Yesterday, we discussed the deluge of books related to hard rock and heavy metal. Whereas the prevailing attitude used to be that rockers don’t read, it now appears that anyone
The soccer controversy out of the World Cup today about Luis Suarez biting an opponent reminded me of the fabulous book Among the Thugs by Bill Buford. Prior to writing bestsellers about cooking, Buford churned out an amazing book that provided an inside look into soccer hooligan culture.
Well worth grabbing off the shelf for some reading while we await FIFA’s ruling on disciplinary actions for Suarez.
Under normal circumstances, I would be ecstatic that the great Barry Hannah gets a mention — any mention — in Newsweek magazine. But this article of Gordon Lish in decline just rubs me the wrong way. I know a number of people who took Lish’s workshop and a couple who were edited by him. So I’ve never been under any illusions about his strong personality and opinions.
Nonetheless, his comment that Raymond Carver was “a fraud. I don’t think he was a writer of any consequence.”
Just a sad article about a once literary icon.
Little more than two weeks after a widely circulated article on the fading of a genre, “Killing Conservative Books: The Shocking End of a Publishing Gold Rush that discussed “the gutting of the conservative book market” and that too many books and too many publishers “made the economics of their genre much tougher, with an ever-increasing number of books competing for an audience that hasn’t grown much since the ’90s”, came news that Texas Senator Ted Cruz agreed to a $1.5 million dollar advance from HarperCollins.
[Disclaimer: Different imprints of HarperCollins published both of my books.]
In a Washington Post article, Paul Bedard writes that Cruz’s advance is even more than Sarah Palin’s check after her entrance onto the national stage.
Let’s go back to the BuzzFeed piece, authored by McKay Coppins…
The crux of the piece is that publishers are basically obligated to sign up books by presidential hopefuls, in the event that they are eventually elected to the White House. However, in the chase for those politicians, many publishers sign deals with conservative politicians that don’t pay off in terms of sales. Coppins’ article points out that Jeb Bush’s book has only sold about 4,600 copies and that Rick Santorum’s 2012 book American Patriots only sold about 6,500 copies.
The Food Network and other outlets churn out insufferable amounts of coverage devoted to barbecue in Texas, North Carolina, and Kansas City. With good reason, admittedly. Like anything, there are places where people simply do things right. And those locales should be celebrated and honored.
But by falling back on these old faithful locations time and time again (I mean, do we really need another peek at the Salt Lick in Austin, no matter how great the place is?), we miss the opportunity to explore lesser-known, but equally vibrant cultures of cooking.
For me, that oversight was rectified this past weekend when I was finally able to do a bit of exploring of my old stomping grounds, using Wes Berry’s excellent The Kentucky Barbecue Book. The end result was 4 barbecue joints in less than 48 hours and a great excuse to get off the highway and explore something more unique than just the fast food dumps that litter the exits.
An Associate Professor at Western Kentucky University, Berry wanted to document the barbecue customs and, more importantly, the people who dedicate their lives to it, from his home state. Along the way, he uncovered highly unique and diverse ways of treating barbecue that varied from, literally, county to county. What he calls “micro-regional” cuisine changes from Hopkinsville to Madisonville. And while the big time TV shows and annual New York Times roundups stick with only the most prominent representations of the genre, Berry goes deeper to show how two towns, just separated by a few miles, might go about things completely differently.
We write poor lines because of rushed deadlines, screaming babies in the background, hangovers, and just general human fallibility.
Other times, we write poor lines because we have to, because even though they may sound off or awkward, they are, technically, accurate. Such is the case with this Scientific American article republished on Salon.com.
The New York Times is reporting that noted reporter and author Joe McGinniss has passed away at 71. McGinniss was the author of The Selling of the President and Fatal Vision.
Personally, I was originally introduced to McGinniss’ work because of the role he played in jumpstarting the career of Bret Easton Ellis.
Decades later, I also immensely enjoyed The Deliveryman by McGinniss’ son Joe Jr.
Sad loss. Our Slushpile thoughts go out to the family.
In my on-going quest to document all the tons of hard rock and heavy metal related books that are published these days, I thought I’d mention this new one.
Beyond just an attention-grabbing title, Not Just Tits in a Corset: Celebrating Women in Metal by Jill Hughes Kirtland examines Lita Ford, Doro Pesch, Roxy Petrucci and many other female headbangers in their struggle to perform in a male-dominated genre.
I generally abhor the “ripped from the headlines” style of books and television shows. To the point that I’ve often wondered if the writers for those Law and Order shows get reduced rates since they’re not really creating things from whole cloth.
But here is a situation that could make for amazing fiction.
I’ve just imported all of the old data from Slushpile since 2005 – no mean feat – so it should all be here. I’d love to hear from you all about why you read Slushpile and what you’re looking for. I’m trying to make this a bit more lively at the very least. Please comment below!
Artist John Campbell, creator of the site Pictures For Sad Children, has started burning printed copies of his book after hitting $50,000 on Kickstarter yet finding himself still unable to ship the books.