Weekly News Roundup

News Roundup: Indies, Condi, and Syphilis


First, I wanted to share that I’ve been featured on Book Bloggers International! Head over and check it out – you might learn something new about me.


  • Condoleeza Rice (who graduated from my school) has opted out of speaking at Rutgers University’s commencement ceremony after student protests over her role in the war in Iraq. It’s important to note that she was not asked to abstain (the school still stands by their decision), but rather made the choice because she believes that graduation is a special time and didn’t want the protests to overshadow the joyous occasion.
  • Democrats will decide today whether to appoint people to the committee tasked with investigating Benghazi. There was talk about boycotting the panel, but many members of the party have realized that having representation is better than none, especially because potential presidential candidate Hillary Clinton will surely be in the hot seat.
  • If you think the Supreme Court is a political branch, rather than an impartial one, then you’re right. This op-ed from the Washington Post tells you why this is – and why it isn’t new.
  • President Obama had some great one-liners at the White House Correspondents’ Dinner earlier this week. If you missed it, you can see his top ten in the video below. Meanwhile, Joel McHale from The Soup and Community reminded me why I don’t watch either of those shows.


  • HarperCollins (well, News Corp.) is set to acquire Harlequin for $412 million (US). You can read about it here.
  • Penguin Random House has developed a new social networking site, My Independent Bookshop, that gives local bookstores a commission off of books purchased through the site. This is great because it allows publishers to give back to independent stores while simultaneously offering the ease of online shopping. The website ends with .uk, so I’m not sure whether it’s available in the US, but it’s still pretty neat. What do you think? Good idea? Worth it? Let me know in the comments!
  • The New York Public Library has put the brakes on a pricey renovation after a massive public outcry against the plans.


  • There was a Clueless mini-reunion! This is, hands down, still one of my favorite movies. I had the pom pom pens, plaid jumpers and knee high socks. I also said, As if! more times than I can count. That said, here’s a fun little “where are they now” article – with photos (hint – some of them never aged).
  • Ben Affleck is so good at Blackjack that he is banned from playing it at the Hard Rock Hotel & Casino in Vegas. As far as we know, he hasn’t been accused of card counting (legal but a casino no-no) and is still allowed to play other games where, presumably, the House will win.
  • Syphilis is on the rise and is making a quick and severe comeback, especially in men. Last year, 91% (91%!!) of the new cases were in men. So, be smart, people.
  • This guy, who has no drawing skills, managed to draw an incredible mural on his wall. It’s pretty crafty, so if you want to make your own, check it out.
  • Lee Marshall, one of the voices of Tony the Tiger, died at 64 of cancer.
  • Walmart, McDonald’s, and Subway topped the list of America’s most popular stores. Interestingly, those who make over $100K/year are more likely to shop at big-box stores than those who make between $25K-$100K. I’m curious about why this is, but my guess is that there are more small business owners in the latter group who prefer to shop local and support other small businesses. Read more about it here.
  • Facebook has announced that it will give users the option to limit the data that they must reveal to third-party apps.
Allison Hiltz
Allison is a voracious reader, Law & Order aficionado, serial napper, shark conservationist, and crazy coffee drinker. She is currently pursuing her graduate degree in Public Policy and lives in Denver, CO with her husband and two rescue dogs. She can be contacted at allison(at)thebookwheelblog(dot)com.
Allison Hiltz
  • Words for Worms

    I’m not sure how I feel about that new Independent Book Store app. I read a little about it and it seemed kind of limited. Cool idea, but maybe it needs to percolate a bit more before it goes out and takes on the world.