The Book Booth: Labor 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.

A splendid Labor Day weekend to you all! I'd like to ask you all to reflect on the working men and women who have built this country and the work that is still left to do. There's much to be done.

We start off with the sad news of the passing of the Nobel Laureate Irish poet, Seamus Heaney. I don't begin to talk about poetry enough here, but he was one of my favorite writers. Please check him out, if you haven't already. NPR had this piece.

And the Guardian had this photo essay of Mr. Heaney's life.

In slightly more obscure necrology, the LA Times featured the obituary of Bea Kozera. You can certainly be excused for not knowing who she was, but under the name of Bea Franco, she was a character in Jack Kerouac's On the Road, in one of the sweeter passages of that book.

I noted the passing of the crime writer Elmore Leonard last week. It seems that his son will finish the last book that Mr. Leonard had been working on at the time of his death.

The documentary film on author J.D. Salinger will soon hit the airwaves. Salinger did not publish anything after a short story in the New Yorker in 1965, but it seems that there will be more books to be published in the near future, including more stories about the Glass family as well as Holden Caulfield's. The New York Times has the story here.

The Grey Lady also recently featured this piece on now forgotten author, James Purdy. It seems his collected short stories have been reissued and perhaps his reputation, which was big in the sixties and seventies. will be revived.

On the other hand, it doesn't seem that Truman Capote will soon be forgotten. Novelist Jay McInerney, author of Bright Lights, Big City, had this essay in The Telegraph on Capote's best known literary creation, Holly Golightly.

Open Culture had this piece on books F.Scott Fitzgerald deemed to be essential. As the writer notes, it is fairly idiosyncratic, and does not include either Shakespeare or James Joyce, and is confined to books then available in Modern Library editions. I'd note Fitzgerald also did not include Ernest Hemingway. The list was made in 1936, right around the time Hemingway published Snows of Kilamanjaro in Esquire magazine and had the crack about "poor Scott Fitzgerald".

Fitzgerald never did teach a course on literature at the University level. These people have and boy, there's quite a lot to read on some of these syllabi by famous authors. From Emily Temple at Flavorwire.

I think I would need a refresher course to pass this quiz on 19th century bad guys that Paddy passed on to me. This one isn't easy.

Finally in the "Hello. My name is Inigo Montoya. You killed my father. Prepare to Die" Department, the Daily Beast had this piece on The Princess Bride and other cultural ephemera from 1973.

Have a wonderful and safe long weekend everyone and be sure to share with us what's on your reading list.