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 sun shines here on our little town, lulling us into believing summer will last all year. Do not be deceived! There is the slight nip of cool air after the sun sets, and the trees don't have green leaves exactly. And local stores are putting out Halloween displays. But for now we'll take it and enjoy.
Autumn is the big season in the publishing industry, where sales are geared for the holidays. You'll see the big publishers books everywhere, in print ads, big stacks at retail outlets or with media appearances by the authors. What you probably won't see is much publicity for smaller press books. And there are always gems to be found. Publishers Weekly featured some upcoming titles from small publishers, including new works by Van "The Man" Morrison, Cornell West and Vikram Chandra, who has a non-fiction work due out on the relationship of art to technology. New works from small publishers.
If you go into nearly any used or antiquarian bookstore, you're sure to see copies of mass-market books that were serviceman's editons, sent, free, overseas. But the sheer volume of volumes shipped is amazing. The Atlantic has the story here. Servicemen's Editions of Mass Market Books
Some cult novels have become that way because they are that good. Others not so much. If you're looking for something to read and want to know what all the fuss is about, check out Emily Temple's rather exhaustive list of cult novels at Flavorwire.
Oddly, none of Cormac McCarthy's books made the list and he certainly has a cult following. He's known to be reclusive and doesn't give interviews. If you are curious about him, check out these little known facts about him from Shortlist. (You'll need to scroll over the pictures below the text). Cormac McCarthy
And if you happen to want to find a cult book to read to your child, Buzzfeed recently offered 27 titles it deemed essential. But I do have to ask, where's The Saggy, Baggy Elephant, which I had read to me more times than my parents would have cared to count. Read these books to your kids!
The recent publication of Cornell University professor Edward Baptist's The Half Has Never Been Told: Slavery and the Making of American Capitalism has stirred up some controversy. Not that the least was the anonymous reviewer at the Economist who ended up defending slavery. Cory Doctorow at BoingBoing examines the story here. Slavery and Capitalism
In other news, a new book claims to have found the identity of Jack the Ripper through DNA testing. If true, Patricia Cornwell's contention that it was artist Walter Sickert would be wrong.
Who was Jack the Ripper?
NPR's Fresh Air featured an interview this week with its book reviewer, Maureen Corrigan, on her new book So We Read On. She makes the claim,and does so powerfully, for The Great Gatsby being the Great American Novel. I'm not sure I buy that, but she does make a compelling case.
If your Book Club is looking for a new title for the group to read, you may want to consider Neil Gaiman's new book The Ocean at the End of the Lane. He's put together a neat little video to accompany book club questions. See embed below.
Is that book you just picked up a Gothic novel? The Guardian can tell you...in pictures! Some fun graphics to look at here. What's a Gothic Novel?
May your weekend be just as sunny as ours is here. And please let us know what book you are loving. Enjoy! Questions