Good day bookies! Stand by for news and comment.

Winter has made a brief comeback in West Tennessee, with cold temps and wetness galore. Here’s hoping sanity (and warmth) prevail soon.

*** This just in: one Congressman has brains enough to try and amend the idiocy of the law banning children’s books because of their lead content. Please let your Congressperson know if you agree that Congress should at least attempt to show some brains once in a while and amend this law. If you feel strongly, though, you should not email them; most will ignore it. One bookseller thought his Rep., Barney Frank, would be appalled by this, but it seems they discovered he is all in for this nonsense. Such representatives need to know if their constituents want this law amended to show at least a modicum of common sense.

One Congressman, at least, gets it

And a further explanation

*** Sadly, John Hope Franklin has died at age 94. For those who don’t know, Franklin was a famed black historian who more or less was the Civil Rights Movement. I met him at the Southern Festival of Books here in Memphis in 2006, when the mayor did not bother to even notice that he was in town, and his indifference helped Memphis lose the festival back to Nashville. Franklin was frail but kindly, signed anything anyone put in front of him, including my posters. A good man, I’m sorry he’s gone.

*** Being an Anthony Bourdain fan I found this short interview entertaining, if a bit tame. It’s like he’s become the Lou Reed of Food TV, edgy but not over the edge, whereas he used to be Iggy Pop. But they are both great in their own way, as so is Bourdain.

Or maybe I have fond memories of the early internet days, when he was a regular poster on the Old AOL ‘Hardboiled’ board, during the time when Gone Bamboo was fresh on the stands. Those were certainly good times for your friendly neighborhood bookseller.

Tony Bourdain lays it out