Archive for books

The Book Booth: Memorial Day Edition

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Is this Shakespeare? A 400-year-old book says it is.

Is this Shakespeare?
A 400-year-old book says it is.

Image: BBC

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: Memorial Day Edition

We enter our long weekend that honors those men and women who have, as Lincoln said, given their last full measure of devotion in service to their country. It is good to have a long weekend, but let's do take a moment to remember those people who have served us to their utmost.

Memorial Day does mark the unofficial start of summer (though I object; summer starts when summer starts and not a second sooner), and with the coming of the warmer months, many of us plan traveling vacations. The folks at Bustle suggested a few places to visit that are the settings for some pretty good books here.

Of course Paris holds many a literary landmark. So those traveling abroad may want to consider these places, too. Again, from the well-traveled folks at Bustle.
Literary landmarks in Paris.

If the Far East, and specifically Tokyo, is your destination, check out the Tsutaya Bookstore, which sent Tom Downey, a writer at Gone, into paroxysms of delight. Via my friend Naka Oh.
Must Visit Tokyo bookstore.

James Joyce once remarked that Italian literature was Dante and that was saying quite a lot. No figure dominates the landscape as the master of terza rima. And it seems the poet turns 750 years old this year. He remains well worth anyone's time to read. John Kleiner at the New Yorker has this appreciation.
Dante would be 750 Years Old This Year

The same may be said of Shakespeare for English literature. But we've never been quite sure what the man looked like. The English magazine Country Life thinks his contemporary likeness has been found in, of all things, a book of botany that came out in the 1590s.
What Did Shakespeare Look Like?

In the Lost and Found Department, it seems that over the years filmmaker Orson Welles worked on his memoirs, tentatively titled Confessions of a One Man Band. Archivists at the University of Michigan have found extensive fragments. When and if published, they should be a very interesting read.
Orson Welles's Memoirs (Fragments)

And then there has been found an early unpublished work by Anton Chekhov, The Frank. The book is a collection of humor pieces and short fiction and will soon be published by the New York Review of Books. Jonathan Sturgeon at Flavorwire has the story here.
Unpublished Chekhov Work: The Frank

Earlier this week, I listened to a delightful interview by Robert Siegel of famed cartoonist Jules Feiffer on NPR. You can read the highlights or listen yourself here:
Jules Feiffer on NPR

So it is fitting that a new book has been published about him, Out of Line: The Art of Jules Feiffer. At age 86, the man is still working and recently wrote a graphic novel, a form new to him, called Kill My Mother. In conjunction with the publication of Out of Line, Feiffer had this conversation with Neil Gaiman, which you can read about here.
Jules Feiffer Talks With Neil Gaiman

And at last, we'll go out with a little quiz. Buzzfeed wants to know how many of these film adaptations of books you have seen. It seems I've not seen enough of them, much less read all the books.
Film Adaptations Quiz
Have a fine weekend working your way through your large pile of books and let us know which ones you are currently devouring.

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The Book Booth: Mid-May Musings Edition

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BookBoothJonKrakauerMontanaw280h203

Image: John Green via AP

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: Mid-May Musings Edition

Here we are at mid-Spring and the flowers are just bursting. Our rhodies are amazing at this time and looking out our kitchen window is a visual pleasure. My hopes that you are enjoying this time of year as well.

The world of books is not without its share of controversy this time of year, as Jon Krakauer discovered when he gave a talk on his new book Missoula: Rape and Justice in a College Town. He doesn't usually do the author book tour thing, but thought the issues in the book important enough to address them at the University of Montana. He was heckled for his efforts as The Big Story reports.
Krakauer Hecklers in Montana

Mark Harvkey's novel In the Course of Human Events examines the life of a man who becomes mesmerized by a right-wing cult and its leader. Most of us don't meet these wackos on an every day basis. But their literature is out there and pretty scary. Harvkey looked at some of their books for Publishers Weekly.
Controversial Books in Print Today

Most of those tomes are obscure and known only to its fans or detractors. There are other books, maybe good ones, that have disappeared. MPR recently discussed three such lost works by Ernest Hemingway, Thomas Hardy and Sylvia Plath.
Lost Works by Major Authors

Most writers hope that their work will in some way make a difference in our world, in some way enhance our enjoyment at being on this planet. Jane Hirshfield recently talked about her new book Ten Windows: How Great Poems Transform the World with the Washington Post. She has also authored a new book of poems, The Beauty.
Jane Hirschfield

We've just passed Mothers Day, but this story by Nick Bilton for the New York Times Style magazine poignantly talks about his shared love of books and reading with his mother. Mothers can and do make a big difference for us.
Mothers and Books

Language is such a fascinating phenomenon. We speak words and we can read words. And yet, it seems the ability to do both come from different parts of our brains, as the LA Times tells us.
Language and Our Brains

Words certainly mattered to William Zinsser whose book On Writing Well can usually be found on the bookshelf next to Elements of Style. He recently passed away at the age of 92. The New York Times had this remembrance.
William Zinsser Has Left Us

This week marks the "friendeversary" of C.S. Lewis and J.R.R Tolkien who met in 1926. Remarkably, the story of their friendship will soon be a motion picture. I guess it will be along the lines of Shadowlands, the movie about Lewis's marriage to Joy Davidman. Sarah Seltzer examines the friendship of Tolkien and Lewis here at Flavorwire.
Friends

And speaking of film adaptations, Hilary Mantel is no stranger to having her work appearing on the screen, with the big success of her Wolf Hall series. Now she will have her novel of the French Revolution, A Place of Greater Safety, (and a very good book, if you have not read it), adapted by the BBC as The Bookseller reports.
Hilary Mantel

Have a great weekend, filled with the joy of words. And let us know what books you happen to be devouring.

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The Book Booth: Mom's Days Edition

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BookBoothGoodnightMoonw212h202

Image from: The Autism Site - original from Flickr

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: Mom's Days Edition

A Happy Mothers Day to all you moms and soon-to-be moms out there. May your kids spoil you rotten this weekend! And for those of us who have lost their moms over the years, may we have fond memories.

Like many of you, my mother read to me as a child and instilled the love of stories for me forever. The folks at the Autism Site suggest that we, as adults, should revisit some of those stories. I, for one, loved The Little Engine That Could.
H/T to our friend Lucian for sending the link along.
10 Children's Books Adults Should Re-Read

If you'd rather stick with some more adult fare, Buzzfeed has some very good suggestions for reading from around the world. I'd second in particular, Shadow of the Wind if you haven't read it yet.
Reading from Around the World

The weekend is also a good time to watch some movies. So, again from Buzzfeed, here are some 90 movies that have been adapted from books. I have watched some 56 of these films with varying degrees of enjoyment. How about you?
90 Films Adapted from Books

It's been a good week for those who'd ban books. You may have read that in Moscow, copies of Art Spiegelman's Maus were removed from the city's bookstores. The author talked to NPR recently about the ban.
Maus Banned in Moscow

And then some enlightened literary yahoos in Couer d'Alene Idaho have decided that both Of Mice and Men and The Kite Runner may just corrupt the minds of America's youth. Oh, and Steinbeck used words like "bastard" and "damn". Oh, my virgin ears!
Idaho Town with Pretty Name Bans Books

In happier news, it seems that a cache of old Mark Twain articles written in 1865-66 for the Virginia City newspaper that were considered lost have been found. So if you thought you've read all the Twain there is to read, you're in for a treat. Thanks to good friend, Caleb Bullen for finding.
Mark Twain Dispatches from Virginia City Found

I no longer watch the television much anymore, though I do catch up on some shows via Netflix. But years ago Tammy and I faithfully watched Seinfeld. The writing was always wonderful, if not literary. And Bustle recalls some of the shows more bookish moments here.
Bookish Seinfeld

Sadly we note the passing of mystery writer, Ruth Rendell, who wrote the Wexford novels which were adapted by the BBC. NPR has the obituary here.
Ruth Rendell of the Wexford Novels Has Left Us

Last week, Robert Crawford listed his top ten poems by T.S. Eliot, a rather daunting task. The usual suspects are included, but there are also some surprises. His selections:
Tom Eliot's Top Ten Poems

Crawford did omit my particular favorite of Eliot's, Rhapsody on a Windy Night. You may recognize it as the inspiration for the song Memory from Cats and there is a very melodic feel to the poem. Rhapsody.

Again, a Happy Mothers Day! Please remember that
   books make great gifts for Mom.
So step into your local independent bookseller this weekend, pick up a book or two and let us know what you bought!

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The Book Booth: May Days Edition

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EdgarAwardsORIG

Image: Mystery Writers of America:

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: May Days Edition

May has arrived and I'd like to say Happy belated May Day to you all. I've always thought we should make a bigger deal of the day here in the United States, but sometime ago, the Congress, in its wisdom, created Labor Day to be celebrated in September, so American workers wouldn't share the same day as the rest of the world. Because socialism, or something. Anyway.

This years Edgar Awards this week with no controversy to speak of. Stephen King was honored for Best Novel. The other winners and nominees can be found here.

Stephen King has created some very scary and mean villains in his career. Word and Film recently listed eight of the most evil, and for those of you who have read the books or seen the movie adaptations will be familiar with those characters listed. Randall Flagg would certainly top my list. Here are some of the others.
Literary Villains

One of our best mystery writers, well, one of our best writers period, recently weighed in on the future of reading over at the Wall Street Journal. Walter Mosley assures us that reading and books are going nowhere. Books will continue to be published. And people will read them.
Books

I discussed the kerfuffle a couple of weeks ago surrounding the Hugo Awards. It seems Cory Doctorow at BoingBoing has collected some suggestions for improving the awards by adding some new categories that will make everyone happy!
New Hugo Awards Category Suggestions

And for you sci-fi fans who appreciate thoughtful writers, BoingBoing also had this interview with William Gibson at their site. William Gibson Interview

The Pen Award this year has instigated a controversy of its own. Their Freedom of Expression Award was given to the French satirical magazine, Charlie Hebdo, and there are many writers none too happy about that.
Pen Freedom of Expression Award to Charlie Hebdo

We note the passing of M.H. Abrams at the venerable age of 102. Anyone who ever took and English Lit class that used the Norton Anthologies will remember him as the editor of those large tomes. He was also well known for his critical studies of Romanticism, including the Mirror and the Lamp. The New York Times had this obituary.  RIP M.H. Abrams

The Jane Austen revival seems to go on and on, unabated. Now she has been joined by Anthony Trollope, whose bicentennial birthday is this year. Adam Gopnick at the New Yorker offers this assessment and appreciation.  Anthony Trollope

Trollope didn't seem to have a problem in writing and publishing some very long novels. He was probably one of those authors who could claim to say what Buzzfeed recently suggested all writers would like to be able to say. Except for maybe the Oprah book club thing.
Things All Writers Wish They Could Say

Hello. My name is Dan. I am a book addict. (h/t to my friend Brian Payne for finding this).  Yes, Books Are An Addiction

Wishing you all a great weekend and a most happy May! Please let us know what books you're got stacked up and are enjoying.

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