March 24, 2018
All the Saturday that’s fit to Saturday
by Melville House
Well, here we are again! The vile, septidiurnal procession of humiliations known mockingly as “the week” has, once again, wound itself to a conclusion. For those of us keeping score at home, 2018 is now 22.74% over, and we’re getting closer all the time. Congrats, everyone.
In the meantime, here’s what’s been happening on the blog as the past seven days have churned unrelentingly, mercilessly forward:
- Nikki Griffiths offered us directions from Oxfordshire to Middle Earth, Gotham, and Oz. Did you know MobyLives has an entire content category for stories on “kooks, lovable and otherwise”? We do.
- Ian Driblatt was into music by this guy who can rap whilst avoiding parts of our orthography, using what you might call his prodigious skillz.
- Stephanie DeLuca enthused over the renaissance of feminist bookselling currently taking place under Donald Trump.
- Peter Clark was falling softly softly falling all over some news about the Morgan Library acquiring a bunch of precious James Joyce stuff.
- Michael Barron noted some overtones of repression in the execution of the Script Road Macau Literary Festival.
- Taylor Sperry brought us the strange tale of Keira Drake, by whose novel The Continent a number of advance readers were deeply offended, which prompted her, in turn, to postpone publication and overhaul the manuscript.
- Susan Rella wished aloud that National Geographic would find a less racist way of apologizing for their past racism, which seems reasonable.
- Simon Reichley cooked you up a delicious meal of nutritious, flavorful books. Yum!
- Alex Primiani wrote about a Spanish publisher who, when one of their books was banned by a court, found, ahem, a novel solution: they posted the text of Don Quixote, along with an algorithm that unscrambles it to spell out their book.
- Michael Moglia stood on a balcony and said, “Hark, what light from yonder book chain breaks? It is Shakespeare and Company, opening three new retail locations as part of a major expansion plan.”
- Ryan Harrington has a message for you: You have many friends. The FBI is not one of them.
We were also delighted to publish:
- The Week in Impeachment, our regular check-in with A Citizen’s Guide to Impeachment author Barbara Radnofsky, who tallies all of the impeachable conduct being reported from the White House in a given week and brings it back to us, lest we forget the urgency of our situation. This week was… well, a scorcher.
As ever, being ourselves merely human, we did not get to cover every story we were following. To wit:
- Between the Lines, a Canadian publishing cooperative specializing in books that “present new ideas and challenge readers to rethink the world around them,” is in the news this week after a reported discussion with the legal team of Gerald Stanley. Stanley is a Saskatchewan farmer acquitted by an all-white jury last month of the murder of Colten Boushie, a twenty-two-year-old resident of the nearby Cree Red Pheasant First Nation. The case was major news and sparked protests all across Canada. This week, Between the Lines announced that Stanley’s lawyers had approached them and asked that they publish “his side” of the story. Between the Lines—probably predictably?—were extremely not into it. In a statement, they wrote, “Our press has rejected the request for a meeting and instead offered an expression of our solidarity with the Boushie family.” They added, “Mr. Stanley’s side of the story has already been told — and was validated, in willful disregard of the facts and expert testimony, by an all-white jury.” Damn.
- Back in November, we wrote about Becky Anderson, the bookseller running for Congress in the Illinois Sixth. We’re sorry to pass along the news that, as of this week, she’s out of the race. Becky rules, though, and the upside here is that she will presumably have more time to put glorious books in interested hands.
Bollywood star Sanjay Dutt has read a new unauthorized biography of himself, and he’s pissed. The book, he claims, is based largely on “hearsay, 1990s tabloids and gossip magazines, most of which are figments of imagination and not true.” Dutt is working on an autobiography, and, he says, talking with his lawyers.
- A stall has been shut down at the Riyadh Book Fair for illicitly selling materials produced by the Muslim Brotherhood, which defined in Saudi Arabia as an illegal terrorist organization. “The sale of books by a banned group that poses a risk to the country cannot be tolerated. We cannot allow a book fair hosted by Saudi Arabia to sell books by a group that is classified as a terrorist. We do need to protect our country,” Abdul Rahman Al Asem, the fair’s supervisor, told reporters.
- In Pakistan, the Peshawar High Court has ordered Azeem Academy Publishers, which produces textbooks and other academic materials, to publicly apologize after a a book bound for colleges in Pubjab was found to contain derogatory slurs against Pashtuns and Sikhs. The offensive material is also to be removed in subsequent printings.
We published one book this week:
And, finally, it is Saturday, and you are entitled—nay, compelled—to watch a cartoon. Hope you’re feeling wacky, because this week’s is a live one. Friends, book-lovers, people of the internet, behold the glory of The Big Snit:
That’s it for this week! Stay calm, avoid any early-spring Nor’easters, and we’ll see you right back here Monday morning.