The Book Booth: Pulitzer Season Edition


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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 here, as well as a brick and mortar storefront mini-store in Hoquiam, WA at 706 Simpson Ave (Route 101 South). Both have been in the book business since shortly after the Creation, or close to 6000 years now.

The Book Booth: Pulitzer Season Edition

Yes, the Pulitzer Prizes were announced this week and the selections, I have to say, were not bad. I have yet to read Anthony Doerr's All the Light We Cannot See, but I am number 275 on the reserve list at the library (the system has 77 copies, and with all the speed readers in our library system, I'm sure I'll get to it soon). Everything I've heard about the book makes it seem the award is well-deserved.

I have read the General Non-Fiction winner, Elizabeth Kolbert's excellent The Sixth Extinction: An Unnatural History, and it is well-worth a read. Here's the complete list of winners.
Pulitzer Prize Winners

The Wall Street Journal caught up with Anthony Doerr to get his reaction. It seems he was in Paris when he found out and it he's rather pleased by the whole thing.
Anthony Doerr's Reaction

For the poetry lovers out there, Gregory Pardlo won the prize for his second collection of poems, Digest. The New York Times profiled him here.

Gregory Pardlo Profile (NYT) 

Toni Morrison is no stranger to prizes herself, having won the Nobel some years back (and as I noted last week, the last American to have won). She has a new novel out, God Help the Child, which she discusses, along with other things, with Terry Gross on Fresh Air.
Toni Morrison

In another interview of note, Joe Haleman, author of the Hugo Award winning The Forever War, talked about that book and his career with War is Boring recently. H/T to good friend, Ilsa, for passing this along.
Joe Haleman Interview

Department of very cool children's books has Maria Popov collecting a number of picture book biographies to inspire young minds at Brain Pickings. Included are such luminaries as Jane Goodall, Pablo Neruda, Julia Child and Frida Kahlo, among others. Take a look here.
Very Cool Children's Books

It is spring and with comes spring cleaning. I'm doing it. So are many of you. And it is time to clean up those bookcases. That can be daunting, as the folks at Bustle point out. But you can do it! Really!
It's Spring!  Clean Out Those Bookcases!

And while doing your spring cleaning, you may want to check out new and clever ways to display your home library. Buzzfeed has some 27 examples to inspire you.
New And Clever Ways To Display Your Home Library

You want to write, but you don't know where to start. Nothing to worry about. Author Ann Packer has these hints to get you going.
Ann Packer's Tips to Get Started Writing

Sure librarians can be nerdy. That's why we love them so. But they can get their funk on, too, as is well documented in this viral video. If you haven't watched it, you're in for a treat.
What Do Librarians Do When You Go Home?

A good weekend to you all, and let us know what books are making you want to get up and dance.


Lauren Mayer: 'Hill-ary!'



Lauren Mayer is a singer/songwriter/pianist who writes comedy songs about everything from Supreme Court decisions to the Kardashians. She proudly supports leftist causes including equal pay, reproductive choice, fair minimum wage, addressing climate change, and marriage equality.
Note: Check out Lauren's CDs, including her latest, "If My Uterus Were A Gun (And Other Musical Rants From The News)" - available at "" as well as on iTunes and Amazon. Her website is She's on Twitter at @laurenscomedy
Lauren's podcasts are on IndieMediaWeekly.

From YouTube:

She's making history, inspiring audiences, and infuriating the GOP - she deserves a show tune!


Her name may be hard to rhyme, but she sure inspired me to try!

From Lauren's email to me:

Politics and musical theatre make strange bedfellows, especially in my mind . . . couldn't resist this one even if her name is harder to rhyme than 'librarian'!


Your Weekly Upchucks: Shocking Religion News by Author @KCBoyd3



K. C. Boyd, is the author of Being Christian - A Novel,: A black comedy guaranteed to take you on a wild and frightening ride deep into the dark side of the religious right. It is available on Amazon in multiple formats.

She is the go-to blogger for religion, hypocrisy, and all things church v. state.  You can read her earlier posts on The Political Carnival here and more about who she is on her own website here

The Weekly Upchuck April 19, 2015

Abortion, Contraception And Other Women’s Issues


Fifty Shades Of Barking Mad

Fifty Shades Of Hate

  • #ReligionPorn Right-wing rabbi: ‘Effeminate’ liberals are sexually attracted to ‘the masculine strength and brutality of Islam’
  • #InsideAHatersMind Neo-Nazi: I Hate Gay People ‘With A Passion’ And I’ve Killed Others
  • #ReligionKilz Migrants killed in ‘religious clash’ on Mediterranean boat
  • #CactileDysfunction Arizona Hate Preacher Who Tells Women They Deserve Rape Is Harassing Mosque-Goers

Fifty Shades of Lying Propaganda

  • #DoMuchHarm Pro-life MDs Back New Abortion Pill Reversal Process
  • #ChristerSpew Jindal: Christians are assaulted and victimized by Hollywood and Corporate America

If Media’s The Message

Israel, End Times And John Hagee

Politics Nation

  • #MayHisCampaignRestInPeace Rick Santorum calls President Obama a “nig” “
  • #PaintHimMalleable Here’s what we know about Marco Rubio’s faith of many colors
  • #PanderParty Bush burnishes his religious right bona fides by recalling his full fanatic act during the Terri Schiavo fiasco.
  • #MaybeNotSoMaleable Bombshell: Marco Rubio’s Miami Church: Exorcisms, Creationism, Anti-Gay Policies
  • #OnThe1stDayGodCreatedMontana Billionaire Tech CEO & Bible-Thumping Creationist Laying Groundwork for Montana Gubernatorial Run
  • #SeparateNotEqual Iowa GOP official says Christians should enjoy special rights: ‘There’s only one true God’
  • #PanderMuch? Next up at Liberty University: Jeb Bush
  • President of Susan B Anthony, a major anti-abortion group, says Rubio is ‘true believer’
  • #PoliticalZionism Anti-Gay Hate Group Will Bring Fox News, GOP Hopefuls On A Trip To Israel
  • #HawksTheLoogie Huckajesus Goes On Insane Rant: I Will Call Down Fire From Heaven If I Have To
  • #Cruz-YPoop Ted Cruz Asks Pastors To Preach And Pray Against Gay Marriage Ahead Of SCOTUS Arguments
  • #NoneDareCallThemDeathPanels Jeb Bush Proposes Requiring Medicare End-of-Life Directives
  • #Huckavomit “I don’t think anybody should enter into a decision that is this monumental… without a lot of prayer.” Huckajesus to announce plans concerning potential White House bid on May 5 in his hometown of Hope, Arkansas.
  • #ThereWillBeBlood Leading Republicans differ over armed ‘insurrection’ Ted Cruz is actively recruiting an army of preacher politicians in Oklahoma.

Religion Gone Mad Gone Bad

Same Sex Issues

Sausage Makers And Their Sausage


  • #ScamminThePoor Pastor charged thousands to disabled man’s credit cards
  • #EwwwwChuck Another day, another sex-abusing ‘family values’ pastor. Sex abuse trial begins of ‘cult-like’ church pastor, with parade of accusers to testify
  • #Murder1 A two-year old child is dead after being starved by a church in Texas.
  • #KeepingItClassy Christian family band members in deadly parking lot brawl

Supremes And Lower Courts

Theocracy Rising

  • #TitanicBlunder A Tennessee bill to make the Bible the state book is unconstitutional but some lawmakers won’t back down
  • #Frank-lyRecruitingGrand Hater Franklin Graham will “travel to all 50. States in 2016 to rally Xtians to vote & run for office.”
  • #AllAboutTheBase Conservative Leaders Plan Two Secret Meetings Aimed at Picking a Good Christer Candidate
  • #StateElectionsMatter Tennessee House votes Bible as official state book
  • #SpewingLarge ADF is the country’s best-funded and most powerful right-wing Christian group working against what the organization calls the “myth of the so-called ‘separation of church and state.’”
  • #ChristianNationist U.S. Congressman Gregg Harper (R-MISS) suggested his hopes that the sight of a mammoth cross will convince legions of hellhound passerby to turn over their lives to Christ.
  • #WhatsTheMatterWithOklahoma? Oklahoma attorney general wants private citizens to distribute religious literature in schools
  • #AdulterersWelcome? The 10 Commandments sit outside The Hotel Elegante in Dallas- a Religious Right owned facility


· Fox’s John Stossel smacks O’Reilly over Christian victimhood claims: ‘You’re just a 10-foot-tall crybaby’



The Book Booth: The Hugo Award Kerfluffle Edition



Image: BoingBoing

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 here, as well as a brick and mortar storefront mini-store in Hoquiam, WA at 706 Simpson Ave (Route 101 South). Both have been in the book business since shortly after the Creation, or close to 6000 years now.

The Book Booth: The Hugo Award Kerfluffle Edition

In the course of its history as a genre, Science-Fiction has always had political tensions. One can look at the beginnings in Jules Verne, who was a fairly bourgeois in his subject matter and H.G.Wells who was an avowed socialist. One can certainly read The Time Machine as a metaphor for class struggle. So, I suppose, that this years Hugo Awards are now a source of controversy isn't that remarkable. It seems that a right-wing group, calling themselves Sad Pupping has hijacked the rather arcane nominating process and called upon the vicious GamerGaters to lend them a hand. BoingBoing has an overview here.

And as Katy Waldman at Slate notes, the nomination process has long been manipulated in the past, but by individuals hoping to win something. She points to Orson Card Scott, among others.
Hugo Award Nominations

Another excellent discussion by Arthur Chu can be found at Salon, where he laments the intersection of lazy democracy and internet trolls.

Needless to say, there has been a great deal of backlash from the science-fiction community. Two nominated authors, Annie Bellet and Markos Kloos, have felt compelled to withdraw from the competition, as io9 reports.
Hugo Award Nominees Withdraw

Meanwhile George R.R. Martin has also weighed in. While apparently the nominations were within the "rules", he nevertheless deplores the developments.
Hugo Award Rules - Time to Change?

Internet security guru Bruce Schneier has some suggestions on how to change the process here.

And in wrapping up all the news about the Hugos, I think the best analysis of the whole darn thing comes from writer and old friend Eric Flint, who assesses the whole political background and wonders if the awards are meaningful anymore. H/T to Steve Timberlake!
Are the Hugo Awards Still Significant?

We'll note the passing of Nobel Laureate Gunter Grass this week. He was certainly no stranger to controversy himself and might have been amused by the Hugo Kerfuffle.
Gunter Grass Moves On

And whatever you may think of Hugo Chavez, his presentation of Open Veins of Latin America to President Obama brought the author Eduardo Galeano to prominence. I read Open Veins years ago and it is a brilliant and difficult study, well-worth reading. Al Jazeera has an appreciation here.
Eduardo Galeano Open Veins

In not so controversial news, the world of book collecting still seems vibrant, according to Steve Rosenbush at the Wall Street Journal. Here he talks about collecting and why you may want to take up the hobby yourself.

It seems that librarians like to mix it up as well. The New York Public Library recently discovered a large stack of librarian reviews of childrens books and some of them are priceless. Not everyone is a fan of Green Eggs and Ham! Who knew?

Finally, belated birthday wishes to author and Portland, Oregon's own Beverly Cleary, who recently achieved the age of 99. In celebration, Flavorwire featured 25 vintage covers from her classic books.
Beverly Cleary

A most excellent weekend to you all. Happy reading and please let us know what words are stirring you!