I've always wanted to call a book Howl at the New Moon
, but that title screams poetry collection or mid-career memoir. I'm not ready for either. But if I did, I'd want it at Powell's with a little shelf-talker card next to it, printed in red, with some silly alliteration like "Powell's Howls for Howl (at the New Moon)." I'd only read on nights when the moon is visible, like right now. It's hanging outside my bedroom window, here in San Francisco, like a ship's portal in need of a wash.
Kevin here. I'm honored that Dave and everyone at Powell's has let me take the controls at the blog for the week. And looking at the guests that have come before, I feel a little like Scott Hastings, who, as Mr. Rothbart knows, won 2 NBA Championship rings with the Pistons and never left the bench.
Little about me: I edited this here book, which came out last summer. It's a collection of essays by writers raised in a digital era (beginning with Atari on up through BitTorrent), who nonetheless are crazy about books, writing, and literature. Each of them (Neal Pollack, Nell Fruedenberger, Nicola Griffith, and many more whose names don't begin with "n") tackled an aspect of what it meant to be a writer in the digital 21st century. My second book will be a study of the changes wrought by the 21st century to the American Jewish community.
On the side, I review books for my hometown paper, sporadically run Virtual Book Tours for other authors, and mess around with podcasting. I've been blogging here since 2001, so pulling duty at Powell's feels like house-swapping.
Things I'd like to discuss this week: Favorite words, lost books, personal libraries, writing habits, departed bookstores, media consumption, author personalities, book touring, overlooked gems, reading in strange places, fiction v. nonfiction, and the bibliophilic end of the rainbow.
Things I'll probably avoid: James Frey and that other guy (because you can find that elsewhere and I have nothing to add), my feelings on the "Great American Novel" (I don't have any), 2005's "lousy" year for fiction (too rich for my blood), and why my ears stick out (I'm a little sensitive).
Finally, blogs to me are about exchange, not lecturing. So I welcome your comments.
We're off. That moon was full last night so I owe it a howl. More soon.