Mark James Russell

Books, blog and other blather

Month: April 2014

K-Pop D-Day

Well, at long last, K-POP NOW is finally out on Amazon.com (and other major Western bookstores). Yes, the book has been available for a while, but these days Amazon feels so much more real…

Anyhow, Soompi, the great K-pop/culture website was nice enough to publish a long interview with me today. Plus they are giving away a bunch of books to readers. The comments at the end of the story are wonderful and so kind. I truly appreciate them all.

Thanks to the power of Soompi, my Amazon ranking is really shooting up. As you can see, I’m now in the 9,000th range, which is some pretty rare air for me. Again, huge thanks to everyone taking the time to check it out.

UPDATE: A few hours later, and we are now up to 8,000. Which is very cool. But for me, the coolest part is being one spot ahead on Amazon’s Popular Music Chart than a book about Leonard Cohen. Major nerd-out.

On the road again

So, my little lecture tour through the United States is about half over already. And so far it has been quite a lot of fun. It was interesting to see Philadelphia again (for the first time in over a decade … and my first time on Penn campus since 1996, I think). At the moment I am in my hotel room on the  Ohio State campus, waiting to give yet another talk. Some thoughts so far:

  • In Philadelphia, I went to the same diner that I used to frequent 20 year’s ago, Little Pete’s. Amazingly, the same two women were working the night shift there. Of course they did not remember me, but I certainly remember them — as foul-mouthed and kind as they ever were.
  • Nice to see that Philadelphia is so much less stabby than it used to be. Penn campus in particular was looking good.
  • Bloomington, Indiana is a lovely town and the Indiana University campus is very pretty.
  • But I cannot believe I went to Kilroy, the student pub. Raucous place.
  • Ohio State, in Columbus, is also a very nice campus. Apparently Columbus is going through something of a revival, with several parts of town getting fixed up and gentrified (or hipsterfied, anyhow).
  • Thanks to Richard Vega at Myx and Kai Ryssdal of Marketplace for taking the time to interview me about K-Pop Now.
  • Thanks to Tuttle for getting copies of my book to all the locations.

Snowpiercer redux

Over the last few weeks, there’s apparently been a big resurgence of people interested in my old Snowpiercer review (thanks to all for the comments, by the way). I guess that’s mostly a function of the film appearing in more and more territories around the world.

Of all the countries around the world, Snowpiercer is easily doing best in China. It opened there in mid-March in No. 2, then falling to No. 7 in its second weekend. After two weeks, it had made about $11 million.

In Italy, where it opened at the end of February, it made $1.2 million.

This weekend, the movie will be opening in Germany … and I gather by the incoming links to this website that there is some interest in the movie there. I have no idea how that will translate into box office, but it is interesting to see.

Of course, Snowpiercer does not come out in the United States — in a limited but unedited release — on June 27.

K-Pop Now giveaway

Just a little reminder that the book website Goodreads is giving away copies of K-Pop Now. You still have two weeks to enter for your chance at one of 10 free copies.

You can click here to enter the contest.

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