Archive for Anthony Burgess

The Book Booth: September Song Edition


Image Literary Arts Organization

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: September Song Edition

The direction of time is certainly moving toward Fall here. Many of the trees have those vibrant colors and the sun keeps setting earlier every night. SeattleTammy and I are preparing for the inevitable. We replaced the furnace filters this week and vacuumed out the ducts. Now to winterize the garden.

With the coming of the Fall come the prizes. The National Book Foundation revealed this week its longlist for the awards to be presented in November. In the fiction category, my money is on Colson Whitehead's The Underground Railroad.
National Book Foundation Awards

And with an awards ceremony of its own in late October, the Man Booker shortlist was also announced this past week and includes two American, two Canadian and two British authors. I have to admit I'm not familiar with these works, but Paul Beatty is a good and unusual nominee. The Nobel Prizes will be awarded in early October, so stay tuned.
Man Booker Award Coming Soon

If you happen to be in Portlandia Oregon on November 5th, go check out the annual Portland Book Festival, presented by the folks at Wordstock. There will be many, many authors attending.
Wordstock Portland Book Festival

So you'd like to be a writer but you're stuck. The blank page terrifies you and you don't know where to start, where to go, who to turn to. Well, these authors have advice and a lot of the suggestions here are quite a help. From the Guardian..
Yes! I Want to Write a Book! How Do I Get Started?

Some writers work fast, others take their time. Did you know it took Anthony Burgess less time to write A Clockwork Orange than it took Dickens to write A Christmas Carol? MentalFloss has a nice graphic here on how long it took certain works to be written.
How Long Did It Take to Write That Book?

Once you've written the book that's been inside you these many years, there comes the matter of getting it published. No easy task for many. But do take heart. The Stranger by Albert Camus had to overcome many obstacles to see the light of day, including getting by the censors of the occupying German army, as Alice Kaplan, author of Looking for the Stranger: Albert Camus and the Life of a Literary Classic, explains here.
Getting The Stranger Published Was No Piece of Cake

Jonathan Safran Foer, the author of Everything is Illuminated and Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close, has a newly published novel out, Here I Am. The good people at Farrar Straus, and Giroux have an excerpt here for your perusal.
Excerpt from Here I Am

If I may, I'd like to suggest the work of my good friend John Olson. John is a charming and versatile poet as you can see from this piece he published at the Seattle Review of Books.
John Olson in the Seattle Review of Books

John has also written a new novel, In Advance of the Broken Justy, the details of which are here.

I am, as some of you may have noted, a big fan of the Library of America editions. It seems that they have now published American Musicals, a collection of some sixteen librettos of some of the best out there. But, as Steve Vineburg notes here, some musicals survive the transition from stage to screen better than others.
Musicals on the Big Screen

I'll leave you now to enjoy Walter Huston performing September Song, music written by Kurt Weill and lyrics by Maxwell Anderson for their 1938 show Knickerbocker Holiday.

Have a most gratifying weekend and please do let us know what books you are loving.


The Book Booth: It's Spring! Edition



Image: Bustle

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: It's Spring! Edition

Though it seems like Spring has already arrived here, and then some, it officially arrives tomorrow, assuming you are reading this on Saturday. Daylight savings time has now taken effect, and I wont bore you with how it stole an hour of sleep from me. St. Patricks Day has been celebrated. The Rhodies are now in bloom, and soon the apple trees will as well, and the scents around our yard will be sweet.

The rains are gone for our little town for now and it has inspired me to want to pay more attention to my health, like riding my winter-neglected bicycle. And more reading! It's good for you, as Bustle reports here.
Reading is Good for You!

Ah, but what to read, what to read? There's no shortage of recommendations. Amy Parker, who has recently authored her own collection of interlinked short stories, Beasts and Children, ranked her favorite such collections. I was pleased to see, among the others, the now nearly forgotten Sylvia Townsend Warner as well as Denis Johnson's Jesus' Son.
But What to Read?

Then there are those stories where the narrator may not be telling the truth, or telling a version of the truth that doesn't necessarily coincide with reality. Catherine Kovach at Bustle listed twelve such yarns, including John Fowles' The Collector and Anthony Burgess' A Clockwork Orange.
Truth or Consequences Reality?

As many of the rites of Spring involve, well, the fertility of the earth and ourselves. So some may want to visit, or revisit, that old Indian standby, The Kamasutra. The scholar Wendy Doniger has recently published a study of the 2000 year old text, Redeeming the Kamasutra, and explains here why it still matters to us today.

Have you been feeling a little odd, a bit disoriented, somewhat out of sorts lately? It could be that you are stuck in a Raymond Chandler novel. Carolyn Seuthe at The Toast offers up the symptoms and clues.
Are You Living in a Raymond Chandler Story? How to Tell.

So you want to be a writer, but not only a writer, but a best-selling author. Well, there are several ways to go about that, as Brent Underwood of the Observer describes here. Thanks to Lucian for the link.
It's Based on a Novel by a Man Named Lear...

It has been a number of years and films ago that Tim Burton has directed a good movie. His early films, including the first two Batman movies, were delicious and fun that showed a promising future for Burton, that, alas, he really hasn't lived up to. I'm hoping that will have changed with the release of Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children, an adaptation of the Ransom Riggs 2011 novel, one that SeattleTammy enjoyed, in September this year. It looks like the right sensibility has met the right subject matter.
'Home for Peculiar Children' Trailer

With all the Spring showers ahead, and/or for those who need to do some gift shopping for a book-loving friend, check out these umbrella designs, which are pretty darn cool.
Gift Shopping for Bookworms

A great spring equinox to you all and please let us know what books are making you smile this weekend.


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.