Archive for book

The Book Booth: Deflation Edition

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Image via SLTrib.com

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.

After last weekend, it would seem that the Packers were deflated spiritually and the Colts literally. In our little town, due to its proximity to the Big City, one can see that every other car, house and business sports a 12th man sign, which leads me to believe that the Seahawk roster exceeds the 53 person limit. But who's counting?

I suppose enjoying sports helps one to be a well-rounded person, though I would never claim it is essential. Apparently neither do the folks at BuzzFeed, who, in asking how well-rounded your book collection is, don't include sports as a qualification.
Book Collection Suggestions

If you aren't exactly well-rounded, you could become more interesting by reading some of the books Emily Temple suggests at Flavorwire.
Well-Rounded Book Collection Suggestions

If you wish to be interesting by being au courant, Jane Ciabattari over at the BBC suggests her top twelve novels of this current young century. And anything by Michael Chabon is well worth your time.
12 Novels of the 21st Century

Of late there has been a resurgence of interest in books about revolution and revolutionaries. Neel Mukherjee at the Guardian reviews the top ten books of the genre. I was happy to see Joseph Conrad's The Secret Agent included. Go read it if you haven't before.
You Say You Want a Revolution?

Perhaps you're more in the mood for a good horror novel, but you've exhausted your Stephen King collection. Nick Cutter, author of very recently published novel entitled The Deep, suggests ten good horror novels that you may possibly be unaware of.
Got Horror?

Of course the first American master of the horror genre was Edgar Allan Poe. Ernest Hemingway contended that Mark Twain was the source from which modern American literature descended; Gore Vidal insisted it was Poe. (Poe was certainly very influential among the late 19th century French symbolist poets). I'd go with Herman Melville myself. Nevertheless, author Marilynne Robinson has written a very good appreciation of Poe at the New York Review of Books. I have not read Poe's late work, Eureka, but it sounds fascinating.
Edgar Allan Poe

Speaking of works that may seem obscure, I've never heard of William Hill Brown, or his novel The Power of Sympathy, which seems to be regarded as the first true American novel. I don't think I'm going to rush to the library to get a copy or anything, but Dan Piepenbring at the Paris Review gives it an overview.
The Power of Sympathy

If it were not bad enough that the NSA already knows my thoughts, it seems that publishers now have a source to tell them whether you have finished a book or not. Fortunately for me, I don't have an e-reader and have to make do with heavy tomes with paper pages. The rest of you may want to watch out though. Joseph Bernstein at Buzzfeed explains.
The NSA Knows When You've Been Sleeping, Knows When You're Awake, and Knows What You've Been Reading

Well my friends, have a most wonderful weekend, filled with books and words to cherish. Please let us know what books have you enthralled.

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The Book Booth: Why Am I Soft in the Middle Edition

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Image via Bicyclechica.com

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.

With all the wet weather recently, we've been using the car much more than the bicycles and I'm beginning to feel the lack of exercise. It'll be fine with me when the sun returns on a more permanent basis; and the days are now beginning to lengthen. Spring can't be too far away.

It may be sometime this spring when the conservative celebrity, Dr. Ben Carson, will make his decision about running for President next year. But Dr. Carson seems to have a problem with thinking originally. His 2012 book America the Beautiful seems to have plagiarized several of his conservative buddies, as BuzzFeed reports.
Ben Carson's Plagiarism

Carson and his publisher have issued apologies. Sort of. But I'm sure all of you will be glad that future printings will make the necessary corrections.
Ben Carson's Plagiarism -2-

In the wake of the Charlie Hebdo shootings, Rupert Murdoch help all Muslims accountable, because, you know...jihad. J.K. Rowling responded in kind and with great wit. Salon has the story here.

Those of us who have traveled abroad and ventured into foreign bookstores have noticed that very often the cover art for books are much different than the American counterpart. The Millions recently examined the jackets for these new books as seen here in the States and in the U.K. And there are some major differences.
Major Differences in Cover Art

There's sexy and then there's sexy. And there may be nothing more seductive than literary villains. Emily Temple listed her favorite fifty (!) sexy bad folk and the list is a lot of fun. I'm not thinking of any omissions off the top of my head, but you might.
Sexy Villains

Who doesn't love a good graph now and then? By the book has this one graphing the ages of some writers when they both first published and their "breakthrough" novels were written.
Age of Writers When They Wrote Their Breakthrough Books

Quiz time! Writers have used pen names for a long, long time. Can you match the pseudonym to the actual writer, asks Buzzfeed.
So Who Is Really Who?

Sigh. Another of my favorite authors, Robert Stone, has passed. He is probably best known for his novel Dog Soldiers, but his Flag for Sunrise and Children of Light were equally powerful. He will be missed.
Robert Stone Has Moved On

It may be January, but it is never too early to think about traveling and listing sights to see. ABEBooks, via HuffPo, has this list of spectacular bookstores.
Spectacular Bookstores - Your Home Away from Home

And if you're going to stop into the bookstores, you may as well take in some of the libraries that our own Lucian found on the BBC.
And Don't Forget Libraries - They're There for You!

Warm dreams and good reading, my friends. Please let us know what books are keeping you enthralled!

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The Book Booth: If the Rain Comes 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.

It's not often my little town gets national news attention, but it managed this week. We had, as it turns out, over eight inches of rain over a twenty-four period, causing much flooding and mudslides that move some houses off their foundations and other precariously perched. SeattleTammy and I were lucky. We had some minor basement flooding. But driving around town, there was mud everywhere and standing water that the drainage system could not handle. I've never quite seen anything like it. I wanted to thank everyone who expressed concern over the past week and assure all that we are fine. Tired, but fine.

Well, 2015 is upon us. And it looks like we'll be getting some great books published this year. The Millions has this preview of up-coming titles, including works by Mo Yan and Thomas McGuane, among many others. Browse these!
New Books in 2015

For the folks among you who prefer visual stimulation, Bustle notes the following film adaptations that will be released this year. Yeah, we have our 50 Shades of Gray, but The Martian looks very interesting, as do some of the others.
Books Adapted to Film - Read 'Em First!

In the It's about Time department, it seems that novelist (and perennial possible Nobel Prize winner), Haruki Murakami is about to embark on an advice column. A sort of Dear Abby for his readers.
Haruki Murakama As Dear Abby

Perhaps it is a career path that T.S. Eliot should have chosen. Flavorwire offered up some Eliot quotations for those who need inspiration and enlightenment. And don't take any wooden nickels! Buy low, sell high!
Let Us Go Then, You and I...

The studies continue that show that, in fact, reading is very, very good for you. The BBC recently had this article on how we read ourselves "happy". H/T to Lucian for sending this onto me. Read books, be happy, to paraphrase Mr. McFerrin.

If you are needing a laugh, take a look at this letter E.B. White wrote to an officious bureaucrat concerning his pet dachshund. And H/T to my friend Naka Oh for passing this along.
E.B.White 

And if you enjoyed Adam Mansbach's Go the F**k to Sleep, you just may be amused by some Russian nursery rhymes guaranteed to make you laugh. Or feel suicidal. This book looks like a lot of fun.
Russian Optimism

It was recently the anniversary of the birth of fantasist J.R.R. Tolkien, who would have celebrated his 123rd birthday on January 3rd. Over at HuffPo, Todd Van Lulling came up with five things you may not have known about him. Though I'm sure my good friend John Miller knows these things, don't you, John?
The Little Known J.R.R. Tolkien

The fascination with pulp fiction continues. Last week we included a link to a New Yorker article on old mass markets. This week Wendy Smith at The Daily Beast has this appreciation of these cheap classics.

Classics as Mass Market Paperbacks - Pulp Fiction!

Finally, if you are looking for a short read this weekend, author Sarah Gerard had these picks of the best short novels. And I concur with her choices of Joseph Conrad and Denis Johnson. Take a look here.
Looking for a short read? You've come to the right place.

So what books are you looking forward to reading this year? And what book is on top of your to be read pile? Let us know and try to have a warm and dry weekend.

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The Book Booth: New Starts Edition

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Image: Mental Floss

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.

We have survived yet another New Years Eve here in our little town. There were surprisingly few fireworks shot off at midnight this year; that is was below freezing outside may have had something to do with it. But there were enough pyrotechnics that the animals were not happy.

We may have begun a new year, but the winter remains, and will so for the next couple of months. The good news is that the sun has started to move north again (ok, the earth's axis is tilting to the north again), and the hope of new spring can give solace to our souls. But the winter remains an inspiration to some writers as the Guardian show us with its list of the ten memorable literary works featuring the chilly days and nights.
Winters in Literature

Other writers take the chill off by imbibing spirits that warm the body. And perhaps give some inspiration as well. Flavorwire has these photos showing us some authors enjoying a drink. Or two.
Authors and Booze

A good snack can take the edge off the alcohol. Some cheese and crackers at the desk can help the writer to ponder the next bon mot. MentalFloss shared recently some snacks authors in the past have enjoyed.
Authors and their Snacks

One could enjoy a good snack,a glass of wine and be inspired while reading some of the finest works around. BuzzFeed gives us what they consider to be the 51 most beautiful sentences in literature. And they're pretty darn good.
Beautiful Sentences

As we begin the year, we need to know what is hip and what is not. So when it comes to overused words and phrases, the folks at Lake Superior State University has compiled the words to avoided for the coming year. Ah, "skill set", we hardly knew ye.
Words Which Are Already Hackneyed

I used to read literary magazines frequently. But for whatever reason, I grew out of the habit. So it is good to be reassured that they're still around and being read, as Juan Vidal at NPR tells us.
Literary Magazines

When I first began working in the book biz lo these many years ago, Mass-Market paperbacks were still disdained by "bookpeople" and you could still find bookshops that would not stock them. I didn't quite ever get that attitude inasmuch as I devoured them while growing up. Louis Menand at the New Yorker offered up this fine meditation on the "pulps" and their impact on the world of books.
Pulps Remembered

Of course there was a lot of crap published by mass-market houses (and there still is), but not much was crappier than the works of Ayn Rand. So it was nice to see that Dick Cavett refused to have her on his show, not because of her writings themselves, but for the demands she made in order for her to make her appearance.
No Ayn for Dick Cavett

Finally, SeattleTammy found this photo slideshow. It's pretty amusing, but probably not safe for work. So save it for the home computer. #NSFW
Reading Weird Books in Public

Happy New Year!

May 2015 send many a good book your way. And tell us what you're loving in the world of printed matter.

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