Author Archive for lwdgrfx

The Book Booth: Super Bowl Edition


Image: The Guardian

The Book Booth is a weekly feature at The Political Carnival, relating news, notes, and reflections from the world of books and publishing.  It is written by @SeattleDan and SeattleTammy, operators of an on-line bookstore (which you can find here) , who have been in the book business since shortly after the Creation, or close to 6000 years now.

The Book Booth: Super Bowl Edition

Yes, our national attention once again returns with much anticipation and nail-biting as on Sunday we will know if either the Denver Broncos or Carolina Panthers will become NFL champions. I hope your favorite team wins. Other than that, I have no pony in this race.

The Center for Fiction has an interesting page up, featuring the books that turned them into readers. The link will take you to Stephen King's pick, but there are plenty more on the sidebar. King's pick was Dr. Seuss. I loved the good doctor myself as a child, but I am not sure I can pinpoint the book or author that made me a reader. Though Franklin W. Dixon of Hardy Boys fame comes to mind.
The Book That Made Me A Reader

Have you ever been tempted to lie about having read a certain book? You know, so you don't look stupid or dense at a fashionable cocktail party you're attending? If so, you are not alone. And in England, it seems that the most lied about book is not War and Peace, but Alice's Adventures in Wonderland!
The Most Lied-About Books in the UK

I don't think I've ever lied about having read a certain book. But I've faked some of Finnegan's Wake, a book I've dabbled into from time to time over the years. It is a difficult book, with some pleasant rewards if one persists. But now there are some recordings by artists reading from Joyce's work, which may be one way to approach its density.
Can't Read Finnegan's Wake? Why Not Listen To It Instead?

I know that Charles Harold St. John Hamilton was not a writer with whom I'd have been familiar, but he certainly wrote a great deal. In fact, according to the New York Times, he was the most prolific writer ever.
Charles Harold St. John Who?

The Stanislavski Method to approaching a character in acting has been around a long time now. The immersion into character has delighted and thrilled many a movie and theater goer, with amazing performances by Brando, De Niro, Hoffman and many others. Thomas W. Hodgkinson, who has recently published his novel Memoirs of a Stalker, wonders if writers do not also use the same "method" when writing their own novels.
The Stanislavski Methods for Writers?

A couple of lists for your enjoyment. Callan Wink, who has had his story collection Dog Run Moon recently published, picked his favorite top ten books about the American West. It's an interesting list, with some fine books. Though it does lack some Wallace Stegner.
Rootin' Tootin' Shootin' Wild West Books!

Have you ever missed those heady days of the Cold War? Me, neither. But it did produce a lot of very good books. The Guardian lists some here. I may have picked LeCarre's Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy instead of Spy Who Came in from the Cold; and I would have added Pat Frank's Alas Babylon, a neglected work from the 1950's, or Eugene Burdick/Harvey Wheeler's Fail-Safe.
Cold War Books

Even the best of writers need the occasional pick-me-up, the pat on the back, the affirmations that keep one writing. Octavia Butler was no exception, and here are some of her reflective boosts. From Buzzfeed.
Reflective Boosts

Finally, I don't think tea will be the beverage of choice for many of you watching the Big Game on Sunday. But if it happens to the thing you'll be brewing, George Orwell has some tips on making a great cup of tea.
How to Brew Tea (for the Big Game!)

Have a great weekend my friends. Enjoy the game if you're watching. And by all means, let us know what books you'll be reading at half-time.


Your Weekly Upchucks: Shocking Religion News by Author @KCBoyd3



K. C. Boyd, is the author of Being Christian - A Novel,: A black comedy guaranteed to take you on a wild and frightening ride deep into the dark side of the religious right. It is available on Amazon in multiple formats.

She is the go-to blogger for religion, hypocrisy, and all things church v. state.

The Weekly Upchuck January 31, 2016

Abortion, Contraception And Other Women’s Issues

  • Marco Rubio Creates Anti-Choice Advisory Board
  • South Dakota GOP Proposes Unconstitutional 20-Week Abortion Ban
  • Florida lawmakers are moving forward with a near-total ban on abortions in the state plus a second bill placing new requirements on doctors who perform abortions.
  • GOP Candidates Freaking Out About Grand Jury That Indicted Anti-Abortion Activists
  • Indictments of Anti-Abortion Activists Send Cynical Texas Politicians into a Facts-Free Frenzy
  • When Will Carly Fiorina Apologize To Planned Parenthood? Maybe on the 10th of Never?
  • Florida anti-abortion hearing turns racist: ‘White culture’ dies if women are ‘outside the home not having babies’
  • Kasich has done more to wall off abortion access than any other GOP Presidential candidate
  • Daleiden pens vicious op-ed in USAToday
  • Cincinnati women seeking abortions for anomalies lose hospital option
  • Lawsuit Seeks to Keep Open Abortion Clinics in Ohio
  • Bill to defund Planned Parenthood likely to reach Kasich this week
  • What’s up with court challenges to birth control coverage?
  • GOP Lawmakers Ignore Evidence, Keep Using Discredited Videos Against Planned Parenthood
  • What Happens When a Woman Is Refused Abortion
  • Ohio Sen. Tom Patton suggests opponent shouldn’t run because she’s a young mother
  • The Ohio Senate Just Passed an Extreme Antiabortion Bill
  • Lawmaker Who Blamed Planned Parenthood for Colorado Springs Clinic Killings Asked to Resign
  • Zika Virus May Push South America to Loosen Abortion Bans
  • Ted Cruz Promotes Anti-Choice Activist Who Wants Abortion Doctors Executed
  • Ohio’s ‘Pro-Life’ GOP Attacks Planned Parenthood Infant Mortality Program—Again
  • A Missouri state senator proposes to ban abortion based on prenatal screenings for Down syndrome.
  • Anti-Choice Banners on New Orleans Public Property Raise Questions About What Taxpayers Must Subsidize
  • Texas’ Devious Plan To Silently Kill Roe v. Wade
  • Rand Paul Reintroduces Radical ‘Personhood’ Bill, Attempts To Sidestep Birth Control Controversy
  • Fiorina Still Insane On Planned Parenthood, Hopes to Keep Pregnant 13-Year-Olds From Aborting
  • Ohio GOP head: ‘Not sexist’ to call opponent ‘sweetie’ and tell her she belongs at home with kids
  • Ohio Health Officials Worried About Possible Planned Parenthood Defunding



  • Koch High: How The Koch Brothers Are Buying Their Way Into The Minds Of Public School Students
  • ‘School Choice Week’ is about promoting vouchers that take $ from public schools
  • Vouchers don’t help neediest students. In Nevada, majority of voucher students came from wealthier zip codes
  • The Schools Where Free Speech Goes to Die
  • Some of the worst offenders against the First Amendment are religious colleges.
  • Vouchers cost taxpayers more money. Wisconsin’s voucher program will cost taxpayers $2.2 mil.
  • Oklahoma Lawmakers Vote Overwhelmingly To Ban Advanced Placement U.S. History
  • The ABA is investigating a complaint at Brigham And Young that the law school expels students who are living in same-sex relationships.
  • Creationism spreading in schools, thanks to vouchers
  • Vouchers’ secret bigotry: How your tax dollars fund anti-LGBT hate
  • 2014 Dept of Ed report: 62% of DC voucher schools are religious. That’s a lot of public $ for religious schools
  • 67% of Louisiana public school students pass their LEAP and iLEAP tests; only 44% of voucher students do.

Fifty Shades Of Hate

  • David Barton Gives Platform to Notorious Anti-Muslim Hysteric Who Hosted White Nationalist
  • ‘Bloodshed’ Predicted by Member of ‘Christian Civil Liberties Union’ Over New Mosque in Milwaukee
  • Donald Trump To Receive Endorsement Of Anti-Immigrant, Birther Extremist Joe Arpaio
  • Rubio Trumps Trump: Shut Down Any Place Muslims Gather To Be ‘Inspired’ — Not Just Mosques
  • American Pastor Who Helped Uganda Create ‘Kill The Gays’ Law Will Be Tried For Crimes Against Humanity
  • Oklahoma Republican wants to forbid suicidal LGBT kids from meeting gay-friendly therapists

Fifty Shades Of Lies, Hypocrisy And Propaganda

  • Unsurprisingly, quack Jefferson historian and Ted Cruz PAC leader David Barton says Jefferson would endorse Cruz
  • Carly Fiorina benefited from company using aborted fetal stem cells
  • More than 50% of pastors have wrestled with porn.
  • Trump Claims Iowa Evangelical Leader Is ‘Phony,’ ‘Bad Guy’ for Endorsing Cruz
  • Gohmert’s Pile insists that he’s “being persecuted now” just for being a Christian


Fifty Shades Of Stark Raving Mad

  • Tennessee Lawmakers Endorse Bid To Declare All Marriage Illegal In Order To Spite Equality

If Media’s The Message

  • Mat Staver: Gays Are Imposing A ‘Jizya’ Tax On Christians In America
  • Huckabee Backers Slams Ted Cruz As A “Phony” Christian In New Iowa TV Ad
  • Holy Hell: chilling Sundance doc reveals the truth about life in a cult
  • Whoopie calls it: Jeb! Bush Weighs in on Donald Trump’s Christianity
  • Netflix introduces televangelist shows


Israel, End Times And John Hagee

  • Ted Cruz endorser Mike Bickle says that the SCOTUS gay marriage ruling “is a unique sign of the End Times”
  • Settlement planning ‘contradicts any possible commitment to a two-state solution,’
  • (Messianic) Rabbi who nurtured evangelical love for Israel courts black churches
  • Rafael Cruz: Obama Ushering In ‘The Destruction Of America’ In reality, the end of the world is what Cruz Pere et Fils want.
  • Israeli right goes after NGO’s and the left w/ scorching ad campaigns & legislation
  • Glenn Beck will soon start reading the “Left Behind” series to his children in preparation for the End Times. He’s also ordered his staff to step-up efforts to move operations to Israel once America collapses.

Politics Nation

  • Get Him to the Church on Time: Trump and Evangelical Christians
  • Oops. Donald Trump Accidentally Sat Through A Sermon About Welcoming Immigrants
  • Gay Discrimination Bill Hampers Governor Pence’s Reelection Bid
  • Trump Touts Endorsement From ‘Reverend Jerry Fallwell Jr.,’ Who Is Not A Reverend
  • Trump Embraces Radical Anti-Catholic, Anti-Gay Pastor
  • Ted Cruz: God Is Helping Me ‘Bring America Back From The Abyss’
  • Days before Iowa Caucus, Jerry Falwell Jr. endorses Trump
  • Once Upon A Time, Candidates Didn’t Have To Do This: Hillary Clinton Gets Personal on Christ and Her Faith
  • Having failed to make America Christian, evangelical Trump supporters will settle for making it “great”


  • Ted Cruz on Biblical Tithing: “I have not been as faithful in this aspect of my walk as I should have been”
  • Ted Cruz’s Islamophobic, messianic, homophobic father gives him edge among conservative Christians.
  • Ted Cruz gives his testimony often. But the conversion he’s talking about is his father’s, not his own.
  • The Real Reason Trump Is Winning Evangelical Support: They’re Just Not That ‘Religious’
  • Sanders, a strong supporter of the separation of church and state, told the paper, “I think it is important that a sense of morality be part of our politics.”
  • Donald Trump Divides God’s Voters
  • Mike Huckabee Touts Support From Another Extremist Pastor
  • Ted Cruz Out To Reflect God’s Love, Punish Supreme Court for Marriage Equality Ruling


Religion Gone Mad Gone Bad

  • Dave Daubenmire and Peter LaBarbera say parents would rather have their kids be drug-addicted alcoholics than gay
  • Did Ted Cruz Steal From God And If So, Why Is He Blessed? Rafael Cruz Teaches on Tithing


  • Tennessee GOP lawmaker resigns leadership post after he’s outed as a serial sexual harasser
  • Leading Scientologist sent naked picture of former church member to school principal
  • Kentucky Woman beats disabled man with his own cane for saying he doesn’t believe in God

Science Or Not

  • Opposition Builds Against San Diego Televangelist Project
  • A federal court issued a preliminary injunction against the state of Kentucky for unlawfully blocking efforts by the Ark Encounter theme park developer, Answers in Genesis (“AiG”), to participate in the Kentucky Tourism Development Program

Supremes And Lower Courts

  • The Texas Abortion Case, Explained “It has to be real,” Greenhouse said. “If the so-called health regulations have only a minimal relationship to health but impose a great burden, the court has to strike them down.”
  • Outrage. Judge Orders State To Give Millions In Subsidies To Creationist Amusement Park
  • Based on Gosnell, Texas urges U.S. Supreme Court to uphold abortion law
  • Kentucky will not submit an appeal against Noah’s Ark project over tax incentive

Theocracy Rising

  • Religious Right Leader: Only Christian Men Are Qualified For Office
  • Michele Bachmann Says Congress Cannot Pass Laws That Contradict The Laws Of God
  • Louie Gohmert: ‘It’s Time To Start Impeaching Judges’ For Marriage Equality Ruling
  • Televangelist Morris Cerullo plans Christian theme resort for San Diego
  • American Religiosity. Half of all Americans (51%) and two-thirds of Republicans (64%) do want a Sunday school teacher—or at least someone who shares their religious beliefs, according to a study released today by the Pew Research Center. (Only 41 percent of Democrats say the same.)
  • Ted Cruz Claims He Was Sent By God To Save America From President Obama
  • Ted Cruz Assures Voters He Will Address ‘Crisis’ Of Gay Marriage
  • Ted Cruz’s Father Calls Americans to Vote for Judeo-Christian Principles
  • Marco Rubio Answers 12 Christian Post Questions for Every Presidential Candidate
  • For the first time, a court ruled that the Kansas Constitution protects the right to an abortion
  • The Guardian exposes ex Australian PM’s secret meeting with Christian Right group, Alliance Defending Freedom
  • Tennessee Bill gives counselors, therapists religious protection
  • NFL violence and high school Christian prayers OK with fans
  • Ted Cruz Is the Humble Apocalyptic Martyr We Deserve
  • New Air Force Commander Quickly Reprimanded for Explicitly Sectarian Religious Speech at First Official Staff Meeting
  • Ted Cruz’ dream team includes both Tony Perkins and Troy Newman
  • Jehovah’s Witnesses Cult of Christianity’s HQ sale to bring in $1 billion?
  • Cruz touts endorsement of Benham brothers, who love freedom so much they tried to shut down a gay pride event



  • The Supreme Court Just Blocked The Harshest Abortion Ban In The Country
  • Texas Grand Jury Indicts David Daleiden, Clears Planned Parenthood
  • Mitch Holmes, Kansas senator, apologizes, retracts female-only dress code
  • Pope Francis meets Iran’s president to boost nuke deal, Mideast peace
  • Louisiana Can’t Enforce GOP’s Clinic Closure Law, Court Rules
  • Air Force Recruiting Service Video Touting Religious Conversion Removed


The Book Booth: Groundhog Day Edition



Image: HuffPo

The Book Booth is a weekly feature at The Political Carnival, relating news, notes, and reflections from the world of books and publishing.  It is written by @SeattleDan and SeattleTammy, operators of an on-line bookstore (which you can find here) , who have been in the book business since shortly after the Creation, or close to 6000 years now.

The Book Booth: Groundhog Day Edition

Yes, once again it is time for the large rodent in Pennsylvania to let us know if we have six more weeks of winter coming, or if we'll have an early spring. It's all "grounded" in science, of course, and we all should pay great attention. Or end up like Bill Murray in the movie and have to do it over and over again.

Do you want to read classic literature but, you know, those pesky words get in the way? Well, the folks at MentalFloss have the solution! Yes, you can now get these posters of Alice, Peter Pan and Huck Finn that do away with verbiage and go straight to the punctuation marks!
Simplified Classics (No Words!)

I'm sure some of you have manuscripts laying about the desk, that you know are sure-fire bestsellers and monuments to Literature. Get those pages out! But before you do, review these mistakes many, many writers make before their submissions.
Beginning Writers' Mistakes

Of course some novice writers are prone to over-writing. Or working with a blind editor. Here are fifty over-wrought sentences from a new novel, published by a company known for quality, that, well, are not going to make Proust or Joyce sweat.
Overwritten Sentences

To cleanse the palate, here are some quotes on writing from Virginia Woolf. We celebrated the 134th anniversary of her birth this past week.
Virginia Woolf on Writing

Now this new production of War and Peace looks intriguing. It is produced by Harvey Weinstein, who has done much quality filmmaking. I've never seen the Soviet-era production, which is supposed to be great, but the American one from the fifties, although noble in attempt, had lots of problems, including the casting of Henry Fonda as Pierre when he was about twenty years too old for the part.
War and Peace Casting

It's the end of the month, and time to restock on books! Go visit your local independent bookstore. But failing that, you can read some great books set in bookstores! HuffPo has a list that you'll want to check out.
Great Books Set in Bookstores

Have a great weekend, filled with words and punctuation marks and please let us know what delightful books you are enjoying this weekend.


The Book Booth: The History Edition



Image: BBC

The Book Booth is a weekly feature at The Political Carnival, relating news, notes, and reflections from the world of books and publishing.  It is written by @SeattleDan and SeattleTammy, operators of an on-line bookstore (which you can find here) , who have been in the book business since shortly after the Creation, or close to 6000 years now.

The Book Booth: The History Edition

In my more Orwellian moments, I become scared that history is being lost, re-written by the Ministry of Truth and myth is replacing reality. Of course one doesn't have to look further than the GOP and the candidates who want to lead this country. Imagine history books as written by Donald Trump or Sarah Palin. I shudder.

Take, for instance, the recent release of a book published by Scholastic that depicts the "servants" of George Washington happily baking the father of our country a birthday cake. The furor has caused the publisher to withdraw the book. H/T to Lucian for the link.
George Washington's Happy Servants (according to Scholastic)

Clare Fallon at HuffPo has the background on the controversy here as well as stories about American slavery for younger readers that are more grounded in reality.
A Real Overview of Slavery

The birthday of Edgar Allan Poe just past this week (he was just about a month older than Lincoln and Darwin). But did you know, (strike up the therermin music) that the master of the macabre and father of the detective story was a time-traveler? HistoryBuff has the proof!
Edgar Allen Poe's Time Machine

I've always suspected that world mythologies and folk tales were in some way related, at least as far as the Indo-Europeans were concerned, but not being a folklorist myself, did not know for sure. It seems that this may be the case and that some old tales are very old, indeed.
Fairy Tale Origins

Back in 1965, the Nobel Prize in Literature went to Soviet writer Mikhail Sholokov. It seems he beat out some tough competition in Vladimir Nabokov, Pablo Neruda and Juan Luis Borges. Nabokov certainly should have won some year, but did not, and Neruda was awarded the prize the year before his death. Still Sholkov's And Quiet Flows the Don did inspire one of the great contemporary folk songs, Pete Seeger's Where Have All the Flowers Gone.
Nobel Prize in Literature for Russian Authors

Although he has never achieved the literary limelight of the likes of Hemingway, Steinbeck or Faulkner, Herman Wouk has produced a number of good novels, including the Caine Mutiny and Winds of War. He has now attained his 100th year and NPR did this profile in his honor.
Herman Wouk Profile by NPR

Sadly, last week we saw the passing of that fine actor, Alan Rickman from cancer at age 69. BookRiot posted this tribute to him in all his roles that were based on book characters. Rickman also wrote the play I Am Rachel Corrie and knew a bit or two about words.
Alan Rickman Has Left Us

This story has been making the rounds on the internets, but in case you have missed it, Ursula LeGuin recently gave the dunderheads holding the park refuge hostage a piece of her mind. And very succinctly. Thanks to old friend Mortaljive for the link.
Bird Refuge Dunderheads Upbraided by Ursula LeGuin

We've been doing some house interior work for our many books, and this little piece on library ladders gives inspiration. Check them out!
Library Ladders for the Home

Have a most pleasant weekend, dear readers, and let us know what books have enthralled you.