The Book Booth: Happy Easter 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 Pulitzer Prizes were announced this past week, and there didn't seem to be much hoopla surrounding the prizes this year. I mean besides the WaPo for public service, which seemed a bit controversial.In any event, Donna Tartt took the prize for fiction for her well-regarded The Goldfinch.

USA Today interviewed her, kinda sorta, here.

The Goldfinch is Tartt's third novel. And it has been eleven years
between her second and third. Second novels are notoriously difficult
for authors, especially for those who's debut novels were considered
sensational. Norman Mailer comes to mind. He followed Naked and the
with Barbary Shore which was received, let us say, with less than
enthusiasm. The Millions considers the second novel and wonders if we
may be living in a golden age for second novels

Speaking of golden ages, Flavorwire had these vintage photos of
bookstores past
. I spent many an hour browsing through the Pickwick
store in Hollywood and even worked a while at the Beverly Hills
branch, though that was after the B. Dalton chain had acquired
Pickwick. The Hollywood store was one of the best ever.

Our own Lucian found this entertaining article from the BBC on the
hidden meanings in children's literature
. Clearly kid's books often
yield more than one kind of reading. Think of Alice in Wonderland,
which has a lot more going on than just Alice's adventures with all
sorts of odd and memorable characters. Or The Wizard of Oz. (L. Frank
Baum was a feminist/socialist).

Lily King at ABEBooks had these essential young adult books featured
recently, most of which can be read at many levels. And, of course,
the book jacket art is always fun to gaze at.

Ah, the emoticon. We all use them, mostly as a shorthand. And it seems
to be a fairly new phenomenon. Well, maybe not. It seems that perhaps
Robert Herrick may have done so in 1648, and a smiley face at that.
Considering that England at the time was about to execute King
Charles, I think that interesting. The Atlantic has the story.

The inventive music composer Brian Eno recently revealed his favorite
twenty books
. Every time I open up my computer, I think of him. In any
event, his list is highly eclectic, as one who knows his work, one
might expect.

Whizzpast had this article on the best opening lines from novels of
the 1950s
. We are all aware of the importance of the opening line.
Even if you've never read it, nearly everyone knows the opening line
of Moby Dick. Or Tale of Two Cities.

In the book accessories department, consider the tote bag.
SeattleTammy and I use them all the time for shopping. And we have
many, collected over the years from book trade shows. A recent article
at HuffPo showed off some of these very handsome looking bags.

Finally, the famed Latin American author Gabriel Garcia Marquez passed away after a lingering illness on Thursday. If you have never read 100
Years of Solitude, do yourself a favor and read it. It is in the top
ten of books I loved. NPR has the news.

Enjoy your weekend and be sure to let us know what book you have
going! And Happy Easter to those of you celebrating.