Dark City Lights and Mysterious Book Shop

I have a new story in this terrific collection put together by the one and only Lawrence Block. Larry said, “Just write a New York story, Jonathan,” and that’s what I did. It may be a surprise because everyone else’s story is a mystery and mine is memoir, but there’s some darkness in this true tale from my distant past. The collection is great and I’m happy to be part of it, so check it out (that’s a none-too-subtle-way of saying, buy a copy!) And stay tuned. Next week I’ll have an illustrated story in “The Lineup,” and I’m finally going to get my act together and do a little catch up on what I’ve been doing these past months and what I’m working on. Thanks for tuning in and make sure to visit the upcoming event for the book at the Mysterious Book Shop. Thursday, May 7th, 6:30pm The Mysterious Bookshop 58 Warren Street New … Read more

Erotic Novels & Stories: Does Sex (Still) Sell?

Consider 50 Shades of Grey, the most recent entry and phenomenon in the sex book wars. I read a couple of pages at the checkout counter of a local bookstore and that was enough for me. My daughter says that she and a group of girlfriends read scenes aloud and howled. So what’s to be made of the trilogy’s 65 million in sales? Do women really crave bondage? Or is it simply that every generation needs a sex novel? When I was a boy it was Peyton Place. I was just a kid when it came out so it must have been a few years before I read it though I remember the sex scenes as if it were yesterday, bad girl Betty Anderson and rich boy Rodney Harrington on the beach, illegitimacy, incest and more. Then there was Fanny Hill, a bit flowery for my taste but it did the trick, and of course … Read more

City Mouse Versus Country Mouse

I have always been a city mouse. Well, not always, but mostly. I was born on East 57th Street in Manhattan though my parents deserted the city for Queens and then LI when I was a preteen, but I couldn’t wait to get back. And I did. But then, like so many diehard New Yorkers I longed for escape, which I did on occasion and liked that too but always came back. I think mostly it was a quest for quiet, a rarity in NYC, and something I found when I bought a little house in upstate NY about eight years ago. An impulse buy. I swear. It was just after New Years and we were visiting old friends, the realist painter Catherine Murphy and her sculptor husband, Harry Roseman. I’ve known Cathy since we met at the art colony, Skowhegan, when I was 19. (Cathy says I looked like John Sebastian of the Lovin’ … Read more