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    Let’s make this an Independent Bookstore Day challenge …

    And don’t worry. Amazon will do just fine Today is Independent Bookstore Day, which, sadly, we need. Really, it’s independent bookstores that we need. And local Mom and Pops. And downtowns. And you get all this already. And you know why they’re endangered. And, no, it’s not because we don’t want them. We do. But we don’t recognize our own long-term interests. (In case you don’t, let me direct you to this eye-opening story: “Kansas Bookshop’s Fight with Amazon is About More Than the Price of Books.”) So here’s the cure: Buy at least one book today from a local independent bookstore. It’s a start. Let’s make it a challenge.…

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    Covid Daze

    First today’s big event was canceled, then today’s big event was canceled Today was the big day. Twice. This was the public start of the fabulous Bizarre Bazaar in Richmond, Va. Or it was until it was canceled for the coronavirus. Understandable, of course. These days, it’s as impractical to hold a massive Christmas show as to go on a cruise ship and kiss all the passengers. Still, we miss it. We’ve been bringing books and such to the Bizarre Bazaar since we were first invited in 2006, the year my Topsail Island: Mayberry by the Sea came out. (If you’re counting, this would have been our 15th show.) We…

  • Weekly Blog,  Writing & Publishing

    7 Quick Thoughts on FSF’s Overlooked ‘Beautiful and Damned’

    Fitzgerald’s second novel slipped through the cracks— but led to brilliance ahead 2nd month of F. Scott Fitzgerald reading challenge, 2nd novel, The Beautiful and Damned (1922) Yes, F. Scott Fitzgerald wrote a novel with a soap opera title, The Beautiful and Damned. (It’s not a soap opera, though I suspect more than a few in 1922 were surprised to see “Damned” in a title.) Didn’t know of this book? I suspect most of us at least know OF the legendary writer’s startling debut (This Side of Paradise), obviously we know of his classic and near-classics (novels 3 and 4, The Great Gatsby and Tender Is the Night, respectively), and…

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  • Weekly Blog,  Writing & Publishing

    4 Thoughts as Fitzgerald’s “Paradise” Turns 100

    A first novel still perplexing and astonishing— and even prescient 1st month of F. Scott Fitzgerald reading challenge, 1st novel, This Side of Paradise (1920) “Amory Blaine inherited from his mother every trait, except the stray inexpressible few, that made him worth while,” begins This Side of Paradise, and we are off and running. Paradise turns 100 this year and, not surprisingly, this calls for a new “Collector’s Edition” of F. Scott’s Fitzgerald’s first and indeed all his five novels (well, 4½) by his old publisher Scribner, now part of Simon & Schuster. The 100th anniversary of a great author’s first work is certainly cause for celebration, though it seems…

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