Joe Clifford Faust's Blog, page 3

January 9, 2013

Parliament of Whores: A Lone Humorist Attempts to Explain the Entire U.S. GovernmentParliament of Whores: A Lone Humorist Attempts to Explain the Entire U.S. Government by P.J. O’Rourke

My rating: 5 of 5 stars


O’Rourke’s classic about the “workings” of government is just as funny and relevant as when it was written 20+ years ago. Only the names and dollar amounts have changed.


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Published on January 09, 2013 09:56 • 25 views

December 31, 2012

Everybody else is doing it – why not me? The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2012 annual report for this blog and sent it to me with the option of making it public. So I might as well. I suspect this will be the easiest blog entry I will ever have to make.


PS: Happy 2013!



Here’s an excerpt:


600 people reached the top of Mt. Everest in 2012. This blog got about 6,700 views in 2012. If every person who reached the top of Mt. Everest viewed this blog, it would have taken 11 years to get that many views.


Click here to see the complete report.



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Published on December 31, 2012 21:01 • 17 views

December 28, 2012

Okay, time to make an announcement. Well, it’s not much of an announcement… if you’re connected to my Facebook Fan Page you’ve known about this for a couple of months. I just never said anything in this venue because I have no idea what the timetable is for what is going to happen.


That is, my entire back catalog of Del Rey and Bantam era books is going to be released in audio book form by Audible.com.


audible-logoThis is exciting news for me because audio books was the last frontier I hadn’t yet conquered. Unless you count TV and the movies, and I came close there. But never mind that. With the advent of ebooks, I’ve been too-slowly getting the back catalog out there for the Kindle, and was wondering what to do about the other e-reader book formats in the world (and more about that in a couple more graf). But one of the things on the back of my mind was how to get the catalog into audio form. I’d done a little research, but nothing earthshaking. Until October.


That’s when I received an unexpected email from my former agent offering to pitch my backlist to Audible to see which titles, if any would stick. As it turns out, all of them did.


So the paperwork is signed, and I’m waiting. I’ve gotten one email from Audible about some issues with A Death of Honor, and suspect there may be others as the time draws nigh to produce.


At present, I don’t have any more information about release schedules or anything like that. Rest assured as I find out, you’ll be hearing from me on this screen and in the aforementioned Facebook page.


And what about non-Kindle format ebooks? Those will be coming, too, slowly as I turn them out. But the current three, A Death of Honor, The Mushroom Shift, and The Company Man are all in the process of being converted, as it turns out that one of my former agent’s new missions is to open up client backlists to the ebook world as well. So I’m glad he still considers me – or my backlist, at least – a client.


So. Back to work now on the new stuff.



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Published on December 28, 2012 10:06 • 30 views

December 24, 2012

Methland: The Death and Life of an American Small TownMethland: The Death and Life of an American Small Town by Nick Reding

My rating: 4 of 5 stars


Eye-opening, fascinating, horrifying and disturbing.


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Published on December 24, 2012 20:17 • 25 views

December 17, 2012

10 Things Jesus Never Said: And Why You Should Stop Believing Them10 Things Jesus Never Said: And Why You Should Stop Believing Them by Will Davis Jr.

My rating: 4 of 5 stars


Inspiring and relevant, but this should be Christianity 101 if we’re serious about a relationship with God.


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Published on December 17, 2012 10:51 • 32 views

December 14, 2012

December 11, 2012

Now that we’re mired in the Season of Christmas, I have a confession to make. Of late, I’ve become something of a Scrooge over Christmas music.


I haven’t always been this way. Since I’ve been married, my wife and I have made a tradition of buying one Christmas album a year, and we’ve amassed quite a collection during our marriage. And it’s quite eclectic – I tend to like the quirky stuff like Captain Sensible’s One Christmas Catalog, and my wife is more a traditionalist. Starting on Thanksgiving, I’d slowly start to incorporate Christmas songs into my iTunes playlists, until by the final week it was 100%.


Single_Harry_Simeone_Chorale-The_Little_Drummer_Boy_coverThen a few years ago somebody at Clear Channel got the idea to stunt a Cleveland radio station by going 100% Christmas music starting a couple of weeks before Thanksgiving. It was kind of cool… but then the next year, everybody was hopping on the bandwagon, the stuff was everywhere and the Halloween costumes were barely moved to the clearance rack. That’s when I began the arcane practice of banging my head on the steering wheel during trips across the FM dial.


I became more and more enscrooged about it until this year. Maybe it’s because I’m no longer working in advertising, and therefore have not been writing about Christmas since July. Or maybe it’s because I no longer have to wake up to the stuff. But I’m back in the mood of voluntarily listening to Christmas music.


Now there are a couple of songs I don’t care for that will have me reaching for the iPod and dialing up my Jandek playlist. The 12 Days of Christmas is the worst holiday song ever, in my opinion, being tedious, repetitious, boring and… I don’t care. Not far behind it is The Little Drummer Boy.


But there’s a big difference between the two. That is, while I have yet to hear a version of 12 Days I like, there are some Drummer Boys out there I have become friends with. Thanks to my unscroogeness this year, and to a friend who apparently adores this song and has been posting versions of it daily on his Facebook page, I decided to come clean and do a countdown of my favorite versions of The Little Drummer Boy.


So here they are. And be warned: These are the only ones!


5. Mannheim Steamroller

Because they made it sound like prog. And I loves me some prog.



4. Dandy Warhols

To paraphrase something from another friend of mine, the Dandy Warhols are my favorite band whenever I’m listening to them. And you know that even though they’re singing this one, they don’t mean it.



3. Michael Franti and The Blind Boys of Alabama

Makes the story what it should be: a narrative. And the Boys bring it with gospel.



2. Bing Crosby and David Bowie

Who would’ve thunk it? This odd couple really works. And ever a sucker for multiple vocal parts, I like the intertwining of the two songs.



1. Miracle Legion

I love the stripped down arrangement and the odd harmonies. Who were these guys? And were their originals as good as this cover?



Happy holidays, and may all of your Scrooges be slight!



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Published on December 11, 2012 12:38 • 41 views

December 9, 2012

When Pigs FlyWhen Pigs Fly by Bob Sanchez

My rating: 4 of 5 stars


Elmore Leonard meets Carl Hiaasen in this laugh-out-loud funny novel filled with noble cops, quirky lowlifes, and a wandering pig with a passion for brussel sprouts.


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Published on December 09, 2012 01:40 • 28 views

December 5, 2012

Who I AmWho I Am by Pete Townshend

My rating: 4 of 5 stars


Ol’ Pete can really write, but I quickly tired of his spoiled rock star behavior – how many boats and recording studios can one man buy/build?


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Published on December 05, 2012 18:58 • 16 views

November 5, 2012

The Second World WarThe Second World War by Antony Beevor

My rating: 4 of 5 stars


Impressive single volume history of the Second World War, filled with interesting throw-away facts and peculiarities from the era.


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Published on November 05, 2012 18:48 • 13 views