05-03-12:The Agony Column Live with S. G. Browne at the Capitola Book Café, April 27, 2012
Click image for audio link.
"...the pug is going to steal the show..."
—S. G. Browne
No such luck, not when Scott Browne is reading from 'Lucky Bastard,' his latest, and to my mind, best novel. But yes, I did have the pug with me. He tends to get anxious when I leave him at home too long, and dogs are welcome at Capitola Book Café. Not so much as Scott Browne though!
Browne and I go back all the way to 'Breathers,' his first novel, so it's always an easy conversation. Also, to my mind, he is one of the best readers of his own work you can find. I hope that his publisher understands this and begs him to read for the audio version. At this point, I actually hear his voice when I read the books.
As for the pug (his name is Biscuit), he demanded to sit with me early into Scott's first reading; all of which you will hear on the recording. When The Agony Column goes live, we do so with style, though not always with pugs. We had a pretty good crowd at the event; this was Scott's home town and, after all, the setting for 'Breathers.' Scott is a bookstore sort of fellow and even he's talking about ebooks, he keeps the focus on the establishment in which he is standing.
05-01-12 UPDATE:Podcast Update: Time to Read Episode 42 T. M. Luhrman 'When God Talks Back: Understanding the American Evangelical Relationship With God'
Click image for audio link.
Here's the forty-second episode of my new series of podcasts, which I'm calling Time to Read. The podcasts/radio broadcasts will be of books worth your valuable reading time. I'll try to keep the reports under four minutes, for a radio-friendly format. If you want to run them on your show or podcast, let me know.
My hope is that in under four minutes I can offer readers a concise review and an opportunity to hear the author read from or speak about the work. I'm hoping to offer a new one every week.
"...it often isn't efficient to tell a story in chronological order..."
— Christopher Moore
Looking both ahead and back, I realize that I've been talking with Christopher Moore for nearly ten years now; we first spoke in 2003 about his novel 'Fluke,' and here we are in 2012 with 'Sacré Bleu.' It's become a tradition, almost, that I ask him to read from his book, and, traditionally, he balks, telling me that he doesn't read. After our first interview he managed to get a very nice essay out of the experience, one that (he tells me) resulted in the return of NPR tote bags. You can see why my member station loves me so.
But to my mind, he really captures the feel of the biography and his use of elements of the fantastic gives him the chance to externalize all sorts of matters that one can't really presume in a work of non-fiction. The two are perfect complements to one another.
And yes, I did ask Moore to read, and yes, we did have an entertaining go-round about it. But when we talked about the book, we scrupulously avoided spoilers. On my review of 'Fluke' so many years ago, which will be the archive review tomorrow, I originally posted a warning that Booklist's review of that book revealed major spoilers for the novel.
It turns out that over all these years, not much has changed. Apparently, many of the reviews are giving away some of the bits of the mystery at the core of 'Sacré Bleu.' Avoid those reviews; you won't find that in my review. I don't think you need to give away the plot to discuss the themes of the book or give readers an idea as to whether or not it is worth their valuable reading time — it is!
08-21-15: Agony Column Podcast News Report : Senator Claire McCaskill is 'Plenty Ladylike' : Internalizing Determination to Overcome Sexism [Incudes Time to Read EP 211: Claire McCaskill, Plenty Ladylike, plus A 2015 Interview with Senator Claire McCaskill]
Agony Column Podcast News Report : Emily Schultz Unleashes 'The Blondes' : A Cure by Color [Incudes Time to Read EP 210: Emily Schultz, The Blondes, plus A 2015 Interview with Emily Schultz]