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Catching Up On Reading

Hey all, just popping back in between a mountain of travel and work.

Here’s what I’ve been reading.

Some of Mickey Spillane’s Mike Hammer books. If you like tough guys and dames, this’ll do.

Just read Cat’s Cradle by Kurt Vonnegut again. Never get tired of Bokonon and those calypsos.

Roughing It by Mark Twain. This time through I’ve been paying more attention to the many illustrations, which I have just glanced at before. Worth it.

Grasshopper Jungle by Andrew Smith. Beyond bizarre, beyond irresistible (not possible, but I wrote that anyway and can’t figure out how to edit it to just “irresistible”)

How about you? Any gems you’ve encountered recently?


Another Week of Reading

Howdy all, it’s been another busy week of reading and writing. A few observations and recommendations:

  • If there has ever been a perfect book, I think it is Lonesome DoveI’d predict that this is at least the tenth time I’ve read it. It makes me happy, instantly. Gus and Call are as or more fully realized than any other fictional creations I have ever encountere


Speaking in Minneapolis this weekend.

Hi all, if you’re in the Minneapolis area, I’ll be speaking at the RH Stafford branch of the Woodbury Public Library. The World’s Strongest Librarian was chosen as Washington County’s “One County, One Book” selection, and this is going to be a great event.

Details here! Hope to see some of you knuckleheads, particularly if I haven’t met you yet.



Overheard – Femininity At The Library

Perhaps this happened to someone like me, in a library very much like the one where I work:

I watched a man try very hard to compliment my manager one night.

“You look different somehow. What is it?”

“I’m not sure,” she said. “What do you mean?”

“You just look more feminine than usual is all. I mean it as a compliment.”

“Oh. Well, thank you I guess.”

“Hey wait, did you used to have a mustache?”

That was how the conversation ended.





Why I Read Fiction

This is a post I’ve written before in a few ways, but the question does keep coming up. “Why do you read fiction? Isn’t it a waste of time? Isn’t the ‘real world’ interesting enough?”

As I grow older, I’ve been more drawn to non-fiction. Not sure why, and I honestly don’t spend much time wondering why. I read what I read and then I read whatever’s next. I still read a lot of fiction, and I think it will always matter, because stories will always matter to me.

Consider this:

Suppose you tell me an inspiring story. “I need to tell you about something that happened to me.” And it galvanizes me. [click to continue…]


News! Updates! Apologies!

Hi all, today officially ends my blogging hiatus. I had no idea I’d been so MIA until someone said “When are you going to blog again?” Then it hit me: I haven’t been blogging, pretty much at all.

But there’s a good reason. A few, in fact.

I’ve been working on some new books, in addition to prepping for the paperback launch of The World’s Strongest Librarian this May.

Over the summer (probably late summer, things always take longer than I think they will) I will also be releasing: [click to continue…]


The Best Book Dedication I’ve Ever Seen

Tell me I’m wrong!



Bookworm With Michael Silverblatt

Hi all, for you podcast freaks and book obsessives, I hope you’re listening to Bookworm. Michael Silverblatt is one of the best interviewers around, and he’s a reader’s reader. He’s also one of the finest interviewers I’ve ever heard. He and Studs Terkel are my favorites.

So far my favorites have been his conversations with David Mitchell and John Barth.

Check out Bookworm here. Enjoy!


Me and Dr. Ruth

Associates, this weekend past, I spoke at the Mohegan Sun Casino in Connecticut. It was disgusting and tacky. However, the Big Book Getaway, which I was part of, was a great event.

And the best part of it all was that I got to hang out with Dr. Ruth for a while. If you only know of her as that little sex therapist lady, there’s much, much more to her. She has an incredible personal story and she was so happy and brilliant. And tiny. See for yourself.

josh-dr-ruth [click to continue…]