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Sunday, July 25, 2021


D.G. Wills book stacks, Girard Avenue, La Jolla CA

GUEST BLOG /By Steven Spatz, President of BookBaby
--Strong book sales numbers in the first half of 2021 set the stage for what should be a great holiday season for published authors. 

As much of the world reopened in the first half of this year, there was one industry that held its breath about the effects of our newly regained freedoms. The publishing industry was one of the few marketplaces that experienced growth during the dark COVID-19 quarantine days. 

After years of slumping sales caused by competition with streaming services, video games, and the like, book sales rose eight percent in 2020 over the previous year. In retrospect, that shouldn’t be a surprise. During a time when people were looking for diversion and distraction beyond video screens, books of all subjects and genres were selling around the globe. 

Publishers and authors were grateful for this small silver lining. So, as life slowly returns to near normal, book industry watchers had one big question on their minds: Would the newly vaccinated public flock back to bars, restaurants, theaters, and concerts and forget about their renewed love affair with books? 

What's the verdict?

The results are in, and authors should rejoice. Printed book sales are growing faster than ever before. Physical book units grew 18.5 percent in the first half of 2021 over 2020 sales according to NPD BookScan. 

Nearly 387 million books in hand were sold from January to June 2021. It’s important to note that NPD BookScan only counts units from traditional publishers, which means these numbers do not include the millions of books sold by self-published authors. 

So, while the actual increases are probably impossible to compute, they’re very likely four to six times larger! One fascinating data point that caught my eye: Backlist titles had the strongest gains, up 21.4 percent, while frontlist sale increases were a solid 12.4 percent. 

That should serve as a reminder that there’s life in every book you’ve published. The inventory and backlist titles you create can be money in the bank with the right marketing and exposure. 

Equal opportunity 

The news that seems most encouraging for the overall author community is that the growth curve encompasses just about every book category. 

Adult nonfiction. The biggest overall category, adult nonfiction, grew from 134 million to 155 million, a 15.6 percent boost. Going inside the numbers, sales of self-help books had the largest gain, up 32.1 percent. Next came business and economics books — up 24 percent — while home and gardening and general nonfiction had increases of just over 22 percent. 

Adult fiction. Adult fiction units surged 31 percent, growing to 81 million units. Kristin Hannah’s The Four Winds led the way with sales of nearly 560,000 copies since its release in February. The next 15 spots are a mix of both new releases and backlist titles. 

YA fiction. Young adult fiction titles nearly doubled in sales, rising 49 percent in the year-over-year study. Interestingly enough, the top title in the category, They Both Die at the End, by Adam Silvera, was first published in December 2018. 

The book caught fire on BookTok, a community of readers on TikTok who post videos reviewing and recommending books. The video form has boosted sales of a large number of YA titles this year. 

In fact, the only category to see a decline, juvenile nonfiction, was expected to lose ground year-over-year. This segment experienced a massive 25 percent increase in 2019 as home-schooling and a general demand for books geared toward helping parents educate and entertain their children soared. 

The results, when sorted by book formats, show a surprising gain for hardcovers. Book buyers helped this durable format grow over 23 percent, while trade paperbacks increased 17 percent. 

It’s a great time to publish a book 

All this good news serves to underscore one of my favorite sayings: There’s never a bad time to publish a book. As these numbers show no signs of slowing as we head into the profitable fourth quarter timeframe. 

Like the headline says, it’s a great time to publish a book, and you still have time to get yours to market in time for the holidays. 

Here’s one more bit of inspiration: The 2021 BookBaby catalog has been updated (above) with all the newest publishing products and services available for self-published authors including Quality in-house paperback and hardcover book printing A team of world-class copy and line editors Distribution to the world’s largest bookstores and online retailers And plenty more. 

ABOUT THE AUTHOR Steven Spatz is a writer, marketer, and the President of BookBaby, the nation’s leading self publishing services company. Spatz’s professional writing career began at age 13, paid by the word to bang out little league baseball game stories on an ancient manual typewriter for southern Oregon weekly newspapers. His journalism career continued after graduation from the University of Oregon at several daily newspapers in Oregon. 

Steven Spatz of BookBaby with mystery writer Joanna Penn [J.A. Penn]
at a recent book event.

When his family took over a direct marketing food business, Spatz redirected his writing and design skills into producing catalogs. The Pinnacle Orchards catalog was named "Best Food Catalog," received dozens of other national awards, and the business grew into one of the nation’s largest gourmet fruit gift businesses. After the company was sold, Spatz continued his direct marketing career with Fortune 500 companies including Mattel and Hasbro. He joined AVL Digital in 2004 to lead the direct-to-consumer marketing teams for music industry-leading brands Disc Makers, Oasis, and CD Baby. After serving as Chief Marketing Officer, Spatz was tapped to lead the company’s new publishing division in late 2014. In 2019, the AVL Digital Management team purchased the New Jersey brands, including BookBaby. 

The company is headquartered in Pennsauken, NJ (just outside Philadelphia, PA) and meets the printed book and eBook needs of thousands of self-publishing authors around the globe. Spatz lives in Glenside, PA with his two children, a demented cat, and some well-used bicycles. Steven loves to hear from authors, editors, and publishers in the BookBaby community with tales of publishing trials and triumphs. To tell him your story, write to 

NOTE FROM PILLARTOPOST.ORG A staff member with our daily magazine-style blog is researching self-publishers as a possible outlet for her first novel. She ordered BookBaby’s catalog as mentioned above and found it well worth the time to order a hard copy. She’s been taking it everywhere with her because she’s found it useful information for a newbie author. “I like BookBaby so far because it explains the fundamentals of self-publishing so I can understand them. I’m a fan, but I’m holding back because I’m still researching other self-publishing options. I’m one of those who read all the negative reviews,” said Patience J., Daily Blog staffer. 

Saturday, July 24, 2021


We remember the good times and good coffee with a young Texas singer, Janis Joplin, who left us way too soon. Her home in San Francisco, 635 Ashbury has been made into a museum. Her neighborhood was centered around the intersection of Haight and Ashbury Streets, where we showcase three terrific coffee houses near that famed corner. 

Joplin house is in pink.


Coffee to the People 1206 Masonic 

Flywheel Coffee Roaster 672 Stanyan St. 

Coffee Cantata 1708 Haight St. 

One of Janis Joplin’s earliest gig was in 1963 at Coffee Gallery, 1353 Grant Avenue in North Beach. Listen to a YouTube tape of that early session by Clicking Here.

Coffee Gallery in 2021 is called Maggie McGarry’s, just south of Green and Grant. 

Maggie McGarry's

Coffee Gallery, Grant Avenue, North Beach, 1963

Friday, July 23, 2021


GUEST BLOG / By NASA Editor Yvette Smith
--A multitude of magnificent, swirling clouds [ABOVE] in Jupiter's dynamic North North Temperate Belt is captured in this image from NASA's Juno spacecraft. Appearing in the scene are several bright-white "pop-up" clouds as well as an anticyclonic storm, known as a white oval. 

This color-enhanced image was taken at 4:58 p.m. EDT on Oct. 29, 2018 as the spacecraft performed its 16th close flyby of Jupiter. At the time, Juno was about 4,400 miles from the planet's cloud tops, at a latitude of approximately 40 degrees north. Citizen scientists Gerald Eichstädt and Seán Doran created this image using data from the spacecraft's JunoCam imager. 

For JunoCam's raw images CLICK HERE. 

This view of Jupiter’s atmosphere from NASA’s Juno spacecraft includes something remarkable: two storms caught in the act of merging.

NASA's Juno mission captured
this look at Jupiter's tumultuous
northern regions during
the spacecraft's close approach
to the planet on Feb. 17, 2020. 

JUNOTES: Three of Jupiter’s largest moons—Io, Europa and Ganymede—will be visited by NASA’s Juno probe currently in the Jupiter system after its imminent “death dive” was postponed for four years. 

Recently it was reported that Juno witnessed an asteroid or comet slam into Jupiter and disintegrate in its atmosphere. Previously planned to plunge into Jupiter’s clouds after completing its 35th and final orbit on July 30, 2021, Juno’s extended mission will see it perform close flybys of the three moons through 2025. 

In orbit of Jupiter since July 4, 2016, the 66 x 15 ft. spacecraft has just completed its 32nd perijove (close flyby) of the giant planet and returned a stack of incredible new images. 


Thursday, July 22, 2021


merican Battlefield Trust is a major history-oriented non-profit dedicated to preserving America’s hallowed battlegrounds to educate the public about what happened there and why it matters today. 

As the nation’s leading heritage land preservation organization, ABT has saved more than 53,00 acres of battlefield land in 24 states to date. reports the enthusiasm with which American Battlefield Trust goes about its land preservation work might seem to some as glorifying war. The opposite is true. By not forgetting history, the ABT is a beacon of reason and hope that all war on this planet will someday end. 

As part of its continuing mission to educate, including a call for donations, American Battlefield Trust has compiled a detailed list of 20 must-see battlefields complete with itineraries; mobile apps, and virtual tours. 

Yesterday, July 21, the Battle of Bull Run aka First Manassas fought in 1861 convinced both sides that the Civil war would be a long and costly struggle. 

Fought only a few miles south of modern-day Dulles International Airport along Interstate 66, the blood at Bull Run ended a sense of innocence about the glory of war. CLICK HERE to view all 20 battlefields on American soil. 

Wednesday, July 21, 2021


The most expensive model per gig, Bella Hadid, is shown here wearing a necklace and wool crepe dress at the recent Cannes Film Festival. Dress and necklace by red hot designer Daniel Roseberry for Maison Schiaparelli.

upermodel Bella Hadid, 24 took more than a few breaths away when she stepped on the red carpet at the 74th annual Cannes Film Festival earlier this month. 

The “wow” gilded brass necklace created in the shape of the human bronchi is named “golden trompe l’oeil lungs with rhinestones.” Gown in wool crepe and necklace were created by designer Daniel Roseberry for Maison Schiaparelli’s haute couture Autumn-Winter 2021 Autumn collection. 

Also, her Schiaparelli gown was accessorized with large ruby drop earrings and a ruby ring. 

Daniel Roseberry
 Who is Daniel Roseberry? 

 Daniel Roseberry, 33, is the artistic director   at fashion house Maison Schiaparelli.   Roseberry, originally from Texas, has   worked there since he took over for   Bertrand Guyon, who left his role in 2019.   Roseberry has more than a decade of experience in the fashion industry and studied at the Fashion Institute of Technology, in New York. 

He now resides in Paris, but was honored to design Lady Gaga’s 2021 inauguration outfit, a red ball gown with a Navy jacket adorned with an American-sized gold dove of peace brooch. 

Wearing Roseberry’s gown, the Lady rocked the national anthem, accompanied by the US Marine Corps band.

One more reason to remember January 21, 2021

Tuesday, July 20, 2021


Recently completed puzzle by's staff.

GUEST BLOG / By Patience Jobe
--One of the most challenging 1000-piece jig saw puzzles on the market today is by Piatnik, a Vienna board game and puzzle maker that has been around since it was founded by Ferdinand Piatnik in 1824. 

 Using a reproduction of Vincent Van Gogh’s popular painting titled Cafe Terrace at Night, Piatnik continues to offer a long list of world masterpiece paintings as part of its puzzle genres. 

Van Gogh's original painting "Cafe Terrace at Night" is at the Kroller-Muller Museum in Otterlo, Netherlands.

Patience Jobe, puzzle editor noted, the Piatnik Café Terrace puzzle is no walk in the nearby Place de Forum. “It is no puzzle for beginners. Van Gogh’s post-impressionist paint strokes do not follow conventional geometry. His whims go where they will, plus the Piatnik photo is not as crisp (heavy on black ink) as the original painting at the Kröller-Müller Museum in Otterlo, Netherlands."

Legions of puzzle tourists will note the café is still in business in Arles, France. 

Puzzle aficionados tackling this double masterpiece will be aided by Ms. Jobe’s research on this particular 1888 example of Van Gogh architectural cityscape painting. The painting is of a real French cafe at the night. 

Toward the left there are structures of buildings, beyond this structure lies the tower of church. Towards the right, Van Gogh indicated a lighted shop as well, and some branches of the trees surrounding the place. In the middle ground, you can see people sitting and chatting and to the right you see some ladies walking. You can also see in the middle ground the waiter who is serving the customers of the cafe. 

The silhouette of the starry sky is key to the patterning of the whole; the poetic idea of the work - the double illumination and contrast of the cafe and the night sky - is developed through this jagged form. In the silhouette of the orange cafe floor and the adjoining window and doors, we discover the inverted shape of the blue sky; the scattered disks of the stars are matched in the elliptical tabletops below. 

Above is original painting, but in the Piatnik puzzle definition of persons faces are lost as is the man walking with the red garbed woman.  Also details of the horse and stage are lost as is the vest of the woman sitting at a cafe table. Disappointing in the reproduction is the mishmash of table legs in the puzzle version.

How to Solve. After one has completed the four edges of the puzzle, attack the pillared door frame (far left, lower) first by following one of the few straight lines filling in the blue doorway. Next move to the lower-left corner. Collect and assemble all the similar-looking cobblestone pieces that aren’t blue. 

Then use the artist’s lines of perspective to follow the red café floor to the middle of the puzzle. A digression. The blue cobblestone pieces indeed reflect the blue sky and the stars are mimicked by white tabletops. 

Now move to the upper left. The blue building’s black railing intermixed with window shutter pieces are easy to identify. The tree on the right side is easy to collect and assemble. Go from the big star (top right) down to the red door. Assemble that area inward completing the tree. The persons on the plaza are unique pieces of the puzzle. They swirl, which is part of the beauty of the puzzle. 

Now, the yellow café section and the cobblestone are the most difficult. Being time-consuming is a huge understatement. Our puzzle editor says to save the starry, starry sky, and the dark alley portion of the puzzle last. By that time your remaining pieces are either light blue or dark purple. 

We add a letter by Van Gogh to one of his sisters where he discusses this painting, which is one of his most notable for its rough beauty, emotional honesty, and bold colors. “…I was interrupted precisely by the work that a new painting of the outside of a café in the evening has been giving me these past few days. On the terrace, there are little figures of people drinking. 

“A huge yellow lantern lights the terrace, the façade, the pavement, and even projects light over the cobblestones of the street, which takes on a violet-pink tinge. The gables of the houses on a street that leads away under the blue sky studded with stars are dark blue or violet, with a green tree. “Now there’s a painting of night without black. With nothing but beautiful blue, violet and green, and in these surroundings the lighted square is coloured pale sulphur, lemon green. I enormously enjoy painting on the spot at night. In the past they used to draw, and paint the picture from the drawing in the daytime. But I find that it suits me to paint the thing straightaway. 

 “It’s quite true that I may take a blue for a green in the dark, a blue lilac for a pink lilac, since you can’t make out the nature of the tone clearly. But it’s the only way of getting away from the conventional black night with a poor, pallid and whitish light, while in fact a mere candle by itself gives us the richest yellows and oranges,” said Vincent Van Gogh. 

About the painter. Vincent Willem Van Gogh [1853-1890] did not begin painting until his late twenties, and most of his best-known works were produced during his final two years. He produced more than 2,000 artworks, consisting of around 900 paintings and 1,100 drawings and sketches. 

Puzzle was purchased at the Palm Desert Museum gift store for under $20. Another source of puzzles are in San Diego: The Book Catapult Book Store in South Park and nationally at 

About the writer. Patience Jobe is the world’s leading jigsaw puzzle strategist. Her work appears exclusively online at Daily Online Magazine. 

Monday, July 19, 2021


The #1 Hiroshima and #2 Nagasaki bombs (lower left of image above) barely show up at this scale, and together they killed over 200,000 people. The average US and Russian bombs are tiny smudges. Even the mega-bombs exploded by the United States are dwarfed by Ivan. 

GUEST BLOG / By Susan B. Glasser, New Yorker Magazine
in her column “Letter from Biden’s Washington: 


AN EXCERPT: The last time that General Mark Milley, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, spoke with President Donald Trump was on January 3, 2021. The subject of the Sunday-afternoon meeting, at the White House, was Iran’s nuclear program. 

For the past several months, Milley had been engaged in an alarmed effort to insure that Trump did not embark on a military conflict with Iran as part of his quixotic campaign to overturn the results of the 2020 election and remain in power. The chairman secretly feared that Trump would insist on launching a strike on Iranian interests that could set off a full-blown war. 

There were two “nightmare scenarios,” Milley told associates, for the period after the November 3rd election, which resulted in Trump’s defeat but not his concession: one was that Trump would try “to use the military on the streets of America to prevent the legitimate, peaceful transfer of power.” 

The other was an external crisis involving Iran. It was not public at the time, but Milley believed that the nation had come close—“very close”—to conflict with the Islamic Republic. This dangerous post-election period, Milley said, was all because of Trump’s “Hitler”-like embrace of the “Big Lie” that the election had been stolen from him; Milley feared it was Trump’s “Reichstag moment,” in which, like Adolf Hitler in 1933, he would manufacture a crisis in order to swoop in and rescue the nation from it. 

To prevent such an outcome, Milley had, since late in 2020, been having morning phone meetings, at 8 A.M. on most days, with the White House chief of staff, Mark Meadows, and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, in the hopes of getting the country safely through to Joe Biden’s Inauguration. 

The chairman, a burly four-star Army general who had been appointed to the post by Trump in 2019, referred to these meetings with his staff as the “land the plane” calls—as in, “both engines are out, the landing gear are stuck, we’re in an emergency situation. Our job is to land this plane safely and to do a peaceful transfer of power the 20th of January.” 


 If the full sized version of Ivan had been detonated over the city of Ontario in Southern California the zone of total destruction would have been 100 miles in diameter, as indicated by the yellow circle in the following image: Los Angeles and all of it's surrounding cities would have been wiped from the face of the earth, killing fifteen million people in the blink of an eye.

Sunday, July 18, 2021


Walk on the Beach by artist Joaquin Sorolla, 1909 seems apropos of Proust’s paeon to Young Girls. 

GUEST BLOG / By Marcel Proust. 
Translated, from the French, by Deborah Treisman. New Yorker July 19, 2021 edition: From the French publisher Éditions Gallimard released “Les Soixante-quinze Feuillets et Autres Manuscrits Inédits,” by Marcel Proust (public domain). 

The volume contains a seventy-five-page manuscript from 1908, long rumored to exist but discovered only recently, in the private files of the publisher Bernard de Fallois. 

In those pages—which include the following passage—Proust sketched out many of the themes and scenes he would eventually draw on for his masterpiece, “In Search of Lost Time.” 

French novelists
Marcel Proust (lower),
Lucien Daudet, (right)
with playwright Robert
de Flers
(Top, left) 1894. 
Here is an Excerpt: One day on the beach, I spotted, walking solemnly along the sand, like two seabirds ready to take flight, two young girls, two young women, really, whom, because of their unfamiliar appearance and style, their haughty and deliberate gait, I took for two foreigners I’d never see again; they weren’t looking at anyone and didn’t notice me. 

I didn’t see them again in the next few days, which confirmed my sense that they were only passing through our little seaside town, where everyone knew everyone else, where everyone led the same life and met up four times a day to play the same innocent beach games. 

But several days later I saw five or six girls of the same type gathered around a splendid carriage that had stopped beside the beach; the ones in the carriage were saying goodbye to the others, who hurried over to their horses, which were tied up alongside and on which they rode off. 

I believed that I recognized one of the two girls I’d seen walking on the sand, though I wasn’t sure, but the girl who really stood out for me this time had red hair, light-colored, superior eyes that rested on me, nostrils that quivered in the wind, and a hat that resembled the open wings of a seagull flying in the wind that was ruffling her red curls. 

They left. I saw them again from time to time. 

Two of them I recognized and wanted to keep seeing. Sometimes, when I came across the strange group, those two weren’t among them, and that made me sad. But, not knowing where they came from or at what time they would be there, I was never able to anticipate their appearances, and either I was longing to see them without being able to, or, when I did suddenly catch sight of them, I was too flustered to take any pleasure in it. 

They were the daughters or the nieces of the local aristocracy, the noble families or the wealthy families who mixed with nobility and spent several weeks of the year in Cannes. 

Some of those whose châteaux were very close by, just a few kilometres away, came to the beach often in this season, though they didn’t live in the town itself. Although not everyone in their milieu was so elegant, of course, the chance grouping of these girls conferred on all of them a certain grace, elegance, and agility, a disdainful pride that made them seem of a completely different species from the girls in my world. They seemed to me to dress in an extraordinary way that I wouldn’t have known how to define, and which was probably quite simply a result of the fact that they spent their time pursuing sports that my friends weren’t familiar with—riding, golf, tennis. 

 Usually, they wore riding skirts or golf outfits, tennis shirts. Probably they pursued these things far from the beach and came there only occasionally, on a schedule that I had no way of knowing—for example, perhaps after golf on the day when there was no dance at the Château de T., etc.—and they stayed for only a short time, as if visiting a conquered country, without deigning to give the natives who lived there more than a haughty and blatantly impolite glance that said “You don’t belong in my world,” and sometimes even exchanging among themselves, without trying to hide it, a smile that signified “Just look at them!” 


Note: Marcel Proust died in 1922. The seven volumes of his novel “In Search of Lost Time” were published, in French, between 1913 and 1927. 

Friday, July 16, 2021


Photo: Anthony Tran via 

Lyft Most Visited Coffee Houses in North Park 

[*] indicates close enough to walk from book fair.

Communal Coffee Texas and University & Juniper & Fern (where 30th turns into Fern). 

Holsem Coffee [*] 30th & University 

Starbucks 32nd & University 

Dark HorseRoasters (North Park Way and 30th) [*] 

Coffee & Tea Collective [*] 2911 El Cajon Blvd. 

Figaro Desert Café [*] 3011 University 

Twiggs Bakery & Coffeehouse 2804 Adams 

Deja Brew Coffee 2528 University 

Santos Coffee House 32nd & Thorn 

Photo: Moe Coffee, Kansas & Howard  
What Lyft Missed, but Didn’t. 

Caffe Calabria [*] 3933 30th Street 

Subterranean Coffee Boutique [*] 3764 30th Street 

Parabola Coffee Roasting [*] 4045 30th Street (shares with Second Chance Beer Lounge) 

Influx Café [*] 30th & Upas

Young Hickory North Park [*] 4096 30th Street 

James Coffee Co. 4379 30th Street 

Moe Coffee [*] Kansas and Howard. 


North Park Book Fair is tomorrow! Go grab some books.  

ndependent bookstores locally and regionally are teaming with North Park Main Street, a business organization, and Verbatim Bookstore to hold the first North Park Book Fair. 

Readers mark your calendar for Saturday, July 17 from 10 am to 5 pm. Ground zero for the event is 30th and North Park Way (one block south of University Avenue. The mega pay parking garage is adjacent to the fair site. 


Leashed dogs only. 

Event webpage: CLICK HERE

Local booksellers and publishers will set up more than 40 booths to showcase books and related merchandise. Booths offer a wide range from, books, comics, art, food. 

Music, too. An entertainment stage will offer live performances and music 

Sponsors: --Verbatim Books, 3793 30th Street. 

--Verbatim Books is a used and rare bookstore with an eclectic range of gently-loved and antiquarian books. Our stock is extremely curated to help you find quality editions of classics, favorites, and new discoveries. We also carry titles from over 200 local authors. Our zine corner is full of stuff made by local zine and chapbook creators, as well as some of the best from micro-distributors such as Burn All Books, Caboose Press, Eternia Press, Microcosm Publishing, Tiny Splendor, Genderfail, and more. Our walls are covered with work by San Diego artists and photographers to enhance your browsing and reading experience. 

 --North Park Main Street is a private non-profit organization charged with the revitalization of the North Park Business Improvement District (BID)  

Event Location: North Park is one of San Diego’s leading Arts & Crafts bungalow nodes and in the recent decade emerged as the largest craft beer center in Southern California. Restaurants, brewpubs, leading bottle shop, gift/specialty stores, and coffee houses dominate the commercial landscape.  

Inexpensive parking garage at 30th and North Park Way, entrance on 29th Street, one block west


"They're all writing about ME."

SPOILER ALERT: “…The President is Deranged…” by Michael Bender, Wall Street Journal 

This week marks the opening of the dead duck skeet season with big-name reporters doing the shooting and ex-president Trump the well-deserved clay pigeon. 

 In this blog, we highlight three major book debuts and one prominent media journal. We hope this guide gives the reader a starting point to see which new book does the best job festooning the command of the obvious. 

To lead off this literary tsunami is Jon Allsop writing in his popular The Media Today column for the Columbia Journalism Review [click here] who acts as ring announcer for a three-ring battle of books about the buffoon [italics ours]. 

And in this corner, we have: 

“Frankly, We Did Win This Election: The Inside Story of How Trump Lost," by Michael C. Bender, Wall Street Journal. [Buy this book here

"I Alone Can Fix It: Donald J. Trump’s Catastrophic Final Year," by Carol Leonnig and Phillip Rucker, the Washington Post. [Buy it here

“Landslide,” by freelance book writer Michael Wolff [buy

“The Tedium of the Trump-books news cycle,” by Jon Allsop, Columbia Journalism Review, The Media Today. [read and donate

Jon Allsop continues “…This week was publication day for Bender (his book was originally slated for August, but his publisher brought it forward to beat the competition), and he and Wolff have been touring cable news, racking up at least five appearances between them (without counting all the third-party chatter about the books). 

“We know well the story of the chaos of this administration,” Bender told MSNBC’s Chris Hayes on Monday. “I think what’s different about this book is not the chaos, but how dangerous it was inside the West Wing for a lot of the people right around this president. A lot of these people told me for the first time that they feared for the safety of the country.” 

When Lawrence O’Donnell asked Wolff, also on MSNBC on Monday, what he learned writing his book, Wolff replied that Trump is “even crazier” than he thought. 

Last night, Wolff told O’Donnell’s colleague Brian Williams that he “rushed” the book to publication, “first because I’ve had quite a bit of practice writing books about Trump, but also because I thought this was incredibly important for people to know: that the president of the United States—and let me be very specific about this—that the now ex-president of the United States was and is deranged.” 

What more is there to say.  

Thursday, July 15, 2021


Amid the trees and modern cement and glass tower is a very tasty restaurant called Trust at Park Blvd and Robinson.

GUEST BLOG / By Lindsey Chronert, Miho Catering, San Diego
--Summer is here. Events are happening. People are traveling. If you have family in town for a wedding or friends on summer holiday, Miho Catering has put together an epic list of all of our favorite places. 

From iconic views with local seafood to neighborhood secrets, there's something on this list for everyone. With or without the tourists. Restaurant picks are by Miho staffers. 


Fishery (Pacific Beach - $$$) does a wonderful job of showcasing our regional seafood. -Kevin 

Ironside for oysters + fresh seafood (get the platter) and take a cruise through Little Italy. -Lindsey 

PB Fish Spot (Pacific Beach - $$)- great vibes, great fish, love the clam chowder bread bowl. -Rosemary 

Tribute used to be the North Park post office.  Now its pizza central and more.


Tribute Pizza (North Park - $$) solid- always, killer natural wines, and soft serve- yes please. -Sam 

Blind Lady's (Normal Heights - $$) their beer selection is so damn good. And when I can get frites and pizza in the same meal, I am a happy girl. -Sam 

You can never go wrong with Mona Lisa’s (Little Italy) subs🔥 -Amy 

Friendly (North Park - $) I could live off that dirty flattop burger. -Rosemary 


We have some amazing Japanese food in SD. Soichi (University Heights - $$$) does a great omakase. -Kevin 

Green China Grill (Kearny Mesa - $). I love their hand pull noodles. - Gil 

Hong Kong BBQ (Mira Mesa - $). My parents, native from Hong Kong, go there every week. Authentic taste. Like lots of Chinese places, they cook dishes for you that are not on the menu, if you know the dish. -Gil 

Osaka sushi (Mission Valley - $) will always have special place in my heart! My family has been going there for 20+ years. It never disappoints. -Amy 

Bahn Thai (Hillcrest - $) - hands down, the best Thai. -Juan 

Morning Glory in Little Italy. Yep, that’s the line going upstairs for brunch. 


Morning Glory (Little Italy - $$$) always gets the 😍! -Sarah 

The Waffle Spot in Kings Inn (Mission Valley - $) is a classic diner that isn't super well known. You can sub your toast for mini waffles (drool). -Spencer 


Nine-Ten in the Grand Colonial (La Jolla - $$$) does one of my favorite tasting menus in San Diego. Make sure to get the wine pairing! -Spencer 

Born & Raised (Little Italy - $$$) Took the girls here last month and it was a great time. -Rosemary 

The tasting menu at Jeune et Jolie (Carlsbad - $$$) is a whole experience! Take your time + enjoy every single bite. – Lindsey 


Love OB Noodle House (Ocean Beach - $$) for the vibes, (BEST) wings and sake! -Sarah 

If it’s a quicker meetup or sticking around downtown my hands-down go to is the Crack Shack (Little Italy - $) for the vibe, price point is solid, and sawces on tap! ... shmaltz fries all day! -Bryan 

LOVE Costa Brava (Pacific Beach - $), awesome tapas and I love that it's a little hidden. -Sarah 

Turf Club! (South Park - $$) There is nothing really quite like grabbing a couple beers (or Boulevardiers) while grilling your own steak to rare perfection, all the while kicking it with friends and/or family and creating some solid memories. -Joshua 


Trust (North Park - $$)- that ricotta agnolotti with black truffle is chefs freaking kiss -Sam 

Anything owned by Consortium Holdings- they’re iconic in their design and restaurant concepts. A good night starts with a mezcal negroni and olives at J & Tony’s Discount Cured Meats + Negroni Warehouse (Downtown, $) -Lindsey 

Costa Brava in Pacific Beach brings Spain to the beach. Front is hectic and the back patio much more zen.


Wednesday, July 14, 2021


GUEST BLOG / By Ken Pecus, Compass Realty
--San Diego’s 1910 Bartlett/Webster house is a blending of Craftsman, Prairie, and English styles, a trademark of its architect William Sterling Hebbard. 

Built during a building boom on the Southside of world-famous Balboa Park at a time when San Diego was preparing for the California/Pacific Exposition of 1915-16. 

The house was commissioned by Erastus Bartlett, a major developer, and promoter of the South Park neighborhood, for his mother and sister. It has also been home to Fred Hakel, a renowned violinist who played with the San Diego Symphony Orchestra in the early 20th Century. 

The home received its historic designation in 1999 and has undergone multiple remodel and restoration projects in the ensuing years. The entry foyer is a wonderful wood-detailed vestibule that leads to all parts of the 2284 sf. home. The first growth wood detailing from the formal living room to the formal dining room is the stuff of craftsman dreams. 

There are built-in bookcases, picture rails, and four fireplaces that dot the landscape, all having renovation work completed by San Diego's iconic Authentic Fireplaces. Three of them even have the original Grueby Tile. 

Off the dining room, there is a wonderful office or reading room that gazes out at the tree-lined neighborhood around.  

The home might be historic, but the gourmet kitchen with a Sub-Zero refrigerator, dual-fuel Wolf Range, and a Bosch dishwasher is the backbone of modern happiness. We all love breakfast nooks and this home has a great one. The kitchen also features a spacious Quartz Island with the surrounding perimeter counters being classic Soapstone. 

Sleeping quarters are all upstairs. The master suite, dining room, family room, and great room have fireplaces. Upstairs has a beautiful terrace overlooking pristine water-savvy rear yard gardens. Both baths have been remodeled and feature Carrera marble counters. The large 2-car garage is free standing with a wide generous driveway offering plenty of additional off-street parking. 

Additional features include a tankless water heater, fence replacement, garage door replacement, electric panel upgrade, bird screens at the roof eaves, refinished hardwood floors, and a 200sf basement which currently is used for laundry but perhaps a wine cellar should be considered. Basements are truly rare in Southern California. 

This home has excellent karma carefully restored by the loving family of an ardent historian of architect Hebbard. Much of the home’s history is available for viewing at the Museum of History in nearby Balboa Park. It recently sold for $1.825,000, which was $200,000 over the asking price.