The Man Who Wasn’t There

By Alex Belth The Stacks Reader January 24, 2020 In the late ’70s, Kenneth Tynan wrote a handful of long, entertaining profiles for The New Yorker—later collection in Show People. It’s our good fortune that the good folks down at Conde Nast see fit to make one of...

Raising Kane

By Alex Belth The Stacks Reader December 17, 2019 Last year, Harlem, 1958, a beautiful book celebrating the 60th anniversary of the most famous picture in jazz history was published. It remains a perfect gift for the jazz lover or the pop culture history buff in your...

Have Pen, Will Travel

By Alex Belth The Stacks Reader December 12, 2019 Thanks to Josh Lieberman, check out this trove of goodies from Holiday magazine. Tasty.   “In Defense of Brooklyn” by Murray Goodwin (November, 1946): Feltman’s is not the only Brooklyn restaurant of repute....

The Man Behind the Curtain

By Alex Belth The Stacks Reader His reputation as the guru of magazine writing preceded him so it came as a surprise that Jay Lovinger not only lived a couple of blocks from me in Riverdale but that he was indistinguishable from the other guys lolling around Johnson...

Shadow Boxing

By Alex Belth The Stacks Reader July 6, 2019 With a nod to the great Joseph Cornell, here are a few shadow box paintings by our man Robert Weaver.

This Gun for Hire

By Alex Belth The Stacks Reader July 2, 2019 Julian Allen is one of our favorite magazine illustrators. He made a splash in England in the late ’60s and then arrived in New York during the Watergate era. For the next twenty plus years his work was a fixture in the...

Dream Weaver

By Alex Belth The Stacks Reader Robert Weaver is one of my favorite illustrators. He worked in magazines from the mid-’50s through the ’80s and taught drawing at SVA for years. He had a beautifully direct, strong style—he could draw his ass off. There is a rough,...

The Write Stuff

By Alex Belth The Stacks Reader A couple of our pals have new stellar new book anthologies out and both are well worth your time. From the intrepid Wright Thompson, ESPN’s maestro of longform, comes his first anthology, The Cost Of These Dreams: Sports Stories and...

The Lady Eve

By Alex Belth The Stacks Reader Around these parts, we are enormous Eve Babitz fans. Would we belong to a fan club? You bet we would. Proudly. If you don’t know from Babitz, not only is she a wonderful writer but she’s lived some kind of life, all of which is detailed...

A Forgotten Pioneer of The New Journalism

By Alex Belth Esquire Classic October 2016 Fame is fleeting in all pop culture—movies, music, writing, sports: today’s stars, tomorrow’s Where Are They Now’s. This feels especially true in journalism. Who but a small group of nonfiction-loving nerds pays attention to...

Would You Be Mine? Could You Be Mine?

By Alex Belth The Stacks Reader I’d heard nothing but good things about Won’t You Be My Neighbor?, Morgan Neville’s new documentary about Fred Rogers. Plus, our pal Tom Junod is a featured talking head in the movie and I was excited for him to be a part of it. Tom, if...

The Summer in the City Game

By Alex Belth The Stacks Reader With all due respect to the national pastime, summer is also time for hoops, especially of the pick-up variety. Of course, in the realm of basketball literature there is a whole rich subsection of writing devoted to the street game....