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12-24-10: Special Podcast Extra : Jeffrey Rossman on 'The Mind-Body Mood Solution'


"Take Heed of that message that we're getting from somewhere deep inside of us that something needs to change..."

—Jeffrey Rossman

This Sunday, on KUSP's Talk of the Bay, from 7-8 PM PST, I'll, be doing a live, in-studio interview with Jeffrey Rossman, author of 'The Mind-Body Mood Solution: The Breakthrough Drug-Free Program for Lasting Relief from Depression,' a well-written and concise holistic approach to getting yourself in a better mood without using prescription meds.

Rossman's book is an excellent synthesis of a lot of work I've read of late, from Michael Pollan to Karen Armstrong. By including information from a variety of sources, by taking a wide view, he achieves a bracing vision of an informed lifestyle that can benefit everyone, not just the depressed.

While the book talks about and addresses depression, to my mind it's a good book to read even if you don't see yourself as depressed. The full spectrum of thought that Rossman covers is an engaging synthesis of common sense and cutting-edge medicine, with a philosophical nod to the juncture of spirituality and science.

The interview on Sunday is in a call-in show, so here are the phone numbers you can call: 1-800-655-5877, or 831-476-2800. You can hear my phone interview with Jeffrey Rossman by following this link to the MP3 audio file.



12-21-10: Nick Mamatas Reads at SF in SF Halloween Celebration, October 23, 2010


"...you are going to ruin zombies forever..."

—Nick Mamatas

Nick Mamatas wasted little time in his reading talking about himself. In fact, he said nothing, but immediately launched in what might have been the most off-putting preface to a reading I have ever heard a writer dare to give.

It begins, like most off-putting events, with an idea that seems irresistible. "Let's get George Romero to put his name on an imprint of zombie novels."

I'm here to tell you that idea has been tried, and I'll let Nick Mamatas tell you the upshot. Let's just say that his wildly entertaining introduction – and well as being utterly off-putting, also made his story even more compelling.

I frankly think that the plethora of zombie-every-gods-damned-thing should, in a better world, be the death of zombies. But I have had the same hope about vampires. I was sick of vampires some twenty years ago, but for every ten watered-down, pathetic, drivel-and-tripe ripoff-o-ramas, one truly outstanding novel or short story appears.

As much as I love the original Night of the Living Dead and Dawn of the Dead movies, I actually think that movies are much more likely to be the death of zombies than books. In fact, were there more readings like that of Nick Mamatas, more intelligent takes, well-performed by their writers like "The Ethical Treatment of Meat" by Claude Laumière, then we'd have a much more unkillable body of zombie literature.

In fact killing zombies in San Francisco is all of what Nick Mamatas' story is about. You get out there and drill with the best of them by following this link to the MP3 audio file.



12-20-10: A 2010 Interview with David Rohde and Kristen Mulvihill


"..this young suicide bomber, I asked, 'Are you ready to die?' and he said, 'Absolutely.'"

—David Rohde

"He was literally in a foreign country and I was suddenly thrust into a whole new world; FBI agents, private security contractors..."

—Kristen Mulvihill

It was a conundrum; where and how to interview David Rohde and Kristen Mulvihill. I had studio time booked at KUSP, which isn't always or even ever easy. But I've had problems with the sound there, and just as important, the studio is quite small. Since I had inveigled Charles Kruger to come film the interview, I wanted to be sure he could get us all in the frame. In the prod studio at KUSP, that would be impossible.

I looked into filming the interview at the local Community TV studio, but the costs would have been prohibitive. So, I went with plan C, an interview at KUSP in the large, well-lit meeting room. I just set up my usual rig and put us at a corner of the table. Charles showed up professionally early, as did David and Kristen. I had everything ready, and when we sat down to talk, everything disappeared but the three of us and our conversation.

Interviewing a couple is a challenge I particularly enjoy, because it gives me a chance to create a conversation between two people who know each other well. Apparently, even though David and Kristen had been interviewed to within an inch of their lives, I found some new avenues of inquiry, and it's always enjoyable to see that happen.

What happens to me is that as I listen to what the authors have to say, any questions I might have had get quickly tossed into the trash in favor of new queries based on what I'm hearing. And for me as well, in this case, I wasn't interested getting the two of them to recap what happened in the book; I'll let my readers have the pleasure of that experience first-hand. Instead, I wanted to talk about some of the subtexts of the book that I found interesting; the spirituality that I detected underneath both of their texts, though certainly limited and understated, seemed to be important to them.

It was also fascinating as ever to hear about the challenges they faced actually writing the book. David is used to a very different sort of writing, while Kristen has spent her time in the world of graphic design. They're a great pair in this book, and I wanted to find out how they summoned a very different muse to create the book. It proved to be one of those conversations that feels more like three people getting together to talk about a book they love than a Q & A. You hear the lack of questions and the eloquence of the answers by following this link to the MP3 audio file.



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09-21-14:Agony Column Podcast News Report UPDATE: Time to Read Episode 174: Lauren Beukes : Broken Monsters

09-19-14: Commentary : Walter Mosley's 'Debbie Doesn't Do It Anymore' : In the Flattened Light of Life

Agony Column Podcast News Report : A 2014 Live Interview with Walter Mosley : "... it was him saying what he felt, but for me it was a revelation about what I felt..."

09-18-14:Agony Column Podcast News Report UPDATE: Time to Read Episode 173: Walter Mosley : Debbie Doesn't Do It Anymore

09-17-14: Commentary : Lisa See Collects 'China Dolls' : Voice Power

Agony Column Podcast News Report : A 2014 Live Interview with Lisa See : "..it's not my worldview, but it was the worldview at that time..."

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Agony Column Podcast News Report UPDATE: Time to Read Episode 172: Lisa See : China Dolls

09-15-14: Commentary : Alan Cheuse Reveals 'An Authentic Captain Marvel Ring and Other Stories' : Infinite Worlds Within

Agony Column Podcast News Report : A 2014 Live Interview with Alan Cheuse : "...one of the first books I ever wrote was a Bobbsey Twins novel..."

09-10-14: Commentary : Nick Harkaway Unleashes 'Tigerman' : The Heart of the Hero

Agony Column Podcast News Report : A 2014 Interview with Nick Harkaway : "...we do a lot of policy-based evidence making here..."

09-08-14: Commentary : Alastair Reynolds 'On the Steel Breeze' : Everything and More

Agony Column Podcast News Report UPDATE: Time to Read Episode 171: Nick Harkaway : Tigerman

08-08-14: Commentary : Alastair Reynolds 'Blue Remembered Earth' : Diffident Utopia

Agony Column Podcast News Report : A 2014 Interview with Alastair Reynolds : "...the first book was going to contain about a hundred years of implicit future history..."

07-11-14: Commentary : Roz Chast Asks 'Can't We Talk About Something More Pleasant?' : NO

Agony Column Podcast News Report : A 2014 Interview with Roz Chast : "...I had no idea of how it worked because we had never talked about it."

07-08-14:Agony Column Podcast News Report UPDATE : Time to Read Episode 170: Roz Chast : Can't We Talk About Something More Pleasant?

06-30-14: Commentary : Alan Furst Passes 'Midnight in Europe : Wrong Side of War

Agony Column Podcast News Report : A 2014 Interview with Alan Furst : "...certain periods are echoic..."

06-29-14:Agony Column Podcast News Report UPDATE : Time to Read Episode 169: Alan Furst : Midnight in Europe

06-27-14: Commentary : Sarah Lotz Counts 'The Three' : The Uses of Fear

Agony Column Podcast News Report : A 2014 Interview with Sarah Lotz : "...people need answers..."

06-25-14:Agony Column Podcast News Report UPDATE : Time to Read Episode 168: Sarah Lotz : The Three

06-21-14: Commentary : Steven Galloway Conjures 'The Confabulist' : Creating Harry Houdini

Agony Column Podcast News Report : A 2014 Interview with Steven Galloway : "...so much has been written about Harry Houdini..."

06-18-14: Commentary : Raymond B. Russell Heralds 'The Dark Return of Time' : An Atmosphere of Crime

Agony Column Podcast News Report : Thomas Frank on Parlor Tricks : "Off With Their Heads!"

Agony Column Podcast News Report UPDATE : Time to Read Episode 167: Steven Galloway : The Confabulist

06-16-14: Commentary : Geoff Dyer Has 'Another Great Day at Sea' : The Steel Beach Party

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06-15-14: Agony Column Podcast News Report UPDATE : Time to Read Episode 166: Geoff Dyer : Another Great Day at Sea: Life Aboard the USS George H.W. Bush

06-09-14: Commentary : Colson Whitehead Does 'The Noble Hustle' : Incandescent Memories of the Future

Agony Column Podcast News Report : A 2014 Interview with Colson Whitehead : "...I won five dollars, and from then on..."

06-08-14: Agony Column Podcast News Report UPDATE : Time to Read Episode 165: Colson Whitehead : The Noble Hustle: Poker, Beef Jerky and Deaths

06-02-14: Commentary : Kaui Hart Hemmings Explores 'The Possibilities' : Framing Life

Agony Column Podcast News Report : A 2014 Interview with Kaui Hart Hemmings : "I burned that copy and started fresh."

05-31-14: Agony Column Podcast News Report UPDATE : Time to Read Episode 164: Kaui Hart Hemmings : The Possibilities

05-26-14: Commentary : Kent A. Kiehl Heeds 'The Psychopath Whisperer' : Prison of the Mind

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05-21-14: Agony Column Podcast News Report UPDATE : Time to Read Episode 163: Kent A. Kiehl, PhD : The Psychopath Whisperer: The Science of Those Without Conscience

05-19-14: Commentary : Justin Go Clocks 'The Steady Running of the Hour' : Time-Crossed Lovers and Wars

Agony Column Podcast News Report : A 2014 Interview with Justin Go : "... there was always something that had to happen ..."

05-15-14: Commentary : Jeff VanderMeer Grants 'Authority' : The Parallax Views

Agony Column Podcast News Report : A 2014 Interview with Jeff VanderMeer : "...the land people don't talk to the sky people don't talk to the water people..."

05-13-14: Agony Column Podcast News Report UPDATE : Time to Read Episode 162: Justin Go : The Steady Running of the Hour

05-12-14: Commentary : Matt Taibbi Views 'The Divide' : Zero-Sum Economic Morality

Agony Column Podcast News Report : A 2014 Interview with Matt Taibbi : "... the biggest bank robbery in the history of the world ..."

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