true confessions – As much as I like trolling bookstores, I love getting packages in the mail almost as much. Today’s haul were two books in the Hard Case Crime paperback series. I really had no excuse for buying them. The Ed McBain was originally published in 1958 and the Charles Williams in 1953, but I’m a sucker for hardboiled cover art, I just saw them on the net and had to have them. I’m nursing a crappy old set of Signet Mike Hammer novels that I hope don’t fall apart on me.
I have seen kitchy reprint series come and go, they are a transitory thing, usually lasting for a few months to a few years, just until tastes or trends change. I no longer fall in love with them, I no longer feel that undesirable urge to track them all down just to see them lined up cheek to jowl on a shelf. Oh LOOK!! they have a book club, you get 1 new one and 1 earlier title for the price of one. Oh…i’m such a sad case. Hmm..I’m gonna need an empty shelf somewhere….
Google isn’t the only one scanning books. the Million Book Project of the Carnegie Mellon Institute has been happily chugging away for the last 7 years, scanning books at 40 locations in the US, India and China.
worth a listen – NPR’s Talk of the Nation discusses ‘bookless’ libraries, as those institutions redefine themselves and on Fresh Air Terry Gross interiews Marc Weingarten who’s new book The Gang That Wouldn’t Write Straight: Wolfe, Thompson, Didion and the New Journalism Revolution. Author Greg Bear talks about Octavia Butler’s life and legacy.
obit worth reading – Robert L Scott, 97 went to meet his co-pilot…ooohhhh like you weren’t THINKING that?
cookies – Vancouver’s J.B. MacKinnon wins $25K Charles Taylor non-fiction prize for Dead Man in Paradise
color me surprised – 6th grade text books were confiscated from an upscale American school by the Ministry of Education in Abu Dhabi, UAE – because they reportedly showed Islam in a negative light and glorified Israel.
Born Feb 28th 1894 Ben Hecht novelist, playwright, newspaperman, screenwriter and my personal patron saint. Like Robert Benchley and many other brilliant writers of his era, he wrote everything novels, plays, essays…and thankfully screenplays. Hecht was one of the most prolific script doctors of golden era Hollywood. I can always tell when Hecht had his hand on a script last, the jokes were always a little smarter, a little sexier and just over the head of the Breen office. Of the about 35+ Hechtian DVDs on the shelf, I recommend Hallelujah I’m a Bum (1933), Design for Living (1933), Nothing Sacred (1937), Angels with Dirty Faces (1938), Gunga Din (1939) , Angels Over Broadway (1940), Roxie Hart (1942) , Lifeboat (1944), Kiss of Death (1947). In all of these he makes the language dance.
“Trying to determine what is going on in the world by reading newspapers is like trying to tell the time by watching the second hand of a clock”. Ben Hecht