The first review for Gangster Nation is in…and it’s great! The jig may be up for Las Vegas Rabbi David Cohen, the unlikely identity assumed by ruthless hit man Sal Cupertine. It’s only a matter of time before an obsessed former FBI agent tracks him down—or the fake rabbi’s cosmetically altered face caves in. Set in 2001, two years after the events of Goldberg’s audacious Gangsterland (2014), this sequel finds 40-ish Sal/David weary of the Jewish mob wars in Vegas and missing his family. He left his wife, Jennifer, and 7-year-old son, William, in Chicago more than three years ago after murdering three undercover FBI agents and escaping town in Read more
Tod wrote a bit about…pickles. And immigration. But mostly about pickles. All in the latest issue of Palm Springs Life Magazine. If you grew up in Palm Springs, you grew up in Jewish delis. The Gaiety. Buddy’s. Marvin’s. Nate’s. Sherman’s. There were upwards of a dozen of them valley-wide back in the 1970s and early ’80s. Only Sherman’s is still in business, the others are long gone, replaced by restaurants with ironic names, serving food that is best described as “fusion,” which is just a fancy way of saying no one could make a decision. But these delis. You know them. You’d walk in and there’d be a gruff man Read more
Tod was recently interviewed by The Millions on the evolution of literary criticism in the era of podcasts: Goldberg says that when he and his co-hosts are recording “Literary Disco,” “we know that beyond the quality of the book, we are sharing with our audience something more profound: here is what great literature can do, here’s the empathetic bridge literature lets you cross, here’s us, experiencing it, live.” As our lives become more fragmented and diluted across various online streams, there’s something rare and valuable about knowing you can have this resource to build meaningful bonds with thousands of strangers.
The House of Secrets topped bestseller lists all summer long…and now it’s back, in handy paperback form! You can get it from any of your favorite booksellers. But in case you need a reminder: A secret worth killing for. A woman with no past. An act of treason that changed America. #1 bestselling author Brad Meltzer returns with THE HOUSE OF SECRETS When Hazel Nash was six years old, her father taught her: mysteries need to be solved. He should know. Hazel’s father is Jack Nash, the host of America’s favorite conspiracy TV show, The House of Secrets. Even as a child, she loved hearing her dad’s tall tales, especially Read more
Tod wrote an essay for the Desert Sun about the year that was 2016: What had we become? What was there left to say? Who, in their right mind, would want to lead us? “The center was not holding,” Joan Didion wrote in Slouching Towards Bethlehem nearly fifty years ago, but she could have been talking about today, about yesterday, about the last twelve months of our republic. “It was a country of bankruptcy notices and public-auction announcements and commonplace reports of casual killings and misplaced children and abandoned homes and vandals who misspelled even the four-letter words they scrawled.” These words of Didion’s are a comfort though, when you Read more
Tod has a new essay in Angels Flight Literary West, The Royal Plaza Inn. Here’s a snippet: It’s 1981 and we’re on vacation with a man named Hank and his daughter, Alex. It’s my mother, Linda, and me. My two eldest siblings, Lee and Karen, are away at college. We’re staying at a rented beach house at Pajaro Dunes, a resort just south of Santa Cruz, and not too far from the beach house our mother and father owned in Capitola. I have one memory of that beach house: I’m sitting in front of the television set and my father comes and picks me up, takes me over to the kitchen, sets Read more
The Huffington Post interviewed Tod about writing in the time of Trump: Are there tricks for reading around the unreliable narrative of a psychologically unwell person in order to get at what’s really going on? I think understanding the difference between truth and fact is the key here. An unreliable narrator recounts their truth irrespective of the facts. Several years ago, before her eventual death, my mother had a complete psychotic break. She’d earned it: years of cancer and lupus, what was likely untreated bipolar disorder, months and months of chemotherapy. At any rate, I found her in her home, naked and lost, ranting at the world, looking for an Read more
On November 9th, Tod was awarded the Silver Pen Award by the Nevada Writers Hall of Fame, which recognizes writers who are mid-career and have shown substantial achievement. Honorees are also selected based upon their body of work, critical recognition and a strong connection to Nevada through the themes of their writing or residence in the state. Below are the remarks he delivered: * Thank you Millie Mitchell, Director of Development, the Selection Committee, Dean of the Library Kathy Ray, the University of Nevada, Reno, President Marc Johnson, and all of the fine sponsors and supporters and friends of the University of Nevada, Reno Library and the Nevada Writers Hall Read more