Friday Afternoon Links

I will be traveling to our nation’s capitol today, so here are a few links to keep you busy:

Birnbaum talks with Michael Lewis about his new book Blind Side. Here is how Birnbaum describes the book:

The Blind Side is an incredibly moving story about the remarkable reversal of fortune Michael Oher, a 6’5″, 350-pound, feral sixteen-year-old black boy from inner-city Memphis, encounters as he is adopted by a wealthy white Evangelical family. And as is Lewis’s inclination, he is able to tell this heart-rending and warming tale in the context of a football story and a parable for re-evaluating our views of nature versus nurture and, in fact, a whole set of fallible talent assessment criteria.

The Hotel Chelsea blog is getting in the Halloween spirit by featuring ghost stories this week. The offerings include:
* “Harry and the Zombie,” a fictional work by Ed Hamilton about the zombie that filmmaker Harry Smith kept in his closet.
* “Thomas Wolfe Postcards: A Ghost Story at the Hotel Chelsea,” written by Canadian novelist Susan Swan.
* An interview with a resident who knows all about the Betty Boop ghost and a report from a medium who spent a few days at the hotel.
* A review of “The Road.”

– Those of you in the New York City area might want to check out the book launch for Spectacle by David Rockwell and Bruce Mau. Here is a brief description:

In Spectacle, the architect David Rockwell, in collaboration with designer Bruce Mau, explores the allure of larger-than-life events that take place around the globe. From the running of the bulls in Pamplona to the Holi Festival in India to deafening – and dangerous – NASCAR races, Spectacle considers what it is about these “shared, live experiences” that transforms not only the way we see the world, but also how we connect with each other.

Illustrated with over 200 color photographs, the dynamic visual essay highlights the power of real-time, real-space events in today’s highly mediated world. The book features a collection of photographs and interviews with award-winning authors, producers, directors, and performers. These contributors have documented, participated in, or produced large events and bring a fascinating behind-the-scenes and in front-of-the footlights perspective on “spectacles” today. Interviews include: Muhammad Ali, champion boxer; Kurt Anderson, novelist and essayist; Simon Doonan, author and creative director; Dave Hickey, art critic; Quincy Jones, legendary music and event producer; Guy Laliberta, founder of Cirque du Soleil; Julie Taymor, film and theater director; Robert Venturi and Denise Scott Brown, architects; John Waters, filmmaker; and Steve Wynn, Las Vegas mega-developer, with a concluding essay by critic Herbert Muschamp.

Rockwell, Spectacle’s designer Bruce Mau and moderator Chee Pearlman will be discussing the book Wednesday, November 1, at 6:30 p.m. at the Baruch Performing Arts Center. More information here.

– Speaking of book launches in NYC, the official NYC Book Launch Party for SIGNS OF LIFE will be Wednesday, November 15th, 7 – 10 pm at the GALAPAGOS Art Space in Williamsburg, Brooklyn. The event will include:
– Fernet-Branca will razzle with *complimentary* cocktails
– The Hungry March Band will dazzle with their unique and high energy form of brass marching-band music
– We’ll show you a big screen slide show
– Signs of Life books & gorgeous, affordable prints will be available for purchase

Kevin Holtsberry
I work in communications and public affairs. I try to squeeze in as much reading as I can while still spending time with my wife and two kids (and cheering on the Pittsburgh Steelers and Michigan Wolverines during football season).

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