The Book Booth: Year of the Snake 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.

It's an action-packed week ahead. First we celebrate Chinese New Year and the Year of the Snake. Then we have Mardi Gras and the fattening of Tuesday. And then on Thursday, it is time for romantics the world-wide to wax romantic on St. Valentine's Day. But there should be ample to time to read as well. Especially if you live in or around one of these cities. I found the list and the criteria for ranking interesting. And considering some of the illiterates who gather in the Hall of Congress, it is surprising D.C. made the list at all.

The Guardian has an article about the key moments in Anglo-American Literature. It is a surely subjective list, and I might have started it with Chaucer's Canterbury Tales and excluded Casino Royale, and some others. Nevertheless, some of these moments are, indeed, memorable.

Even more from the Guardian. Just what was Agatha Christie up to that got MI5's underwear all in a knot?

Perhaps Ms. Christie had a secret bookcase. From ABEBooks, you can build one, too!

Children the world round and in yesteryear have liked to be scared. MentalFloss has an illustrated guide to some of those cautionary tales of the past. And in this version, the Wolf wins.

Flavorwire, as usual, has some fascinating lists this week. First, they highlight some fictional characters based on real people. And I hsdn't known that Flannery O'Connor had a novel written about her relationship with Robert Lowell. Not listed, and kind of obscure now, is Chuck Kinder's The Honeymooners: A Cautionary Tale, based on Raymond Carver and a book I enjoyed a great deal.

And Flavorwire had a fun slide show of the passports of famous writers and entertainers. It begins with a photo of Rene Magritte's passport and pipe. Which, of course, is not a passport or a pipe.

We have had such a mild winter here in our little town that I'm beginning to feel a bit guilty as so many of my far-flung friends are suffering sub-freezing temperatures and major snow storms. Fortunately, Ruben Martinez at NPR talked about some of his favorite books about the desert. So warm up and enjoy!

I don't know about you, but if I had been required to read this in high school, I may very well have dropped out. What will these wacky tea-baggers think of next? From HuffPo.

And from the ridiculous to the sublime, my friends and colleagues, George Carroll and Rick Simonson, recently traveled to India for a conference on books. The folks at Seagull Books, publishers of very fine books in translation, had this profile of a presentation they both gave, which should give you some insight on how the book and publishing industries both work and relate.

I have just finished reading Dennis Lehane's very fine period novel set during the Prohibition years, Live by Night, and I highly recommend it. And I'm now catching up on my reading for books published in 2001 by starting Richard Russo's Empire Falls. The choice was inspired from watching a film adaptation of another Russo novel, Nobody's Fool, which starred Paul Newman, and which I enjoyed.

So what's on your nightstand this weekend? Tell us all about it!
Have a great weekend, folks.