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: Twas the Week Before Christmas Edition
I hope this finds everyone enjoying the holiday season and feeling in a festive mood. Alas, I do miss those days of yore when there would be tons of Christmas specials where Perry Como, or Andy Williams, or the great Der Bingle would serenade us with holiday songs. These days all we have our Republican debates and those hardly put anyone into the Christmas spirit.
Let that not be said of actor Benedict Cumberbatch who has written to Father Christmas with an eloquent plea for that merry ol' soul. Here's his letter, plus others written by some noted British celebrities.
Letters to Santa (aka 'Father Christmas')
On the other hand, it seems that Ayn Rand sent Christmas cards, and I'm pleased I never received one from her. Here are some imagined seasons greetings from that sour person.
Imagined Seasons Greetings Cards from Ayn Rand
Last week we took a look at some of the "best of 2015" lists. The New Yorker book reviewers have now chimed in with their selections. Again, a lot of books I need to catch up on.
The 'New Yorker's 'Best of 2015 List
Then, again, I did catch up on some classics reading using the Sad and Useless ultra-condensed versions.
The Classics 'Sad and Useless' Versions
You'll have noticed that the Adventures of Huckleberry Finn is condensed for your pleasure. But once again, a school has stopped teaching the book to its 11th graders. You'd think these Quakers would know better. H/T to Lucian for the link.
Censoring 'Huckleberry Finn' Again!
With the success of The Martian at the box office and at bookstores throughout the land, there seems to be a new (or retro) trend towards real science in Science Fiction. Examples would include not only Andrew Weir, author of The Martian, but long-time established writers like Neal Stephenson and Kim Stanley Robinson, as NPR reports.
New Interest in Science Fiction as a Result of 'The Martian'?
Did you know that way back in 1974, soon after the earth formed, the US National Institute on Drug Abuse commissioned sci-fi author Robert Silverberg to survey the use of drugs in science fiction stories? Cory Doctorow at BoingBoing has the story here.
How Often Do Drugs Play a Role in Science Fiction Stories?
It seems odd and quaint in these technological days, that writers would not avail themselves of it and write first drafts with pen and paper. But that is exactly what Neil Gaiman does and here are some examples of those initial drafts.
Neil Gaiman's First Drafts Written with Pen and Paper
James Lee Burke, author of the Dave Robicheaux mysteries, doesn't say whether he writes on the computer or with a pen, but he did offer some tips on writing recently for Publishers Weekly.
Writing Tips from James Lee Burke
Finally, it has been sixty years since Vladimir Nabokov's groundbreaking novel Lolita was published by Olympia Press. Here are some appreciations of the work by the Lolita Fan Club.
'Lolita' Turns 60 - Some Thoughts
A Merry Christmas to all of you celebrating the holiday. And please let us know what books you are loving at this time of year.