Monday, September 27, 2010

Will Friedwald's A BIOGRAPHICAL GUIDE TO THE GREAT JAZZ AND POP SINGERS Gets a Starred Publishers Weekly Review

The September 27th review of Will's new book, A BIOGRAPHICAL GUIDE TO THE GREAT JAZZ AND POP SINGERS (Pantheon, November 2nd, hardcover) shares the starred rating of his last, and says:

....[a] passionately opinionated encyclopedia of the old-school virtuosos of the American songbook,

....Friedwald is all about the music; he primly shies away from his subjects' scandal-prone personal lives, but accords each a substantial career retrospective, selected discography and wonderfully pithy interpretive essay. His tastes are wide-ranging and idiosyncratic.

....However unconventional, his judgments are usually spot-on, as in his compelling reassessment of Elvis as the last great Crosbyesque crooner. Friedwald's exuberant medley is that rarest of things: music criticism that actually makes you sit up and listen.

About STARDUST MELODIES: The Biography of Twelve of America's Most Popular Songs (Pantheon, 2002 (hardcover); Chicago Review Press (paperback), PW said:

....While every reader will have their own list—what better dinner conversation game?—this dozen (chosen in conjunction with Friedwald's editor, Bob Gottlieb) should contain at least half of everyone's choices. But this is not a trivia book, and the joy of these short essays—ruminative, but also filled with fascinating historical and social details – is in their intelligence and their always evident love of the music itself.

...he is at his best elucidating how a particular song works its magic. important contribution not only to American musicology but also to the literature on popular culture.

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Launch of North American REBEL BUDDHA Tour 11/14/10 in New York City

There’s a rebel within you. It’s the part of you that already knows how to break free of fear and unhappiness.  This rebel is the voice of your own awakened mind. It’s your rebel buddha—the sharp, clear intelligence that resists the status quo. It wakes you up from the sleepy acceptance of your day‐to‐day reality and shows you the power of your enlightened nature. It’s the vibrant, insightful energy that compels you to seek the truth
‐ Dzogchen Ponlop Rinpoche

With uncommon clarity and authority, [Dzogchen Ponlop] offers a new vision for the future of Buddhism that is at once shocking and hopeful. This is a small book with a big message that is timely and important. 
‐ Pema Chödrön, bestselling author of WHEN THINGS FALL APART

The five‐city North American tour celebrates November 9th publication of Dzogchen Ponlop Rinpoche’s provocative new book — REBEL BUDDHA: On the Road to Freedom (Shambhala). The tour, sponsored by Nalandabodhi International, kicks off on Sunday, November 14 at 10 AM in New York at Cooper Union’s Great Hall.

Distinguished teachers from varied Buddhist traditions will join Dzogchen Ponlop Rinpoche in a lively exchange on Western Buddhism.  Panelists include:
  • Roshi Pat Enkyo O’Hara, PhD, (Zen teacher, Abbott of the Village Zendo in New York ) , 
  • Shastri Ethan Nichtern (author One City: A Declaration of Interdependence (Wisdom Pubs, 2007), founding director of the Interdependence Project), 
  • Gina Sharpe (co‐founder of New York Insight Meditation Center) 
  • Mitra Mark Power
Throughout the day, in different formats, participants and panelists will explore the current state and the future of Western Buddhism, and the experience of the modern seeker through: 
  • teachings
  • music and video
  • contemplative exercises 
  • discussion 
The book tour proceeds to these cities:
  • Thursday, November 18 in Halifax, NS (McInnes Room at Dalhousie University)
  • Saturday, November 20 in Toronto , ON (Bram & Bluma Appel Salon at the Toronto Reference Library)
  • Saturday, November 27 in Boulder, CO (Boulder Theater)
  • Sunday, December 5 in Seattle, WA (ACT Theater) 

LA Weekly Lauds ANOTHER FINE MESS by Saul Austerlitz

Michael Joshua Rowin says:

...Austerlitz offers sharp ways of thinking about old favorites.

...Austerlitz provides particularly insightful considerations of legacies still in the making. Serving more as a critical history than a nonpartisan one, Austerlitz's personal evaluations are best used to stimulate healthy movie debate or else to compare one's tastes.

...Austerlitz gets it absolutely right when he paints the big picture, which is what makes American comedy quintessentially American. According to him, it is not only the outsiders — the immigrants (Lubitsch), the minorities (Richard Pryor), the women (Katharine Hepburn) — who have fueled the country's subversive comic tendency but also the innovators, the artists like Fields, Robert Altman and Bill Murray, who saw the world askew and used their genius to skew it further rather than set it straight.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

The New York Times Q&A's Alexa Hampton about THE LANGUAGE OF INTERIOR DESIGN

Rima Suqi talks to Alexa about her first book, due out next week from Clarkson Potter, importunate literary agents, her late, great father, the link between scrunchies and Modernism, and the exasperating challenge of getting people to addresses her as Dr. Hampton.

REBEL BUDDHA author Dzogchen Ponlop Talks about Cultural Forms Becoming Useless

WHAT'S MINE IS YOURS' Roo Rogers' and Rachel Botsman's "Beyond Zipcar" in Harvard Business Review

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Check Out this Most Original Review of WHAT'S MINE IS YOURS by Rachel Botsman and Roo Rogers

Treehugger Gives WHAT'S MINE IS YOURS and Collaborative Consumption a Big Hug

Writing from London, Leonora Oppenheim points up one of the many salient points of Rachel Botsman and Roo Rogers' book:
"We like the way What's Mine Is Yours looks through the psychological lens of human self-interest and creativity as the motivation to create more shared systems and services, rather than the all too optimistic 'out of the kindness of our hearts' lens or the too dreary 'guilt and sacrifice' lens."

Monday, September 20, 2010

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Boston Globe Calls Saul Austerlitz's ANOTHER FINE MESS "A Keeper"

James Sullivan writes: Film comedy, Woody Allen once claimed, is harder to produce than drama. Still, the perpetually unsatisfied director was convinced that comedy is “less valuable than serious stuff.’’

In “Another Fine Mess,’’ a survey of the most significant artists — yes, artists — to make us laugh at the movies, from Charlie Chaplin to Will Ferrell, writer and critic Saul Austerlitz takes rigorous exception to Allen’s line of thinking. Addressing sexual, racial, economic, or political tensions, comedy has always helped its audience sort through the vagaries of the way we live now. Slapstick, screwball or spoof, comedy serves a function.

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Read Peter Hessler's Letter from Colorado: The Uranium Widows in this week's New Yorker

In his piece "The Uranium Widows: A bid to revive a controversial industry,"  Peter writes about Uravan, a once-booming uranium-mining town in southwestern Colorado, which was eventually destroyed and buried because of fears of radiation. In this video by Benjamin Lowy, Peter talks about his visit to the former site of the town.

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Publishers Weekly asks Will Friedwald Why He Writes

Will's eighth book, and his third with Bob Gottlieb at Pantheon, is A BIOGRAPHICAL GUIDE TO THE GREAT JAZZ AND POP SINGERS, and will by published on November 2nd.  It is the most extensive biographical and critical survey of jazz and popular singers ever written, a whopping 832 pages long, and is an essential guide to the Great American Songbook and those who performed it.

Saul Austerlitz's ANOTHER FINE MESS is Out!

Saul Austerlitz's second book, ANOTHER FINE MESS: A History of American Film Comedy is published this week by Chicago Review Press.  It was excerpted in Sunday's Los Angeles Times on the 50th anniversary of Billy Wilder's film "The Apartment," and is featured in the "Lowbrow and Brilliant" quadrant of the Approval Matrix in this week's New York magazine.

Kirkus calls it “a compulsively readable reference for the confirmed comedy fan” and “an enthusiastic, well-observed, fresh look at old favorites that makes a compelling case for the genius of American film comedy.”

Saul will begin touring for the book this week, and the dates are:

September 7, 7 PM- Book Soup, Los Angeles
September 14, 7 PM- D.G. Wills Books, La Jolla, CA
September 16, 7 PM- Green Apple Books, San Francisco
September 21, 7 PM- U. of Pennsylvania Bookstore, Philadelphia
October 5, 7:30 PM- WORD, Brooklyn
October 6, 4 PM- Yale University, New Haven, CT
October 25, 7:30 PM- Quail Ridge Books & Music, Raleigh, N.C.

Thursday, September 2, 2010


Check out Erich Origen and Gan Golan's first entries for THE ADVENTURES OF UNEMPLOYED MAN on The Huffington Post, which includes Election 2010: The Republican 6 Point Plan for Regaining Power, including "Stonewall, and shift blame!"

The release party will take place at Phoenix Books in Noe Valley, San Francisco, on October 21st.

Other bookstore events:

10/18: Book Passage, Corte Madera (this is the official publication date)
10/20: Copperfield’s Books, SF
10/22: CAL Berkeley, SF
10/29: Book Soup (with radio interview on KPFK-FM earlier in the day to promote it), LA
10/30: Skylight Books, LA

Also check out The Troubled Times, "the news-blog of record for The Just Great Society. On these pages, the heroes and villains of our time post their thoughts (and occasionally flame each other). It’s like The Daily Planet, except everyone gets a voice."

Ponlop Rinpoche Discusses What "REBEL BUDDHA" Means

Only 67 days until REBEL BUDDHA:  On the Road to Freedom is published in the United States and Canada!

The book launch will take place in The Great Hall of Cooper Union on November 14th, and is the first stop of a tour that will take Rinpoche to: Dalhousie University in Halifax, Nova Scotia on November 18th; The Bram & Bluma Appel Salon Toronto Reference Library in Toronto, Ontario on November 12th; The Boulder Theater in Boulder, Colorado on November 27th ; and ACT Theater at the Washington State Convention CenterSeattle, Washington on December 5th.

In this video Rinpoche discusses the title of the book, which Shambhala will publish November, and Prince Siddhartha's journey to enlightenment, beyond the worldly and religious cultural norms of his time.