July 14, 2018
What has seven days, a giant baby Trump balloon, twelve new indictments, and lots of book news? This week!
by Melville House
Well, well, well. Here we all are again. It’s been an(other) intense week —- Donald Trump was in England, where he proved about as popular as weak tea; the Department of Justice has indicted twelve Russian nationals for tampering with the 2016 election; #PlaneBae reminded us that we live in a horrific panopticon of surveillance, #endless #content, and overweaning thirst for meetscute.
Here in the sunlit bastion that is Melville Tower, we’ve been keeping pretty busy, too, with a week of blogginatin’, wiseacrein’, and news-followin’ that couldn’t be beat. Some of the highlights:
- Tom Clayton speculated about the possible literary ramifications of World Cup Fever.
- Stephanie DeLuca noted that Amazon, in keeping with its identity as a consummate amalgam of human fuckery, has been selling Nazi stuff to the children.
- Ian Dreiblatt was off seeing the night sky in his blimp. We expect him back ASAP.
- Ana Esposito brought news of a guide to the portrayal of police and their work in kids’ books, made by librarians in Oakland. Woop woop!
- Nikki Griffiths sang us the ballad of Banksy, Library Protector of Bristol.
- Ryan Harrington felt real sorry for poor little fascist Steve Bannon, whose feewings were recently hurt when some bookstore patrons told him that he’s bad news.
- Alex Primiani brought us news of Singapore’s BooksActually, which is raising money for its future, and taking the whole “brick and mortar” thing pretty literally.
- Simon Reichley peered into the window for a glimpse of Sean Spicer’s really cool, fun party.
- Michael Seidlinger wrote about the lengths to which video games are driving America’s youth: they’re reading books now.
- Michael Barron did his best Dolly Parton impression over a giant pile of books sitting on the roadside in Tennessee, for anyone to graze on.
We were also very happy to publish:
- This brief reflection from Marginalized Majority author Onnesha Roychoudhuri on what exactly drove her to write her book. “Yes, I had thoughts — enough that I had to write a whole damn book about how marginalized Americans—and our allies—can push back against the resurgence of bigots and boneheads setting the terms of everything from our country’s foreign policy to Thanksgiving dinner conversations.” Don’t be a turkey — read it!
- This announcement of our forthcoming book, The Constitution Demands It: The Case for the Impeachment of Donald Trump, by Ron Fein, Ben Clements, and John Bonifaz, with a foreword by John Nichols. Complete with video of the live event! YES!
There were, as ever, a couple stories we just didn’t get to:
- Since there will be no Nobel Prize in Literature this year, a group of Swedish librarians have come up with a longlist of nominees for a replacement prize. Among other interesting details, they’ve promised to wind up with a gender-balanced shortlist — which contrasts sharply with the Nobel’s overwhelming tendency to favor men. Besides, we have—at least according to some—already reached the eternal pinnacle of Nobel allocation; time for something new.
- Another rape accusation has been made against entrepreneur, producer, and author Russell Simmons — this time, by Alexia Norton Jones. Jones is the granddaughter of William Warder Norton, founder of the publishing house that still bears his name, and had gone on a date with Simmons in 1990, when the incident in question took place.
- The town of Auburn, New York is partnering with the descendants of Solomon Northup, author of Twelve Years a Slaveto honor the book, its author, and the unlikely team that coalesced to publish it, , on the 165th anniversary of the book’s debut.
Commonplace Books in Oklahoma City got a not-super-welcome surprise this week, when a driver crashed their Mercedes SUV right through the front of the store, and onto the sales floor. Thankfully, no one was hurt.
- The Richard and Judy Book Club is one of the UK’s largest; now, its founder, Amanda Ross, who has since moved on to run the Zoe Ball Book Club, is blasting the eponymous Richard and Judy (Madeley and Finnigan, respectively) over deals they’ve made with WHSmith. “It’s slightly disappointing that afterwards they used the integrity of the Book Club and went into a paid-for campaign in WH Smith,” Ros said.
- A very happy seventy-second birthday today to poet, translator, critic, teacher, and all-around good-words guy Pierre Joris!
We published one book this week:
And, finally, it is Saturday morning, and you mightily deserve a cartoon. This week, in honor of this big news from the world of neutrino-hunting—news that’s exciting and incomprehensible in almost equal measure—we’re pleased to cowabungafy you with this exceptionally tasty slice of America’s media past:
That’s it for now! Stay tubuloso, keep protesting the president, and we’ll see you right back here first thing Monday!