Dual Loyalty

As writers and bloggers are so fond of saying; you couldn't make it up. You don't cross the Iron Curtain and come out without scars ...
· Jozef Imrich, Survivor of the Iron Curtain Crossing

Sunday, April 27, 2008

Perhaps those Chinese protesters, denying others the right to free speech during the Olympic torch relay, should follow their own advice and go home First byte: A cool idea to warm to by Cold River
Historic nobodies feature in Cold River When fiction is not enough "Wise people store up knowledge - Eternal vigilance the price of freedom

Falling waters Sobel Reflects
Jofie Ferrari-Adler's latest interview in the Poets & Writers series with publishing veterans is with agent Nat Sobel. Excerpts:

It's only been in the last twenty years, or maybe the last ten years, that I became aware, as did Judith [Weber], that we wanted the agency to reflect our tastes, rather than just take on things that were saleable. Our list is our taste. Which means that there are a lot of areas of publishing that we will not go into because we aren't interested in them. So we've never done any romances, for instance.
I think what is evolving today for agents is that they need to be the first line editors for their authors. Judith and I really love the editing process. We have spent years editing nearly every novel we've ever agented. We did that long before we began to discover how little editing was going on in the publishing houses. But today agents need to be far more proactive in almost every other area of the publishing process. We have to be the marketing directors for many of our books. We have to involve ourselves in looking at the jacket design, the jacket copy, the catalogue copy. We have to be very proactive in how we help direct the writer to help sell his or her book. Those are things you never thought about in agenting when I first came into it. You made the deal, you negotiated the contract, and that was it—the publisher took over

• For the life of me, I can't remember when I met Nat Sobel for the first time A Q&A With Agent Nat Sobel; [Writing is hard work-- and there are no shortcuts. When it comes right down to the nitty gritty, it's just you and that glowing computer screen. Discover writing markets from North America, Europe, Australasia and other places. It's free, so come and try it Naked Writing: The No-Frills Way to Write Your Novel!; Like some of the luckiest people in high tech, John Buckman made a mint on his first company and now dabbles in passion projects. Silicon Valley adage: Strike it rich once, you're lucky. Twice, you're smart. Free BookMooching Sells Books]
• · Art of drinking no frill milk in Australia Believe it or not – we have to live with this supermarket ; Technology has resulted in teenagers and young adults having a very different conception of privacy. The new digital paparazzi
• · Mark Story: Good knowledge management ensures continuing access to employees' know how, even when they move on. A look at how one organisation's (State Revenue Office, Victoria) systems mean they no longer rely solely on what's in the heads of individual staff Storing knowledge ; A trickle of cold river books about Australians at war has become a torrent The Digger distilled: When fiction is not enough
• · · Nabokov's last work will not be burned - Dmitri said, I'm a loyal son and thought long and seriously about it, then my father appeared before me and said, with an ironic grin, You're stuck in a right old mess - just go ahead and publish! The most concentrated distillation of [my father's] creativity; We don't need more books, we need better books. We're going to spend even more time to make sure that the products are right before they go out Elephant in the room
• · · · I love all forms of sisomo but this sisomo card created by artist/designer Julie Ruiz for VH1 is special. It’s proof again that the size of the idea isn’t always about the size of the budget. Light a candle for sisomo; One of the best fast food experiences I've enjoyed recently was in, of all places, Cincinnati. It's called Ingredients and it's healthy, fresh, tasty, a far cry from pizza and fried chicken, and it really is fast. Imagine a large, spacious production line with four production workers... Ingredients: Fast Food Heaven I'm not often in New York over a weekend, but when I am, my Sundays have a distinct pattern. It all starts with a lazy breakfast at one of the many neighborhood joints in Tribeca. Unfortunately, although I'm just across the road from Bubby's, it's become such an attraction it's lost its local charm... Weekend in NYC - The heart is what keeps Agatha’s designs pumping. She is a breath of fresh air in the jaded world of 'me-too' fashion
• · · · · Raymond Baker writes: the primary reason for the existence of Liechtenstein and some 90 other tax havens is to provide secrecy for illegally generated money to move across borders. I've researched this question all over the world (Capitalism's Achilles Heel: Dirty Money and How to Renew the Free-Market System, Wiley 2005) -- what is the basic motivation for use of money-laundering techniques, abusive transfer pricing, disguised corporations, and anonymous accounts? Most people think it is to avoid taxes or the risk of inflation or confiscation. Not correct. The basic motivation is the hidden accumulation of money, hidden primarily as to origin and secondarily as to purpose. Use of these techniques and facilitating structures is about piling up cash secretly in a foreign locale without having to share with employees, family members, and others locally or disclose the provenance or purpose of such funds. Which Is the Bigger Challenge: Tax Havens or High Taxes? ; If you were a member of the Wall Street aristocracy, one of those hedge fund hot shots who makes half a billion dollars a year, which horse would you bet on in the race for the White House? Mr. Obama? He backs something called the Stop Tax Haven Abuse Act, a measure that would limit all offshore accounts that the wealthiest hedge funds have set up. That’s not something Wall Street wants … So why is Mr. Obama such a popular choice among the hedge fund crowd?
In a word, access. Just like at the Bear pit … Unlike Mr. McCain and Mrs. Clinton, Mr. Obama is relatively new to national politics and is therefore open to bringing new people — and new money — into the tent. For money types who want a table, or at least to look involved and get an invitation to the right parties, Mr. Obama is the candidate. Then again, politics, like the markets, can change fast. As one hedge fund manager who is backing Mr. Obama said, “It is very possible I may change my mind.” They don’t call them hedges for nothing Hedge Fund Investing and Politics
• · · · · · I love your region’s energy, audacity and drive to diversify. The Gulf to me is guts, risk-taking and high adventure, supercharged by dreams: Beyond the Horizon; The digital revolution is transforming marketing, entertainment and technology everywhere. The boundaries between media and advertising, content and products, creator and producer, audience and critic are dissolving: To Survive, Print and TV Must Engage Consumers Radical Optimist - Why 'love' is the new black

Thursday, April 24, 2008

If even the drugged and disorderly like Jozef Imrich can ward off their personal apocalypse, then perhaps there is hope for us, too. Born in 1988 in Moravia, Marketa Irglova, 8 years after I swam across the river Morava, she is the Moravian girl who gives hope to one and all ;-)
Hi everyone. I just want to thank you so much. This is such a big deal, not only for us, but for all other independent musicians and artists that spend most of their time struggling, and this, the fact that we’re standing here tonight, the fact that we’re able to hold this, it’s just the proof that no matter how far out your dreams are, it’s possible. And, you know, fair play to those who dare to dream and don’t give up. And this song was written from a perspective of hope, and hope at the end of the day connects us all, no matter how different we are! Markéta Irglová; Ach Falling Slowly

There is an echo of Cold River Addiction of chasing crazy dreams Quit Lit: A Million Little Pieces of Binge Drinking
19 Apr 2008 in the bible - The Sydney Morning Herald - Luke Benedictus, the editor of Dazed & Confused, writes 1858 words which describe how the publishing industry is developing an addiction to tales from the world of rehab. $53 Million spening on prevention strategy for binge drinking …

. Quit Lit: the secret of its excess is the story of people who crave more, learning to live with less … Like the alcoholic for whom one drink is never enough, western society is driven by an urgent hunger for further acquisition. Enslaved by advertising and consumerism we have become hard wired to yearn more – the new car, the plasma TV yet another pair of shoes … We are trapped in the cycle of insatiable craving that only snowballs the more we consume. I want a drink. I want 50 drinks. I want a bottle of the purest, strongest, most destructive, most poisonous alcohol on Earth. I want 50 bottles of it. I want crack, dirty and yellow and filled with formaldehyde. I want a pile of powder meth, 500 hits of acid, a garbage bag filled with mushrooms, a tube of glue bigger than a truck, a pool of gas large enough to drown in. I want something anything whatever however as much as I can. And maybe this is one of the things about Frey, whatever he does, whether it be tubes of glue or writing books, he wants to do it the most - to be the hardest, to be the strongest, to win and to defeat

• THE NEW TESTAMENT Quit Lit: the secret of its excess ; [LB; The Benedictus, given in Luke 1:68-79, is one of the three great canticles in the opening chapters of this Gospel, the other two being the Magnificat Luke Benedictus lives in Sydney and is the editor of Dazed & Confused Aus/NZ ]
• · The Herald's books writer Susan Wyndham flips the pages of new titles, ideas, news and gossip from the book world. Join her, too, for the Undercover book club. Become a crime writer; Mentally ill women have survived the past 200 years of medical treatment Mad, Bad And Sad
• · David Stratton's obsessive streak results in a strangely engrossing autobiography I Peed On Fellini; Luke Davies climbs up a notch by stepping into the shoes of one of the 20th-century's most intriguing characters. God Of Speed - fever-dream of a book - intriguing characters.
• · · A magnificent depiction of human distress and testament to the author's stunning talent - The climactic image in Julia Leigh's stifling novella, Disquiet, is of a woman foundering in cold river The climactic image of Julia Leigh ;
• · · · Study Reveals Why People Might Crave Cocaine; What the quit-lit doesn't tell you

Sunday, April 20, 2008

By the way, the German Film Festival in Sydney has a good story on Check Point Charlie Border of Despair

TT: Annals of failed flackery
People in my line of work have to sift through a lot of press releases and other forms of flackery, all of which we take with a stalactite or two of salt. It's part of the job. Nevertheless, I confess to having boggled at the blurbissimo I encountered on the back of my advance readers' copy of Andre Dubus III's The Garden of Last Days, which will be published by W.W. Norton in June.
Here it is, in its entirety:
One early September night in Florida, a stripper brings her daughter to work. April's usual babysitter is in the hospital, so she decides it's best to have her three-year-old daughter close by, watching children's videos in the office, while she works.
Except that April works at the Puma Club for Men. And tonight she has an unusual client, a foreigner both remote and too personal, and free with his money. Lots of it, all cash. His name is Bassam. Meanwhile, another man, AJ, has been thrown out of the club for holding hands with his favorite stripper, and he's drunk and angry and lonely.
From these explosive elements come [sic] a relentless, raw, searing, passionate, page-turning narrative, a big-hearted and painful novel about sex and parenthood and honor and masculinity. Set in the seamy underside of American life at the moment before the world changed, it juxtaposes lust for domination with hunger for connection, sexual violence with family love. It seizes the reader by the throat with the same psychological tension, depth, and realism that characterized Andre Dubus's #1 bestseller, House of Sand and Fog--and an even greater sense of the dark and anguished places in the human heart.
I didn't read House of Sand and Fog, so I suppose it's within the realm of possibility that Andre Dubus III is a serious writer. Still, it isn't very likely that I'll be reading The Garden of Last Days, much less reviewing it. I don't mind having my intelligence insulted by publicists--some forms of suffering are hard to avoid--but a critic can only be expected to swallow so much guff, and the Norton publicity department just blew my quota for 200 Garden of Last Days

Monday, April 14, 2008

As someone who's checked the Drudge Report once an hour, every hour for the last 10 years of my life, I can certainly accept the idea that the sites I read and like has to do with habit, as opposed to just content…
For everyone who does research in physical stores and then orders from Amazon, the e-tailer has a new solution: purchase-by-text-message. Their newly-launched TextBuyIt lets anyone with a mobile phone set up for text messaging and an Amazon account search the Amazon database for product and price information, and buy-by-phone if they wish. You can text-search by keyword or ISBN/UPC code. Another text service allows you to use your mobile phone (or computer) to send money to another mobile number or e-mail address Buy Cold River on the Fly - This is a book that will remind you why you treasure freedom ...

Masters of ambiguity Blog Without Leaving Facebook
S ix Apart and Facebook have teamed on a new service called Blog It that lets any blog posted to Facebook automatically be posted to other blogging platforms including Movable Type, TypePad, Pownce, Twitter, Blogger, and WordPress (see complete list below).

What makes Blog It unique is the nature of how it works. Traditionally, Facebook allows users to import data and information around the Web to Facebook. Blog It now flips this process around allowing you to export content. The beauty of the service is rather than updating each blog service individually, you can do it all at once from within Facebook

Separation of Six ; [ A Cross Platform Blogging Tool from Six Apart ; As someone who's checked the Drudge Report once an hour, every hour for the last 10 years of my life, I can certainly accept the idea that the sites I read and like has to do with habit, as opposed to just content. Blog Reading: Kind Of Like Getting A Nicotine Fix: Study]
• · Surprise is too weak a word. I was expecting to attract the Austen aficionados, but what ended up being even more commercial were the words book club. Book clubs are an astonishingly burgeoning movement -- it's quite wonderful. American author Fowler explores crime in the blog era ; When the Ex Blogs, the Dirtiest Laundry Is Aired
• · Sorry for being slow to mention this (I've been on holiday for two weeks) but the good news is that after a gap of nearly two years - two years! - Fafblog returns from its cyber-silence to thrill us once again with its blend of humour and more humour. That's going straight into the blogroll. World's best blog returns ; One person from IRS.GOV visited the Nation Builder blog for nearly 20 hours over the last two days. Hopefully it's a future Joseph Banister. Several others from IRS.GOV, DOJ.GOV and .MIL domains also visited. IRS Agents Visit Nation Builder Blog
• · · FOREIGN POLICY Blog Honored as Industry’s Best ; OMG! 'Gossip Girl' returns with more surprises, juicier drama
• · · · Last Saturday, a Moscow magazine named Moskovsky Korrespondent published a sensational article claiming that Russian President Vladimir Putin had divorced his middle-aged wife, Ludmila, and was preparing to marry a gorgeous 24-year-old Olympic gymnast-turned-topless magazine model-turned-Duma-deputy, Alina Kabaeva. The Scary Story Behind the Putin Sex Scandal ; In 1998, Matt Drudge became famous for reporting the White House sex scandal between then-president Bill Clinton and intern Monica Lewinsky on his blog, I'm in ur website, reading ur blog
• · · · · What have you always wanted to know about sex, dating, relationships and the opposite sex? What confuses you? Titillates you? Intrigues you The Rules: ancient or acceptable?; No two ways about it Writer's story rattles Lonely Planet contributors
• · · · · · Bored by movies, and don’t feel like reading a book? You can watch philosophical and other interesting videos on web. Online videos of philosophical lectures ; The "95 Theses of Geek Activism" is a great list of 95 ways to use knowledge for good, and to defend freedom with technology. When arguing with people who disagree, be polite, but not condescending.

Wednesday, April 09, 2008

With the home viewing experience suddenly reaching new heights of splendor, what conceivably could be the incentive for seeing classic films in a theater? The answer is simple and not what anyone consciously thought of during the repertory heyday: Other people. After all, in all our memories of transcendent theatergoing experiences, those other people - those strangers watching with you - were part of the experience, too. A big part.Movies are a group participation art form, to be in a room with 300 people laughing infectiously. To see a movie at home, even with a group of friends, is like seeing it under a microscope. These were made to be seen by hundreds of people at the same time.

If you're looking for two great movies, you need to see No Country for Old Men and In the Valley of Elah. Both star Tommy Lee Jones, both had plenty of Academy Award nominations The Ritz of May 2008

Another of my great influences from the 60's has passed away. As a teenager, I was inspired by the creativity of Mary Quant, David Bailey, Brian Duffy, David Hockney and Peter Blake. I couldn't get enough of the fashion, music, poetry, art and design that was churning out of London and Manchester at an incredible rate. It was also the era of the first supermodels... Twiggy, Jean Shrimpton and one of my favorites, Jane Lumb

The co-founder of Atheneum, which the NYT calls "perhaps the last major literary house to be started from scratch in the 20th century," died at home yesterday. Bessie was Atheneum's president from 1963 to 1975, but he was also known for his strengths in acquiring manuscripts. Over his career he edited writers like Daniel J. Boorstin, Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn, Kenneth Tynan and Elie Wiesel

Hyperion's Bob Miller in Cold River Start-Up
Founding publisher at Hyperion Bob Miller is leaving the company after 17 years to "launch a new global publishing program based on a non-traditional business model" starting on April 14 described as a "creative publishing 'studio' that challenges conventional trade publishing standards." They add: "Miller will publish approximately 25 popular-priced books per year in multiple physical and digital formats including those as yet unspecified, with the aim to combine the best practices of trade publishing while taking full advantage of the internet for sales, marketing and distribution. Authors will be compensated through a profit sharing model as opposed to a traditional royalty, and books will be promoted utilizing on-line publicity, advertising and marketing. Miller adds in the release, Our goal will be to effectively publish books that might not otherwise emerge in an increasingly 'big book' environment, an environment in which established authors are under enormous pressure to top their previous successes, while new authors are finding it harder and harder to be published at all.
Publishing - SHOCK VALUE; [Love of movies; A mole on the author's back turns out to be one of the 'nasty variety'. This is his story .. A shameless act of self promotion: my brush with death]
• · Four Seasons Hotel tell-all is deep-sixed - A gossipy book by two ex-concierges at Chicago's luxurious Four Seasons Hotel has been pulled by Three Rivers Press because the authors were legally banned from writing about their experiences. Three Rivers Press has cancelled GREAT RESERVATIONS; When she first saw the man she thought him a ghost and even though she knew ghosts were dangerous and could drag people down into the water, she still moved closer to him. When she knelt by his side it was clear he was still alive, but barely. The River-Hag - Silvia Moreno-Garcia
• · Aspiring fiction authors can be classified in any number of ways, but among the most prominent categories seem to be "uncannily brilliant," "deeply devoted to substance abuse," and "just plain nuts." The jury is divided about which camp I fall into, but at last poll the Twelve Angry Critics leaned heavily toward acquittal by virtue of insanity. Keys to Overcoming the Writer’s Fear of Failure; Frankly, after much rumination, I've decided an insanity defense is the only plausible one for We Who Are Determined to Embarrass Ourselves Repeatedly by Committing Tripe to Paper. The Insanity Defense
• · · Though I await further reports, talk of some blogospheric war makes little sense to me. We're in a dynamic situation here. And one of the biggest unknowns is: will Obama match McCain in radical openness with the press? Rosen - The Love Affair Between McCain and the Press Sprains the Brain of the Liberal Blogosphere; Getting the Politics of the Press Right: Walter Pincus Rips into Newsroom Neutrality
• · · · As I expected, Clark Hoyt, public editor of the New York Times, told the Times what Ben Bradlee tells Woodward and Bernstein in one memorable scene from All the President’s Men: “You haven’t got it,” he says about a draft of their story. Public Editor to Bill Keller: You Haven't Got it.; ike the social conservatives who deserve a seat on the bus but shouldn’t be allowed to drive it, the yahoos who think the press is a tool of the Democratic party are needed but should not be heeded by conservatives in power Most of them are not ideologically driven; they just want to get on the front page
• · · · · Mod modders delight - Pink Floyd 'The Wall' PC case mod The Wall; Connecting the Unconnected - Here's to the crazy ones. The misfits. The rebels. The trouble makers. The round pegs in the square holes. The ones who see things differently. They're not fond of rules. Here's one for you girls !
• · · · · · Kevin Roberts is someone I read on regular basis - A couple of further thoughts about books and reading post the Lovemarks launch in Frankfurt. The first thought is that most of the innovation in the industries based on reading is not coming from traditional book publishers. The latest attempt to encourage e-book reading is the Kindle from Amazon. Reading the future ; Music creates memories. Rich Robinson wrote about this magic in a recent post and of course he’s right. All five of our senses are packed-up and waiting at the door to send us back to our past. I love music, but for me the most evocative of the senses is smell. Memories Are Made Of This

Saturday, April 05, 2008

I had already experienced the week from heaven so I was in good spirits for reading the draft of a new memoirs. Adam Shepard's SCRATCH BEGINNINGS, originally self-published and said to have sold 10,000 copies, in which the author, in a sort of "anti-NICKEL AND DIMED" experiment to see if the American Dream is still alive, with no concrete plan and nothing but $25 and a backpack, gets off a train in Charleston, SC, and spends 70 days in a homeless shelter, with the goal of having $2,500 and a place to live by the end of a year … NOT EATING OUT IN NEW YORK: A Year of Cooking at Home

Can we change the heart of politics? SOMETHING MISSING: Leaker hunt riles Speaker
On April Fools Day - D.D. McNicoll writes INDEPENDENT Speaker of the NSW Parliament Richard Torbay is on the warpath over the Iemma Government's latest clumsy foray into information control.

Torbay was gobsmacked when he learned late last week that Parliament House closed-circuit television footage had been handed over to Treasury officials without his consent. Treasury was on the trail of a leak, following a story in The Australian last Thursday by the paper's NSW political reporter, Imre Salusinszky. The story revealed there was only $16.5billion available for transport infrastructure spending between now and 2021, $12.5 billion of which has already been committed to a metro rail system for outer northwest Sydney. Salusinszky's yarn included comments from a seminar for Treasury bigwigs held in a Parliament House theatrette last Wednesday. NSW Opposition Leader Barry O'Farrell is understood to share Torbay's concern about the precedent of using security footage to spy on public servants and journalists as they go about their business.
THE NSW parliament may have breached state and federal privacy laws by allowing its CCTV security footage to be used by Treasury officials chasing a media leak, according to a legal expert. NSW Opposition Leader Barry O'Farrell told parliament yesterday: "Clearly this issue goes to the matter of freedom of the press, but also goes to the freedom of members of parliament. Are we now going to have CCTV footage released to the Government so that they can see who's coming to visit us?
In a statement yesterday, NSW parliamentary press gallery president Simon Benson said the use of CCTV footage to trace the source of a media story was unprecedented in the history of this parliament and constitutes an unacceptable development

Footage of truth; [Trolleys of Truth]
• · Commonwealth lobbyists will have to be registered for the first time in Australian history, publicly revealing all their clients, or they will be denied access to the Rudd Government. Tough new rules for lobbyists ; John Faulkner is Kevin Rudd's minister for integrity. He has been given the task of cracking down on influence peddling - money politics. Power and dirty, sexy money
• · Chairman Russell Tate said Hawker Britton was a good fit for STW Communications Group - Spin doctors keep spinning Bruce Hawker - the managing director of the firm, was once chief of staff to former NSW premier Bob Carr. The political donations disclosure regime may be a joke, but influential Labor players in Canberra are not laughing today. That's because Bruce Hawker, widely seen as the capital's go-to persuader and a key player in the Rudd government's elite, has got himself and his party in an awkward spot. Oops! Hawker embarrasses Labor ; In Canberra's corridors there is a scramble to get in step with the Rudd Government. Katharine Murphy reports on the high-stakes contest for political influence Lobbyists and the new balance of power; Many people and organisations want the attention of the Rudd Government. They all have messages that they want to whisper in its collective ear. Tips for Rudd's ear in a lobby
• · · WHEN police, lawyers, journalists and witnesses crammed into Brisbane District Court No.29 in late July 1987, no one knew what was to come. - FAMED corruption buster Tony Fitzgerald, QC, is heading a probe into the Melbourne arm of the Australian Tax Office after concerns over links between one of its senior investigators and underworld figure Mick Gatto. Players in a vast drama ; AN OLD Victoria Police detective training manual implores fledgling officers to develop contacts across all walks of life, including those they seek to arrest. A sound knowledge of local criminals can be acquired over a period of time. Always take the opportunity of conversing with local criminals when you see them. In the course of simple conversation, valuable information often slips out The manual says But in the modern world of law enforcement and government agencies — where the process is just as important as the result — his associations with influential underworld figures proved problematic for the "old school" ex-detective Old school
• · · · There are some areas of human life that should not be trusted to the market. Childcare is one. Hard headed corporations; Why was the public service so ineffectual in the face of an aggressively ideological Howard government?Learning from the past
• · · · · Mitch McCrimmon, Ivey Business Journal, March-April 2008, 4p. It may be like asking a football coach to remain quiet on the sidelines, but today's business leader needs to ask questions and listen. How to tame the alpha male leader ; William Malek & Venkat Narayanan, Ivey Business Journal, March-April 2008, 6p. This article describes why developing clarity around outcomes is fundamental to effective strategic planning/execution and decision making. Outcomes can be at four levels: organisation, portfolio, project and at the individual level. Why smooth execution depends on clear outcomes
• · · · · · Formulating strategy is a difficult task. Making strategy work - executing or implementing it throughout the organisation is even more difficult. Making strategy work: overcoming obstacles to effective execution ; Many managers indicate that their organisations are very good at starting projects, but not so good at finishing them. It may be tough to do, but maintaining priorities rather than shifting them at will is the way to ensure that projects will get completed. The project management paradox: achieving more by doing less

Tuesday, April 01, 2008

Counting Blessings: More expensive wines taste better than cheaper wines, a new study shows. Even when they are exactly the same wine As the Czechoslovak Minister's noted on Morava River the riskier the escape the tastier the flavour of the freedom: ; This is a book which reminds you why you treasure and love freedom ... Cold River

Hungry Media Dragon Time to get tough: How being nasty can improve your life
Being nice can ruin your life, according to the authors of two new books. Their advice? Stop being so pathetic!

My raison d'être, says American psychotherapist Jo Ellen Gryzb, is simply to make people a little less nice. It's been her mission ever since she found herself huddled in her bedroom with her husband one Christmas, whispering about how on earth they were going to get rid of their house guests. I had no idea how to tell them they had overstayed. I was a complete walkover.

Impact Factory; [Strangely enough, it is often when I am at my busiest that I feel the least inspired. My mind is overwhelmed by deadlines and wanting to please art directors, and the end result is that my heart and soul feel a tad neglected. I've been feeling very uninspired lately, because tax time approacheth, and the deadlines loom ever large GARBAGE DELIGHT; Bizarre Books: A Compendium of Classic Oddities ]
• · The 14th and latest One Book, One Chicago selection by the Chicago Public Library is Raymond Chandler's The Long Goodbye. It's a departure of the other books we've selected," said Mary Dempsey, commissioner for the Chicago Public Library. "We've never done crime fiction. Crime thriller 'The Long Goodbye' selected for 'One Book, One Chicago' ; There is hardly a novelist whose career was as adventurous as Joseph Conrad’s, or whose work raises more aesthetic and political passions. Searching For Joseph Imrich
• · Bottled Cold River: Every year, the clear stuff pours into West Virginia from around the world. Finding self confidence through self loathing; Men of exceptional ambition or ability, it is often said, are more highly sexed than others, though perhaps it is just that their sex lives are more closely examined than those of others. Can there really be a man living, after all, who would relish the idea that every detail of his sex life, past and present, would be revealed to the public and those whom he loves? But if, as Henry Kissinger once said, power is the most powerful aphrodisiac, former New York Gov. Eliot Spitzer's extracurricular sexual activities seem pathetic and furtive, almost adolescent, rather than deeply wicked. Europe does sex scandals better:
• · · An interview with Tom Wolfe on how speech made us human. The human brain has become a sexy subject, with unprecedented amounts of money going toward neuroscience research and ever more books and articles on our gray matter And when an author such as Tom Wolfe turns his attention to the topic, that makes it official ; Sorry, But Your Soul Just Died
• · · · A review of The Philosopher's "I": Autobiography and the Search for the Self by J. Lenore Wright The Philosopher's IMRICH; Actually, Johnny, monsters do exist
• · · · · When non-fiction is less than truthful; How Alternative Medicine Makes Fools Of Us All by Rose Shapiro
• · · · · · Being nice can ruin your life ; The Gruesome Origins of 5 Popular Fairy Tales