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Local Book Notes: Frogs And Snails And Mobster Tales

"Robert Teitelbaum has been a casting director for films such as Born on the Fourth of July and La Bamba, and TV shows such as Hill Street Blues and Moonlighting," the Desert Sun notes.

"He served in the Marines from 1962-'65, and owned and operated his own rare coin businesses in Los Angeles. He's run a local improv comedy chapter of TheatreSports that has competed throughout North America since 1993. He and his wife of 52 years, Carol, have two married children and three granddaughters. They've been presenting Creating Change Conferences with influential authors and speakers since 2005.

"An All-American success story, right? Except for the fact that Bob's father was Al Capone's attorney, a life-long friend of Bugsy Siegel and a mentor for Sidney Korshak, the attorney credited with helping the Chicago Outfit integrate into legitimate businesses."

And now, Bob Teitelbaum has written a book.

"Bob's father, Al Teitelbaum, moved his wife and kids into a fortress-like ranch in Indio built for President Franklin D. Roosevelt after the retirement he never got to have after World War II. Then he married another woman and raised a second family in Chicago and Beverly Hills.

"Meanwhile, the man his father hired to run his Indio ranch beat and sexually abused Bob, his older brother and two sisters until his family finally moved from Indio when Bob was 13, he said. His father was sentenced to three years in Chino State Prison in 1970 for an improper land transaction and non-distribution of a commission check. He could have had a much longer sentence, but the last thing Chino wanted was a brilliant jailhouse lawyer advising fellow inmates.

"Bob, 70, has self-published the memoir, Frogs and Snails and Mobster Tales: Growing Up in Al Capone's Shadow.

"Sass Brown's darkly funny debut collection of poems explores both the isolation and the absurdity of twenty-something apartment living," SIU Press says.


"The world Brown creates in USA-1000 overflows with infomercials, classic Hollywood films, billboard messages, strip clubs, and fortune-tellers, illuminating our complex relationship with consumerism.

"In the absence of personal intimacy, everyday objects take on unexpected importance: the clothing of a would-be couple mingles in a washing machine; a father watches pornography in a hotel room with his wife and daughter; a woman searches a shopping mall to put on hold items she'll never buy; a broken hair dryer prompts a complaint letter to the Better Business Bureau.

"Brown's dazzling poems probe the disappointment of domestic reality in the face of America's glossy facade, abundance and emptiness hand in hand.

"Ultimately, the book finds beauty in the deliciously artificial and resurrects 'the missing world' with words and memory."

"Lisa Fay Coutley's lyrical debut collection, Errata, investigates the delicate balance between parent and child, love and loss, hope and grief," SIU Press says.


"Errata's narrator reflects on struggles and fears that span generations in compositions that are at once musical and bleak.

Coutley's narrative journey is often a dark one, exploring not only the loss of loved ones but also the potential to lose one's very self.

"The collection unravels the lingering consequences of abuse and addiction, yet threads of hope and determination weave a finely wrought path through the dark side of human relationships, illuminating the power of the will to survive.

"Coutley's sharp yet tender collection will both haunt readers and move them to reflect, to remember, and most of all, to persevere."

Nossa America
"The last Palabra Pura for 2015 features the theme 'Nossa America,' with readings by Rodrigo Garcia Lopes, Jack Martínez and AKaiser," the Guild Literary Complex says.

It will be held on November 18 from 7:30 p.m. to 9 p.m. at La Bruquena Restaurant, 2726 W. Division St.


"Rodrigo Garcia Lopes is a poet, translator, and composer from Brazil. He has an M.A. from ASU (USA) and a Ph.D. in English from UFSC (Brazil). He has published six collections of poetry, translations of Whitman, Rimbaud, Plath, and Riding.

"Last year he released the historical detective novel The Troubadour. His poems have been widely published and anthologized, including in The Best 100 Brazilian Poems of the Twentieth Century."


"Jack Martínez (La Oroya, Peru, 1983) graduated in 2007 from the University of San Marcos (Lima, Peru) with a B.A. in Latin American Literature.

"In 2011, he moved to the United States where he wrote his first novel, Bajo la sombra (Under the Shade), published in Peru by Animal de Invierno in 2014.

"He is a PhD candidate in the Department of Spanish and Portuguese at Northwestern University, and is currently working on his second novel, a love story which deals with the fictions of Latin American nationalisms in the U.S."


"AKaiser's poems have recently appeared in Amsterdam Quarterly, Temenos Journal and Coldnoon: Travel Poetics.

"Her poem, 'At the speed of light, squared,' was a finalist in the Wasafiri New Writing Prize 2014.

"This past spring, AKaiser completed her MFA at Carlow University (Pittsburgh/Dublin) and was invited to JIWAR, an artists' and researchers' residency in urban creativity in Spain.

"AKaiser curates a biannual poetry reading series in collaboration with Station Independent Projects art gallery in NYC.

"She is also a translator of French, Spanish, and Catalan, currently working on the writings of Cebria de Montoliu, the first translator of Walt Whitman's Leaves of Grass into Catalan."


Comments welcome.


Posted on November 11, 2015

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SPORTS - Beachwood Sports Radio: Vaccine Villains.

BOOKS - The Quest For Papa's Perfect Sentence.

PEOPLE PLACES & THINGS - We Have Questions.

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