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41 notes &

Books For Fans of Drunk History

I’ve started watching Drunk History and realized that many of the stories they feature, told pretty well therein, are told spectacularly well in a book. So this isn’t a bibliography of Drunk History, though that would be an interesting project. Instead, these are five books that not only relate to an episode of Drunk History, but are also really fantastic. Many historical books have a great story buried in them somewhere but aren’t that much fun to read—these are not those. 

If you liked Paget Brewster on Allan Pinkerton and Lincoln’s inauguration travels (season 2, episode 4), you would like The Hour of Peril: The Secret Plot to Murder Lincoln Before the Civil War by Daniel Stashower. Equally good for true crime buffs as well as historical ones.

If you liked Mark Gagliardi on Stetson Kennedy and the KKK (season 1, episode 3), you would like There Goes My Everything: White Southerners in the Age of Civil Rights, 1945-1975 by Jason Sokol. Deeply infuriating and inspiring by turns.

If you liked Amber Ruffin on Claudette Colvin (season 2, episode 1), you would like Claudette Colvin: Twice Toward Justice by Phillip Hoose. Though this won or was nominated for half the children’s book awards in the country, it’s detailed enough to work for adult readers as well.

If you liked Eric Falconer on the Statue of Liberty (season 2, episode 2), you would like Liberty’s Torch: The Great Adventure to Build The Statue of Liberty by Elizabeth Mitchell. As with most of the Drunk History stories, the full backstory on this is even more ridiculous than you can imagine.

If you liked Patrick Walsh on the presidential election of 1800 (season 2, episode 8), you would like A Magnificent Catastrophe: The Tumultuous Election of 1800, America’s First Presidential Campaign by Edward J. Larson. This book is also great to cite around election time, when people start bitching about how there’s no civility in politics anymore, where did decent human kindness go, blah blah blah. (Since, as you’ve probably gathered, that is complete nonsense, elections have always been horrible.)

Bonus round: two stories that really ought to be on Drunk History and would likely appeal to fans of the show:

K Blows Top: A Cold War Comic Interlude, Starring Nikita Khrushchev, America’s Most Unlikely Tourist by Peter Carlson. (This could be an entire episode unto itself, with each of Khrushchev’s three US visits being a different segment. They are all that nutty.)

The President is a Sick Man: Wherein the Supposedly Virtuous Grover Cleveland Survives a Secret Surgery at Sea and Vilifies the Courageous Newspaperman Who Dared Expose the Truth by Matthew Algeo. (If that subtitle doesn’t convince you, I’m not sure I can say anything else that will.)

Filed under books tv drunk history paget brewster allan pinkerton abraham lincoln daniel stashower mark gagliardi stetson kennedy jason sokol amber ruffin claudette colvin phillip hoose eric falconer statue of liberty elizabeth mitchell patrick walsh nikita khrushchev peter carlson grover cleveland matthew algeo

24 notes &

gwendabond:

bennettmadison:

I’m reading Jincy Willett’s AMY FALLS DOWN, and this whole scene, in which several writers discuss their “process” on NPR, is a little too realistic.

This entire book — and its predecessor The Writing Class — are hilarious, sometimes poignant, wonders. I give them as gifts all the time. Jincy Willett is my favorite cranky writer.

Me too. I love Jincy. Winner of the National Book Award is an all-time favorite and is a must-read-someday for librarians.

gwendabond:

bennettmadison:

I’m reading Jincy Willett’s AMY FALLS DOWN, and this whole scene, in which several writers discuss their “process” on NPR, is a little too realistic.

This entire book — and its predecessor The Writing Class — are hilarious, sometimes poignant, wonders. I give them as gifts all the time. Jincy Willett is my favorite cranky writer.

Me too. I love Jincy. Winner of the National Book Award is an all-time favorite and is a must-read-someday for librarians.

Filed under books librarians tumblarians jincy willett

69 notes &

Hi. Talking about books on the Internet feels ridiculous to me right now, even though I am hiding in them (also Kardashians) constantly anymore, and many of them are quite good. You are already on the Internet, so you probably know about Bad Feminist, and about Roxane Gay, but let’s talk about it anyway. It is astonishingly good. It was the book I needed, and the book that you need. Even though I finished it about a week ago, and even though I read it on the plane, it’s somehow nested on my bedside table instead of the bookshelves. I like looking at it and pretending there are some essays inside that I haven’t read yet, like it’s the Internet in there, expanding and expanding! Never thought I would want a book to be more like the Internet.

Hi. Talking about books on the Internet feels ridiculous to me right now, even though I am hiding in them (also Kardashians) constantly anymore, and many of them are quite good. You are already on the Internet, so you probably know about Bad Feminist, and about Roxane Gay, but let’s talk about it anyway. It is astonishingly good. It was the book I needed, and the book that you need. Even though I finished it about a week ago, and even though I read it on the plane, it’s somehow nested on my bedside table instead of the bookshelves. I like looking at it and pretending there are some essays inside that I haven’t read yet, like it’s the Internet in there, expanding and expanding! Never thought I would want a book to be more like the Internet.

Filed under books roxane gay bad feminist

7 notes &


HELP UNACCOMPANIED MINORS IN THE NEW YORK AREA BOOK DRIVE: JULY 10 - AUGUST 10, 2014
We have received over 600 books, GRACIAS!
Many of you have asked how to financially support the book drive – here is your opportunity!  Donate to our ‘Unaccompanied Latin American Minor Project' Fund on IndieGogo. 
La Casa Azul Bookstore, in collaboration with the Unaccompanied Latin American Minor Project (U-LAMP) at John Jay College of Criminal Justice/Safe Passage Project will host a book drive for children who were apprehended and detained at the Mexico-US border and are currently in deportation proceedings in the New York City area. The National Latina Institute for Reproductive Health will join the project by make cards for the children and families. The cards will accompany the donated books.
Children and teenagers are living in both local shelters and residing with legal guardians and need new and gently used Spanish-language books in good condition. Bookstore staff will deliver books to local shelters and provide them directly to children and teenagers who are currently in deportation proceedings.
Books should be in Spanish, age appropriate and culturally relevant for mostly Central American and Mexican children and teenagers and mostly fall between the Pre-K to 8th grade reading levels.

HELP UNACCOMPANIED MINORS IN THE NEW YORK AREA BOOK DRIVE: JULY 10 - AUGUST 10, 2014

We have received over 600 books, GRACIAS!

Many of you have asked how to financially support the book drive – here is your opportunity!  Donate to our ‘Unaccompanied Latin American Minor Project' Fund on IndieGogo

La Casa Azul Bookstore, in collaboration with the Unaccompanied Latin American Minor Project (U-LAMP) at John Jay College of Criminal Justice/Safe Passage Project will host a book drive for children who were apprehended and detained at the Mexico-US border and are currently in deportation proceedings in the New York City area. The National Latina Institute for Reproductive Health will join the project by make cards for the children and families. The cards will accompany the donated books.

Children and teenagers are living in both local shelters and residing with legal guardians and need new and gently used Spanish-language books in good condition. Bookstore staff will deliver books to local shelters and provide them directly to children and teenagers who are currently in deportation proceedings.

Books should be in Spanish, age appropriate and culturally relevant for mostly Central American and Mexican children and teenagers and mostly fall between the Pre-K to 8th grade reading levels.

Filed under books la casa azul bookstore U-LAMP

22 notes &

Oh and while we’re talking about fantasy books that blow your mind can we talk about how much I fucking LOVED Clariel, ahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh
Seriously, ahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh!
I’d recommend re-reading the Abhorsen series before reading this, too, but honestly, if you’re not already re-reading the Abhorsen series on the regular, I’m not quite sure you can understand my excitement about how good this book was ahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh

Oh and while we’re talking about fantasy books that blow your mind can we talk about how much I fucking LOVED Clariel, ahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh

Seriously, ahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh!

I’d recommend re-reading the Abhorsen series before reading this, too, but honestly, if you’re not already re-reading the Abhorsen series on the regular, I’m not quite sure you can understand my excitement about how good this book was ahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh

Filed under books garth nix abhorsen series clariel

95 notes &

libraryreads:

Hot off the press, the Library Reads August 2014 list! 

We’ve got the first in a new series from library fav Chelsea Cain. Lev Grossman wraps up the adventures of Magician’s trilogy. A BEA Buzz book: The Miniaturist

New books from staff and patron favorites Amy Bloom, Liane Moriarty, John Scalzi, and Thirty Umrigar. Everyone’s favorite mother and son writing team bring us latest historical mystery in An Unwilling Accomplice

And a little something, something for the romance readers from Susan Elizabeth Phillips and Katie MacAlister.  

Happy reading!

I keep meaning to blog about The Magician’s Land, so I will take this opportunity to say that I loved it—very satisfying ending to the trilogy—but I really wish I had re-read the first two before diving into it. So if you’re waiting for it, take this opportunity to re-read The Magicians and The Magician King to immerse yourself properly.

I remain impressed by what Grossman managed to do with these books: be utterly skeptical about magic and its importance while maintaining a childlike adoration of it. I always get such a rush reading these books, because the combination allows me to re-visit my first experiences of Philip Pullman, Susan Cooper, Garth Nix, et al., in a way that most other fantasy books do not. That headlong and greedy reading experience, those books that are so good you forget to change positions and your arm falls asleep—I always feel that Grossman misses it as much as I do, and it’s a treat to read a book that reflects being that affected by fantasy writing, and even manages the same trick a few times.

Filed under books libraryreads lev grossman magicians trilogy the magician's land

40 notes &

It has been a real pleasure re-reading The Beekeeper’s Apprentice by Laurie R. King, a book that I always forget I how much love until I am reading it. I am glad it’s gotten a nice tidy Twentieth Anniversary Edition, because though I recently became the last person on tumblr to watch Sherlock and liked it quite a bit, this series is my favorite version of the Holmes re-tellings.
That being said, I know it is anathema to request textual changes when publishing an anniversary edition, but I really wish they had done so here. Why? Well, because one of the first cases on which Mary Russell assists Sherlock Holmes, she helps rescue a young kidnapped girl named Jessica. JESSICA SIMPSON. Oh dear. It’s so distracting! I know that in 1994 our modern Jessica Simpson was still singing in church camp or something. I certainly don’t mean to blame King for not predicting the course of pop music. But I don’t think it would have been such a problem to do a search and replace and have kidnapped a young Victoria Simpson, for example. Nothing would have been lost except the opportunity to imagine a young Jessica Simpson trapped in a tree in period garb, mumbling to herself about whether she had chicken or tuna for dinner.
Anyway, if you can overlook that, and you’ve not read this series, take this opportunity to get started, especially since apparently we will be waiting another year for more Sherlock. A mystery for non-mystery readers, equally good for teens and adults, and, I bet, to be adored by fans of Flavia de Luce. 

It has been a real pleasure re-reading The Beekeeper’s Apprentice by Laurie R. King, a book that I always forget I how much love until I am reading it. I am glad it’s gotten a nice tidy Twentieth Anniversary Edition, because though I recently became the last person on tumblr to watch Sherlock and liked it quite a bit, this series is my favorite version of the Holmes re-tellings.

That being said, I know it is anathema to request textual changes when publishing an anniversary edition, but I really wish they had done so here. Why? Well, because one of the first cases on which Mary Russell assists Sherlock Holmes, she helps rescue a young kidnapped girl named Jessica. JESSICA SIMPSON. Oh dear. It’s so distracting! I know that in 1994 our modern Jessica Simpson was still singing in church camp or something. I certainly don’t mean to blame King for not predicting the course of pop music. But I don’t think it would have been such a problem to do a search and replace and have kidnapped a young Victoria Simpson, for example. Nothing would have been lost except the opportunity to imagine a young Jessica Simpson trapped in a tree in period garb, mumbling to herself about whether she had chicken or tuna for dinner.

Anyway, if you can overlook that, and you’ve not read this series, take this opportunity to get started, especially since apparently we will be waiting another year for more SherlockA mystery for non-mystery readers, equally good for teens and adults, and, I bet, to be adored by fans of Flavia de Luce. 

Filed under books the beekeeper's apprentice laurie r. king sherlock holmes jessica simpson mysteries flavia de luce