The Book Booth: Soon To Be June Edition

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Image: Wikipedia

The Book Booth is a weekly feature at The Political Carnival, relating news, notes, and reflections from the world of books and publishing. @SeattleDan, along with his wife, SeattleTammy, are operators of both an on-line bookstore here, as well as a brick and mortar storefront mini-store in Hoquiam, WA at 706 Simpson Ave (Route 101 South). Both have been in the book business since shortly after the Creation, or close to 6000 years now.

The Book Booth: Soon to Be June Edition

Time flies, especially when one gets older, and here we are, approaching the mid-year. Hard to know where the time all went and there remains plenty to do. Here's hoping most of you can have a relaxing weekend before you go back to the grind. So get outside and support one of your local independent bookstores, or make a trip to the library. There also remains a lot to be read.

To help you out with a selection, try this Buzzfeed quiz which purports to aid you in making deciding which new book you'll want to read this summer. Apparently I will be wanting to read the Harper Lee novel, Go Set a Watchman.

If your preferences is for something classic and scary, check out the suggestions made by Amelia Gray, author of the story collection, Gushot, at Publishers Weekly.
Looking for 'Scary' to read? Try these suggestions.

Then, again, catch up on some classic weirdness from some great women writers (Margaret Atwood being featured often here) that Sarah Seltzer recommends at Flavorwire.
Weird Books by Women

Cory Doctorow at BoingBoing thinks very highly of newer novel, The Subprimes by Karl Taro Greenfield, which seems to be a road novel, set in the near future of plutocrats and evil doers. Thanks to my friend Naka for passing this one along.
New Karl Taro Novel

One of the best American writers from the mid-20th century was William Gaddis. His novel, The Recognitions, is a tour de force and albeit very long, well worth attention. Joseph Tabbi has written a new biography of the man, Nobody Grew But the Business. Tabbi ranked his estimation of Gaddis's novels here.
A Look at William Gaddis

Another possibility is a different kind of classic, perhaps a bit obscure, like Dorothy Baker's Young Man with a Horn, based on the sad life of jazz musician, Bix Beiderbecke, and filmed in 1950 with a cast including Kirk Douglas, Lauren Bacall, Doris Day and Hoagy Carmichael (who was a friend of Bix's back in the days of the Paul Whiteman band). The New York Review of Books has republished it.
Young Man with a Horn

And, speaking of films, the folks at Film Comment has a list of their favorite films about authors. Great to see Mrs. Parker and the Vicious Circle, with a screenplay by one of our friends, Randy Sue Coburn, on the list.
Favorite Films about Authors

Independent bookstores, although perhaps not thriving, seem to be doing much better. And good news comes that Jeff Kinney, author of The Wimpy Kid Series, has opened his own store in Plainville, Mass. where he will occasionally man the cash register. If you're in the area, pay a visit! H/T to friend Polly for finding this.
New Independent Bookstore in Plainville, Massachusetts - owned by Jeff Kinney

NPR also examined the revival of indie stores recently. I'm glad to see this story getting some attention.
Bookstores are 'Hanging In There' !

For those of us wanting to expand our vocabularies, check out these more obscure words that MentalFloss found. Very interesting about the vomitorium, a word my spell checker thinks I have misspelled.
Old English Words You Can Still Use Today if You Want! 

Finally, in the wake of the vote in Ireland to legalize same-sex marriage, J.K. Rowling suggested a union between Dumbledore and Gandalf in the offing. This seemed to upset the folks at the Westboro Church, who threatened to picket the said event! Rowling had a great reply which you can read at HuffPo.
Dumbledore and Gandalf to Tie the Knot?  Read what J.K. Rowling has to say about it.

Enjoy some books this weekend, and let us know what books are enthralling you!

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Lauren Mayer: 'More Guns?'

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Lauren Mayer is a singer/songwriter/pianist who writes comedy songs about everything from Supreme Court decisions to the Kardashians. She proudly supports leftist causes including equal pay, reproductive choice, fair minimum wage, addressing climate change, and marriage equality.
Note: Check out Lauren's CDs, including her latest, "If My Uterus Were A Gun (And Other Musical Rants From The News)" - available at "http://www.cdbaby.com/cd/laurenmayer8" as well as on iTunes and Amazon. Her website is laurenmayer.com. She's on Twitter at @laurenscomedy
Lauren's podcasts are on IndieMediaWeekly.

From YouTube

The rightwing response to the Waco shootout is - what else - calls for looser regulations (maybe it should be the Bureau of WTF instead of ATF!)

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The Book Booth: Memorial Day Edition

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Is this Shakespeare? A 400-year-old book says it is.

Is this Shakespeare?
A 400-year-old book says it is.

Image: BBC

The Book Booth is a weekly feature at The Political Carnival, relating news, notes, and reflections from the world of books and publishing. @SeattleDan, along with his wife, SeattleTammy, are operators of both an on-line bookstore here, as well as a brick and mortar storefront mini-store in Hoquiam, WA at 706 Simpson Ave (Route 101 South). Both have been in the book business since shortly after the Creation, or close to 6000 years now.

The Book Booth: Memorial Day Edition

We enter our long weekend that honors those men and women who have, as Lincoln said, given their last full measure of devotion in service to their country. It is good to have a long weekend, but let's do take a moment to remember those people who have served us to their utmost.

Memorial Day does mark the unofficial start of summer (though I object; summer starts when summer starts and not a second sooner), and with the coming of the warmer months, many of us plan traveling vacations. The folks at Bustle suggested a few places to visit that are the settings for some pretty good books here.

Of course Paris holds many a literary landmark. So those traveling abroad may want to consider these places, too. Again, from the well-traveled folks at Bustle.
Literary landmarks in Paris.

If the Far East, and specifically Tokyo, is your destination, check out the Tsutaya Bookstore, which sent Tom Downey, a writer at Gone, into paroxysms of delight. Via my friend Naka Oh.
Must Visit Tokyo bookstore.

James Joyce once remarked that Italian literature was Dante and that was saying quite a lot. No figure dominates the landscape as the master of terza rima. And it seems the poet turns 750 years old this year. He remains well worth anyone's time to read. John Kleiner at the New Yorker has this appreciation.
Dante would be 750 Years Old This Year

The same may be said of Shakespeare for English literature. But we've never been quite sure what the man looked like. The English magazine Country Life thinks his contemporary likeness has been found in, of all things, a book of botany that came out in the 1590s.
What Did Shakespeare Look Like?

In the Lost and Found Department, it seems that over the years filmmaker Orson Welles worked on his memoirs, tentatively titled Confessions of a One Man Band. Archivists at the University of Michigan have found extensive fragments. When and if published, they should be a very interesting read.
Orson Welles's Memoirs (Fragments)

And then there has been found an early unpublished work by Anton Chekhov, The Frank. The book is a collection of humor pieces and short fiction and will soon be published by the New York Review of Books. Jonathan Sturgeon at Flavorwire has the story here.
Unpublished Chekhov Work: The Frank

Earlier this week, I listened to a delightful interview by Robert Siegel of famed cartoonist Jules Feiffer on NPR. You can read the highlights or listen yourself here:
Jules Feiffer on NPR

So it is fitting that a new book has been published about him, Out of Line: The Art of Jules Feiffer. At age 86, the man is still working and recently wrote a graphic novel, a form new to him, called Kill My Mother. In conjunction with the publication of Out of Line, Feiffer had this conversation with Neil Gaiman, which you can read about here.
Jules Feiffer Talks With Neil Gaiman

And at last, we'll go out with a little quiz. Buzzfeed wants to know how many of these film adaptations of books you have seen. It seems I've not seen enough of them, much less read all the books.
Film Adaptations Quiz
Have a fine weekend working your way through your large pile of books and let us know which ones you are currently devouring.

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Lauren Mayer: '(There's Crazy and Then There's) Texas Crazy'

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Lauren Mayer is a singer/songwriter/pianist who writes comedy songs about everything from Supreme Court decisions to the Kardashians. She proudly supports leftist causes including equal pay, reproductive choice, fair minimum wage, addressing climate change, and marriage equality.
Note: Check out Lauren's CDs, including her latest, "If My Uterus Were A Gun (And Other Musical Rants From The News)" - available at "http://www.cdbaby.com/cd/laurenmayer8" as well as on iTunes and Amazon. Her website is laurenmayer.com. She's on Twitter at @laurenscomedy
Lauren's podcasts are on IndieMediaWeekly.

From YouTube

The Jade Helm conspiracy theories are just the latest proof that everything is bigger in Texas, including right wing nuttiness

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