Archive for Arthur Conan Doyle

The Book Booth: Lawn Mowing Edition



Image: from Children's Book Council

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: Lawn Mowing Edition

We finally broke down and purchased an new electric mower a couple of weeks ago. Generally I like to see our yard meadow out, which is certainly more colorful, but our neighbors, and the city government, aren't so happy when we allow that to happen. So I mowed the lawn mid-week, before our first summer rain. And I'll have to do it again before the 4th of July as fireworks are legal in our town, and I'd rather not have a lawn fire. But two hours of mowing (we have a large back yard) takes a lot out of an aging and soon to be grumpy man.

I know that the solstice just happened, and we're really just beginning summer. But that won't stop us from looking forward to the autumn and the new books coming. Publishers Weekly has the fall book preview here and includes a new memoir from Bruce Springsteen and novels from Jonathan Safran Foer, Michael Chabon and Zadie Smith. Read more about them here.

PW also featured these debut novels arriving later in the year, and you may want to check out these young writers.
Debut Novels by Young Writers

The 112th anniversary of Bloomsday has now come and passed and Joyceans around the world celebrated the day Leopold Bloom traveled around Dublin's fair city. Louis Menard explored for the New Yorker why Ulysses is no longer shocking to us after all these years, and talks about a new book by Tasha Lewis who did art for every page of the work in her Illustrating James Joyce's Ulysses in Eight Weeks.
Thoughts on Ulysses

Mary Shelley's Frankenstein remains a much-pondered and taught work in colleges around the world. Here novelist Francine Prose looks at the origins of the work and the social context in which the book was written.
Mary Shelley's Frankenstein - Origins and Context

The stories of Arthur Conan Doyle about detective Sherlock Holmes have been adapted to nearly all media. One of Charlie Chaplin's earliest roles was on the English stage in a play about Holmes. And of course films and radio. Here OpenCulture has radio adaptations, starring John Gielgud and Ralph Richardson for your listening pleasure.
Sherlock Holmes on the Wireless

From Farrar Straus Giroux's blog Work in Progress, take a look at an excerpt from Terry Tempest Williams' new book on the national parks, titled The Hour of Land.
An Excerpt from The Hour of Land

And while we are discussing the "classics", Daniel Mendelsohn offered this essay for the New York Review of Books, reviewing the intersection of the arts and civic life, which he argues has been mostly lost to us, but was integral to ancient Athenians, for whom tragedy could, indeed, save the polis.
The Interception of the Arts and Civic Life.

At the Millions, Michael Bourne wonders what kind of literary critic and defender of the Western Canon Donald Trump would make. And with all things Trump, it is scary.

Have a great weekend, read lots and let us know what great books have got their hooks in you.


The Book Booth: Fathers Day Edition



Image: via Bustle

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: Fathers Day Edition

Happy Fathers Day to all you good dads out there. This year we have both Fathers Day and the summer solstice on the same day, which must mean something profound, though what that may be, escapes me. In any event, Happy Summer and do something fun with your ol' man.

I know I've indulged many a time, book vacations abroad. Which are totally great, if you happen to have the time and the money. But summer is also a great time to get outdoors and commune with nature. Bustle has some good recommendations, including Dharma Bums, to take along in your backpack.
Backpack Reading Worth Its Weight

Speaking of old Beats, NPR recently caught up with poet and bookseller, Lawrence Ferlinghetti. At age 96, he seems to be going strong, still writing and still generous with his time.
Interview with City Lights Publisher Owner Lawrence Ferlinghetti

A bit younger than Ferlinghetti, Anne Roiphe, only 79 years of age, has been writing novels for fifty years. Always a well-regarded author, her work has not received the attention it should. Here she reflects on what those many years of writing have taught her.
Anne Roiphe: Lessons From 50 Years of Writing

Summer movies! There are a ton of them, or at least so it seems to me. And many are based on books. This years batch include two classics, Far From the Madding Crowd and Madame Bovary, both of which have had previous adaptations. Honestly, I've never thought Bovary to be a particularly cinematic read, but I'd be happy to be proven wrong. HuffPo has a list of eleven summer film adaptations here.
Films Adapted from Books On Your Movie Screens This Summer

The latest installment of the Jurassic Park enterprise has already become this year's mega-hit at the box office, earning nearly a bazillion dollars so far. There are, as Sarah Brown at Quirk reminds us, other classic books about man's encounters with the big lizards, including Arthur Conan Doyle's other hero, Professor Challenger who ventured off to The Lost World. Sadly, she does not feature my favorite, Syd Hoff's magnificent Danny and the Dinosaur.
Dinosaurs As Fiction Heroes

Good news for Neil Gaiman fans from the Starz network. Gaiman's American Gods has been picked up for serialization and it sounds like it's a go. I wont be surprised to see other adaptations be realized now that Game of Thrones has taken the television world to new and illustrious heights.
American Gods to be Serialized on Starz

Alas, Gaiman's graphic novel, The Sandman, along with three other graphic novels, were the subject of one student's attempt to have them "eradicated" from the syllabus in an English class at Crafton Hills College in California. Perhaps this young woman would be happier at Bob Jones University or Liberty College, where I'm sure these books are not among the assigned readings.
College Says No to Censorship

I've tried to imagine the work that goes into the graphic novel. Obviously, there is a lot of work from inception to finished product. Jonathan Case is an artist and author of the new graphic novel The New Deal. He discussed the making of the book here for Publishers Weekly.
How Do You Make a Graphic Novel?

And then there is the terror of the blank page. Here are some authors who faced the demon of writers block. Some of these authors never really got over it.
The Demon of Writers Block

Please do enjoy your weekend with lots of books. Give your dad a hug and buy him lunch. And give him a book he'll love..


The Book Booth: March Comes In Like a Lion Edition



Image: Michigan Daily

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: March Comes in Like a Lion Edition

April might be the cruelest month, but March has its own reputation. I know many of my friends are having a very cold and snowy winter, so maybe March will provide some relief. Here in our little town, it has been such a mild winter that the Magnolia tree outside my window is in full bloom. It's gorgeous and a month too early.

The red carpets have been rolled up, the parties are long since over and the Oscar ceremony is finished for this year. The film Birdman won the big one, of course. For those who haven't seen the movie (and that would include me), the plot centers around a stage production of a short story by Raymond Carver, What We Talk About When We Talk About Love. And this has sparked a new interest in the writer often described as America's Chekov. Publishers Weekly examined the revival here.

Time travel has been a staple in science-fiction for a very long time. Also in film. Those of us old enough to remember George Pal's adaptation of The Time Machine from the early sixties who were enchanted by the Eloi and appalled by the Morlocks still love a good time travel setting. i09 has some suggestions from literature that would make very entertaining films.

Maybe some Hollywood producer would like to do a re-boot of Sherlock Holmes. Oh, wait. It's been done. Twice in the past decade alone. Well, if the writers for these need further inspiration from Arthur Conan Doyle himself, maybe they should be searching the attics of some English houses.
English Attics Hold Treasures

I mentioned a few weeks back that author and perennial Nobel Prize candidate for literature, Haruki Murakami, has begun to write an advice column, that is posted on his website. It has begun, and he has been getting some intriguing questions, and he has given both sympathetic and amusing answers.
Here are some examples. Advice from Haruki Murakami

Most writers would describe their private lives to be dull and rather humdrum. Yet, we, as readers, are fascinated by the lives of the authors. Bustle looked at some recent novels that delve into the inner drama of the literary life.
Authors' Inner Drama

It seems no one was more fascinated by the lives of the writers than J. Edgar Hoover and his acolytes at the FBI. And during the sixties, Hoover seemed to be utterly transfixed by African-American writers, and especially James Baldwin, whose file approached nearly 2000 pages. William Maxwell has written a book about the Bureau and black writers in a new book, F.B.Eyes, where he examines these would-be literary critics. Maxwell talks about his new book here.

I know many of my east coast friend, and in particular my friends in New England, are sick unto death of snow. So I'm not sure that they will love and appreciate these chilly scenes of snow in literature from MentalFloss.
Snow in Literature

Finally, it is a fun parlor game to come up with great first lines and great last lines from literature. The DailyMail in England recently polled its readers for their favorites and the winner was Peter Pan, an unusual choice. Here is the list, which is fairly Anglo-centric, though it was nice to see Dr. Seuss in there. What would be some of your favorite opening lines be?
Your Favorite Opening Lines?

May March bring you all some mild weather and beautiful flowers. And by all means, please let us know what great books you are reading this weekend.