1. I discovered Roddy Doyle years ago when I read a short story he wrote for a collection put together by Nick Hornby, but it wasn’t until I went to Europe for several months that I started reading his books and, my God, he is absolutely fantastic. His Henry Smart series (which, as of now, include A Star Called Henry and Oh Play That Thing) is an incredible mix of spot on dialogue, Irish and American history, beautiful wordplay, humor, and jealously inducing phraseology. Even the Big Cat is into his sh*t, and–outside of reading the credits to Jim Carrey films– I’d previously assumed he was illiterate. I think if I didn’t love him so much, I might hate him. Roddy Doyle that is, not the Big Cat, although that’s probably true as well.
2. I’ve never seen New Yorker pop music critic Sasha Frere-Jones but–between his/her (?) sweet name and his/her absurd music writing talent–she/he almost has to be attractive. Or a composite of several insanely skilled music writers ghostwriting under one name (much like Nancy Drew’s “author” Carolyn Keene). I’ve been a fan of the understated humor on his/her blog (www.sashafrerejones.com), his/her verbal dexterity, seemingly limitless knowledge of hip hop and subtle skill in describing to highbrow lit, pop culturally challenged New Yorker audiences why Lil Wayne is culturally relevant or The Clipse’s cocaine raps are actually quite complicated, for several years now. She/he has that rare ability to take what is good and important and relevant about music and put it into words. And not only do these words make sense, but they make you feel smarter, cooler and physically stronger when you pawn them off as your own scattered thoughts at grad school parties. I just wish I knew whether or not he/she was a dude.
And I’m spent. I’ll see you at the Espresso Royale, hippies.
Who’s Gonna Drive You Home,