Archive for book booth

The Book Booth: April Come She Will Edition

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From: Feed Your Need to Read

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: April Come She Will Edition

Spring has sprung and April is right around the corner. Ah, April, the month of baseball, sunshine, blooming trees, fragrant odors, lawns that need to be mowed. Maybe Eliot was right.

Speaking of smells, there is nothing quite like the aroma of a used bookstore. And if you'd like to keep that smell with you all day, you know can with this new perfume. H/T to my good friend, Caleb Bullen for finding this item that can be yours for a mere eighty dollars.
Eau de Old Books

We're still at the tail end of March and with it, the continuing athletic displays of collegiate hoops, known as March Madness. I am not one to fill out brackets, as I don't really follow the game closely. I'm sure it leads to madness and obsession, much like the characters in the books Flavorwire recently highlighted in an article from Emily Temple.
Madness

Speaking of obsession, one book club in Boston has, for the past 18 years, met to discuss one book and one book only. That book would be Finnegan's Wake. Hats off to such persistence.
Finnegan's Wake Book Club

Some booksellers and librarians clearly have too much time on their hands, producing book/song parodies. These are seriously a lot of fun. Enjoy.
Book/Song Parodies

Back in 1966, Paul Simon asked if the theater was really dead in his song The Dangling Conversation. (I seem to have old Paul Simon songs on the brain this week.) The same question has hung over the novel for well over a century now. Vox recently time-lined the proclamation of the book's demise here.
The Book's Demise? Not So Fast!

If the novel were really dead, and I have serious doubts about it, we could always re-read some favorites. I like to re-read books. I just recently finished re-reading David Hadju's Positively Fourth Street, a fine look at the early days of the folk revival in the early sixties, focussed on the intertwined lives of Bob Dylan, Joan Baez and Richard and Mimi Farina. But there can be dangers in going back to a well-loved book. Susie Rodarme examined some of those dangers here at Book Riot.
You Can't Read That Book Again (Or Maybe Shouldn't)

Alas, the famed historian of folk and blues music, Samuel Charters, has passed away at age 85. The New York Times had this lengthy obituary.
So Long, It's Been Good to Know You, Samuel Chambers

I have a few items from the intersection of books and politics to share. First off, it seems that Stephen King is no pal of Maine's teabagging governor. Governor LePage recently intimated that King does not pay taxes; King called him out.
King to LePage: Stop Lying

Meanwhile, activists helped to shut down Hancock Air Base in New York state and used oversized books to make their point in a creative display of protest.
Anti-Drone Activists

And who knew that the path to literacy in the Soviet Union could be so much fun? THIS IS NOT SAFE FOR WORK. DO NOT OPEN THIS LINK IN FRONT OF CHILDREN. Enjoy. H/t to old pal and publisher, Richard Grabman.
Soviet Erotic Alphabet

In happy news, the great songwriter Elvis Costello has a new memoir in the works, due to be published by a Penguin imprint sometime in October. This news will no doubt please SeattleTammy who is probably Mr. Costello's biggest fan.
Elvis Costello Memoir

May you all have sweet smelling weekends, filled with books and good music. Let us know what books you've got going, and, heck, tell us what music you are loving.

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The Book Booth: Springtime Edition

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Image: Publishers Weekly

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: Springtime Edition

It finally arrived last night and it's official. Spring has sprung upon us, and with it, all the blooming flowers and sunny glades.

I understand that there was also a solar eclipse as well, but it was far too overcast here to notice much. I hope you had a better view.

First off this week in the good news department, fans of Canadian author Margaret Atwood will be delighted to learn that she has a new novel being published by Penguin Random House (geez is that strange to type) in September. The title is The Heart Stands Alone. You can read about it here.

With the sad passing of Terry Pratchett does come the happier news that there will be one final Discworld novel coming later this summer, entitled The Shepherd's Crown as well as another novel, The Long Utopia, co-authored with Stephen Baxter. The Independent talks about it here. At the bottom of the link, there is a sweet photo essay with some Pratchett quotations that you will enjoy. Pratchett

And for fans of Alan Moore, author of the graphic novels The Watchmen and V for Vendetta, his long-awaited novel Jerusalem will be published in the US by Norton Liveright in the Fall of 2016. It should be a doorstop of a book, running up to a million words, or about twice as long as War and Peace.
Jerusalem

On occasion, and in want of a light read, I'll pick up a memoir or biography of one of Hollywood's talents. Word & Film recently discussed the best of the genre here. Oddly, they didn't include Shelley Winters memoir, Shelley Also Known as Shirley, nor David Niven's exaggerated tales told in The Moon's a Balloon. But of the books mentioned, Louise Brooks Lulu in Hollywood is a great read.
Star Memoirs

Ah, remembering fondly the acerbic Gore Vidal, the Telegraph of Great Britain reviewed his many, many feuds. (And speaking of memoirs, his Palimpsest was an engaging book).
Vidal

So far as I know, Vidal never quarreled with Miguel Cervantes, author of Don Quixote, and often described as the father of the modern novel. (Vidal did pick a fight with Ernest Hemingway in asserting the Edgar Allan Poe and not Mark Twain was the true founder of American literature.) But it now seems that the remains of Cervantes may have been found in Madrid. The BBC has the story here. Cervantes

With spring now here, Baseball's opening day can't be far behind. It is, in fact, on April 5th this year. And who knew that this is the 100th anniversary of that source of stats, profiles and all things baseball Who's Who in Baseball? (100 years ago, Babe Ruth was pitching for the Boston Red Sox). NPR did!
Baseball Stats

With the rise of English as the lingua franca, so to speak, in the world today, there are consequences for both written and spoken language. Minae Mizumura examines this phenomena in her new book, The Fall of Language in the Age of English, which she discussed for Publishers Weekly recently.
English

Book jacket designs are meant, of course, to draw your eye to a book in your independent bookstore, and pick it up, browse through it and buy it. But the process in getting the "right" cover is not so easy, as MJ Franklin at Mashable shows.
Hausfrau Book Cover Art

Finally, a bit of fun from Buzzfeed. What is the worst thing that can happen to you as book lover?
The list seems pretty exhaustive to me.  Worst Things

Happy Springtime everyone! Enjoy the blooms and let us know what books have enthralled you this past week.

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The Book Booth: Pi Day Edition

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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.

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The Book Booth: It Might As Well Be Spring Edition

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Image: Publishers Weekly

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: It Might As Well Be Spring Edition

Ok, ok, maybe it doesn't seem like Spring where you live, but I'll bet you wish it did. It certainly remains that way in my little town. And even with the equinox still two weeks from now, the explosion of flora around here is lovely. If it isn't where you live, rest assured that it will be soon.

On the book front, Kazuo Ishiguro, author of The Remains of the Day and Never Let Me Go, his first published work in a decade. It's titled The Buried Giant, and is set in Arthurian England. The book likes it might be fun, populated as it is with pixies and dragons and deals with collective memory. Ishiguro talked with HuffPo about the new book and you can read the interview here.

The Remains of the Day remains one of my favorite novels. It's narrator is one of those pesky unreliable ones, a long standing tradition in the novel. Recently at Publishers Weekly, Jeremy M. Davies and Colin Winnette discussed some of those slightly skewed story tellers. They purposely leave out Nabokov, Faulkner and Ford Maddox Ford. So some of the narrators, I'm not familiar with (aside from Beckett's Krapp).
But it is an interesting discussion.
Unreliable Narrators in Literature

Lisa Simpson, being one of the most well-read cartoon characters I know of, is probably well-versed in concepts like the unreliable narrator. But she's into Sabermetrics, too, and has Bill James on her shelf. The folks at Bustle examined her reading habits recently and it kind of puts me to shame.
What does Lisa Simpson read?

For the graphic novel enthusiasts among us, one of the great Japanese legends, the 47 Ronin has now been published in comic form. Pay no attention to poor American film adaptations and read the real thing. H/T to my friend, Ilsa.
47 Ronin

If you are looking for someone new to pick up and read, check out Isaac Fitzgerald's suggestions of some contemporary writers of color over at Buzzfeed. He makes some solid choices, not the least of whom are Paul Beatty, Zadie Smith and Colson Whitehead, all brilliant novelists.
Contemporary Writers You Should Read

Then there are writers who grow to hate their creations and wish they had never published. Over at MentalFloss, nine authors who grew to hate their success are discussed, including Lewis Carroll, A.A. Milne and Anthony Burgess.
Success? Not for everyone.

At the recent Oscar ceremony, Lady Gaga performed a tribute on the 50 year anniversary to The Sound of Music, which, of course, was based on a memoir by Maria Von Trapp. At the outset, I have to say that I love both Broadway and Hollywood musicals. And I love the work of Rodgers and Hammerstein. Except for this one. I've always thought it overblown and sappy. (The best thing that came out The Sound of Music was the wonderful version of My Favorite Things by John Coltrane.) Nevertheless, I do acknowledge it as the cultural phenomenon that it has become. The BBC examines its impact here. Big H/T to Lucian for sending the link to me, and putting up with my email comments to him.
How A Simple Memoir Became 'The Sound of Music'

From the department of right-wing lunacy, it seems a certain Kansas state legislator, one Mary Pilcher-Cook, would like to criminalize certain books. Who knows which ones they might be, but I think we are going to see a lot more of this kind of thing in the future, bringing us all closer to some dystopian future. This is why local elections matter! H/T to both my friend Diane and Lucian, once again.
It's Right Wing Book Burning Time Again! (or almost)

On a brighter note, if you happen to be looking for a gift for your book-loving friend, check out some of these mugs featured at Buzzfeed. I love the Penguin mugs, so if you happen to be looking for a present for me....
Cool Book Mugs!

Finally, I talk a great deal about independent booksellers here. It seems that indies are, at last, finding their ground and beginning to compete with the chains and Amazon more effectively. The Daily Beast recently examined the state of modern independent bookselling here.
Indies Fight Back!

Have a wonderful, allergy-free weekend, filled with lots of books. And, by all means, please share with us what books you are enjoying.

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