Thursday, August 30, 2012

Reactions to Last Night's RNC


Condoleezza Rice having an Eva Peron moment at last night's RNC

Via the Christian Science Monitor: Rice, McCain criticize Obama foreign policies WITHOUT MENTIONING BIN LADEN

Via Huffington Post: Fact Check: Paul Ryan Takes Factual Shortcuts In Speech

Paul Ryan Address: Convention Speech Built On Demonstrably Misleading Assertions

TAMPA, Fla. -- Paul Ryan pledged Wednesday that if he and his running mate Mitt Romney were elected president, they would usher in an ethic of responsibility. The Wisconsin congressman and GOP vice presidential candidate repeatedly chided President Barack Obama for blaming the jobs and housing crises on his predecessor, saying that his habit of "forever shifting blame to the last administration, is getting old. The man assumed office almost four years ago -– isn’t it about time he assumed responsibility?"

Ryan then noted that Obama, while campaigning for president, promised that a GM plant in Wisconsin would not shut down. "That plant didn’t last another year. It is locked up and empty to this day. And that’s how it is in so many towns today, where the recovery that was promised is nowhere in sight," Ryan said.

Except Obama didn't promise that. And the plant closed in December 2008 -- while George W. Bush was president.

It was just one of several striking and demonstrably misleading elements of Ryan's much-anticipated acceptance speech. And it comes just days after Romney pollster Neil Newhouse warned, defending the campaign's demonstrably false ads claiming Obama removed work requirements from welfare, "We're not going to let our campaign be dictated by fact-checkers."

Ryan, for his part, slammed the president for not supporting a deficit commission report without mentioning that he himself had voted against it, helping to kill it.

He also made a cornerstone of his argument the claim that Obama "funneled" $716 billion out of Medicare to pay for Obamacare. But he didn't mention that his own budget plan relies on those very same savings.

Ryan also put responsibility for Standard & Poor's downgrade of U.S. government debt at Obama's doorstep. But he didn't mention that S&P itself, in explaining its downgrade, referred to the debt ceiling standoff. That process of raising the debt ceiling was only politicized in the last Congress, driven by House Republicans, led in the charge by Paul Ryan.

The credit rater also said it worried that Republicans would never agree to tax increases. “We have changed our assumption on [revenue] because the majority of Republicans in Congress continue to resist any measure that would raise revenues,” S&P wrote.

Jodie Layton, a convention goer from Utah watching the Ryan speech, said she was blown away by the vice presidential candidate. But she said she was surprised to hear that after his speech about taking responsibility, he'd pinned a Bush-era plant closing on Obama.

"It closed in December 2008?" she asked, making sure she heard a HuffPost reporter's question right. After a long pause, she said, "It's happening a lot on both sides. It's to be expected."

Ryan has referenced the GM plant before, and his attack was debunked by the Detroit News, which called it inaccurate. "In fact, Obama made no such promise and the plant halted production in December 2008, when President George W. Bush was in office," Detroit News reporter David Sherpardson wrote earlier this month. "Obama did speak at the plant in February 2008, and suggested that a government partnership with automakers could keep the plant open, but made no promises as Ryan suggested."

After the speech, CNN's political commentators focused mostly on Ryan's misstatements, demonstrating the degree to which they were evident.

Top Obama adviser David Axelrod jumped on the GM factory claim. "Again, Ryan blames Obama for a GM plant that closed under Bush. But then, they did say they wouldn't 'let fact checkers get in the way.'"

Ryan, however, appears to have made the calculation that the misleading won't hurt him with voters. He might be right. CNN's David Gergen, while acknowledging some "misstatements" in Ryan's address, suggested that pundits focus elsewhere. "But let's not forget that this was a speech about big ideas," he told his audience.

It is sad the degree to which politicians believe they can lie, while we believe and accept that lying is okay.

Via the Daily Kos: RNC Schedule Day 4: We Believe We Can Lie

Yesterday was noteworthy primarily as a reminder that having basic competence in speech delivery is no greater a hindrance to a political career than having basic policy competence might be, a lesson amply demonstrated by intensely awkward performances by Perpetually Crabby John McCain, Official Senate Turtle Mitch McConnell, and a host of lesser Republican luminaries. We saw George W. Bush's budget director dispensing budget advice with absolutely no mention of how that worked out the last time around, and George W. Bush's National Security Adviser give us a speech on various foreign policy that proved she had not really learned anything in particular about foreign policy since about midway through Bush's first term; I am fairly certain that is the time frame she cribbed her current speech from, merely pasting in a Mitt Romney here and there to make it fit the mood of the day.

The following is also from the Daily Kos...but look whom DK is quoting: FOX NEWS: "Ryan's…attempt to set the world record for the greatest number of blatant lies."

Roam Rome With Matthew Mitcham

To bathe more in the beauty that is Matthew visit Sountrack to my Day

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

The True Size of Africa

Ever notice that on many maps, Africa tends to be much smaller than Asia, Europe, and definitely the United States. Maybe this has changed some from when I was a kid and had more of a requirement to look at maps.

All That Is Interesting also provides a table adding up the areas of the countries shown - China, the USA, India, Mexico, Peru, France, Spain, Papua New Guinea, Sweden, Japan, Germany, Norway, Italy, New Zealand, the UK, Nepal, Bangladesh, and Greece - and Africa is still a bit bigger!

Click to embiggen! No seriously.

Hunting in the World that Was

Via Beautiful/Decay

“My goal with this project is to create striking juxtapositions between the ruins of modern civilization and a futuristic ecological utopia.”

Brooklyn-based artist/illustrator Nick Pederson recently finished a new batch of work entitled Ultima. The loosely narrative series depicts a post-apocalyptic environment in which conflicts between modern and early cultures, and man and the natural world are given prominent attention. In the world that Pederson has conjured, overgrown cities (though absent of their typical, busy inhabitants) are full of life. The lush, green environments project a vibrancy that’s really appealing. But the digital works have their quiet aspects too - deer slowly pick their way through the brush; and stoic, masked tribesmen explore their bizarre surroundings.

Pederson's work (there's more if you click over) put me in the mind of this...

Sean Lennon and Artists Against Fracking

BoingBoing has a post on Sean Lennon's op-ed in the NYT on fracking, however the video that goes with the post doesn't seem to work.

Natural gas has been sold as clean energy. But when the gas comes from fracturing bedrock with about five million gallons of toxic water per well, the word “clean” takes on a disturbingly Orwellian tone. Don’t be fooled. Fracking for shale gas is in truth dirty energy. It inevitably leaks toxic chemicals into the air and water. Industry studies show that 5 percent of wells can leak immediately, and 60 percent over 30 years. There is no such thing as pipes and concrete that won’t eventually break down. It releases a cocktail of chemicals from a menu of more than 600 toxic substances, climate-changing methane, radium and, of course, uranium.

If you've seen the documentary GASLAND, you also see people and animals sicken and die, and people, who drink from well water, able to set their taps on fire.

Novak Djokovic is Hot and Awesome

Via OMGblog comes this video of hottie Novak Djokovic at tennis practice. When a young (male) fan screams from the side "Djokovic, will you marry me?" what does Novak do?

He waves the fan down to the court for a few swings and a hug.

I wonder if this will work for me too.

Midday Break

Kurt Vonnegut's 8 Tips for Telling a Great Story

Brain Pickings has a post on Kurt Vonnegut's 8 tips for telling a great story as part of their year of reading and writing better.

“Write to please just one person. If you open a window and make love to the world, so to speak, your story will get pneumonia.”

Some Superheroes Wear Skirts

Via BuzzFeed

Nils Pickert's five-year-old son likes to wear dresses, and given how closed-minded people can be, Nils wanted to make sure that he grows up with a strong, positive role model. So he did what any mind-bogglingly incredible dad would do: he started wearing skirts himself.

We Will End Porn

Via JoeMyGod

I think the RNC is really out of touch with their base

"During last week's meetings in Tampa, FRC Action made it a priority to insert tough new language on pornography into the GOP platform. (We'd also like to educate the Democrats on this issue, if they'll listen.) Thanks to my team working behind the scenes and my access as a delegate, we were able to successfully add a plank calling for 'Current laws on all forms of pornography and obscenity' to be 'vigorously enforced.' The wording reflects Gov. Mitt Romney's own position, which he articulated earlier this year when he pushed for 'increased parental involvement and enhanced supervision of our children.' Together with more than 120 national, state, and local groups, we have leaned on the DOJ to resume targeting illegal pornography. If it won't, then we need an administration that will." - Tony Perkins, via press release.

Happy Hump Day

See a couple more of this cutie SFW here

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Tuesday Books

There were very few new things that came in today, but we got all kinds of replacement titles, so tonight I provide you the crème de la crème of those.

An iconic novel dressed in a fierce design by acclaimed fashion illustrator Ruben Toledo. See the other titles in the couture-inspired collection: Jane Eyre, The Picture of Dorian Gray, Dracula, The Scarlet Letter and Pride and Prejudice.

Ruben Toledo’s breathtaking drawings have appeared in such high-fashion magazines as Vogue, Harper’s Bazaar, and Visionaire. Now he’s turning his talented hand to illustrating the gorgeous deluxe editions of three of the most beloved novels in literature. Here Elizabeth Bennet’s rejection of Mr. Darcy, Hester Prynne’s fateful letter “A”, and Catherine Earnshaw’s wanderings on the Yorkshire moors are transformed into witty and surreal landscapes to appeal to the novels’ aficionados and the most discerning designer’s eyes.

For the actual plot, watch this...

Emma, the comic and sharply observed story of young Emma Woodhouse's education in life, is regarded by many as Jane Austen's most perfect novel. Introduced to the reader as "handsome, clever, and rich," Emma Woodhouse is also a spoiled, meddling matchmaker--Austen's most flawed, and possibly most endearing heroine. Her fourth published novel, and the last to appear before her death, this lively comedy of manners is the work of an incisive writer at the height of her powers. Jane Austen is a renowned Regency novelist. Her other works include Pride and Prejudice, Persuasion, Northanger Abbey, and Sense and Sensibility.

When Elizabeth Bennet first meets eligible bachelor Fitzwilliam Darcy, she thinks him arrogant and conceited; he is indifferent to her good looks and lively mind. When she later discovers that Darcy has involved himself in the troubled relationship between his friend Bingley and her beloved sister Jane, she is determined to dislike him more than ever. In the sparkling comedy of manners that follows, Jane Austen shows the folly of judging by first impressions and superbly evokes the friendships,gossip and snobberies of provincial middle-class life.

The two above titles are part of a series of cloth-bound Penguin Classics that I'm absolutely in love with!

One of Time’s 100 best novels in the English language — by the acclaimed author of Lionel Asbo: State of England and London Fields

Part of Martin Amis’s “London Trilogy,” along with the novel London Fields and The Information, Money was hailed as "a sprawling, fierce, vulgar display" (The New Republic) and "exhilarating, skillful, savvy" (The Times Literary Supplement) when it made its first appearance in the mid-1980s. Amis’s shocking, funny, and on-target portraits of life in the fast lane form a bold and frightening portrait of Ronald Reagan’s America and Margaret Thatcher’s England.

Money is the hilarious story of John Self, one of London’s top commercial directors, who is given the opportunity to make his first feature film—alternately titled Good Money and Bad Money. He is also living money, talking money, and spending money in his relentless pursuit of pleasure and success. As he attempts to navigate his hedonistic world of drinking, sex, drugs, and excessive quantities of fast food, Self is sucked into a wretched spiral of degeneracy that is increasingly difficult to surface from.

A captivating read from a debut novelist, Brick Lane brings the immigrant milieu of East London to vibrant life. With great poignancy, Ali illuminates a foreign world; her well-developed characters pull readers along on a deeply psychological, almost spiritual journey. Through the eyes of two Bangladeshi sisters -- the plain Nazneen and the prettier Hasina -- we see the divergent paths of the contemporary descendants of an ancient culture. Hasina elopes to a "love marriage," and young Nazneen, in an arranged marriage, is pledged to a much older man living in London.

Ali's skillful narrative focuses on Nazneen's stifling life with her ineffectual husband, who keeps her imprisoned in a city housing project filled with immigrants in varying degrees of assimilation. But Ali reveals a bittersweet tension between the "two kinds of love" Nazneen and her sister experience -- that which begins full and overflowing, only to slowly dissipate, and another which emerges like a surprise, growing unexpectedly over years of faithful commitment. Both of these loves have their own pitfalls: Hasina's passionate romance crumbles into domestic violence, and Nazneen's marriage never quite reaches a state of wedded bliss.

Though comparisons have drawn between Ali and Zadie Smith, a better comparison might be made between this talented newcomer and the work of Amy Tan, who so deftly portrays the immigrant experience with empathy and joy.

Originally written in 1952 but not published till 1985, Queer is an enigma-both an unflinching autobiographical self-portrait and a coruscatingly political novel, Burroughs' only realist love story and a montage of comic-grotesque fantasies that paved the way for his masterpiece, Naked Lunch. Set in Mexico City during the early fifties, Queer follows William Lee's hopeless pursuit of desire from bar to bar in the American expatriate scene. As Lee breaks down, the trademark Burroughsian voice emerges, a maniacal mix of self- lacerating humor and the ugly American at his ugliest.

A haunting tale of possession and exorcism, Queer is also a novel with a history of secrets, as this new edition reveals.

Offred is a Handmaid in the Republic of Gilead. She may leave the home of the Commander and his wife once a day to walk to food markets whose signs are now pictures instead of words because women are no longer allowed to read. She must lie on her back once a month and pray that the Commander makes her pregnant, because in an age of declining fertility, Offred and the other Handmaids are valued only if their ovaries are viable. Offred can remember the years before, when she lived and made love with her husband, Luke; when she played with and protected her daughter; when she had a job, money of her own, and access to knowledge. But all of that is gone now…

Funny, unexpected, horrifying, and altogether convincing, The Handmaid's Tale is at once scathing satire, dire warning, and tour de force.

Sadly, instead of the above iconic cover, we got the Everyman's Hardcover edition with this horrible, little-thought-out cover.

In his startling, witty, and inexhaustibly inventive first novel — first published in 1986 and now reissued as a Grove Press paperback — the author of Vox and The Fermata uses a one-story escalator ride as the occasion for a dazzling reappraisal of everyday objects and rituals. From the humble milk carton to the act of tying one’s shoes, The Mezzanine at once defamiliarizes the familiar world and endows it with loopy and euphoric poetry. Nicholson Baker’s accounts of the ordinary become extraordinary through his sharp storytelling and his unconventional, conversational style. At first glance, The Mezzanine appears to be a book about nothing. In reality, it is a brilliant celebration of things, simultaneously demonstrating the value of reflection and the importance of everyday human human experiences

Nick Naylor likes his job. In the neo-puritanical nineties, it's a challenge to defend the rights of smokers and a privilege to promote their liberty. Sure, it hurts a little when you' re compared to Nazi war criminals, but Nick says he' s just doing what it takes to pay the mortgage and put his son through Washington's elite private school St. Euthanasius. He can handle the pressure from the antismoking zealots, but he is less certain about his new boss, BR, who questions whether Nick is worth $150,000 a year to fight a losing war. Under pressure to produce results, Nick goes on a PR offensive. But his heightened notoriety makes him a target for someone who wants to prove just how hazardous smoking can be. If Nick isn' t careful, he' s going to be stubbed out.

Influenced by the melodrama of the contemporary theater and the popular gothic novels of the time, Louisa May Alcott weaves a tale far removed from the reality of her everyday life in Boston. With a charm reminiscent of Jane Austen's novels, The Inheritance sets love and courtesy against depravity and dishonor - and with the help of a secret inheritance, allows virtue to prevail.

This is the story of a lie that became the most powerful kind of truth. A timeless novel as urgently compelling as War Day or Alas, Babylon, David Brin's The Postman is the dramatically moving saga of a man who rekindled the spirit of America through the power of a dream, from a modern master of science fiction.

He was a survivor--a wanderer who traded tales for food and shelter in the dark and savage aftermath of a devastating war. Fate touches him one chill winter's day when he borrows the jacket of a long-dead postal worker to protect himself from the cold. The old, worn uniform still has power as a symbol of hope, and with it he begins to weave his greatest tale, of a nation on the road to recovery.

When a passenger check-in desk at London's Heathrow Airport disappears in a ball of orange flame, the explosion is deemed an act of God. But which god, wonders holistic detective Dirk Gently? What god would be hanging around Heathrow trying to catch the 3:37 to Oslo? And what has this to do with Dirk's latest--and late-- client, found only this morning with his head revolving atop the hit record "Hot Potato"? Amid the hostile attentions of a stray eagle and the trauma of a very dirty refrigerator, super-sleuth Dirk Gently will once again solve the mysteries of the universe…

This is Adams' sequel to Dirk Gently's Holistic Detective Agency.

The war raged across the galaxy. Billions had died, billions more were doomed. Moons, planets, the very stars themselves, faced destruction, cold-blooded, brutal, and worse, random. The Idirans fought for their Faith; the Culture for its moral right to exist. Principles were at stake. There could be no surrender.

Within the cosmic conflict, an individual crusade. Deep within a fabled labyrinth on a barren world, a Planet of the Dead proscribed to mortals, lay a fugitive Mind. Both the Culture and the Idirans sought it. It was the fate of Horza, the Changer, and his motley crew of unpredictable mercenaries, human and machine, actually to find it, and with it their own destruction.

Andrew Garfield. It Must Be Tuesday.

Saturday, August 25, 2012

Weekend Dick

No. Smoking in the nude does not decrease the hazards of smoking...actually you might catch your pubes on fire.

Friday, August 24, 2012

Midday Final Fantasy Cosplay Beau

Via Fashionably Geek

Counting Will Never Be the Same

Via Tough Pigs

On the night of August 23, friends and colleagues of beloved veteran Muppeteer Jerry Nelson posted the news on Facebook that Jerry had passed away. The news is not a complete surprise, as Jerry’s health had been declining in recent years. But when a man whose work has meant so much to so many people passes on, it’s impossible not to feel shock.

As well as the Count (I bet you all started counting in that accent just then), Nelson also played Herry Monster, Biff, Floyd, Dr. Strangepork, Gobo Fraggle, Pa Gorg, and the Trash Heap (I bet you all just said in your head, "The Trash Heap has spoken. MEEEeehnnn!")

Wibbly Wobbly Ladders

Via Illuminations and other stuff

TGIF Beau

I SO want to be doing this right now...the lying in the hammock, I mean.

Via handsome drifter

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Goodnight Beau

Balls Deep Beau

Okay, so, I'm a bit horny today.

What a Lovely Fucking Mess

Travis Matthews Has Delivered the Initial Cut

Via Indiewire

James Franco is giving mixed signals. He's been a part of successful movie franchises, was Oscar-nominated, hosted the Oscars, had an extended run on "General Hospital" and made an art film about it that premiered at this year's Tribeca Film Festival. Now he's teamed with gay art-porn director Travis Mathews to direct "James Franco's Cruising," inspired by William Friedkin's controversial 1980 gay murder mystery "Cruising."

The film, which Mathews just delivered to Franco as an initial cut, was shot over two days. Elapsed time from first conversation to first edit: two months.

"He straddles this superstar summer movie blockbuster celebrity life, and on the other hand he does these very low-budget art films," Mathews told Indiewire. "There's the people who know him for his blockbusters, but there's a different population that knows his gallery shows and that he makes semi-esoteric gay content."

Franco's work includes the five-minute homoerotic short "The Feast of Stephen." The film that Mathews and Franco are creating together is an examination of people trying to make sense of Franco as star figure -- as well as a documentation of Franco's attempt to produce a film that re-imagines the lost 40 minutes of "Cruising."

"Cruising," based on the novel by Gerald Walker, stars Al Pacino as a police detective who goes undercover in the gay S&M sex scene to investigate the serial murders of gay men within the subculture. The production, which shot in New York City, was picketed by gay rights groups nervous about the film's depiction of gay men. (Those protests are documented in Jim Hubbard's short "Stop the Movie (Cruising)".)

According to Mathews, Franco wanted to update the film, but he couldn't get the rights. As Mathews' gay art porn/drama "I Want Your Love" was getting press attention, Franco's people emailed Mathews to ask him to talk about the film. Within 24 hours, they were talking.

"He knew he wanted real gay sex in it," Travis said. "His people went looking for a filmmaker who had filmed real gay sex, and I suspect someone who would complement his vision. We talked about why we would be interested in still looking at this film. We talked about his interest in the film and his interest more broadly in so many gay-themed stories and visionairies. He's worked with so many in front of and behind the cameras over the years."

Mathews, who plays himself and directs, and Franco, who also plays himself and produces, decided to document the recreation of the 40 minutes that were lost from the film after an intense battle with the MPAA to change its rating from X to R.

"[Friedkin] cut the film down at his own expense," Mathews said. "Recently, when he was getting ready to do an anniversary edition, Warner Bros. told him that the footage was destroyed. It's possible those 40 minutes implicate Pacino's character in the gay S&M culture. That was the place we started from as a launching point: James Franco's version of those lost 40 minutes."

To learn more about what those 40 minutes could contain, Mathews spoke to two extras. "These guys were real New York gays, patrons of bars like the one in the film. The production was so concerned with the protesters that the extras would be picked up by buses to be taken to the set at an undisclosed location."

As for Mathews' own opinion and recollection of the film, "The interesting thing about that movie is it gets short-circuited a bit too quickly in people's eyes. If you forget about the whole murder mystery backstory and you just look at the bar scenes, I think it's quite an insightful, important document of an important subculture, right before AIDS hits, in 1979 New York."

Mathews' experience on "James Franco's Cruising" left him feeling inspired. "We didn't have the luxury or the curse of all this time. No time to worry or ruminate, just enough time to do the minimal amount of planning to make sure it all happened. It was great for me to see that I worked well under those conditions. I love that blurry space between something that's staged and has a certain level of scripting and direction. It made me want to revisit a bunch of different projects that I had thought of and reimagine them in a way that would be less of an arduous pre-production/production process."

Mathews hopes to debut the final cut in early 2013. An installation version of the footage will play at a group show in a gallery beginning September 12.

I Miss Playing in the Steam

Midday Beau

If I were that beautiful, I'd have a cocky-ass smirk too.

I Wanna Go Swimming

It'd probably be better if he took his pants off.

The Map Is Red, But...

The Washington Post has an article about what our (political) book buying says about us, but if you click on the map image on the article it takes you to Amazon.com where you see that 63% of shoppers are buying Barack Obama's Audacity of Hope to 37% of Mitt Romney's No Apology.

So, I'm not quite sure what the map tells us.

Happy to Be Out of Those Close

Clinton for Obama

You remember Bill Clinton, right?

The last time we had an economy in the black, right?

Getting a Late Start Beau

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Skinny Dipping is Your Hump Day Must

It's Like Peter Murphy, Boy George, Iggy Pop and Chris Cocker All Had a Kid

Via BoingBoing

Ryan Onboard with Akin's "Legimate Rape"

More at Towleroad

Gay Boys Ask for Romney's Full Disclosure

Okay, the music may make your ears bleed, but they sure are cute...AND they have a point.

Are these more Andrew Christian boys? I know the main lip-syncher is: he's one of my faves.

Check out Full Frontal's Facebook page.

It's Sad to Suck So Badly at Pool

Via TMZ

Pictures were released yesterday of Prince Harry completely nekkers in Las Vegas during a game of strip billiards.

Damn! Too bad there's no place in town to play this. At most we have a pool tournament at the bear bar with a guy in a kilt.

Your Hump Day Breakfast

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Tuesday Books

New Hyde Hospital’s psychiatric ward has a new resident. It also has a very, very old one.

Pepper is a rambunctious big man, minor-league troublemaker, working-class hero (in his own mind), and, suddenly, the surprised inmate of a budget-strapped mental institution in Queens, New York. He’s not mentally ill, but that doesn’t seem to matter. He is accused of a crime he can’t quite square with his memory. In the darkness of his room on his first night, he’s visited by a terrifying creature with the body of an old man and the head of a bison who nearly kills him before being hustled away by the hospital staff. It’s no delusion: The other patients confirm that a hungry devil roams the hallways when the sun goes down. Pepper rallies three other inmates in a plot to fight back: Dorry, an octogenarian schizophrenic who’s been on the ward for decades and knows all its secrets; Coffee, an African immigrant with severe OCD, who tries desperately to send alarms to the outside world; and Loochie, a bipolar teenage girl who acts as the group’s enforcer. Battling the pill-pushing staff, one another, and their own minds, they try to kill the monster that’s stalking them. But can the Devil die?

The Devil in Silver brilliantly brings together the compelling themes that spark all of Victor LaValle’s radiant fiction: faith, race, class, madness, and our relationship with the unseen and the uncanny. More than that, it’s a thrillingly suspenseful work of literary horror about friendship, love, and the courage to slay our own demons.

John Franklin has moved his fifteen-year-old son to the remote northern Canadian town of Houndstitch to make a new life together after his wife, Thomas’ mother, left them. Mourning her disappearance, John, a high school English teacher, writes poetry and escapes into an affair, while Thomas withdraws into a fantasy recreation of the infamous Victorian-era arctic expedition led by British explorer Sir John Franklin. With teenage bravado, Thomas gives himself scurvy so that he can sympathize with the characters in the film of his mind—and is almost lost himself.

While told over the course of only a few days, this gripping tale slips through time, powerfully evoking a modern family in distress and the legendary Franklin crew’s descent into despair, madness, and cannibalism on the Arctic tundra.

An essential collection of 569 primary documents, which explores the events, major and minor, that have shaped our nation and illuminates every aspect of its history

Featuring hundreds of voices spanning three centuries, the documents included in The American Experience express the development of a nation as told through the eyes of those who lived during its most seminal and pivotal moments. These are the firsthand words of the famous, infamous, and forgotten, and they come in many forms, including speeches, articles, essays, public records, landmark legal documents, poems, news reports, and more.

Organized chronologically from 1763 to the present, The American Experience follows the great tapestry of our history as it weaves its way through the creation of the republic in its nascent years; civil war and reconstruction; the progressive era; boom, bust, and the New Deal; world wars; the Cold War; social upheaval of every kind; and much more.

A sample of the 569 documents includes: the Iroquois Federation Constitution; Barack Obama's Philadelphia speech on race; Transcripts from the Salem Witch Trial; Roe v. Wade; The Declaration of Independence; The Federalist Papers; The Monroe Doctrine; Baseball's Original Rules; "I Have a Dream"; Henry David Thoreau on Civil Disobedience; Sojourner Truth on Women's Suffrage; Ulysses S. Grant on the Assault at Cold Harbor; The G.I. Bill; Journals of Lewis & Clark; George W. Bush's 9/11 Address; George Washington's Farewell Address; The Louisiana Purchase; The Kinsey Report; and hundreds more.

An essential collection for students, The American Experience is also of major appeal to historians, news junkies, and the civicor politically-minded across the political spectrum.

Imaginary friend Budo narrates this heartwarming story of love, loyalty, and the power of the imagination — the perfect read for anyone who has ever had a friend…real or otherwise

Budo is lucky as imaginary friends go. He's been alive for more than five years, which is positively ancient in the world of imaginary friends. But Budo feels his age, and thinks constantly of the day when eight-year-old Max Delaney will stop believing in him. When that happens, Budo will disappear.

Max is different from other children. Some people say that he has Asperger’s Syndrome, but most just say he’s “on the spectrum.” None of this matters to Budo, who loves Max and is charged with protecting him from the class bully, from awkward situations in the cafeteria, and even in the bathroom stalls. But he can’t protect Max from Mrs. Patterson, the woman who works with Max in the Learning Center and who believes that she alone is qualified to care for this young boy.

When Mrs. Patterson does the unthinkable and kidnaps Max, it is up to Budo and a team of imaginary friends to save him — and Budo must ultimately decide which is more important: Max’s happiness or Budo's very existence.

Narrated by Budo, a character with a unique ability to have a foot in many worlds—imaginary, real, child, and adult — Memoirs of an Imaginary Friend touches on the truths of life, love, and friendship as it races to a heartwarming…and heartbreaking conclusion.

All our favorite characters are up to new tricks in the utterly charming sixth novel in the bestselling 44 Scotland Street series.

The great city of Edinburgh is renowned for its impeccable restraint, so how, then, did the extended family of 44 Scotland Street come to be trembling on the brink of reckless self-indulgence? After seven years and five books, Bertie is — finally! — about to turn seven. But one afternoon he mislays his meddling mother Irene, and learns a valuable lesson: wish-fulfillment can be a dangerous business. Angus and Domenica contemplate whether to give in to romance on holiday in Italy, and even usually down-to-earth Big Lou is overheard discussing cosmetic surgery. Funny, warm, and heartfelt as ever, The Importance of Being Seven offers fresh and wise insights into philosophy and fraternity among Edinburgh's most lovable residents.

This stunning debut novel—drawn from the author's own life experience—tells the moving story of a family of eleven in the American Midwest, bound together and torn apart by their faith

The Rovaniemis and their nine children belong to a deeply traditional church (no drinking, no dancing, no TV) in modern-day Michigan. A normal family in many ways, the Rovaniemis struggle with sibling rivalry, parental expectations, and forming their own unique identities in such a large family. But when two of the children venture from the faith, the family fragments and a haunting question emerges: Do we believe for ourselves, or for each other? Each chapter is told from the distinctive point of view of a different Rovaniemi, drawing a nuanced, kaleidoscopic portrait of this unconventional family. The children who reject the church learn that freedom comes at the almost unbearable price of their close family ties, and those who stay struggle daily with the challenges of resisting the temptations of modern culture. With precision and potent detail, We Sinners follows each character on their journey of doubt, self-knowledge, acceptance, and, ultimately, survival.

A new portrait of the two-time Nobel winner and her two daughters

Focusing on the first family in science, this biography of Marie Curie plumbs the recesses of her relationships with her two daughters, extraordinary in their own right, and presents the legendary scientist to us in a fresh way.

Although the common image is that of a shy introvert toiling away in her laboratory, highly praised science writer Shelley Emling shows how Marie Curie was nothing short of an iconoclast. Her affair with a younger and married man drew the enmity of a xenophobic French establishment, who denied her entry to the Academy of Sciences and tried to expel her from France. But she was determined to live life how she saw fit, and passed on her resilience to her daughters. Emling draws on personal letters released by Curie’s only granddaughter to show how Marie influenced her daughters yet let them blaze their own paths. Irene followed her mother’s footsteps into science and was instrumental in the discovery of nuclear fission. Eve traveled the world as a foreign correspondent and then moved on to humanitarian missions.

Emling also shows how Curie, following World War I, turned to America for help. Few people know about Curie’s close friendship with American journalist Missy Meloney, who arranged speaking tours across the country for Marie and Eve and Irene. Months on the road, charming audiences both large and small, endeared the Curies to American women and established a lifelong relationship with the United States that formed one of the strongest connections of Marie’s life. Without the financial support of American women, Marie might not have been able to go on with her research.

Continuing the family story into the third generation, Emling also interviews Marie Curie’s granddaughter Helene Joliot-Curie, who is an accomplished physicist in her own right. She reveals why her grandmother was a lot more than just a scientist and how Marie’s trips to America forever changed her. Factually rich, personal and original, this is an engrossing story about the most famous woman in science that rips the cover off the myth and reveals the real person, friend, and mother behind it.

"The magnificence of Hold It 'Til It Hurts is not only in the prose and the story but also in the book's great big beating heart. These complex and compelling characters and the wizardry of Johnson's storytelling will dazzle and move you from first page to last. Novels don't teach us how to live but Hold It 'Til It Hurts will make you hush and wonder."—Anthony Swofford, author of Jarhead

"This rich and sophisticated first novel brings together pleasures rarely found in one book: Hold It 'Til It Hurts is a novel about war that goes in search of passionate love, a dreamy thriller, a sprawling mystery, a classical quest for a lost brother in which the shadowy quarry is clearly the seeker’s own self, and a meditation on family and racial identity that makes its forerunners in American fiction look innocent by comparison."—Jaimy Gordon, National Book Award winner for Lord of Misrule

When Achilles Conroy and his brother Troy return from a tour of duty in Afghanistan, their white mother presents them with the key to their past: envelopes containing details about their respective birth parents. After Troy disappears, Achilles — always his brother’s keeper — embarks on a harrowing journey in search of Troy, an experience that will change him forever.

Heartbreaking, intimate, and at times disturbing, Hold It ’Til It Hurts is a modern-day odyssey through war, adventure, disaster, and love, and explores how people who do not define themselves by race make sense of a world that does.

The bestselling author of This Is Where I Leave You returns with a hilarious and heart-rending tale about one family's struggle to reconnect.

You don’t have to look very hard at Drew Silver to see that mistakes have been made. His fleeting fame as the drummer for a one-hit wonder rock band is nearly a decade behind him. He lives in the Versailles, an apartment building filled almost exclusively with divorced men like him, and makes a living playing in wedding bands. His ex-wife, Denise, is about to marry a guy Silver can’t quite bring himself to hate. And his Princeton-bound teenage daughter Casey has just confided in him that she’s pregnant — because Silver is the one she cares least about letting down.

So when he learns that his heart requires emergency, lifesaving surgery, Silver makes the radical decision to refuse the operation, choosing instead to use what little time he has left to repair his relationship with Casey, become a better man, and live in the moment, even if that moment isn't destined to last very long. As his exasperated family looks on, Silver grapples with the ultimate question of whether or not his own life is worth saving.

With the wedding looming and both Silver and Casey in crisis, this broken family struggles to come together, only to risk damaging each other even more. One Last Thing Before I Go is Jonathan Tropper at his funny, insightful, heartbreaking best.