This list comes from Amazon's "Election Heat Map 2012," which shows respective sales of "blue" and "red" books by state. Color me shocked: As of today, Tennessee is firmly in the red column with a 62-38 split. But that's just today, of course. The list updates daily, so be sure to check back often to see if Tennessee liberals can "lead from behind!"
I, for one, wish the list collapsed hardcover, paperback and Kindle editions of any given book into a single entry, so as to avoid having the same title appear multiple times. I can see why Amazon wants all options on the table — this is to help spur sales, obviously — but what matters here is which book, not binding or lack thereof. But hey, I do enjoy a clickable map.
HT: The Atlantic Wire.
Tonight he'll be discussing his new book, It Worked For Me: In Life and Leadership. Chapter 16 has an overview:
Powell’s love for the stories he has accumulated is obvious, and they can at times seem too self-referential. But as full of the pronoun “I” as they are, the stories are just as often heavy with praise for others—from those who gave him his start in life to others who taught him how to lead. Because of his background, his examples come almost exclusively from military or government service, but he carefully explains how they should apply to any good manager in the private sector. In a chapter about correcting mistakes, he notes, “These truths are known to every good classroom teacher, every good coach, every good violin teacher, every good parent, and every good construction foreman.”
Powell acknowledges making many mistakes in his long career, and he includes some of them as examples of how to learn from failures. In a section titled “Reflections,” the general finally addresses the elephant in the room, the mistake of all mistakes, which happened on a date, he writes, that “is as burned into my memory as my own birthday.” On February 5, 2003, acting as secretary of state for George W. Bush, Powell stood before the United Nations Security Council and laid out America’s case against Saddam Hussein. It was a powerful, effective speech that turned out to be dead wrong in its most important aspect: the claim that Saddam possessed an arsenal of weapons of mass destruction. Here was one of America’s most trusted leaders apparently forgetting that “You can’t make good decisions unless you have good information and can separate facts from opinions and speculation.”
This horrific mistake, which Powell admits is a “blot” on his record, is one for which he accepts responsibility but for which he is also quick to share blame. His questions about the veracity of the information were not answered completely, he writes, and some officials withheld their concerns about the intelligence sources. It is clearly, nine years later, an open wound—for both Powell and America: “I have never before written my account of the events surrounding my 2003 UN speech,” he writes. “I’ll probably never write another.”
Tonight's event begins 7 p.m. at Belmont University's Massey Concert Hall.
Apparently Amazon is sending out letters to its Tennessee customers reminding them that, right now, under Tennessee law, they're obliged to pay taxes on Internet purchases. Judging by the response in my Twitter stream, many, many folks did not know this.
They thought they didn't have to pay taxes on Amazon purchases until Amazon begins collecting it.
Haslam spokesman David Smith said consumers have been required to pay "consumer use" tax to the Tennessee Department of Revenue when making an online purchase from any retailer that does not collect sales tax.
I set out to see how easy it was to be a good Tennessee citizen.
The City Paper is reporting that Tennessee has joined in the 15-state lawsuit against Apple, Macmillan Holdings, Penguin Group USA, and Simon & Schuster Digital Sales.
This story is big and convoluted, and while the spin seems to be, "Publishers colluded to make you pay too much for ebooks" — and while this spin would then firmly place most reasonable people on the side of the people trying to make sure you pay less — the truth is that this story is more like Hitler fights Stalin who fights Dracula who fights Alien who fights Predator who fights Hitler. You can root for whomever you want, but don't get too close to them, you know?
Here's the back story that will make this story make more sense.
You've got three chances to watch (all times listed are Central Standard Time):
9 a.m. today
1 p.m. today
According to the press release:
Ann will talk about her new book store, Parnassus Books, and give her top 5 picks for books this holiday season. Each pick will be an audience giveaway, including her latest book, State of Wonder.
The TSLA has purchased an electronic cataloging program that will allow participating libraries across the state to share cataloging information and make inter-library loans much easier.
“The electronic card catalog is another example of how we can use technology to deliver better service to Tennesseans more efficiently and cost effectively,” Secretary of State Tre Hargett said. “This service should make life better for patrons and library staff. It is the type of service that TSLA should be providing to libraries across our state.”
I'm convinced there are two types of genius ideas: One is the idea that is so weird you can't imagine how anyone thought it up; the other is the idea that seems so obvious once you hear about it that you can't imagine it hasn't always been in place.
The idea of the TSLA acting like a kind of hub for libraries across the state to share information is one of the latter. This is a great way for even very small public libraries to easily provide their patrons with a wealth of material. Kudos to the TSLA.
An Evening with Lee Smith and Hal Crowther
Where: Lipscomb University
When: 7:30 p.m. Mon., Nov. 28
To those of you who perceive Lipscomb as a conservative Christian university ... well, not so fast, there, pigeon-holers. Yes, it’s affiliated with Churches of Christ — but the administration may be more open-minded than you give them credit for, as the Landiss Lecture Series makes clear. Case in point: the latest installment, featuring Lee Smith and Hal Crowther.
Smith, of course, is an immensely talented author whose perceptive and sometimes dark novels and short stories about life in the South have won a slew of major awards. But it’s Crowther who might raise brows. A former staff writer for Time and media critic for Newsweek, he’s a terrific journalist and essayist who makes no bones about where he stands on the cultural divide.
In a searing takedown of the Tea Party in Raleigh-Durham, N.C., alt-weekly The Independent Weekly last year, he wrote, “The Hard Right is wisdom-proof and lethally repetitious.” And in a piece titled “The Worst of the South,” published in 2007 in The Oxford American, he wrote, “When the South is safe for Darwin, maybe that’s when we can begin to boast.”
Take notice: This isn’t your father’s Lipscomb University. Free and open to the public.
UPDATE: Hal Crowther had to cancel at the last minute. Lee Smith will still appear.
So, when I heard that the library was extending this deal to Nashville area teens through the Limitless Library program? I have to tell you, I cheered in delight. What an excellent idea! Middle and high schoolers aren't limited to the books in their individual schools' libraries but can have access to all of the books in the Nashville library system. They just get on the computer and request it and it's delivered to their school.
From the Tennessean:
“We are seeing overwhelming successes,” said Tricia Bengel, interim director at Nashville Public Library. “Kids are borrowing more books than they have ever borrowed, and they have access to different types of materials than they have even had before. It’s a good problem to have, but we are struggling a little bit to keep up with the increase in circulation.
“It benefits the library because we’ve added 15,000 patrons that we didn’t have before. We are building our patrons of tomorrow.”
Anyway. The typically reserved person who sent me Sullivan's link included the endorsement, "This motherfucker can write!" Maybe it's too late to slap this money quote on the jacket for Sullivan's highly lauded new essay collection Pulphead, but it fits. (Hey, there's always the paperback.) As proof, here's the first graph of Sullivan's piece, which restores the color to its subject's cheeks with each fresh detail:
Since 1965, when he became a staff writer for The New Yorker, McPhee has published, on average, a book every 18 months; he is now up to 28. In Silk Parachute, published last year and now out in paperback, the 80-year-old author seems, in his usual quiet and self-deprecating way, to have noticed the fact of his age. In any case, he reveals more of himself in this essay collection than he ever has before. The title comes from a very short preface about McPhee's own childhood, his mother, and a favored toy: a black rubber ball, bought at LaGuardia airport in the 1930s, containing a silk parachute. "If you threw it high into the air, the string unwound and the parachute blossomed," McPhee explains. "If you sent it up with a tennis racquet, you could put it into the clouds. Not until the development of the multi-megabyte hard disk would the world ever know such a fabulous toy."
Over the course of the eight fairly recent articles that make up the collection, McPhee investigates the usual eclectic mix of topics: English chalk, lacrosse, large-format photography and so on. But for the first time, the characters through which he introduces these topics are McPhee himself, members of his immediately family, and a couple of longtime personal friends. Progressing through the book, you realize that McPhee is finally sharing his own life, the life of a man whose marvelous talent has always been his fabulous toy. "Folded just so, the parachute never failed," he writes in the preface. "Always, it floated back to you — silkily, beautifully — to start over and float back again. Even if you abused it, whacked it really hard — gracefully, lightly, it floated back to you."
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