Thank You

I’d like to thank everyone who has downloaded the Kindle ebook edition of The Final Appearance of America’s Favorite Girl Next Door. It’s been free for a couple of days now, and I’m really thrilled that thousands of people around the world have taken the time to download and, I hope, read it.

If you do read it, please take a few moments to review it. I mean this sincerely — love it or hate it, or somewhere in between — let other people know what you think.

The good folks at Free Kindle Books and Tips have made it easy to find, wherever you happen to be. Just use this smart link.

Happy holidays and happy reading.

James Salter at the Folger

Way back when (1988, to be exact), I bought, read, and loved James Salter’s book Dusk and Other Stories, which won the PEN/Faulkner Award for Fiction in 1989. So I was excited to hear him read when he accepted this year’s PEN/Malamud Award for excellence in the short story at the Folger last weekend. I have a fairly extensive collection of autographed books—this happens if you go to readings and writers conferences and tend to fetishize books—and so Continue reading

Background Noise, a new novel by Peter DeMarco

My old pal Peter DeMarco has published his first novel/novella, and it’s a really strong piece of work. My over-the-top blurb (you might think) has been ratified by the nomination of one of the chapters for a Pushcart Prize (the novella unfolds in not-quite-discrete stories or story fragments), and for my money, the annual Pushcart Prize anthology is one of the best ways anyone serious about reading good writing can get just oodles of it.

But back to Pete’s book, which you can find on Amazon here:

(You can read more about it by downloading this pdf flyer from the publisher, Pangea Books.) Continue reading

Great Reading Tonight at PEN/Faulkner, Hill Center

Saw Alan Cheuse and Alyson Foster reading tonight At the Hill Center, a terrific new (old) space for the arts on Capitol Hill. Foster is a “new” writer, and Cheuse is, of course, the voice of books on NPR. Foster read from a new novel she’s sold but hasn’t published (or finished) yet, GOD IS AN ASTRONAUT, and it was terrific. Wisely, she read from the beginning and I can’t wait to read this novel. She got an amazing introduction from Cheuse from this first in a series of local readings that PEN/Faulkner is hosting, which will feature writers who know each other and admire each other’s work.

alyson foster reading at the hill center 12-02-2012

Alyson Foster reading from GOD IS AN ASTRONAUT at the Hill Center on Capitol Hill.

Continue reading

Global Warming in My Neighborhood

I’m out in my yard today cleaning up the refuse from the trees (leaves) and I notice that my next door neighbor’s camellias are blooming. I don’t know a heck of a lot about camellias, but I don’t recall seeing them bloom in December before. But my general understanding is that they bloom in the spring. I remember Bob Edwards talking with Red Barber, years ago, about the camellias blooming at Barber’s place. But December? Not in Virginia.

And then I was in the garden, vacuuming up leaves where the tomato plants I hadn’t yanked up at the end of the season were, and found a bunch of them. We haven’t had a hard freeze yet, although I recall from my youth several long before December was done. One in particular when I was playing little league football and it was early November and the high that day was nine degrees F, and we were practicing after dark and it was cold. Or COLD.

And I remember the old days when we would burn the leaves after raking them and stand close to the fires because it was COLD. And so tomorrow it is supposed to be about 65 F.

So I guess I will be rolling with it, whipping up some tempura batter and making some fried green tomatoes.