Author Archive | Erasergirl

having a lie-in

“Cards are war, in disguise of a sport.” – Charles Lamb

U.S. Games, Inc. not only still sells Authors, (yes that 1880s card game is still in print) continually updating the authors depicted, but they also have American Women Authors, which includes Emily Dickinson, Pearl Buck, Edith Wharton, Zora Neale Hurston, Dorothy Parker, Harriet Beecher Stowe as well as American Author which includes: Melville, Whitman, James, Dreiser, Frost, O’Neill, Fitzgerald, Steinbeck, Faulkner, Baldwin, Wolfe, Cather, and Hemingway. The actual GAME is basically ‘Happy Families’ so it can be played by people who aren’t even old enough to read the cards. the cards also now contains numbers and pips, so they can be used as regular playing cards – for when you get tired of teaching the kids about great literature and move on to

Letters of a Portuguese Nun – Myriam Cyr
In Lucia’s Eyes – Arthur Japin
Atlas of North American English Phonetics, Phonology and Sound Change – William Labov

The Amalgamation Polka – Stephen Wright
Family Secrets – Maile Meloy
Club George: Diary of a Central Park Bird Watcher – Bob Levy
Brooklyn Follies – Paul Auster
Breaking the Spell: Religion as a Natural Phenomenon – Daniel C. Dennett
Lincoln: A Life of Purpose and Power– Richard Carwardine
Escape Clause – James O. Born

NYT feature on New York novels

reminder: Bullpen Events Calendar now contains literary events as well as antiquarian book fairs. Please feel free to submit anything that may be interesting to the rest of us. This morning I added the American Crossword Puzzle Tournament just for the hell of it. I’d like to have something listed for every state and at least every week, so that there is always SOMETHING interesting going on.

DYK? you can listen to Wait Wait Don’t Tell Me on the internet?


A 120 year old poetry book, containing one poem containing the ‘N’ word…has managed to freak out some folks who think the a rare book section of a high school library should be completely sterile and inoffensive…just like the rest of their world. I just keep extrapolating this concept and it wraps itself around my head like a mobius strip. Are we to retroactively scour clean all traces of our history as if it never happened? If so that’s a hell of a lot of books to be burned …this whole rewriting history thing makes my brain bleed.

academic hysteria rears its head in David Horowitz’s the 101 Most Dangerous Academics in America.

event calendar item 11th annual Bay Area Anarchist Book Fair will be held March 18 – wouldn’t organizing for a book fair be anti-anarchy?

Eleanor Atkinson, the author of Greyfriars Bobby will now have a website of her very own.

BTW Kinky Friedman is running for governor of Texas.

the Baltimore sun has a nice interview with Richard Price who’s Freedomland is now up on the big screen.

Our own Ed Smith sent me a copy of Bibliomania: the Documentary, produced by the ABAA about the 2003 California International Antiquarian Book Fair. ..I am not sure if I am supposed to actually write a proper review...i will if someone wants to pay me – who am i kidding? i will do most anything if someone paid me. You will have to be happy with just this: Fer cryin’ out loud, go buy a copy. If you are an exhibitor you may find it redundant but it’s cool to see your friends on film, if you are NOT – you WILL learn something, if ONLY what goes into putting on a fair. I enjoyed it, it was well put togethered, covered many aspects, interviewed many familiar faces – well worth ten bucks…. aren’t WAITING for me to send you ten bucks are you?

obit worth reading: Robert W Peterson author of Only the Ball was White, history of the Negro Leagues.

mixed media

“My father hated radio and could not wait for television to be invented so he could hate that too.” – Peter De Vries

Several dvd producing companies have been trying to market book /dvd packages: Soon The Penguin people will be publishing books with dvds in the back of Decameron, Of Human Bondage, Hamlet, Romeo and Juliet and a collection of plays by Eugene O’Neill (which will include Robeson’s Emperor Jones).PBS has been having a good time with their book and DVD packages but then they are selling stuff like: Benjamin Franklin, West Point: The First 200 Years, American Experience, Gettysburg, Islam: Empire of Faith Columbia/Sony has been selling book/dvd sets for a while now: Sense and Sensibility, Tess, Persuasion, Little Women.

cartoon wars scorecard: Back in September The Danish paper Jyllands-Posten published some unfunny anti-arab cartoons. And only recently in protest the Iranian paper Hamshahri started a holocaust cartoon contest and then in solildarity the editor at Jyllands-Posten Flemming Rose offered to run those cartoons as well, (btw Mr. Rose has been suspended over that idea). In jealousy? an Israeli cartoonist has started the Israeli Anti-Semitic Cartoons Contest. (great NPR interview) And so far very few American papers have had the balls to run the initial anti-arab cartoons, except for a student paper in Illinois, and they are basically roasting that kid over an open flame. But we managed to draw a few of our own. Tune in next week for Doodlewars!

elsewhere on our little blue ball: a collection by Children’s Illustrator Arthur Rackham will be exhibited at the Central Michigan University Library.

banktoaster: Free audio book Master of the Storm by James Flint is available for download from BMW.

NEWS FLASH: Javier Bardem to star in the film version of
Gabriel García Márquez Love in the Time of Cholera!! For those who may remember Barden starred as Reinaldo Arenas in Before Night Falls and as Ramón Sampedro in the Sea Inside. and on top of that…he’s just gorgeous..hey a girl’s gotta have a hobby…..

papa don't preach

‘All good books have one thing in common – they are truer than if they had really happened.” – Ernest Hemingway

Good news Everyone!* Papa will soon be on audio for everyone! i’ll alert the media. Now as much as I respect him, I’ve read him, I admire his work….but does anyone really really think Hemingway is THE man for the 21st century? All that manly swagger, all the shotguns and penis measuring – personally I think we have enough of that codswallop running thru the streets – doncha think?

The wiki people have put an end to an elaborate wikipedia hoax regarding a fictional socialist revolutionary and supposed friend of Ernest Hemingway. How come I never hear about this stuff until things like this are over?

BTW I found this interesting review of Dear Papa, Dear Hotch: The Correspondence of Ernest Hemingway and A. E. Hotchner.

also worth the Read: Homer, Hemingway, and the Palm Pilot: The Changing Business of Books Peter Osnos, The Century Foundation, 2/9/2006

“God knows people who are paid to have attitudes toward things, professional critics, make me sick; camp following eunuchs of literature. They won’t even whore. They’re all virtuous and sterile. And how well meaning and high minded. But they’re all camp followers. ” –
Ernest Hemingway

one book:Chicago is gonna read One Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich together. Ain’t that sweet?

naughty: Strindberg‘s Jealousy’s Night was stolen by three men from a museum in central Stockholm on Wednesday.


“Outside of a dog, a book is a man’s best friend. Inside of a dog it’s too dark to read.” Groucho Marx.

Despite the 29 inches of snow in New York, the
Dog Writers Association of America held their annual banquet last weekend.

Jeffrey Deaver‘s Briard won best in breed at Westminster.

of Labradoodles and Cockapoos, a piece on designer puppies (read MUTTS), nope isn’t book related, i just thought it was cute.

Booksellers are again being left out of the loop, Christian Science Monitor gives a run down on

Ohio State Board of Education woke up from their drunken stupor and are no longer making science teachers backpedal on teaching Dawinism. However, the people in Colorado are eyeing that punch bowl full of of kool-aid.

Planetwide Games is getting into bed with National Geographic to produce some variations on their Comic Book Creator software.

Are there TOO many cookbooks? speaking as a cookbook junkie, I say hell no. However Gillian Glover of the Scotsman thinks there maybe in the UK anyway, damn philistine.

Meanwhile the english have take a poll to find out who their favorite chef/authors really are (insert classic joke about English cookery HERE): The top 10: Delia Smith, Jamie Oliver, Nigella Lawson, Gary Rhodes, Ken Hom, Mary Berry, Rick Stein, Madhur Jaffrey, Ainsley Harriott, Gordon Ramsay

Had to insert a picture of Jamie Oliver here….he’s just as cute as a damn puppy. see how i extended the dog theme? cool huh? yeah try doing this every damn day.

romancing the book

Romance is the fiction that owes no allegiance to the God of things as they are. In the novel the writer’s thought is tethered to probability, but in romance it ranges at will over the entire region of the imagination.” – Ambrose Bierce

The corpses of couples have always littered the literary landscape – where would we be without Scott and Zelda, Alice and Gertrude, Elizabeth and Robert, Lytton and Dora and Ralph to gossip about?

Here’s a recent little touchy feely piece about literary couple Paul Auster and Siri Hustvedt.

For the five people who haven’t heard, Nicholas Sparks has been shortlisted for the Romantic Novel of the Year Award. still doesn’t make his books worth reading IMHO.

. . .and for those who still can’t get enough of that sort of thing: eHarlequin (Mills & Boon to the rest of you) is still peddling mushy softcore smut in every conceivable (is that a double entré?) format, paperbound, audio, electronic, they go to great lengths to smear a little more love around the globe, including signing a licensing agreement with NASCAR for tie in novels. Love is at the Races! Who knew?

Today in History – 1989 Iranian Muslim leader Ayatollah Khomeini issued a fatwa against British author Salman Rushdie and his publishers over the book Satanic Verses

Today in History – 1974 The Soviet authorities have formally charged Russian writer Alexander Solzhenitsyn with treason one day after expelling him from the country.

Obits worth reading: Edna Lewis at 89; Chef, Author of Southern Cuisine Cookbooks.

stretching things.

“The pitifulest thing out is a mob; that’s what an army is–a mob; they don’t fight with courage that’s born in them, but with courage that’s borrowed from their mass, and from their officers. But a mob without any MAN at the head of it is BENEATH pitifulness.” Huck Finn.

On this day in history, Sotheby’s announced the discovery half of the long-lost manuscript of Huckleberry Finn by Mark Twain in the trunks of a 62-yr old librarian.

Sillywalks: 2005’s most ridiculous book title contest

DIY a homemade PDA for the rest of us.

Deadhorses: more Frey fallout, fellow authors those with dj blubs from Mr. Frey are feeling the effects. I try to resist the urge, I really do.

“There was things which he stretched, but mainly he told the truth.” Huck Finn.

have to shovel now……….anyone got a flame thrower?

benchley roundup

“Drinking makes such fools of people, and people are such fools to begin with, that it’s compounding a felony.” Robert Benchley

Peter Benchley passed Sunday of pulmonary fibrosis. Like everyone else I read Jaws after I saw the movie, which led me to read the Deep, the Island, White Shark and even Creature. I enjoy a good monster a lot more than Hannibal Lecter-esque villains. But face it, they ain’t great art. They are trashy beach novels and it can’t really hurt to have more of them. I also think I kept reading out of a sense of loyalty.

I had read a lot of work by Nathaniel Benchley – I was very fond as kid of humorous fiction of the whitebread middle american kind: the Off-Islanders was one of my favorites. (I am also particularly fond of Norman Jewison‘s filmed version the Russian’s are Coming, the Russians are Coming, I was all over anything that satirized the cold war.) Nathaniel wrote a lot of books Catch a Falling Spy, Sail a Crooked Ship, Sweet Anarchy. I think only his kids books are in print anymore.

But the real benchmark was Robert, famed of song, story, film, radio, magazine, books, essays, you name it, he was one guy who knew how to brand. Talk about sons trying to live up to their fathers, this guy was truly famous and truly gifted. At anyone time there are a number of anthologies of Robert Benchley‘s humor in print, and even more out of print. But it was ONLY recently that his short films have seen the light of day. Some can be found buried as short subjects on Warner Home Video releases (two can be found in the Thin Man box set), but Kino Video has released a dvd with fourteen of this shorts: Robert Benchley And The Knights Of The Algonquin.

It took me fifteen years to discover that I had no talent for writing, but I couldn’t give it up because by that time I was too famous. –
Robert Benchley

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calendar girl

New Bullpen Features! See that sidebar thing on the left, the thing everyone ignores….yeah that thing…that thing that I spend so much time on…well there’s a new thing on that thing. The words “Bullpen Event Calendar” are new. Technically it’s called the Bibliophile Bullpen Events Calendar but that’s too damn many words. Addition of book related events is encouraged. Anyone can add one, but I get to approve it before it’s made public, so if the porn shop down the street is having a half off sale, it probably won’t make it to the ‘public’ part of the events calendar, but PLEASE submit it anyway, half off porn is well…HALF off. I’m not particularly fond of it’s remarkably simple and cutesy, but it’s doing what I want for now. I would have rather have one of those lovely embedded calendar boxes in the sidebar. But I destroyed my own blog template trying to install one. So this will have to hold us for now.

Oh, yeah the other thing, I had to post the Useful Phone List so that I could reference it on the SIDEBAR – as it was I was linking off site, which I am not particularly fond of. Please email me any changes. Thanks.

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