Spotted: Bossypants

I saw Tina Fey’s new book on a kindle iPad some sort of glowing tablet thing.  I have to say, the growing number of glowing tablet things really makes trying to figure out what people are reading a lot more difficult.  If I hadn’t sat right next to this person and oh-so-subtlely squinted at the header of page on her glowing tablet thing while pretending to be really interested in what was going on outside of the window, this post would not exist.  Tragic.  I know. 

So although I did not see the cover of the book on the glowing tablet thing, I just have to share this.  Because it’s funny, but also a little disturbing in that the-jokes-your-uncle-makes-around-the-holidays-after-a-few-more-eggnogs-than-he’s-willing-to-admit kind of way.    

I hope/fear those are Alec Baldwin's arms. And hat.


Spotted: The Journals of Lewis and Clark

Seeing this heavy (must be, given the number of times the name Sacagawea is written) tome, I all but forgave the reader for having earlier blown his nose in an obvious “I-am-sick-but-I’m-going-to-work-anyway” manner.  And imagine my surprise when I found out that the journals are actually available free on line from the University of Nebraska.   

So next time you’re bored in front of a screen, get your non-fiction on!

Spotted: The Last Days of Dogtown

The title made me tired because it made me think of Lars Van Trier’s Dogville, which was a movie I really wanted to like because it’s all artsy and stuff, but I just couldn’t manage to stay awake.  It might have been the jet lag, but more realistically, I think I’m just not that committed to minimalist film.  Anyway, the book.   

This book sounds like it has a greater chance of keeping me awake.  If you read the review, the words “witch” and “whore” appear, as well as a character/inhabitant of this strange little part of Massachusetts that is into cross-dressing in the 19th century.  Ahead of her/his time, we say! 

And apparently Anita Diamant is quite gifted with historical novels.  Worth the time?

Spotted: The Finkler Question

Well colo(u)r me impressed, as today I spotted a fellow Muni rider calmly sitting on one of several available seats squished up against the closed doors of the train by a mass of grumpy post-holiday humanity somehow managing to read a winner of this year’s Man Booker Prize!  Yes, we saw Howard Jacobson’s “The Finkler Question.” 

Being the culture-less yank that I am, I’ve never heard of it!  Any good?  I do like the title.  Very intriguing….suggests a complex problem that may or may not have a solution…like Poincare’s Conjecture…or Molyneux’s Problem…though hopefully less complicated.

Vampires and Werewolves: Finally!

I thought the world had forgotten about vampires, werewolves, and other mythical creatures.  I mean, when was the last time a vampire was portrayed in main stream entertainment?  Blatant racism.

Until I saw someone reading this:

I was really really hoping that this was a horror/satire on the book of similar title.  Like, maybe a vampire who goes to Italy and lives on some sort of human calzone.  But alas, it appears to be about some mythical creature searching for someone to devour in horrid fashion love.  But this is the closest thing to a scary book that I’ve seen anyone reading on MUNI.  What have you seen?  What are you going to be for Halloween?  Anyone dressing up as a character from a novel?

In Conversation with Jonathan Franzen

From The Booksmith

Tonight, City Arts and Lectures presents Jonathan Franzan in Conversation with Mark Breitenberg.  Franzen’s latest novel, “Freedom,” was released a few weeks ago and was/is the subject of much anticipation after the popular success of his last novel, “The Corrections” in 2001. 

Your author probably won’t be making it to this event due to a previous engagement, but he will be reading this novel at some point.  You see, it was in 2001 when I was unable to participate in a conversation about modern literature because I had this subconscious policy of only reading “classics.”  That day, two friends were passionately discussing a book called “The Corrections.”  I decided I should read it.   I picked a good one to start with as “The Corrections” really is a great read.  And thus was born my interest in books that were written since the 1950s.   And the bit about how he did not want to be part of Oprah’s book club was rich.   

Herbst Theatre (401 Van Ness @ McAllister) 8pm.   It’s walkable from the Van Ness Muni station, or you can take the 47 or 49.  The 5 and 21 also won’t drop you off far if you’re coming from downtown. 

According to the  box office, this benefits 826 Valencia as well.