Category: Writing

All the Light We Cannot See

Anthony Doerr’s sprawling 2014 novel “All the Light We Cannot See,” is the rare work of art that succeeds in being both transcendent and popular. The book has won several major prizes and sold phenomenally well to what’s left of the reading public, pleasing consumers and critics in equal measure. The plaudits are warranted. Doerr’s...

The Areas of My Expertise

The short title of John Hodgman’s 2005 book is: The Perfect Bathroom Companion. True, as it lends itself to random visits of indeterminate length. The complete title is: An Almanac of Complete World Knowledge Compiled with Instructive Annotation and Arranged in Useful Order by myself, John Hodgman, a Professional Writer, in The Areas of My...

Katie Bull

On her fifth album, “All Hot Bodies Radiate,” Katie Bull continues to redefine the concept of “jazz vocalist.” She’s no chick singer. Bull’s instrument, her voice, isn’t extraordinarily powerful, plangent or peculiar, and she doesn’t project conservatory-trained technique and tuning. Yet her work mesmerizes and invites repeated listening. That’s because Bull is a singing poet, a writer...

Mortal Coil

The novel “Mortal Coil” is a clever chameleon that passes itself off as, variously, a thriller, a fantasy, a romance. But this splendid book is foremost a work of intensely considered philosophy, a metaphysical exploration of heaven and earth, reality and imagination, humans and angels. The author is Amnon Buchbinder, a Canadian screenwriter, director and...

Poem: Pimped Out Poetry Slam Five-Sided Story

This is not an insult. This is merely a minor reminder mainly meant to catapult adult minds toward new thinking instead of the usual repeated drinking of the poisoned Kool-Aid propagated by the war-machine cult. At least that’s the expected result!   This is not a jabbing joking jibe. This is not a fleet-footed treatise about...

Poem: The Fine Line

Between a reason and excuse A fine line, a filament, a dilettante rope Unfurls and hides. We might not see yet can’t refuse The shades of meaning found in joy and hope. Choose words carefully – That’s the lesson, the lemon, the luminosity. Should you be charged with loquacious verbosity, Sentenced to the slammer, Annealed...

Our Newly Discovered Ability to Work Within the Preferred Limits

Crankiness and advancing age are almost always concurrent. Babies and old people. They’re cranky. Well, we’re getting older (and mellower and cooler) by the minute,   incessantly these days. What sets it off most is a nationwide ADD plague, a country of poorly developed adults who have the attention span of a squirrel in mating...

TJ and The TIMES

We still have a subscription to the Los Angeles Times. The print edition. Seven days a week. And we read it cover-to-cover. We’re old school that way. One of the abiding reasons to continue paying for something that can be enjoyed largely for free on the Interweb is to vote monetarily, to support some excellent writers whose...

Very Short Books

Books are far too long, right? Who has time for 300-pages of blabbering on about nothing? Do you know how many tweets you can read in the amount of time it takes to slog through one stupid novel? A lot. And they’re usually way funnier. And unlike books they’ve got hashtags, like #betterthanactuallyreading. Still, in...

Heidi Julavits

We like our humor dark. We like our writers smart. So we’re fans of Heidi Julavits. With her husband Ben Marcus, himself another excellent writer, Julavits edits the literary-minded magazine and Website “The Believer,” where she’s published several sensational manifestos and mordantly funny stories. Among some of her brave stances: a call for the elimination...