Archive for Bob Dylan

The Book Booth: And Winter Came Edition

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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: And Winter Came Edition

Winter begins later next week, but the signs are everywhere. Here in our little town, the temperatures go from a high of 39F to lows below freezing. We had a dusting of snow last week, but nothing that lasts. One hopes the snow packs this year will be big for all those places that have been plagued by drought.

The Nobel Ceremonies took place last week and, as expected, Bob Dylan did not attend. He did send a speech that was delivered by the American Ambassador to Sweden, Azita Raji. Here is the text and it is probably the most humble thing I've ever seen from the man.
Bob Dylan's Nobel Prize Speech

Patti Smith performed the entirely appropriate Dylan song A Hard Rain is Gonna Fall, backed by the Royal Stockholm Philharmonic, in what the New Yorker called a transcendent presentation. You can watch it here, and I urge you to do so. It is quite moving.
Patti Smith Accepts Bob Dylan's Nobel Prize

Ms. Smith describes the whole experience for the New Yorker here and how emotional it was for her.
Patti Smith on Singing At Bob Dylan's Nobel Prize Ceremony

In a week where I've encountered so much lack of empathy and the failure of some imaginations, it is good and wise to be reminded of the role literature can play in allowing us to engage our better natures in thinking of others. Amanda Michalopoulou explores literature and empathy here for the Guardian.
Literature and Empathy

The surge recently of hate crimes and hate speech is certainly one facet of that failure of imagination and it affects us readers and book lovers. Libraries have not been spared this scourge and I fear we will see more of this behavior as the next administration takes over. The New York Times has the details.
Libraries and Hate Crimes

On a cheerier note, Brian Seibert has a new non-fiction work out entitled What the Eye Hears: A History of Tap Dancing. He discusses the book and provides many video examples here for Works in Progress.
Tap Dancing

If winter traveling is on your schedule, you might want to check out these bookstore locations. Seven writers, including Ta-Nehisi Coates and Geraldine Brooks, describe their favorite emporiums here for the New York Times, places ranging from Nigeria to Tasmania.
Traveling? Great Bookstores Wherever You're Going

Winter does approach quickly. Time to find your hot drink, a good book, and perhaps listen to Enya's tune, As Winter Came. And please do let us know what books you are enjoying this holiday season. A good one for us all.

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The Book Booth: I Guess I'll Have To Change My Plan Edition

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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: I Guess I'll Have to Change My Plan Edition

Just when you think things can't get weirder, the coming new regime surprises with cabinet and department head choices. Generals, wrestling mavens and all in all horrible unexperienced people are heading to DC to govern. What a mess.

But there are still books to savor, and with the year-end, we are still getting Best Of lists. Here is the one from NPR Concierge that includes the book jackets, and recommendations. Many recommends.
NPR Concierge Best Of for 2016

Speaking of dust jackets, Jarry Lee at Buzzfeed found her favorite 32 jackets from this past year and some of them are striking.
Most Beautiful Book Covers of 2016

The folks at Mashable have teamed up with the writers organization PEN to announce its long list of notable works from the past year. The lists are worth a look and include some books that passed by my radar, and I'd guess yours as well.
PEN Literary Awards

Probably the most notable literary feud of the 20th Century was between novelist Vladimir Nabokov and critic Edmund Wilson, ostensibly over the former's English translation of Pushkin's Eugene Onegin. But there was more to the feud than that as Alex Beam, author of The Feud: Vladimir Nabokov and Edmund Wilson and the End of a Beautiful Friendship, tells us in a short essay at Publishers Weekly.
Vladimir Nabokov & Edmund Wilson's Feud

On the other hand, the late Cuban dictator Fidel Castro and novelist Gabriel Garcia Marquez remained best friends forever. In fact, it seems Fidel offered suggestions and criticisms to "Gabo" over the years and none of them were ideological. Not surprisingly, Fidel was a voracious reader. Via my friend Nakaima Oh. Castro and Marquez: A Long Literary Friendship

It seems that the daughter of Nathaniel Hawthorne, Rose, is up for canonization by the Catholic Church. It seems she lived abroad many years, married and later became a nun and founded an order to care the terminally ill cancer patients. Suzanne Raga has the story at MentalFloss.
Rose Hawthorne To Be Canonized?

As I noted, Bob Dylan will not be attending the Nobel Ceremony this month due to some preexisting commitments. But he has written a speech that will be delivered by someone. It would be neat if, in fact, Patti Smith, who will be performing a Dylan song at the ceremony, were to give the speech.
Bob Dylan's Speech to the Nobel Prize Committee

From The Tropic of Cancer to Catch-22, many books have been banned or shunned due to obscenity. Louis Menand has a great article on the history of controversial books and reviews the attempts of two publishers, Jack Kahane and Barney Rosset, to get many of these works into print. From the New Yorker.
Banned Books and Blockbusters

One of the drawbacks of not having a television machine is that I don't get to see programs until they show up on Netflix or Prime. One of those programs is Westworld. Apparently the show is replete with literary references which Tom Blunt at Signatures discusses here.
Westworld's Literary References

Winter is fast approaching. In fact we've seen a few snowflakes around our town recently and expect more next week. And what do book lovers do in the cold season? Bustle has some suggestions.
Snuggle Up By The Fire Winter Reading

The election has, well, just about screwed up everything and then some. It's going to be a long four years and we must get ourselves prepared for the winter of our discontent. We're going to have to change our plans, I guess. In the meantime enjoy the song as performed by Ambrose and His Orchestra with vocals by Sam Browne.

And find yourself a good book, take a deep breath and let us know what books you are putting a smile on your lips. Attachments area

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The Book Booth: First We Take Manhattan Edition

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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: First We Take Manhattan Edition

It's been a hard week, but we have managed to get through it. The struggle for justice and peace will continue in spite of our setbacks. And, for now, life goes on.

The Awards continued with the announcement of the National Book Award winners at a ceremony this past Wednesday night. Larry Wilmore hosted the event, and as NPR reported "Host Larry Wilmore set the tone early, taking aim at the president-elect with a series of quips and barbs in his opening monologue. Of Trump's election last week, Wilmore noted: "It's exciting in the way that an asteroid hurtling toward Earth is exciting." Among the winners were novelist Colson Whitehead for his novel Underground Railroad and Representative John Lewis for his collaboration on a young adult book March: Book Three.
NBA Awards

As it turns out, Bob Dylan will not be attending the ceremony for the Nobel Prize. He cited schedule conflicts. He would not be the first laureate not to attend, and must only deliver or have delivered a lecture of some kind in the next few months.
Bob Dylan Will Not Attend Nobel Prize Ceremony

Obviously there has been a lot of reaction in the literary world to the election of Donald Trump. There is much wariness and alarm. Here you can read the statement from the Authors Guild which is frightening.
Authors Guild Statment On President-Elect Trump

The New Yorker asked several writers for short essays on the election results, including novelists Hilary Mantel, Toni Morrison, as well as political writer Jeffrey Toobin and the aforementioned Larry Wilmore. The responses are well worth your time.
New Yorker Authors on President-Elect Trump

For what is in store for us, who can tell. But the calls for resistance are beginning and not without cause. Emily Temple at Lithub suggests 25 books for dealing with the anger and for action.
It's Time for Action

Andrew Liptak at The Verge has some suggestions as well, including the best of the dystopian novels that the Sci-fi genre has to offer.
Get Ready for Dystopia Right Here in the US

Another writer we should be reading in these times would be Kurt Vonnegut. His writing was always perceptive, interesting and, at times, very funny, and who couldn't use a laugh? Marc Leeds has recently compiled The Vonnegut Encyclopedia and here, for Publishers Weekly, he lists his top ten books by that master of the word.
Best Kurt Vonnegut Books

Billy Pilgrim was Vonnegut's character in Slaughterhouse Five, a man who survived the fire bombing of Dresden and was a spastic in time. Time travel has long been a staple in science-fiction. Here John Lanchester reviews for the New York Review of Books a new work by James Gleick, Time Travel: A History, which gives a good overview of the subgenre.
Time Travel

One of the good guys in modern literature is Michael Chabon, author of many novels, including his latest one, Moonglow, a fictional memoir of his family. Here Doree Shafrir profiles the man and his work for Buzzfeed.
Michael Chabon: An Underdog On Top of the World?

Sadly this past week we also lost poet, novelist and songwriter Leonard Cohen, who'd only recently released a new album of songs. I remember in my late teens when I first heard him sing Suzanne, Sisters of Mercy and That's No Way to Say Goodbye on his first album. There were more great songs to come, and now he will be sorely missed.
Leonard Cohen

Again, do not despair. Find a good book, take some time to breathe and have the best possible weekend you can. Enjoy this tune by Mr. Cohen and please let us know what books you are loving.

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The Book Booth: Don't Stand in the Doorway Edition

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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: Don't Stand in the Doorway Edition

Well, here it is, kids. We have a big week ahead of us. For those of you who live in a mail-in state, get those ballots to the PO. And if you live in a state that has early voting, go do it. Or if you wait till Tuesday, by all means, get to the polling place. Vote like your life depends on it, because it might vey well.

Nobel Laureate Bob Dylan finally spoke about the prize. He'll be there if "he at all can" to pick up his award. I guess even Bob Dylan can feel overwhelmed.
Bob Dylan Will (probably) Attend the Nobel Prize Ceremony

As I noted last week, Paul Beatty became the first American to win the Man-Booker Prize for fiction. For those of you unfamiliar with his work, check out this illuminating interview with Guernica, where he discusses his work at some length.
Paul Beatty on His Fiction

Here are a couple of interesting articles from publisher Farrar Straus Giroux's blog, Works in Progress. First comes Witold Rybczynkski's meditation on chairs, talking about favorite chairs, and his new book Now I Sit Me Down. Do you have a favorite chair? Mine is the orange swivel chair in front of my computer. The cats like it, too, and often try to steal it from me. Being cats, they do not like sharing it with me.
Favorite Chairs

David Hadju is one of our finest writers on music. His biography of Billy Strayhorn, Lush Life, is a fascinating read about one of the great jazz composers and arrangers. And his work Positively 4th Street is one of the best books about the young Bob Dylan. His new book is Love for Sale: Pop Music in America. Here he talks about eleven popular songs and their significance today.
Love for Sale: Pop Music in America

It must be that time of year. Publishers Weekly revealed its picks for the best books of 2016.
Best Books of 2016

Bryan Cranston is not only a terrific actor (check out his turn as Dalton Trumbo in the eponymous movie, not just his work in Breaking Bad), but he's a swell guy. He's recently published his memoir A Life in Parts and has developed a penchant for buying copies of his book, signing them, and leaving them for strangers to pick up and read.
Bryan Cranston Buys and Signs Books for You!

Quiz time. Can you name the titles of these books by their cover art? I knew most of them, though I admit to missing a couple here.
Can You Tell a Book by Its Cover?

And we may as well indulge ourselves in a graph. Here is something of a pie-chart that illustrates word count and the time taken to write for certain novels. No real surprises, but still kind of cool.
A Pie Chart Graph of Word Count vs Time to Write

I suppose it is time to think about holiday gift giving, especially if shopping on line. Here are some book accessories for your friend or family member who has every book ever published and really doesn't need another book.
What to Get for the Book Lover Who Already Has Far Too Many Books?  Book Accessories, Of Course!

Finally, along with my urging to vote, here's what could be at stake. Umberto Eco in 1995 defined these fourteen qualities of fascism, which all are recognizable in our politics today. H/T to my nephew Derek for posting this on Facebook where I could find it.
What's At Stake in This Election? A Fascist or a Democratic Future for the USA - No Less, Not an Exaggeration

Go vote now if you can! And then settle back with a good book and try not to let your nerves get fried. Please let us know what books have you engrossed and let's hope for the best this coming week

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