Archive for minnesota

The Book Booth: Ghost of 'Lectricity Edition



Image: NPR Paul Natkin Getty Images
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: Ghost of 'lectricity Edition

Well, that is a surprise. Bob Dylan has long been on the long list of those betting on Nobel Laureates, but usually at very long odds, and below fellow American writers Philip Roth and Joyce Carol Oates. So I cannot say I'm shocked. But it is a surprise. There are those who are complaining that a musician won, but that is nonsense. At his peak, I cannot think of another lyricist that had either his impact or influence. So congrats to our Nobel Laureate in Literature, the first American in many years to win the prize.
Bob Dylan

In case you are wondering about the process involved in nominating and naming a laureate, Christian Lorentzen describes it here for Vulture. Note that Mr. Lorentzen wrote the article before today's announcement.
Who Nominates Writers for the Nobel Prize?
wrote the article before Thursday's announcement.

At age 75 Bob Dylan would qualify as an older man, though his continual touring belies any notion that he feels his age. There is an abundance of literature about old men, even when there is no country for them. Ross King of the Guardian chose his top ten stories about our elderly men here. I would have included the protagonist of Paul Auster's Brooklyn Follies, but the list is good.
Top 10 Books about Old Men

F. Scott Fitzgerald drank himself to death before he got old or won any major literary awards. Still he had some insight into aging and the dreams of youth as Joe Muscolino shows here for Signature-Reads.
FSF on Flappers, Tipplers, and Philosophers

The use of a pseudonym has long been a part of literary history. Charles Dickens used Boz. Samuel Clemens used Mark Twain. Mary Ann Evans used George Eliot. So no big deal, right? Not so fast as the literary world is in a furor over the unmasking of Italian novelist Elena Ferrante.

Book reviewer Adam Kirsch weighed in here at the New York Times on the controversy.
More on 'Elena Ferrante'

Halloween is looming and it is time to start thinking about spooky things. Colin Dickey's new book Ghostland examines some of the more haunted places around our nation and here he lists the top ten for Publishers Weekly, including the Las Vegas Strip where apparently Benny Siegal still lounges at the Flamingo pool.
Where the Ghosts Are

And then there is the epidemic of scary clowns. Who knew that they constituted a whole sub genre in fiction? Tobias Carroll explains here for Literary Hub.
Creepy Clowns in Your Books!

Quiz time! Buzzfeed wonders if you can name the title of these novels from their opening lines.
Put Your Thinking Caps On for the 'Opening Lines' Quiz!

I suppose it is not too early to start thinking about holiday gifts for the book lovers on your list. Bustle has some suggestions here. The Book Rest Lamp looks great, if I happen to be on your list.
Holiday Gifts Are On Your Horizon - Literary Ones Here

As we brace ourselves here in the Pacific Northwest for some weekend wind "events", I hope yours is eventless. Or be sure to invest in some flashlights so you may continue your reading in case your power goes off. And by all means, let us know what books you are treasuring.


St. Paul's atheists are coming out of the closet



ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) - Do atheists get a seat at God's table? In St. Paul, they do now, the St. Paul Pioneer Press ( ) reported. The Interfaith Conversation Cafe in St. Paul, which gathers people of many religions for a monthly discussion, is now open to nonreligions. The organizers have removed "faith" from the…


Is You Is Or Is You Ain't GOP Crazy?


Sheila KihneThe many faces of Sheila Kihne

Minnesota, the 'land of 10,000 lakes,' is also home to a GOP woman running for the statehouse who's coincidentally 10,000 kinds of crazy. The Countess of Cuckoo is Sheila Kihne. She hopes to unseat state Rep. Jenifer Loon (R-Eden Prairie), who she claims is insufficiently conservative to represent the district. Now you know you're onto something when you're running against a certifiable Loon.

So how far out there to the right do you have to go to make yourself electable to right-wingers? Try some of this on for size. Candidate Kihne espouses that single mothers be denied formal wedding ceremonies, according to her blog site.

Raw Story:

“Don’t you think that if you’re having a baby — and you’re not married — that you should forgo the shower?” she asked. “I also think that if you get married — and are knocked up — you should get married quietly. At a courthouse, at a private home.”

Kihne specifically said that there should be no dancing or dinner for prospective brides who are pregnant. She acknowledge that “I’m seen as very cold-hearted with this issue and it’s caused a couple of big arguments in my family,” but insisted on standing her ground against “the idiots in Hollywood who make it look ‘cool’ to tote a baby around sans daddy.”

All she's missing is the reference to the home for wayward women for which, of course, she'd be proposing a cut in funding. It's obvious that the Dame of Dizziness is dead serious in her stand on unwed mothers.

In that same post, she complains that an unwed mother included a portable DVD-player on her Target registry, addressing a complaint about the “extravagant lives” of people who are below her station.

How interesting that a right-wing conservative nutcase like Kihne bills herself as a “small-government conservative,” but is unafraid to insert herself into every aspect of a person’s life. Is it possible she didn't get the Tea Party memo?


Elizabeth Warren: Ted Cruz would have repealed the Declaration of Independence (VIDEO)


Elizabeth Warren  2014 Minnesota DFL Humphrey-Mondale Dinner

Senator Elizabeth Warren was in Minnesota last weekend to support Senator Al Franken. She gave a speech at the 2014 Humphrey-Mondale Dinner, and what a speech it was! Below is a video of some excerpts.

It was her first time speaking at a major Democratic Party state dinner, and she proceeded to make mince meat out of Paul Ryan, Ted Cruz, the Tea Party and the national GOP.


Elizabeth Warren takes on Paul Ryan and Ted Cruz at the 2014 Minnesota DFL Humphrey-Mondale Dinner, her first state Democratic Party dinner.

Elizabeth Warren:

They voted to repeal Obamacare forty-seven times! Forty-seven times?! I know the Republicans don't have a lot of other ideas to talk about, but wow! Forty-seven times?!?

We get it, guys, you like to repeal things. We got it forty-six votes ago.

This whole thing is mindless. Cruz said there's no point in even looking at a major new proposal or piece of legislation that has been put forward by Democrats. So if a proposal has President Obama's name on it, or Chris Dodd or Barney Frank's name on it, he votes "no." If the proposal actually gets passed into law, Cruz will be there to lead the tea party chant: "Repeal. Repeal. Repeal. Repeal."

I sometimes think that if Ted Cruz had been around for the Declaration of Independence, he would have tried to repeal it, because Jefferson was a Democrat. If he'd been around for the Federalist Papers, he would have tried to toss those out too, because Madison spent too much time talking to Jefferson. And don't even get Ted Cruz started on the Humphrey-Mondale Dinner. As we speak, he's off somewhere strategizing on how to repeal the salad course!

Maybe if Paul Ryan wants to instill a culture of hard work, he should start with Ted Cruz and his fellow Republicans and get them to actually look at our proposals. Who knows? Maybe if they weren't determined to say, "No, no, no," we could build a bridge... and I mean that literally. Maybe we could build some of the things we need to build in this country.