Posts Tagged ‘Steven’


Staff Review: American Savage – Dan Savage

Tuesday, May 27th, 2014

Dan Savage: Bane of the Hypocrites

Reviewed by Steven

Two thoughts kept running through my mind as I was reading Dan Savage’s book of essays called American Savage: Insights, Slights, and Fights on Faith, Sex, Love, and Politics. They were: ‘Preaching to the choir!’ and ‘God, am I glad that I do not live in America.’ Savage does an excellent job of poking holes in the rhetoric of right-wing, hypocritical and generally religious zealots (of which there seem to be a lot in the US) with regards to social issues. This seems like a frustrating and thankless job to me, as they are not the kind of people to come up with rational arguments based on impartial research. Instead, they excel at circular, emotive reasoning and pointing at Holy Books, insisting that some sections should be followed to the letter by all – even by non-believers – while ignoring parts of the text that are inconvenient to them and parts that are obviously morally reprehensible by current standards. A detailed and reasonable counter-argument likely won’t yield more reaction than them putting their fingers in their ears and the continued insistence that everyone blindly live by their hand-picked moral absolutes. Even if they themselves don’t actually adhere to them. Reality be damned!

I admire Savage because he actually takes the time and effort to fight stupidity. Even though he is unlikely to get through to the enemy, it’s good for the left-wing to see their opinions clearly verbalized. Savage’s rallying of liberal troops and pushing people into action is necessary. Zealots have more righteous fight in them than moderates, and are better at wrangling their followers, putting them into action. People need to keep pushing back, to expose hypocritical, immoral extremists for what they are and to keep them from fooling the sometimes sheepish mainstream. I have to non-religiously confess that I am someone who believes in an absolute separation of church and state. So I ironically count my blessings that I live in the relatively relaxed Netherlands, where people generally believe what they want and don’t try to impose their religious beliefs on others by law.

As always, Savage’s writing is funny and smooth, the flow only broken by a few overly long footnotes. The topics and opinions will be familiar to anyone who reads his columns and/or listens to his podcasts. He does indeed cover faith, sex, love and politics – as the subtitle of the book suggests – and talks about gun control, healthcare and euthanasia, among other things. There is a touching piece about the death of his mother and a sneak peek behind the curtain of a debate he had with a zealot he invited over to his house for dinner (a long and entertaining story). A lot of the specifics for these essays are very America-centric, as the title already suggests. If you don’t care about American politics, you may not care about some of the content. But if you do care even a little bit about the messy ways in which politics and religion are colliding in the US of A, it is a fascinating and entertaining read. Though it may leave you angry.

Steven is one of the Espresso Book Machine operators in Amsterdam, and a large part of our Special Order department there, too.  He is the author of Gay and Happy: The International Guide for Gay Men.  More of Steven’s reviews can be found on his blog, PopCultJunk.

Waaaaay More Than Fifty Shades

Monday, March 10th, 2014

Spring is about get sprung on us. There is no better way to encourage the happy hormones that come with it than to immerse yourself in a steamy novel, and Siren Publishing is here to deliver. No one can better their enthusiasm for putting out sexy smut, neither in volume nor in heat.

A small selection can be found through this link, but an Advanced Search for ’Siren Publishing’ on our site will yield seas of saucy romps for readers of almost all sexual persuasions. Because these otherwise hard-to-get titles can be printed-and-tightly-bound in our very own stores on our Espresso Book Machines, you won’t have to wait long to get your eager hands on them. They may be so hot off the press that they’re still warm to the touch…

After all, why limit yourself to just fifty shades of gray when you can have the entire color spectrum?

Blogmistress’s note: need even more saucy romance? Then look for Ellora’s Cave books, also printable via our EBMs!


Pulp Fiction – it’s not just a Tarantino movie!

Thursday, January 23rd, 2014

The holiday season is long gone and the dull and dreary months of January and February are enveloping us like a dull and dreary envelope. Time for some fantastical adventures in worlds that sparkle with excitement and melodrama!

There be fiendishly perplexing mysteries, investigated by dark and stormy detectives. There be ghostly apparitions, the rattling of bones and things that go bump in the night. There even be big, buxom women, apparently from Mars! Wildside Press has kept these otherwise hard-to-find gems in print and thanks to the magic of our Espresso Book Machines, we can have them ready for you, freshly made, often on the same day you order them. So have a look at this list of available titles and leave the mundane behind for a while. Dive into the world of Pulp Fiction!

More Wildside Press titles are available – if you can’t find what you are looking for, send your request to ebm@abc.nl and we will check if we can print it for you.

ABC’s Favorite Reads 2013, part 5: Maarten, Steven, Tom

Wednesday, December 18th, 2013

It’s my favorite part of the blogging year: our favorite reads! The ABC staff has looked through all the books and magazines they’ve read over the past year, or games they played, or stationery they used, and picked out their top 5 (or 4, or 8). Every single item in these posts comes highly recommended, and we hope to add some ideas to your 2014 reading list.

Of course, we always love reading tips ourselves, too, and so we hope you will send in YOUR favorite reads of 2013 to us. They don’t have to be books published in 2013, just read in 2013. Please mail your Top 5 (and why these books were so good) to social@abc.nl by December 31st, and don’t forget to include your home address so we can send you an ABC gift certificate in the new year as a thank you. As has become a tradition, your Top 5s will be published in January.

This fifth Favorite Reads post comes courtesy of

Enjoy!

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Store Bits: John Green visits, comic bits, bookbrowse, Saul Leiter and Spui pics

Thursday, October 17th, 2013

Look who dropped by ABC Amsterdam last Sunday to cheer up the dreariest day of the year so far:

That’s John Green himself, author The Fault in Our Stars (read Oona’s You Review here) and many other YA books that have been flying off our shelves for more than a year.  Thanks for stopping by and cheering up our lives! (And signing all those books!)  Hope you enjoyed the bitter balls later on, and seeing the movie shoot. :-)

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In comics and graphic novels news, our Steven has written “a nerdy piece about a comic series” on his blog (his words, not mine!).  It’s all about the long-running Marvel series X-Factor that is coming to an end after 106 episodes.  Omnibus editions are expected early next year.

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Ester has the next big thing as far as find-a-book sites go:  bookbrowse.com.  Includes reviews, read-a-likes, interviews, etc.  Don’t click the link, you’ll not surface for hours!  ;-)

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A message from our Marten:

Hey Blog! Zegt het voort! We have the Saul Leiter – Ealy Color back in stock! Seems like it is still not stocked by our suppliers but somehow we got a few copies in -don’t ask me how. They were hot stuff about a year ago, but this photo book is to good to ever go ‘out’ of fashion. Cheerio!

A message from me:  you’ll find it at ABC Amsterdam.  We can have the book sent to ABC The Hague for you, though!

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And finally, a few images:  first of all, a pedestrian conundrum on the Amsterdam Spui as spotted by our Shirley, AT5 mentions our window advertising Tim van der Vliet’s book signing of Spiritual Awakening at the end of the month, and illustrater Floor de Goede (Flo) tweeted his work on our window to showcase Greg Shapiro’s book launch of How to be Orange this weekend.