Friday, January 8, 2010

Life Imitates Art
A story out of Belfast,Ireland caught my eye today.It has came to light that 2 years ago Iris Robinson the wife of Peter Robinson (Who is Head of Northern Ireland's government & major Protestant Political Party), got caught up in a major political scandal involving an affair with a much younger man (Kirk McCambley). At the time of the affair it seems that Mrs. Robinson was 58 years old while Kirk McCambley was 19 years old. During that time it seems Mrs. Robinson used her position as a member of the Parliment to secure loans of $80,000 dollars to help out her young lover get started in business without the Parliment's knowledge. Mr. Peter Robinson, has denied any knowledge of the affair or the loan. I think Dustin Hoffman & Anne Bancroft would be proud.

2009 Literary Findings

I had a friend (Tyler Renshaw) who once said, "would'nt it be great if you could go back and see all the films you love, again for the first time". " To feel that since of awe & bewilderment we felt on that first viewing". Yes it would be, and it got me thinking about authors who've had that same effect of AWE, on me. I can still remember the following authors, 1st book I read, the time period & feeling's they left me with. These authors remain dear to my heart: ( Ken Bruen,Craig McDonald, Ace Atkins, Daniel Woodrell, Cormac McCarthy, Scott Phillips, Reed Farrel Coleman, Dennis Lehayne, Jeff Lindsay, William Gay, Tom Franklin, Duane Swierczynski, Megan Abbott, and Chelsea Cain, Harry Crews.) I can never forget that first moment of discovery, as I ran across these authors books for the 1st time. I wait anxiously each year, waiting for their newest piece of work to hit the bookstores. In 2009, I discovered 20 wonderful new authors who made a major impact on me, many that I'm embarrased to admit it took me this long to find. Included in my 20 were the debut efforts of authors such as SOPHIE LITTLEFIELD, STEPHEN J.SCHWARTZ, STUART NEVILLE, JOSH GAYLORD, DANIEL DEPP, JOSH BRAZWELL, ATTICA LOCKE & KATHRYN STOCKETT. All with stunning debuts! The other 12 (I apologize it took me so long to find you & thank godness I did) included, DAVID MOODY, MICHAEL LISTER, TOM SCHRECK, LINWOOD BARCLAY, SEAN CHERCOVER, THERESA SCHWEGEL,CHARLIE STELLA, RAY BANKS, VICTOR GISCHLER, ANTHONY NEIL SMITH, JACK KERLEY, VICKI HENDRICKS. My favorite books of the Year were "Double Exposure" by Michael Lister, "The Help" by Kathryn Stockett, "On the Ropes" by Tom Schreck, "Haters" by David Moody, "Ghosts of Belfast" by Stuart Neville, "Big City, Bad Blood" and "Trigger City" both by Sean Chercover, "Fear The Worst" by Linwood Barclay, "Black Water Rising" by Attica Locke, and "Bad Day for Sorry" by Sophie Littlefield, and thats just 10 from the "New" discovery list. There were memorable books in 09 from tried & true friends like, "TOWER" by Reed Farrel Coleman & Ken Bruen, "Toros & Torsos" by Craig McDonald, "Evil at Heart" by Chelsea Cain, "BURY ME DEEP" by Megan Abbott, "Dexter by Design" by Jeff Lindsay, and "Devil's Garden" by Ace Atkins. In the 2010 year ahead, look for new books by Ace Atkins, Craig McDonald,David Moody, Michael Lister, Duane Swierczynski & Reed Farrel Coleman. So..if your looking for some books you can sink your teeth into in the year ahead, I hope this post will help get you started. Let me know what u think. Oh, and I know its past Christmas, but if Santa dont mind me askin for a late gift,...PLEASE bring us a NEW novel by Daniel Woodrell in the not so far future.

Short Term Memory & Show you dont Wanna Miss !!

Jan,8, 2010 My memory is not what it used to be, and thats why I write everything down these days. I went back to check the number of movies I went to in 2009 & was suprised to see I actually caught 36 in theatres, not the 12 or so I remembered. I had forgotten the 9 I saw in Jan. of 09, finally catching the 2008 Oscar nominess like Benjamin Button, Doubt, The Wrestler, Slumdog Millionaire. Judy & I spent a memorable day at Chase Park Plaza Cinemas on Jan.24th when we watched 3 films (Revolutionary Road, Frost/Nixon, and The Reader) all back to back. What a day ! I also forget about the 8 films we saw at the Roger Ebert Film Festival, and I will review this years Festival in the months ahead. Then their were the several other films we caught at the AVON Theatre in Decatur, Il., classics such as IT HAPPENED ONE NIGHT & DR. STRANGELOVE in Skip Hustons wonderful film classes. you can see, while it was a dissapointing year for films in 2009, it wasnt all that bad of a year for me in cinemas. NEWS FLASH: Dont miss the opportunity to watch the Documentary ( BIG RIVER MAN ) on Discovery Jan. 9th at 9 pm CST. This is the story of an Amazing man, Martin Strel, who swam the entire length ( 3,274 miles ) of the Amazon River in 66 days in 2007. The show will be repeated on Jan. 10th, 14th, & 15th. Martin's swim helped raise money for the protection of the Rainforest. He is a big man , drinks a couple bottles of wine a day during his swims & he's my age. This is a man to admire in the days of false idols who it seems fall from grace daily anymore. Mr. Strel has also swam the Mississippi & Nile Rivers. CHECK INTO HIM by Gogleing his website.