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Get out of the house and go hear two of my favorite authors read on their tour this month! Not only are Lisa Scottoline and Laura Lipmann wonderful authors, they are energetic, fun speakers, and you'll be happy to see them! Lisa tour + Laura tour.
I have a new favorite guilty pleasure: the talk show on Monday eve on the NASCAR channel, where they review every crash from the race the day before! I love it! It's a soap opera on wheels, AND if Michael Waltrip is on each time, I am definitely watching. What a delight to watch and listen to a swishy, funny race car driver! He's still in the closet, but boy was he a hoot.
I feel like Jack Lemmon in Prisoner of 2nd Ave., starting to lose his mind over the noise and pressures of city life. Here at 10 E. 50th we are a few months into a building demolition next door and now the jackhammering of Manhattan's schist from 7 AM - 5 PM. It is really loud and I am a man on the edge.
Way way way back I was a math and chem kid until I drifted through other majors and came out, blessedaly, with a bookstore job. A dilettante's dream. Still, my interest was piqued by our reissue of Art & Physics. It's quite fascinating how Shlain is pulling these disparate threads together.
Thanks to engineers and government, light bulb bases, plugs, and a/c current are standardized. And even something mundane like zippers. In fact, a first for me: I zippered the left side of a fleece to the right side of my jacket! So why oh why isn't there one uniform cell phone charger???
Last year, I was lucky enough to pick up manuscripts of 3 books that changed my view of fiction. I’ll talk about the first one today: Alex Mindt’s Male of the Species.
I love short stories, but even so, they sometimes lose energy across the arc of the book, or they are uneven. Not in Male of the Species. So moving and unique is each story that I did not want to ruin the afterglow for a week by reading much of anything else. Then, with deep breath, I’d enter another of Alex’s little big worlds. Almost a year later, images from this book are still with me: the Vegas trapeze guy; the befuddled Hispanic father at his gay daughter’s wedding; the son trying to get a date for his dad by writing letters to a woman down the street .
I can’t do justice trying to encapsulate each story. More amazingly, Alex carries a theme throughout the book, as the title suggests: Men and our particular befuddlements and failings, especially as fathers and sons, and the women we frustrate beyond all measure. There is a lot of life experience and observation in this collection.
Alex is a writing teacher here in NYC and has won a Pushcart Prize. He is a writer to watch, and I urge you to get a copy of Male of the Species when it comes out May 8. He’ll also be reading in NY, New England and DC in May as well as his native Pacific Northwest in June. Schedule tk.
From author Masha Hamilton: "Since I visited Africa a year ago and trudged through the bush with the camel library, I've been trying to think of how to get them more books. I love the idea of a group of authors coming together to help promote reading and education in this area under transition." Check this amazing site out, where you can get books to the needy in Africa.