Brain Candy Sale

Special Offers see all

Enter to WIN a $100 Credit

Subscribe to
for a chance to win.
Privacy Policy

Visit our stores


Authors, readers, critics, media — and booksellers.


Book News for Wednesday, September 3, 2008

  • Moose Season! Book Season! Moose Season! Book Season! Book lovers finally have a reason to vote for John McCain.

    His recently announced running mate, Sarah Palin — who's soon to be an out-of-wedlock grandmother and shall forever be nicknamed "Governor Mooseburger" by Yours Truly — tried to ban books while she was the mayor of Wasilla, Alaska.

    Maybe that doesn't seem like such a good thing. But get this: when she couldn't figure out how to do it, she asked a librarian.

    Stein says that as mayor, Palin continued to inject religious beliefs into her policy at times. "She asked the library how she could go about banning books," he says, because some voters thought they had inappropriate language in them. "The librarian was aghast." That woman, Mary Ellen Baker, couldn't be reached for comment, but news reports from the time show that Palin had threatened to fire Baker for not giving "full support" to the mayor.

    Hey, c'mon! She used her library! That's a rare and wonderful thing among Republican moose-eaters.

    Big ol' fancypants Time magazine might not have reached Mary Ellen Baker for comment, but super-awesome-pants lit-blogger Brockman sure did! And Baker was kind enough to provide the following transcript of their exchange:

    Palin: Excuse me, is this the place with all the books, whatsitcalled...

    Baker: The library?

    Palin: That's the name! This is that?

    Baker: Yes, it is. If you want a card, I just need to see your driver's license —

    Palin: No, no, I'm not interested in that. I was just wondering — you know all these books around here?

    Baker: Yes...

    Palin: How do I ban them?

    Baker: Which ones?

    Palin: Oh, you know, all of them.

    Baker: Excuse me?!

    Palin: Well, okay, some of them. Maybe not all. Let's say most, to be safe.

    Baker: I, I... well, I...

    Palin: The ones on that wall look really bad. We'll start with those.

    Baker: Ma'am, I really don't think —

    Palin: Wait! Do you have any moose cookbooks???

    Baker: I don't think so.

    Palin: Okay, then. Let's ban them all. Do I need a card to do that?

    I look forward to four glorious years of book burnings, pregnant teenagers, seceding states, and of course, our new national snack, mooseburgers!

  • Arrested Development: In case you were distracted by news reports of Hurricane Gustav or, I dunno, your fingernails needing to be cut or something, the Republican National Convention is happening right now in St. Paul, Minnesota. (Where I hear they have moose.)

    Evidently there have been some protests from people who think voting Republican will lead to four more years like the previous eight. Fortunately, bestselling author and Democracy Now! host Amy Goodman has proved this is an outright lie by getting arrested for the heinous crime of reporting the news.

    Three members of the "Democracy Now!" staff including host Amy Goodman were arrested in St. Paul this week while trying to cover police movements on the streets outside the studios where they've set up during the Republican National Convention.

    Here's the video of that arrest:

    I don't know about you, but I am now completely reassured that things are gonna be sooooooo totally different from here on out! Who wants some moose jerky?

  • Glueck wuz Poeit Looryat: Congratulations to former U.S. poet laureate Louise Gluck for winning the $100,000 Wallace Stevens Award given for "outstanding and proven mastery in the art of poetry."

    Glueck [sic], who served as poet laureate in 2003-04, is known for such books as Averno, The Seven Ages and Vita Nova.

    [...] Brigit Pegeen Kelly, a runner-up for the Pulitzer Prize in 2005, received an academy fellowship, which includes a $25,000 stipend, for "distinguished poetic achievement."

    While this must be quite an honor, I suspect Gluck would feel even more honored if the Associated Press had somehow managed to spell her name correctly. I guess that would require actually looking at the covers of one of her books, though...

  • Helping the Man of Steel: Bestselling author Brad Meltzer's new novel, The Book of Lies, deals in part with the murder of Mitchell Siegel, whose son Jerry would go on to create Superman.

    Now Meltzer is trying to save Siegel's childhood home.

    Mr. Meltzer is conducting an auction on his Web site — — with items to include tickets to a taping of the Comedy Central program "The Colbert Report," a walk-on role in the NBC series "Heroes," and original art from comic-book creators who work for DC Comics, Marvel Entertainment and other publishers. T-shirts designed by the graphic designer Chip Kidd will also be sold to help reach the $50,000 goal.

    The effort makes sense to Mr. Meltzer. "It's the comic book community coming together," he said, "to save its greatest character."

    Which is refreshing, because the last time that community got together it was to determine whether Superman could beat Wolverine in a fair fight, and the whole thing ended with tears and recrimination. This seems like a far worthier cause.

  • Robbed Yet Again: So, I didn't win the Wallace Stevens Award (again...) and I wasn't a Pulitzer finalist (again...), and to add insult to injury, I didn't even win this year's Bulwer-Lytton Fiction Contest for worst opening sentence!

    That honor goes to 41-year-old Garrison Spik, for this entry:

    "Theirs was a New York love, a checkered taxi ride burning rubber, and like the city their passion was open 24/7, steam rising from their bodies like slick streets exhaling warm, moist, white breath through manhole covers stamped 'Forged by DeLaney Bros., Piscataway, N.J.'"

    Are you kidding me? I've written so many first sentences that were far worse than that!

    Just read Book News any day of any week and you'll find dozens of terrible first sentences!! We're talking so wretchedly awful, they're virtually unreadable! And Spik gets the award for that?!

    Well, I promise you, Dear Readers, from here on out, I'm going to write even worse first sentences than before! Starting with this one:

    As he swept her into his arms against the snow-dusted backdrop of the Alaskan wilderness, which was utterly useless except for the pipeline that obscured the horizon and promised total U.S. independence from foreign devils, the ruggedly handsome lit-blogger caught a faint whiff of mooseburger on her breath that made him crazy with desire — so crazy, his lover would have banned his thoughts if she could read them — and then he drew her into a passionate kiss as they used their free hands to exercise their Second Amendment rights again and again and again.

    That's just the beginning, people! I swear, it only gets worse from here...

÷ ÷ ÷

Brockman is the head writer for the daily Book News posts on the blog. In his free time he's hard at work on his fictional memoir, which changes titles daily.

The views and commentary posted by Brockman are entirely his own, and are not representative of the whole of Powell's Books, its employees, or any sane human being.

Books mentioned in this post

  1. The Northern exposure cookbook :a... Used Trade Paper $15.50
  2. Standing Up to the Madness: Ordinary...
    Used Hardcover $2.98
  3. Averno : Poems (06 Edition)
    Used Trade Paper $8.00

  4. Vita Nova Used Hardcover $6.95

  5. The Book of Lies
    Used Hardcover $5.95

3 Responses to "Book News for Wednesday, September 3, 2008"

    Sarah Palin and Tall September 3rd, 2008 at 11:33 am

    Holy cow -- or should I say moose? Brockman's postings are beginning to get more politically snarky. Love it!

    DeniseB September 4th, 2008 at 2:54 am

    The snarky man of steel strike's again!! Brockman, you are going to have to work harder on that 1st line, you have got a LOT of competition out there. Case in point-

    "Baby," groaned the guy - Ted? Tad? - something like that-and crushed his lips against the side of her neck, shoving her face against the wall of the toilet stall" credit - J. Weiner

    Does it get any better? I submit to say it does not!!

    Don't forget - there is still a Gossip Girls series out there, not to mention Nicholas Sparks! I could get old school on you and break out a little Danielle Steele or Barbara Cartwright. That would humble your butt reeaaalll quick! If you want this - you are gonna have to WORK for it - not just rest on your blog-er-if-ic laurels!

    Kelly September 4th, 2008 at 9:48 am

    *lol* Love it, Brockman! I look
    forward to more comments on the
    Republican debacl- er 'campaign'.
    Let the (moose)fur fly!

Post a comment:

Get Your Gravatar

  1. Please note:
  2. All comments require moderation by staff.
  3. Comments submitted on weekends might take until Monday to appear.
PowellsBooks.Blog uses Gravatar to allow you to personalize the icon that appears beside your name when you post. If you don't have one already, get your Gravatar today!
  • back to top


Powell's City of Books is an independent bookstore in Portland, Oregon, that fills a whole city block with more than a million new, used, and out of print books. Shop those shelves — plus literally millions more books, DVDs, and gifts — here at