One Tree Hill

Underdog Literature, March 2013: 15 fresh or overlooked, off-the-wall titles

Underdog Literature March 2013 WordPress.

Here are 15 books that caught my interest lately.

Fresh, off-beat, quirky or curious titles that might deserve more attention:


01: RUTH OZEKI, “A Tale for the Time being”, 432 pages, March 2013.

02: CHRISTINE SNEED, “Little-known Facts”, 304 pages, January 2013.

03: PETE WENTZ, “Gray”, 240 pages, January 2013. [Memoir of the “Fall Out Boy” singer… and “One Tree Hill” guest star.]

04: TY BURR, “Gods like us: On Movie Stardom and modern Fame”, 448 pages, 2012. [Cultural Studies]

05: SONALI DERANIYAGALA, “Wave”, 274 pages, March 2013. [Memoir about the 2004 tsunami]

06: KENT HARUF, “Benediction”, 272 pages, February 2013.

07: KATE SOUTHWOOD, “Falling to Earth”, 272 pages, February 2013.

08: MAY SARTON, “As we are now”, 144 pages, 1973.

09: JOHN GLASSCO, “Memiors of Montparnasse”, 296 pages, 1970. [Memoir about Paris in 1928]

10: DON CARPENTER, “Hard Rain Falling”, 308 pages, 1966. [Noir / Thriller]

11: CHLOE HOOPER, “Tall Man: The Death of Doomadgee”, 258 pages, 2008. [True Crime]

12: MICHAEL HAINEY, “After Visiting Friends”, 320 pages, February 2013. [Memoir]

13: ERNST-WILHELM HÄNDLER, “Der Überlebende”, 250 pages, 1992. [German, Sci-Fi / Philosophy, recommended by Thomas von Steinaecker]

14: DANIEL BROOK, “A History of Future Cities”, 352 pages, February 2013. [Cultural Studies, Architecture, Urban Planning]

15: VAHRAM MURATYAN, “Paris vs. New York”, 224 pages, 2011. [Cultural Studies, Graphic Design]


Here are three books that made me curious enough to buy them:

01: GERMAN KRATOCHWIL, “Scherbengericht”, 400 pages, 2006. [German / Austrian novel about expats in Patagonia; Perlentaucher]

02: MATTHEW QUICK, “The Silver Linings Playbook”, 289 pages, 2008.

03: CORY DOCTOROW, “Homeland”, 384 pages, 2013. [YA Sci-Fi: I’m a fan of Doctorow’s writing and activism, and I liked the first book of this series, “Little Brother”]


…and finally, here are three books that I read – and that were really good:

4 of 5 stars: T COOPER, “Real Man Adventures”, 272 pages, 2012. [Memoir / Cultural Studies about Female-to-Male transexuality. German edition here]

4 of 5 stars: MARIA DERMOUT, “The Ten Thousand Things”, 208 pages, 1955. [Dutch / Indonesian]

4 of 5 stars: ALEXANDER MAKSIK, “You deserve nothing”, 308 pages, 2011.


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New, good TV? 2012’s most promising shows!

Last year, when NBC, ABC, CBS, Fox and the CW announced their fall shows, I did two things:

This year, here are another 8, 9 shows that look solid and, potentially, interesting.

Scroll down to see my favorite, Fox’s The Goodwin Games!


1) Go on, NBC:

Despite their basic plots and high-concept scenarios, both “Cougar Town” (Link) and “Community” (Link) are energetic shows about…

…a quirky, diverse group of grown-ups who hangs out together and has fun.

‎Matthew Perry’s ensemble dramedy “Go on” uses a convoluted, Nick-Hornbyesque scenario (a rogue, sportcasting-inspired self-help grief counselling group?)…

…to create ANOTHER one of these shows: quirky, fast-paced, optimistic and snarky. It doesn’t reinvent the wheel. But it should work just fine:


2) Revolution, NBC:

“The Hunger Games” meets “Lost”: I don’t like Quests (Link) and adventures that feature a lot of walking / exploring in the wilderness… but this is the first big-budget, mainstream TV show by “Supernatural” creator Eric Kripke (Link)

…and with all the martial arts and snarky swashbuckling in the trailer’s second half, there’s a distinct Joss Whedon vibe, too. If “Revolution” doesn’t take itself too seriously… it could be fun, dramatic escapism:


3) Ben and Kate, Fox:

An overgrown man-child, a hapless single mom and lots of heartwarming family hijinks? This won’t be high-brow, dramatic TV. But while most comedies skew towards ONE gender… this looks like a show that can appeal to men and women. So… yay for non-segregation!:-)

(I hope the main characters don’t hook up, though. No incestuous shipping!)


4) The Following, FOX:

Before Kevin Williamson (Link) created “Dawson’s Creek” and “The Vampire Diaries”, he wrote “Scream”. It’s been too long since there was a genuinely scary crime drama on TV. Plus: Kevin Bacon! Let’s hope this finds an audience:


5) Arrow, CW:

“The Dark Knight”… on a CW budget? “Green Arrow” Oliver Queen is one of my favorite DC Comic super-heroes, and as a supporting player in “Smallville”, Justin Hartley has proven that the character works just fine in a weekly show.

Also: Black Canary! Deathstroke! A female big bad! Let’s see if this still looks as good, energetic and engaging after David Nutter (Link), director of the pilot, has moved on:


6) 666 Park Avenue, ABC:

Robert Buckley (“One Tree Hill”), Vanessa Williams (“Ugly Betty”), Terry O’Quinn (“Lost”)… some of my favorite TV faces, in a trashy, campy, overly dramatic genre drama about a posh apartment building… ruled by demonic forces? I’m sceptical. But I love these actors:

I’m still amazed that Ryan Murphy’s “American Horror Story” (Link) turned out to be a critically successfull, well-liked show. Contrast and compare:


7) Nashville, ABC:

I’m not INTERESTED in this dramedy about aging, female friendship, showbiz and country music… but it would be nice to have something (better-written) to show the writers at “Smash” (NBC) and say “Look: THIS is how it’s done!”

Still: I suspect this will be cancelled quickly. The trailer has no energy.


8a) and 8b) Next Caller, NBC & The Mindy Project, FOX:

Another two shows that seem to miss their mark and might need retooling / more work.

“Next Caller” is a modern-day screwball comedy… with a “30 Rock” look:

“The Mindy Project” is the lovechild of “Bridget Jones” and “Grey’s Anatomy”:


My favorite trailer? A quirky, Wes-Anderson-like family drama about siblings reuiniting after their father’s death, Fox’s “THE GOODWIN GAMES”.

It’s “Gilmore Girls”, “The Royal Tenenbaums”, “Arrested Development” and, most of all, “The Westing Game”, and looks surprisingly funny:


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Underdog Journalism, 01: Debatten, Links, Fundstücke.

Ich bin Journalist / Literaturkritiker. Ich lese viel. Und finde einen Haufen interessanter, skurriler oder abseitiger Links. Hier eine erste, kleine Sammlung!

Teilt, linkt, postet: Ich freue mich über Lese-Tipps… und Leser!



  • Wahlkampf via TV-Script? Neueste “Mad Men”-Episode beschimpft George Romney – Vater des Republikaners Mitt Romney – als “Idioten”. [Newsday, eng.]
  • “Yes. I lied.” Rafid Ahmed Alwan al-Janabi, iranischer Forscher und Überläufer, und die irakischen “Weapons of Mass Destruction”. [The Independent, eng.]
  • KONY 2012, Freikirchen und Fundamentalismus: Die Verbindungen der Kony-Christen zur homophoben Lobby-Gruppe “The Family”. [BoingBoing, eng.]
  • Amerikanische Anti-Terror-Flugverbote …für Briten, unterwegs nach Kanada? [BoingBoing, eng.]
  • Diskriminierung in St. Petersburg: Russland nimmt zwei Protestanten fest, die ein Plakat mit der Aufschrift “Homosexualität ist normal” zeigten. [Spiegel, dt.]


Technik, Copyright, Netzkultur:

  • Klage gegen Amazon: Piraten-Kritiker und Kafka-Herausgeber Roland Reuß will den Marketplace-Verkauf von US-Kafka-Raubkopien stoppen. [Buchmarkt, dt.]
  • “Gratismentalität”? Ein Zwischenruf über Musikpiraterie, Bibliotheken, Mixtapes und die private Kulturkonsum-Biografie von Dietrich Brüggemann. [Blog, dt.]
  • 51 Tatort-Autoren… 101 Piraten… und Journalist Dirk von Gehlen mit einer stimmigen, fairen Zusammenfassung der dt. Debatte ums Urheberrecht. [Blog, dt.]
  • Brille als Bildschirm: Promo-Video stellt Googles neues “Augmented Reality”-Projekt “Project Glass” vor. [BoingBoing, eng.]
  • neuer Totenkult: Papier-Versionen von iPads, iPhones und MP3-Playern werden in China bei Beerdigungen verbrannt. [BoingBoing, eng.]


TV / Entertainment / Serien:

  • Sex-Dates mit dem Präsidenten: “Scandal”, die (knallig-dümmliche) neue Polit-Soap von ‘Grey’s Anatomy’-Erfinderin Shonda Rhimes. [Washington Post, eng.]
  • 9 Jahre nach “Dawson’s Creek”: Mark Schwahns Kleinstadt-Schmonzette “One Tree Hill”: Oral History zum letzten großen Teen Drama. [Wilmington Star, eng.]
  • “Die ist schwarz? Stand das im Buch?” Rassistische Tweets zur Verfilmung von “The Hunger Games” / “Die Tribute von Panem” [Sociological Images, eng.]
  • Product Placement: Nach “Chuck” und “Hawaii 5-0” nimmt die Sandwichkette Subway Einfluss auf die Drehbücher von “Community”. [, eng.]
  • Oprah Winfreys “OWN” Network in der Krise: Zu alt? Zu flach? Zu selbstgerecht? Fünf taktische Fehler und Branding-Probleme. [Afterelton, eng.]
  • pedantische Fan-Theorien: eine (hoffentlich: satirische) Analyse von Indizien / möglichen Foreshadowings in “Mad Men”, Season 5. [Salon, eng.]