Archives: February 2008

This is the archive page for [February 2008]; below you should see headlines and summaries of all entries posted here that month. Click the appropriate link at each to read the entire entry.

The CCLaP 100: "The Adventures of Tom Sawyer," by Mark Twain | February 29, 2008
Today's book: the 1876 "American Pastoral" novel "The Adventures of Tom Sawyer," a fictionalized small-town childhood memoir by political satirist Mark Twain. Is it a classic? Click through for my opinion and comments. | Read entire entry

Photo of the day: "Chicago Transit Abstraction," by Reinhardt Schoenfeld | February 29, 2008
Today's photo: "Chicago Transit Abstraction," by Reinhardt Schoenfeld. | Read entire entry

Mini-review: Great Expectations (1999) | February 28, 2008
Today's review: The 1999 television adaptation of Charles Dickens' 1861 "Great Expectations," made in this case for the BBC in the UK and "Masterpiece Theatre" in the US. | Read entire entry

Surprise bestseller "Beautiful Children" is free online for next two days | February 28, 2008
Interesting news from Random House today: that for a very short period of time, they will be giving away completely free PDF copies of surprise bestseller "Beautiful Children" by Charles Bock, no strings attached. Click through for the details and links. | Read entire entry

Photo of the day: "Summerdale Community Church," by Comtesse DeSpair | February 28, 2008
Today's photo: "Summerdale Community Church," by Chicagoan Comtesse DeSpair. | Read entire entry

Obsession of the moment: Battles | February 27, 2008
Today's obsession: The postmodern electronica band Battles, along with some thoughts on how strange it is to start getting educated on indie-rock again, ten years after I originally gave up. | Read entire entry

Yet more interestingness: 27 February 2008 | February 27, 2008
Links to yet more interesting stuff I've recently come across online, for February 27th, 2008. | Read entire entry

Photo of the day: "exhaustion," by Christine Clemens | February 27, 2008
Today's photo: "exhaustion," by British California transplant Christine Clemens. | Read entire entry

Movies for Grown-Ups: Sunshine | February 26, 2008
Today's movie: The visually thrilling 2007 science-fiction actioner "Sunshine," by visually thrilling veteran director Danny Boyle (Shallow Grave, Trainspotting, 28 Days Later, and a whole lot more). | Read entire entry

Mini-review: "Matala," by Craig Holden | February 26, 2008
Today's review: The slim and problem-filled 2007 noir thriller "Matala," by genre serf Craig Holden, picked up completely randomly at my neighborhood library a few weeks ago. | Read entire entry

Photo of the day: "Urbino," by "dearlove.cc" | February 26, 2008
Today's photo: "Urbino," by Italian Flickr member "dearlove.cc." | Read entire entry

The CCLaP 100: The Ripley Trilogy, by Patricia Highsmith | February 25, 2008
Today's review: The crime-fiction trilogy revolving around Tom Ripley (1955-1972), by Patricia Highsmith. Smartly-done genre pieces that helped defined the industry, or true classics that you should read before you die? Click through for my opinion. | Read entire entry

New basement distro is looking for your used classics | February 25, 2008
Today, news of a new used-book distribution company in the St. Louis area called "sticks and stones," started up by my friend Michael Franklin, and how they are in need of your used classics. Click through for a lot more. | Read entire entry

Yet more interestingness: 25 February 2008 | February 25, 2008
Links to yet more interesting things I've recently come across on the web, for February 25th, 2008. | Read entire entry

Photo of the day: "benched," by Joseph Palmer | February 25, 2008
Today's photo: "benched," by Chicagoan Joseph Palmer. | Read entire entry

CCLaP Podcast 20: 37signals' Jason Fried | February 19, 2008
Today on the CCLaP Podcast: An interview with tech guru and gentleman philosopher Jason Fried, one of the founders of highly popular Chicago software company 37signals. | Read entire entry

Mini-review: Zodiac | February 19, 2008
Today's review: David Fincher's latest, the surprisingly good 2007 historical drama/true-crime thriller "Zodiac." | Read entire entry

Photo of the day: "Chicago," by "reservoir osprey" | February 19, 2008
Today's photo: "Chicago," by Flickr member "reservoir osprey." | Read entire entry

Mini-review: Apocalypto | February 18, 2008
Today's review: The surprisingly great 2006 Mel Gibson Mayan Empire epic "Apocalypto." | Read entire entry

Another "Literary Death Match" coming to San Francisco soon | February 18, 2008
A little news today from CCLaP friend Todd Zuniga; that his magazine "Opium" is holding their sixth "Literary Death Match" soon in San Francisco. Click through for all the details! | Read entire entry

Yet more interestingness: 18 February 2008 | February 18, 2008
Links to yet more interesting things I've recently come across on the web, for February 18th, 2008. | Read entire entry

Photo of the day: "The Silent Fog," by "Audrey" | February 18, 2008
Today's photo: "The Silent Fog," by Chicago Flickr member "Audrey." | Read entire entry

Mini-review: "Clown Girl," by Monica Drake | February 15, 2008
Today's review: The cultishly popular 2006 novel "Clown Girl," an inventive metaphor about corporate life and the debut novel of Monica Drake, which sadly enough I just didn't care for. | Read entire entry

Photo of the day: "Playground," by "QuantumJedi" | February 15, 2008
Today's photo: "Playground," by Chicago Flickr member "QuantumJedi." | Read entire entry

Tales from the Completist: "The Solitudes," by John Crowley | February 13, 2008
Today's book: The cultishly loved trippy academic 1987 fantasy novel "The Solitudes" by John Crowley, part 1 of the massively complicated saga "AEgypt." | Read entire entry

Yet more interestingness: 13 February 2008 | February 13, 2008
Links to yet more interesting things I've recently come across on the web, for February 13th, 2008. | Read entire entry

Photo of the day: "Chicago looking a bit like a space station," by Rebecca Whitney | February 13, 2008
Today's photo: "Chicago looking a bit like a space station," by Rebecca Whitney. | Read entire entry

Toronto Public Library hosting "Michael Redhill month" online | February 12, 2008
Today, some interesting news to share from the Toronto Public Library; their online discussion club, Book Buzz, is this month featuring Michael Redhill of "Consolation" (a well-regarded Booker nominee), including lots of supplemental information. Click through for more! | Read entire entry

Mini-review: Horatio Hornblower: Loyalty | February 12, 2008
Today's review: The 2003 television film "Horatio Hornblower: Loyalty," based on the highly popular series of Napoleonic naval adventure novels by CS Forester. | Read entire entry

Photo of the day: "Broken Dreams 5509," by "Joe M500" | February 12, 2008
Today's photo: "Broken Dreams 5509," by Chicago Flickr member "Joe M500." | Read entire entry

Movies for Grown-Ups: THX 1138 | February 11, 2008
Today's movie: The surprisingly crappy 1971 dystopian sci-fi thriller "THX 1138," the first film of George Lucas' career, which makes clear why he delved afterwards so fast into the world of "Star Wars" style space opera. | Read entire entry

Yet more interestingness: 11 February 2008 | February 11, 2008
Links to yet more interesting stuff I've recently come across on the web, for February 11th, 2008. | Read entire entry

Photo of the day: "Jesus," by Thomas Anderson | February 11, 2008
Today's photo: "Jesus," by Chicago college student Thomas Anderson. | Read entire entry

Gridhopping: Dr Muglerstein Island opening party | February 9, 2008
Today, one of my rare reports from the virtual world of Second Life; in particular, the opening party for the new space "Dr. Muglerstein Island," created by infamous '80s fashion designer Thierry Mugler. | Read entire entry

The CCLaP 100: "The Man Who Was Thursday," by GK Chesterton | February 8, 2008
Today's book: The 1908 detective tale/absurdist comedy "The Man Who Was Thursday," by quirky ahead-of-his-time genre master and Modernism precursor GK Chesterton. | Read entire entry

Obsession of the moment: Drop.io Voice | February 8, 2008
Today's obsession: The new voice option for media-management system Drop.io, which lets you call a phone number and leave a message like normal, but then converts it into an MP3 for mobile podcasting. | Read entire entry

Photo of the day: "Untitled," by RK | February 8, 2008
Today's photo: "Untitled," by Flickr member RK. | Read entire entry

Book review: "The Abstinence Teacher," by Tom Perrotta | February 7, 2008
Today's book: The surprisingly disappointing 2007 novel "The Abstinence Teacher" by Tom Perrotta, a fuzzy and unfocused copy of his much better "Little Children." | Read entire entry

Photo of the day: "Nine," by Mike Innocenzi | February 7, 2008
Today's photo: "Nine," by Chicagoan (and frequent CCLaP feature) Mike Innocenzi. | Read entire entry

Yet more interestingness: 7 February 2008 | February 7, 2008
Links to yet more interesting things I've recently come across on the web, for February 7th, 2008. | Read entire entry

Ten Movies About...Charming A--holes | February 6, 2008
Today, a rare new edition of the "Ten Movies About..." series; in this case, ten great movies all featuring charming a--holes. Click through for the choices as well as the reasons I picked them. | Read entire entry

Yet more interestingness: 6 February 2008 | February 6, 2008
Links to yet more interesting stuff I've recently come across on the web, for February 6th, 2008. | Read entire entry

Photo of the day: "Chicago River," by Mike Gonzalez | February 6, 2008
Today's photo: "Chicago River," by Mike Gonzalez. | Read entire entry

And speaking of classics... | February 5, 2008
Hey, thanks for all the nice emails and comments so far regarding the CCLaP 100 list! In fact, so many readers have been sending their own recommendations for online guides to the classics, I thought I'd finally collect them into a public entry for all of you as well. Click through as always for the details. | Read entire entry

Chicago Women In Publishing is having an interesting panel soon | February 5, 2008
A little news today from CCLaP friend Chris Benevich of MediaBistro; that the group Chicago Women In Publishing will be holding an interesting panel discussion soon, regarding how to best negotiate contracts when you're a freelancer. Click through for the details! | Read entire entry

Photo of the day: "pin mill," by Paul Hockett | February 5, 2008
Today's photo: "pin mill," by Nottingham (UK) photographer Paul Hockett. | Read entire entry

Book review: "Bridge of Sighs," by Richard Russo | February 4, 2008
Today's book: The slow-moving 2007 small-town epic "Bridge of Sighs," by former Pulitzer winner Richard Russo ("Empire Falls"). | Read entire entry

Mini-review: The Simpsons Movie | February 4, 2008
Today's review: 2007's "The Simpsons Movie," which is exactly and precisely what you expect it to be. | Read entire entry

The CCLaP 100: "Midnight's Children" is getting officially postponed | February 4, 2008
Just some short news regarding the CCLaP 100 series of essays: That I am officially postponing the next book on the list, Salman Rushdie's "Midnight's Children," because it is just too dense for this clueless little American. | Read entire entry

Obsession of the moment: Tooble | February 4, 2008
Today's obsession: The simple freeware program "Tooble," which downloads YouTube videos, converts them into MP4s, and adds them to your iTunes movie library. Pretty simple and pretty cool. | Read entire entry

Photo of the day: "sleepshop," by Michael | February 4, 2008
Today's photo: "sleepshop," by Canadian photographer Michael of HighPlainsDrifter Photography. | Read entire entry

Movies for Grown-Ups: Eastern Promises | February 1, 2008
Today's movie: David Cronenberg's latest, 2007's Russian expat crime thriller "Eastern Promises," proving again just how on top of his game this talented director is these days. | Read entire entry

Field report: The Fixx reading series | February 1, 2008
Today, photos and a write-up from my recent attendance of The Fixx reading series, a monthly event here in Chicago hosted by author and raconteur Amy Güth. This particular month featured Scott Korb and Peter Bebergal, co-authors of the book of essays "The Faith Between Us." | Read entire entry

Photo of the day: "Matiasma," by "Miladysparis" | February 1, 2008
Today's photo: "Matiasma," by Flickr member "Miladysparis." | Read entire entry