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Tom Nissley
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Superb suggestions. Baker Street may be the pinnacle of soft rock, but it just didn't fit the sleazy-come on vibe I was trying to keep to with these ten. Just When I Needed You Most gives Sometimes When We Touch a real run for the Oversharing Hall of Fame, though: a fine choice.
The course of New Yorkers into and through my house is a fluid one. They arrive every week (I'm not even sure on which day), but rather than being read or even stacked up in some orderly, chronological way, they slip into the undifferentiated flow of well-edited words that constantly... Continue reading
Posted Jan 27, 2014 at Ephemeral Firmament
I've realized a couple of things while reading from A Reader's Book of Days in various eastern and western bookshops the past few weeks. One: the stories (at least the ones I choose in my on-the-fly editing as audience members shout their birthdays) read better than I expected. I wasn't... Continue reading
Posted Dec 2, 2013 at Ephemeral Firmament
I began this post on a train midway between Boston and Philadelphia, midway through my first book tour. Lots of good and fun things happening since A Reader's Book of Days (see purchase links to the right) was published on November 4: enough that I've been too busy to check... Continue reading
Posted Nov 15, 2013 at Ephemeral Firmament
That's right, it's the best way to remember how to vote for me on Twitter for the Jeopardy! Battle of the Decades: put Tom and #JeopardyVote in any tweet you'd like, once a day through October 20. And the other two places to vote, once a day: Facebook: Vote on... Continue reading
Posted Oct 15, 2013 at Ephemeral Firmament
Since I'm apparently unable to open a Typepad window without digressing into a two-thousand-word epic, I'm posting a tl;dr (that's "too long; didn't read", for those of you, like me, not on Reddit) version of my Jeopardy! campaign announcement. If you want the full, chatty, meandering version, go here. But... Continue reading
Posted Oct 14, 2013 at Ephemeral Firmament
My political career peaked early. As a suburban D.C. kid, I spent much of my childhood training for the local industry, holding regular elections with my sister for our stuffed-animal government. (See photo to the right, which, to be honest, reveals evidence of irregularities that, if I were Sniky or... Continue reading
Posted Oct 14, 2013 at Ephemeral Firmament
I've already gotten all sentimental here once about old, impeccably-dressed nonfiction writers and their work habits, back when Robert Caro and his biographical outlines pinned neatly to the wall just about made me cry. Now let's turn to Gay Talese. I came to Talese a little second-hand: my dear friend... Continue reading
Posted Oct 12, 2013 at Ephemeral Firmament
One of the high points of my yearly calendar arrived last weekend: the fall Friends of the Seattle Public Library book sale, held in a giant warehouse of a building on Sand Point Way. It's the kind of thing that, at this point in my book-crammed life, could be so... Continue reading
Posted Sep 29, 2013 at Ephemeral Firmament
For a time, before I started posting to EphEff again and before I realized you could turn on Captcha to weed out the non-humans, most of my time on my blogging platform, Typepad, was spent quashing spam comments like so many mosquitoes. Even though I hadn't posted anything new for... Continue reading
Posted Sep 9, 2013 at Ephemeral Firmament
I've now made stopping in Bellingham at the used-and-new neighbors Eclipse Books and Village Books a required part of my annual ten-hour drive home from the backwoods of British Columbia: nothing makes the driving go faster than having that reward waiting just as the home stretch begins. This year I... Continue reading
Posted Aug 26, 2013 at Ephemeral Firmament
At another time in my life, the news that Albert Murray had passed on yesterday at the age of 97 would have caused me to clear my decks for the afternoon and probably well into the night for the bittersweet task of writing an obituary for one of my heroes... Continue reading
Posted Aug 20, 2013 at Ephemeral Firmament
I joined Instagram because my teenager did, but while I'm there, I'll try doing something EphEffy. The idea is Twitter but with pictures, right? Here's the first one, from Richard Rhodes's The Making of the Atomic Bomb. I'm at EphEff there if the three of you out there wish to... Continue reading
Posted May 14, 2013 at Ephemeral Firmament
There was a time when buying little indie comics pamphlets was a big part--maybe the biggest part--of my aesthetic life. It was the late '90s, and I lived in walking distance of the late, great Fallout Records, and new issues, once in a great while, were coming out of Charles... Continue reading
Posted May 8, 2013 at Ephemeral Firmament
Funny--I was just thinking that the Siege of Mafeking would have made a cracking subject for a J.G. Farrell novel.
Toggle Commented Apr 30, 2013 on The Paymaster's Counterfoil at Ephemeral Firmament
I have an idle dream that you could pull any book off a library shelf and from it unravel an endless string of cultural connections that would eventually thread through the entire library. I think that's both true and not true: every book may in some way lead to every... Continue reading
Posted Apr 30, 2013 at Ephemeral Firmament
For the sake of breaking the ice on this river, and so that I might have them at close hand myself, here are a few of W.G. Sebald's "writing tips," as recorded by two of his students in his last fiction class at East Anglia in 2001, three days after... Continue reading
Posted Jan 17, 2013 at Ephemeral Firmament
Tom Nissley added a favorite at Fragilist
Nov 17, 2012
Ahh Lincoln, the reviews, the passed good words and now it is out. Where does one begin? I'll begin with the pure acting, all the way from the actors to the accents. First I'd like to applaud Daniel Day-Lewis on his acting, he really captured the soul of Lincoln and... Continue reading
Posted Nov 17, 2012 at Fragilist
Cover image added--thanks for the alert.
Thanks, Libby. Perhaps whatever game-show laid-backness I possess was founded on the mellowness of '70s AM radio. I love that story of your Girl Scout talent show debacle. No doubt that would be a YouTube hit if it happened now. Were you England Dan or John Ford Coley? (Or both?)
My Facebook stream filled today with pictures of and appreciations of the late David Rakoff, who died last night of cancer at age 47, and many of the comments were much like the ones I'm about to make here: I met David Rakoff once, and I can't believe how warm... Continue reading
Posted Aug 10, 2012 at Ephemeral Firmament
I guess it depends on what order you enjoy them in.
It is the nature of a firmament, at least one of mine, to be ephemeral, so I guess I shouldn't be too troubled by the idea of blowing up my '70s Soft Rock Top 10 from February. Blow it up I must, because thanks to a vigorous backchannel discussion of... Continue reading
Posted Jul 17, 2012 at Ephemeral Firmament