January 13, 2018
Saturday to the Saturday power
by Melville House
Well, here we are again. Saturday morning, the world’s a mess, and it’s been a busy week. Here’s what’s kept us bouncing:
- Stephanie DeLuca passed along the sad news that beloved bookseller Fred Bass, who turned The Strand into the world’s largest used-book store, has died.
- Ian Dreiblatt reported on the curious exclusion of poet Mark Nowak from a New York Times article about the writing workshop for domestic workers that he started.
- Nikki Griffiths let us in on the latest secret to writing a bestseller — title it Fire and Fury.
- Ryan Harrington proclaimed the forthcoming release of the first movie shot in the elusive San Andreas-Providencia Creole, and let us know why this is most excellent.
- Alex Primiani observed that, while there might be no great reason to shelve your books with the spines facing in, lots of people seem to be doing it.
Susan Rella passed along some truly hair-raising claims of sexual misconduct that have been leveled at the editor of an Alabama newspaper.
- Simon Reichley taught us that there’s no such thing as a scroll too rotten to be read, once you’ve mastered the arcane art of x-ray computed tomography.
- Taylor Sperry gave us a pair of reports on the sorry state of prisoners’ access to reading materials in both New Jersey and New York State.
- Michael Barron shared the sad news that Keorapetse Kgositsile, the only poet laureate in South Africa’s history (and Earl Sweatshirt’s dad!), has died.
- Peter Clark helped us read what Xi Jinping is reading.
We were also delighted to publish:
- The first two sections of the new Afterword to Susan Bordo’s The Destruction of Hillary Clinton. Stayed tuned, because we’ll be publishing sections three through five in the coming weeks — and every word of it scorches.
As ever, there were a few stories we just didn’t get to:
- In China, this textbook’s presentation of the Cultural Revolution has generated more than a little controversy.
- WWBR? (For the uninitiated, that’s What Would Blackbeard Read?)
- In a library in Burlington, Connecticut, an unruly sprinkler system is being blamed for the wanton destruction of seventy-eight kids’ books.
- Publishers Weekly’s John Maher crunched the numbers, and it turns out backlist sales were a huge part of what kept publishing afloat in 2017.
- After a flap in France, the legendary Gallimard publishing house has agreed not to publish a compendium of 1930s pamphlet-writing by the novelist Céline, who, despite having some serious chops as an avant-garde prose stylist, was… well, a fascist.
We released one paperback this week:
And finally, it is Saturday morning, and we usually share a cartoon. But this is a special weekend, and there’s something else you ought to watch. If you’ve never heard the whole thing, now’s the time. If you have, you should listen again. The words here weigh heavier than ever.
If you have Monday off, don’t forget why.