The Book Booth: May Days Edition



The Book Booth is a weekly feature at The Political Carnival, relat
ing 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.

We are in the full flush of Spring in our little town. The sun is shining, the flowers are blooming and the migratory birds have come and gone on their merry way to Alaska.

So on to the book news. On Thursday night the annual Edgar Awards for books mysterious were announced. And I'm pleased to say that a book we loved and have continually promoted here won the big one. Dennis Lehane's Live by Night won for best novel. Please read it. You'll be glad you did. Publishers Weekly has the story and the other winners

Speaking of mystery novels, it is great news that Easy Rawlins, the great character created by Walter Mosley, lives! NPR has a Walter reading a selection from his new novel, Little Green.

Over at the Guardian, Michael Wolff laments the demise of book reviewing and the New York Times Book Review in particular. He may have a point. It doesn't seem that reviews drive book sales anymore. And I, for one, used to read the NYTBR from front to back on a regular basis. Not so much anymore.

Some of you from time to time, may search for an out-of-print book online and may become baffled by the seller's description. MentalFloss has a handy lexicon of terms used in describing books here.

One of those sites where you can search for old and used books is, which also has a lively newsletter that I refer to here often enough. Here's an interesting article on book typos with, of course, some fine illustrations of the book jackets.

Qwiklit has a list of 20 great novels you may have never heard of. I thought I knew some obscure novels, but they managed to find some that I have not. And I heartily recommend Italo Svevo's Confessions of Zeno, which appears on the list.

Publishers Weekly has this appreciation of another obscure novel, John Williams' Stoner, published nearly fifty years ago. I know of the book, but sad to say, have never read it.

Writers and booze have a long association, for better or worse. It is hard not to think of Hemingway or Faulkner, or Fitzgerald as writers who drank. A lot. Whether this helped or hindered them in the creation of their fictions is a question Michael Currey at Slate ponders and he seems to be of two minds on the issue.

Also in bygone years, the literary salon was a commonplace. Flavorwire featured a few of the more famous here.

Finally in our Books into Film Department, The Deja Reviewer lists ten films where the ending of the story is changed in the film. I tend to think that different media have different resolutions to narratives and I'm ok with that. But I will not see a film, animated or otherwise, changes the ending to Hunchback of Notre Dame.

Have a splendid weekend, fellow readers and let us know what books are piled up on your nightstand.