The Book Booth: Bastille Day 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.

Good weekend wishes to you all as we head into Bastille Day! And not is Sunday the celebration of the fall of that dreaded prison, it is also the 101st anniversary of Woody Guthrie's birth. And when you throw in that our own SeattleTammy was also born on July 14th, it is, indeed, a remarkable day for revolution and freedom.

Of course The Guardian would list the top ten French Revolution novels. And, yes, Dickens is there. As is Hilary Mantel's A Place of Greater Safety, which I read several years ago and liked. And The Scarlet Pimpernel. They seek him here, they seek him there, those Frenchies seek him everywhere.

Cory Doctorow at BoingBoing finds the greatest stuff. Here is a bookstore in a train car, just outside Paris. And not the same train car that both the French and Germans signed armistice agreements in. H/T to Paddy once again for sending this to me.

Speaking of anniversaries, our good friends at Elliott Bay Book Company in Seattle have now been open for forty years. If you ever get to Seattle, and you should, it is well worth your time to stop there and peruse the shelves and take in the ambiance.

The movie adaptation of Orson Scott Card's Enders Game is about to be released amidst a great deal of controversy. Card has been quite vocal in his opposition to gay marriage and the group Geeks Out is calling for a boycott of the film.

Card himself has asked people not to boycott the film, calling the question of gay marriage now moot. And like many conservatives, he tries to turn the tolerance issue on its head. You can read his statement here from Salon.

In more fun book to film news, it seems Slaughterhouse Five may be re-made with Guilliermo del Toro directing and Charlie Kaufman doing the screenplay. I'm a big fan of Kaufman and I think he could be the ideal writer to wrap his skills around Vonnegut.

And it seems that one of our favorite books, Markus Zusak's The Book Thief, has also been adapted for the silver screen and will get an earlier than expected release date.

The quest to find the great American novel continues. The Millions asked nine esteemed critics to choose and explain their choices. An interesting read here, and not just because The Godfather is one of the choices. But that helps.

For those of you that have not much to do this afternoon, you may want to check out Real Simple's list of fifty great books that will change your life. And, no, most of these are not self-help books.

Good news that we suspected but nice to have confirmed! Reading and writing help slow cognitive decline in those of us getting older! The Smithsonian via Salon has the story.

Finally, please enjoy your Bastille Day with Judy Collins singing four songs from the production of Marat/Sade. Happy Birthday to Woody! And a very happy birthday to SeattleTammy and so many more books and years to enjoy.