Archive for bloomsday

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: Happy Bloomsday Edition



Image: from 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: Happy Bloomsday Edition

Despite the fact that Google spellcheck doesn't like how I spelled Bloomsday, the anniversary of Leopold Bloom's trek around Dublin on June 16th 1904 is upon us. So grab yourself a gorgonzola sandwich, pour yourself a glass of burgundy and if you happen to be in Dublin, stop into Davy Byrne's pub to celebrate.  #Bloomsday

The summer season is fast approaching with the solstice but days ahead. With that in mind those of us lucky enough to live near large bodies of water can head out to the beach with lotions and books at hand. Bustle has these recommendations for good beach reading. I can't say I'm familiar with any of these titles, but then again, I'm old.
Beach Reading Suggestions

For those of us who'd prefer literary titles, MentalFloss collected these favorite books by well-known authors. Scroll past the Ayn Rand, whom they feature first as she wouldn't have known good literature from a hole in the ground. The rest of them are good. Who knew that Samuel Beckett loved Catcher in the Rye?
What Books Do (or Did) Famous Authors Recommend?

Then there are the stories about the glamorous and not so glamorous in Hollywood. Author Michael Friedman, whose novel Martian Dawn was recently republished, had these novels of Tinseltown on his personal list of the best over at Publishers Weekly. Of course both The Last Tycoon and Day of the Locust are must reads.
10 Best Tinseltown Novels

The New York Times Book Review recently had this short interview with Stephen King. Asked about some of his favorite non-fiction writers, I was pleased to see him name Rick Perlstein, author of some very fine modern American histories, Nixonland and The Invisible Bridge. And I was taken by his selection of Don Robertson as his numero uno novelist.
Stephen King's Favorite NonFiction Writers

You know what modern novels lack? A good duel. I'm sure there is plenty of fisticuffs in today's fiction, but no ten paces, turn around and fire stuff. So it's good to see James Guida at the New Yorker discuss the swashbuckling duels in literature.

Not too long ago, I noted here that Kazuo Ishiguro had recently published a new novel, his first in years, The Buried Giant, and that it contained elements of fantasy. Apparently the book has stirred a bit of controversy among fantasy novel fans and brought out the issues of genre. So at The New Republic, Neil Gaiman and Ishiguro recently discussed the notion of genre and what it means for the literary writer.
What is 'Genre'?

In other book news, the successor to Charles Wright as US Poet Laureate was announced this week. He is the poet Juan Felipe Herrera, author of such collections as Half of the World in Light and Senegal Taxi. I salute the former UCLA Bruin and hope he enjoys his tenure.
New US Poet Laureate is Former UCLA Bruin! is no stranger to legal probes and the behemoth gets some more scrutiny as European Union regulators will soon examine its dealings in e-readers. NPR reports here.
Amazon and the European Union Antitrust Probe

I know I can be fairly obsessive about books and so can my wife. But I guess I'd really start worrying if either of us displayed any of these symptoms of serious book collecting from this amusing list provided by the New Antiquarian.
How Are Serious Book Collectors Different From You and Me?

Have a splendid weekend my book loving friends and please let us know what books you are enjoying on an early summers day.


The Book Booth: Fathers Day Edition



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.

We've arrived at mid-June and Fathers Day. Below I've posted a youtube of Dee Dee Bridgewater singing the Horace Silver's classic Song for My Father, from her tribute album to Mr. Silver, Love and Peace. Let us all find time to celebrate our living Dads and honor the memory of those fathers who have passed.

On a more contrarian note, Fiona Maazel at Publishers Weekly has found some of the worst dads in literature. As always, poor Humbert Humbert tops the list, even if he is a step-dad.

Perhaps you are from one of those families where stories were read aloud. Buzzfeed has a list of books that are terrific to read with children.

Sunday is also the 109th anniversary of Leopold Bloom's epic tour of dear ol' Dublin, a day now known as Bloomsday. And a final collection of James Joyce's unpublished work is set to be published, causing something of a furor among scholars as to where to place this work in his canon. Written soon after the publication of Ulysses, the pieces seem to pre-figure the work he would later do in Finnegan's Wake. The Guardian has the story.

The Los Angeles Times recently featured a photo gallery of authors/readers from the Library of Congress. Some very handsome people there, least of which is John Reed, author of Ten Days that Shook the World and subject of Warren Beatty's biopic, Reds.

Penguin Books is not noted primarily for their Science-Fiction, but they have published a number of good titles over the years. The folks at ABEBooks has the jacket art for some of those book here.

And speaking of Science-Fiction, we sadly note the passing of the fine Scottish writer Iain Banks this past week. The Guardian has the story and obituary here.

Following the rather unsurprising news last week about NSA surveillence, it seems that sales of 1984 have increased over the past week. The Wall Street Journal has the story here and a h/t to our friend and fellow bookseller, Scott Kampas.

Books on bikes! Yes, the Seattle Public Library is doing just that, broadening their outreach to that book lovin' city.

From the book decor department comes these great floor designs. I think if I had one of these floors, no one would ever be allowed to walk on them. From Bookriot.

And again from Buzzfeed comes this aggregate of book home design. Some of these you may have seen before, but the images remain very cool. Thanks to our Canadian bibliophile friend, Kevin Wood, for the link.

Not to be outdone, Cory Doctorow found this photo of a book-lined staricase which he posted over at BoingBoing. Thanks, Paddy!

The debate continues. What are the best film adaptations from books? ABEBooks blogs about it here. And a big Huzzah to The Princess Bride!

Finally, as promised, Ms.Bridgewater. A Happy Fathers Day to all you dads out there. And let us know what is on your nightstand this weekend.