Last week, the inimitable John Hodgman (above, backstage) appeared at the Coolidge Corner Theatre to talk about his new book. (You can read my interview with him here.) It was epic. Ted Leo performed a mini concert, Hodgman orchestrated a script reading of an imaginary competitive hoarding reality show, and a young fella proposed to his girlfriend (she said yes!).
Tom Lyons has bought the New England Mobile Book Fair. Lyons, a Brookline-based management consultant, and current owner Jon Strymish confirmed the sale earlier today. The Newton Highlands institution has beein in the Strymish family for 54 years and has been on the market for one. "I'm happy and ready to move on," Strymish said.
Boston being full of college kids and all, you'd think there'd be a shit ton of missed connections involving books, so I turned to Craiglist to find out. Here's what I saw:
Reading John McPhee (m4w) Green Line
You were wearing a maroon coat and reading "The Founding Fish" on the train around 5 this evening. Wish I had said something, because John McPhee is excellent.
Most longstanding couples' common interests include real estate and certain cable series. Damon Krukowski and Naomi Yang, Galaxi 500 emeriti, have most of us beat. In addition to their band, Damon and Naomi, the pair runs the tiny, awesome publishing house Exact Change Press and, most recently, collaborated on the book Afterimage, a collection of Krukowski's poems illustrated with Yang's photographs.
Over at Shareable, Paul M. Davis is keeping real-time tabs on what's happening with the Occupy Wall Street People's Library after the NYPD seized its books during the raid of Zucotti Park. (A brief rundown: the police and impounded the library's 5,000 books -- the picture above was tweeted by the mayor's office to assure people the books hadn't been destroyed.
The Narrative Thread Reading Series, founded by Kneerim Williams literary agents Caroline Zimmerman and Katherine Flynn, focuses on younger, up-and-coming authors. For this installment, they've partnered with the New Center for Arts and Culture to bring three debut fiction writers to the Middlesex: Vanessa Diffenbaugh (The Language of Flowers), Stuart Nadler (The Book of Life) and Phoenix fave William Giraldi (Busy Monsters).
My last encounter with a book collector happened while I was lurking around George R. R. Martin at the Massachusetts stop on his book tour. I met this nice fellow at the end of the signing line (a high school math teacher, if memory serves) who was going through the line again in order to avoid the two-book limit Barnes and Noble had imposed.
For the last several years, the Book Doctors - husband and wife publishing industry vets David Sterry and Arielle Eckstut - have been teaching people how to get their books published. Tonight at Porter Square Books, they'll stage a Pitchapalooza, the event they invented in which prospective authors will pitch their book ideas in front of a roomful of strangers.
Joan Didion wore a purple scarf and her trademark oversized glasses last night at the sold-out Harvard Book Store-sponsored event at First Parish Church in Cambridge. She was in town to promote her new book, the heartbreaking “Blue Nights,” which concerns the death of her daughter and which can, and likely will, be read as a macabre follow-up to 2005’s deeply affecting “The Year of Magical Thinking,” about the death of her husband.
Jonathan Lethem will be very busy on Wednesday.
I got my copy of the Free People holiday catalog this afternoon. For those of you who are unfamiliar, Free People is a clothing company owned by the same corporate entity that owns Anthropologie and Urban Outfitters. Where Urban Outfittes sells cheap, mass produced clothes to individualistic students who aspire to hang out in indie rock bars and Anthropologie sells dramatically overpriced mass-produced clothes to individualistic 30-somethings who aspire to be art teachers and / or residents of French Indochina, Free People is something else.
If Denis Leary seems an unlikely host for Ploughshares' upcoming 40th anniversary fundraiser , take note: The comic, Rescue Me star, erstwhile MTV fixture and Emerson alum was published in Ploughshares as a tender youth. His poems "He weeds the clouds" and "the rabbits" appear in the fall 1977 issue alongside work from poetry titans Charles Simic and John Ashbery and a story from a then-unknown John Irving.
A little over a week ago, Sydney's Galaxy Bookshop posted the above photo on Facebook which, as of today, has been shared by over 1600 people. The caption, "Books: Get HBO programming ten years ahead of everyone else," is pretty funny. But the comments on the photo aren't. Within a day, the conversation became an argument about the respective virtues of paper books and ereaders.