Word Up had a bit of trouble coming up with a favorites list for 2006. As much as we love us some literature up in this blog piece, it's not as though we're only consuming new, contemporary fiction. There's always new-to-us classics to discover, not to mention long-published tomes that have been on our must-read lists for months.
Or the previous night, as the story goes. Clement Clarke Moore’s “’TWAS THE NIGHT BEFORE CHRISTMAS” was published in 1823, and it launched the modern Santa Claus myth. Before that, Santa was just St. Nicholas, patron saint of children, not a jolly fat dude with a penchant for monochromatic red outfits and worldwide sleigh travel and a ginormous sack of toys.
It's Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows. No pub date or cover yet; Rowling's still working on it. The deaths of two major characters TK.
Celebrate “A YEAR OF POETRY” at Brookline Booksmith with famous local scribe and BU Creative Writing prof ROBERT PINSKY, the Phoenix’s own LLOYD SCHWARTZ, 11 other local poets, plus Alhambra’s Poetry Calendar 2007 editor SHAFIQ NAZ. What would the next 365 days of your life be without some free verse and iambic pentameter? The gang will read and sign their own works and read from those of the masters at Brookline Booksmith, 279 Harvard St, Brookline | 7 pm | free | 617.
There are two distinct types of people in this fine world: those who loathe Food Network host and next-gen Martha Stewart superwoman RACHAEL RAY for her precious catch-phrase cooking and those who think her ever-present giggly abbreviations of extra-virgin olive oil (EVOO, y’all) are totally adorable.
BUH BYE: So totally fired
The big news in the publishing world today is Rupert Murdoch's firing ReganBooks publisher Judith Regan for some nasty comments she made about Jewish people. And probably for just being an all-around nutcase. Nice work, Judy! We're rivited by your psychotic literary misadventures.
Sam Rosen stumbled across the Paper Cut Zine Library in Harvard Square earlier this fall because he was at a "speed friending" event in a neighboring room. "We were like 'whoa, what's this place about?'" he says. And so began his love for zines. He's a librarian at the Mount Auburn Street spot now ("anyone can be a librarian," he says), and he's organized one of the library's monthly benefits taking place this Sunday at 6 pm.
The almighty Gawker points us to this funny bit about Michael Crichton, a man who makes his living writing techno-thrillers.
When The New Republic's Michael Crowley wrote a not-so-nice feature profile about Crichton for the mag, the author's fifth grader-like response was to "create" a villainous character named Mick Crowley in his newest novel.
SMELL THE GLOVE
An economically depressed small town in New York lobbies to be recognized as a Native American tribe (the Filaquonsett) so it can build a casino to bring in revenue. This pisses off the neighboring Native American tribe and casino, who then build a toxic-waste dump next to the Filaquonsett joint.
Cynthia von Buhler has lead many lives: in Boston she fronted the S&M-themed musical review Women of Sodom; ran a gallery out of the Allston home she dubbed Castle von Buhler; and created such unforgettable works as the Cynth-O-Matic, a vending machine that dispensed, among other things, vials of her own pubic hair.?xml:namespace>
TURNING TRICKS?: Fishbowl vs. Cutler
It's been awhile since we checked in with the crew at Off the Shelf, the Boston Globe's lit blog. Yesterday, publishing reporter and all-around smarty guy David Mehegan posted a very funny rant about author's acknowledgment pages in fiction novels. He addressed it to the Department of Curmudgeon.
Brookline Booksmith dedicates an evening to literary zeitgeist with a killer double bill. First up is local academic LEORA LEV, whose Enter at Your Own Risk: The Dangerous Art of Dennis Cooper is the first critical collection of essays on the author of the George Miles novels (Closer, Frisk, Try, Guide, Period), which typify his wall-of-assault psychosexual prose.
SPORTS GUYHow did Tom Brady go from being a sixth-round draft pick to the Patriots’ star quarterback and one of football’s most celebrated players? Ah, the warm-fuzzy story of the underdog. Sports journalist, former Phoenix staffer, and NPR’s “Only A Game” contributor CHARLES P. PIERCE tells the tale of Brady’s rise in Moving the Chains: Tom Brady and the Pursuit of Everything
A few things to note:
1. It's officially December, which means the 2006 National Novel Writing Month bonanza is dunzo. And we'd like to know: did any of you participate? Does anyone get something worthwhile out of this thing? Is it just bullshit pressure to pump out drivel for 30 days? Or is it a magical literary bender of creativity? Discuss.