The Book Booth: Springtime 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.

The calendar says it's Spring now, though one couldn't tell from the weather outside in our little town. We have snow, hail and rain which prompts SeattleTammy to want to make a squash soup. Far be it from me to say no! We hope the sun is shining where you are and that you are inspired to do some reading.

And we'll start with some good news. The Christian Science Monitor reports that news of the death of the Indie Bookstore is exaggerated. That is encouraging, and thanks everyone for shopping your local store. Obviously some stores are still struggling (as we can tell you), The economic recovery seems to be happening in different places with different paces. So please do continue supporting your local businesses! They are the backbone of your community.

The CSM article leads with the nearly devastating effects Hurricane Sandy had on Bank Square Books in Mystic, CT. Our longtime internet buddy Harold had a similar mishap with some home flooding that nearly ruined many of his books. He searched the googles and found ways to repair and save his treasures. He blogged about it here and his report could help you if, heaven forbid, something like this happens to you.

I'm not sure why the Chicago Public School system thought that restricting the graphic novel Persepolis was a good idea, but they did. And quite the controversy has ensued, making this title very hard to find there. Publishers Weekly has the scoop.

History may have been a bag of tricks we play on the dead, as Voltaire had it, or the nightmare from which James Joyce said. But it seems Vladimir Nabokov had a complicated relationship with the vents of things past. Salon reprinted this article by Alisa Sniderman from the L.A. Review of Books, exploring VK"s struggle with art, politics and history.

I've seen the youtube parody of Gotye's Somebody That I Used to Know with the baying goat chorus. (If you haven't seen it, check it out at Youtube, it is pretty funny). But my friend, Sales Rep extraordinaire, George Carroll found this one. So, for your edification, Gollum offers some relationship advice for those who's love life is a struggle.

And for those of you wanting something fantastical, HBO will be premiering Season 3 of Game of Thrones in about three weeks. In the meantime, Flavorwire has a list of some books that will tide you over until it arrives.

I've been fortunate in my time that I've had the pleasure of enjoying a cocktail or two, or three, with some authors that I've admired. And some good writers at that. However I never had the opportunity to drink with any of these estimable folk. I think having a beer with Tolkien would have been very cool. From Buzzfeed.

For book recommends,SeattleTammy notes that one of her favorite authors had new short story collections recently published. Jess Walter's book is We Live in Water.

Readers here know that I love book cover design and art. But I have been negligent in giving shout outs to bad cover art. And Emily Temple at Flavorwire has found some really, really bad cover art for some classic novels. Please enjoy.

And with a h/t to my friend and book enthusiast, Mark McKay, here is a whole blog that is devoted to bad Sci-Fi cover art. For a genre that has had the grace of Frank Frazetta, among others, doing such great work, one can wonders who some of these publishing houses are hiring these days.

Finally, I must sadly note the passing of the great Nigerian writer, and Father of the Modern African novel, Chinua Achebe at age 82. His voice will be missed.

Happy Spring to you all and please tell us what books are on your nightstand this weekend.