The Book Booth: Groundhog Day Edition

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Image: HuffPo


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: Groundhog Day Edition

Yes, once again it is time for the large rodent in Pennsylvania to let us know if we have six more weeks of winter coming, or if we'll have an early spring. It's all "grounded" in science, of course, and we all should pay great attention. Or end up like Bill Murray in the movie and have to do it over and over again.

Do you want to read classic literature but, you know, those pesky words get in the way? Well, the folks at MentalFloss have the solution! Yes, you can now get these posters of Alice, Peter Pan and Huck Finn that do away with verbiage and go straight to the punctuation marks!
Simplified Classics (No Words!)

I'm sure some of you have manuscripts laying about the desk, that you know are sure-fire bestsellers and monuments to Literature. Get those pages out! But before you do, review these mistakes many, many writers make before their submissions.
Beginning Writers' Mistakes

Of course some novice writers are prone to over-writing. Or working with a blind editor. Here are fifty over-wrought sentences from a new novel, published by a company known for quality, that, well, are not going to make Proust or Joyce sweat.
Overwritten Sentences

To cleanse the palate, here are some quotes on writing from Virginia Woolf. We celebrated the 134th anniversary of her birth this past week.
Virginia Woolf on Writing

Now this new production of War and Peace looks intriguing. It is produced by Harvey Weinstein, who has done much quality filmmaking. I've never seen the Soviet-era production, which is supposed to be great, but the American one from the fifties, although noble in attempt, had lots of problems, including the casting of Henry Fonda as Pierre when he was about twenty years too old for the part.
War and Peace Casting

It's the end of the month, and time to restock on books! Go visit your local independent bookstore. But failing that, you can read some great books set in bookstores! HuffPo has a list that you'll want to check out.
Great Books Set in Bookstores

Have a great weekend, filled with words and punctuation marks and please let us know what delightful books you are enjoying this weekend.

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The Book Booth: The History Edition

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Image: BBC


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: The History Edition

In my more Orwellian moments, I become scared that history is being lost, re-written by the Ministry of Truth and myth is replacing reality. Of course one doesn't have to look further than the GOP and the candidates who want to lead this country. Imagine history books as written by Donald Trump or Sarah Palin. I shudder.

Take, for instance, the recent release of a book published by Scholastic that depicts the "servants" of George Washington happily baking the father of our country a birthday cake. The furor has caused the publisher to withdraw the book. H/T to Lucian for the link.
George Washington's Happy Servants (according to Scholastic)

Clare Fallon at HuffPo has the background on the controversy here as well as stories about American slavery for younger readers that are more grounded in reality.
A Real Overview of Slavery

The birthday of Edgar Allan Poe just past this week (he was just about a month older than Lincoln and Darwin). But did you know, (strike up the therermin music) that the master of the macabre and father of the detective story was a time-traveler? HistoryBuff has the proof!
Edgar Allen Poe's Time Machine

I've always suspected that world mythologies and folk tales were in some way related, at least as far as the Indo-Europeans were concerned, but not being a folklorist myself, did not know for sure. It seems that this may be the case and that some old tales are very old, indeed.
Fairy Tale Origins

Back in 1965, the Nobel Prize in Literature went to Soviet writer Mikhail Sholokov. It seems he beat out some tough competition in Vladimir Nabokov, Pablo Neruda and Juan Luis Borges. Nabokov certainly should have won some year, but did not, and Neruda was awarded the prize the year before his death. Still Sholkov's And Quiet Flows the Don did inspire one of the great contemporary folk songs, Pete Seeger's Where Have All the Flowers Gone.
Nobel Prize in Literature for Russian Authors

Although he has never achieved the literary limelight of the likes of Hemingway, Steinbeck or Faulkner, Herman Wouk has produced a number of good novels, including the Caine Mutiny and Winds of War. He has now attained his 100th year and NPR did this profile in his honor.
Herman Wouk Profile by NPR

Sadly, last week we saw the passing of that fine actor, Alan Rickman from cancer at age 69. BookRiot posted this tribute to him in all his roles that were based on book characters. Rickman also wrote the play I Am Rachel Corrie and knew a bit or two about words.
Alan Rickman Has Left Us

This story has been making the rounds on the internets, but in case you have missed it, Ursula LeGuin recently gave the dunderheads holding the park refuge hostage a piece of her mind. And very succinctly. Thanks to old friend Mortaljive for the link.
Bird Refuge Dunderheads Upbraided by Ursula LeGuin

We've been doing some house interior work for our many books, and this little piece on library ladders gives inspiration. Check them out!
Library Ladders for the Home

Have a most pleasant weekend, dear readers, and let us know what books have enthralled you.

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The Book Booth: When Librarians Gather Edition

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Image: LA Times


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: When Librarians Gather Edition

This past week librarians from around the country gathered for the mid-winter meeting of the American Library Association, to confer with their fellow librarians and do other remarkable stuff to keep the written word alive.  And while they met, the ALA announced this years winners for the Newberry Medal, awarded this year to Matt De La Pena for Last Stop on Market Street, and the Caldecott Medal, given to Sophie Blackall for Finding Winnie: The True Story of the World's Most Famous Bear. You can see the other winners here.

The librarians also awarded the Carnegie Medals.
You can read to whom for what here.

The New York Public Library recently released a virtual ton of digital images and the good folks at Flavorwire featured some great book jacket art from the 1920's and 1930's.
NYPL Book Jacket Art

Thursday morning, way too early for anyone to be really awake on the west coast, the Academy Award nominations were announced, and movies based on books did pretty well. The Revenant, novel by Michael Punke, picked up many nominations, including best picture and actor for Leonardo diCaprio. The Martian, book authored by Andrew Weir, was also nominated for best picture and actor for Matt Damon. And The Big Short, non-fiction by Michael Lewis, was nominated as well for best picture. The nominees are here.
Academy Award Nominations

And with some luck, good box office and positive reviews, these movies have a chance at glory next year. Interesting that the Tarzan franchise is getting revisited. But the two I'll be looking forward to are Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children and Pride and Prejudice and Zombies. Because who can get enough of zombies?
Read These Books Before They're Made Into Movies

We note the passing of the great and illustrious David Bowie. As one might suspect, he was an avid reader. Here is his eclectic favorite 100 books.
David Bowie's Favorite 100 Books

President Obama gave his State of the Union address this week, and once again stunned us with his facility with words and speech-making. But we shouldn't be surprised. He's always shown his abilities at critical reasoning, even at the age of 22 when he wrote a friend about T.S. Eliot.
President Obama as Literary Critic

The human need to find and categorize damn near everything isn't anything new. Check out this beautiful Dutch book, published in 1692, of finding every color known to us. It is a stunning looking tome.
Every Color Under The Sun

Have a great weekend, enjoy some leisure time and be sure to let us know what great books you are loving.

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The Book Booth: Great Expectations Edition

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Image: The Guardian


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: Great Expectations Edition

Anticipation may be making us wait, but it is that time of year when we get reports on what great new books are going to get published. And it looks to be a pretty good year.

Themillions featured these up-coming titles for the first half of the year here. We'll be seeing works from Richard Russo, Annie Proulx, Mark Haddon, and Don DeLillo, among many others.
New Titles in the 2016 Pipeline

For the readers at Buzzfeed, these are the most anticipated new titles, including Yann Martel's first novel since 2010.
Yann Martel's New Work of Fiction

Not to be out-done, the Wall Street Journal recommended six titles that have either just been published, or will be soon, and they look to be good.
WSJ: Six Books to Curl Up With This Winter

I'm guessing most of you have made your New Year resolutions. For me, I need to ride my bicycle more often and work off winter pounds. But I found that some of the following resolutions are also applicable to a book nerd like myself.
New Year, New Books

One of the books you shouldn't be expecting is the latest installment from George.R.R. Martin in his Game of Thrones series. This in spite of the fact that HBO keeps making episodes based on the books, with the new season due in April. But apparently his fans don't seem to mind.
Game of Thrones: What's Next?

If you're still trying to catch up on last year, Publishers Weekly released the list of the best-selling books from 2015. But if you're like me, you're still catching up on 1998.
Publishers Weekly Bestsellers for 2015

The NFL playoffs are beginning this week (Go Seahawks!). But for some players, it's another paycheck from an organization not very sympathetic to their needs and problems. NPR recently featured the anonymously written NFL Confidential which seeks to expose the underbelly of greed that dominates the sport.
NFL: Underbelly of Greed

I do get tired of the paranoid meme that Obama is coming for our guns. I mean, he's had seven years now to do so, and so far, zilch. But at least we don't live, yet, in a place that comes for its booksellers.  In disturbing news, five Hong Kong booksellers have disappeared.
Booksellers Beware (If You're in Hong Kong)

Finally it is therapy time. Bustle has the top peeves of readers and many of them resonate deeply. Don't get SeattleTammy going on the physical abuse some people inflict on their books. Number two on the list reminded me of a time years ago, when a friend was chatting with someone at our college bookstore. It happened to be raining in Los Angeles, and he was idly poking his umbrella at a display of Love Story, a book he loathed. A campus security guy with too much time on his hands then took my friend into some sort of custody to get to the bottom of the desecration of this classic book. Fortunately no arrest was made.
Readers' Pet Peeves

Have an outstanding weekend, dear readers, and enjoy some good words by good writers. And please let us know what books you are loving.

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