Archive for book

The Book Booth: Academy Awards Edition

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Image: Oregon Life

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: Academy Awards Edition

Yet another year and once again, the Academy has neglected to nominate me for any awards at all. And after all the years I've put in, watching movies. I don't get it. But others will "get" their awards and, for me, another year of neglect.

Another guy neglected by the Academy was Norman Mailer. Of course if you've ever seen the screen versions of The Naked and the Dead or An American Dream, maybe that is understandable. But at least he'll be having a film adaptation coming up of his Armies of the Night, his account of the march on the Pentagon in 1967.
Armies

F. Scott Fitzgerald closed out his all too brief life, living in Hollywood, where he did screenplay doctoring and had a credit for his work on Three Comrades. His decline is well documented, and sad. Jeff Baker at Oregonlive has these reflections on his Hollywood career.
FSF in LaLa Land

The film version of 50 Shades of Grey opened this past weekend to mega millions of dollars in receipts. I don't think we'll be seeing it nominated for much of anything at next year's Oscars, but who knows? However someone should give an award to Gilbert Gottfried for his reading of the book, which absolutely Not Safe for Work.
50 Shades

I'm certainly not opposed to eroticism in fiction, if done well. TimeOut has these suggestions for books much better written than 50 Shades. I, for one, liked Vox by Nicholson Baker, very much.
Eroticism in Fiction

Here is a fun graphic timeline of books that have been banned over the centuries from PrinterInk. I don't think 50 Shades has made the cut yet for being an important banned book.
Banned Books

Of course To Kill a Mockingbird has been banned at various times and in various places. And with the announcement of a new Harper Lee novel coming out this summer, Sam Tanenhausl at Bloomberg reflects on the endurance of Mockingbird.
Why To Kill a Mockingbird Won't Die

In more fun book news, a new Dr. Seuss book will be published this coming July. It was discovered in his office, fully written, illustrated and entitled What Pet Should I Get. Publishers Weekly has the story here.

How well up are you on your Edgar Allan Poe quotations? And, for that matter, how well do you know your Goth song lyrics? Flavorwire challenges you to guess what is what here in this quiz. Good luck!  Edgar Allen Poe Goth Lyrics Quiz

This week saw the passing of former US Poet Laureate Philip Levine. He was a fine poet, accessible and thoughtful. NPR had this story on his life and work.
Philip Levine Has Left Us

Finally, our little town has had a very mild winter, if we don't count the eight inches of rain we had one day, leading to some major flooding. But the rest of the country seems to have snow. A lot of snow. And a great time to catch up on your reading. Buzzfeed looks at the upside of being snowbound.

Good luck to all you Oscar nominees and hoping I can join you on the red carpet next year! In the meantime, let us know what books you've got going and recommend. A good weekend to us all.

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The Book Booth: St. Valentines Day Edition

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Image: Flavorwire

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: St. Valentines Day Edition

A Happy Valentines Day to all you lovers and sweethearts out there. May you all have a candy tray filled with messaged hearts!

For those of you without a loved one to share the day, perhaps if you were even more interesting than you already are, your love life would spark up. With that in mind, take a look at Emily Temple's list of books that will make you more attractive intellectually. Or maybe not. In any event, Flavorwire has the list here.

The fallout from the news that there is another Harper Lee novel, a sequel to To Kill a Mockingbird, continues. For a more detailed look at the controversy, The New York Times devoted a lengthy article. Mockingird Prequel/Sequel?

But yet more controversy! Who exactly owns the screen rights to the new novel? Well, my guess is Ms. Lee does. But that doesn't stop people in Hollywood from talking. The Los Angeles Times reports. Mockingbird / Watchman Screen Rights?

Still, really, the big media news story this past week was Jon Stewart's announcement that he would be leaving the Daily Show later this year. Surely, we will all miss the caustic humor of Jon Stewart. But who will miss him the most? Why book publicists, of course, says the Washington Post.
Jon Stewart Is Moving On

Americans are woefully ignorant of literature written outside the United States. That so many of us had never heard of Patrick Modiano until he won the Nobel Prize for literature last year is evidence of that. That used not to be true. I remember when South American writing was all the rage and lively discussions were to be had over many European writers. Why this has come to pass, I don't really know. Bill Morris at the Daily Beast tackles the question here.
European Writers / Foreign Fiction

Maybe we should all try to adopt the plan of English writer Ann Morgan, who tried to read a different book from a different country, all within one year. She described how she blogged her activities and turned those posts into a book for the BBC. H/To to Lucian for finding this one.
Read the World!

In the used book business, we get lots of folks looking for out-of-print tomes all the time. Some are very easy to find. Yet others are obscure and difficult to obtain without a lot of cost. Bookfinder.com has come up with its list of the most requested OP titles for the past year. Not a lot of surprises, but I was sort of stunned to see Stephen King titles in the list. Who lets King go out of print? Thanks to our friend Mark McKay for sending the link along.
Stephen King Out of Print? Say It Isn't So!

To become a good Antiquarian bookseller, it takes a good eye and a lot of knowledge about the history of books, including types of paper, printing processes, etc. Susan Halas knows a great deal more than I do and shared the information some time ago here. Another h/t to Lucian.
Things to Know If You're a Newcomer in the Book Biz

Over the years, Margaret Atwood's A Handmaids Tale has been a classic of dystopian literature. Surprisingly for me, at least, the current Freshman class at West Point was required to read the book. And, even more surprisingly, Ms. Atwood ventured to the Academy to discuss the work and take questions from the cadets. Laura Miller at Salon has the story here.
Margaret Atwood at West Point

Perhaps some sort of dystopia is not that far away. And in the wrong hands, technology just might become evil! What of a future where the book cover judges you? A scary thought that is on the verge of happening. As Kevin McCarthy shouted, They're here, they're here!
Dystopia is Already Here

A Happy Valentines Day for us all. And whether the current book you are reading is romantic or not, let us know what good books you have piled up.

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The Book Booth: Mockingbird Edition

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Image via: the New York Times

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.

My guess is that many of you have already seen that a "new" Harper Lee novel will be released. The book was apparently written before she began work on To Kill a Mockingbird and involves an adult Scout Finch visiting her father Atticus after the events of Mockingbird. The Gray Lady has the story.  Harper Lee

Of course the news set the twitters aflame with title suggestions, as Salon explains.
Mockingbird Prequel/Sequel

And it set off some controversy. Ms. Lee is now in assisted living and there is some worry that she may have been pressured into publishing this work. I was a bit surprised when the story appeared in the first place. I had the feeling that she had said what she wanted to say in the one book and was content with it. But apparently she is "happy as Hell". And I'm good with it, too, even if it isn't nearly as good as Mockingbird.
Harper Lee is Happy as Hell

Another thing you may have seen this week is the touching letter written by Roald Dahl on the death of his daughter from measles in 1962. Coming on the heels of the new outbreaks of measles in this country and with the boneheads who wont have their children vaccinated, creating a public health menace, well, it gets my blood to boiling.
Roald Dahl's Daughter Died of Measles -

Happier news came from the recent conference of the American Library Association where it was announced that Kwame Alexander won the Newberry Award for his children's novel The Crossover and Dan Santat won the Caldecott for his book The Adventures of Beekle. Publishers Weekly has the story here.

Let us admit it. Even at our advanced ages, we love kids picture books. NPR recently featured some newer titles that look wonderful.  Kids Books for Adults

The news from Hollywood is that James Franco, English student extraordinaire and actor, is set to star in an adaptation of John Steinbeck's 1936 novel, In Dubious Battle. Franco has appeared in other literary adaptations, including a recent film of William Faulkner's As I Lay Dying. The LA Times has the scoop here.
James Franco

I have been blitzing through that very fine HBO series Boardwalk Empire and in reading the credits (yes, I read the credits), I noticed that Dennis Lehane, author of Mystic River and Shutter Island, among other great books, wrote for the show as well as served as "Creative Producer". Apparently this development is not unusual in Hollywood these days.
Novelists as Screenwriters and Producers

The Daily Telegraph posted this rather interesting and chronological look at fifty cult novels. And To Kill a Mockingbird is on the list!
Fifty Cult Novels

Finally, for anyone worried about what to read next, Publishers Weekly provides you some previews of books to be in stores this spring, including new works from Toni Morrison, Kazuo Ishiguro, Nick Hornby and Thomas McGuane, to name a few.
Spring Book Preview

Happy reading for us all this weekend and be sure to let us know what you've just pulled off the shelf.

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The Book Booth: Big Game Day Edition

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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.

To the exclusion of nearly anything else, our little town is hyped and ready for Superbowl Sunday. In fact the town fathers and mothers have changed the name of the town, at least for now, to Hawkquiam, which shows you the team we all hope will win the Big Game.

Football is not a game that lends itself well to either song or story, unlike Baseball. Other than Mr. Touchdown, I cant think of a song about football. And Backfield in Motion doesn't count. There are a few novels, the best of which are Peter Gent's North Dallas Forty and Frank Deford's Everybody's All-American. Stephanie Long at Bustle suggests some other football related books you might enjoy. Football-Related Books

The game will be played in sunny Arizona this Sunday. However unless you live there, you probably don't have such fine weather. And considering the weather events of the week, you just may have snow on the ground. Claire Fallon at HuffPo has some suggestions for snow day reading.
Snow Day Reading

And in case you needed a reason to stay inside and read on a snowy day, Isaac Fitzgerald at Buzzfeed gives you plenty of reasons that will assuage your guilt.
Book Forts Are Better than Snow Forts

And while you are snuggled in with a good book, you might want to incorporate some of these suggestions from Brenna Clarke Gray at BookRiot for making your reading a richer experience.
Enrich Your Reading Experience.

Of course reading isn't the only indoor activity one could pursue. However being literate may be of some use in getting there, as Kathleen Massara at Flavorwire demonstrates. H/T to my good fried John Miller for this link.
Literary Quotes That Might Get You Laid

Assuming that your house still has power on a blizzardy day, I suppose you could watch something on the teevee machine. Emily Temple, also at Flavorwire, has listed her favorite literary moments in television history. There are many here with the clips and are well worth viewing, including Thomas Pynchon's visit to Springfield.
Literary Moments in Television History

As an old boss of mine once told me, it is a wonderful thing when your vocation is also your avocation, and I've been blessed that way. Over at the New York Times Book Review, authors Dana Stevens and Benjamin Moser discuss whether or not writing is just that.
Is Being a Writer a Job or a Calling?

We have more on the origins and popularity of the paperback book. Andrew Liptak at Kirkus Review weighs in with these thoughts. Another H/T to our friend Mark McKay for finding this one.
I've Got a Steady Job But I Want to be a Paperback Writer!

If football is not on your agenda this weekend, go ahead, get out if you can, and visit your local independent bookseller. Zachary Karabell at Slate offers a rosier picture our industry than you normally find, and gives you good reasons to support indies at Slate. Thanks to friend and author Joyce Yarrow for pointing me to this one.
Your Independent Bookseller is Your Friend and Always there for You.

Whatever your plans this weekend, find some time to get some reading done. And please do share with us the pleasures of the book you're currently passionate about. Enjoy your time!

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