Archive for new years resolutions

The Book Booth: What Are You Doing On New Year's Eve Edition


Image: GatesNotes
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: What Are You Doing New Years Eve Edition

We are now at year's end, a year that for many of us, really and truly sucked. We live in an age when we can conceive of multiverses, perhaps countless of them. And if true, we somehow ended up in this one, where we have an evil man about to take the reins of power. I'm not sure what we did to deserve this, but as is observed in the movie Unforgiven, maybe deserve has nothing to do with it.

Still there is art and literature, and there is no short supply of good works. Publishers Weekly asked a number of writers, including Colson Whitehead, what their favorite books of the year were and received some interesting picks.
Writers Pick Their Favorite Books of the Year

The PW staff also chose their own best books read during the past year. Some are golden oldies, others are newer. I'm intrigued enough to want to read The ABCs of Socialism, published through the good people at Verso and Jacobin Magazine.
Publishers Weekly Staff's Picks for 2016

Bill Gates weighed in on his favorite books for the past year. He's known to be a voracious reader....but he seems to prefer non-fiction to fiction titles.
What Books Did Bill Gates Read in 2016?

Every year has its share of neglected and overlooked titles and who better to know what those books are but independent booksellers themselves. If you're looking for something a bit different, take a look at some of these.
Independent Booksellers Weigh In on the Best Overlooked Books of 2016

Emily Temple at LitHub has collected some of the year's stories, in case you've been wandering around in a daze for the past couple of months, as many of us have.
LitHub's Favorite Stories of 2016

Have you read everything you wanted to read that was published in 2016? Looking forward to the new books arriving this coming Spring? Publishers Weekly has its top picks for forthcoming books here, conveniently arranged by category.
Publishers Weekly on 2017's Forthcoming Books

If that were not enough, JK Rowling revealed this past week that she is currently on two new books, one by her nom de plume Robert Galbraith, and the other under her own name. Which has led to speculation that Harry Potter may return.
Watch for Two New J.K.Rowling Books in 2017!

Speaking of Harry Potter and books for younger readers, we note the passing of Richard Adams, author of the now classic Watership Down, at age 96.
Richard Adams Has Moved on to the Next Adventure

We've all suspected that reading print makes us both smarter and healthier, and now science confirms. I'm not at all sure it makes you richer in any financial way, as the subtitle of this article indicates; it hasn't for me. But I do feel reassured. H/T to my friend Dwight Johnson for the link.
Does Reading Print Make You Richer?

Finally, here's a project for 2016. Read these 100 essential novels and then scratch the books off this cool chart to reveal another cover for the work. From Pop Chart Lab who has other charts that may amuse you.
A New Year's Resolution Reading Project Chart

Our best wishes for a Happy New Year. 2017 couldn't be worse, could it? And Ella and I wonder what you're doing New Year's Eve? Sip some bubbly and curl up with a good book? Sounds like a good idea to me. Happy New Year, dear reader.


2013 Shoulda Coulda Woulda Resolutions


promises promises smaller

Today’s guest post by the one, the only, Will Durst:


Okay. Bent over. Hands on knees. Breathing hard. Whew. Made it. “Pant. Pant.” For a while there, didn’t seem like it’d ever happen, but somehow we mercifully staggered across the annum finish line finally placing 2012 irrevocably in the rear view mirror. Make no mistake, the political climate is still volatile. Rash. Mad. Loud. Pulsating forehead vein above arcing spray of spittle loud. And the double- crossing chicanery hasn’t mellowed a bit of a spot of an iota from the fever pitch of last year’s quadrennial heights.

But now we’re deep enough into the new year that a few of us have occasionally remembered to scribble “2013” on our checks. Yeah, checks. Aren’t we the digital ones? Mostly zeroes. And as a public service we here at Durstco have offered to assist with a couple of resolutions that should have been made for this, the fourth year of the second decade of the 21st century. But probably weren’t.

  • Donald Trump commits himself, sometime during the coming year, against his better judgment; to somehow stumble onto the semblance of a clue.
  • Joe Biden takes an oath to learn how to laugh without frightening children.
  • Epitomizing the height of lowered expectations, the 113 Congress resolves to do more than the 112 Congress.
  • Rick Perry guarantees to someday be the President of some darn country even if he has to secede to do it.
  • President Obama pledges to outline a plan to fix the Social Security problem once and for all that doesn’t include raising the retirement age to 83.
  • General David Patraeus vows to eat more meals at home. Alone. In the garage.
  • Chris Christie swears to do all he can to avoid snickering every time he runs into Mitt Romney.
  • Greece aspires to become much more like Portugal.
  • Hillary Clinton swears to do all she can to avoid snickering every time she runs into Joe Biden.
  • Stung by NFL violence, Nike vows to never again tie its star to overpaid athletes and considers featuring school teachers in its ads. Lasts about an hour.
  • Governor Jerry Brown promises to focus less on the vast spaceship that is Earth and more on the run down long- term parking shuttle that is California.
  • Tim Pawlenty vows to utilize the latest strobe technology to at least give the appearance of movement.
  • Clint Eastwood vows to practice, practice, practice.
  • PBS determines not to do anything to rile Congress and makes plans to transform itself into the 24 hour Antiques Roadshow Network. Minus all that disreputable controversy.
  • The Airline Industry makes every effort to finally rid the skies of the most dangerous security element known to man: those pesky passengers.
  • The European Financial crisis promises to fade into the wings.
  • The Asian Financial crisis promises to take center stage.
  • John Boehner pledges to find a foundation color that reads less pumpkin and more summer squash.
  • Harry Reid makes a determined effort to focus more on the slightly wacky and less on the plumb crazy.
  • The Supreme Court steadfastly avers to put the fun back in dysfunctional.
  • Sheldon Adelson vows to spend the rest of his fortune on less risky bets than preposterous presidential candidates. He proceeds to blow it all on Nigerian lottery tickets.
  • Lindsay Lohan makes a concerted effort to get back to the thing she’s really good at. And equally determined to remember exactly what that is.

5 time Emmy- nominee Will Durst’s new e- book “Elect to Laugh!” published by Hyperink, is now available at, Amazon or any fine virtual book retailer near you.


Republican New Year’s Resolutions





Andy Marquis, reporter for, is a guest blogger. He used to consider himself a Republican but not any more.  He changed his voter registration to Independent in 2011 and says that’s how it will remain.

Here’s his latest guest post:


In the spirit of the holiday season, I present a list of resolutions the Republican Party should adopt in the New Year.

John Boehner Returns as Speaker

Okay, I know he’s been ineffective and I know how he operates.  But, I do like Boehner.  More importantly, if Boehner keeps the role as Speaker of the House, it flips the bird to the TEA Party faction that has flipped the bird to the American people.  After last week’s circus, Boehner knows the Democrats in Congress (along with moderate Republicans) and President Barack Obama are the only friends he has in Washington, and he knows that he must cooperate with them and not the TEA Party.

Don’t Go Off the Cliff

Unfortunately, Republicans are more than willing to drive off the cliff because it’s the only “win” for them, even though it’s a loss for the American people.  In the long run, it’s a loss for the GOP as well.  Fact, Barack Obama has the upper-hand in Fiscal Cliff negotiations.  Fact, Barack Obama will get his way.  Averting the Fiscal Cliff will force Republicans to accept that Barack Obama has the right vision for America.

Barack Obama is the President – accept it.

Stop with the birther nonsense.  Just, stop.  Obama was legitimately elected President of the United States in 2008.  He was legitimately re-elected in an electoral landslide.  Barack Obama is popular, he has good ideas, he is an American.

Stop Bringing Up Reagan

Reagan did not slash the National Debt, he tripled it.  Reagan did not deport illegal immigrants, he granted amnesty. Reagan did not dramatically reduce the size of government, he increased it.  Reagan was a good President.  He didn’t defeat the Soviets with extreme military force; he defeated them using an unconventional and unbelievably intelligent diplomatic process.  And he did negotiate with terrorists. He would also, in today’s Republican Party, be considered a “RINO”, a “socialist” and be forced to switch to the Democratic Party.  The Republican has invented this mythological superhero, but it’s not the actual Ronald Wilson Reagan.

Kick Out the Extremists

Here’s a secret the media won’t tell you, the TEA Party still defines the Republican Party’s message.  And the TEA Party is still popular with the Republican Party.  However, it’s misguided.  This is nothing more than a group that hates the American government more than it loves America.  The Republican Party needs to reject the entire premise of the glorified internet hate group and rejoin reality.

Simply put, a two party system can work.  There can be ideological differences – a weighed debate with the outcome being what’s best for the American people.  But if the Republicans can only think about winning primary contests, they deserve the political extinction that will come with appeasing the TEA Party faction.

With that, I say Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays and Happy New Year.