Mittens Book Club

The Gray Lady has come up with a summer reading list for Mittens. It contains the to-be-expected history/poli sci books, plus Bill Clinton’s autobiography. Good luck with that Mittens, I never got past page 60.

We won’t talk about my abortive attempt to establish a monthly book salon/Stinque Book Club/Amazon kick-back scheme. But it’s time for some Audience Participation, girlz and boyz – what books would you put on Mittens’ summer reading list?

My nomination: How to Be Your Dog’s Best Friend, by the Monks of New Skete.

Submit your nominations in the comments. Best suggestion gets a hamster toy. Or an alcoholic beverage of your choice purchased by moi the next time I’m in your town or you’re in Ess Eff.

[NYT: Mitt’s Summer Reading Assignment]

@¡Andrew!: heh.

Love that book. Anything by Dickens, truly.

On a non-intellectual, Sport TJ: Suck it Nation, Go Gigantes!

@SanFranLefty: Yes, thank you. And when Black Eagle ™ throws out the first pitch during the opening game of the World Series in Pittsburgh this year, it will turn the entire state of Pennsyltucky blue in November.


“Prophet’s Prey,” by Sam Brower. A 7-year investigation into Warren Jeffs and the Fundamentalist Church of Latter Day Saints. I’m sure Mittens will jump on it.

It Can’t Happen Here, provided he promises to make sure Karl Rove doesn’t get the pages all stuck together. ;)

@Beggars Biscuit: “Pennsyltucky.” Ha! Diehard Reds fan here, but happy for Pirate fans this year; FSM bless y’all for hangin’ in there, you deserve a winner.

@¡Andrew!: @SanFranLefty: In the Dickensian vein, Behind the Beautiful Forevers by Katherine Boo is remarkable, though I fear Mitt’s takeaway would be that America’s poor really have nothing to complain about, since they largely have indoor plumbing. (If anyone would like to borrow my copy, let me know.)

He reads? Maybe the Archie and Jughead edition with the gay marriage.

Any Day Now by Terry Bisson. Alt history of the 60s that give Mittens nightmares and drive him further to the right. Kentucky boy goes bohemian, seeks beatnik culture in NYC, and drifts to a Colorado commune while things fall apart. Freakin’ great.

@jkiel: Oh, then you must have loved Dock Ellis – or stories about him. Tried to knock down every single batter in the Reds’ lineup* after getting maced by cops at Riverfront Stadium. Fortunately he got Pete fucking Rose and at least threw at Johnny Bench before he was yanked. By his coach, not the ump.

*Something a Filly pitcher referred to as “old school” earlier this season. That was shortly before they sank to the bottom of their division.


@Beggars Biscuit: What Don Drysdale and Bob Gibson used to do regularly, the umps won’t allow today. For the worse, in my opinion.

Nickeled and Dimed: On Not Getting By in America by Barbara Ehrenreich. All Repubs should have to read it.

@SanFranLefty & @mellbell: I especially appreciate the novel’s literary analysis:

Dickens wants his readers to be careful that the same revolution that so damaged France will not happen in Britain, which (at least at the beginning of the book) is shown to be nearly as unjust as France. But his warning is addressed not to the British lower classes, but to the aristocracy. He repeatedly uses the metaphor of sowing and reaping; if the aristocracy continues to plant the seeds of a revolution through behaving unjustly, they can be certain of harvesting that revolution in time. The lower classes do not have any agency in this metaphor: they simply react to the behaviour of the aristocracy. In this sense it can be said that while Dickens sympathises with the poor, he identifies with the rich: they are the book’s audience, its “us” and not its “them.” “Crush humanity out of shape once more, under similar hammers, and it will twist itself into the same tortured forms. Sow the same seed of rapacious licence and oppression over again, and it will surely yield the same fruit according to its kind.”

With the people starving and begging the Marquis for food; his uncharitable response is to let the people eat grass; the people are left with nothing but onions to eat and are forced to starve while the nobles are living lavishly upon the people’s backs. Every time the nobles refer to the life of the peasants it is only to destroy or humiliate the poor.

The Book of Faces informs me that today is Ewalda’s birthday.
Light a candle, raise a drink to our witty friend.

An oldie called The Other America, Glenn Greenwald’s Liberty and Justice for Some and Mitt and spouse should read Black Beauty to each other.

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