A Rock Reunion Reminds Me of a Great Introduction

At the Guns ‘n Roses performance last night, I was reminded of Mick Wall’s stellar book W.A.R.: The Unauthorized Biography of William Axl Rose. In this 2008 release, the veteran British rock journalist delivers one of the best introductions to any book I have ever read. After returning home at 3am last night, I pulled the book off the shelf, read the intro, and yep, goosebumps.

Well worth checking out.

Tiki Tales in Book About Famous Supper Club

Kahiki Supper Club: A Polynesian Paradise in Columbus by David Myers, Elise Myers Walker, Jeff Chenault, & Doug Motz was released in 2014 and provides a unique look into the history of a tiki landmark in the Midwest of all places.

For almost four decades, the Kahiki Supper Club distinctive architecture highlighted the east side of Columbus, Ohio. Visited by celebrities like Zsa Zsa Gabor and others of the day, the restaurant set the precedent for many themed eateries to follow.

Here is a brief question and answer session with two of the authors, conducted at the time of the book’s release.

Full of intriguing pictures and stories of the people who staffed the Kahiki, this is a view into the Midwest that most people would never imagine existed.

Tales Book Tops in Service Industry Category

Rome 201

On Friday, Gawker insinuated that the back and forth of will-he-promote or won’t-he-promote discussion of Gay Talese’s new book was a publicity generator.

If so, it certainly seems to be paying off. The book is currently the 3,360 ranked title on Amazon. But it is #1 in the Service Industries category. A work about a guy who runs a motel specifically for the purpose of spying on his customers. That’s service for ya!

Umm, Well, Now this is Uncomfortable

talese

Less than two weeks prior to publication, an attention grabbing account of a motel voyeur is being abandoned by the author.

Gay Talese is a journalism giant. But evidently he overlooked a key detail of property ownership when documenting the story of Gerald Foos, a motel owner who spied on his guests. When the Washington Post pointed out a gap in property records, Talese responded “I should not have believed a word he said… I’m not going to promote this book…How dare I promote it when its credibility is down the toilet?”

The Washington Post article further stated:

In a series of interviews, he expressed surprise, disappointment and anger to learn about the transactions. He said he had not been aware of them until a reporter asked him about it on Wednesday.

“The source of my book, Gerald Foos, is certifiably unreliable,” Talese said. “He’s a dishonorable man, totally dishonorable. . . . I know that. . . . I did the best I could on this book, but maybe it wasn’t good enough.”

I wonder how this will play out in regards to Talese’s book advance?

UPDATE:
NPR is reporting that Talese now says he spoke too soon. “I was upset and probably said some things I didn’t, and don’t, mean. Let me be clear: I am not disavowing the book and neither is my publisher.”

The British Guide to Good Sense Going Away

BOOK IDEA! Free to any Brit author who wants to take it and run with it!

In recent days, the British people have dominated headlines around the globe. And whether you, dear reader, agree with their decisions, there can be no doubt that those folks know how to quit.

First, there was Prime Minister David Cameron.

The results of the Brexit referendum were announced in the morning on Friday, June 24. The very same day, Cameron announced his resignation, detailing an October end to his six-year tenure in office. Cameron lobbied that England should remain in the EU and when his position was rejected by a relatively narrow margin of 3.8%. Citing that loss, Cameron stated, “I think the country requires fresh leadership to take it in this direction.”

Second, there was England National Team coach Roy Hodgson. After four years leading the Three Lions into battle on the soccer pitch, Hodgson drew mixed reviews for his club’s performance in the group stages of the Euro 2016. Yesterday, the upstart Icelandic team smote down the Brits with the power of Thor’s hammer in a shocking upset. Well, not terribly shocking because England has a history of wilting in these situations. But still, a country with a population of 330,000 just knocked out the inventors of the game. Within 20 minutes of the final whistle, Hodgson resigned his post. “Now is the time for someone else to oversee the progress of a hungry and extremely talented group of players,” he said. Now, to be fair, Hodgon’s contract was up and he knew it wouldn’t be renewed, but still, kudos to him for actually falling on his sword.

Contrast this with the American style of leadership, where immortality, invulnerability, and an absence of all shame are the requirements for the job. Nothing seems to get American leaders out of a job. Not a bad quarter on stock market, not a bad vote, not a bad game. Nothing. The American style is to deny, ignore, and hang on. When your term is finally, mercifully brought to an end somehow, you remain ever present on the scene, constantly opening your should-be-humiliated mouth to opine on how you were right all along.

Anyway, so here’s my book suggestion:

Write an etiquette book on the British Method of Going Away. Include lots of examples of American leaders who can use the advice. Provide example resignation speeches. Provide example photos of facial expressions, ways to appear appropriately somber. Maybe provide some tips on what to do after leaving office. Could be a very helpful addition to the etiquette shelf in any bookstore!

Remember When Cleveland Hated Lebron?

Fresh off the Hollywood-perfect ending of bringing a championship to the long-suffering fans of Cleveland, the praise for Lebron James will certainly hit new levels of genuflection. Without a doubt, it’s a great story.

But if you’re looking for a great sports book to read, don’t overlook the time when James was reviled for the way he originally departed his home region. And look no further than Scott Raab’s The Whore of Akron: One Man’s Search for the Soul of Lebron James. Published in 2011, the book explores Cleveland culture and the author’s own quirky life, in addition to documenting the activities of King James. Funny and insightful and chock full of other celebrities (due to Raab’s longtime work for Esquire), The Whore of Akron is a fun read, regardless of the current thinking about Lebron James.

Panama Papers Gonna Make a Good Book

The treasure trove of leaked documents dubbed “The Panama Papers” is going to make for a good book. Especially once American information starts trickling out.

Here is an informative NPR interview with Gabriel Zucman, author of The Hidden Wealth of Nations who states that “there’s about 8 percent of the world’s financial wealth that is held in tax havens globally. So that’s about $7.6 trillion today, a huge amount of wealth.” Zucman then goes on to distinguish the percentage of funds that is stored illegally as opposed to the legal stashes.

Would You Sell a Letter?

The news of a completed auction for a 1990 Harper Lee letter about Donald Trump made me contemplate the whole notion of selling correspondence.

Maybe after decades have passed, maybe after I die and heirs and Sackville-Baggins type looters pick through the Slushpile library, then possibly some pieces of correspondence might hit the market. But right now? It just seems odd to sell personal letters.

Editor’s Fault ‘Cub Reporter’ Invented Quotes

cub reporter

In the seemingly ever-growing list of journalists accused of plagiarism and fabrication, this might be one of the ballsiest explanations we’ve ever seen:

“I’m a cub reporter and expected a sustained and competent editor to guide me, something which I never had at your company,” purportedly from Juan Thompson.

Catch up on the whole shenanigan here at Gawker and here, at The Intercept.

The Donald Taught Me a New Word

trump

Well, not actually Donald Trump himself. But rather this article, “Has Trump Killed the GOP?” on Politico.

In the piece, Jacob Heilbrunn states that “It’s precisely Trump’s lubricity that is allowing him to transcend the GOP’s parochial ideological battles.” And I actually did think, “is that a made up word?” Nope. It’s in the dictionary! Merriam Webster defines the term as “the property or state of being lubricious; also the capacity for reducing friction.”

Obviously the context basically gives away the definition. It’s not like I was shocked by reading the actual textbook definition. Rather, at first glance, I figured this was some analyst-made-up word like the football commentators who continually talk about “escapability.” It was nice to know that yes, this is indeed a legitimate word.

[By the way, absolutely zero politically — positive or negative — about this article is intended towards Trump himself. Take your political kvetching to the Huffington Post or somewhere.]