Crass Commercialism-Free Friday

Jar Of Peaches, 1866 - Claude Monet

Jar Of Peaches, 1866 – Claude Monet

Good Morning Sky Dancers!

I’m trying to deliver a stress free Friday Read but you know how difficult that can be these days. Time for all of us to get lost in books and movies!  What’s on your screen?  What book is beside your bed today?

So, here’s some “best books” lists from various sources.

The first list is from The Smithsonian.

As the year draws to a close, we have clear favorites. We explored the caves, tombs and catacombs under our feet in Will Hunt’s Underground and Robert Macfarlane’s Underland. In Sarah Milov’s The Cigarette and Sarah A. Seo’s Policing the Open Road, we learned about tobacco and cars, two things we thought we knew until these books dug into their complex histories. And Jeff Gordinier’s Hungry, Kwame Onwuachi’s Notes From a Young Black Chef and Iliana Regan’s Burn the Place chart the bold and sometimes bumpy paths taken by three renowned chefs.

The top book by Publisher’s Weekly is this one!

Here’s something new for us: a graphic memoir is among our 10 best books of the year. It’s Mira Jacob’s Good Talk, and it’s a wonderfully enchanting memoir that couldn’t be more of-the-moment, with its take on race in America that’s equally smart, pointed, funny, and touching. (There is also some wisdom in there about how to deal with Trump-supporting in-laws.)

Jacob’s book is joined in our top ten by nine other works that together offer a kaleidoscopic take on what it means to be alive right now.

download (21)And, here’s the one from the NYT Book Review team.  Their first offering is Disappearing Earth By Julia Phillips.

In the first chapter of this assured debut novel, two young girls vanish, sending shock waves through a town perched on the edge of the remote, brooding Kamchatka Peninsula. What follows is a novel of overlapping short stories about the various women who have been affected by their disappearance. Each richly textured tale pushes the narrative forward another month and exposes the ways in which the women of Kamchatka have been shattered — personally, culturally and emotionally — by the crime.

My latest binge watch is HBO’s His Dark Dark Materials about a young girl in an alternative Time line. It was previously a movie of one of the books of the Trilogy (The Golden Compass) and the books by Phillip Pullman were published in the 1990s.  It took me to this third episode to get reeled in.

The series is actually also on the BBC. It’s been playing on HBO first.

The eight-part adaptation tells the story of Lyra, the young protagonist who lives in Jordan College, Oxford. Placed there at the request of her Uncle, Lord Asriel, she lives a sheltered life amongst the scholars and college staff while under the watchful protection of The Master and Librarian Scholar Charles.

When the glamorous and mesmeric Mrs Coulter enters Lyra’s life she embarks upon a dangerous journey of discovery from Oxford to London. Here she meets Father Macphail, Lord Boreal and journalist Adele Starminster at a glittering society party where she first hears about the sinister General Oblation Board.

Lyra is subsequently thrown into the nomadic world of the boat dwelling Gyptians – Ma Costa, Farder Coram, John Faa, Raymond Van Geritt, Jack Verhoeven and Benjamin de Ruyter who take her North in her quest. Once in the North she meets charismatic aeronaut and adventurer Lee Scoresby who joins them on their epic journey and who becomes one of Lyra’s closest allies.


Image result for images of famous still life paintings matisse


Each human has an animal “daemon” that serves as its soul and conscious.  The animals speak and are quite well done. Children’s daemon’s only take a permanent form when they become adults so Lyra’s changes form quite often.

NPR has listed its choices for best music of 2019. I’m glad to see Missy Elliot back on the list.

Missy Elliott not only justified the VMAs’ existence but also dropped the Iconology EP in August, reminding us just how vital and future-seeking she continues to be. “Throw It Back” appears on NPR Music’s monthly best-of list along with Normani‘s irresistible “Motivation” and a blistering rock song by Big Thief.


Take a visit to the Hall of Missy with some pretty great young women!

And this is worth the read to remember your childhood reading!!



So, it’s your turn!

What’s on your reading, watching, listening, blogging list today?

53 Comments on “Crass Commercialism-Free Friday”

  1. dakinikat says:

    Kamala’s campaign is experiencing staff trouble again …

    • quixote says:

      I’m pro-Harris, so I’m biased. To me this reads like sour grapes, and, surprise, surprise, it’s in the NYT which seems never to have met a downer on good female candidates it wasn’t willing to publish.

      If she thinks airing grievances in publications is unfortunate, why is she doing it? All she’s said is she’s unhappy, there’s “no real plan,” and the like. She’s not listened to. So what is her plan that nobody will listen to? I read a criticism elsewhere by some social media expert saying Harris’s campaign should be doing A, B, and C. That it was amateurish. That’s fine. That person said *why*. This one doesn’t.

      People get let go when it’s convenient for the campaign, not them. Isn’t that pretty standard? Hillary’s was the only campaign I remember hearing about with serious attention to the lives of campaign staff.

      Anyway, tl:dr; this just made me cross, not sympathetic.

      • dakinikat says:

        Somebody leaked that letter …not the author

        • dakinikat says:

          and the author just joined the Bloomberg Campaign according sources I saw from Delphyne …

          • dakinikat says:

            Folks are really dissecting all of this. She’s out asking for money on social media today to run ads in Iowa. I hope she can get a ticket out of Iowa. She’s been working hard this weekend.

          • NW Luna says:

            Left Kamala’s campaign to join Bloomberg’s? Boggle Good riddance.

          • NW Luna says:

            Made a donation.

          • bostonboomer says:

            And guess who leaked to the gossip columnists at the NYT and WaPo? Bloomberg sees Harris as a threat. Warren is sinking. I’m not arrogant enough to think I know it all, but I’m pretty good at seeing how the media narrative works. I can tell the difference between reporting and gossip/stenography. I couldn’t even count the number of stories like this that were run about Hillary’s campaign.

            Go ahead and count Kamala out. She’s been counted out in every campaign she’s ever been in. Sure, she’s a black women and we’re not ready for that, right? I’m not counting her out yet. I’d be happy to see Castro, or Booker or Klobuchar win. But I know we’d lose with Warren. I want to beat Trump.

      • dakinikat says:

        I don’t know. I’ve been working campaigns since 1972 and I grew up as a kid in Iowa. My dad was the Ford Dealer in Council Bluffs for like 30 years. I’ve been watching this and I actually questioned if she had the right campaign manager. I just haven’ aired my concerns here because I know she’s got a lot of strong support here. I had an opportunity to join her campaign and some others in July. I don’t throw in with any one who doesn’t have a good ground game because it will break your heart. See what Marsha Fudge says in the NYT because that’s been my general opinion. Mayor Pete has some good staff which is why he’s surging his communications director is really good at punching back on things. Liz has a great staff but seems to be blowing her lead with by over producing position papers. She needs more focus. Don’t know if that will happen. Castro and Booker don’t seem to have good ground games either and they’re low on cash.

        Frankly, there is no one that seems prepared to do this in the slate atm.

        I’ve been watching if she can turn it around in Iowa frankly. I don’t want Biden to get the nomination because if I’m either in Washington State or here in Louisiana I’m staying home. I had Kerrey and Dukakis forced on me. I’m not voted for another dud.

        • dakinikat says:

          Martha Fudge is quoted here as being poorly served by Mr. Rodriguez her campaign manager and frankly that was my gut feel like two debates ago.

          At this point, i’m in agreement with Bloomberg that this slate won’t be Trump if some one doesn’t pull their shit together.

          • bostonboomer says:

            Agree with Bloomberg? Good luck with that.

          • dakinikat says:

            I don’t think Bloomberg can beat him either … I just agree I haven’t seen any one that looks like they have what it takes … I cannot see black people voting for Bloomberg or many women for that matter. Plus, I don’t see any thing he’s put forward exciting millennials and they vote.

        • quixote says:

          Seconded, dakini! I’m going to do my best to vote against the Orange Dumpsterfire, even if the Dems give me a sexist old fossil to do it with, but I am honestly not sure if I can force myself to push the button for somebody as bad as Biden.

          • NW Luna says:

            I will. My voting philosophy is to mark the ballot for the lesser evil. As with Kerry — hold my nose and vote.

          • quixote says:

            Yeah. As you mentioned, the good thing about even him is he won’t be working for Putin. That is worth a lot. But it’s still going to be like deadlifting a ton. Don’t know if I’m able.

      • bostonboomer says:

        Jonathan Martin and Alexander Burns were two of the NYT reporters who mercilessly attacked Hillary in 2016 and have continued to do so ever since. I wouldn’t use anything they wrote to wrap garbage.

        • dakinikat says:

          I was wondering … I only used it for the Martha Fudge quote, because you know, I questioned her senior campaign staff after that second debate because there was no immediate response to the attack back at her after the Biden jab. I purposefully didn’t put any of these up because campaign gossip is campaign gossip but we’ve talked about me being concerned about her senior staff so i think Martha Fudge’s comments basically confirmed my instincts.

        • dakinikat says:

        • dakinikat says:

          Are you still reading this guy?

          November 29, 2019
          Reports of the Harris Campaign’s Demise Are Premature Because Pundits Have Failed to Read the Democratic Primary Crowd
          The Reasons Why Harris Won Our November Subscribers’ Straw Poll Show Why She Is Still in the Game
          By Al Giordano

          • dakinikat says:

            Two of these sharing a ticket would likely win but there really has to be some ground game out there. Iowa isn’t important except as as a small state that’s kind’ve a proving ground. If candidates don’t see what’s working and not working and change in Iowa, they’ll get no chance by super tuesday or so …

            If we really drill down on this question as I have tried to do all year, the small group of potential coalitional nominees can be reduced to Kamala Harris, Elizabeth Warren, Cory Booker or Julian Castro: none of them are going to win each sector of the coalition in the primaries but all would be acceptable to most as nominee, enough to unite the electorate (the Booker and Castro campaigns admittedly may not last much longer); and Amy Klobuchar is still not so defined nationwide as to be buttonholed out of coalitional potential. Beto O’Rourke woulda, coulda, shoulda as well, but that ship has sailed.

  2. dakinikat says:

    Really Disturbing in Ohio …

    • NW Luna says:

      What the actual fuck? Not possible, and if it was possible, that could be murder of the woman.

      • dakinikat says:

        Republicans have disturbing lack of knowledge when it comes to human reproduction and anatomy. They also have no idea about fetal development. It’s just mad propaganda to them.

    • NW Luna says:

      Also, “birth parent” WTF? That would be a woman/mother. The only parents who can conceive and carry a fetus are women. Adult human females.

  3. dakinikat says:

  4. dakinikat says:

  5. dakinikat says:

    I’m staying home for some peace and quiet this weekend! Plus, I got to bring back some great leftovers I can chomp on so I don’t have to cook having been treated by my neighbor who is both one of the greatest creole and Italian chefs in the city! She’s retired but you still get the spread of you anywhere near her kitchen!!!

  6. Delphyne49 says:

    The Pullman trilogy are great reads. There is a prequel trilogy, too, but only 2 of the series are published.

    Another fun trilogy is The White Monkey Trilogy by Isabella Ides. Here is the prelude:


    Once Upon A Cold Winter’s night an infant deity was orphaned by his feckless parents. The father was a famous bachelor Jew, and the mother was married to an A-list Hindu. Both parents were reincarnation junkies.

    The Papa God, never noted for the quality of his parenting skills, scampered before it became evident that his beloved was with child. When her offspring came out a bright, telltale blue—a sign of divine Hindu lineage—the Mama God was desperate to hide the evidence of her illicit liaison with the Semite deity.

    Alas, the newborn had to go, for the baby’s sake as well as for her own. Hence the misbegotten was never registered in the crowded Hindu pantheon, nor mentioned in any neo-biblical testament, nor listed in the catalogues of begats. He might have passed into the annals of oblivion but for a lucky chance.

    In those days, at the dawn of the twenty-first century, there was a certain rogue order of nuns in a faraway land, a Sisterhood noted for a willingness to take in strays. So it came to pass that the infant was carried across the seas to the Americas. As the baby made his passage in the white furry arms of a powerful protector, it appeared as if a wandering star were crossing the heavens.

    O, holy night!

    • dakinikat says:

      Oh, kewl … I want to read the Pullman Trilogy now. My oldest read it and told me to make sure I watch the series.

      • NW Luna says:

        I read the series — well written, and some achingly beautiful passages/plots. But I don’t think I’ll re-read it because parts are too sad and the bad guys and gals are very unnervingly evil.

  7. dakinikat says:

    The Latest Breakthrough in Time Crystals Is a Structure That Needs No External Input

    A newly theorised type of time crystal could revolutionise the potential of these fascinating structures. Unlike the time crystals that have been created to date, it would not require the application of an external stimulus to keep the atoms ticking.

  8. dakinikat says:

  9. dakinikat says:

    Well, this series would be interesting!!!!!!!

  10. dakinikat says:

  11. Sweet Sue says:

    I’m loving “His Dark Materials” on Monday nights, and I realize that it wouldn’t be half as absorbing if the juvenile protagonist was the usual boy.

    • dakinikat says:

      Yeah. The Actress who plays her is really great too. She’s got just the right facial expressions to pull so much of this off! Off she goes to save her little nerdy bbf.

  12. dakinikat says:

    Here’s something you don’t see every day.

  13. dakinikat says:

  14. dakinikat says:

  15. dakinikat says:

    Really worth a read! We had a guy like this at UNO. We basically made him a “research” professor so students wouldn’t come into contact with him unless they wanted to …

  16. bostonboomer says:

    I agree with this.

  17. bostonboomer says:

    When it comes to misogyny, Bloomberg makes Biden look like a radical feminist.