Fred Smith, of Choctaw Books, July 2014
Polaroid 600 // Impossible Project B&W
Archive for the ‘Books’ Category
HEY DO WE HAVE SOME GREAT ANNOUNCEMENTS COMING UP IN THE FUTURE
All! I’m here to spread the word that there is a brand new Jack Butler book out right now: Practicing Zen Without a License. Here’s some of what the publisher’s website has to say about it:
Like zen, whatever you expect Practicing Zen to be, it will be different. Think of a source-book on the origins of zen, like the scholarly source-books that we use today to study zen’s origins in Chinese Buddhism and its coming to full flower in Japan. Such source-books are necessarily fragmentary, since much of the original writing has been lost. Now translate that source-book to the 25th century, and replace the fragments from China and Japan with fragments from the late 20th and early 21st centuries, the only remaining records of how a version of zen (called Easy) took over the U. S. Throw in a wildly humorous and semi-science-fictional version of history, and spice it up with anecdotes about and utterances by fictional zen masters, who quarreled among themselves.
You can get it at Amazon right now. My copy is wending its way Baton Rouge-ward and I’m looking forward to diving in to a book that is sure to be strange and disorienting—in the very best ways.
Yes, I realize it’s not an official holiday yet. But it will be. And don’t you want to be able to say you were ringing in the season back before it got all commercialized, back when people remembered the real reason for Vampire A Go-Go Day? That is, celebrating the release of PrettyFavorite Victor Gischler’s new novel Vampire A Go-Go, which you can read more about here and which you can purchase here or at your local seller of quality books about, among other things, “gun-toting Jesuit priests”?
Local folk: All the Baton Rougeans of good taste and discerning judgment will be at the Citiplace Barnes and Noble on Thursday night at 7:00 for a reading, signing, and exorcism by Gischler. FIRST TWO ROWS WILL GET WET.
Don Harington, the great novelist, is in the hospital with pneumonia and a broken hip. If you’ve read his novels and admired them (and I frankly do not see how you could read them and not admire them), you might wish to send him a note at kimharington
at sbcglobal.net. Kim is his wife and will deliver the messages. If you don’t know what to say, put yourself in his place: You suffer from diabetes, in the last ten years you’ve had throat cancer, a broken ankle from a disastrous auto accident, a broken hip, pneumonia twice, you can’t eat or drink (because of the throat surgery), but have to take glucerna several times a day, and although you are one of the most brilliant and beautiful writers this country has ever had, all your life you have been routinely neglected in favor of fakes, frauds, wannabes, also-rans, incompetents, and suck-ups.
Not that you have to address all of that. Hell, one line will do. Just tell the man what his writing means to you. Just say something, anything.
This culture is so obsessed with the new that we neglect the true achievers. Harington’s not just some factory process to produce stories. He’s a human, and right now a human in pretty serious trouble. He could use a bit of encouragement.