- Sad news in the Bookish LA world which I'm sure you're all well aware of by now - Glenn Goldman, owner & founder of the essential Book Soup, has died. The bookish crowd has written several excellent posts on the subject and I suspect more will be penned in the coming days. The bits that spoke most directly to me include: David Ulin at Jacket Copy (where there are some lovely comment tributes as well), C. Max Magee & Edan Lepucki at The Millions and Goldman's LA Times obituary.
- Book Soup is also for sale. As I have the pleasure of covering bookish events each week, I see first-hand how the sale and/or closure of fine book stores affect not just our wider literary culture, but how they have a literal effect upon the number of readings in a given week, month or year that Angelenos can attend. The loss of Dutton's was immense, the loss of so many other great bookstores added insult to injury, and I hope as I'm sure all of you do that the important work that Goldman started at Book Soup will continue on, regardless of who ultimately owns it in the future.
- The first Week in Bookish LA in 2009 is off to an ambitious start, with a load of events crammed into Thursday and
Pinky'sCarolyn's pick of the week, Denis Dutton (editor of Arts & Letters Daily) at the Central Library @ 7pm on Wednesday night discussing his book The Art Instinct: Beauty, Pleasure and Human Evolution with Michael Shermer.
- Slumdog Millionaire is quite good, and I do love a good Danny Boyle jaunt, but it is not the best film ever made, nor is it the best film I've ever seen or even one of the best films I've seen in the past five years, as so many are stating. I can't help but feel our need to have hope in these dark times is the reason the beat-the-odds message of this film resonates with so many, on such a deep level. I'm trying to think of a recent book equivalent, but can't come up with one at the ready. You?
- Not only do I love that Richard Nash at Soft Skull is asking for feedback on cover art preferences for Pasha Malla's debut short story collection, The Withdrawal Method, I love that I found out via @softskull. Vroman's tweets regularly (@vromans) and I've gotta say, outside of my unwieldy Google Reader feed bonanza, Twitter is my main source for links, info, general vibe of a given day, etc. I wish more bookstores, readers & writers would get thee to Twitter.
- I'm not one who typically goes in for the reading resolutions that so many folks are making, but I can't deny the lure of mapping out a year of reading. There is something so controlledabout such a plan and reading for me (and I suspect most of you) is nearly the opposite of controlled. One book leads me to another, one author leads me to countless others, a conversation, a tweet, a dinner, a film...all lead me to something else. While I like the idea of mapping out this chaos, I know it will never stick. Yet, still I find I want to jot things down. See what I'm thinking of reading just to...see. Not resolutions per se, but maybe mini-resos that are...plausible. As I expect to read several new books this year (some of which are known to me at this moment in time and so many that are not), I'll stick with the not-new ones I very much want to get to: re-read all of David Mitchell in prep for his forthcoming novel & finish up all of Bolano (only The Savage Detectives remains) so that I can properly tackle 2666. That seems doable. Right?