Snowy morning at the neighborhood cemetery.
(I love having a neighborhood cemetery.)
Diane Ravitch on The Daily Show.
Ravitch is the queen. If only the government would listen…
We would also address poverty directly. We would increase the minimum wage and make post-secondary education cheap or free, and we’d improve improve unemployment benefits and offer free job-training to the unemployed.
Poverty is one of the few social ills where throwing money at the problem really does seem to work.
These are not radical, liberal ideas. In fact, in Europe most of them are associated with the more conservative parties, and many of them were associated with the American Republican party in the 80s. But the United States’s political climate is so different from anywhere else in the industrialized world that I fear we will just continue to get farther behind in education (and in % of people living in poverty) until we decide to make some big domestic investments.
I want this. And a giant room to roll around in it.
(Source: David Garcia Studio)
For Small Business Saturday/Indies First, I spent part of the afternoon as a temporary bookseller at Addendum Books in St. Paul, MN, where I got to hang out with Lauren Stringer, Dawn Klehr, and Will Alexander (and pick up these signed copies of Will’s Goblin Secrets and Rainbow Rowell’s Eleanor & Park) before more of the day’s TWENTY SIX (!!!) participating authors took our places. Then I zipped over to the bustling Red Balloon Bookshop to chat with Brian Farrey and David LaRochelle and buy some personalized picture books.
So grateful for the Twin Cities community of readers, writers, booksellers, and book lovers. What an exciting and encouraging day.
Writers and their dogs.
From top: Kurt Vonnegut and Pumpkin, Stephen King and Marlowe, Donna Tartt and Pongo, P.G. Wodehouse and Jed, Ann Patchett and Rose.
(Photos by Jill Krementz)
|—||Margaret Atwood, “The Page”|
GRIP THE RAVEN . The taxidermied raven that inspired the Poe poem of the same name [x]
Perched on a log in the Rare Books department of the Philadelphia Free Library stands a strange piece of history. Dead since 1841, but preserved with arsenic, and frozen inside a shadow box, this bird’s legacy is longer than most people’s. His name is Grip. Grip the Clever, Grip the Wicked, Grip the Knowing. Once Charles Dickens’ pet raven, upon its death Dickens had it professionally taxidermied and mounted. Grip even makes an appearance in Dickens’ lesser-known story "Barnaby Rudge." That book was reviewed by then literary critic Edgar Allan Poe. Poe wrote that “[the raven’s] croaking might have been prophetically heard in the course of the drama.” It wasn’t long after this that Poe published his breakout work “The Raven.” The coincidence didn’t escape notice, and Poe was taunted with the refrain “Here comes Poe with his Raven, like Barnaby Rudge, / Three fifths of him genius, two fifths sheer fudge.”
Despite this, “The Raven” was a smash success and Poe enjoyed performing readings at fancy salon parties. He would turn down all the lights and recite the poem with great drama. Everyone referred to him as “the Raven,” but it would only be four years after publishing “The Raven” and gaining worldwide fame that Poe would be found delirious on the streets of Baltimore, dying shortly thereafter. Today, Grip the Raven, who inspired both Dickens and Poe, can still be seen, proud as ever, in the Free Library of Philadelphia Rare Book Department, along with a great collection of both Poe and Dickens originals and other rare books.