Tuesday, June 05, 2007

Republicans' Talk Clock


Book Review Tuesday

Reviews of John and Teresa Kerry's This Moment on Earth and Melinda Henneberger's If They Only Listened to Us are in the pipeline. For now, here's an appetizer of ten must-reads from Fritz Lanham of the Chron:

• Alice Sebold's Almost Moon (Little, Brown). Sebold achieved instant fame in 2002 with The Lovely Bones, a sweet, unmawkish novel narrated from beyond the grave by a 14-year-old girl who's been raped and murdered. Fans have eagerly awaited her sophomore effort. They may — or may not — be happy to learn she hasn't gone soft. Almost Moon tells the story of a woman who murders her mother.

At Sunday's Book & Author Breakfast, Sebold, who attended the University of Houston's Creative Writing Program for a year in the mid-'80s, told a funny story about her Houston days. At a big UH reading, Sebold, dressed in miniskirt and cowboy boots, introduced poet Cynthia Macdonald and as she walked offstage slipped and executed a perfect split. "Babe, get used to it," the novelist Leonard Michaels told her afterward. "Humiliation is the writer's bedfellow."

• Geoffrey C. Ward and Ken Burns' The War: An Intimate History, 1941-1945 (Knopf). Sumptuously illustrated companion volume to a seven-part PBS series on World War II that airs beginning Sept. 23.

• Stephen Colbert's I Am America (And So Can You!) (Grand Central Publishing). The Comedy Central satirist can only hope his book does half as well as Jon Stewart's.

• Richard Russo's Bridge of Sighs (Knopf). Another capacious novel from the author of the Pulitzer Prize-winning Empire Falls.

• Philip Roth's Exit Ghost (Houghton Mifflin). Fifth and final volume in Roth's Nathan Zuckerman series.

• Denis Johnson's Tree of Smoke (Farrar, Straus & Giroux). Literary fiction from the author of Jesus' Son.

• John Grisham's Playing for Pizza (Doubleday). Grisham continues his forays outside genre fiction with this novel about a U.S. football star who goes to play for the Parma Panthers in Italy. Grisham is due to deliver another legal thriller next spring.

• Junot Díaz's The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao (Riverhead). Eagerly awaited debut novel from Dominican-born author of story collection Drown.

• Joseph J. Ellis' American Creation: Triumphs and Tragedies in the Founding of the Republic (Knopf).

• Ann Patchett's Run (HarperCollins). About two African-American boys adopted by a Boston mayor.

Monday, June 04, 2007

Dodd's Talk Clock and other debate post-mortem

Let's hope Leslie Blitzer dominates the discussion again tomorrow night, because nobody realllly wants to hear the GOP candidates that much.

*snorts, wakes up, looks around*

If Dodd had been more direct about answering the questions he was asked he might have had an even shorter bar. So he stalled.

Biden screamed "Dead! I want him dead! I want his family! Dead!" and appears to have lifted his standing among conservative Democrats who also discovered they like war and tighter bankruptcy provisions and all the other corporate bullshit Joe Biden represents.

According to the Republican pundits on CNN (I'm looking at you, James Carville), Hillary scored points by shooting down the hypotheticals, causing the other candidates to "look to her for leadership". CNN doesn't disclose that Carville is paid for by the Clinton campaign.

Mike Gravel yelled at the kids to get off his lawn, turned ball bearings over in one hand, and mumbled something about stolen strawberries.

Richardson has a Heroes Card and is a pro-growth Democrat.

Kooch, Edwards and Obama answered the questions intelligently and articulately and collectively earned a win; Hillary won by not fumbling anything. Nobody got in anything more than a subtle dig.