Stine: Goosebumps: Books 1-4 (1992)

When I first began reading Goosebumps, they were still relatively new. My mom was a teacher, and in the summers she’d take us to the Scholastic book warehouse where I’d load up on as many discounted copies as I could get my hands on. Since reading was the only thing I could do well, IContinue reading “Stine: Goosebumps: Books 1-4 (1992)”

Samuel Fuller: The Naked Kiss (1964)

It’s been a while since I really talked out of my ass. Let’s do this! So–briefly, I dedicated my life to filmmaking. I made one film, which was enough to teach me I never wanted to make another one ever again—because filmmaking involves working with other people, and other people suck—specifically, other people who writeContinue reading “Samuel Fuller: The Naked Kiss (1964)”

Seneca – Letters from a Stoic (1-10)

Letter 1 – On Saving Time Recently we were in a bar, and he was telling me about this girl who seemed like she liked him, but wouldn’t let him ask her out, and puts him through all sorts of confusing games—they’re both PhDs working for maybe the best known company in the world andContinue reading “Seneca – Letters from a Stoic (1-10)”

Durant: Our Oriental Heritage (notes on religion)

Notes on Religion: Why is there existence? Not the meaning of life, or why is there life—I could even accept that as an accident, and not why is there earth, but why is there space or time or matter or energy? How can it possibly be that out of nothing there is something? Why isn’tContinue reading “Durant: Our Oriental Heritage (notes on religion)”

film: Dan in Real Life (2007)

One of the rules I try to keep is that if I wake up, I should get up. In the middle of the night it’s easy to convince oneself that if only it was possible to get out of bed at this moment ownership of the whole world is within grasp, every notion of geniusContinue reading “film: Dan in Real Life (2007)”

The Autobiography of Benjamin Franklin (1793)

I’m feeling a bit sad because I’d nearly finished writing about this book, and somehow the file’s been lost. My computer dies very easily and frequently, and the result is that I’ve learned to make the mistake of not saving files more often because I enjoy suffering. Right. Ben Franklin’s Autobiography is, potentially, my favoriteContinue reading “The Autobiography of Benjamin Franklin (1793)”

Updike: A&P (1961)

After the Lord of the Flies epiphany, I went straight to Borders Books and Music and asked at the info desk for more books about “human nature” or “the human condition” or something like that. I remember they chuckled at me, handed me Catcher in the Rye, and suggested I continue down the path of post-war New Yorker writers,Continue reading “Updike: A&P (1961)”

Chuang Tzu – “Independence” (4th cen. BCE)

Ah, the beauty of textbooks, which tell you what questions to ask. 1. What part of this story is the exposition? How many sentences does Chuang Tzu use to set up the dramatic situation? Here’s the deal. There’s this guy who sits outside on the back fire escape coughing all day and all night. Literally.Continue reading “Chuang Tzu – “Independence” (4th cen. BCE)”

Grimm (Segal) – Godfather Death (1812)

I don’t know upon what tales children are raised anymore, and I know that I had a my fair share of contemporary children’s stories and picture books to make me feel okay about life. The ones that I recall most clearly are the classics, the ones that are a little spooky. Perhaps that’s why I’veContinue reading “Grimm (Segal) – Godfather Death (1812)”