The Book Booth: How's Your Weather Edition

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snowcat

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.

We have the usual winter gloom here in our little town. A lot of rain, a bit of wind and temperatures in the forties. How's it going for you? I suspect that wherever you may be, snuggling in with a good book might be a great idea.

And if you were looking to catch up on some contemporary literature, take a gander at Jason Diamonds's list of important books from the past five years from Flavorwire. It is an exhaustive, if not exhausting, look at fifty books.

2014 will be yet another year of movie adaptations. Arielle Calderon at Buzzfeed suggests you might want to read these sixteen books before the movies hit the theaters. Among them is Mark Helprin's Winters Tale which SeattleTammy adored. Let's hope the film does it justice.

Back in 1971 a group of activists burgled a Pennsylvania FBI office and discovered files that more than confirmed our more paranoid suspicions that the Bureau spied extensively on anti-war and civil rights organizations. The perps were never caught and only now have their identities been revealed. NPR looks at Betty Medsger's The Burglary: The Discovery of J. Edgar Hoover's Secret FBI here.

NPR also featured the legacy of Amiri Baraka, the controversial and always interesting African-American poet and playwright who passed away this week at age 79. Before he adopted the Baraka name, he was called LeRoi Jones and his work of non-fiction, Blues People is an excellent study of black music in white culture.

Last week I mentioned that a US court recently ruled that Arthur Conan Doyle's character, one Sherlock Holmes, was now in the public domain.(The Doyle Estate,as I understand, is appealing the ruling). Well, for all you Sherlock fans out there, The Guardian offers a quiz on the good detective. And it isn't easy.

Over at HuffPo, Antonio Garrido looks at eleven women from literature who rebelled against the mores of their times. It's a good list, but I will never understand the fascination people have with Scarlett O'Hara. I find her to be one of the most unlikeable characters,man or woman, in literature.

Most of imagine writers at work sitting at a desk, scribbling on tablets or typing away at their laptops. But some writers prefer a more relaxed position....reclined on their beds. Again, from HuffPo, Bernd Brunner looks at few of those recumbent authors.

There are the famous dystopian novels nearly everyone has read. 1984. Brave New World. Then there are some others worthy of our attention, that seem a little more obscure. Jason Diamond featured fifteen such titles, again from Flavorwire.

Obscurity beats out being non-existent, though. Gabe Habash at Publishers Weekly lists off nine famous books that never saw the light of day, including one on asteroids by a certain Professor Moriarty.

I hope this finds you all warm and comfortable, no matter what your weather may be. Curl up with a good book, have an outstanding weekend and let us know what you are reading.

Photo by my df Cat.

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  • Mark MacKay

    I remember reading "We," by Yevegeny Zamyatin. It was suggested as kin to "Brave New World." It's been years since I've read it but that I remember it at all might attest to it's potential as a good read.