The Book Booth: Harry Potter Returns Edition

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James Schamus and Logan Lerman on the set of ‘Indignation’/Image © Roadside Attractions

Image: Signature

The Book Booth is a weekly feature at The Political Carnival, relating news, notes, and reflections from the world of books and publishing.  It is written by @SeattleDan and SeattleTammy, operators of an on-line bookstore (which you can find here) , who have been in the book business since shortly after the Creation, or close to 6000 years now.

The Book Booth: Harry Potter Returns Edition

The speechifying is now over, and maybe we can all relax for a day or two. It has been an interesting couple of weeks, with many, many contrasts which have been both illuminating, funny and frightening. Time to pull out a good book and get some reading done.

The youthful wizard returns this weekend with the midnight release on Sunday morning of Harry Potter and the Cursed Child Parts I and 2 at your local independent bookstore. This story is actually based on the play script of Jack Thorne, based on ideas from J.K. Rowling herself. Hard to believe it has been nine years since we heard of Harry last and I'm sure many of you will welcome his return.
New Harry Potter!

What would you pick as the perfect graphic novel? Art Spiegelman's Maus comes to my mind. But not so fast says Calvin Reid, Publishers Weekly's graphic novelist guru. In a podcast interview, he chose City of Glass which was written by that marvelous writer Paul Auster and published some time ago. You can listen to the interview here.
Calvin Reid on City of Glass

Speaking of literary podcasts, if you are looking for some good discussions to listen to, Christopher Linforth of The Millions has a list of some of the better ones around.
Smart People Who Know Their Literature Discuss It

Back in the day, Simon and Garfunkel asked in the song Dangling Conversation if the theater was really dead. And recently Edna O'Brien asked the same thing of literature. The cartoonist Tom Gauld imagines for the Guardian here what reading will be like in AD 2500, which served to remind me of the Burgess Meredith episode from a long ago Twilight Zone episode. Without the sad ending.
Reading in 2500 A.D.

Adapting quality writing to the silver screen is no easy feat. James Schamus, who co-wrote Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon as well as producing Brokeback Mountain, has directed the just-released the movie Indignation based on the novel of Philip Roth. Here he talks to Signature about the difficulties of adapting the book.
Adapting Indignation

We're sad to note the passing of novelist James Alan McPherson. He was the first African-American to win the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction in 1978 for his collection Elbow Room. In his younger days, he was a protege of Ralph Ellison and was long associated with the fabled Writers Workshop at the University of Iowa.
James Alan McPherson Has Left Us

Earlier in the week, in response to Michele Obama's speech at the Democratic Convention, noted "historian" Bill O'Reilly mentioned that the slaves who built the White House didn't have it so bad and that the peculiar institution was a benign thing. Uh huh. Well, several writers have taken Mr. O'Reilly to task. David Graham gives the context here for the Atlantic Monthly.
Bill O'Reilly Taken to Task for Slavery Remarks

Have a spectacular weekend all! Enjoy the weather, and read some good books. And please do tell what books they might be.

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  • Dan Domike

    Thanks, Sally. Sounds like a good project to do with you mother. Wish I'd done something like that.

  • Sally

    Spent a rainy Saturday here in Michigan reading "The Rainbow Comes and Goes," the book of emails between Anderson Cooper and his mom, 92 year old Gloria Vanderbilt. It is very well done, and interesting. Also thought provoking, as I am in my 60's and my mom is 86 this year. I'm thinking we need to do something similar, as there is a lot of stuff I do not know about her, and I'm sure there are things she doesn't know about me.