Grab-bag post and open thread, Memorial Day edition

Has it really been two months since I posted here? Jeez, folks, I’m sorry. I have had a few things going on, like taking a break from crime fiction and breaking a collarbone, but still.

I’ll make up for it a little bit with this jumble of odds and ends, and I hope to […]

Meeting Ethan Iverson

The Bad Plus - Never Stop

One of the joys of running a site like this is that you get to know a lot of great people, united in love of the same books. But you don’t often get to meet them in person; usually just in the comments or via e-mail.

Friday, I had the pleasure of meeting Ethan […]

Grab-bag post: The VWOP Gazette, Blackbird Books, Sam Holt, Dead Man #3

Here’s a round-up of some interesting stuff from the past few weeks.

The Violent World of Parker Gazette

You may have noticed a new feature, The Violent World of Parker Gazette, in the sidebar. A click will take you to the main page, which is a newspaper-like thing that features some of my favorite […]

Donald E. Westlake non-fiction: “Break-Out,” an essay in Ed McBain’s Mystery Book, No. 3, 1961

Back in May of this year, I posted a series of reviews on Existential Ennui of some of the short stories Donald E. Westlake wrote for American science fiction magazines in the 1950s and ’60s (along with a bibliography of those tales). Some of those stories were later collected in book form—notably in 1989’s […]

Kitteh loves crime

Recently, I acquired two huge bookshelves, which I’ve designated the crime fiction shelves. I’ve been stocking them as I dig through boxes of books and sort out what I want to keep and what I want to (well, not always want to, but should) give away.

The shelves are not my only recent acquisitions…


Last call for a pull from The Handle

The contest Wallace Stroby and I put together to identify a reference in The Handle is drawing to a close. If you missed this earlier, details are here.

Entries will be accepted until midnight central time on Monday, April 11. I’ll be traveling, but will try to announce the winner from the road if […]

Life, guest posts, e-readers, and other miscellany


Apologies to all for the lack of updates lately. It’s for good reason. I’ve recently picked up a great part-time job that’s actually somewhat related to the career I had prior to my ill-advised job change to the real estate business–a change I made right before the economic meltdown. It’s with a small […]

Go! You Packers, Go!

Hail, hail, the gang’s all here to yell for you,

And keep you going in your winning ways,

Hail, hail, the gang’s all here to tell you, too,

That win or lose, we’ll always sing your praises Packers;

Go, you Packers, go and get ’em!

Go, you fighting fools, upset ’em!

Smash their line […]

Off topic: Plugs for family and friend

Last week, my brother’s band squint released their third album, Goodnight, Bad Intentions. Goodnight is a terrific set of songs, with a masterful production job by David Percefull (Bowling for Soup, David Cook) that does an amazing job of capturing the intensity of their live performances.

What does squint sound like? I hate that […]

A grab-bag post about libraries (and a bookstore)

A few months ago, I wrote a freelance informational (and promotional) article on behalf of the American Library Association about gaming at the library. That piece has just found a home at the Austin Post. It was written to encourage people to use libraries for a purpose they might not have considered as well […]