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The Book Booth: December Is Here 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. @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: December is Here Edition

Yes, the leaves have fallen for the most part. In fact at my computer station, usually nicely shaded by Magnolia leaves, is now aglow with sunlight that pierces my eyes on sunny days. Who knew I'd need shades to play on the internets?

And it is holiday shopping season. Christmas music is ubiquitous in all the stores and we can only hope we can make it through the month without hearing Frosty the Snowman over and over again. But it is easy enough to get over the holiday blahs with some good books. Bustle recommended these Christmas stories to help inspire a good Yule.
Yule Stories

Small Business Saturday has come and gone. I hope you were able to visit one or more of your local independent businesses. President Obama did his part, patronizing Upshur Street Books in DC with his daughters and buying an armload of books.
A Literate World Leader: President Obama's Christmas Shopping List

If you've been waiting to do shopping for yourself or others, you might want to consider these titles that Buzzfeed recommends as good December reading. The Gold Eaters by Ronald Wright has piqued my interest. And Isabel Allende is a fine writer.
More Great Books to Read This December

The latest craze has been adult coloring books. There is something meditative and pleasant about coloring. Except if you worry too much about going outside the lines. Or if you are a man who worries about indulging in childish pursuits. Good fortune, though, there are coloring books for men!
Adult Coloring Books (Yes, You Read That Right!)

Well, there is a bit of controversy over the new BBC production of War and Peace. I've read the book, albeit some time ago, and I just don't remember this part.
The BBC Rewrites Tolstoy?

About 99% of all writers, especially those who are young, cannot support themselves by writing alone. Those day jobs are important to keep going. Here is what some writers did for a living before becoming famous. H/T to Lucian for the link.
How Authors Kept Body and Soul Together While Writing Masterpieces

Ancient Rome has long been a source of fascination to me. It was the area of history I concentrated on in college and I enjoy whatever novels or histories that come along. Here NPR has interviewed Cambridge Classics professor, Mary Beard, about her new history SPQR: A History of Ancient Rome. And like her, I really loved I, Claudius.
Interview with Cambridge Classics Professor & Author Mary Beard

Hoping that you are enjoying the season! Please let us know what books you are enjoying and what books you plan to give as gifts!

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The Book Booth: Black Friday Edition

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Image: Washington Post


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: Black Friday Edition

Here's hoping you all enjoyed your Thanksgiving holiday, and that you survived the Black Friday sales at your local shopping mall. What I actually hope is that you skipped Black Friday all together and are enjoying some holiday shopping at your locally owned business. It is, after all, Small Business Saturday today.

Of some interest this past week, we find that since the terrorist attacks in France two weeks ago, the sales of Ernest Hemingway's A Moveable Feast have sky-rocketed, especially in its French translation. Which makes some sense inasmuch as it is a late life love letter to the fabled city.
Hemingway's Paris - A Moveable Feast - Sales Soar

From our end of the year lists Department comes this from BookRiot. These are the best literary Ted Talks from 2015. I enjoy a good Ted Talk when I find one and these are pretty darn good.
Literary Ted Talks

But nothing beats the Muppets when it comes to literature.
Sesame Street's Best Literary Moments

As NPR points out, it has been an event-filled year for Ta-Nehisi Coates, winner of the non-fiction award last week from the National Book Foundation. Here is an illuminating interview with him about his life and work.
Ta-Nehisi Coates Interview

Unless one is writing out-and-out pornography, sex is one of the more difficult topics to write well about in fiction. Noy Holland, whose most recent novel is titled Bird, discusses sex in fiction.
Sex in Fiction

From time to time here, I've pointed out recent discoveries of famous author's lost works. Some belong lost. Others remain of some interest. Well, it seems that a lost play by William Faulkner has been found. It is a comedy called Twixt Cup and Lip and was written soon after the Great War. The Washington Post has the story.
A Newly-Discovered Play by William Faulkner

Book dedications are usually mundane salutes to wives, moms, dads, best friends. But some are a bit more. Distractify has come up with some pretty lively ones here. I especially like the one made to Colin Firth. And thanks to our friend Caleb for sharing the link.
Badass Book Dedications

And when the next Black Friday comes, what will you do? Steely Dan has it covered for you here
Steely Dan

Enjoy the rest of your holiday weekend. Please do support your local businesses today. And do let us know what book has you in its thralls.

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The Book Booth: Happy Thanksgiving 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. @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 Thanksgiving Edition

Yes, the holiday season is now fast approaching, with Thanksgiving less than one week away. Somehow I threw my back out last week and with it, suffered some pain. But I am grateful I have a back! And I am grateful for a good many other things, most of which I'm sure I share with you. Enjoy some good eating next week, along with some good books.

And if you're searching for good reading, well, you might check out the winners from this years National Book Awards. NPR has them listed here.  In this day and age, everything that can be streamed on the internet, is streamed on the internet and the National Book Foundation has some cool videos about the books, both nominated and winners, here.

It is also that time of year when many publications pick their top books for the year. The Washington Post listed their top ten here, along with 100 additional titles from various genres. Looks like an exhaustive list!
Washington Post's Top 10

If you need answers as to what you want as a gift, or to give as a gift, this holiday season, Buzzfeed has some great ideas for book accessories, all guaranteed to enhance either your home or your reading experience. And who knows, maybe even your sex life.
BuzzFeed's Book Accessories

For the cinema lover who loves reading about that medium, check out film critic David Thomson's new book, How to Watch a Movie. KPPC offers this interesting interview with the author.
Interview with David Thompson

The off-kilter, difficult to categorize, and genre-bending books are a particular favorite of mine. Last week Lincoln Michel, author of the new novel Upright Beasts, chose ten of his favorite novels for Publishers Weekly and the list has some surprises.
Lincoln Michel's Favorite Novels

In the non-fiction realm, my old friend from our days at Jesus' General, Randolph Fritz, recently reviewed a new work by Adam Benfarado, entitled The New Science of Criminal Injustice. You can check it out at his blog here.

Oxford Dictionaries announced the word of the year and I suppose it wouldn't be a surprise that emoji is that word. But I kind of like lumbersexual, now that I sport suspenders as a part of my attire.
'Emoji' is the Word of the Year

But not everyone is happy with Oxford Dictionaries choice.
'What? 'Emoji' is the Word of the Year???

Quiz time! Our own Lucian found this fun one at the Christian Science Monitor and challenges your knowledge of the detective novel. I did better than average, but I did miss a few.
Literary Detectives - Who Solved that Crime?

Finally, how do you stack up against other readers? Buzzfeed has the answers (and questions) for you here.
What Sort of Reader or You? Hardcover or Paperback?

Have a wonderful Thanksgiving holiday, filled with the good things we all deserve. And by all means, please let us know what books you are cherishing. We'd like to know.

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The Book Booth: An Odds and Ends 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. @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: An Odds and Ends Edition

It is certainly Autumn here in our little town. Storms moving in from the Pacific, as they will in November, with plenty of wind and rain to keep us entertained during the day. And excellent weather to sit down and enjoy some good books.

I can't say that I'm the biggest American Football fan around, but I follow it a little bit. So it was pleasant for me to learn that Andrew Luck, quarterback for the Indianapolis Colts, is not only a reader, he reads good books and recommends them to his teammates. It's like their locker room is an extended book club.
The Andrew Luck Book Club

November is Native American Heritage Month and the staff at the Indian Country Today Media Network discusses some worthwhile books here. H/T to Seattle Tammy for finding this interesting link.
Native American Heritage Month Reading

I've mentioned recently that Patti Smith has a new volume in her memoirs, M Train, published this Fall. But she is not the only rock 'n' roller to have written a memoir. Among other pop stars with books out are Chrissie Hynde, Grace Jones, John Fogerty and Elvis Costello. Here are some brief descriptions of those autobiographies and they all look intriguing.
Pop Star Autobiographies

In the realm of literature, Vladimir Nabokov's biographer, Brian Boyd, recently helped edit the recently published Letters to Vera, a collection of the letters Nabokov wrote to his wife over a fifty year period. Here Boyd ranks his top ten Nabokov novels and I pretty much agree with his list. I'm not sure Pale Fire is "better" than Ulysses, but it is certainly one the greatest novels of the twentieth century.
Nabokov: Letters to Vera

I don't think Paul Theroux's The Mosquito Coast quite ranks up there with Nabokov or Joyce, but I liked the novel immensely when I read it many years ago. Theroux is still writing, with his latest work Deep South having been recently published. The New York Times Book Review caught up with him recently and offers this interview with the author.
The New York Times Interviews Paul Theroux

Calling Bill O'Reilly a historian is an insult to anyone who has taken up history as a profession. So it is much fun for me to see his right-wing colleagues take him to task, as George Will recently did over O'Reilly's opus Killing Reagan.
George Will on Bill O'Reilly's Killing Reagan

Pretty much confirming what most of us have thought since the Pinochet coup in 1973, the Chilean government now says that the poet Pablo Neruda was probably murdered by the army there and did not die conveniently from cancer as had been reported.
Pablo Neruda's Death - by Cancer or Assassination Squad?

Yes! Authors do shop at their local independent bookstores. Mental Floss featured 21 writers who talked about their favorite places here. H/T to Lucian for finding the link.
Writers' Favorite Independent Bookstores

I'm really terrible at memorizing phone numbers. I still have to look up the last four digits of my landline. Of course, I rarely call myself. But home addresses? Really? Here's a quiz to see if you know some of these literary addresses. I actually knew a couple of them.
Do You Know These Literary Addresses?

I've never commuted to work by subway, but I have ridden the bus for many years to and from work. I always got a lot of reading done that way. One time in Seattle, while riding home, I overheard two young women discussing characters from Djuna Barnes' novel Nightwood and remember thinking to myself, only in Seattle. Bustle offers some advice here on how to judge our fellow commuters from what they are reading.
Wondering Who Your Fellow Travelers Are? Check Out What They Read.

Have a pleasant weekend with many books, and with warm drinks to keep you cozy. And please do share with us what books you are enjoying!

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