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).

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Kostoff Novel to Tyrus Books ... mini-reviews ... Goldman and JPMorgan ... The Judge and the Wingnuts ... Domani ...


Some good news on the publishing front. A dear friend (Lynn Kostoff) has been picked up by Tyrus books. The former publisher (Ben Leroy) and editor (Alison Janssen) at Bleakhouse Books) are going to publish Lynn’s latest, Late Rain under Tyrus. It gets even better since Lynn’s first novel, A Choice of Nightmares, will be reissued in paperback from New Pulp Press as well. Props to Jon Bassoff at Pulp Press. That’s two-for-two for Lynn for those keeping score.

Lynn is a terrific writer I had the opportunity to read when I was first published. We were stable mates at Carroll & Graff. His book I read back then remains one of my favorites to this day. These comments of mine are lifted from an amazon review I did of it:

The Long Fall was my Edgar winner choice on so many levels it was scary. Kostoff does some wonderful things with this story; brother vs. brother, brother and sister-in-law ... coveting both dry cleaning profits and the spouse ... it's a wonderful adventure for the reader from the start (a staged wild west shootout) to the novel's resolution (can't tell you that here). Just great writing and a wonderful story. This novel rocks.

Most of yous know I don’t lend much credence to awards (writing or otherwise) of any kind, but if they were legit (on any level), The Long Fall would’ve been my pick the year it was eligible. That’s one opinion but I stick to it to this day. I look very forward to reading Lynn’s new one and rereading his first novel. Yous should too.

Trinity, Leon Uris … I found the ending a bit anticlimactic, but the read was an enlightening one. The wife insisted I read it for years and I finally acquiesced. It’s a Les Mis type of epic that documents the injustice done to the Irish by the Brits. How they can continue to call it the “United Kingdom” defies logic.

Flights of Love, Bernard Schlink … I’ve read a few books by the author of The Reader (a wonderful read) and although I find his subject matter fascinating (mostly dealing with the issue of guilt German nationals may or may not feel about the holocaust), I prefer existential novels not to hammer me with introspective questions over and over and over and over. Schlink is a very good writer. He’s well worth the reads, but his short stories in Flights, might need some space between stories (i.e., time). They began to frustrate (due to the introspective questioning) this reader way too soon.

Goldman and JPMorgan … now that they’re solvent, I can just bet we’ll start to see some of the billions they were gifted by their representatives (the United States Government) heading back our way soon. Just in time, too … we need to add an extension to our house since my mom will be coming to live with us. Our raises and bonuses (even though they don’t come close to the $20 million a GM exec was gifted for fucking up) will be nice. So will a return to a 35 hour week where OT starts on hour 36 (rather than 40). And I almost can’t wait until the outsourcing scumbags I used to work for (R.R. Donnelly) are forced to hire back all those American workers they were so willing to remove from the work force. Those pieces of collective shit (R.R. Donnelly) not only took over a business that shipped jobs to Chennai, India, Donnelly managed to squeeze a little bit more year by year out of the poor bastards here in America who managed to hold onto their jobs. First it was sick days, then reduced insurance benefits, then they ignored our office when it came time to give bonuses. Forgetaboutit ... pieces of shit.

The Judge and the Wingnuts … boy, it really gets embarrassing to hear some of these clowns trying to stir the shit with Ms. Sotomayor. Here’s some of what I posted at Barry Eisler’s blog, The Heart of the Matter yesterday:

It’s hard to imagine how many more times Republicans (especially conservative Republicans) can shoot themselves in the foot, but their latest attempt at Latin/Female bashing (with unabashed Ricky Ricardo sound effects provided by Tom Coburn) one-ups the recent avalanche of the moral majority’s failings of the flesh (too many to recount it seems). Don’t get me wrong, I’d love to see both major parties disintegrate before lunch today, but conservative Republicans, between sex scandals, racist commentary and Sarah Palin (she really does deserve her own category), seem determined to alienate Hispanics, Women and however many minority and/or independents might be left who are already fed up with a democratic majority that seems content voting Republican 7 months after a fellow Democrat took the presidential oath.

I won’t get into the bailouts and what an outright criminal act perpetrated by this government (both parties) against middle and lower income citizens that was, but watching conservative Republicans publicly detonate themselves has gone from entertaining to scary. I often cringe now when I hear some of what these clowns spew. I even tried watching Bill the buffoon O’Reilly this morning and had to turn to ESPN to watch reruns of the home run derby (fortunately my cable went out before I had to kill myself).

When I read the Alito quote you used here, Barry, I immediately assumed two things: a) it was a horrible quote and b) it was Scalia (that whack job) who’d made it. Then I realized not all Italians look alike (just names ending in vowels). Then I reread the quote and saw it is a valid quote (a very valid quote) and I don’t have a problem with it (perhaps because I was a referee once and if you think people calling a ref nasty names from both benches doesn’t affect their calls, you’re smoking something very strong). I’m fine with Ms. Sotomayor taking whatever she feels is necessary into account to make her decisions. Her “wise Latina woman v. white male” statement might’ve been ill advised, but so what … who hasn’t said something they regretted down the road?

Domani … Casa Stella, July 18th … etc. … Don’t forget domani … and don’t be afraid of the rain … Spartacus assured me that the roof does not leak. And should the roof cave in and let a torrential raid inside Casa Stella, the big mouse reminds us we’re all Americans and should improvise accordingly.

Casa Stella notes: 34 Hornsby Street, Fords, NJ 08863 ... figure 2:30 p.m.

I’m pretty sure the boss will be moving the portable Jacuzzi for the sake of space, but maybe not if it rains. She does want yous who come to know that the township still owes us our sod; the grass they removed when they put in new curbs last week and made the Principessa Ann Marie one very angry lady. So ignore the ball spot at the edge of what was once (for about 4 weeks) a very good-looking lawn.