Charlie's Books

Charlie's Books
Buon Giorno, Amici!

Our motto ...

Leave the (political) party. Take the cannoli.

"It always seems impossible until it's done." Nelson Mandela

Right now 6 Stella crime novels are available on Kindle for just $.99 ... Eddie's World has been reprinted and is also available from Stark House Press (Gat Books).

Friday, October 18, 2013

66% ... The Fixer ... An Inconvenient Truth, Part Deux ... James ... We were No. 1? ... A Stella Short Story ... Buffalo Stadium (pic/cousin Jason) … This Week in the NFL …


66% ... We’re all close to getting Kyle Carey’s second album on the road ... yep, the big push is on ... just two weeks left (just another 34%) ... so, from Kyle Carey’s latest Kickstarter message:

Say you were dropped down into the very center of Ireland. What would you do?

Well--anyone with a bit of sense would walk west, until eventually, you'd stop at the foot of the Atlantic--nothing between you and New York City but a wide expanse of ocean.

I snapped this picture outside the entrance of the Blasket Island Heritage Center nearly six years ago.

It was my first summer in Ireland.

Tomas O' Cròhan, bard of the Blasket, walks dual westward, straight into the 'winds of change'--one hand curled protectively over the spine of his memoir.

I'd met Tòmas and his village a few years earlier, when I plucked his dusty narrative off my father's bookshelf, and fell in love.

I arrived in Dingle not long after, wide-eyed, and with the spine-tingling realization that this peninsula would somehow become important to me. Sure enough, I'd return to it a few years later to record an album.

When I look back on the unfolding of it all, to my father's copy of The Islandman, to my mother's mention of the Isle of Skye being, 'a place I really should see someday', I know that my own desire to write songs, make music, and record albums, is no different from O' Cròhan's impetus to put pen to paper.

We must write our stories down before they are forgotten. They're our own fragile mooring in a wide, indifferent sea.

My songs aren't often about me, but they're the voices of people I'd like to see persevere. They're people I find in poems, and short stories, in legends and rhyme, and sometimes--in the casual aside of a conversation. They bump about and mutter in my imagination, and every so often, one on them tumbles out--fully formed--as if delivered by telegram, or the crest of a wave.

That’s how many of the characters in the songs for 'North Star' came to be. They range from quirky to morose, defeated to victorious, and joyous to lost. They're a little bit like the rest of us, and I hope, almost--just almost--as complexly and wonderfully human.

I can't wait for you to meet them, and thanks to you, all 131 of you--we're 66% of the way towards giving them a home. We have 17 more days to build our sail, so let's head dual westward, into the 'winds of change' and see what the horizon has to offer.

Thank you for being here.

With an ocean of love and gratitude,


Bernard Malamud remains one of my favorite American authors. I’ve read and re-read more than a few of his novels and short stories, but somehow I missed The Fixer until last week. I was looking for something Malamud from my collection when I noticed The Fixer on my shelf ... and it was in pristine condition. WTF, Knucks? All I can surmise is that I’d ordered it while I was in the MFA program, and that I must’ve been side-tracked before I read it. And probably because the boss tortured me to clean some of the mess in my writing room, it was shelved before I opened it up to read.

Not anymore. The Fixer is the gripping tale of one man’s war against anti-Semitism in Russia under the Tsar, Nicholas. Written in 1966, The Fixer won both the National Book Award and the Pulitzer. Not bad for a Brooklyn guy. Aside from challenging the Bible’s Job for the world championship of suffering, the story of Yakov Bok is both tragic and all too real. The ordeal of suffering and humiliation Yakov has to go through after being falsely accused of murdering a Russian boy (and draining his blood for some insane cultish reasons {like using the blood to make matzos} his prosecutors have imagined and believe), is relentless. When we first meet Yakov, he’s already the victim of his existence in a world devoid of compassion and/or dignity. He’s a peasant handyman (fixer), living on his own after his wife took off with another man. His well intentioned and very religious father-in-law tries to convince him to stay where he is (and to let God into his life), but Yakov has had it living day-to-day. He sets off for a more prosperous district in Kiev known to be anti-Semitic, where he hopes to salvage some of his life. He’s an inquisitive reader (Spinoza) who seeks what the world has to offer, but winds up in an abyss of the cruelest intentions. No spoilers here, amici ... and although The Assistant remains my favorite Malamud novel, suffice it to say, The Fixer, is yet another wonderful read by one of the best ever. Get it here:
An Inconvenient Truth, Part Deux ... so a group of ideologues still living in the 18th century threw a hissy fit and disrupted the lives of 800,000 people and however many more were hurt via the collateral damage of missing/delaying a paycheck ... and for what? To prove a point (that they could do it)? To remind America that big money can always hurt us? To score political points to their like-minded 18th century constituents?

The fallback position being repeated over right wing airwaves is: “Well, they courageously brought attention to the debt issue.”

As if it was never about defunding the Affordable Health Care Act, they’re stated message from the get-go.

And now that they have egg on their faces, in three months, just about the time it’ll take them to figure out why they can’t see (for all that yolk clouding their vision), they’ll pull this same shit all over again. Why? Because “real Americans” throw hissy fits when they can’t get their way ... and they always do it while waving Old Glory.


You love animals? You should if you don’t. How about a guy who went from street enforcer for the Gambino family to New York’s premier animal rescuer?


Here’s the man feeding one of 17 cats he saved from a flooded home on Staten Island during Hurricane Sandy. Go visit The Diamond Collar and meet James ... then visit Keno's Animal Rescue (run by James) ... and give a pet a home.



Cousin Jason goes to the promised land ... that’s right, amici ... mio cugino, Jason Pierentoni, visited the promised land and had nothing but GREAT things to say about the fans, the stadium, and the almost upset victory by my beloved New York State Buffalo Bills over the Bengalis of Cincinnati ... that’s his picture of the Stadium. You go Jason!

This Week in the NFL … last week the ugly one went 10-5, but without the spreads … this week, while he continues to be a chicken-shit here and picks without spreads, he’s finally grown a pair and entered his wife’s office pool at work … a big $5.00 entry fee for all the marbles … like he’d ever see the money if he won … oy vey

So, with that in mind … gather up all your extra In-Knucks-We-Trust-Bucks because here’s this week’s picks ... and the Lock Of The Week:

The Sea Pigeons will crap on the Cards, 27-17 (Cha-ching!)

The Dolphinationals will manage to beat my beloved New York State Buffalo Bills (and our 3rd QB of the season), 26-17

Cutler’s Cubbies will keep RGIII grounded in a close one, 22-20

The Cowgirls will slay the Dog Killers (if Vick is the QB) 30-20 … if it’s Foles, it’ll be 30-24

The Cheatriots are hitting stride at exactly the right time again (when it doesn’t count) and will upset the Moonachie Green team—the Y-E-T-S, Yets, Yets, Yets, 30-17

The San Frans over the Tennessee Tuxedos, 24-13

Browns rock the Packers, 20-17

The Colts shock the Broncettes, 33-31

The Ramettes upset the Pantherless, 24-21

The Lionettes over the Bengalis, 24-21

The Jags find a way to win vs. the Riverless Chargerless, 27-24

The Falcons whip on the Bucks, 23-10

The Wes Cravens over the Steelerettes, 20-17

And the Texas Two-Steppers finally catch-up with a ready to lose big, Chefs, 27-20

And on Monday night is our Lock of the Week game … playing for pride, the Moonachie Blue team defeats the Vikingless, 26-23

— Knucks

8 Mile, bitches? … How about 8 Mile, amici … yeah, bitches still makes us a bit uncomfortable ...
Or how about Lose Yourself, MF’ers … now that (MF’ers) we can live with ...