Peter Frampton tickets are on sale now

Yeah, Peter Frampton tickets. Not concert tickets. Those days might be over. Tomorrow never knows or something like that.

The tickets I’m writing about are for the virtual event Booksoup will host Oct. 20. Frampton will talk about his new memoir, “Do You Feel Like I Do?”, and film director Cameron Crowe will join him.

Oct. 20 is a Tuesday, also known as Pub Day in the book industry.

Admission includes a copy of the book, a signed bookplate, a guitar pick and a poster.

I bought my ticket on Friday, Oct. 2, and paid $40, which doesn’t include tax.

I’m not going to Booksoup. I may never have a chance to go there. It’s on the Sunset Strip in West Hollywood, Calif.

Like I said, the event is virtual, so I know where I’ll be sitting. On our couch. In our home. In Gulfport, Miss.

Something in the way she looks like Pattie Boyd

Yeah, this post’s image features the cover of Pattie Boyd’s memoir, “Wonderful Tonight.”

I enjoyed reading the book shortly after it was published in 2007 and I still have my copy somewhere among my many stacks.

I really like the cover and a young woman with an Instagram account has recreated the image.

Her name is Kitt Carson and I would snip the photo from her IG, but I don’t want to get in a copyright dispute and I’m too lazy to seek permission because I’m on a tight deadline to publish an article in September. This just happens to be the last day of the month, you know.

So the easiest thing to do is link to the picture and here it is:

Carson’s IG has many other pictures in which she channels Pattie Boyd and Carson also has a blog, The Machine Daydream, in which she shares her passion for the Beatles and “the wacky and colorful world of the 1960s and 1970s.”

I believe the photo for the “Wonderful Tonight” cover might come from a 1968 Robert Whitaker shoot for a Vogue UK article titled “Pattie Harrison and the Painted House.”

An eBay UK seller lists a used copy of the issue at £90.00 and that doesn’t include postage.

From the seller:

“The Painted House” has quite a history that fascinates thousands, maybe millions. The People of Pinterest appear to be taken by it based on what I’ve seen and they enjoy pinning images like this one, which is from the Vogue UK article.

I enjoyed my hours of research inspired by the ’68 photo that became the book cover.

Who do I thank? Pattie Boyd and Kitt Carson. Of course.

Finally comfortable with bookstore browsing during the pandemic

The only bookstore I have visited during the coronavirus pandemic is the Barnes and Noble in my hometown of Gulfport, Miss., and the experience has mostly been unenjoyable since the store re-opened in the spring.

Too many limitations. Too many rules. Too many reduced hours. Not enough new titles. All of this curbed my enthusiasm I had for the store before all heck broke loose back in March.

From March 2017, the start of my newspaper retirement, until March 2020, I bet I went to the store on average four times a week, and I would get a cozy spot to look through new books and magazines from 7 p.m. until closing time.

From May 2020 to August 2020, maybe I’ve gone to the store four times a month. A sign on a table in the café turned me off: “Please place books here that you are not buying today. Books will be sanitized before they are reshelved.”

Sanitized? Really? Things are that bad?

This made me reluctant to pick up a book and read a few pages. Whose rona germs might have been on this copy? I ask this knowing I can always go to the front of the store for the communal free bottle of hand sanitizer to clean up.

But my attitude changed on Sunday, Aug. 16, 2020. My phobia went away and I returned to my Barnes and Noble routine.

I grabbed a copy of a new title and sat down with it in the café. I took my time looking at it and had a comfortable experience.

I liked it so much, I went back to the store on Tuesday, Aug. 18, 2020, and took four more new titles, one at a time, to my table.

Man, I’ve made a breakthrough.

I took photos of the five new titles and I am sharing them here because I’ve heard that blog readers like the visual experience.

The title that interested me the most is “Grown Ups,” a work of fiction that sounds like a memoir, and I say sounds because I got the audio version of the book through my Scribd account.

I highly recommend “Grown Ups” because, as Katherine Angel wrote in her review for The Guardian in February 2020, the novel “is jaunty, witty, sexy and funny.” The author, Emma Jane Unsworth, is terrific, as is the audio book’s narrator, actress Chloe Massey, in the “life in the Instagram age” story (The Guardian headline).

“Grown Ups” is about an unmarried “35-year-old British woman who works for an online magazine,” another snippet from Katherine Angel’s review. I almost feel bad I’m unable to come up with a complete review of my own. Maybe it’s Covid-19 laziness.

But I do have an original thought to close out this fine piece.

In the United Kingdom, the title for Unsworth’s book is “Adults,” published by Borough Press, and it was changed to “Grown Ups” when Gallery/Scout Press published it in the U.S. in August 2020.

What’s the deal with “Grown Ups”? Is this to attract fans of Adam Sandler, who made a 2010 film with the same title? Do Adam Sandler fans read?

Merriam Webster goes with grown-ups and I always go with what the dictionary tells me.

Now I’m itching for a hyphen.

A first on Second Street: ‘Book’s for sell’

I’ve lived on or near Second Street in Gulfport since 1977. Mostly near.

The street is all residential with many lovely homes, a lot of them built in the years after Hurricane Katrina.

The street is one block from the beach and the upper end of it is just east of downtown.

On my way home at 5 p.m. Friday, I saw something on Second Street I’ve never seen before: A small table with books outside a home.

I had to stop and check it out.

It had a sign: “Book’s for sell.” The books were used but in really good condition for the most part and the price had been reduced from $2 to $1. The two minutes I spent looking at the books, the seller never showed up. I was the one person there and I didn’t buy a book because I was uncertain where to leave my one dollar.

Only four books were left and I’ve gone to Amazon to snip the covers.

All four books have history in common. World War II connects three of them and spying is the subject of two. Noonan’s memoir, published in 1990, is the oldest of the four books.

The Roosevelt book is a paperback and the others are hardbacks.

They would be excellent additions to your library, whether you stop on Second Street or shop at your favorite bookstores.

The featured image, which is at the top of this post, is a filtered picture of the original photo that was run through the Aristo app.

Steamy quarantine lit will keep your fire going 24/7

It’s here. Wait. It’s been here: quarantine literature.

Here is actually there, as in Amazon. It can be your go-to place to buy books in the hottest new genre of novels featuring many steamy Kindle titles.

The audience is the bored at home for months during the COVID-19 pandemic.

A lot of the book covers are so risqué they give me unwanted impure thoughts and they might give you unwanted impure thoughts, so I’ll refrain from sharing the erotic covers and link to them instead. The ones with tame covers will show up in this post.

Let’s take a look:


Editions: Free with Kindle Unlimited, $2.99 to buy

Author: Ellis Levi, who has written other quarantine fiction

Publication date: March 23, 2020

Pages: 36

Description: “Two lusty twenty-something couples have just moved in together, and the sexual tension in unbearable. Bodies are flaunted and eyes are eager as the collective sexual salivating reaches crazy-making heights. Then, the unthinkable happens…”

Amazon customer reviews: 0 as of Thursday, July 23, 2020

“Quarantined Quartet: Kinked!”

Editions: Free with Kindle Unlimited, $2.99 to buy

Author: Ellis Levi

Publication date: April 3, 2020

Pages: 47

Description: “The foursome who broke down their sexual barriers when the quarantine began are back, and this time, they’re getting kinky.”

Amazon customer reviews: 0 as of Thursday, July 23, 2020

“Quarantined and Kinky Boxset: Five Stories About First Times, Romance, and Breaking Barriers”

Editions: Free with Kindle Unlimited, $4.99 to buy

Author: Ellis Levi

Publication date: April 22, 2020

Pages: 144

Description: “This boxset features five stories that follow hot young couples as they venture into the world of domination, submission, kink play, group sex, and romance.”

Amazon customer reviews: 0 as of Thursday, July 23, 2020

“Three in Quarantine”

Editions: Free with Kindle Unlimited, 99 cents to buy

Author: Mia Masters, who has written three, yes, three pandemic novels about threesomes

Publication date: July 15, 2020

Pages: 59

Description: “One leap of freedom, a sudden lockdown, and two hot bosses to share it with.”

Amazon customer reviews: 1 and it’s 5 stars as of Thursday, July 23, 2020

“Under the Sheets”

Editions: Free with Kindle Unlimited and $2.99 to buy

Author: Jamie Knight; this is the ninth book in Knight’s Love Under Lockdown series

Publication date: July 10, 2020

Pages: 68

Description: “My boss and I are under lockdown orders. And we’re under luxurious silk sheets together.”

Amazon customer reviews: 3 with 5 stars, 1 with 4 stars and 1 with 3 stars as of Thursday, July 23, 2020

“Feliz Covidad: Two Girls Throw the Ultimate Covid College Party”

Editions: Free with Kindle Unlimited, $2.99 to buy

Author: Patricia A. Adams

Publication date: May 13, 2020

Pages: 18

Description: “Lauren, a senior at ECU in Greenville, North Carolina, has always lived by her mother’s advice: ‘Keep your attitude positive and your STD test negative.’ So, what can go wrong (or right?) when she and her roommate decide to throw a Covid-19 party and invite an endless number of fraternity hunks to her house?”

Amazon customer reviews: 0 as of Thursday, July 23, 2020

“Pandemic Panties: A Fireman’s Fetish”

Editions: Free with Kindle Unlimited, $1.99 to buy

Author: Punky Flowers

Publication date: April 18, 2020

Pages: 29

Description: “This awkward romance short brings together a kinky first-responder and a college student with a secret. Ray is in the driver’s seat but Holly is totally in control.”

Amazon customer reviews: 0 as of Thursday, July 23, 2020

“Covid-69: An Erotic Coronavirus Quarantine Story

Editions: Free with Kindle Unlimited, $2.99 to buy

Author: J. Andrews

Publication date: March 23, 2020

Pages: 23

Description: “This is about a college student living in an off-campus apartment in Los Angeles, her punk-rock downstairs neighbor and a knock on her door about a plumbing problem.”

Amazon customer reviews: 1 with 5 stars as of Thursday, July 23, 2020

Other totsy tine titles at Amazon include “Mother’s Panties,” “The Virus of Desire,” “Stepbrother Quarantine,” “Quarantined with a Nurse,” “Locked Down With My MILF Neighbor,” “Locked Down With My MILF Teacher,” “14 Nights in Quarantine With the Wrong Wife” and “The Doctor Will See You Now.”

Details? I’ll let you look them up. That’s what the links are for.

During the quarantine, will I read any of the books I mentioned? Not no, but hell no.

In case you have yet to realize it, the headline for this post is not sincere. Instead, it’s satiric and sarcastic. I assume the entertainment value of tine lit is intentionally pervy and unintentionally hilarious.

Now I need to clean my mind of this filth and get back to finishing a legit 2020 book, “Becoming Duchess Goldblatt,” already among my all-time favorites.

Beautiful image. Wonderful writing.

A look at Gulfport Barnes and Noble since reopening during pandemic

I’ve renewed my trips to the Barnes and Noble in my hometown of Gulfport, Miss., since the bookstore reopened its doors last month.

The thing is, I don’t go there as often as I did before the damn coronavirus and I don’t spend an hour or two there like I used to. It’s more like 20 to 30 minutes.

Sure, as always, there’s plenty of cool stuff to look, such as the books pictured in the featured image at the top of the post, and people still browse as much as they want, but I can’t stand empty spaces and that’s what I’ve noticed the most during my occasional visits since 5-17-20.

Empty spaces, I suppose, are part of corona precautions and that’s appreciated. I want to feel safe and not be at an elevated risk. I saw “elevated risk” a number of times on a covid form I signed before I decided to cancel a dentist appointment two weeks ago. The two words elevated my corona anxiety and I took them as a warning that I need to reschedule.

Since this post is about a bookstore and not the dentist office, perhaps I need to explain what’s wrong with empty spaces at my Barnes and Noble.

Spaces that used to have chairs, tables and benches are empty. Empty spaces are uninviting. You don’t expect me to sit down on the floor to relax and leaf through a book or two or a magazine or three for two hours, do you? That’s not a comfy experience.

And thinking of empty spaces, why am I also thinking of the Traffic song “Empty Pages”?

So much for my prized prose. Let’s look at the pictures I took while at the store.

If I had an editor, they would probably tell me to write captions for my fine examples of photojournalism, but I don’t have an editor and I believe the pictures are self-explanatory.

I might go back to the bookstore on Tuesday, 6-9-20. As I finish this on Sunday, 6-7-20, at 6:43 p.m., I need to see how soon Cristobal clears.

Whenever I return to Barnes and Noble, I will continue to honor their corona rules and I will follow guidelines I developed for myself.

My own rules:

Never touch printed material without using the store’s hand sanitizer as long as the sanitizer doesn’t have the scent of a stinky ol’ bass pulled from the Tchoutacabouffa.

Never cough through my mask.

Never sneeze through my mask.

Never sniffle through my mask.

Make sure my nose is under my mask, though my nose isn’t disgusting.

Make sure my mask isn’t covering my eyes.

The nose rule references a tweet the actress Jane Levy made on Monday, 6-8-20-, and it’s so good, I’ll share it with you to close out this post.

How many of you miss lollygagging in Barnes and Noble?

It’s been seven weeks since I went shopping at my Barnes and Noble at Crossroads in Gulfport, Miss.

It was a Friday night and I bought a copy of Mojo Magazine’s Collectors Series: Bob Dylan 1941-1973 Revisited.

Now I’m stuck at home with the Barnes and Noble blues because of the store’s temporary closure.

Almost two months without a trip from my home. Damn Covid quarantine and self-isolation.

I miss my daily Barnes and Noble visits. The store’s Facebook page says “you can still get your books with curbside pickup through our buy online pick up in store option on, or by giving us a call at the store.”

And window displays have a similar message.

You know, I have no enthusiasm for the curb. I prefer being inside the store.

I miss lollygagging.

I miss the browsing.

I miss seeing the new book titles.

I miss seeing the new issues of magazines.

I miss the music.

I miss using Shazam to ID songs.

I miss the banter between sellers.

I miss the buzz of the cafe.

I miss the homeless.

I miss the chairs.

I missing sitting in one.

I miss the regulars.

I miss my friends.

I miss the conversations.

What about you?

Image credits: All photos by John E. Bialas, with filters from Snapseed app

Write corona song parodies to fight stay-at-home boredom

I suppose with all this extra time during the coronavirus stay-at-home quarantine, I need to be reading more books and writing more often about books.

I’ve failed. I have been writing. Silly stuff, though. Maybe it’s funny. It’s up to you.

Actually rewriting. Taking classic songs and adding COVID-19 keywords to make them part of the lyrics.

It eases my anxiety about the disease.

I do this on my Facebook posts and I will share eight of them right here.

March 24, 2020

March 26, 2020

Above: Empty parking spaces at Crossroads Shopping Center

March 28, 2020

I wonder if Elton John and Kiki Dee will reteam Sunday to debut their new coronavirus grocery shopping song “Don’t Go Taking My Cart.”

March 31, 2020

Simon and Garfunkel are redoing one of their classics for the coronavirus. It starts like this: Homebound, I wish I wasn’t. Unable to leave my house for a tour of one-night stands. Every stop was neatly planned and I had my suitcase in my hand. Now only silence before me.

April 1, 2020

Livin’ on Quarantine time
Livin’ on Quarantine time
Gonna set my watch to it
‘Cause you know I’ve never been through it
Livin’ on Quarantine time

April 4, 2020

He’s a real COVID man
Sitting in his COVID land
Making all his COVID plans
He’s a bit like you and me
COVID man please listen
The world is at your command

April 4, 2020

Tell me that you’ve got everything you want
And your Birx can sing
But you don’t get me
You don’t get me
You say you’ve seen the seven wonders
And your Birx is green
But you can’t see me
You can’t see me
When your prized possessions
Start to weigh you down
Look in my direction
I’ll be round, I’ll be round
When your Birx is broken
Will it bring you down?
You may be awoken
I’ll be round, I’ll be round
You tell me that you’ve heard every sound there is
And your Birx can swing

April 7, 2020

Well the quarantine’s got me down
I can’t get out of town
One thing I can do
And you can too
I’m going back to
Boozin’, boozin’ boozin’

The songs referenced:

“Love The One You’re With,” Stephen Stills

“Crossroads,” Cream

“Don’t Go Breaking My Heart,” Elton John and Kiki Dee

“Homeward Bound,” Simon and Garfunkel

“Tulsa Time,” Don Williams

“Nowhere Man,” The Beatles

“And Your Bird Can Sing,” The Beatles

“Houston,” Dean Martin

Harrison County Library System lists branch closures

Sarah Crisler-Ruskey, director of the Harrison County Library System, posted a message on the HCLS site that “we feel that closing is the best course of action to help prevent the spread of COVID-19 and to help protect patrons and staff.”

I saw the message on Monday, 3-16-20.

The HCLS oversees nine libraries on the Mississippi Coast and all will be closed for at least four days beginning Tuesday, 3-17-20.

Crisler-Ruskey said in her message that “this closure could be extended according to how the situation develops.”

The image at the top of this post is a screen snip of a Google map on the HCLS site and the map shows the branch locations.

I got my library card last year at the downtown Gulfport branch on 25th Avenue and I learned that one of the perks of having the card is access to Hoopla, a digital service for borrowing ebooks, audiobooks, comics, movies, TV shows and music.

I have the Hoopla app on my Hewlett-Packard laptop, Apple iPhone and Apple iPad, and Hoopla will remain open 24/7 during the virus crisis. Looking at the bright side of life, I believe it’s time to start reading one or two of the titles on my ever-growing TBR.

If you use Hoopla, I would like to know what you think of it. I welcome your comments.