Thursday, November 12, 2009

Reading & Writing

ReadingHad a long, long day of “real” life applesauce yesterday. Yea, I’m talking about the “day” job, which as of late has been turning into the “night” job, too, I’m sorry to report. Don’t plan to go into detail here -- as I said to a friend recently when the subject came up, the only thing worse than a bad beat story is to hear someone whimpering about his or her job. Suffice to say yr humble gumshoe has a lot else he’d rather be doing these days.

Changes are a afoot, though. Like hard-boiled writers do, I’ll leave that as a cliffhanger for now. Let’s turn the page.

Speaking of, for those who like hard-boiled fiction, my non-poker-related detective novel, Same Difference, is available for purchase. Makes a great Christmas gift! Am still waiting for it to turn up over on Amazon and other sites. (Thought that would have happened by now, but am still in limbo on that front.) Meanwhile, you can get it directly from Lulu by clicking here.

My novel, 'Same Difference'Big thanks to those who have picked it up already, and especially those who’ve read the sucker and sent along nice feedback. It’s a first novel, and I’m much encouraged to take what I’ve learned on this one as I set to work on a second.

The fact is, I have been thinking a lot recently about books and authors and the publishing world these days, mainly thanks to the books I happened to be reading. I’ve had the opportunity to review James McManus’s new one in a couple of places, Cowboys Full: The Story of Poker, including over at Betfair where I’ve begun a new weekly column. As I mentioned last week, I was able to interview McManus as well, and will be posting that interview as a follow-up piece over at Betfair tomorrow.

'For Richer, For Poorer' by Victoria Coren (2009)Other current poker reads at the moment are also in the non-strategy category. Am moving through Vicky Coren’s For Richer, For Poorer: A Love Affair with Poker, a smart, funny, literary memoir telling the story of Coren’s life and poker career. Coren does have an EPT title and other poker achievements to report, but she’s also a genuinely gifted writer, thus making her book especially enjoyable. Fans of McManus, Alvarez, Holden, et al. should really like this one, I’d think.

Also have just recently cracked open a copy of Doyle Brunson’s recently published autobiography, The Godfather of Poker, written with Mike Cochran. Have only glanced at the contents, but first appearances suggest a comprehensive telling of Texas Dolly’s story, which I imagine will include several familiar anecdotes -- especially for those who have read his Super/System or other books that include Brunson yarns -- as well as new material. By the way, the Entities over at Wicked Chops have interviewed Brunson about the book -- check it out.

The book is a handsomely bound hardback with what’s called “rough trim,” meaning that when the book is closed the pages have a jagged edge -- the kind of thing you see sometimes with older books, but not so much these days.

'The Godfather of Poker' by Doyle Brunson and Mike Cochran (2009)As I was reading about on the Gamblers Bookshop blog last month, some might think the use of this cut “looks like it’s defective but that’s the way the publisher wanted it.” I kind of like it (see pic), which along with the cover photo kind of lends the book a stately, dignified appearance that seems to suit Brunson’s status in the poker world.

As understood by just about everybody but Joan Rivers, that is.

Will be reviewing both Coren and Brunson’s autobiographies in the coming weeks elsewhere, though I’ll say something here about them as well, I imagine. Like I say, reading these books -- all of which can be regarded as the end results of long-term, carefully-nurtured meaningful projects for the respective writers, has gotten me thinking more and more about “the writer’s life.”

And how such a life seems to me like it might be worth living. (Stay tuned!)

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Blogger Dr. Pauly said...

I'm about 50% through Same Difference - which is why I have yet to write a review. But, I'm going on the record and saying that Shamus' pulp novel is a MUST READ.

I highly recommend it (and I haven't even finished it yet).

11/12/2009 1:23 PM  
Blogger TripJax said...

I rarely buy poker books anymore, but I found myself at B&N last night with the wife and, without fail, I migrated to the gaming section first thing. Even when I'm in a poker lull, I end up over there.

I noticed the Doyle book with the interesting paper cut, but once I realized it was intentional, I took a closer look and really liked it.

I ultimately purchased Gus Hansen's Every Hand Revealed. I'm looking forward to reading it and will be sure to do a review on my blog...

11/14/2009 10:25 AM  

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