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Jesse Kornbluth
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Jesse Kornbluth is a New York-based journalist and editor of a cultural concierge service (books, music, movies), HeadButler.com.

As a journalist, he has been a contributing editor for Vanity Fair and New York, and a contributor to The New Yorker, The New York Times, etc.

In l996, he co-founded Bookreporter.com. From l997 to 2002, he was Editorial Director of America Online.

His books include Highly Confident: The Crime and Punishment of Michael Milken; Airborne: The Triumph and Struggle of Michael Jordan; and Pre-Pop Warhol.

Entries by Jesse Kornbluth

Talking With Mark Knopfler: 'I Try To Write Good Songs And Make Good Records -- And Get Better"

(12) Comments | Posted March 17, 2015 | 8:38 AM

Very few people find early in life what they want to do and get to do it all their lives. At the top of the list in music: Mark Knopfler.

Knopfler got his first guitar at 15, practiced with the same ferocity as guitar god Chet Atkins ("You should...

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In a Small Town, His Mother Was 90 and Failing. He Lived In New York and Was Failing. So He Went Home.

(1) Comments | Posted March 8, 2015 | 7:37 PM

When George Hodgman was a boy, he and his mother ended the day holding hands and praying. Not just for themselves, but for all the people in their tiny Missouri town. "We made our way from one street to the next, we asked for help for those suffering in this...

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Why I'm Putting the President High on My Gratitude List

(0) Comments | Posted November 26, 2014 | 8:38 AM

When giving thanks, I'm putting the president high on the list --- and not for anything he's achieved.

As I watched him deliver low-energy banalities after the grand jury declined to indict Darren Wilson, I thought: Bullshit. He knew since day one how this was going to end. He...

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Anne Lamott Celebrates 'Small Victories' -- And Makes You Believe You Too Can Spot 'Improbable Moments of Grace'

(1) Comments | Posted November 17, 2014 | 7:53 AM

Bird by Bird is the book to read if you're a beginning writer, or a baffled amateur, or just want to witness a fine stylist making the keyboard sing.

I don't have a reason for avoiding Anne Lamott's next 14 books that makes me sound smart. Though I...

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Is 'The Handmaid's Tale' Science Fiction -- Or a Preview of 2016?

(6) Comments | Posted November 10, 2014 | 6:43 AM

In Washington, D.C., a judge understood that a cesarean section might kill a seriously ill 27-year-old woman who was 26 weeks pregnant. Still, he ordered that she undergo the procedure. Both the woman and her baby died.

In Iowa, a pregnant woman fell down a flight of stairs and went...

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A Book For Little Kids With No Pictures? Yes, And They Love It!

(0) Comments | Posted October 26, 2014 | 8:39 PM

A book for 5-to-8-year-old children.

A book for 5-to-8-year-old children with no pictures.

A book for 5-to-8-year-old children with no pictures by a writer who's never written anything for children.

And it's rapidly climbing to the top of the children's bestseller list.

If you know of B.J. Novak, it's probably...

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There's No CSI: Syria on TV -- But There Is a Film, and It's for Real

(0) Comments | Posted October 22, 2014 | 9:51 AM

CSI: Syria -- that's a show you'll never see on television.

You can, however, see the movie.

It starts in 2013, soon after Syrian jets drop cluster bombs that kill 200 civilians. Journalists are smart enough to understand and respect the invisible "Keep Out" signs at what passes for the...

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In The News Sorority, Sheila Weller Serves Up Substance and Dish About Diane Sawyer, Katie Couric and Christiane Amanpour

(0) Comments | Posted September 29, 2014 | 9:41 AM

If you want to pay me $15 million a year, I promise never to say a bad word about you. I will work until I drop. I will be a saint to my staff. And if our project fails, I will take all the blame.

That's not...

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Leonard Cohen at 80: 'No One Can Sing a Leonard Cohen Song the Way Leonard Cohen Can't'

(6) Comments | Posted September 23, 2014 | 10:33 AM

Leonard Cohen is 80.

Popular Problems is his 15th collection of original songs.

It's tempting, given those facts, to think that he's slowing down.

That would be wrong -- Cohen has never been fast.

Are these songs slow? Just listen to "Almost Like the Blues," which is what, in the...

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They Call Musicians 'Artists.' Blake Mills? He Really Is

(0) Comments | Posted September 18, 2014 | 9:05 AM

"I got a new CD today," I said. "Guess who?"

"Josh Ritter," the 12.5-year-old replied.

"Worse."

"Blake Mills," she said.

Right answer. And a funny answer. We laughed and laughed.

Why funny? Because it's completely correct that 12-year-olds should loathe Blake Mills -- he's from a breed unknown to young...

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'How Do We Treat the Little People, Joan?' I Asked. And She Said, 'Why, We Treat Them Better. We Only S--t on People at Our Level or Higher.'

(6) Comments | Posted September 4, 2014 | 5:23 PM

She had other writers, and funnier ones, but when the University of Pennsylvania asked Joan Rivers to give one of the commencement addresses in 1989, she asked me to help her write it. I think she wanted to present herself as a lady and spare her daughter Melissa, who was...

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Robin Williams, 1983: Even Then, You Could See Life Was A Struggle

(3) Comments | Posted August 11, 2014 | 10:05 PM

Robin Williams dead, a suspected suicide? It can't be. Oh, but it can. When I interviewed him for New York Magazine all those years ago, I could see that staying grounded -- staying with us -- was a never-ending struggle. Reading my profile now, I fix on a story one...

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The Hot Kids' Book? 'My Parents Open Carry.' (Yes, It's For Real.)

(3) Comments | Posted August 10, 2014 | 5:43 PM

There's nothing funny about children suffering from gunshots -- and, in the last few years, more than 7,000 American kids under 20 do each year. What's even less funny is that hundreds of these kids are killed by other kids. Not deliberately. But because the adult owner of...

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How Did Western Civilization End? A Noted Historian Of Science Looks Back -- From 2093

(5) Comments | Posted August 4, 2014 | 7:08 AM

"Nature always bats last."

That old warning about our degrading environment no longer seems to apply. Now Nature bats every day. Drought, storms, melting ice and rising oceans -- the bad news is relentless.

Where is the global effort to save the planet? Stalled. And we all know why: In...

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Calling Life a 'Journey' Makes Me Nuts -- But I Loved Katrina Kenison's 'Magical Journey.'

(0) Comments | Posted June 30, 2014 | 8:11 AM

Early in my novel, Married Sex, Blair tells David about a book she'll be discussing with Barnard freshmen, Lesley Blanch's The Wilder Shores of Love.


"What's it about?"
"Four Victorian women who went off to live in the Middle East."
"Why this...

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The Third Plate Makes Farming as Exciting as Four-star Dining

(0) Comments | Posted May 20, 2014 | 10:08 AM

I thought Michael Pollan's The Omnivore's Dilemma was pretty much the last word about the food we eat, why we eat it, its cost to our health and the planet's health, and how we can do better.

I wasn't alone in that view. But the gold standard is now Dan...

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Why Hire Jennifer? Is a Great Gift for Grads (And for You, Too)

(0) Comments | Posted May 14, 2014 | 9:12 AM

Clarissa went to Yale. She's the package: tall, blonde, speaks three languages, graduated magna cum laude, sings Gilbert & Sullivan tunes.

Don't waste a second worrying about Clarissa -- she'll get any job she wants.

In college, Richard Lewis wasn't Clarissa. But he managed to get himself a job, and...

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'Farmer's Son' Is a Great Read -- And the First Adult Novel for America's 60 Million Dyslexics

(0) Comments | Posted May 5, 2014 | 8:49 AM

If I said that Farmer's Son is the most powerful novel I've read this year, you might grab it.

If I disclosed that the author of Farmer's Son is a close friend, you might recall the times you've followed up on my recommendations and discovered that my friends are, as...

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1936, The Spanish Civil War: They Checked in at the Hotel Florida

(1) Comments | Posted April 22, 2014 | 7:55 AM

The Hotel Florida, like the mythical Hotel California in the song by The Eagles, is one of those places where "you can check in but you can never leave." Or so it seemed for the foreigners who used it as their home base in Madrid during the Spanish Civil War:...

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Five Seconds Of Krishna Das's New CD And I'm... Home.

(0) Comments | Posted April 16, 2014 | 9:18 AM

Up early. Coffee. Get the child out. And then I'm here.

I have technical skill now, maybe even mastery, but writing was easier when I was a brash kid just trying to make my name. The words matter more now. What I'm trying to do, here and elsewhere, is harder....

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