Category Archive for 'Books'

The Critical Mass

Book of the Future Month Club My Friend Sue belongs to a book club. They meet over hors d’ouvres and white wine and discuss that month’s book. Hillary Mantell’s Wolf Hall, that’s one I remember Sue’s group having dissected. A weighty novel about Oliver Cromwell. Plenty of heads roll in that one. Book clubs. They’re […]

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The Critical Mass

Joanna Scott’s new novel shows its metal Master typist that I am, in the midst of a series of email exchanges with Joanna Scott a few months ago I misspelled “fiction” as “faction.” A typo that, in a literature context, lends new meaning to an otherwise serviceable word. In subsequent emails, we’ve adopted this new […]

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The Critical Mass

Taking Highway 61 Oops. I skipped out of The Critical Mass neighborhood for a while. Been spending too much time writing. And reading. Reading, as in On Highway 61: Music, Race and the Evolution of Cultural Freedom, Dennis McNally’s recent book tracing the effect that roots music has had on American culture. It’s very worthy […]

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The Critical Mass

Don’t kill the mockingbird This morning’s walk with the dog coincided with garbage pick-up day. Today’s garbage trucks have a huge claw that seizes the big green bin, raises it high in the air, turns it upside down over the yawning, undoubtedly disgusted pit on the back of the truck, shakes it, and sets down […]

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The Critical Mass

When library fines go wild This morning’s mail brought a surprise, a letter from a collection agency. The aggrieved party that it was representing: The Rochester Public Library. The lawyers claimed that I owed my favorite public institution $57.80 in fines. WHAT? Had I forgotten to return the Gutenberg Bible? I looked at my account […]

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The Critical Mass

1,000 That’s right. As best I can figure, sometime last month Chasing the Wind: The Humble, Epic Century of a Sailor, passed 1,000 in sales since it was published last May. That, for an independently published book, is pretty good. I was at a writer’s convention in January of 2012, and remember one of the […]

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The Critical Mass

One last chance to sail with Chasing the Wind Put this on your bucket list: I’m doing a reading and book talk for Chasing the Wind: The Humble, Epic Century of a Sailor at 2 p.m. Sunday in the Rundel Building of the Downtown Central Library, and it might be the last one. It’s been […]

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The Critical Mass

William Gay was no açaí berry smoothie I stopped in at one of the city’s mega-chain bookstores last night, because they’ve slain most of the indie book stores, figuring I could ignore the stacks of books from the Bill O’Reilly death series. Killing Lincoln, Killing Kennedy and the new one, Killing Alan Berg. Kill a […]

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The Critical Mass

My good friend Ernie Coleman has died My good friend Ernie Coleman, the hero of my book Chasing the Wind: The Humble, Epic Century of a Sailor, passed away this morning. It wasn’t quite a century, but he did make it to 96. At that age, death isn’t quite unexpected, especially since he had a […]

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The Critical Mass

I read the Sunday New York Times, so you don’t have to: Nov. 25 The coffee is a simple, winter-morning Colombian. First music of the day: Jazz drummer Paul Motian’s Flux and Change. Today’s Times is a particularly good one. Winter is descending on refugees in Lebanon, many of whom fled next-door Syria, ripped by […]

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