November 2022

Bookish DIY Kits To Buy and Make for Holiday Gifting

Calling Dr. Hiaasen: Pro Fishing Roiled by Wild Walleye Cheating Scandal

Chess star Hans Niemann accused of cheating by rival has likely done so in more than 100 games, report claims

Mad magazine’s oldest active artist still spoofs what makes us human

Michael Jordan Fleer rookie card sells for record $1 million

The Rosetta Stone: The real ancient codebreakers

A film scholar uncovered the oldest footage from a Black film company at the Library of Congress

Rediscovered Hollywood Film Archive Offers Collectors the Chance to Own a Piece of Cinematic History

A Medieval Manuscript Has Revealed the Oldest Known Map of the Stars

Looking at Enheduanna, the World’s First Known Author, and the Women of Mesopotamia

“Rogue” Employee Replaces Pro-Choice Book Orders with Christian Books

New York Post Fires Staffer Who Posted Racist, Violent Messages to Website and Twitter Account

Two Ultra-Rare Calvin & Hobbes Works Head to Auction

Serious Stuff

Publishing Company Starts School Year by Removing Over 1,000 E-Textbooks

Did American Business Leaders Really Try to Overthrow the President, Like in Amsterdam?

The Globetrotting Con Man and Suspected Spy Who Met With President Trump

U.S. Supreme Court mulls line between art and theft in Warhol case

Self-Proclaimed Incel Plotted to Murder 3,000 Ohio Sorority Women

It’s Time for Moralistic True Crime to Die

Is this the sign of something bad happening in the book industry? Barnes & Noble is Offering Buy One, Get One 50% Off on Hundreds of Books

Following Supreme Court’s Lead, Judge Finds Right to Remove Serial Numbers From Guns

Analysis shows women who publish physics papers are cited less often than men

How the FBI Stumbled in the War on Cybercrime

Salman Rushdie has lost vision in one eye and the use of his hand.

Japanese bookstores are closing at a much faster rate than here in America.

The Neglected Tale of the Tougaloo Nine and their 1961 Read-In

Defense Team for Ex-Black Panther Discover Evidence Withheld from Trial

Lost John Steinbeck essay about American democracy published

The Killer Robot Future is Already Here

China Operates Secret ‘Police Stations’ in Other Countries

Scientists Discover Unmarked Coffins During Search For 1921 Tulsa Massacre Victims

Words of the Month

danger (n.) mid-13th c., daunger, “arrogance, insolence;” c. 1300, “power of a lord or master, jurisdiction,” from Anglo-French daunger, Old French dangier “power, power to harm, mastery, authority, control” (12th c., Modern French danger), alteration (due to association with damnum) of dongier, from Vulgar Latin *dominarium “power of a lord,” from Latin dominus “lord, master,” from domus “house” (from PIE root *dem- “house, household”).

Modern sense of “risk, peril, exposure to injury, loss, pain, etc.” (from being in the control of someone or something else) evolved first in French and was in English by late 14th c. For this, Old English had pleoh; in early Middle English this sense is found in peril. For sound changes, compare dungeon, which is from the same source. (etymonline)

Censorship

New Right to Read Bill Expands School Library Access, Students’ Rights to Read

He’s known as Chile’s greatest poet, but feminists say Pablo Neruda is canceled

Battling over books

Conservative Muslims join forces with Christian right on Michigan book bans

Today’s book bans echo a panic against comic books in the 1950s

Libraries Are Beefing Up Security After a Series of Violent Threats (which means less money for books…)

Booker Prize Winner: Attack on Salman Rushdie caused me to self-censor

Book Ban Vote Unleashes Mayhem at Michigan School Board Meeting

Florida Puts Raging MAGA Moms on Book-Banning Council

A reporter’s memoir of her jail time gets banned in Florida prisons

Jay Ashcroft, potential Missouri governor candidate, floats library book ban proposal

Anti-LGBTQ Groups Are Helping Enforce a ‘Book Ban’ Law in Florida

Local Stuff

Magus Books Is Coming to Wallingford

This Week in History, 1977: Frank Baker invites you to dine with James Bond and his Aston Martin

Moira Macdonald returns with her mystery column, The Plot Thickens

Pegasus Book Exchange is where the past and future of bookselling collide in West Seattle

Shelf Talkers: What the Booksellers Are Reading at Elliott Bay Book Company

The Young Woman Behind a Last Mystery of the Green River Killer

NPR reporting on Oregon theater death threats prompt local and national response

Odd Stuff

King Charles Hired A Former Top Editor At The Tabloids That Published Critical Kate Middleton Columns And The Story That Was An Impetus For The Breakdown Of Meghan Markle’s Relationship With Her Father

What We Know About ‘The Watcher’ Case Four Years Later (seriously spooky!)

Three chimpanzees kidnapped and held to six-figure ransom in first known case of its kind

We’re getting a Wrinkle in Time stage musical

Liam Neeson to bring his very particular set of skills to Naked Gun reboot (?!?!?!)

My Eight Deranged Days on the Gone Girl Cruise

Scientists Found a Way to Predict Your Death by How You Walk

On TikTok, Charles Manson Is a Cozy Fall Vibe

Strip Club Death Trial Delayed by Lawyer Dying in Same Strip Club

Forget bank robbery. These men stole $9 million in meat, feds say.

Turkish garbage collectors have created a library from discarded books.

Words of the Month

peril (n.) “danger, risk, hazard, jeopardy, exposure of person or property to injury, loss, or destruction,” c. 1200, from Old French peril “danger, risk” (10th c.), from Latin periculum “an attempt, trial, experiment; risk, danger,” with instrumentive suffix –culum and first element from PIE *peri-tlo-, suffixed form of root *per- (3) “to try, risk.” (etymonline)

SPECTRE

All the ways Amazon’s home gadgets are spying on you

“Get Big Fast.” How Amazon Accelerated the Commodification of Literature

France sets minimum book delivery fee in anti-Amazon struggle

This Seattle woman is fighting Amazon to help domestic violence survivors

Amazon Changes Kindle eBook Return Policy, Ends Lending Between Kindle Users, and More

Russia’s Wave of Ridiculous Fines Finally Comes for Amazon

Words of the Month

alarm (n.) late 14th c., “a call to arms in the face of danger or an enemy,” from Old French alarme (14th c.), from Italian all’arme “to arms!” (literally “to the arms”); this is a contraction of phrase alle arme.

Alle is itself a contraction of a “to” (from Latin ad; see ad-) + le, from Latin illas, fem. accusative plural of ille “the” (see le); with arme, from Latin arma “weapons” (including armor), literally “tools, implements (of war),” from PIE root *ar- “to fit together.”

The interjection came to be used as the word for the call or warning (compare alert). It was extended 16th c. to “any sound to warn of danger or to arouse,” and to the device that gives it. From mid-15th c. as “a state of fearful surprise;” the weakened sense of “apprehension, unease” is from 1833. The variant alarum (mid-15th c.) is due to the rolling -r- in the vocalized form. Sometimes in early years it was Englished as all-arm. Alarm clock is attested from 1690s (as A Larum clock).

alarm (v.): 1580s, “call to arms for defense,” from alarm (n.) or from French alarmer (16c.), from the noun in French. The meaning “surprise with apprehension of danger” is from 1650s. Related: Alarmed; alarming. (etymonline)

Awards

BBC unveils winner of National Short Story Award Story

Annie Ernaux wins the 2022 Nobel prize in literature

Here’s the shortlist for the 2022 T. S. Eliot Prize.

Here are this year’s literary MacArthur fellows

The 6 2022 Booker Prize Finalists On Their 3 Favourite Books Of All Time

TS Eliot prize announces a ‘shapeshifting’ shortlist

Sri Lankan writer Shehan Karunatilaka wins 2022 Booker Prize

Book Stuff

Early Interviews With Cormac McCarthy Rediscovered

Prelinger Library keeps print alive for 19 years and counting

France’s royal library welcomes families after majestic makeover

Publishing Wants To Cash In On BookTok. Creators Say No

Book Cover Confidential: A Roundtable with Designers

Denise Mina: ‘All my reading is comfort reading’

Reintroducing Book World

Watchmen author Alan Moore: ‘I’m definitely done with comics’

Jon Land: My First Thriller

The NY Art Book Fair Returns Home to Chelsea

Shelf Talkers: What the Booksellers Are Reading at Boswell Book Company

Meet the Man Who Wants to Build You a $200,000 Library of Books

Bored with a book, I set off for New York, where I … bought more books

Seventy-five years of richly illustrated literary classics – in pictures

How Dynamic Shelving Can Change Your Library

How a Tiny British Publisher Became the Home of Nobel Laureates

Book prices set to rise as production costs soar, say UK publishers

Costco’s Decision To Stop Selling Books In Hawaii Is A Blow To Local Authors

So You’re Stuck in a Cozy Mystery: A Survival Kit

Fifty Forgotten Books: An original take on the joys of second-hand books

Mother who bought Harry Potter books signed by JK Rowling for £5 in the 1990s is stunned to discover they are now worth up to £11,000 after an expert revealed they were BOTH rare first editions

#BookTok: A hashtag changing the book industry

Read 7,000 Historic Children’s Books for Free in This Online Archive

Phyllis Nagy: ‘Knowing Patricia Highsmith changed my thinking about how a female writer could live’

Inside a New York Literary Golden Age

Lee Child and Andrew Child on Discipline, Dread, and Writing Late at Night

Veteran Reporter Margaret Sullivan’s Favorite Books About Journalism

Open letter to top publisher condemns $2m Amy Coney Barrett book deal

Charles Darwin’s Rare Autographed Manuscript Could Sell for $800,000

Author Events

Nov. 2: Cherie Priest, Island Books, 7:30pm

Nov. 3: Cherie Priest with Seanan McGuire, Third Place/Seward, 7pm

Other Forms of Entertainment

The 15 Best Film Noir Movies, Ranked According To Letterboxd

Kenneth Branagh Sets Impressive Cast For His Supernatural Thriller A HAUNTING IN VENICE

Charlie Cox Says His DAREDEVIL: BORN AGAIN Series Might Start From the Beginning and Do a True to Comic Reboot

Edward Zuckerman On Writing the Funny Episodes of “Law & Order”

Martin Scorsese to Helm ‘Gangs of New York’ TV Show

Harrison Ford Joining ‘Captain America 4’

Reassuring, timeless, safe: how Angela Lansbury set the style for female TV sleuths

“Magpie Murders,” a new series on “Masterpiece,” is a mystery within a mystery, based on a book by Anthony Horowitz

Reservoir Dogs at 30: Tarantino’s canny contained act of provocation

‘The Name of the Game’: The Vintage Show That Asked, What if People Magazine Writers Solved Crimes

TikToker Lands the Role of a Lifetime: Playing Dead on TV

Why a Brilliant New Doc Will Make You Radically Rethink “Blaxploitation”

007=’

Iconic 007 posters up for sale as James Bond celebrates 60th anniversary

Perfectly ridiculous explanation of the iconic “James Bond Chord”

‘Dr No’ at 60: Who Was the Real James Bond?

The Search for the New James Bond Is Officially Underway, and It’s Gonna Be a Long One

How maverick genius who inspired James Bond’s Q helped PoWs to escape from Colditz in Second World War

‘No Time to Die’ Aston Martin DB5 Raises $3.2 Million at Auction

The Ultimate James Bond Sticker Set Arrives

Iconic Aston Martin DB5 similar to one driven by James Bond in 1964 film – but painted gold instead of silver – is expected to fetch £550,000 at auction

007 Director Reveals Which Rock Stars Have Secret James Bond Songs

Ten Years on, the Next Bond Film Has a Lot to Learn From ‘Skyfall’

Every James Bond villain’s sports owner counterpart

Words of the Month

warn (v.) Old English warnian “to give notice of impending danger,” also intransitive, “to take heed,” from Proto-Germanic *warōnan (source also of Old Norse varna “to admonish,” Old High German warnon “to take heed,” German warnen “to warn”), from PIE root *wer (4) “to cover.” Related: Warned; warning. (etymonline)

RIP

Oct. 3: Robert Brown, ‘Here Come the Brides’ Actor, Dies at 95

Oct. 6: Lenny Lipton, “Puff the Magic Dragon” Lyricist and 3D Filmmaking Pioneer, Dies at 82

Oct. 10: Austin Stoker, Star of John Carpenter’s ‘Assault on Precinct 13,’ Dies at 92

Oct. 10: Michael Callan, Actor in ‘West Side Story’ and ‘Cat Ballou,’ Dies at 86

Oct. 11: Angela Lansbury, Entrancing Star of Stage and Screen, Dies at 96

Oct. 14: Robbie Coltrane, Comic Performer Who Played Hagrid in ‘Harry Potter’ Movies, “Cracker”, and Two Bond Films. Dies at 72

Oct. 17: Benjamin Civiletti, 87, Attorney General in Iran Hostage Crisis, Dies

Oct. 28: Jerry Lee Lewis, Influential and Condemned Rock & Roll Pioneer, Dead at 87 [ok, it’s a stretch, but he needs to be honored and, after all, he was called The Killer!]

Links of Interest

Sept. 26: Archive of Ernest Hemingway Writings, Photos Opens to the Public for the First Time

Sept. 28: ‘Womaniser’ May Have Fed Wife to Pigs to Be With Another Woman, Court Hears

Sept. 30: Mexican government suffers major data hack, president’s health issues revealed

Oct. 2: Tylenol murders: daughter tells of toll of unsolved killings, 40 years on

Oct. 6: The Journalist and the Psychopath: The Story Behind Edward Howard Rulloff’s Crimes

Oct. 11: The Founder of 8chan Is Facing Death Threats for Going After QAnon

Oct. 13: When $500,000 Disappeared from a Small Town

Oct. 14: The Trouble with Amateur Hired Killers

Oct. 15: California governor blocks parole of Charles Manson cult follower

Oct. 15: The Geoffrey Chaucer News That Rocked Academia This Week

Oct. 16: Postal worker holdup leads to muscle car theft ring arrests

Oct. 16: Cops Say They Nabbed Stockton Serial Killer as He Was ‘Out Hunting’

Oct. 16: Kansas City Police Called Reports of Serial Killer Targeting Black Women ‘Unfounded.’ Then a Woman Escaped.

Oct. 16: Inmate Stole $11 Million in Gold Coin Scheme While in Prison, Officials Say

Oct. 19: A Fabled Map of the Cosmos Lost for Thousands of Years Has Been Found

Oct. 21: How Entomologists Use Insects to Solve Crimes

Oct. 25: The Manhattan Well Mystery: On America’s First Media Circus Around a Murder Case

Oct. 25: Iowa daughter accuses her dead father of being America’s most prolific SERIAL KILLER, killing up to 70 women and forcing her to dump their bodies in 100ft well: Sheriff says ‘I believe her 100%’

Oct. 26: Evidence ‘Invalidated’ in Explosive Report on Mexico’s 43 Missing Students

Oct. 26: MAGA Conspiracy Tours Plagued With ‘Grifter’ Allegations

Words of the Month

safe (adj.) c. 1300, sauf, “unscathed, unhurt, uninjured; free from danger or molestation, in safety, secure; saved spiritually, redeemed, not damned;” from Old French sauf “protected, watched-over; assured of salvation,” from Latin salvus “uninjured, in good health, safe,” which is related to salus “good health,” saluber “healthful” (all from PIE *solwos from root *sol- “whole, well-kept”). For the phonological development of safe from sauf, OED compares gage from Old North French gauge.

From late 14th c. as “rescued, delivered; protected; left alive, unkilled.” The meaning “not exposed to danger” (of places, later of valuables) is attested from late 14th c.; in reference to actions, etc., the meaning “free from risk,” is recorded by 1580s. The sense of “sure, reliable, not a danger” is from c. 1600. The sense of “conservative, cautious” is from 1823. It has been paired alliteratively with sound (adj.) from c. 1300. In Middle English it also meant “in good health,” also “delivered from sin or damnation.” Related: Safeness.

safe (n.) “chest for keeping food or valuables” safe from risk of theft or fire, early 15c., save, from French en sauf “in safety,” from sauf (see safe (adj.)). Spelling with -f- is by 1680s, from influence of safe (adj.). (etymonline)

What We’ve Been Up To

Amber

Raquel V. Reyes – Calypso, Corpses, and Cooking

The second installment of the Caribbean Kitchen Mystery series is fantastic! Set during Halloween and the trials and tribulations that plague a household with a five-year-old during said month of the perpetual sugar rush, Miriam finds herself juggling her on-air cooking show career with her mother-in-law’s demands upon her time. So when a body magically appears on her front lawn, amongst the fake plastic tombstones, our intrepid sleuth decides to sit this mystery out. Until…You’ll need to read the book to find out what happens next!

I enjoyed reading Calypso, Corpses, and Cooking very much. The food, the hook of this cozy, is written seamlessly into the story — adding to the narrative without detracting, distracting, or diverting one from the actual focus of the story — murder. (And if you enjoy this particular subgenre of mysteries, you understand how difficult this feat can be to achieve.) Above and beyond, watching Miriam making dishes I’ve not attempted before in her home kitchen (in my mind’s eye) makes them feel more accessible and far less daunting to attempt in my own kitchen.

(Don’t ask me why I find guava paste intimidating. I just do.)

Now, unlike Mangos, Mambo, and Murder, whose final pages succumbed slightly into the realm of saccharin (which one could ignore because the rest of the book was so splendid), Calypso, Corpses, and Cooking does not possess this flaw. Even featuring both Halloween and Thanksgiving between the pages, Reyes found an outstanding balance between the holidays and criminal intent.

However, because this is a review, I need to point out a minor flaw (again) in the final few pages. The penultimate summing up felt a tad muddled, in so far as untangling which crimes we could attribute to whom. Though, to be fair, I could’ve been so excited to find out whodunnit I skipped a few crucial deductions…But I don’t think so. That said, I think the slight tangling of plot threads has more to do with Reyes furthering an ongoing storyline from Mangos, Mambo, and Murder than anything else. And this minor flaw will in no way impede me from picking up this tome up for a reread in the near future or politely throwing money at my local bookseller when the next installment is published!

From the Office of Fair Warning: I do need to tell you that you do need to read Mangos, Mambo, and Murder before Calypso, Corpses, and Cooking as the latter narrative builds directly upon the bones of the former and gives away the solution to the first mystery in the second. Which, again, makes sense as background nefariousness is afoot in Calypso, Corpses, and Cooking that will hopefully burst into the foreground in Reyes’s next book!

Fran

I don’t have a review this month, but wait! Wait now. I have what I believe is a relatively good reason.

In a few days, I’m having a knee replaced. I know, right? I needed this back when the shop was going strong, but I’m very good at putting off things I don’t want to think about.

So anyway, Things have had to be done to make this work. Like, say, renovating the bathroom from tub to shower. Don’t you just love the paneling we found behind the tub wall?

But it was successful, and we’re quite pleased. However, much of my time during this process was keeping Mazikeen from freaking out every time the contractor walked through the door. You’d have thought he was a bunny or something.

Despite Mazkeen’s hyper-vigilance, we did get it done.

She does love protecting me. In fact, the other day while I was at the bathroom sink taking my multitude of pills, the heater kicked on, and she placed herself at my back, leaning against my calves, ready to take on whatever that new sound was – provided I’d guard her too. She really is a sweetheart.

But anyway, the shower now has bars and a chair, the toilet is all gussied up to make sitting there easier, and we’ve rearranged furniture to give me unobstructed access to the floors, since I’ll be walking a lot, I gather.

The weather is nice and cool down here in sunny New Mexico, and I think I’m going to enjoy my new knee during the upcoming holidays, although I’m using it as an excuse NOT to cook Thanksgiving dinner this year. *huge grin*

Happy November, everyone, and remember not to eat all yesterday’s candy at once. Take your time. But don’t wait too long! Have you noticed that Christmas candy’s already on sale?

JB

I hate to say I was disappointed in Joe Ide’s Marlowe novel but I simply kept groaning at what he was doing.

I suppose it isn’t that big a deal to bring Marlowe into today’s world but The Goodbye Coast changes much about Marlowe’s life. First, he dropped out of the LAPD training after a very short time and became a PI. In Chandler’s books, he was an investigator for the DA before going private. That isn’t a huge deal. But then he saddles Marlowe with a father who is a cop but suspended due to drinking, never really recovering from the death of his wife. The family trauma/drama set off my soap opera alarms and they buzzed throughout the book.

But the worst part for me was describing characters by the actors or celebrities they resembled. I found that lazy. There is so much about today’s world in the book that there’s no way for it to age well, no way for it to become timeless, as Chandler’s have.

Ide is a good writer and he’s got a feel for similes. In that way, the sentences sparkle as Chandler’s did. He described a piece of fast-food orange chicken as looking like a burnt ear. OKAY! But the writing isn’t enough, to me, to save the novel from the weaknesses of how he’s presented the rest.

I was SO looking forward to reading this. The day I found out it existed I went out and bought it. Sorry I did. If you want to read it, wait for the paperback. But I hope other contemporary authors will continue to write new Marlowe novels. He’s too great a character to say goodbye to.

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I believe Fran and I directed interested folks to John Connolly‘s 2020 on-line project called “The Strange Sisters”. In the midst of the first covid wave, it was to be a short story written and posted on-line in real time, that is as he wrote it daily, not once it had gone through the publishing mill. As interesting plan, he would create the story as he went, not knowing where it would go.

Now he’s released a new book called The Furies. It’s not a novel, but a volume with two “short novels”: a reworked “The Strange Sisters”, which he notes in an afterward is twice the length of the original; and “The Furies”, a new short novel.

Both are Parker stories, both full of the odd Maine characters we’ve come to know, as well as visitors. If you read “The Strange Sisters” on-line as we did, it’s worth reading this expanded version. And “The Furies” has Parker working to help two women who are at the end of their options. Both are a delight, even when dealing with otherworldly issues. Though Halloween has passed, don’t let that keep you from the on-going creepiness that is Charlie Parker’s world. You’ve got Louis and Angel to keep you safe…

BUY SMALL ~ SUPPORT SMALL

R.I.P.

Hard to believe that the time has flowed so quickly, but today marks five years since we locked the doors on the Seattle Mystery Bookshop as an operating business for the last time. Sure, there was lots of work left to do – counting the inventory, boxing it up, dismantling the shelves, the computers system, and packing it all out of the space – but Sept. 30, 2017 was the end of the road.

Seems as if there should be noirish terms to apply.

Amber, Fran and I would still get together for lunch now and then. But then Fran moved out of state, Amber moved out of town, and now we keep in touch electronically, as we do with you.

We miss one another, we miss being together, we miss being around books every day and knowing about what books to look forward to, and we miss talking about the books we love with readers looking for a new book to love.

But nothing good lasts forever and it was grand while it did.

Thanks again for 27 years ~ JB

“In the early 1950s Avon Books created the VendAvon, a coin-operated book vending machine, found in airports, hospitals, and ferry terminals. Avon installed 210 machines, each containing 24 of the latest Avon titles, across several states.” [Second row down, far left is Paul Cain’s Seven Slayers, to the left of the Cain is Raymond Chandler’s Fingerman, and then Robert Terrall’s A Killer is Among Us, down a row and two over is Cain’s one novel, Fast One, and by the woman’s right ear is Frederick Nebel’s Six Deadly Dame, and bottom row, 3rd from the left, is Agatha Christie’s The Big Four.]
“In June 1947, Popular Science featured an early book vending machine called the Book-O-Mat which offered a selection of 50 books published by Pocket Books, any one of which could be purchased for a quarter.”
“The Penguincubator appeared in London in 1937. Conceived by Allen Lane, the founder of Penguin Books, the Penguincubator dispensed classic literature in paperback form for about the same price as a pack of cigarettes.
Sir Allen may have succeeded in changing English reading habits, but the Penguincubator had little to do with it. Specifically, it was never manufactured in sufficient quantity to make an impact on the market.”

photos and italicized quoted from flickr

July 2022

Independent booksellers grew in number, diversity in 2021

One in Five Americans Struggles to Read. We Want to Understand Why.

Words of the Month

dame (n.): c. 1200, “a mother,” also “a woman of rank or high social position; superior of a convent,” and an address for a woman of rank or position, used respectfully to other ladies, from Old French dame “lady, mistress, wife,” from Late Latin domna, from Latin domina “lady, mistress of the house,” from Latin domus “house” (from PIE root *dem “house, household”). From early 14th C. as “a woman” in general, particularly a mature or married woman or the mistress of a household. Used in Middle English with personifications (Study, Avarice, Fortune, Richesse, Nature, Misericordie). In later use the legal title for the wife of a knight or baronet.

Slang sense of “woman” in the broadest sense, without regard to rank or anything else, is attested by 1902 in American English.

We got sunlight on the sand, We got moonlight on the sea

We got mangoes and bananas, You can pick right off the tree

We got volleyball and ping-pong, And lots of dandy games

What ain’t we got? We ain’t got dames!

Richard Rodgers, “There Is Nothin’ Like a Dame,” 1949 (etymonline)

It’s a tricky thing to suss out who is awarded what each year when Buckingham Palace releases The Gazette. For those of us who don’t follow it, the initials attached to the various awards are as confusing as the bureaus outta DC. OBE? GBE? DBE?

We bring this up after the news that Ian Rankin is now SIR Ian Rankin. We could remember Dame Agatha and Dame Phyllis, and Sir Arthur, but who else? This sent us off on a quest for answers – and then we ran into the three-letter question.

To be given Sir or Dame, one must be a subject of the Queen. Hitchcock was born in England, as was Bob Hope, and Sidney Poitier was born in Jamaica, so they all were knighted. Spielberg is an honorary knight, as was Douglas Fairbanks Jr. Dames and Sirs are, or have been, awarded GBE, KBE, or DBE. If you want to know what the difference is, well do your own investigation. It’s pretty simple.

Sir Ian joins a healthy list of authors: Antonia Fraser, Hilary Mantel, Salmon Rushdie, Kingsley Amis, William Golding, Iris Murdoch, PG Wodehouse, JRR Tolkein, and Jorge Louis Borges, to name some in no particular order. Not many mystery or crime writers that we found right off.

A healthy list of writers declined the “honors”: CS Lewis, Roald Dahl, Aldus Huxley, Robert Graves, JB Priestly, Evelyn Waugh, Graham Greene, and Rudyard Kipling.

There are names that aren’t on any list. For instance AA Milne… Anyway –

Congratulations to Sir Ian, a great writer and a nice guy!

Words of the Month

knight (n.) Old English cniht “boy, youth; servant, attendant,” a word common to the nearby Germanic languages (Old Frisian kniucht, Dutch knecht, Middle High German kneht “boy, youth, lad,” German Knecht “servant, bondman, vassal”), of unknown origin. For pronunciation, see kn. The plural in Middle English sometimes was knighten.

Meaning “military follower of a king or other superior” is from c. 1100. It began to be used in a specific military sense in the Hundred Years War, and gradually rose in importance until it became a rank in the nobility from 16th C. Hence in modern British use, a social privilege or honorary dignity conferred by a sovereign as a reward, without regard for birth or deeds at arms. In 17thc.-19thc. a common jocularism was to call a craftsman or tradesman a knight of the and name some object associated with his work; e.g. knight of the brush for “painter.” Knight in shining armor in the figurative sense is from 1917, from the man who rescues the damsel in distress in romantic dramas (perhaps especially “Lohengrin”). For knight-errant, see errant.

The horse-headed chess piece so called from mid-15thc. Knights of Columbus, society of Catholic men, founded 1882 in New Haven, Connecticut, U.S.; Knights of Labor, trade union association, founded in Philadelphia, 1869; Knights of Pythias, secret order, founded in Washington, 1864. (etymonline)

For your Summer plans –

Top 10 novels about things that go horribly wrong on islands

Classy Stuff

Russian Journalist to Auction Nobel Medal to Benefit Ukraine

Nobel sold for Ukrainian kids shatters record at $103.5M

Serious Stuff

They were killers with powerful guns. The president went after their weapons.

>The Group Banning LGBT Books Wants to Replace Them With Anti-Gay Propaganda

>Long Island library board comes to its senses and reverses ban on children’s Pride displays.

>First they came for queer story time… And what did you do?

>This right wing religious website is telling readers to ruin LGBQT+ library displays.

>A South Dakota school district planned to destroy Dave Eggers’s novel. He went to investigate

=Perspective | Why the press will never have another Watergate moment

=During Watergate, John Mitchell left his wife – so she called Bob Woodward

=Woodward and Bernstein thought Nixon defined corruption. Then came Trump.

=How ‘All the President’s Men’ went from buddy flick to masterpiece

=How Martha Mitchell’s firing of a bodyguard spurred Watergate scandal

=Why ‘The Watergate Three’ Are Remembered as a Duo

=Watergate Still Holds Secrets, Even After 50 Years

=The Target of the First Watergate Burglary Still Wonders: ‘Why Me?’

=How the CIA’s Cuba Debacles Brought the Future Watergate Conspirators Together

=Watergate at 50: Revelations From New Declassified Evidence

=He discovered the Watergate break-in, then died destitute and forgotten

=Opinion: What the Nixon pardon tells us about the perils of letting Trump walk

Michigan prisons have banned dictionaries in the “obscure” languages of Swahili and Spanish.

Suspected murderer of Wisconsin judge had hit list including Mitch McConnell

Blake Masters Blames Gun Violence on ‘Black People, Frankly’

‘I’m Not Jumping in’: Arizona Cops on Leave for Standing by as a Man Drowned

Massive Internet Identity Theft Marketplace Shut Down by Feds

Specialist gang ‘targeting’ Ukrainian treasures for removal to Russia

How a Tulsa grandmother became a vicious Sandy Hook conspiracy theorist—in her own words.

Google Says It Bans Gun Ads. It Actually Makes Money From Them.

Kurt Vonnegut Museum Is Giving Florida 1,000 Copies of ‘Slaughterhouse-Five’ Amid Ban Effort

After 91 years, Black teen exonerated by defense lawyer’s great-grandson

What drove some to resist Hitler — and others to stay quiet

Discovery of 1955 warrant in Emmett Till’s murder sparks calls for arrest

Feds Find ‘Significant Justification’ to Investigate NYPD’s Sex Crimes Unit

Words of the Month

excrescence (n.): early 15c., “action of growing out,” from Latin excrescentia (plural) “abnormal growths,” from excrescentem (nominative excrescens), present participle of excrescere “grow out, grow up,” from ex “out” (see ex-) + crescere “to grow” (from PIE root *ker- (2) “to grow”). Meaning “that which grows out abnormally” (on a living thing) is from 1570s (excrescency in this sense is 1540s). (etymonline)

Local Stuff

Elliott Bay Book Co. sold to longtime manager, Capitol Hill bar and business owners

White supremacism, WA ties, death threats: What to know about Patriot Front arrests near Idaho pride event

Out West, we know the right-wing extremist threat just keeps rising

How A Break-In and A Blizzard Shaped April Henry’s New Mystery

From vacation reads to picks for locals, Vashon Bookshop serves an island’s literary needs

Spokane author Jess Walter on writing short stories, his working-class roots and his hometown

Oregon School’s Ridiculous Battle Over ‘Handmaid’s Tale’ Ends With Book Ban

Ransomware attacks increasing in Oregon, nationwide, FBI says

~ Samantha Allen on Writing the Sasquatch Slasher Novel the World Needs Right Now

~ Why Samantha Allen Wrote A Lesbian Sasquatch Novel

Odd Stuff

This Hacker Group Forces People to Do Good to Get Their Data Back

*Attempted Reagan Assassin John Hinckley Jr. To Play Brooklyn Concert

*John Hinckley’s Sold-Out Brooklyn Concert Is Canceled

Eleven members of Rome-based mafia clan face trial over electricity theft

Accused Murderer’s Defense Says Cough Syrup Made Her Run a Woman Over

Minor Literature: Kafka’s Drawings

Cupcake Mogul Led a Wild Double Life Using Dead Baby’s Identity, Feds Say

Denied his high school diploma over a book fine in 1962, he finally walked the stage

Find your next great literary insult in Nabokov’s burn book.

Frederick Douglass Books, a new imprint, will publish nonfiction by writers of color.

One of the country’s oldest Black-owned bookstores is closing.

The sad-sack, fascist Proud Boys have sunk to a new low: storming a library story time.

?James Patterson claims White male writers face ‘another form of racism’

!Author James Patterson apologizes for saying white male writers face ‘another form of racism’

Dog uncovers ‘fugitive Dutch pedophile’s’ child abuse stash and hidden cellphone among ‘rancid’ laundry in dingy Mexico apartment after sniffing out electronics during police raid

Simon & Schuster Will Distribute Jan. 6 Report With Foreword by Conspiracy Theorist

How Jean-Paul Sartre’s relentless pranking forced his teacher to resign

You Could Win This Drug Lord Mansion in Mexico City for $10

Cousins receive mystery postcards sent decades ago: ‘I was stunned’

A Drug Lord Who ‘Died’ of COVID Last Year Was Just Arrested in Europe

Words of the Month

peep (v.1): “to glance, look from a state of concealment” (especially through or as through a small or narrow opening), mid-15th C., pepen, perhaps an alteration of Middle English piken (see peek (v.)). Hence, “to come partially into view, begin to appear” (1530s). Peeping Tom “a curious prying fellow” [Grose] is from 1796. (etymonline)

SPECTRE

Amazon employees protested its Pride event over its sale of anti-trans books.

Authors are protesting Amazon’s e-book policy that allows users to read and return

Amazon restricts LGBT goods in United Arab Emirates

Words of the Month

vote (n): mid-15th C., “formal expression of one’s wish or choice with regard to a proposal, candidate, etc.,” from Latin votum “a vow, wish, promise to a god, solemn pledge, dedication,” noun use of neuter of votus, past participle of vovere “to promise, dedicate” (see vow (n.)). Meaning “totality of voters of a certain class or type” is from 1888.

Awards

Kalani Pickhart has won the NYPL’s Young Lions Fiction Award.

George Chauncey has won the Kluge Prize for his work in LGBTQ history

Miles Franklin 2022: shortlist revealed for Australia’s prestigious literary prize

Book Stuff

10 Years Later, Gone Girl Is Ripe for a Sequel

20 Famous Writers on Being Rejected

Martin Edwards: My Life In Crime

Shop Talk: Lisa Unger on Waking Up Early, Carving Out Time, and Writing Longhand in the Target Parking Lot

How Agatha Christie’s Deep Respect for Science Helped Her Mysteries Stand the Test of Time

We’re Living in a Golden Age of Australian Crime and Mystery Television

Former Hong Kong journalists open independent bookstore Have a Nice Stay for those who remain amid emigration wave

James Patterson shares his formula for success. It’s pretty simple.

Here are the guest editors for the Best American Series 2022. (see the choice for mystery and suspense!)

Cornell Woolrich, the Dark Prince of Noir

The Disposable Spy: Or, How To Get Away With Revealing Agency Secrets In a Novel

It took a Hundred Years and Two Gays to Decode Her Diaries

The Only Surviving Manuscript of ‘Paradise Lost’

The best independent bookstores in the US [see 1 and 6]

The book that tore publishing apart: ‘Harm has been done, and now everyone’s afraid’

A Newly Discovered Céline Novel Creates a Stir

The Schomburg Center Literary Festival Makes Its Return to Harlem

NY Public Library Is Giving Away 500,000 Free Books This Summer

Inside the Push to Diversify the Book Business

Interview with an Indie Press: Seagull Books

Death Goes Drag: How the Queer Experiences of Mystery Writers Rufus King and Clifford Orr Influenced Their Golden Age Detective Fiction

Be gay, read books: Aesop’s free Queer Library is back

Five independent bookshops you need to visit in Scotland

‘Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone’ celebrates 25 magical years

Book bombs: Trump aide tell-alls fail to sell

San Francisco Art Book Fair Returns After a Two-Year Break

Check out a cool new guide to indie bookstores on the West coast.

Author Events (in person)

July 6: Jess Walter signs The Angel of Rome and Other Stories, Powell’s 7pm

July 7: Daniel Nieh signs Take No Names, Powell’s, 7pm

Words of the Month

sufferage (n): late 14th C., “intercessory prayers or pleas on behalf of another,” from Old French sofrage “plea, intercession” (13th C.) and directly from Medieval Latin suffragium, from Latin suffragium “support, ballot, vote; right of voting; a voting tablet,” from suffragari “lend support, vote for someone,” conjectured to be a compound of sub “under” (see sub-) + fragor “crash, din, shouts (as of approval),” related to frangere “to break” (from PIE root *bhreg “to break”). On another theory (Watkins, etc.) the second element is frangere itself and the notion is “use a broken piece of tile as a ballot” (compare ostracism).

The meaning “a vote for or against anything” is from 1530s. The meaning “political right to vote” in English is first found in the U.S. Constitution, 1787. (etymonline)

Other Forms of Entertainment

>‘The Wire’ at 20: ‘This Show Will Live Forever’: David Simon and Edward Burns

>‘The Wire’ Stands Alone

>‘Reality Never Gives You the Perfect Narrative’. In ‘We Own This City’, David Simon and George Pelecanos argue police corruption has never been worse.

>‘The Wire’ in Five Scenes

‘I thought I looked beautiful’ – how we made ‘The Incredible Hulk’

Jon Hamm, Juno Temple, Jennifer Jason Leigh to Lead ‘Fargo’ Season 5 at FX

Film Noirs ‘The Guilty’ and ‘High Tide’ Have Strong Literary Roots

The Old Guard 2 Adds Some Ex-Superheroes to Its Immortal Cast

+‘Dark Winds’: A Pulpy Mystery That Makes Native Characters the Stars of Their Own Story

+‘Dark Winds’ Review: Murder Most Foul in the Navajo Nation

‘The Staircase’ Subject Michael Peterson Addresses HBO Show

The Staircase: For Michael Peterson and Daughter Margaret, the Nightmare Continues With HBO Max

46 Things We Learned from Steven Soderbergh’s ‘Out of Sight’ Commentary

An exclusive first look at the new Netflix true crime documentary, Girl in the Picture

The Story of Lee Marvin, Gene Hackman, and Quite Possibly the Strangest American Crime Film of the 1970s

She played Scout in ‘To Kill a Mockingbird.’ Now she’s got a new role.

‘The Old Man’ Brought Jeff Bridges to TV. John Lithgow Had No Advice. c

Heat: Robert De Niro and Al Pacino reunite to discuss their hit thriller

Norman Lloyd, King of the Hitchcock Collaborators

10 Conspiracy Thrillers for the Truly Paranoid (movies, that is…)

The Wild History of the Real ‘Only Murders’ Building

+From “Fargo” to “Dark Winds,” Zahn McClarnon keeps perfecting his art – but don’t call him an artist

Knives Out 2 has a title and a release date!

David Mamet To Direct ‘2 Days/1963’ Drama On Sam Giancana’s Role In JFK Assassination, From Script By Mobster’s Grandnephew Nicholas Celozzi

007=’

Ian Fleming’s lost James Bond screenplay reveals a very different 007

James Bond star Naomie Harris backs Chiwetel Ejiofor to play 007

America’s very own 00-FELON! Disastrous tale of CIA agent who was hired to write James Bond-style novels in a bid to revive agency’s terrible reputation – but ended up a sensational flop before being ARRESTED for involvement in Watergate

Ralph Fiennes Almost Became James Bond Before Bossing Daniel Craig Around

Words of the Month

boggart (n.) also boggard, specter, goblin, sprite,” especially one supposed to haunt a particular spot, 1560s; see bug (n.). (etymonline)

RIP

June 1: David C. MacMichael, C.I.A. Whistleblower, Dies at 95

June 2: Barry Sussman, Washington Post editor who oversaw Watergate reporting, dies at 87

June 13: Philip Baker Hall, the Library Cop Lt. Bookman on ‘Seinfeld,’ Zodiac, Hard Eight, Dies at 90

June 13: Baxter Black, cowboy poet and ‘Morning Edition’ commentator, dies at 77

June 14: George Weyerhaeuser Sr., timber company scion who was kidnapped as a child, dies at 95

June 17: Legendary Comic Artist Tim Sale Has Died

June 30: Sonny Barger Dies: Hells Angels Founder, ‘Sons Of Anarchy’ Actor & Rolling Stones Nemesis Was 83

Links of Interest

June 1: Myths surround ‘Untouchable’ lawman Eliot Ness. What’s the truth?

June 3: A U.S. murder suspect fled to Mexico. The Gringo Hunters were waiting.

+June 3: Lakota elders helped a white man preserve their language. Then he tried to sell it back to them.

June 4: Suspect in Litvinenko poisoning dies in Moscow, TASS reports

June 4: How Can People Fall Asleep To True Crime Shows And Podcasts?

+June 6: Puzzle Monday: Secrets of the Original Code-Talkers

June 6: The Mystery of a Billionaire’s Wife’s Disappearance May Turn on ‘Crypto Lead’

June 7: Decentralized Crypto Exchange Offline After Hacker Steals $113M

June 8: Woman Arrested for Murdering Boyfriend After Tracking Him With Apple AirTag

June 8: True the Vote Raised Millions to Combat Voter Fraud—But No One Really Knows Where the Money Went

June 9: The missing daughter of a slain Texas couple has been found alive more than 4 decades later

June 9: Florida man got $4.5 million from COVID-19 PPP fraud, then lost $3 million — and freedom

June 10: The greatest work in English literature: Shakespeare First Folio expected to fetch $2.5m at auction

June 11: Jack Vettriano reveals new muses inspired him to paint again

June 14: A brother’s 36-year fight against one of New Zealand’s worst miscarriages of justice

June 16: Rescued Art Museum: Stolen artefacts recovered by police go on display in Rome

June 17: The Reply Guy From Hell – For almost two decades, this man terrorized women online. Then they decided to band together.

June 17: Ex-Amazon worker convicted in massive Capital One hack

June 20: ‘Master of Disguise’ on the Run After Mexican Authorities Find Girlfriend’s Remains

June 20: How Paintings Lost in a Small-Town Art Heist Were Recovered 50 Years Later

June 21: Alcatraz Escapees, Now in Their 90s, STILL Sought by U.S. Marshals Wielding Digitally Aged Images of Fugitives

June 21: Scientist turned bumbling Miami spy for Russia gets 4 years in cloak-and-dagger caper

June 22: Bill Cosby Sexually Assaulted a Teen at Playboy Mansion, Civil Jury Finds

June 24: Dutch mobster Willem Holleeder sentenced to life in prison over contract killings

June 24: Contractor Loses USB Drive Holding an Entire City’s Personal Details During Drunken Night Out

June 26: How a Detective Helped Nail the Torso Killer—From the Grave

June 27: Subway worker allegedly shot, killed over ‘too much mayonnaise’ on customer’s sandwich

June 28: Biotech Wizard Left a Trail of Fraud—Prosecutors Allege It Ended in
Murde
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June 28: Ghislaine Maxwell sentenced to 20 years for ‘horrific’ sex trafficking

June 29: R&B singer R. Kelly sentenced to 30 years in prison

June 29: Jamie Bartlett on the Biggest Crypto Scam of All and the Heartless Bulgarian Cryptoqueen Behind It

June 30: Researchers Blame North Korea for $100 Million Horizon Bridge Cryptocurrency Theft Amid ‘Global Manhunt’

Words of the Month

boggle (v.): From the 1590s, “to start with fright (as a startled horse does), shy, take alarm,” from Middle English bugge “specter” (among other things, supposed to scare horses at night); see bug (n.); also compare bogey (n.1), boggart. The meaning ” hesitate, stop as if afraid to proceed in fear of unforeseen difficulties” is from 1630s; that of “confound, cause to hesitate” is from 1640s. As a noun from 1650s. Related: Boggled; boggling; boggler (from c. 1600 as “one who hesitates”). (etymonline)

What We’ve Been Up To

Amber

Aunt Dimity & the Enchanted Cottage — Nancy Atherton

Once again, residents are plunging gleefully into Finch’s semi-regular ritual called the Moving-Van Vigil. Never heard of the tradition? Well, it’s where Finch villagers stake out a newly rented cottage and try to deduce who the newcomer is by the possessions as they’re moved from van to house….or what they can extrapolate from the labels on the cardboard boxes. 

When the movers finish hauling their last box, the villagers disperse and chew over their tentative conclusions for three full days, thereby giving their new neighbor breathing space to get the cottage in some semblance of order. Then they descend en masse, casserole dishes in hand, to welcome the latest addition to Finch’s thriving village life.

Violators of this rule are given the hairy eyeball, publicly snubbed, and met with stony silence.

Lori and Tommy are willing to face the consequences when they witness Mr. Windle (the latest unwitting participant of this nosey tradition) in a moment of extreme melancholy, whereupon the two start worrying that the newest addition to Finch means to do himself harm….

Aunt Dimity & the Enchanted Cottage is an excellent addition to the series! It shows Finch and its penchant for nosiness at its very best. Demonstrating how a community bands together to ensure one of its’ own stays safe and remember those who earlier inhabitants failed.

I would recommend The Enchanted Cottage to anyone who loves this series and/or to anyone who needs a lovely light mystery to escape the never-ending bad news cycle. 

Now, all that being said — there is one essential detail to keep in mind….Do Not Read the synopsis on the front fly-leaf. 

I’m serious.

Whoever wrote it did this book and the Residents of Finch a great disservice. First, this anonymous person in the publishing house made it sound as if the villagers completely dismissed Mr. Windle for rebuffing their advances of friendship. Now, anyone who knows anything about Finch KNOWS this would never happen. Especially if they think someone needs help.

Second, this unknown synopsis writer gives away a major plot point in the mystery. I mean…who does that? Albeit when you read the summary, you wouldn’t know, but the moment you start the book? It doesn’t take long to figure out that this faceless writer both told the truth about the mystery and misled you simultaneously. 

If you can, take my word that Aunt Dimity & the Enchanted Cottage is a well-written, captivating entry in this murderless mystery series and is well worth your reading time.

Fran

Stories need to be told.

Stories were different, though: they came alive in the telling. Without a human voice to read them aloud, or a pair of wide eyes following them by flashlight beneath a blanket, they had no real existence in our world. They were like seeds in the beak of a bird, waiting to fall to earth, or the notes of a song laid out on a sheet, yearning for an instrument to bring their music into being. They lay dormant, hoping for a chance to emerge. Once someone started to read them, they could begin to change. They would take root in the imagination, and transform the reader. Stories wanted to be read, David’s mother would whisper. They needed it. It was the reason they forced themselves from their world into ours. They wanted us to give them life.

John Connolly wrote that in the first few pages of his amazing book, THE BOOK OF LOST THINGS, back in 2006. It was true then, and it’s true now.

If you haven’t read THE BOOK OF LOST THINGS, first of all, you’re missing out on a classic fairy tale, not one that’s been Disney-fied but the truly grim ones, the real ones. Mind you, there’s laugh-out-loud moments to be found, but this is a dark tale for children and adults.

David, mentioned above, loves the old fairy tales, and found refuge in them when his mother died and his father remarried. World War II was breaking over London, and David goes to live in the country with his father and their new family. Isolated and lonely, David turns to books. But when a downed German plane crashes in the garden where David is exploring, a hole in the garden wall is the only potentially safe place David can go.

Except what’s on the other side of the wall isn’t the neighboring yard. It’s a world filled with all the stories he’s been reading, and unless he is very resourceful and quick, David could be stuck there. Forever.

I’ve told you about this book before, and it bears reinforcing my determination that you should read it, but that’s not the only reason I’m telling you to pick it up.

Here’s what John Connolly said in a recent newsletter:

For some time I’ve been working on a sequel to THE BOOK OF LOST THINGS. I never really thought I’d write a sequel to that book, although I have returned to the universe of it with some short stories over the years. Nevertheless, I’ve had recourse to re-read the original over the last decade or so: first to give it a gentle polish for the 10th anniversary edition, and then, during lockdown, in order to write a film script based on it. (The script provided a way forward, I think, as well as indicating that there was too much material in the book for a two-hour film. The film company is now looking at it in terms of a possible television series, which would provide more scope for expansion, but I’ve done my bit as far as scripts for it are concerned.)

The polish for the anniversary edition, completed in 2016, probably provided the initial impetus, while the screenplay concretized some ideas I’d had. The result is that THE LAND OF LOST THINGS will be published in the autumn of either 2023 or 2024, but most likely the former. There’s some work to be done on it yet in terms of revision, but it’s coming into focus.

YAY! A film/series and a sequel? It doesn’t get better than that!

JB

After watching the series “The Lincoln Lawyer”, I decided to go back to Michael Connelly’s series with Mickey Haller, Harry Bosch’s half-brother. I’d stopped reading that series after the second book in the series, The Brass Verdict, which is what the TV covered. 3rd was The Reversal – which features Bosch as working with Haller. The next in the series was temporarily out of print, so I spent the month catching up with Bosch, and the newest member of that universe, Renee Ballard: The Late Show, Dark Sacred Night, Night Fire, and the Dark Hours. What the hell – if you’re gonna do it, just go overboard! Ballard and Bocsh make a great team. Each of their joint books contain at least one cold case that takes takes up most of the book, and sprinkled in are Ballard’s Late Show cases that work like mini-short stories. It’s a fascinating way to craft a novel. Won’t be another Bosch and Ballard until early November, so not it is back to Haller and the fifth in that series, The Gods of Guilt.

Finally, a personal plea: if you’re not happy with the way the country is going, the way every American’s right to privacy has been eagerly stripped away by the minority, you must resolve to vote in EVERY election. Yes, presidential elections are crucial, but so are all the local and state elections. Don’t like gerrymandering? Vote! Don’t like what the schoolboard is doing? VOTE! Don’t like what your state legislators are doing, or the governor? VOTE! If you’re registered but don’t vote, you’ve helped those who removed your – our – rights. If you’re not registered – register and vote in every election. Because, as you can see, it matters… Protesting is good, showing numbers and raising voices is good. “A few weeks before his death in 1895, Douglass was asked what advice he would give to a young black American. ‘Agitate! Agitate! Agitate!’ the old man answered.”

Remember – Black MEN in America were theoretically given the right to vote in 1870 but that was not enforced – again, theoretically – until the 1964 Civil Rights Act. That now seems to be under threat in many forums. WOMEN in America were not allowed to vote until the 19th Amendment was passed in 1920! So, if you listen to Constitutional Originalists who want the things to return to what the Constitution said when it was written… ‘Agitate! Agitate! Agitate!’ and VOTE!

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