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Fix Pick: Some Holiday Reading

The Fix is jetting off to warmer climes on the left coast for the Thanksgiving holiday, which means we'll be posting less often between now and Monday. BUT -- before the Christmas shopping season begins in earnest on Friday morning -- we wanted to flag the one book that EVERY political junkie should want under the tree this year.

The Almanac of American Politics

The Almanac of American Politics is -- simply put -- the book The Fix would bring with him if he was stranded on a desert island. Not only does it have detailed information about each member of Congress and his or her district, it's filled with the sort of quirky facts and minutiae that make politics so great. (In the interest of full disclosure, The Fix worked as a researcher for the Almanac in his early days in journalism but has absolutely no ties to the current edition.)

Reading the new Almanac last night in bed (yes, I know I am a dork), I came across a bunch of fascinating tidbits.

Did you know Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin (R) was known as "Sarah barracuda" during her days on the Wasilla City Council -- a tribute to the hard-nosed style she displayed while playing for Wasilla's state championship women's basketball team in high school?

How about that Appleton, Wisconsin -- part of the state's 8th District -- has produced Sen. Joseph McCarthy, novelist Edna Ferber, magician Harry Houdini AND current Congressman Steve Kagen (D)?

Or that Rep. Carol Shea-Porter (D), elected in 2006 to New Hampshire's 1st District, is the only Member of Congress who refuses to reveal her exact birth date? (In her biography page in the Almanac her date of birth is listed as "December 1952".)

Every page -- all 1,864 of them -- is filled with this sort of stuff, not to mention a big picture look at the state of American politics by Almanac author Michael Barone. The official Fix copy is already packed next to the sunscreen and shorts for the trip west.

What else can we say? Go. Buy. This. Book. And, enjoy the holiday break. When we return the Iowa caucuses will be just over a month away and the final sprint begins in earnest. Thanks as always for your support of The Fix.

By Chris Cillizza  |  November 21, 2007; 2:34 PM ET
Categories:  Fix Picks  
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