Archive for September, 2017

AL FRANKEN, GIANT of the SENATE by Al Franken

September 19th, 2017

al frankenThis is a book about an unlikely campaign that had an even more improbable ending:  the closest outcome in history and an unprecedented 8-month recount saga, which is pretty funny in retrospect.

It is a book about what happens when the nation’s foremost progressive satirist gets a chance to serve in the United States Senate and, defying the low expectations of the pundit class, actually turns out to be good at it.  It’s a book about our deeply polarized, frequently depressing, occasionally inspiring political culture, written from inside the belly of the beast.

In this candid personal memoir, the honorable gentleman from Minnesota takes his army of loyal fans along with him from Saturday Night Live to the campaign trail, inside the halls of Congress, and behind the scenes of some of the most dramatic and/or hilarious moments of his new career in politics.

“Admirably incautious…Franken has weaponized the gifts that proved so useful for comedy—a sharp eye and a sharper tongue. the ability to tease out the essential absurdity of a given situation and deliver the goods with maximum impact.” [Mark Binelli, Rolling Stone]

“A fun and compelling book, [Franken] uses self-deprecating humor to poke fun at everyone on either side of the aisle, and he gives readers insight to the daily workings of life in the Senate.  His love of the people and the state of Minnesota is crystal clear.” [Jeff Ayers, AP]

GPL: 92 Franken

al franken

NEW BOY by Tracy Chevalier

September 6th, 2017

new boyArriving at his fifth school in as many years, diplomat’s son, Osei Kokote knows he needs an ally if he is to survive his first day—so he’s lucky to hit it off with Dee, the most popular girl in school. But one student can’t stand to witness this budding relationship: Ian decides to destroy the friendship between the black boy and the golden girl.

In NEW BOY, the tragedy of Othello is transposed to a 1970s suburban Washington DC schoolyard, where kids fall in and out of love with each other before lunchtime, and practice a casual racism picked up from their parents and teachers.  The youth of the characters is played naturalistically and honestly, yet still manages to elicit much the same pathos that Othello’s tragic path does.  The depth of connection between the original work and this new one is astonishing; Chevalier builds parallels within parallels that are both unexpectedly creative and exquisitely apt.

NEW BOY  succeeds in portraying a Shakespearean tragedy’s sense of growing unease, and culminates in an unnerving and haunting climax that will take a long time to shake.

GPL: F Chevalie