Archive for books

The Book Booth: Hot Enough For You? Edition

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Image: The Guardian

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: Hot Enough for You Edition

Summer may be winding down, but you wouldn't know in most places. Even here in our little town, the days are warm. Very warm. Hot, even, for a place that normally gets off-shore breezes and temperate weather.

And while we are speaking of hot, Amazon.com and its founder, Jeff Bezos, are in the proverbial hot waters. The New York Times revealed a work culture that was less than benign. Evil, even. Publishers Weekly offered an overview here.
Life Working for Amazon

I personally don't know firsthand the corporate doings at Amazon headquarters. I'm pretty sure the warehouse work conditions are just this side of medieval, and I wouldn't be surprised if the Times article was, for the most part, accurate. In any event, the story has stirred controversy, and some disagreement even over at the Gray Lady.
How Accurate Was the Portrayal of Amazon's Work Culture?

Our own Lucian Dixon pointed me to this article about Harper Lee. It was written before the publication of Watchman but I think it provides the best context I've seen for Ms. Lee and the events leading to her decision to bring out the novel.
Let's Talk About Harper Lee

Moving on to lighter fare, it's time for a quiz. Last lines are important to novels. You know, "They lived happily ever after". Buzzfeed asks if you can identify the last lines to these novels. I think I got about half of them and it is multiple choice. Have at it!
Do You Know Your Last Lines?

And titles! The Great Gatsby was called by Fitzgerald many things before the title was finally decided. Here's the story of some other works which had other working titles. By the way, the initial title for Lolita shouldn't be much of a surprise, considering how large the ghost of Edgar Allan Poe looms over the story.
Original Original Titles Tell a Story

Multiple narrators/narratives? Why sure! Susan Barker, whose most recent novel, The Incarnations, is a multi-generational novel set in China, recently listed her favorite ten novels that employ a multi-narrative scheme. And, yes, Nabokov is listed here again.
Wait! Who's Narrating This Story Again?

Another top 100 novels in English. I rather like this list. Robert McCrum, probably best-known here as the co-author of The Story of English, composed this one for The Guardian, and he takes a historical approach, rather than doing it from his favorite to his 100th favorite.
Another (But Different) 'Best 100 Novels' List

Finally, you know the aroma, the lovely aroma, of entering a bookstore. You want to know the reason why? It's something like vanilla..H/T to my friend Caleb.
Oh, Yum - What's That Smell? Is It 'Ulysses'? For Whom The Bell Tolls?

Keep cool and have a great weekend, filled with some fine reading. And please let us know what books you've got going now.

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The Book Booth: What's In That Pipe? Edition

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Image: Telegraph UK

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: What's In That Pipe? Edition

It's another opening, another show! Time to brush up our Shakespeare! Everyone's favorite bard, it appears, was no stranger to the use of marijuana. Now may be the time to, um, re-read those plays and sonnets.
Don't Bogart That Pipe, Will

When we think of summer beach reading, we tend to think of thrillers or romances, or both. Vanity Fair thinks we should look at some darker themes while basking in the sun and has these suggestions for the ocean.
Summer's Here And the Time Is Right for Reading on the Beach

Then, again, if you'd like something a bit more substantial, the readers at Buzzfeed recommended these under-rated books. Topping that list is Garth Stein's The Art of Racing in the Rain, which probably isn't neglected, but if you haven't read it, do so.
Under-Rated Books You Should Read

The poet and novelist Naja Marie Aidt, whose new novel is entitled Rock, Paper, Scissors, also has some reading ideas of novels written by poets. Though I think most people regard Gertrude Stein, no relation to Garth, as a novelist; her poetry is pretty forgettable. Otherwise it is an interesting list.
Novels Written by Poets

With the recent departures of both Jon Stewart and David Letterman from the late night airwaves, authors will be missing those venues to promote their books. Those guys were terrific at interviews and the art of book placement in front of a camera. How important are these promos? Publishers Weekly tells us we should just ask Jon Stewart's wife.
How Important Are TV Book Promos? Ask Jon Stewart's Wife

From the world of the bizarre department. It seems children's author and illustrator Mary Engelbreit has drawn some severe criticism for her recent art concerning the death of Michael Brown a year ago in Ferguson, Missouri. Truth be told, I have not been a fan of hers, but I am now.
A Children's Book Illustrator Getting Hate Mail?

Not to be out-done when it comes to removing books from the classroom, Lincoln High School in Tallahassee, Florida has pulled Mark Haddon's The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night. Apparently it has swearing in it. Oops.
The [expurgated] Incident of the Dog in the Night And A Florida High School

Finally, I think you all need one of these. This handy little gizmo will calculate how long it will take you to read the books in your TBR, or To Be Read, list. Mine looks to be seven months. What's yours?
How Long Will It Take to Read All Those Books on Your Bedside Table? 

It's the weekend! Break out those books and start turning the pages and enjoying some good writing. And do let us know what books you are loving now.

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The Book Booth: Midsummer Nights Edition

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Image via 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.

The Book Booth: Midsummer Nights Edition

The other night the cats dragged in a small branch for some cat reason, and the leaves were already brown. It made me think that the Fall isn't that far away. But I'm not quite ready to give up the summer...so I'm going with mid-summer as long as I can. With maybe slightly cooler afternoons.

There is no holding off the march of time completely, and Fall is the colorful season, and quite lovely around here. And the Fall is the time of year publishers tend to schedule their Big books, for the holiday season. Publishers Weekly has a list here of the most anticipated titles, including new novels from John Irving, Jonathan Franzen and Orhan Pamuk.
Anticipated Fall Big Books

Time does pass by so quickly, the older one gets. I was recently reminded that it has been 26 years since Salman Rushdie's The Satanic Verses was published. In these days, Rushdie believes he would not have received the same level of support from the writing community that he did back in 1989, due to political correctness. I tend not to agree, but he may have a point.
What Would Happen if The Satanic Verses Were Published Today?

From the New Yorker, a couple of articles of interest. First, a remembrance of novelist James Salter from Mary Norris who attended a memorial for the man up in the Hamptons.
Mary Norris Remembers James Salter and His Commas

And then, Benjamin Moser wrote this appreciation of Brazilian writer Clarice Lispector, who passed away in 1977, but whose stories examined the links between literature and witchcraft. I have not read Ms.Lispector, but it seems I need to check her out.
Bell, Book, Candle, Witchcraft and Literature?

The World Science Fiction Convention is coming up on August 22nd, near Spokane, Washington. At the Convention, the Hugo Awards will be announced.You can see some of the details here.

The folks at io9 suggested these classic titles to read, in case you haven't, which might be a good idea, if you're planning to attend the convention.
Classic Titles to Actually Read Before the World SciFi Convention

My guess is that most of you have read L. Frank Baum's The Wizard of Oz, published a mere 115 years ago. MentalFloss listed some thirteen facts about the book that you may not know about the book or its author.
Oz and L. Frank Baum Facts

(And for a deeper look at the book with its political overtones, you may enjoy this article)
Following the Yellow Brick Road

With the many changes now occurring at the Vatican, this is welcome news. The library there is now being put on-line, and it looks to be amazing.
The Vatican Library Online For Free!

For those of us who enjoy a scandalous read now and then, check out Nick Tosches new novel Under Tiberius. Scott Simon interviewed the author for NPR here.
Looking For Some Scandal? Look No Further.

Novelist Alan Cheuse recently died at age 75 from injuries sustained in a car accident. I always enjoyed his book reviews at NPR. I didn't always agree with him, but he was a book enthusiast, and I will miss his commentaries.
Alan Cheuse Has Left Us at 75

Embrace the summer and enjoy! And please let us know what books you are savoring this weekend.

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The Book Booth: Dog Days Edition

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From: Telegraph UK
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: Dog Days Edition

Yep, it's hot, even here on the sunny coast. I know and sympathize with all of you suffering even hotter weather. Get those fans out, get an iced drink and pull up a chair with a good book. That will help. Reading always helps.

Recently when the American Library Association met, writers were honored for their work and among those who won was Bryan Stevenson, whose book Just Mercy: A Story of Justice and Redemption received their Carnegie Medal for Non-Fiction. It will be well-worth your time to read his acceptance speech.
Bryan Stevenson Speech

Speaking of awards, the long-list for the Man-Booker Awards were announced this week. Since 2013, anyone writing in English can be nominated, including Americans. And once again, four Americans were nominated, including Anne Tyler and Marilynne Robinson. Here is the long list for this year.
Man-Booker Long List

I hadn't realized so many movies were being released this year that have book connections. The LA Times found 23 to recommend reading before seeing the movie, including The Revenant, which will feature Leonardo Di Caprio, in what looks to be an interesting book/film.
Movies with Book Connections

I do enjoy Netfix a great deal, but I admit that I've not watched Orange is the New Black, now into a third season. I promise to get around to it soon. Our own Lucian is a fan of the show and found these links which finds all the books referenced in the show. And there are a lot of them!
OITNB Season One Books:
Season Two Books:
OITNB Season Three Books:

For those of you planning a summer trip across America, you might want to consider a literary model for your explorations. Atlas Obscura has conveniently plotted out many of those trip for you here.
Literary Trips through America

And if your plans are to follow Kerouac or Kesey, you may want to bring along one of these books that claim to enhance your consciousness one way or another. From Flavorwire are these recommendations.
Kerouac and Kesey Trips

Writers are often called by their muses in odd ways. Haruki Murakami hadn't thought of writing into he was well into his twenties. He recounts here for the Daily Telegraph how baseball helped into the game.
H.M. The Moment I Knew I Would Be A Novelist

This week we note the passing of true-crime writer Ann Rule at age 83. I didn't know her personally, but Ms. Rule was always a kind soul to SeattleTammy during her years at the Mystery Bookshop. She had her dedicated legion of fans who will miss her.
True Crime Writer Ann Rule

I don't enter the twitterverse very often. But there are some fun hashtag games that occur that make me think I should. Including this one #tenthingsnottosaytoawriter. Some of these are very funny. And good advice.
Literary Twitter Hashtag Games

Keep cool, enjoy the sun and be sure to let us know what great books you are reading! A Happy Weekend to you all.

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