Because of time constraints I am only going to blog here sporadically. I'll write about books, music, movies, politics, and law, but mostly about books. Thanks for reading.
Happy new year! 2010 was eventful, and I expect the same of 2011.
After a unanimous and bipartisan appointment as Pierce County Prosecutor in 2009, I was elected with over 61% of the vote in November of 2010. My opponent was almost comically dishonest and bizarre, which made for an entertaining campaign season. My Prosecutor website is www.marklindquist.org.
Now I am working on a new novel, a follow up to "The King of Methlehem." I will post updates here and on my Facebook page: www.facebook.com/marklindquist.org. I also have a Facebook page, People for Prosecutor Mark Lindquist, which includes links and information on how we're taking care of business in the Prosecutor's Office.
Though I am more active on Facebook these days, I will use this blog to post book reviews and other matters literary. To start, here is an essay I wrote for the Tacoma Pierce County Bar News, "Have a Pleasant New Year."
Thanks for reading.
Happy new year. I'm even more optimistic about 2010 than about 2009. I won't be blogging here much, but you can keep up with events at www.marklindquist.org. You can also join me on Facebook.
Below are my best books of 2009 recommendations. I did not have a favorite movie, but I do recommend, especially for writers, "An Education," which was scripted by Nick Hornby, based on a book by Lynn Barber.
For fiction: "How it Ended," a collection of stories by Jay McInerney that brilliantly capture the last 25 years, better than any history could.
For non-fiction: "Leadership," by Rudy Guiliani. Though the book lacks lyricism, which is surprising given that Rudy was an excellent trial lawyer, it is full of stories and observations about leadership that make it a worthy read.
The Seattle University Lawyer magazine profiled me in an exceptionally generous and gracious article, titled "A Great Story."
Thanks for reading.
I was honored on September 1st to be appointed Pierce County Prosecutor by the County Council - a unanimous bi-partisan vote.
Recently I reviewed "An Expensive Education" by Nick McDonell, the author of "Twelve," for The Oregonian.
Not enough time for reading and writing these days, but I am reading "Managing the Dream, Reflections on Leadership and Change" by Warren Bennis.
Please visit www.marklindquist.org or my Facebook page for updates on my campaign for Pierce County Prosecutor. I stand for election in fall of 2010.
As I've become increasingly busy as the Chief Criminal Deputy Prosecutor for Pierce County, I've had less time for reading and blogging, and will only be writing here sporadically.
In the meantime please visit www.marklindquist.org, our campaign website, which is still being modified, and/or join our Facebook page, "People for Prosecutor Mark Lindquist."
I'm not reviewing much these days, but here is my recent review of Jay McInerney's latest collection of short stories, "How It Ended," for the Oregonian. This is my five star recommendation for the month, probably for the year.
And here is Krist Novoselic's review of "The King of Methlehem" for the Seattle Weekly. As a fan of Nirvana and Novoselic, I appreciate this smart review by a man who understands.
Happy new year. I'm predicting a very good year.
Sean Penn is a safe bet to take this year's Oscar for best actor. He gives an outstanding performance in "Milk," a biopic about assassinated San Francisco Supervisor Harvey Milk.
I've been reading "Lincoln, Biography of a writer" by Fred Kaplan, and both of President-elect Obama's books in preparation for giving the keynote speech at the Tacoma Pierce County Bar Association's Lincoln Day Banquet in February.
Congratulations to President-Elect Barack Obama, and Governor Chris Gregoire. Here is Obama's victory speech. And here is McCain's concession speech, probably his finest speech from the campaign.
I started working on campaigns when I was a kid, putting up yard signs, doorbelling, and so on, and this was the most exciting election of my lifetime. The level of interest and enthusiasm I saw was encouraging and it reminded me that politics can be, and should be, a source of inspiration. As President-Elect Obama said, "... the true strength of our nation comes not from our the might of our arms or the scale of our wealth, but from the enduring power of our ideals: democracy, liberty, opportunity, and unyielding hope." Obama made it cool again to be idealistic and optimistic.
Now that the election is over I'm reading Maria Semple's first novel, "This One is Mine," which I'm reviewing for the Seattle Times.
Finally, here's a link to www.feedwashington.org, a worthy cause to help feed children in Washington, spearheaded by an old friend of mine. Please contribute.
I hope Obama can stay true to a post-partisan, non-divisive, style of politics in the heat of this presidential race. I probably won't blog again until November.
And since I always try to mention at least one good movie or book: I'm reading "The Purpose Driven Life" by Rick Warren.
Summer has been crazy busy, endless political fundraisers and community events. 'Tis the season. I'm looking forward to the Democratic National Convention, and I'm going to watch the Republican convention as well.
I'm re-reading Victor Frankl's book, "Man's Search for Meaning." Recently I reviewed Martin Clark's novel, "The Legal Limit," for the Oregonian and I highly recommend this literary legal thriller.
We've added more pictures below from the May 29th Democratic Party fundraiser.
Thanks to the many fans of literature, politics and Pierce County who turned out for our reading and Democratic party fundraiser on May 29th. Gotta love Pierce County. Turnout exceeded optimistic expectations, those standing outnumbered those sitting, and most importantly a good time was had by all. Again, thanks to Pat Nagle from the Harmon Hub for donating the kegs.
Here's a review of the event, written by Matt Driscoll at the Weekly Volcano. There was a lot of buzz before the event, including a piece from David Seago, editorial editor of The News Tribune. His article appeared in the hard copy of the paper on Monday the 26th, and here's his blog entry that closely mirrors that article from the paper.
Here are some pictures: PCO Walt Corneille signing in PCO Pat Hammond, the crowd and the line to get in going out of the front door, Congressman Adam Smith on stage while I wait in the wings. Prosecutor Gerry Horne and LD chair Bob Chamberlain and City Council member Lauren Walker and Senator Rosa Franklin enjoying a laugh, Phil Sorensen playing bongos, close up of Maynard G. Krebs, Pierce County Central Labor Council President Vance Lelli, PCO Kimberli Lelli, and party chair Nathe Lawver contemplating with the King's Books cat.
Congressman Adam Smith and I on stage, the view from the stage, County Coordinator and PCO Ginger Anderson with PCO Levi Wilhelmsen. Senate candidate from the 28th, Debbie Srail, with 27th District Dems. John Ladenburg - with a beer- and Paul Pastor finding space to stand, Mayor Bill Baarsma focused on the proceedings.
Senator Debbie Regala and I taking a break after the event, the Governor's Ian Morrison and politicos lingering and drinking after the event, more politicos lingering and drinking as I sign books, Kristina Ladenburg having a book signed after the event, and Chief Admin Deputy Dawn Farina and Gerry Horne and Mary Robnett and Maureen Goodman getting revved up before the event.
I'll post more pictures later. Thanks again.
For reasons I'm not exactly sure of, I was named "Prosecutor of the Week" in the "Western Justice Blog," which I'm now linking here, and such linking may be the one of the reasons this cool blog names prosecutors of the week.
Meanwhile, here in Tacoma, I hope to see everyone on Thursday, May 29th, at King's Books at 7:00 pm. I'm sponsoring an event along with Adam Smith, Booth Gardner, Gerry Horne, and Nathe Lawver. I will read and sign books, including the new paperback of "The King of Methlehem," and there will be lots of talk and beer.
Mark your calendars for May 29th, Thursday, 7:00 pm, King's Books in Tacoma. I'll be co-sponsoring a fundraiser for the Pierce County Democratic party along with Nathe Lawver, the party chair, Adam Smith, U.S. Congressman, Booth Gardner, former Governor and Pierce County Executive, and Gerry Horne, prosecutor. I will read a few pages from "The King of Methlehem," which is out in paperback in May, and there will be a discussion of literature, politics, and Pierce County. I hope to see you there, thanks.
Here's an article from Washington Law & Politics about writer-lawyers, including me.
This is the month for party caucuses. I'll be at the Democratic caucus at Jason Lee.
Here is an interesting msnbc article on pop culture and meth, "Pop Culture is Getting an Injection of Meth." The "King of Methlehem" is mentioned.
Happy new year. I was pleased to introduce the talented Tacoma singer Deborah Page at the "First Night" New Year's Eve celebration in Tacoma. Check out her myspace page.
"The King of Methlehem" made the Bookgasm best of 2007 book list, and of course Bookgasm made my best of any year blog name.
For movies, I recommend "Charlie Wilson's War" and "Juno."
I have to go work on my new year's resolutions now.
'Tis the season of parties and kindness and charity and bustle. The Drug & Vice unit and the Special Assault Unit (SAU) of the Pierce County Prosecuting Attorney's office had a good party. This was the fourth year, and the attorney-centric festivities have expanded to include judges, local politicos, activists, artists and bloggers. See you next year?
I started University of Puget Sound Law School in 1992, and it was Seattle University School of Law by the time I graduated in 1995. The alumni magazine published a fine feature in their Fall 2007 issue, "True Crime Writer," which is also online here.
Best book I've read this month is "Zeroville" by Steve Ericksen, a surreal mix of "Forrest Gump" and "Being There" set in Hollywood during the so-called Golden era of the late 1960s and 1970s when mavericks such as Martin Scorsese, Francis Ford Coppola, and John Milius were entering the business. My review should be posted shortly.
I also enjoyed "The Jury Master" by Robert Dugoni, amazingly well-plotted.
Everyone should see "The Heartbreak Kid," a Farrelly Brothers remake of an Elaine May movie written by Neil Simon, and I'm not just recommending it because "The King of Methlehem" appears prominently in the end credits. The movie is hilarious, the topic is timeless, and it's shot in Cabo.
I'm speaking at Wordstock in Portland, at 3:30 on Saturday the 10th. You can check out www.wordstockfestival.com for details. Hope to see some of you there, thanks.
Sorry I skipped September, but I was in the Tacoma mall shooter trial. The jury convicted the defendant of 15 counts, including several Assaults and Attempted Murder in the Second Degree. The defendant, Dominick Maldonado, will be going to jail for the rest of his life.
While Patti Smith was in town, rocking like a kid at the Showbox, I met a guy from Warner Brothers named Ethan Kaplan, who runs the R.E.M. site, www.murmurs.com. He also has a blog. If you're a music fan, check out his site and blog.
I recently reviewed Steve Almond's new book of essays, "Not That You Asked," and am reviewing Michael Chabon's new novel now.
"The King of Methlehem" will be coming out in paperback in spring of 2008. Here's the proposed cover.
Publishing, generally a luddite business, has still benefited from Bill Gates in a number of ways, including the proliferation of literary-minded blogs. To my mind, word of mouth has always been key to the success of most books, and the internet amplifies word of mouth. Here's the blog of Jim Thomsen, and the brilliantly titled "bookgasm," two that have reviewed "King of Methlehem."
I wish I had more time to read blogs, because they fascinate me. If there's a blog or a review or posting you think I should know about, send me an email, thanks. Here's the blog of Shari Leid, who quit practicing law. There are a lot of lawyer and ex-lawyer blogs out there. Most lawyers don't like their jobs. Fortunately, I love mine.
I'm starting the Tacoma Mall shooter trial this month, and that will probably take over my life for a while. Deputy prosecutor Phil Sorensen and I are trying the case in Judge Linda Lee's courtroom and jury selection starts August 14th.
Though I try to recommend books, movies, or CDS here, I have been reading more police reports than books of late. All I can think of to mention is "Rant," Palahniuk's latest, and my review is up now.
Thanks to all of you who showed up at the final book readings and signings. I think the events became more entertaining toward the end of the tour.
Here's a blog review of my reading at King's Books in Tacoma, and a funny interview from 944 magazine that took place before my reading in Tempe.
Soon we will post pics from the readings and signings. Meanwhile, I've got a lot to catch up on now that I'm back.
Oh, and congrats to Garth Stein who just sold his new novel to HarperCollins, the publishing house that fired Judith Regan after her despicable O.J. book deal.
Just got back from Phoenix, Tempe, and Portland, and I had a great time meeting people. Thanks to everyone who showed up at the readings and signings.
Jeff Baker of the Oregonian wrote a cool feature on the book, which you can find here. Barbara Lloyd McMichael, also known as the Bookmonger, wrote a smart review for The Olympian, here.
And "The King of Methlehem" is #12 on the Pacific Northwest bestseller list for the week of May 27th. You can find that list at www.pnba.org
Meanwhile, I'll be in San Francisco June 4th and 5th, reading at Book Passage on the 4th at 7:30 and the downtown Borders on the 5th at 7:00 pm.
On June 6th and 7th I'll be in Los Angeles, reading at The Mystery Bookstore on the 6th at 7:00 pm and Book Soup on the 7th at 7:00pm
I'm looking forward to seeing old friends and new friends, thanks. I'll have some new pictures posted when I return.
"King of Methlehem" is in the stores finally, so that's cool.
The reading tour schedule is posted under news, and pictures from on the road will be posted under images.
The Seattle Times kicked things off with a profile, well written by Tim Appelo, which you can find here.
My favorite review so far, however, was in the Weekly Volcano, here. Reviews will be posted in the "The King of Methlehem" section of the site as they appear.
Thanks to everyone who has attended readings so far, and I look forward to
meeting and talking with more of you.
Kurt Vonnegut died last night, April 11th. He was 84, not bad for a chain-smoking alcoholic who suffered bouts of depression.
Vonnegut was a humanist, a cynic and a romantic, one of the most influential writers of the 20th century, up there with Hemingway, and much funnier, of course. Late in his career he referred to himself and his peers as the last of the big time novelists, the last generation of writers who came of age when the novel ruled.
I started reading his books in seventh grade, turned onto them by a reading teacher, and I never stopped. Here is a Kurt Vonnegut letter, written in the form of a self-portrait, a gracious response to a letter I sent him.
And here is an essay on Kurt Vonnegut's "Mother Night" I wrote for Post Road.
God bless you, Mr. Vonnegut. You were indeed one of the last of the big time novelists.
Publisher's Weekly and Kirkus both gave excellent advance reviews to "The King of Methelhem," and Jay McInerney, Will Clarke, and Carol Wolper all provided catchy and gracious blurbs, which you can read on the KOM reviews page.
I did an interview with "Washington Law and Politics," which will be published in the May/June issue. Casey O. Corr wrote the piece, cool guy, former candidate for the Seattle City Council.
In preparation for publication, I've even started paying attention to my MySpace account, which is www.myspace.com/marklindquist. Add me if you do that sort of thing. Thanks.
Happy Valentine's Day.
I read and reviewed "Ten Days in the Hills" by Jane Smiley, which is marketed as a Hollywood novel but is something else.
Final edits are done on "The King of Methlehem," galleys are going out.
Happy new year.
I quit smoking and quit drinking coffee years ago, so that takes some of the more obvious new year's resolutions off the table, but I'm going to come up with some. Does anyone out there have a unique and interesting resolution for the new year?
As Frank Sinatra sang, it has been a very good year. My favorite book of the year was "A Good Life," favorite movies of the year were "United 93" and "Thank You for Smoking," and favorite new albums were by The Strokes and the Yeah Yeah Yeahs, with Honorable Mention to The Decemberists.
Sorry about the late entry, it's been a crazy busy month.
I'm reviewing "Kockroach" by Tyler Knox. He flips Kafka's "Metamorphosis" around: a cockroach becomes a man.
"Stranger Than Fiction" is an excellent movie, funny and smart. Will Ferrell is perfectly cast.
This month I'm reading Will Self's new novel, "The Book of Dave." So far I like the energy and imagination.
People write me periodically about my book reviews and book plugs. Some have noted that I often promote the work of friends, which is true, but I also promote the work of writers I've never met, or have only met in passing. I believe in supporting the tribe. I've reviewed over a hundred books for a variety of publications, and almost all have been mostly positive. Anyone who is trying to write something of quality has my admiration. Quality is a subjective word, of course, but the most workable definition I've ever come across is in Robert Pirsig's book, "Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance."
When someone rants about how godawful a book is, it's usually jealousy, laziness, or a scream for attention. Measured criticism, on the other hand, is something else. Part of the job of a reviewer is to point out where an author has fallen short. Problem is, writers often disagree about this, as do readers. What can you say about a world where some people think "The Great Gatsby" sucks?
This month I'm recommending non-fiction: "The Rise of the Creative Class," by Richard Florida, a surprise bestseller, "well worth reading if you're seeking a greater understanding of the sociological and economic changes taking place in our culture today," says the Boston Globe. Florida's theories have influenced the ongoing renaissance in Tacoma.
Meanwhile, R.I.P. Chris Smith, screenwriter, teacher, and movie producer, who died after cancer surgery complications in April, but remains in the thoughts of his many friends. He was my college roommate and introduced me to an eclectic array of bands, including the Replacements. Along with our other USC roommate, Todd Black, we enjoyed good luck and good times well beyond college and Chris reminded us to be grateful for our good fortune. Chris was one of those people who say things happen for a reason, and though I can not yet see any reason for his absurdly early death, I hope he was right. Here is his obituary from the Seattle Times.
On the airplane back from Hawaii I read Irvine Welsh's new novel, "Bedroom Secrets of the Master Chefs," which delivers the sort of sloppy vulgar fun you would expect from Welsh.
Here's the house in Hawaii and the deck where we ate, drank, and read. The product placement on the table is Jay McInerney's new novel, "A Good Life." Daring and knowing, this is his finest book since "Brightness Falls," and serves as a sequel of sorts.
What I recommend for reading and viewing so far this summer: "Lunar Park" by Bret Easton Ellis, "Kafka by the Shore" by Haruki Murakami, "How Evan Broke his Head" by Garth Stein, and "The Weather Man," produced by Todd Black.
As for me, I'm currently reading Ken Kalfus's new novel, "A Disorder Peculiar to the Country." This is a black comedy, a "War of the Roses" divorce set against the backdrop of 9/11. Kalfus is an impressively astute writer, a real pleasure to read, and I highly recommend the book with the caveat that it's one of the most relentlessly grim stories I've ever read. My review will be posted soon.
Welcome to the Mark Lindquist blog. When I found out this site is averaging thousands of visitors a month six years after the publication of "Never Mind Nirvana," I was surprised and guilted into an update.
A large number of visitors peruse the site for a few minutes, sometimes ten to twenty, and the images section and book reviews are the most visited. Earthlink keeps cool stats.
That in mind, I am going to try to update this page more often, primarily with book and movie recommendations, but right now I'm in the midst of rewrites on my new novel, which will be published by Simon & Schuster. I'll post the title here soon. Meanwhile, here's a picture of my current working/living space, as requested.
Go back to the menu to email me. If it's not totally insane, it will be forwarded and I'll answer eventually, sometimes quickly. Let me know if you have any thoughts about Billie Jo's website update, which grew out of Lee's original design. Thanks to those who help with this site, and those who visit the Mark Lindquist blog as well. I have mentioned the Mark Lindquist blog three times for the benefit of search engines.
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