July 21, 2018
Well now, there was a week that started, continued a while, and ended
by Melville House
Here we are again: Saturday. We always seem to run into each other here.
That was one serious monster of a week we’ve all just had — the kind of week that makes you think you must be dreaming. Except, gentle reader, you are not dreaming: you are wide awake, swimming through the choppy waters of a truly incoherent reality. The kind of reality where the President of the United States says he trusts the president of Russia over his own security forces, then a day later pretends mystifyingly that he for some reason said the opposite of what he meant—somehow, meant to be a good thing?—and then suggests American officials should submit to question by Russian officials, and then… and… well… hey, you were there. No need to rehash everything. Point is, it’s been weird.
But there are at least two reasons to be happy:
- The Constitution toootally provides us a way of ending an intolerable presidency, and excellent folks are on the case.
- We’ve been keeping busy on the blog! It’s been perhaps one of our best weeks yet. Here are some highlights:
- Alex Primiani covered the increasingly prevalent trend of authors declining to have their work translated into Hebrew or published in Israel.
- Ryan Harrington brought us the story of SKATEISM, the inclusive new skating magazine. Asked how he had done such a good job, Harrington responded, “I simply removed all that was not a blog post about SKATEISM.”
- Nikki Griffiths shared the profoundly upsetting news that as few as as one percent of kids’ books published in the UK have main characters from minority ethnicities.
Ian Dreiblatt was really into the Brooklyn neighborhood where Walt Whitman lived from May 1855 through May 1856, and seemed convinced that his house deserves landmark status. He did, in fact, say which building.
- Stephanie DeLuca watched as a new record was set for most expensive ever sale of a book illustration. Spoiler: it was Winnie-the-Pooh stuff.
- Tom Clayton demonstrated his own emojenius in honor of World Emoji Day, complete with a fun quiz!
- Francesca Capossela gave us the story of one NYU professor who believes the news media should promptly end its ties with the Trump White House.
- His name was Michael Barron and he was here to say / The rapper Stormzy has an imprint now with Penguin UK! (Sorry about that, sorry.)
- Gaia Steinfeld DeNisi visited the rebirth of Books Revisited, a second-hand shop in New Mexico whose proceeds go to fund the Alamogordo Public Library.
- Michael Seidlinger dared to ask: how much are signed books really worth?
- Susan Rella looked into the tempestuous recent past of East Bay Express publisher Stephen Buel, who has resigned amid a flurry of accusations of sexual misconduct and racial insensitivity. He may in fact be “a real piece of work.”
We were also most utterly delighted to publish:
- This first installment of a tour diary by Jason Heller, author of Strange Stars: David Bowie, Pop Music, and the Decade Sci-Fi Exploded. “The book event that night was at Powell’s, and I knew it was going to be a great night when a young person showed up in glittery makeup and a cape.” Yes, have some.
- This punchily hilarious trailer for Onnesha Roychoudhuri’s The Marginalized Majority: Claiming Our Power in a Post-Truth America.
Inevitably, always, there are some stories we just don’t get to during the week:
- Remember when Black Panther comics came back, and none other than certified literary genius Ta-Nehisi Coates took on the task of writing them? Well, now T’Challa’s sister Shuri is getting her own line of comic books, and they’re going to be written by none other than certified literary genius Nnedi Okorafor, Hugo-, Nebula-, and many other awards-winning author of Binti, Lagoon, and much more.
- There is very little not to love in this story about Waukegan’s brand-new Ray Bradbury mural! Not quite as bad-ass as a Soviet cartoon adaptation, maybe, but still very bad-ass.
- Charles Green is appealing a judge’s decision against him in his lawsuit against author Chad Harbach, which alleges that Harbach’s smash 2011 novel The Art of Fielding is plagiarized from a story Green wrote that “made the rounds in New York’s literary circles from the mid-1990s to the late 2000s.” Green asserts that both his manuscript and Harbach’s book describe events that have a one-in-eight-sextillion chance of actually happening.
- You know All You Need is Love, the song? (If you answered “yes,” congratulations, you have visited Planet Earth in the past fifty years.) Make way for: All You Need is Love, the kids’ book.
- The Not the Booker prize is celebrating its tenth year! And your help is needed!
Finally, you’ve been through a lot, and right now what you deserve more than anything is: a cartoooon! We’ve got just the one. If you’ve never seen Frédéric Back’s lyrical, lush, and occasionally raucous Crac!, prepare yourself for something really special.
And that’s that — rest up, read much, don’t sleep until you see the president impeached, and we’ll see you back here bright and early on Monday.