December 16, 2017
Saturday Is as Saturday Does
by Melville House
Whoa-ho-ho out there — hello! Here we are again, for—take a deep breath, now—the very last Saturday MobyLives post of 2017. That’s right, friends — come a week from this morning, the blog will be in its brief, end-of-year hibernation, as we clear out the chimneys and prepare to meet the reborn sun on the other side of the new year. Ok? Ok. Let’s do this.
And well, wow, whoa, what a week it was. One thing that’s kept us busy is packing up our phenomenal new bundles — the perfect way to finish your holiday gift-shopping, and all deeply discounted. Get ’em while they’re bundly.
And also, here among the bundles, we’ve found some time to have a week, and—snow be damned!—it’s been a hot one:
Alex Primiani* wrote about a new law that gives anybodythe right to request that schools stop teaching any book that rubs them the wrong way for any reason. This is, of course, in Florida, and is not, of course, going well. *Alex is from Florida.
- Grace Larkin explored the new house we all want: The Books House.
- Ryan Harrington mentioned Duke University Press’s forthcoming re-issue of Last Interview Series participant James Baldwin’s one children’s book, which Baldwin called a “celebration of the self-esteem of black children.” The internet may have lost its shit.
- Nikki Griffiths covered some very a-plus trolling by French author Serge Volle, who found that none of the nineteen French publishers he queried had any interest in publishing what was actually a passage from Nobel laureate Claude Simon’s The Palace.
- Ian Dreiblatt envisioned a future in which computers write all the books, and, honestly — not too bad.
- Stephanie DeLuca brought news of the first woman to win Singapore’s Migrant Worker Poetry Competition. Right on!
Peter Clark spared a few thoughts for the forthcoming memoir by Sean Spicer, famous for his lies, incompetence, and eagerness to abet the destruction of the world. As of current reporting, Spicer remains a spineless fucking Dippin’ Dot.
- Taylor Sperry saw Mario Batali’s sauces being emptied in the harbor, after he acknowledged the accuracy of allegations about his sexual misconduct.
- Simon Reichley checked in on the post-Lorin Stein state of things at the Paris Review.
- Susan Rella gave us the strange and upsetting story of Joseph Soldwedel, the Arizona newspaper publisher who recently learned he’s been being slowly poisoned for a while.
There were, for last time in 2017, a couple of stories we didn’t quite get to:
- The Welsh Books Council has curtailed plans to set up a pop-up shop after the owner of the nearby Octavo’s Book Cafe and Wine Bar explained that it undermined their business.
- Still recovering the warehouse fire that decimated their stock last month, St. Lous-based Reedy Press has got a little help from their friends in the form of a fundraising party.
- Get ready for this: French car manufacturer Renault has bought a forty percent stake in French magazine publisher Challenges Group, which makes little sense until you appreciate that they are—no really—preparing for a future of self-driving cars.
- His resignation from the Senate notwithstanding, booksellers in Minnesota are continuing to sell Al Franken’s books.
- If you haven’t yet read A.N. Devers’s amazing tweetstorm-turned-Longreads-article on the erasure of Brigid Hughes from the history of the Paris Review, do that. Now.
And finally, it is the final Saturday of the year, and you are entitled to the finest cartoon of the year. And here, without further ado, is “Until Yesterday’s Snowfall.” A nice little dream:
And with that, friends, we wish you a happy weekend. We’ll be right back here on Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday — and then on hiatus until the new year. Celebrate responsibly, don’t stand under any chimneys if you can help it, and read feistily. The big one-eight is nearly upon us.