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Book News: Garrison Keillor vs. the Jews, and More

  • Mein Tanenbaum: Oh, that deep, gentle, soothing voice of Garrison Keillor, lulling us into a mid-day NPR coma every weekend, as he croons so sweetly and quaintly about those dirty, evil, nasty Jews.

    Wait — what?!?

    Seems Keillor riled more than a few readers with a Baltimore Sun piece in which he railed against Jewish writers of Christmas songs.

    No, I'm not kidding. Here's the exact quote:

    If you don't believe Jesus was God, OK, go write your own damn "Silent Night" and leave ours alone. This is spiritual piracy and cultural elitism, and we Christians have stood for it long enough. And all those lousy holiday songs by Jewish guys that trash up the malls every year, Rudolph and the chestnuts and the rest of that dreck. Did one of our guys write "Grab your loafers, come along if you wanna, and we'll blow that shofar for Rosh Hashanah"? No, we didn't.

    This week's guests on A Prairie Home Companion: Bill O'Reilly, the KKK, and Santa Claus with his beard shaved down to a little Hitler mustache.

Book News Round-up:

  • The Guardian offers its picks for the best unread books of the decade. The Guardian being a British publication, some of these titles may not be available in the States.
  • January magazine tosses in a few of its own favorite unread books.
  • looks at how six bloggers got book deals. Take notes, kids!
  • How to hack a Nook.
  • Borders says it isn't too late to catch up with Amazon and Barnes & Noble in the eBook game. And I say it isn't too late for Friendster to eclipse Facebook and Twitter as the new social media hub.

÷ ÷ ÷

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. A Christmas Blizzard Used Book Club Hardcover $7.50

4 Responses to "Book News: Garrison Keillor vs. the Jews, and More"

    manwith7talents December 18th, 2009 at 12:57 pm

    Wow, Keillor has gone completely off his nut. The commenters really let him have it though.

    Hey, it's not our fault that all the good songwriters were Jewish, or that writing sappy Christmas songs is so easy.

    Liz December 19th, 2009 at 6:14 am

    While I agree that Keillor's column was insulting not only to non-Christians but also to anyone who has struggled over the meaning of Christmas, you might want to put it in a little more context: the first part of the quote that you have taken out was actually referring to the Unitarian Church. So he's spreading Christmas scrooginess across religious lines. Here's the link to the full column:,0,225627.story

    posthomo December 20th, 2009 at 5:27 pm

    you, um, work with books? and one assumes you read, but how is your comprehension?
    Seems faulty to me, and that more you want attention, and can't differentiate well among levels of meaning; and/ or you are a 'bandwagoner'

    being the possessor of great books does not make one intelligent, and being around the intelligent can be pretty disheartening if one remains stupid and still thinks one must be a genius - accept your limitations, but continue to try to learn to read AND understand, just don't tell others about it because you are misleading them, eh?

    Scott A Joseph, MD December 22nd, 2009 at 6:42 pm

    Please keep in mind that Keillor has had a stroke. The article certainly looks as though his frontal lobe was malfunctioning. I'm sorry, but at his best, Keillor was not talented enough to sniff Irving Berlin's used underwear. Now, he's pathetic.

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