Straight Talk About Gay Marriage: 4 Points for Undecided Voters to Consider
Beacon Books at Audible: Mama's Boy, Preacher's Son by Kevin Jennings

500th and Final 2012 Election Tweet from @ElinorLipman!


With Barack Obama's victory over Mitt Romney yesterday, Tweet Laureate Elinor Lipman has concluded her own campaign to bring one political poem a day to her Twitter constituency. Today's tweet, number 500, expresses her joy at seeing her chosen Presidential candidate prevail:

You can read a selection of her tweets, along with commentary and context from the poet, in Tweet Land of Liberty: Irreverent Rhymes from the Political Circus. Ron Charles interviewed her about the project for the Washington Post. My personal favorite Q and its A:

What’s been your favorite response from a reader?

The day that Barney Frank announced that he would not be running again, I got an e-mail from him saying that he was proud to be evoked in the style of Ogden Nash.

The Corner Bookstore offered their gratitude on their Twitter feed:

Novelist Joan Wickersham (whose book The News From Spain was just published and who helped to celebrate the publication of Tweet Land of Liberty) sent Lipman this celebratory poem:

Dear Elinor, it must be sweet
To wake and not be sworn to tweet,
So bask today. Cavort. Have fun.
You did your job. Your race is won.  

Everyone here at Beacon has had a delightful time working with Elinor and following her verse-a-day project. To her we offer our own poetic thanks:


Notable Mentions

FaitheistFaitheist: How an Atheist Found Common Ground with the Religious by Chris Stedman

The just-released and already much-praised memoir received a starred review in the November 15th issue of Booklist:

“Enter Stedman, avowed atheist, former Fundamentalist Christian, and current interfaith activist whose heartfelt and thought-provoking account of his struggle with God and religion serves as a call to arms for those seeking to bridge the gap between the religious and the secular… To that end he paints an intimate and deeply affecting portrait of his own life, one characterized by the sort of staggering dissonances—gay Christian teen, religion-degree-seeking atheist—that could cripple a person. But Stedman is nothing if not determined, and his resulting journey toward personal reconciliation through service work and interfaith dialogue is inspiring. Stedman’s story is motivational, his thoughts on interreligious dialogue insightful, and in this short memoir, he proves himself an activist in the truest sense and one to watch.” 

The Land Grabbers: The New Fight Over Who Owns the Earth by Fred Pearce

Environmental journalist Fred Pearce wrote a piece for Yale e360 that's been getting lots of attention around the blogosphere. "Why Are Environmentalists Taking Anti-Science Positions?"

On issues ranging from ocean acidification and tipping points in the Arctic to the dangers of nanotechnology, the scientists have always gotten there first — and the environmentalists have followed.

And yet, recently, the environment movement seems to have been turning up on the wrong side of the scientific argument. We have been making claims that simply do not stand up. We are accused of being anti-science — and not without reason. A few, even close friends, have begun to compare this casual contempt for science with the tactics of climate contrarians. [Read the rest here.]

Reactions to the post include:

Huffington Post Oct 31; HuffPo
Cold Air Currents (blog) Oct 22; Cold Air Currents
Houston Chronicle SciGuy blog Oct 23; Houston Chronicle
MuckRack Oct 24 includes Twitter feed of journalists tweeting the link, like Erin Ailworth at the Globe;
Tomorrow’s Table (blog) Oct 26; Tomorrow's Table on Oct 26; on Oct 28; Overpopulation Awareness
Environmental Health & Safety News blog Oct 28; EHS News
Living Green mag Oct 29; Living Green (Mexico) Oct 29;; Science20;


Do It Anyway: The New Generation of Activists by Courtney Martin

Courtney Martin and her book Do It Anyway were featured in the New York Times Sunday business section on Oct. 28. 


Notable Mentions

The Rebellious Life of Mrs. Rosa Parks by Jeanne Theoharis, Jan. 29, 2013

Starred review in Kirkus Reviews print (Nov 15) and online (Nov 04): “How Theoharis learned the true nature of this woman is a story in itself. Parks always stood in the background, never volunteered information about herself and eschewed fame. There were no letters to consult; even her autobiography exposed little of the woman’s personality. She hid her light under a bushel, and it has taken an astute author to find the real Parks. Even though her refusal to give up her bus seat sparked a revolution, Rosa Parks was no accidental heroine. She was born to it, and Theoharis ably shows us how and why.”
Booklist review Nov 15: “Historian Theoharis offers a complex portrait of a forceful, determined woman who had long been active before the boycott she inspired and who had an even longer career in civil rights afterward.”

The $60,000 Dog: My Life With Animals by Lauren Slater, November 20, 2012

More magazine (Nov issue) review, Pam Houston calls The $60,000 Dog: “assumption-busting, gut--wrenching, life-affirming.” 

Light Without Fire: The Making of America's First Muslim College by Scott Korb, April 16, 2013

“Will Islam become an American religion or remain permanently estranged? Will Muslims in America develop an identity that contributes to their country or one that emphasizes isolation and opposition? Scott Korb knows just how crucial these questions are, and in Light Without Fire tells the story of the leaders and animating ideas behind America’s first Muslim liberal arts college—an institution seeking to build an American Islam—in all its fits and starts, and in prose that is both clear and compelling. I for one could not put it down—it is essential and riveting reading.”

—Eboo Patel, Founder and President, Interfaith Youth Core, author of Sacred Ground: Pluralism, Prejudice and the Promise of America