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Tiff

Wow, I'm first!
It's not Thanksgiving in Canada (as another comment mentioned), but I hope you had a fantastic turkey day. I only recently discovered the delights of cranberry sauce, and I think about it the same way as I do pizza with pineapple: succulent. The combination of sweet and salty just explodes with juiciness. Homemade cranberry sauce should go with everything.

Ooh, old lunchbox food. Jello pudding, bologna sandwiches...does anyone over the age of ten eat bologna? Why is it "kid food"? It's great with mustard and rye. I still eat Fruit Roll-ups.

Yes, I'm on a food kick today.

Music-wise, check out Arcade Fire. In fact, there was a good feature on them in last week's CBC (Canadian Broadcasting Corporation) Radio 3 issue. www.cbcradio3.com - go into this week's table of contents and check out the archives. It's a great e-magazine--beautifully laid out, gorgeous pictures, very emo. I promise you'll like it.

I'm currently reading Carol Shields' The Republic of Love. I picked it up because the movie of it was so damn gorgeous. The book is turning out to be just like it. Check it out sometime.

Anyway, please come to Toronto to do a reading (before January or after June--I'll be in Belgium at the time. Hey, why don't you go there, too?! =P).


Alexandra

You have terrific taste in books. Despite the inexplicable Steinbeck reccomendation. =)

Hey - let us know how the screenplay you're doing with Zach is going?

Laura

East of Eden is bloody fantastic--must be the Californian in you who couldn't resist.

As long as you aren't throwing out In Dubious Battle (a terrible, awful, depressing book that I had to read not once, but twice...he even fudges the historical ending (they won the strike)--it just wasn't poetically tragic enough--that bastard) I think it's safe to recommend dear old John to the world.

Um, yeah.

Liz

Hi Josh,

Glad to hear you had a nice thanksgiving, I wish I had some turkey and stuffing this weekend, but sadly I am stuck in class up here in Vancouver listening to the worst stats prof I've ever had ramble on about multiple regression. (I really should be up in the mountains snowboarding but that's a different story.)

I am not a writer but the lunch box exercise really got me thinking. I can only remember one lunchbox I had, a blue one with carebears on it, but I know I must have had more. I also can't remember what on earth I used to eat, all I remember is that is was such a special treat to get fruit wrinkles (I think that's what they were called) as I was never allowed to have candy.

Thanks for the book recommendations and I can't wait to see the new list of reading cities.

Liz

Matt

Glad you had a good Thanksgiving. We were one of those people digging through the attic getting out Christmas lights. Anyway, I was wondering if you are a movie buff and if you might have any movies that you might recommend. I am reading some of the books that you suggest but it is a bit difficult to read all of them with school and work and what not but I am trying to read some.

Bye,
Matt

Tess Adamsons

Thanks for sharing all the book suggestions. I find that one can become overwhelmed with all the books that are on the shelves, I tend to feel pulled in all directions, and become slightly guilty when leaving a book on the shelf when choosing another one over it, it is good to go in with ammunition. The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier and Clay is one I just read recently. Loved it.
Look forward to hearing when you will be speaking near Cape Cod in the future.
Peace,
Tess

Hillary

Hi Josh,

Thanks for the post and the advice. I am currently reading Cervantes' Don Quixote, which I'm sure you've read but if you haven't...yeah. I was in the musical 'Man of La Mancha' only last year and the story blew my mind so I now feel that I have to read the book. Quixote is the most inspiring character ever written, in my opinion (and compared to what I've read so far).

Anyway, I don't have much to say, but Thanksgiving was great and only 19 more days until winter break.

Until next time.

Hillary

Matt

Hey Joshua,

Some good music:

Ani DiFranco-- Anything by Ani is good, but I'd suggest you start with "Educated Guess," her most recent (and, in my opinion, best) album.

Tori Amos-- EVERYTHING is essential. I'd recommend starting with "Tales Of A Librarian," which is a collection of some of her best known songs.

The Postal Service-- I'm sure you've heard of this from Zach, but... if you haven't, definitely check them out for some interesting music.

Matt Caplan- This guy starred in RENT and is a great acoustic musician.

I'll come by later with some more suggestions.

[People-- if you get a chance, my poetry site: http://www.postpoems.com/members/evilk512/

Tammy

You're funny. :) Glad you had a calm Thanksgiving. Personally, I dreaded it more than the bird, but that's because of a FIL who isn't speaking with us & vice-versa.

Music? I will recommend the British band, KEANE. I am in love with their CD, "Hopes & Fears" and the soaring beautiful voice of the lead singer. All eleven songs are great & the price was only $6.99 at Best Buys when I bought it! I think there is intelligence & passion in their songwriting. I recently heard John Mayer's song, "Daughters" & found that one to be quite lovely. As a father you might like it...don't know though if you have a daughter, but still a nice song. And well, I love my Journey all the time.

Lunch boxes, huh? I have a significant memory of my rusty metal plaid one - I'll try it.

Also, thanks for the book lists...I'm reading Middlesex now.

Continue to have fun on your book tour.

later,
Tammy

Tammy

You're funny. :) Glad you had a calm Thanksgiving. Personally, I dreaded it more than the bird, but that's because of a FIL who isn't speaking with us & vice-versa.

Music? I will recommend the British band, KEANE. I am in love with their CD, "Hopes & Fears" and the soaring beautiful voice of the lead singer. All eleven songs are great & the price was only $6.99 at Best Buys when I bought it! I think there is intelligence & passion in their songwriting. I recently heard John Mayer's song, "Daughters" & found that one to be quite lovely. As a father you might like it...don't know though if you have a daughter, but still a nice song. And well, I love my Journey all the time.

Lunch boxes, huh? I have a significant memory of my rusty metal plaid one - I'll try it.

Also, thanks for the book lists...I'm reading Middlesex now.

Continue to have fun on your book tour.

later,
Tammy

Tammy

Oops...how did that happen?

DeAnn

I'm finding more and more to love and come back for in your words. Thanks for the inspiration.

Now, if you haven't read "The Giant's House" by Elizabeth McCracken, get yourself to Amazon immediately. Like, yesterday.

Or set up a Wish List and I'll send it to you for Christmas!!

Happy holidays!

Magda

Will you have links on here to the short stories you've had published in magazines? I'd love to read them. Or, if they're not accessible online, can you tell us how we might be able to find them?

Also, do "both sets" of your parents have a great sense of humor?

Ninny

hey! you! yes, YOU! up there, way up there. I recommended Ani Defranco last time I was here! so, you, YOU, just get off my gravy train!

really. im on the verge of doing something with an exclamation mark. or something.

oi. i've lost the plot.

oh, right.

music:

Billy Bragg. particularly the songs "everywhere", "levi stubbs tears", "the only one", and "must I paint you a picture".

the man sings like a blinkin toad, but anyone who starts one of their songs by croaking "with the money from her accident she bought herself a mobile home" is fucking ace to me.

"Stream" by The 3rd and The Mortal. it's a haunting song.

and to get you people in the christmas spirit, try on the Ann Margaret and Al Hirt version of "Baby, it's cold outside" -- accept no substitutes.

Films:

Withnail and I -- quite possibly the most hilarious movie I've ever seen.

Books:

The Man Who Mistook His Wife For a Hat by Oliver Sacks.

digallagher

he he. So many comments from girls... Lucky Josh :)

Annie

You get ten brownie points for referencing Bird by Bird. I don’t know if I ever would have been able to work up the courage to try writing short fiction if not for Anne Lamott going on about “shitty first drafts”. It made me feel less like an obsessive freak with no talent, and more like a writer. They may be the same thing, but it all depends on how you look at it.

The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night Time is wonderfully British, and if anyone wants to know what the English transportation system is like, read this book. As far as new suggestions go, here are some good collections of short stories (in no particular order):

-Interpreter of Maladies (oh dear, I can’t remember her name)
-Everything that Rises Must Converge, by Flannery O’Conner
-Pastoralia, by George Saunders
-Lost in the Funhouse, by John Barth
-The Moccasin Telegraph, by Kinsella
-Anything by James Thurber

And you must read a Jane Austen novel at least once in your life. It is required.

-Annie

Jenn

Hi Josh,

Glad to hear your tour went well and that you will be adding more cities to your new go 'round. I made a list of all the books you've recommended and decided to read ~ How I Paid For College by Marc Acito ~ first because you listed it 3 times.

You either get some kind of kick back from Mr. Acito or you really enjoyed that particular book and have been trying to subliminally influence us. Though I had seen though your subliminal ploy, I have decided to read it first because you obviously like it a lot.

Thanks for your recommendations.
Take care!

Jenn

Tricia

Great entry! Thanks again for the next writing exercise and the book picks. My favorite books of all time include "The World According to Garp" (I too am a huge John Irving fan), "I Know This Much is True" by Wally Lamb (it's almost 1000 pages but SO worthwhile!!), "Me Talk Pretty One Day" by David Sedaris and "Operating Instructions" by Anne Lamott.

As for music, have you tried Jamie Cullen? It's great for a cold winter's day...

Tricia

Great entry! Thanks again for the next writing exercise and the book picks. My favorite books of all time include "The World According to Garp" (I too am a huge John Irving fan), "I Know This Much is True" by Wally Lamb (it's almost 1000 pages but SO worthwhile!!), "Me Talk Pretty One Day" by David Sedaris and "Operating Instructions" by Anne Lamott.

As for music, have you tried Jamie Cullen? It's great for a cold winter's day...

Holly

Hey Josh

From reading your blog, and zach's blog, i am under the impression that you Americans are quite into Keane at the moment, which is funny because the lead singer's mother is my english teacher's dentist and they are from this tiny villiage in Kent called Battle, though they have claimed to be from hastings! Kind of like with David Bowie who claimed to be from hard Brixton but is really from surbubian Beckenham.

Anyway picking up on what someone else said about the short stories you wrote for magazines, i would really like to read them and maybe if enough people say something about it you might put them on your site (hint hint nudge nudge)

have fun
love holly

Jason

For music I would recommend Underoath. Their new cd is either just come out or is about to come out.

Jason

Oh, forgot to recommend the book KING SOLOMEN'S MINES by Thomas Hardy.

Bailey

Hi Josh,
I have heard lots about this Mark Haddon novel (the title caught my eye as I'm secretly a Sherlock Holmes dork) so I think it's going on my Christmas list this year.

You've probably read "A Confederacy of Dunces" but it is such a hilarious book.

As for music, I live in Austin, so I'm surrounded by really great local bands. One of which is Slowreader, which sounds sortof like Elliott Smith, if he were kindof sleepy, and had a backing band. The melodies are outstanding. They're kinda hard to find at stores, but you can download songs and see how you like them <3


I can't remember if I asked this or not already (its finals week, and I can't really remember much, unfortunately), but is there any chance of a sequel to your book?

xo,
Bailey

Serena B

Ah, a most excellent description of Christmas. Despite our "Jewishness", I think we're pretty in tune with our jolly surroundings, aren't we? :)

And perhaps it will help if two people ask the "how's the screenplay coming?" question. So...how's the screenplay coming?

Happy...December time,

§erena

jen

I found your blog through some other guy who inexplicably looks at my blog, and apparently yours as well (albeit less inexplicably). You have great taste (Bukowski, Salinger, sentences that include yams, writing about lunchbox contents). I have a soft spot in my heart for lunchbox-related anecdotes, though, since when I was in elementary school I refused to eat sandwiches and hid them all in my closet. So yeah. I'll have to come back and check you out sometime.

jen.

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