Haven’t got much to tell tonight. I’ve delayed coming online in order to keep my phone free so the repairman may call me and tell me my desktop (home of my high-speed connection) is fixed. Of course there’s been no such call.
The only thing I’ve got to report is a call that did come in—at work—from the friend I call Chip (for blogging purposes, not personal conversations).
I don’t think I’ve told you what Chip does for a living. He drives a limousine. It’s a perfect job for him. He likes to drive and he likes to talk to people. When I think of a guy finding his niche, Chip leaps (or rolls) to mind.
Anyway, he called me at my office number and said, “I’m driving a guy named Neil Gaiman around today. You ever heard of him?”
I said yes, I’d read one of his novels.
Chip had to hang up then, because Gaiman and his handlers were at that moment piling back into the limo to be transported from Minnesota Public Radio to some bookstore. Or something.
He called back later to tell me where Gaiman would be speaking and signing books this evening, in case I wanted to come.
I chose not to. I had a computer repair call to wait for. And frankly I’m still somewhat miffed that in a world where there’s probably only room for one big novel about Odin trying to set up shop in modern America, it was Gaiman’s book that found that particular niche and not my own Wolf Time.
If Gaiman wants to meet me, let him ask me to lunch. That’s what I say.
The phone continues silent.
Aaaargh! According to Mr. Hugh Hewitt, it’s Talk Like a Pirate Day, matey. And I always believes what Cap’n Hewitt tells me.
Not much to log tonight, shipmates, because I just got me desktop thinkin’ engine home again, and I’ve got me a powerful lot of restorin’ to do, by thunder.
But I’ve got this peculiar story here, from Junk Yard Blog, tellin’ us that the things most of us think about New Yorkers are true about ten percent of the time.
I was about to say “Blow me down,” but I’m thinkin’ it wouldn’t be in good taste.
By way of Bookshelves of Doom, I see that Garrison Keillor plans to open a bookstore in St. Paul, Minnesota, on November 1. Keillor is quoted saying, “I am fond of independent bookstores, like to walk into them and sit and read in them, and it’s time I make some contribution to my neighborhood.”
Lars, you’ll have to check it out and give them trouble.
De of Thinklings and the programmer behind the blog software we use at BwB points out a post by author James Scott Bell. “The ‘celebrity author’ thing is highly overrated. Even those with #1 NY Times bestsellers are known only by a relative few. And a yearning for adulation can be destructive. The moment you start believing your press releases, you’re on a slippery slope.” Mr. Bell offers a handful of good examples for this.
Dr. J.P. Moreland’s latest book, published a few months ago, is called, The Lost Virtue of Happiness. I have been impressed by Moreland’s thinking for long time, and the remarkable Stacy Harp of Active Christian Media says it “is by far one of the best books I’ve read concerning the application of scripture and the integration of psychology.” She talked to Dr. Moreland recently for her podcast.
Writer Phillip Manning reviews Scientist Francis Collins’ book, The Language of God, in which he describes his journey from atheism to Christianity. Manning sums up Collins’ arguments with this:
The most [Collins] can offer is “that a belief in God is intensely plausible.” But plausible ideas are only starting points in science. Their validity must be established by rigorous testing. Collins may be as sure of his faith as he is of the map of the human genome, but the evidence he provides to support his beliefs do not meet scientific standards. He may have leapt across the chasm between science and religion, but his book does not show the rest of us the way.
I wonder if Manning accepts the premise that faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things unseen. He doesn’t appear to accept it, because he wants the ideas of god and salvation proven by scientific methods. Perhaps that’s what Collins purports to do in his book. But it can’t be done. God is not made from the stuff in a petri dish.
God’s defense of himself does not appeal to science. In Romans, he says he is angry with men “who by their unrighteousness suppress the truth. For what can be known about God is plain to them, because God has shown it to them. For his invisible attributes, namely, his eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly perceived, ever since the creation of the world, in the things that have been made. So they are without excuse.” They may claim to have no evidence of God, and he replies by saying they are willfully ignorant. Doesn’t follow Dale Carnegie’s advice, does it.
[by way of Critical Mass]
Relief Journal, a new quarterly whose first issue will appear in print this November, asks about the most important job of a Christian author. Is it to reveal Christ to non-Christians? Is it to paint a picture of the world as it should be? Is it to write with skill and authenticity, to reflect reality from a Christian worldview, or to encourage and edify Christians? Take the poll.
Crimeficreader has posted notes from the festival interview with that wonderful author, P.D. James. One interesting note, Crimeficreader says: “James believes that imagination is a gift, that it is something you’re born with. When she was a child she knew she wanted to be a writer, but described herself as a ‘late starter’ – a comment that I’m sure will give hope to many.” Perhaps that’s so, but I know that imagination needs regular nurturing to grow and bloom.
Yesterday was the first anniversary of journalist and art critic Steven Vincent’s murder by the people who are still causing trouble in Baghdad. His publisher, Spence Publishing, has maintained his blog and posts links to three articles about him and his work.
At a charity reading in New York, Authors John Irving and Stephen King urge J.K. Rowling to avoid doffing Potter.
King said, “I don’t want him to go over the Reichenbach Falls.”
Rowling said she has worked out the ending to her series, and no doubt someone will not like it.
Sherry points out Emily Bronte’s birthday today. She writes: “Some critics insisted that Emily’s novel, Wuthering Heights, must have been written by a man because no woman could have written such a passionate story. Emily Bronte died of tuberculosis one year after the publication of her only novel. She was 30 years old.”
Why do critics argue stupid points like this? I guess it was a different era, when women were not considered valuable members of society or at least literary culture. Our era has its own stupid ideas, such as a constitutional right to privacy and global warming.
Mickey Spillane, 88, recipient of lifetime achievement awards from the Mystery Writers of America and the Private Eye Writers of America, died today in his hometown, Murrells Inlet, SC. His first novel, “I, the Jury,” starring Mike Hammer, was published in 1946.
The AP reports: “Spillane, a bearish man who wrote on an old manual Smith Corona, always claimed he didn’t care about reviews. He considered himself a ‘writer’ as opposed to an ‘author,’ defining a writer as someone whose books sell.”
Can you name the top three bestselling authors worldwide? Let me help. The third one is Paulo Coelho from Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. His most recent hardback, The Zahir, is about a bestselling novelist who loses his wife, a war correspondent, in what may be adulterous betrayal. Another novel (republished by HarperCollins) is The Devil and Miss Prym, which deals with man’s struggle with good and evil.
Unlike the other two current bestselling authors on our list, Coelho has never sold the film rights to his books. On his website, he says, “I have never allowed [his books to be made into movies]. I recently made a US$2 million offer to recover the only rights I ever sold, The Alchemist (to Warner Bros.). They are studying the matter. I don’t intend to sell any film rights, because I think the film should be in the mind of the reader. My books use the creativity of those reading them.”
Are you familiar with Coelho? Do you know who the other two authors are?
Tags: Paulo Coelho, novels, books, bestseller
Critical Mass asks: “It seems like people constantly mistake your fictional voice from your real life identity. Has this chased you since The New York Trilogy?” Auster says, “I was fascinated with the idea that you have a book, and you have the name on the cover: it’s the author’s name. Now, who is it talking to you? Is it the person or is it an authorial voice?” Read on
“I arise in the morning torn between a desire to improve (or save) the world and a desire to enjoy (or savor) the world. This makes it hard to plan the day.”
— American Author E.B. White (Elwyn Brooks) who was born on this day in 1899. I think I understand his idea quoted above.