Archive for Ayn Rand

The Book Booth: School's Out for Summer Edition



Image: Saint Mazie by Jami Attenberg (via the BBC)

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: School's Out for Summer Edition

It is that most favorite time of year for students and teachers both, Summer Vacation! And for us book lovers that can mean only one thing: more time to read more books!

And it looks like there will plenty of books to choose from for summer reading. There are new novels from Harper Lee as well as Stephen King, among many more. USAToday recommended their top 25 reads here.
Summer Reading Suggestions from USAToday

For those of us whose tastes are a bit more literary, check out the BBC's top ten books for June. H/T to our own Lucian for finding this link.
Summer Reading Suggestions from the BBC

Here's a title that looks particularly interesting. It is a biography of that great musician, Tom Waits, written by Barney Hoskyns and entitled Lowside of the Road. Apparently the biographer got absolutely no help from his subject, or his close friends. And normally I'm reluctant to read biographies of people who'd rather stay reclusive. But in this case, I may make an exception. From the BookForum.
Tom Waits Unauthorized Bio

But feel free to cast aside any copies of Ayn Rand you may have. Flannery O'Connor tells you that Rand is not worth your time or money.
Flannery O'Connor on Ayn Rand

O'Connor was a much better critic than Rand, of course. Yet in this day of consumer "reviews", I can only wonder what O'Connor would have done with a star system. In case you haven't seen any of these types of things, the literary magazine Ploughshares has collected a few for your amusement.
Star Review Systems Under the Microscope (or is that 'Telescope')

And speaking of odd reviews, it seems that novelist Edith Wharton has returned from the afterlife to review the new Starbucks that recently opened in her childhood home!
Edith Wharton? Reviews Local Starbucks?

On the other hand, I doubt that much welcomed this review of its business practices from Ursula LeGuin recently. Ms. LeGuin awards no stars at all! Thanks to old friend George Carroll for finding this story.
No Amazon Stars for Ursula LeGuin!

This year is the centennial of Saul Bellow's birth and with, inclusion of his novels in the Library of America series. Although I don't share the enthusiasm for Bellow that the editor of these new editions, James Woods, has, I did admire Humboldt's Gift when I read it years ago. NPR had this appreciation of Bellow
Saul Bellow Appreciation by NPR

Recently at Publishers Weekly, Martin Edwards, author of the new history of the detective novel, The Golden Age of Murder, outlined that history here. Edwards believes the modern detective novel begins with E.C.Bentley's Trent's Last Case, published in 1913. It is an interesting essay, but completely avoids the hard-boiled novels of Hammett and Chandler.
How the Modern Detective Novel was Born

Last week featured the annual get together of booksellers, authors and publishers at BookExpoAmerica (which we abbreviate to the BEA). And if you needed any more reasons to read, like you need one, Jarry Lee at BuzzFeed asked some of the attendees why people should read and here is here photo essay of the responses.
Why Should People Read? (photo essay from BEA)

So go enjoy this summer with books, reading and the pleasures of the word. And by all means, let us know what books you've got going. Have a great weekend, folks.


The Book Booth: More June Edition


Harry Potter

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, as well a brick and mortar in small town Washington State. Both have been in the book business since shortly after the Creation, or close to 6000 years now.

June has busted out all over and here in our little town, SeattleTammy and I are enjoying that golden orb that occasionally hangs in the sky. Did you know that it actually produces a warm feeling on the skin? We tend to forget.

We begin this week with What If? Lucian had this link earlier in the week here at the Carnival, but I thought it was well worth repeating. What if Harry Potter was an Ayn Rand acolyte? It isn't a pretty picture...

Speaking of things Potter, J.K. Rowling's new mystery, The Silkworm, (writing as Robert Galbraith) is due out on June 19th. USA Today had this preview.

For those of us still searching for the Great Summer Read, Conde Nast's The Traveler asked some of their favorite writers, including David Sedaris, Laura Lippman and Jennifer Weiner, what they were recommending. Here are the answers. Great Summer Reads

For younger readers, Kate DiCamillo suggested these titles at NPR. And her latest novel, Flora and Ulysses, was a great, short read, reports SeattleTammy. Summer Reads for Younger People

I have many friends who are working their way through Thomas Piketty's Capital in the 21st Century, an important work on income inequality. The Right has been, of course, highly critical of the work. Piketty himself isn't putting up with those critics and has issued a 4400 word rebuttal. BusinessInsider has the story here.

Lest you thought that BusinessInsider only dealt with, well, business issues, rest assured that they cover other important topics. Including SCIENCE! Ever wonder why both old and new books have distinctive odors? Here are the answers.

Some of those old books were advertised with lovely illustrations, back in the day. Flavorwire featured some book ads from 19th century France. Who wouldn't want to read these books after seeing these? Old Book Ads

One thing that 19th century France didn't have was social media. We live in that particular golden age. The Twittersphere is out there, but who to follow? The Guardian thinks these writers are great at the 140 character messaging and you just might enjoy their tweets. Writers on Twitter You Should Follow.

Finally, a couple of book related articles from HuffPo. At home, we use all sorts of things as bookmarks. Matchbook covers. Slips of paper. Envelopes. Mostly anything except real bookmarks. Now if we had some of these... Real Bookmarks

If you are reading this, chances are real good that you are one. Yep, you. Your're a book nerd. Beth Bartlett has listed the symptoms. I'll bet you fit the profile. Book Nerd Symptoms

I hope your weekend is sunny, delightful and inspiring. Go grab a good book and let us know what you're reading!


Monday Links



Ayn Rand’s Harry Potter and The Sorcerer’s Stone

Rape Culture is Alive and Well (Montana Cowgirl Blog)

Gun Advocates Are Suing a Texas City For The Right to Terrify Motorists

A Hysterical Reince Priebus Claims Benghazi Disqualifies Hillary Clinton From Running

Fox neocon John Bolton: Obama ‘despicable’ for swapping American POW for Gitmo detainees

Louisiana Takes Top Spot As Movie-Making Capital


Cutting Through The Bullshit: Podcast: Laffy on the Nicole Sandler Show



Bullshit Forbidden

From the RadioOrNot website:

“Political discourse” and “Bullshit” are synonymous these days. It often feels like we need a dictionary to decipher and unpack some of the drivel that comes out of politicians mouths. Enter my old friend Stephen Goldstein. He’s an op-ed columnist for the South Florida Sun-Sentinel, and author of a number of books including one of my favorites, Atlas Drugged: Ayn Rand Be Damned.

And now, he’s back with The Dictionary of American Political Bullshit! It’s a must-read, especially in today’s political climate.

Stephen joined in for a spirited discussion about bullshit this morning, and we had a spirited debate about the Florida Democratic primary for governor… just to show that on the left, we can disagree and still get along!

In the second hour, as she does every Tuesday morning, GottaLaff joined in from The Political Carnival to have fun with the news.

Here's ya go: the podcast