• An open memo to John Freeman: Do you even have a sense of humor? Or did you lose it when you became involved with the NBCC? Or are you hoping that maintaining a sourpuss disposition will get you published in Tanenhaus’s pages? I publicly challenge you to either ping-pong, bowling or mini golf the next time I’m in New York City, where we might settle this silly divide between old media and new media like gentlemen.
  • Alisdair Gray posts his one-act play, “Goodbye Jimmy.” He’s granted everyone permission to rewrite the play in a different dialect or language, with any changes or additions they like. I must say, I’m tempted to pen a California surfer version entitled “Goodbye Rufus,” replacing the Iran banter with speculation on Keanu Reeves’ sexual orientation.
  • Apparently, I have less than a month to get indicted and convicted for tax income evasion or, alternatively, to go crazy with an axe. One thing about Peschel’s list: all the presidential assassins seem to be young. Leon Czologz isn’t on the list, but at 28, he was an elder statesman compared to Booth and Oswald (and Hinckley, whose failed Reagan assassination came at the age of 26). The moral of the story: if you’re President of the United States, you can trust anyone over 30.
  • More on the Savanna Samson scam. The Book Standard talks with Samson, but doesn’t ask her who the real author of the book is or why Thunder’s Mouth is taking this approach. Instead, TBS asks the porn star about book digitization, which is akin to asking a typographical expert about the finer techniques of double penetration. Well, that’s okay. While TBS remains asleep at the wheel (not the first time they’ve been indolent), I don’t mind doing a little reporting. It takes all of two minutes. I’ve left a voicemail with Thunder’s Mouth’s associate publicist and I will let you know if I hear anything back. (And, heya, TBS, I rib you because I care.)
  • One thing is certain: hip-hop and New Yorker house style don’t mesh well. “For moral support, Gravy had assembled a sizable entourage.” Indeed.
  • Elizabeth Crane celebrates ten years in Chicago and reveals the crazed “must-leave-now” circumstances that caused her to flee New York.
  • The Chronicle‘s Simone Sebastian reports on the closing of Cody’s. Dibs, meanwhile, calls bullshit.
  • Damn. The Alexander Book Company too? That’s four bookstore closings in the Bay Area (ACWLP, Cody’s, Valencia Street, Alexander) in the past few months. (via Kevin Smokler)


  1. Re: ribbing TBS

    Do you think Savanna Samson KNOWS who the real author is??? We were after sex, baby, digitized or not. We’ll leave the investigative reporting to you. (By the way, Encyclopedia Brown, that Savanna Q&A of ours ran exactly 9 months ago.)

    We look forward to associate publicist (Peter Barrett, our moppy-haired friend?)’s answer. Thunder’s Mount/Avalon was super-pissy about our quoting SS on that whole author issue. Not pissed at SS, of course, just us, for Savanna knew not what she said.

    Yours, doubly penetrated,

    Chuck Shelton
    Managing Editor, VNU US Lit Group
    Kirkus Reviews
    The Book Standard

  2. Chuck, baby, thanks for stopping by! And thanks for clarifying the true purpose of TBS! I appreciate your candor. I mean, here I was naively thinking that “daily commentary and provocative insight into the book-publishing and bookselling industries from estabished and new voices” (culled from your “About Us” page) reflected some modicum of journalism — you know, calling around, confirming news from multiple sources, keeping a pad by your desk to track calls. But now I know it’s all about the sex!

    Oh well, at least you (and, I presume TBS by default) have a sense of humor. You got me on the date of the article, but seeing as how it was on The Book Standard’s “Most Emailed Articles” RSS feed, I figured it was fairly current. The oversight is mine. But perhaps this reveals that only a handful of people are emailing your articles around, as opposed to a vast swarm of insiders.

    In any event, I remain a fateful reader, happy to rib for your pleasure,


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