David Kamp

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Born
in glorious central New Jersey, The United States
June 18

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Member Since
November 2019


David Kamp is an author, journalist, lyricist, and humorist. Among his books are the national bestseller The United States of Arugula (Broadway Books, 2006), a chronicle of America’s foodways; the upcoming Sunny Days (Simon & Schuster, May 2020), a history of the Sesame Street-Mister Rogers era of enlightened children’s television; and, as co-author, Martin Short’s bestselling memoir, I Must Say (HarperCollins, 2014). A longtime contributor to Vanity Fair, he has profiled such figures as Johnny Cash, Sly Stone, Lucian Freud, Kerry Washington, Bruce Springsteen, Phoebe Waller-Bridge, and the Brill Building songwriters. His first outing as a lyricist for the stage, for the John Leguizamo musical comedy Kiss My Aztec!, had its world premiere a ...more

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David Kamp By having the common sense to say “Sitting here trying to force things won’t help.” My friend Ben Schott, who wrote the “Schott’s Miscellany” books an…moreBy having the common sense to say “Sitting here trying to force things won’t help.” My friend Ben Schott, who wrote the “Schott’s Miscellany” books and also dared to revive Bertie Wooster for the novel “Jeeves and the King of Clubs,” imparted some good advice: take in some quiet, contemplative culture... a wall-full of paintings in an art museum, a photo exhibition, a walk through the woods, or a botanical garden, or a park. That may sound unbearably twee, but I assure you: it’s *helpfully* twee. And restorative.(less)
David Kamp This will sound like a tautology, but: Writing for a living! Growing up middle-class in central New Jersey, I believed “writer” to be a path unavailab…moreThis will sound like a tautology, but: Writing for a living! Growing up middle-class in central New Jersey, I believed “writer” to be a path unavailable to me—something for smarter, wealthier, more interesting people. But I basically stumbled, by feel and instinct, into a writing career. And I’ve never taken it for granted. It’s amazing to write for a living, to skitter along the edges of 9-to-5 society, doing one’s own thing: nonfiction, fiction, lyrics for a musical. What you didn’t ask, Goodreads, is what the downside is, which is that there’s never truly a day off, and one lives with a constant nagging voice that says, “You should be working on that book/article/song, not watching old Roosevelt Franklin clips on YouTube.” But this is a good life, and I know it.(less)
Average rating: 3.65 · 4,748 ratings · 583 reviews · 8 distinct worksSimilar authors
The United States of Arugul...

3.62 avg rating — 3,649 ratings — published 2006 — 7 editions
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The Rock Snob's Dictionary:...

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3.73 avg rating — 403 ratings — published 2005 — 2 editions
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The Film Snob*s Dictionary:...

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3.58 avg rating — 226 ratings — published 2006 — 3 editions
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Sunny Days: The Children's ...

3.88 avg rating — 200 ratings — published 2020 — 4 editions
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The Food Snob's Dictionary:...

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3.65 avg rating — 80 ratings — published 2007 — 6 editions
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The Wine Snob's Dictionary:...

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3.73 avg rating — 40 ratings — published 2008 — 5 editions
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The Best of Vanity Fair ELI...

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3.87 avg rating — 150 ratings — published 2011 — 2 editions
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I Must Say: My Life as a Hu...

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4.07 avg rating — 10,420 ratings — published 2014 — 2 editions
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Upcoming Events

Library of Congress National Book Festival
Author appearance, August 29, 2020 12:00AM
Washington, DC, US

https://www.loc.gov/programs/national-book-festival/about-this-prog...
The major D.C. literary festival of the year. Please come!


David’s Recent Updates

Sunny Days by David Kamp
" “Get ready to live”: What a lovely reaction, Beth. The author sends his thanks. "
Sunny Days by David Kamp
"This was so uplifting and joyful I could hardly stand it! I couldn't read three pages without looking something up on YouTube like Schoolhouse Rock's 3 Is a Magic Number or Morgan Freeman as Easy Reader on The Electric Company. Get ready to live." Read more of this review »
Sunny Days by David Kamp
" The author thanks you for both of these takeaways, Harry. "
Sunny Days by David Kamp
"Fascinating stuff! A lovely look at the past with an optimistic look for the future. "
David Kamp rated a book really liked it
Exciting Times by Naoise Dolan
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Naoise Dolan is only in her twenties and has a command of language that, oh, a writer in his fifties would envy. Her Irish protagonist, Ava, weaponizes her outsider status as a non-posh expat living in Hong Kong to offer wry, distanced, very funny co ...more
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The Wall by John Lanchester
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A dystopian novel that’s somehow a pleasant read! I am admittedly predisposed to like everything John Lanchester writes, having adored his novels “Capital” and “The Debt to Pleasure,” as well as his family memoir, “Family Romance.” “The Wall” is a de ...more
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The Bells of Old Tokyo by Anna Sherman
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“Transportive” is a word I tend to overuse, but in these times, I find that we’re all seeking transportive books to lift us, even for a moment, out of our isolation. “The Bells of Old Tokyo” is Anna Sherman’s first book, and what a debut. It’s basica ...more
"The R&B group Earth, Wind & Fire, the actress Sally Field, the singer Linda Ronstadt and the conductor Michael Tilson Thomas will receive Kennedy Center Honors in December for their lifetime achievements in the arts, the cultural center announced ..." Read more of this blog post »
David Kamp answered Goodreads's question: David Kamp
Last year (2019), I was privileged to see songs that I had co-written (with an amazing young composer named Benjamin Velez) performed professionally for the first time, in the Berkeley Rep and La Jolla Playhouse productions of a new musical we have c See Full Answer
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