March 17, 2018
Saturday go bragh!
by Melville House
Top o’ th’ mornin’, friends. Let’s start with a joke: what did Saturday morning say to Saturday afternoon?
“Someday, I’ll be Saturday night.”
If you’re staring at your computer screen right now thinking that this does not technically qualify as a “joke,” well… you may have a point. It’s been a scorcher of a week. More on that below (don’t miss this, seriously). For now, here’s how it looked on the blog:
- Peter Clark, frankly, has been writing his ass off. He turned out two barn-burners this week: a cri de cœur for net neutrality, and then a mighty truth-telling about Gina Haspel, whom Donald Trump has nominated to head up the CIA despite her intensely troubling history of overseeing torture and then destroying the evidence.
- Stephanie DeLuca was embiggened by the noble spirit of the Merriam-Webster Dictionary. Take that, Maynard G. Krebs.
- Ian Dreiblatt took the week off to hide in a bunker and listen to Stevie Wonder. We expect him back next week, possibly with a very long post on the greatest jam ever written about housing discrimination, or, also possibly, on a thoroughly unrelated topic.
- Nikki Griffiths told us of scientists who are finding ways to read an ancient manuscript, written 1,500 years ago, erased 500 years after that, and written over again. Science can, according to reports, do anything.
- Ryan Harrington took a moment to consider the plight of the contemporary short story, which just stands around, looking as awkward as Tom Hanks wearing a medal in front of an American flag.
- Alex Primiani wrote about the struggle of some Wisconsinites to keep more than two million books from being carried off-site to make room at the University of Wisconsin—Madison.
- Susan Rella had the week off, and did some traveling. We hope she comes home. We’ll make rice-a-roni.
- Simon Reichley congratulated the British Library on publishing their wage data by gender, and agreed with them that the numbers… aren’t great.
- Taylor Sperry bid hail and farewell to beloved physicist—and mega-selling author—Stephen Hawking.
- Michael Barron covered a new literary prize that’s been announced in India — with the biggest purse in the country.
We were also delighted to publish:
- Socialist Survivalism, the astounding meditation on America’s troubles, both historic and present, that we were pleased to publish last year from certified genius and Lacking Character author Curtis White.
- Another fine and disturbing installment of The Week in Impeachment, our regular series in which certified genius and A Citizen’s Guide to Impeachment author Barbara Radnofsky tallies all the impeachable behavior that’s gone down in the Executive Branch over the past seven days. Not to be missed, if you really want to know.
As for what we’ve been up to, you may have heard a little about it:
- Troubled by the concerns Peter has laid out so damn eloquently, we’ve been offering free e-book downloads of the Senate Intelligence Committee’s Torture Report. This stuff is too important. Today’s your last day. Please download. Please read.
As ever, there were a few stories we just didn’t get to this week:
- The redoubtable and ferociously admired Tina Jordan is stepping down as vice president of the Association of American Publishers. No doubt about it, this is a loss for publishing. Our co-founder and co-publisher, the mighty Dennis Johnson, unleashed a mighty Twitter thread, expressing gratitude for her excellent work and puzzling out what this may mean for the future. You should read it.
- Readers of a certain age, prepare to feel of-a-certain-age-er: The first of the Wu-Tang memoirs has at long last been published! Surprisingly, it’s by U-God, who continues to be suing the rest of the Clan for unpaid royalties. One reviewer calls it “strangely poignant.” To his crew with a suuuu.
- Readers of all ages will surely love Sarah Laskow’s recent Atlas Obscura piece on book towns, which includes a call-out to the extremely excellent Shaun Bythell, author of The Diary of a Bookseller, a sensation in the UK that we’re highly stoked to publish stateside this fall.
- One could do far worse than reading this interview with Norwegian author and journalist Asna Seierstad, who’s just won the Prize for European Understanding for her documentary novel One of Us, which looks at racist murderous far-right extremist Anders Behring Breivik. “He was my neighbor. He could have been anyone’s neighbor actually.”’
- The National Book Critics Circle Awards were announced this week. All of the winners were women. All of them.
We published one book this week:
And finally, it is well-known that the best to drive the snakes out of your Saturday is with cartoons. We have a modest example right here. You shall enjoy it.
And with that, we wish you a happy St. Patrick’s Day and a grand weekend. See you right back here Monday morning.