopped writing stories altogether?
A Vietnam vet spit tobacco juice at Jane Fonda during a book signing, calling it a “debt of honor.” I’d have something to say about how little courage can be gauged when spitting in the face of a 68 year old woman, but I’m a little too creeped out that there are guys out there who use tobacco juice as currency.
Book sales are out of control for the new pope. Publishers have been quietly urging the Holy See to elect a “second-string pope” so that they can double their sales.
If you haven’t checked out Fourteen Hills, you’re missing out on a very fine literary biannual. The biannual is produced by the San Francisco State University Creative Writing Department. The latest issue (Winter/Sprnig 2005) features contributions from Michelle Tea and Sam Hurwitt, a very strange letter story from Mat Snapp, a lengthy tale from Nona Caspers, and even an epigraph from Walter Benjamin.
The gang at Gigantic Graphic Novels have compiled the first eight issues of Rick Spears and Rob G’s Teenagers from Mars into a trade paperback. It hit the stands in February. I’m not sure if these two have been inspired by the Misfits song or not, but I’d describe the comic as an odd cross between Derek Kirk Kim and Fight Club. In a world close to ours, teenagers get pummeled by superstore goons, grave robbing runs rampant, and there’s a strange Moral Majority-style crackdown on comic books. The book has a punkish manga feel, existing in a parallel universe that perhaps has more parallels to this one than we realize.
Demonstrating once again that lucidity is not his strong suit, Michael Crichton thinks that people concerned with global warming are comparable to Nazi eugenicists. Sure, Mikey. Just about every environmentalist I know is planning to throw Republicans into the crematorium.
China has banned a novel by Yan Lianke because it satirizes Mao’s slogan, “Serve the People.”