- Consult this guide to books you should read before the movies come out. (Do NOT see The Road without reading the book first.)
- Nobody understands Emo Bun.
- The New York Review of Books special fiction issue features work from J.M. Coetzee and Michael Chabon, among many others.
- Look at this fucking hipster.
- New York magazine has twelve writers on their most memorable summer flings.
- Animals like drugs, too.
- Betty LaVette sings "A Change Is Gonna Come" on The Late Late Show. (via @luxlotus)
- Top 10 Literary Ménages à Trois
- The dancing inmates of Cebu prison in the Philippines present their Michael Jackson tribute (now with nuns!)
Sunday, June 28, 2009
Saturday, June 27, 2009
The Eclipsed Celebrity Death Club:
The championship trophy for badly timed death, though, goes to a pair of British writers. Aldous Huxley, the author of Brave New World, died the same day as C.S. Lewis, who wrote the Chronicles of Narnia series. Unfortunately for both of their legacies, that day was November 22, 1963, just as John Kennedy's motorcade passed the Texas School Book Depository. Huxley, at least, made it interesting: At his request, his wife shot him up with LSD a couple of hours before the end, and he tripped his way out of this world. Which, if you're going to go to your reward without anyone's noticing, is probably not a bad way to end it all.
Posted by escapegrace at 12:13 PM
Thursday, June 25, 2009
In an act of hubris, I try to locate meaning for the word "postmodern" over at Jacket Copy today. The piece was originally titled "How Can Bigfoot and My IT Department Both Be Postmodern, Or What Does Postmodern Mean Exactly?"
Posted by escapegrace at 9:59 AM
Sunday, June 21, 2009
- Beck's Record Club gets together for a day, records an iconic album, and posts the songs here. The Velvet Underground is first up.
- 20 Books of Shattered Childhoods
- Watch the trailer for Jonathan Ames's upcoming HBO series, Bored to Death.
- Watch the trailer for It Might Get Loud, Davis Guggenheim's documentary about Jimmy Page, The Edge and Jack White.
- 50 Best Websites for Moviemakers
- LA Weekly's Summer Fiction Sampler has new work from Michelle Huneven, Peter Gadol, and Charlie Haas.
- Mic to Mic streams the two previously unreleased Beastie Boys tracks from the Check Your Head collector's vinyl set.
- This photo essay collects abandoned places from all over the world.
- And for all the dads out there, the Top 7 Father's Day Films to Watch. Happy Father's Day!
Posted by escapegrace at 10:40 AM
Saturday, June 20, 2009
Posted by escapegrace at 11:48 AM
Wednesday, June 17, 2009
Sunday, June 14, 2009
- An Indie Rock Alphabet Book
- Dzanc Books launch a new online literary journal: The Collagist.
- Scary freaky anti-drug ads (not for children)
- Album covers of Eastern Europe '70s pop stars (via @mikhailg)
- Don't miss the latest installment of Vermin on the Mount tonight.
- You suck at Craigslist. (via @GreatDismal)
- Literary agent Nathan Bransford put together a very helpful writing advice database.
- The 100 Essential New England Books
- The Decade's 25 Most Essential Foreign Films
- An Israeli newspaper asks authors and poets to write the news. (via @EdanL)
- The Top 10 Most Absurd Time Covers of The Past 40 Years
- Two very different quizzes: From a 2001 issue of Wired, where do you fall on the autism spectrum? From a 1933 newspaper article, are you a good husband?
- 10 Best Bookshops in the World - One down, nine to go!
Posted by escapegrace at 8:12 AM
Saturday, June 13, 2009
Friday, June 12, 2009
LA Weekly on the current state of Sunset Junction:
Their message: Either work with the community or stop the festival. Until the permits are issued, the fate of this year’s fair is far from assured. Some think it may not happen at all, and blame decisions that SJNA has — or hasn’t — made. Says Sarah Dale, one business owner twice burned by the alliance: “It’s very hard to negotiate with people who at the end of the day don’t do what they say they’re going to do.”
Posted by escapegrace at 1:57 PM
Wednesday, June 10, 2009
Tuesday, June 09, 2009
Vintage LA tour company Esotouric has launched a new blog to replace the one that got them started. The 1947 Project isn't active anymore, but it was partly responsible for two of my favorite early escapegrace posts: suicidal tendencies circa 1947 and poison is the new black.
The Esotouric blog's first post takes us back to when Raymond Chandler was but a humble creamery bookkeeper.
Photo via Guardian Books Blog
Posted by escapegrace at 9:51 AM
Sunday, June 07, 2009
- Tom Waits on Bob Dylan's Theme Time Radio Hour: I particularly like the Jewish curses.
- Barbara Ehrenreich tells Berkeley journalism grads at their commencement: "You have abundant skills and talents - it's just not clear that anyone wants to pay you for them."
- I want these panthers to be real.
- An indie label posts mind-melting demo disasters. (via @jonfine)
- 10 Myths About Writers
- Wired/Bruce Sterling offers eighteen challenges in contemporary literature.
- 5 Bad Songs Made Good, 5 Good Songs Made Bad
- I still miss the sticker that was on my old car when I sold it. I think I'll need to get the T-shirt version.
Posted by escapegrace at 4:18 PM
Saturday, June 06, 2009
15. Will You Take Me As I Am: Joni Mitchell's Blue Period by Michelle Mercer
I reviewed this book here.
16. How the Light Gets In by M.J. Hyland
An Australian teen comes to the U.S. as an exchange student and consistently sabotages her big chance at a new life. Even as Louise self-destructs in all the cliche ways American kids do, Hyland manages to keep her fresh and endearing - the true strength of this novel. I can't remember how the story ends, but I'm sure Lou's going to be alright.
17. Clear: A Transparent Novel by Nicola Barker
This novel takes place in the 44 days David Blaine starved himself in a suspended plastic box above the Thames. It was sort of fascinating to read a book that was almost designed to be immediately dated. Barker is not quite as successful at keeping her narrator endearing, but the story is entertaining and has all the quirk Barker is known for.
18. Novel About My Wife by Emily Perkins
Both Clear and Novel About My Wife deserve praise for female authors writing surprisingly convincing male voices. At times in both books, I was startled to recall the gender of the writer. I was very excited to pick up Novel About My Wife after it won this year's Believer Book Award, but I wish that it had been tighter in its plot and pacing. The premise and characters are compelling, but there are too many superfluous sentences.
Posted by escapegrace at 3:35 PM
Friday, June 05, 2009
I don't know how I missed this literary apocalypse quiz. I just hope you score higher than I did. I think my failure means I should be spending my time more apocalyptically. (via @UMinnPress)
Here are some favorite apocalyptic scenes not included in the quiz. One is Gore Vidal; one is Carolyn See; one is Nathanael West.
"It made little difference whether these mysterious blobs of light were hallucinations, intergalactic visitors or military weapons; the important thing was to explain them. To behold the inexplicable was perhaps the most unpleasant experience a human being of that age could know….And since our people were (and no doubt still are) barbarous and drenched in superstition, like the dripping ‘Saved’ at an old-time Texas baptism, it was generally felt that these odd creatures whose shining cars flashed through our poor heavens at such speed must, of necessity, be hostile and cruel and bent on world dominion, just like ourselves or at least our geographic neighbors.”
"He was very angry. The message he had brought to the city was one that an illiterate anchorite might have given decadent Rome. It was a crazy jumble of dietary rules, economics, and Biblical threats. He claimed to have seen the Tiger of Wrath stalking the walls of the citadel and the Jackal of Lust skulking in the shrubbery, and he connected these omens with ‘thirty dollars every Thursday’ and meat eating."
"Finally, it was the city that held us, the city they said had no center, that all of us had come to from all over America because this was the place to find dreams and pleasure and love. I noticed – looking at headlines – that some cities emptied and some didn’t. Ours didn’t, not completely. They said we were crazy to stay. But then someone had always said we were crazy to be here in the first place. And someone had always said Noah was crazy to build a boat in his desert, and Lot had been crazy to pack up, on an impulse, and head west."
Posted by escapegrace at 1:35 PM