The Book Booth: Springtime Edition



Image: Publishers Weekly

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: Springtime Edition

It finally arrived last night and it's official. Spring has sprung upon us, and with it, all the blooming flowers and sunny glades.

I understand that there was also a solar eclipse as well, but it was far too overcast here to notice much. I hope you had a better view.

First off this week in the good news department, fans of Canadian author Margaret Atwood will be delighted to learn that she has a new novel being published by Penguin Random House (geez is that strange to type) in September. The title is The Heart Stands Alone. You can read about it here.

With the sad passing of Terry Pratchett does come the happier news that there will be one final Discworld novel coming later this summer, entitled The Shepherd's Crown as well as another novel, The Long Utopia, co-authored with Stephen Baxter. The Independent talks about it here. At the bottom of the link, there is a sweet photo essay with some Pratchett quotations that you will enjoy. Pratchett

And for fans of Alan Moore, author of the graphic novels The Watchmen and V for Vendetta, his long-awaited novel Jerusalem will be published in the US by Norton Liveright in the Fall of 2016. It should be a doorstop of a book, running up to a million words, or about twice as long as War and Peace.

On occasion, and in want of a light read, I'll pick up a memoir or biography of one of Hollywood's talents. Word & Film recently discussed the best of the genre here. Oddly, they didn't include Shelley Winters memoir, Shelley Also Known as Shirley, nor David Niven's exaggerated tales told in The Moon's a Balloon. But of the books mentioned, Louise Brooks Lulu in Hollywood is a great read.
Star Memoirs

Ah, remembering fondly the acerbic Gore Vidal, the Telegraph of Great Britain reviewed his many, many feuds. (And speaking of memoirs, his Palimpsest was an engaging book).

So far as I know, Vidal never quarreled with Miguel Cervantes, author of Don Quixote, and often described as the father of the modern novel. (Vidal did pick a fight with Ernest Hemingway in asserting the Edgar Allan Poe and not Mark Twain was the true founder of American literature.) But it now seems that the remains of Cervantes may have been found in Madrid. The BBC has the story here. Cervantes

With spring now here, Baseball's opening day can't be far behind. It is, in fact, on April 5th this year. And who knew that this is the 100th anniversary of that source of stats, profiles and all things baseball Who's Who in Baseball? (100 years ago, Babe Ruth was pitching for the Boston Red Sox). NPR did!
Baseball Stats

With the rise of English as the lingua franca, so to speak, in the world today, there are consequences for both written and spoken language. Minae Mizumura examines this phenomena in her new book, The Fall of Language in the Age of English, which she discussed for Publishers Weekly recently.

Book jacket designs are meant, of course, to draw your eye to a book in your independent bookstore, and pick it up, browse through it and buy it. But the process in getting the "right" cover is not so easy, as MJ Franklin at Mashable shows.
Hausfrau Book Cover Art

Finally, a bit of fun from Buzzfeed. What is the worst thing that can happen to you as book lover?
The list seems pretty exhaustive to me.  Worst Things

Happy Springtime everyone! Enjoy the blooms and let us know what books have enthralled you this past week.


Lauren Mayer: 'Religious Freedom (Doesn't Mean the Freedom to Discriminate)'



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:

(A musical rant from an exasperated Jewish-mother-for-marriage-equality

Come on, people! Homophobia is so last millenium!


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 March 15, 2015

Abortion, Contraception And Other Women’s Issues


Fifty Shades of Hate

Fifty Shades Of Lying Propaganda

  • #Word-Smith-ingJoe: The Mormon Church’s Gay Rights Charade – Provisional support of certain LGBT legal protections—with conditions.

Fifty Shades Of Stark Raving Mad

If Media’s The Message

  • #SpoilerAlert: America is NOT a Christian nation.
  • #PutzyPornoPete: LaBarbera: GOP Will Fall If It Stops Talking About Gay Kisses On TV
  • #Who’sPunishingWho: Staver: Boycott Sports Teams That Support Marriage Equality
  • #WhatsHeThinking? Mega-disappointing that James Franco plays the role of an ‘ex-gay’ pastor.
  • #CurrentPukerFormer NFLer:Fox Sports Analyst Craig James Says Satan Is Behind Movement for LGBT Equality
  • #DrHydeIPresume? Op-ed In the New Jersey Star Ledger: Tom Cotton ‘is a Neocon monstrosity out of central casting’
  • #AbusingMLK: Alveda King, The Fox News Contributor Who Blames Natural Disasters On Gay Marriage

Israel, End Times And John Hagee

  • #CanYouSaySelf-FulfillingProphecy? Evangelicals & ISIS Feel Fine About the End of the World
  • #LovingJews ToDeath: We may well see the ‘End of Days’ but sadly, it will be by man’s nuclear
  • #Bringin’ItOn: GOP Senator Dismisses Diplomacy With Iran Over Nuclear Program, Suggests War Instead Of Diplomacy
  • #TreasonAnyone? Republican Senators Write To Leaders Of Iran, Attempt To Sabotage Nuclear Deal
  • #Bringin’ItOn#II: Foreign Minister of Israel: Behead Arabs who aren’t loyal to Israel
  • #TheStateOfOurUnionIsTenous: Tom Cotton Doesn’t Give A Sh** About Iran Talks Protocol. But A Lot Of Others Do.
  • #FollowTheMoney: “2014: Tom Cotton gets $1M from Kristol’s neocon Emergency Cmtee for Israel; repays debt with Iran letter”
  • #WherePoliticsMoney&EndTimesMeet: Senator who spearheaded letter to Iran got $1 million from Kristol’s ‘Emergency C’tee for Israel’
  • #SonOfJohnSpews: Matthew Hagee: Gay Marriage ‘Is Taking Away The Ability Of … Society To Survive’
  • #AndFatherErupts: John Hagee: Netanyahu’s Speech To Congress Was God’s Warning To America To Stand With Israel Or Face Judgment
  • #Meh? Sheldon Adelson “So Israel won’t be a democratic state. So what?”
  • #Who’sAfraidOfWWIII?Sen. Graham on Defeating ISIS: ‘This is a Religious War and We Have to Take Sides
  • #PeeYouStinky: Hagee sticks his apocalyptic nose in US foreign policy yet again.

Politics Nation

  • #ThatDuhMoment: Huckajesus Asked To Provide Example Of Negative Impact Of Marriage Equality, Draws A Blank
  • #JesusJebThatWasQuick: Jeb jumps aboard the pandering train. So much for bucking the crazies.
  • #LooksSexuallyRepressedToMe: Lindsey Graham doing Netanyahu, Israel and Adelson’s bidding: “I Fear Iran More Than ISIS
  • #ExcuuuuseHim: Whining Rand Paul Says Gay Marriage ‘Offends’ Him.
  • #CruzingToInfamy: Ted Cruz Touts Anti-Gay Bona Fides To Extremist Group
  • #InTheValleyOfJordan(Sekulow): Team Jeb Bush’s Liaison to the Religious Right Is Islamophobic, Opposed to Marriage Equality and Vigorously Anti-Abortion
  • #AllAboutThatBase: Jeb’s all about that base,’Bout that base no trouble.
  • #RickysEarWhisperer: Rick Perry: God’s Candidate For President

Religion Gone Bad

Same Sex Issues

Sausage Makers And Their Sausage


Science – Or Not

Supremes And Lower Courts

Theocracy Rising





The Book Booth: Pi Day Edition



Image: City Moms Blog

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: Pi Day Edition

Yes, it is the day all math nerds look forward to, International Pi Day! Enjoy a good apple pie, and take glory in its irrationality. May pi go on forever, and ever and ever.

We start off with the wild world of literary rumors. There are tons of them, of course, and the more eccentric the writer, the wilder the rumor. Flavorwire recently looked at eight such rumors. You might have a few of your own to add.
Literary Rumors

Some writers are born and some become that way. James Joyce was probably born to write, though he began a course in medicine while he lived in Paris as a young man. It seems that Gabriel Garcia Marquez's initial dream, like that of Anthony Burgess, was to be a musician. But somehow writing got in the way. h/t to Lucian for finding this story.
Accidental Writers

Another case of coming to writing late is the novelist Paul Beatty, who's latest novel is The Sellout. (His earlier novel, White Boy Shuffle, is a great read. Go find a copy.) Here he talks about becoming a writer and his work with Colin Dickerman, over at Work in Progress.
Paul Beatty on becoming a writer

Perhaps coming to the writing trade later in life isn't such a bad thing. Or at least, so contends British novelist, Joanna Trollope. With age comes maturity to put things, those very things you want to say, into perspective. So there is hope for us geezers, after all.
Coming to Writing Late in the Game

Of course the older one gets, the more stories one has to tell. But how to get it out to the public? David Wilson, a co-founder of that fine charity War Child, would like to get his story published. Check out a chapter of his work here and if you've got a few bucks to send his way, please do. I mean he has the recommendations of Sir Tom Stoppard and Brian Eno! h/t to my Second Life friend, Pavl.
Help Davis Wilson (co-founder of War Child) Tell His Story

It seems that Maurice Sendak was one of those who found his calling early. Although I am too old to have been able to enjoy his work as a child, I derived great pleasure in sharing his work with my kid and other children throughout the years. MentalFloss revealed a number of things about the illustrator that you may not know about here.
Maurice Sendak

I talked about Kazuo Ishiguro, author of The Remains of the Day, and his decade long hiatus from publishing last week. He has hit the interview trail, and you may enjoy this fairly short ( eight minutes) video of him discussing his new work, The Buried Giant, at the BBC. Thanks again to Lucian for sending along the link.
Kazuo Ishiguro Interview

From the Department of the Weird comes this week some books you may just want to pass on as the covers pretty much tell the story. These were collected by Tiffany Willis, founder of the Liberal America blog, who is an "unabashed" member of the Christian Left.
Religious Book Covers That Leave Nothing to the Imagination

From the ridiculous to the sublime, here is a sweet photo essay of some of the most beautiful bookstores from around the world. One of these days, in my old age, I'll visit or re-visit them.
Beautiful Bookstores

Finally, I note the passing of the author of the Discword series, Sir Terry Pratchett. He was a fine, often brilliant, writer with a huge imagination. He will be missed.
Goodbye Terry Pratchett

Enjoy your Pi day and then enjoy St. Patricks Day next week. But in the meantime, let us know what books you want to rave about. A great weekend to you all.