Kevin Smokler

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in Ann Arbor, MI. , The United States
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Joan Didion, John McPhee, Joseph Mitchell, Susan Orlean, Adrian Nicole ...more

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July 2007

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Kevin Smokler is the author of "Brat Pack America: A Love Letter to 80s Teen Movies" (2016) the essay collection "Practical Classics: 50 Reasons to Reread 50 Books you Haven't Touched Since High School" (Prometheus Books, Feb. 2013) and the editor of "Bookmark Now: Writing in Unreaderly Times," A San Francisco Chronicle Notable Book of 2005. His essays on pop culture have appeared in the LA Times, Buzzfeed, Salon, Vulture and on National Public Radio.

Kevin Smokler speaks on the future of media and culture at companies (AOL), conferences (SXSW, The Idea Festival) and universities (M.I.T, Stanford, University of Michigan) throughout North America.


Average rating: 3.52 · 1,135 ratings · 219 reviews · 6 distinct worksSimilar authors
Practical Classics: 50 Reas...

3.47 avg rating — 371 ratings — published 2013
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Brat Pack America: A Love L...

3.84 avg rating — 195 ratings3 editions
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Bookmark Now: Writing in Un...

3.61 avg rating — 158 ratings — published 2005 — 5 editions
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Bookmark Now: Writing in Un...

0.00 avg rating — 0 ratings
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The Customer is Always Wron...

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3.03 avg rating — 254 ratings — published 2008 — 2 editions
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A Friday Night Lights Compa...

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3.96 avg rating — 158 ratings — published 2011 — 2 editions
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More books by Kevin Smokler…

Kevin's Tips on How to Tell a Great Story

Ironclad truisms..

1. All stories have a beginning middle and end, like a piece of music. The end is never "that's my story" but the beginning can be "let me tell you a story."

2. Every word you say pushes the story forward. if it's there to add color, background, etc, it should be one sentence and quickly return to the main thrust of the story. Do not get caught up in side points, asides, pause... Read more of this blog post »
7 likes ·   •  8 comments  •  flag
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Published on August 28, 2012 16:40 Tags: stories, storytelling, writing

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Say Nothing: A Tr...
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Easy Riders, Ragi...
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bookshelves: currently-reading
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The Sellout
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bookshelves: currently-reading
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Kevin’s Recent Updates

Kevin rated a book really liked it
Forty-One False Starts by Janet Malcolm
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Could have used another edit as there's at least three essays here that are giants (60 pages or more) that throw the collection out of balance (most of the other pieces are around 12-15 pages). But Janet Malcolms eye and prose-- piercing, probing, cu ...more
Kevin rated a book liked it
Beyond the Chocolate War by Robert Cormier
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maybe 40% too many characters makes this sequel to one of the great YA novels ever about power and cruelty feel a bit shapeless and pat. Yet the concept is so strong and the prose so sure it carries the reader through. Useless without reading the ori ...more
Kevin is on page 200 of 288 of Beyond the Chocolate War
Beyond the Chocolate War by Robert Cormier
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Kevin is currently reading
Beyond the Chocolate War by Robert Cormier
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Room Temperature by Nicholson Baker
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You gotta love Nicholson Baker's thing -- hyper-localized, funny flirty takes on the mundanities of life like air nozzles and toilet paper, but this study of a new father feeding his new baby a bottle is about as warm and charming as it sounds if you ...more
Kevin wants to read
Good Trouble by Christopher Noxon
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Say Nothing by Patrick Radden Keefe
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Kevin rated a book it was amazing
California Winter League by Chiyuma Elliott
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Soaring, beautiful, real. I want to give this collection to everyone I know.
Kevin is currently reading
Room Temperature by Nicholson Baker
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Good Talk by Mira Jacob
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More of Kevin's books…
“We lusty bibliophiles know that reading, unlike just about anything else, is both good for you and loads of fun.”
Kevin Smokler, Bookmark Now: Writing in Unreaderly Times: A Collection of All Original Essays from Today's (and Tomorrow's) Young Authors on the State of the Art --and the Art of the Hustle--in the Age of Information Overload

“When we return to our elementary school playground or the site of our first kiss, we're dropping in on our own history years later. Visiting those same places in the present not only collapses time, but also memory.”
Kevin Smokler, Brat Pack America: A Love Letter to '80s Teen Movies

“By sighing and saying, “Remember when” too many times, one can fall into the trap of believing the present holds nothing sacred, the past nothing profane.”
Kevin Smokler, Brat Pack America: Visiting Cult Movies of the '80s

Topics Mentioning This Author

topics posts views last activity  
Classics Without ...: High School Assigned Reading 78 406 Jul 27, 2013 02:38AM  
Classics Without ...: This topic has been closed to new comments. Where is your bookmark? 444 522 Jan 01, 2014 11:00AM  
The Seasonal Read...: This topic has been closed to new comments. Summer Challenge 2015: Completed Tasks (DO NOT DELETE POSTS) 3477 623 Sep 01, 2015 07:40PM  
“You will be required to do wrong no matter where you go. It is the basic condition of life, to be required to violate your own identity. At some time, every creature which lives must do so. It is the ultimate shadow, the defeat of creation; this is the curse at work, the curse that feeds on all life. Everywhere in the universe.”
Philip K. Dick, Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?

“I don't necessarily agree with everything that I say.”
Marshall McLuhan

“In the middle of a crazy and drunk life, you have to hang onto the good and sober moments tightly.”
Sherman Alexie, The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian

“Stuff your eyes with wonder," he said, "live as if you'd drop dead in ten seconds. See the world. It's more fantastic than any dream made or paid for in factories. Ask no guarantees, ask for no security, there never was such an animal. And if there were, it would be related to the great sloth which hangs upside down in a tree all day every day, sleeping its life away. To hell with that," he said, "shake the tree and knock the great sloth down on his ass.”
Ray Bradbury

“The people dreamed and fought and slept as much as ever. And by habit they shortened their thoughts so that they would not wander out into the darkness beyond tomorrow.”
Carson McCullers, The Heart Is a Lonely Hunter

83995 Practical Classics: The Clubhouse — 6 members — last activity Mar 05, 2013 03:28AM
Wherein we reread classics from high school as grown-folks. High schoolers who feel like grown ups welcome!
198006 Tell Me Everything Fans Book Club — 205 members — last activity Feb 13, 2019 10:16AM
**DISCLAIMER: This is a FAN Group & is NOT run by John Fugelsang OR the show** This group is for fans of the show "Tell Me Everything w/ John Fugelsan ...more



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message 2: by James

James Sanderson 'Those Who Dwell Upon The Earth' a novel about a small group of nonviolent Christian disciples who face an uncertain future in a post-apocalyptic America. Get your free Advance Review Copy on Kindle this week, 24th-28th: https://www.amazon.com/THOSE-WHO-DWEL...


message 1: by Chris

Chris Aldrich Have you made a listopia list for your upcoming book? http://www.goodreads.com/list
Might be a fun experiment to have people vote on the books you're talking about...


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