The Book Booth- Thanksgiving Edition


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, as well a brick and mortar in small town Washington State. Both have been in the book business since shortly after the Creation, or close to 6000 years now.

An early Happy Thanksgiving to everyone! Good wishes from our little time. We are thankful for many things, not the least of which is President Obama's re-election. We're planning for some schadenfreude sauce on our turkeys.

On to books. This week the National Book Foundation announced this year's National Book Awards for this year. I have no quibbles here, as I haven't read any of these books (still working on 2007 award winners), but Louise Erdrich is a fine writer and I suspect well-deserving of any award she receives. And the Lifetime award for Elmore Leonard is probably twenty years overdue. Publishers Weekly has the scoop.

We were recently discussing Philip Roth here. He had an outside chance of winning the Nobel in Literature, but that didn't come to pass. And it seems that he has decided to retire. His 2010 novel Nemesis will be his last. Via the New Yorker.

Roth's announcement gave Robert McCrum of the Guardian an opportunity to muse on other literary departures, including Shakespeare's, Orwell's, Ted Hughes' and Oscar Wilde's. I can't imagine it to be an easy thing to lay down the pen.

In happier news, National League Cy Young Award winner, and all-around good guy, R.A. Dickey, author of this year's autobiography Wherever I Wind Up, has inked a deal to write three children's books. Dickey has been a well-traveled baseball player and to have the kind of season he had at his age (37 which is getting up there in baseball age) is remarkable. The New York Times Art Beat tells us about his new contract.

At my age, you start to think about taking up a hobby. Something to wile away the hours with being thought psychotic and talking to the flowers. So maybe coloring books, a world I haven't explored since I was eight years old, might be a passable pastime. Mental Floss had these suggestions for coloring books I may want to look into.

With all the talk during the election and post-election of grumpy old white men and how they voted, Flavorwire, appropriately, came up with a list of the grumpiest authors. These authors certainly had their moments. The one author that isn't mentioned is Evelyn Waugh, author of the wonderful Brideshead Revisited, who certainly deserves an honorable mention.

Different media obviously can cross the line and provide influence across art lines. Here Publishers Weekly examines five novels that were influenced by the great Ludwig Von B. Burgess' Clockwork Orange might be a no-brainer. But many folks may not know that Anthony Burgess started his career as a musical composer.

Moving on to books into movies, here is the trailer for the upcoming World War Z, which stars Brad Pitt and is based on the novel by Max Brooks, son of Mel. Apparently the movie has had a troubled production history. And from the trailer, I think some of the humor from the Brooks novel may be missing. But check it out. And sorry for the ad the precedes the text.

And to close out, I hadn't really considered that Daniel Day-Lewis has a proclivity for appearing in literary adaptations. His latest, Lincoln, is based on Doris Kearns Godwin's A Team of Rivals, and as I understand, Day-Lewis' performance is amazing. Words and Film has some other films in which he's acted that were also based on books.

Once again, a Happy T-Day to you all. And let us know what is on your nightstand this weekend.