Just a reminder as we get this week started: It is the heat. And the humidity. Not looking forward to this at all.
Check out this amazing lineup for this year's Southern Festival of the Books. If you don't have plans for October 13-15th, that should be a nice time of year for a trip to Memphis.
Talk about a strange leap, here's one: if it weren't for Kerouac and the Beats, there never would have been the TV show My Name Is Earl. Why? Think Karma.
So Anais Nin was married to a man named Pole. How great is that? Well, Mr. Pole passed away last week. Carolyn of Pinky's Paperhaus recalls a chance encounter she had with the man while canvassing his neighborhood in the early 90s.
This Sunday's Times-Picayune has a very nice article about the many challenges faced by New Orleans-area libraries as they rebuild their collections. Not surprisingly, many of the problems at these libraries began before Katrina. The storm only made things more glaring:
The challenge lies in cobbling together the money to replace damaged books at seven branches in New Orleans and six in Jefferson Parish. Lon Dickerson, the Jefferson library director, says his system has never set aside enough cash for acquisitions, and New Orleans library leaders say their system has been so underfinanced since the 1980s that they cannot replace holes left in the collection when patrons abscond with books, music and videos.
"I would love to see us have a much more modern collection. I don't mean modern in the sense of ignoring history: I mean books written after the 1960s," said Tania Tetlow, president of the New Orleans library board. "We have not had the money to invest in keeping ourselves up to date."
If one positive comes from the hurricane, it could be the vast improvements to the libraries in that area and a renewed interest in keeping them funded and stocked.
The Post and Courier's (Charleston, SC) Brian Hicks remembers Mickey Spillane whose memorial service was held at the small South Carolina beach town of Surfside Beach on Saturday:
He was a humble man, making little of his accomplishments. You had to pry it out of him that he had sold 200 million books, though he did like to show off the Jaguar that John Wayne gave him. Mickey Spillane was the everyman most of his characters were. He drove a white Ford truck just like any other Carolina boy and, when they built the Kingdom Hall here, he asked to be put on debris duty "to make him humble," said Rand Frink, presiding overseer at the hall.
Hicks mentions that Spillane's wife, Jane, plans to publish the six manuscripts that he left behind at the time of his death. And there's the possibility of a museum in his honor:
Jane Spillane has ideas for a museum for Spillane, certainly something writers of far less stature have. There will be no shortage of memorabilia or artifacts. Mickey kept it all - his first editions, the galleys of "I, The Jury," his Edgar Award, the baby blue electric typewriter, a trophy for selling 3 billion cases of Lite Beer, the Jag.
If she builds it, one thing is certain. This monument to a writing legend, a guy who hated the word "author" but did more for literature than most of those high-falutin' types, will be built in Murrells Inlet - the only place he ever wanted to be.
Has anyone read Tucker Max's book? It sounds dreadful but Max has a rather loyal following and his books have sold well in the U.S. Now we're exporting it and the emerging genre of lad lit (also known as fratire) to the UK where at least one person puts it all into perspective: Andy Capper, editor of British Vice, said, "Tucker Max is amazed at himself that he can drink 10 drinks. His stories are like the stuff we reject: 'After copious amounts of alcohol much hilarity ensued.' You can't write stuff like that, can you? People here will just think [these authors] are obnoxious American idiots."