Book of the Week: The Vivisection Mambo: 125 Poems of the Neo-Realist School (ed. by Lolita Lark)

No Shelf Required is an ardent supporter of independent authors around the world writing and producing their work on their own terms and with their own resources. In an effort to draw attention to quality independent literature (fiction and nonfiction published by independent authors and indie publishers around the world), and in agreement with BlueInk Review, NSR highlights reviews of a wide variety of titles published on BIR’s site each week. Enjoy this week’s pick.

The Vivisection Mambo: 125 Poems of the New Neo-Realist School


About Author

LolitaLolita Lark has been editor of The Review of Arts, Literature, Philosophy, and the Humanities (RALPH) since 2000. She has published an earlier collection of poetry, and an anthology of reviews, articles and readings from RALPH that was cited by Kirkus as “One of the best books of 2014.” Lark currently lives in San Diego, CA.

 

 

About BlueInk Review

BlueInk Review was founded by Patti Thorn, former books editor of the Rocky Mountain News, and Patricia Moosbrugger, literary agent and subsidiary rights specialist. It offers serious, unbiased reviews of self-published books. Reviews are penned largely by writers drawn from major mainstream publications, such as The New York Times and Washington Post, and editors of respected traditional publishing houses. Select reviews appear in Booklist magazine.

 

This week in (the history of) Literature and Arts

We are pleased to introduce a new (and improved) column for 2017 on No Shelf Required: This Week in (the history of) Literature and Arts. The idea is simple: each week, writer and photographer Michael Rogers (with a long history in book publishing and reporting) highlights what happened in the world of literature, publishing, and the arts that week in his own words (and through his own pictures). It’s a trip down memory lane of sorts, and it’s meant to both inform and entertain. Enjoy this week’s (slightly late) compilation (and do follow Michael’s phenomenal ‘it happened today’ daily updates on Facebook).—Ed.


January 9, 1776: Thomas Paine publishes “Common Sense.” We could use some of that now, eh.

Thomas Paine

 


 

January 9, 1965: “Goldfinger” is released, introducing one of Bond’s most menacing villains and, more importantly, 007’s new ride, the Aston Martin DB5!

Even if not a Bond fan, every driver has fantasized about that car because there are so many assholes on the road that the gadgets would come in mighty handy. True story: at 5:45 this morning I’m driving and make a full stop at the sign before turning onto one of the main drags. While stopped, some bozo comes racing up behind me even though this is a residential neighborhood with a 30 mph limit. I turn, and completely ignoring the stop sign he’s immediately behind me like I’m towing him.

We had heavy snow Saturday and the roads are very icy, so I’m proceeding cautiously but my new shadow is so close to my tail I can all but smell his breath. This is when you’d give anything to flip open your armrest and discharge the oil slick and smile as the tailgating bastard spins off the road! Alas, Moneypenny, my shitwagon only has a CD player that doesn’t work, so I’m pretty much fucked.

Goldfinger


January 10, 1961: After a lifetime of smoking, Dashiell Hammett dies of lung cancer at Lenox Hill Hospital in New York City. He was 66 and hadn’t published in years.

He’d served in both world wars permitting burial at Arlington. Visited him there a few years ago.

Hammett


Happy 65th birthday to MWA Grand Master Walter Mosley, born January 12, 1952 in Los Angeles. I’ve lost count of how many of Walter’s books I’ve read over the years—frankly, he’s so prolific it can be hard to stay on top of the pile. As a reviewer, I’ve been pleased to recommend a bunch of them as well. He’s not a guy who disappoints; you get what you’re after and, usually, much more. I’ve had the pleasure of meeting him a few times, and he’s a nice guy to boot.

My favorite Mosley’s are the Easy Rawlins. Not only are they solid PI mysteries, but the books offer a perspective on race and society that most readers know nothing about. Not only have I thoroughly enjoyed the stories, I’ve learned from them, a huge bonus.

Even if you’re not a devotee of detective fiction, I bet you’d enjoy Mosley. Give him a try.

Mosley


January 13, 1941: Following surgery for a perforated ulcer, James Joyce momentarily awakens from a coma asking for his wife and son. He died 15 minutes later. Roughly two weeks shy of his birthday, he was 58 years old.

Joyce


January 13, 1929: Capping a life on both sides of the law, Wyatt Earp dies in Los Angeles at 80. In the aftermath of the OK Corral killings, shootout survivors and other members of their gang, the Cowboys, murdered Morgan Earp and severely wounded Virgil Earp rendering his right arm useless the remainder of his life. Wyatt, with Doc Holiday and other friends, embarked on a “vendetta ride,” tracking down and murdering those he suspected of shooting his brothers, making him a wanted men in Arizona.

Wyatt remarried and roamed throughout the West, finally settling in California. His last endeavor in a long, unsuccessful string of money-making schemes was serving as a consultant to Hollywood studios filming Westerns. Wyatt became close friends with many of the stars, and the legend goes that at Tom Mix cried like a child at the sight of Earp’s cremated remains being interred in the Hills of Eternity Cemetery.

Earp


January 14, 1957: Humphrey Bogart dies of cancer at 57.

Bogart

Heads up. Independent writers, we salute you!

15978226_350610718665328_615968930_nIf we are going to fully democratize the written word (which is the core mission of No Shelf Required), then we have to support independent writers courageous enough to publish their own work.

There is a sea of self-published literature out there, and much of it is admirable. No Shelf Required is thrilled to reaffirm that it will continue to support independent writers and highlight their work. Each week we select a self-published book and writer to honor (in partnership with Blue Ink Review). It’s our way of saying: thank you for daring.

Click Book Highlights to see the works we’ve highlighted so far and stay tuned for more picks in the coming weeks and months.—Ed.

 

Book of the Week: Under the Pong Pong Tree (by Hal Levey)

No Shelf Required is an ardent supporter of independent authors around the world writing and producing their work on their own terms and with their own resources. In an effort to draw attention to quality independent literature (fiction and nonfiction published by independent authors and indie publishers around the world), and in agreement with BlueInk Review, NSR highlights reviews of a wide variety of titles published on BIR’s site each week. Enjoy this week’s pick.


Under the Pong Pong Tree

About Author

LeveyHal Levey is a Boston native and graduate of Harvard University. He spent a year as a visiting professor on the medical faculty at the University of Singapore. This experience gave him some of the background for his novel Under The Pong Pong Tree.

 


 

About BlueInk Review

BlueInk Review was founded by Patti Thorn, former books editor of the Rocky Mountain News, and Patricia Moosbrugger, literary agent and subsidiary rights specialist. It offers serious, unbiased reviews of self-published books. Reviews are penned largely by writers drawn from major mainstream publications, such as The New York Times and Washington Post, and editors of respected traditional publishing houses. Select reviews appear in Booklist magazine.

Wanna write (to make a difference)?

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Friends and colleagues, I have marched into 2017 eager to continue using No Shelf Required as the ultimate outlet of expression for all who advocate free reading and support projects and initiatives that get us a little closer to that world in which we all have equal access to knowledge and the written word. That world in which knowledge flows freely in all directions to all who want and need it — on their own terms (not the terms of those who think they ‘own’ it).

I am in the process of recruiting various contributors (some of whom will become regular columnists) to write about the ways in which we can ALL do our part in making the world a slightly better place by making it possible for people everywhere to read and learn how and when they want to. And not just read and learn, but also write, listen, teach, and watch. Those of us who have the privilege of working with books and other media (this includes writers, editors, teachers, educators, librarians, and publishers, among others) have that responsibility, I believe.

So join me. Let’s put our heads together and educate each other. No shelf is required, but passion is mandatory. Email me at mirelaroncevic@gmail.com with ideas. Start date: NOW.

MR

This week (in the history of) literature and arts

We are pleased to introduce a new (and improved) column for 2017 on No Shelf Required: This Week in (the history of) Literature and Arts. The idea is simple: each week, writer and photographer Michael Rogers (with a long history in book publishing and reporting) highlights what happened in the world of literature, publishing, and the arts that week in his own words (and through his own pictures). It’s a trip down memory lane of sorts, and it’s meant to both inform and entertain. Enjoy this week’s (slightly late) compilation (and do follow Michael’s phenomenal ‘it happened today’ daily updates on Facebook).Ed.


Happy birthday to J.D. Salinger, born in New York City January 1, 1919. Crazy bastard but who doesn’t love the guy.

salinger


January 1, 1953: Hank Williams dies at 29 from drug and alcohol abuse. Terrible waste.

hank-williams


Alright, sci-fi geeks, let’s wish a happy birthday to Isaac Asimov, born January 2, 1920 in Petrovichi, Russia but raised from age 3 in Brooklyn. I think he started growing the sideburns in kindergarten.

asimov


Birthday greetings to J.R.R. Tolkien, born January 3, 1892 in South Africa. Before moving to England at age 3, he received a bite from a large, nasty spider. I guess it stayed with him. Pat yourself on the back if you liked him before it was cool.

tolkien


Happy birthday to Sir George Martin, born in London January 3, 1926. A handful have tried to claim the title of the “Fifth Beatle,” but it only applies to him.

george-martin


January 3, 1841″ Herman Melville, 21, departs on his first whaling voyage aboard the New Bedford whaler “Acushnet.” By the time the bark reached Polynesia, Melville and many of the crew had discovered that whaling was the most disgusting, back-breaking job imaginable and staged a mutiny, fleeing to the jungle and taken in by headhunters (what’s Plan B, boys). The mutineers soon enough were captured and jailed. He recorded it all in his first novel “Typee.”

melville


January 4, 1967: After several years as the house band at LA’s Whiskey-a-Go-Go, The Doors hit the main stream with the release of their self-titled debut album.

doors


Happy 86th birthday to character actor extraordinaire Robert Duvall, born January 5, 1930 in San Diego, CA. Boo Radley, Tom Hagen, Ned Pepper, Dr Watson, Bull Meechum, Mac Sledge, and Gus McCrae, Duvall has played a handful of literary characters—along with countless other types—with equal aplomb. One of the greats, he’s still working (and survived 2016)! Enjoy your birthday , Bob!

duvall


Earlier mentioned Robert Duvall as among the great characters actors, well another fav is Clancy Brown, born in Urbana, OH, this day in 1959. Although he has appeared in numerous films, you probably know his remarkable voice better than his face.

You’ve seen Clancy as the brutal head guard in The Shawshank Redemption as well as the immortal villain in Highlander, also as a brutal bastard, but you’ve also have heard him in countless animated works playing Lex Luthor and others in DC stuff as well as a handful of good/bad guys in the Star Wars: The Clone Wars series, etc., etc., but his piece de resistance is Mr. Krabs in SpongeBob! Have a good one, Clancy!

clansy


Rise, put your hands over your hearts, and wish a happy anniversary to the mighty “Frampton Comes Alive,” released by A&M Records January 6, 1976 (that’s more than—GULP—40 years ago, you broken down old bastards)!

With his abundant curls, Frampton was a heartthrob for many young ladies, but 40 years later he’s as bald as an ape’s ass—initially I thought of posting Peter’s current pic but it would just be wrong. Live with your memories. And to Mr. Frampton, salute!

frampton


Happy 82nd birthday to Elvis, born in a two-room shotgun shack in Tupelo, Mississippi, January 8, 1935.

He went off to hillbilly heaven so young (42) that you have to wonder what path he would have taken had he’d survived. Would he simply have continued as a Vegas act in his white leather jumpsuits performing the same songs over and over by rote like Sinatra? Would he have retired from performing and become minister of his own church?

…would he have been president (“From Graceland to the White House, Make the Big E the Big P!”)? He’s got my vote! Hail to the King, baby!

elvis


Happy birthday to Soupy Sales, born Milton Supman in Franklinton, NC, January 8, 1926. I would have bet my last buck that Soupy was a New York kid. By osmosis, 1-day belated birthday greetings to Frank Natasi (1923), a comic and 1950s kid show staple who joined with Soupy to voice White Fang, Black Tooth, and Pookie.

In the pic below you can see Frank with the White Fang costume, which consists entirely of a long, fuzzy glove tipped with claws cut from black felt. Probably was made in 15 minutes from a buck’s worth of materials, but it worked! Soupy created the White Fang character while serving in the navy during WWII. The legend goes he’d use the PA system aboard the USS Randall to perform quick comedy routines between himself and Fang.

frank

 

 

 

Croatia is the world’s first country to become a Free Reading Zone

croatia-map-books-teal-wide

No Shelf Required is thrilled and honored to announce:

Croatia is the world’s first country to become a Free Reading Zone

No Shelf Required and Total Boox join forces in turning the country of Croatia into an open virtual library accessible via a free application—to residents and tourists alike—without a library card or an access code. The growing collection boasts 100,000 titles by top publishers in several languages.

Zagreb, Croatia — Croatia has just made history by becoming the first country in the world turned into a Free Reading Zone (FREZ), i.e., an open virtual library accessible to all people free of charge regardless of their location. This includes not only Croatian citizens but millions of tourists from around the world who visit the country each year, who may download a free reading app, called Croatia Reads. The app is powered by Total Boox, an ebook service known to publishers and librarians for its revolutionary model which makes ebooks instantly available—with no restrictions—while paying publishers for reading and affording readers a seamless and uninterrupted reading experience.

“As a web site advocating free access to books and knowledge for all people, No Shelf Required is honored to be the first sponsor of this historic project,” said Mirela Roncevic, editor of No Shelf Required and manager of the project. “NSR’s mission is to make access to books a right of every citizen, not a privilege tied to institutions and corporate interests, so it is fitting that we stand behind it. It also holds a special meaning to me personally because this remarkable story of books escaping the confines of book stores and library walls is taking place in the country of my birth.”

Readers in Free Reading Zones may browse Total Boox’ collection of 100,000 titles, which includes books in all categories of fiction and nonfiction; from popular to academic, from professional to practical. Over 250 publishers are participating, including an array of world-class brands, among them, Lonely Planet, Workman, Sourcebooks, Berlitz, Oxford University Press, F&W Media, O’Reilly, Other Press, Elsevier, Wolters Kluwer, New World Library, Marshall Cavendish, Berrett-Koehler, Lerner, and many others.

The goal of the FREZ initiative is to spread reading to public and private spaces and endow them with culture. The ‘zones’ may be sponsored by private and public institutions, corporations or government entities and can be as small as single-buildings (e.g., hospitals, cafes) or as big as entire cities and countries (as in the case of Croatia).  “With all due modesty, this is really a world’s first,” said Yoav Lorch, Founder and CEO of Total Boox. “It’s a general open invitation for all people to follow their interests and curiosities, wherever they are, at no cost and with no limitations. It’s not just about saving money. It’s about making culture and knowledge prevalent, about closing the digital divide, and about allowing the people to enjoy the fruits of the digital revolution.”

“With the launch of Croatia Reads, we have created a circle in which all segments of Croatia’s society benefit: culture, education, and tourism,” added Roncevic. “We have begun the next big revolution in the story of the book—the one where the potential of the digital medium is finally used to disperse knowledge to all who want it, when they want it, and how they want it. Croatia today stands as an example of what is possible with the book in the 21st century, and what is possible looks a lot like the democratization of the written word we’ve never seen before—the kind that will finally give books in digital format the chance to show their true potential.”

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This week in (the history of) literature and arts

We are pleased to introduce a new column on No Shelf Required: This Week in Literature and Arts. The idea is simple: each week, writer (and photographer) Michael Rogers (with a long history of book reviewing and reporting) highlights what happened in the world of literature, publishing, and the arts that week. It’s a trip down memory lane of sorts, and it’s meant to both inform and entertain. Enjoy this week’s (slightly late) compilation (and do follow Michael’s phenomenal ‘it happened today’ daily updates on Facebook).Ed.


November 21, 1931: Universal Studios releases “Frankenstein.” A star is born.

franken


Happy birthday to Voltaire, born Francois-Marie Arouet in Paris November 21, 1694. He wrote “Candide” in only three days. THREE FUCKING DAYS!

marie-o


November 22, 1955: After a hefty dinner and enjoying the fights at Hollywood Legion Stadium with friends, Shemp Howard, 60, dies of a massive coronary while riding in the back of a cab. Shemp had dropped a one-liner cracking up pals Al Winston and Al Silverman and was lighting a cigar (he was a heavy smoker off screen) when he slumped over without making a sound.

That’s the official account and no doubt 100% accurate, but, frankly, it’s boring. How much better would it be if after cracking up his buds and contentedly puffing away on a fresh Havana Shemp suddenly went “eeb…eeb…eeb…ebee-bee-bee-bee-bee-bee-bee-bee!” and THEN dropped dead! Come on, it’s a thousand times better!

three-stoges


November 22, 1968: The Beatles release the “White Album.”

beatles-white-album


Happy birthday to Harpo Marx, born in New York City on November 23, 1888. The second of eventually five children, his parents named him Adolph, but he never liked it and changed to Arthur in his 20s.

If you’re a fan but have never read any of Harpo’s memoirs (“Harpo Speaks,” etc.) they’re very charming.

harpo-marx


November 23, 1942: “Casablanca” opens. The beautiful friendship.

casablanca2


November 25, 1970: Japanese novelist Yukio Mishima disembowels himself after he and his followers took over a government building where he then stood on the balcony and delivered a speech about restoring the emperor or some such nonsense to whoever would listen. Those who did laughed at him. After he cut his own guts out, Mishima’s follower made several attempts to lob off his noggin but they failed.

He’s an excellent writer, but there’s always someone in his books sticking a knife into his own gizzard to save his honor, so it seems fitting that he went out this way himself. The root of his discontent was his belief that society had gone to hell. Get your swords out, folks!

japanese

 

Book of the Week: The Solution: Repairing Our Broken Political System by Michael M. Stockdell

No Shelf Required is an ardent supporter of independent authors around the world writing and producing their work on their own terms and with their own resources. In an effort to draw attention to quality independent literature (fiction and nonfiction published by independent authors and indie publishers around the world), and in agreement with BlueInk Review, NSR highlights reviews of a wide variety of titles published on BIR’s site each week. Enjoy this week’s pick.

The Solution: Repairing Our Broken Political System


About Author

stockdellMichael M. Stockdell was born in Richmond, VA, and graduated from the University of Virginia with a B.A. in English. He has worked as a systems analyst, data processing manager and management consultant, including three years in the federal government. Stockdell spent years researching politics and considering viewpoints from both sides of the political spectrum in order to write The Solution.

 


 

 

About BlueInk Review

BlueInk Review was founded by Patti Thorn, former books editor of the Rocky Mountain News, and Patricia Moosbrugger, literary agent and subsidiary rights specialist. It offers serious, unbiased reviews of self-published books. Reviews are penned largely by writers drawn from major mainstream publications, such as The New York Times and Washington Post, and editors of respected traditional publishing houses. Select reviews appear in Booklist magazine.

Book of the Week: The Marriage of Miss Jane Austen; Volume II by Collins Hemingway

No Shelf Required is an ardent supporter of independent authors around the world writing and producing their work on their own terms and with their own resources. In an effort to draw attention to quality independent literature (fiction and nonfiction published by independent authors and indie publishers around the world), and in agreement with BlueInk Review, NSR highlights reviews of a wide variety of titles published on BIR’s site each week. Enjoy this week’s pick.


The Marriage of Miss Jane Austen: Volume II

 

About Author

collins-hemingwayCollins Hemingway notes that his approach to fiction is to “dive as deeply into a character’s heart and soul as possible, to address the root causes of their behavior rather than to describe superficial attitudes and beliefs.” He also notes that “his sentiment regarding the importance of literature is only slightly mellower than that of Jane Austen, who observed that the gentleman or lady who fails to find pleasure in a good novel must be ‘intolerably stupid.’” Hemingway lives in Bend, Oregon. He is a graduate of the University of Arkansas and has a master’s degree in English literature from the University of Oregon.


 

About BlueInk Review

BlueInk Review was founded by Patti Thorn, former books editor of the Rocky Mountain News, and Patricia Moosbrugger, literary agent and subsidiary rights specialist. It offers serious, unbiased reviews of self-published books. Reviews are penned largely by writers drawn from major mainstream publications, such as The New York Times and Washington Post, and editors of respected traditional publishing houses. Select reviews appear in Booklist magazine.

 

Portal on all things ebooks and digital content and for all reading, writing, publishing, curating, and distributing the written word and other content in digital format, including publishers, librarians, writers, editors, content developers, distributors, and educators. Managed and edited by Mirela Roncevic, with contributions from professionals and thought leaders in the United States and around the world.