Archive for books

The Book Booth: The House I Live In Edition

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Image: Vintage Labels
The Book Booth is a weekly feature at The Political Carnival, relating news, notes, and reflections from the world of books and publishing.  It is written by @SeattleDan and SeattleTammy, operators of an on-line bookstore (which you can find here) , who have been in the book business since shortly after the Creation, or close to 6000 years now.

The Book Booth: The House I Live In Edition

Well, it happened and there is much to be done. I personally couldn't watch the train wreck live and have distracted myself with other things, like, oh, reading books and gearing up for the future.

With the new regime and its uneasy attitude to truth, the press, education, or what have you, we could use some books about how to handle the upcoming years. Derek Miller, the author of the new novel The Girl in Green, has some good suggestions he shared with Publishers Weekly.
What Do We Do Now?

During the past eight years, we have had a president who can actually read well, we had one that thrived on reading and reading from a wide range of interests and topics. Recently the New York Times book reviewer, Michiko Kakutani interviewed President Obama about the role books have played in his administration and what he has learned.
Michiko Kakutani Interviews President Obama About the Books in his Life.

And speaking of critics, the National Book Critics Circle (NBCC) has announced the nominees for its awards which will culminate in a ceremony in March. Among the fiction writers honored are Michael Chabon, Zadie Smith and Ann Pratchett. Here's the full list of nominees.
NBCC Awards

PEN America, the organization founded in 1922 to defend free expression and persecuted writers, and which will have plenty to do in the next few years, also announced its nominees for best books of 2016. Some fifty authors have been selected in a variety of categories with winners announced in both February and later in March.
PEN's Best Books of 2017

Buzzfeed has kept itself busy of late and hasn't made a friend of the new imperial majesty in doing so. Still Buzzfeed does cover cultural news and book editor Jarry Lee has picked the 32 books she most looks forward to in the coming year.
Buzzfeed's Picks for Books to Read in 2017

But, wait! Buzzfeed also has ideas on decor with books! Here are some of their notions on how to display the books in your home. By the way, bookcases are still a pretty good way to do that.
And Where Will You Put All Those Books?

I've always loved bookplates. And now the University of British Columbia Library has digitized some vintage ones that are gorgeous. Allison Meyer at Hyperallergic.com has them for view here.
Vintage Bookplates

It's a tough week for many of us. But we must remember that this country belongs to us and we must remember what makes this nation great. And that would be its people. The House I Live In was written during the Second World War with music by Earl Robinson (who also wrote Joe Hill) and lyrics by Abel Meeorpol (who wrote Strange Fruit) and here sung by the amazing Paul Robeson with the original second stanza included.

Read and read some more. Have a fine weekend and please let us know what books are soothing your soul.

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The Book Booth: Birds Flying High Edition

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Image: Signature Reads / Shutterstock
The Book Booth is a weekly feature at The Political Carnival, relating news, notes, and reflections from the world of books and publishing.  It is written by @SeattleDan and SeattleTammy, operators of an on-line bookstore (which you can find here) , who have been in the book business since shortly after the Creation, or close to 6000 years now.

The Book Booth: Birds Flying High Edition

Another week and again the news does not fail to amaze. I'm sure everyone's heard all the jokes already and I don't have anything to add. But my neck is sore from all the head shaking.

The great Meryl Streep made headlines with her acceptance speech for the Cecil B. DeMille Award at the Golden Globe Awards earlier in the week, prompting Signature to identify her top ten film roles based on literary sources. Of course her take on Sophie in Sophie's Choice is wonderful, but I have a sneaky regard for her Susan Orlean in the film Adaptation, the Spike Jonez/Charlie Kauffman film.
Meryl Streep is a Wonderful Actress

I posted last week on other film adaptations from books that will be released this coming year. The Guardian has its own list which includes other movies not on that list. There will be a Trainspotting 2; and Margaret Atwood has another work being adapted in Alias Grace in addition to the new version of The Handmaid's Tale.
More Film Adaptations We'll See in 2017

During the past week we also saw the first anniversary of the passing of David Bowie. It turns out that he and the novelist of The Hours, Michael Cunningham, attempted to collaborate on a musical that did not come to fruition. Mr. Cunningham discusses the work as well as his relationship with Bowie here for GQ Magazine.
Michael Cunningham on Working with David Bowie

The Persian poet Rumi has had a following among readers in the West for some time now. Rumi was, of course, a Sufi mystic, and Sufism is a sect of Islam. However, as Rozina Ali explores in this New Yorker article, the poet's Islamic faith is somehow being erased from his legacy.
Where Did Rumi's Islamic Faith Go?

The unreliable narrator has been a part of the novelistic tradition for some time now, and pre-dates its use by Joseph Conrad and Ford Maddox Ford at the beginning of the 20th century. Here Sarah Pinborough discusses her top ten unrelialbe narrators for the Guardian. And for what it is worth, I have not yet read Girl on a Train.
Unreliable Narrators in Fiction

Unless the writer is an adherent of Jack Kerouac's dictum on spontaneous prose, most authors revise their first drafts. Over and over again. Twelve writers discuss the revision process here for LitHub.
Those First and Second and Third and Fourth Drafts

The idea of the Great American Novel goes back to 1868 and there have been many candidates since that time. Ernest Hemingway famously said (incorrectly) that all American Literature comes from Huck Finn. But other writers have their own ideas on what that work might be as Emily Temple lists, once again, for LitHub.
So...Has Anyone Written the Great American Novel Yet?  What Is It?

Say you're a librarian and you love so many books that are going to be discarded from your system because no one has checked those books in over a year. What do you do? You go rogue, of course! But be careful about getting caught. Thanks to Lucian for this link.
Rogue Librarians Fight Back!

Alas, this past week we lost the author and jazz critic Nat Hentoff at age 91. He wrote for The Village Voice for many years and shared his passions for civil liberties and for jazz. He will be missed. NPR has this appreciation.
Nat Hentoff Has Moved On

On Monday we will celebrate the life of Martin Luther King jr. With the upcoming inauguration, we must never forget what this man meant for our country and our hopes for freedom. And what does freedom feel like? Ms. Nina Simone tells us in this song written by Leslie Bricusse and Anthony Newley for the musical The Roar of the Greasepaint, The Smell of the Crowd.


Please note: For some reason YouTube says that I cannot 'embed' this song (which would mean that you could play it directly from the Book Booth.  Since I can't, please go to YouTube directly here.


Have a wonderful weekend, read much and let us know what words you are devouring. We'd love to know. Attachments area

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The Book Booth: It Isn't Nice Edition

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Image: Book Riot
The Book Booth is a weekly feature at The Political Carnival, relating news, notes, and reflections from the world of books and publishing.  It is written by @SeattleDan and SeattleTammy, operators of an on-line bookstore (which you can find here) , who have been in the book business since shortly after the Creation, or close to 6000 years now.

The Book Booth: It Isn't Nice Edition

Just when you think things can't get crazier, well, there comes a new surprise. How we are going to deal with the crazy for the next four years is our biggest question and challenge and now is the time we need to get into gear and get moving. It won't be easy and it won't be nice, but what else can we do?

Last October before the election, the New Yorker's David Remnick sat down with novelist Jonathan Safran Foer, who had just published his first novel in some years, Here I Am. Among other things, they talked about how difficult it was to write fiction when dealing with the insanity of reality. Works in Progress has the interview here.
The Difficulty of Writing Fiction When Dealing With the Insanity of Reality

The publishing news of note this week has been the deal struck by Milo Yiannopoulos with Simon and Schuster. As you probably know Mr. Y is a notorious right-wing troll, who doesn't deserve much in the way of attention which he, like Mr. Trump, seeks and thrives on. The New Yorker has the context of the signing here.
Milos Yiannopoulos, Simon and Schuster.....Really?  What Were You Thinking?

The reaction to the book deal was swift and not positive among other authors and booksellers, as Publishers Weekly reported. The best advice is to ignore it, but that is much easier said than done.
More on Right-Winger Milo Y's Being Published by Simon and Schuster

Pamela Paul is the book editor for the New York Times Book Review. If you have wondered how a book gets chosen to be reviewed and how its "Best Of" are picked, Emily Temple has some answers at LitHub.
What Are The Criteria For Being Reviewed in the NYT Book Review?

Last week we noted the PW announcements for new titles in the coming six months. Here The Millions brings us the Most Anticipated which includes Robert Coover's Huck Out West, Paul Auster's 4 3 2 1 and Jesmyn Ward's Sing, Unburied, Sing.
New Titles in 2017

There are several interesting looking film adaptations arriving this year. Among those coming to the small screen are Lemony Snicket's Series of Unfortunate Events, which will star Neil Patrick Harris, Margaret Atwood's Handmaid's Tale, and Neil Gaiman's American Gods, featuring the wonderful Ian McShane.
Books Coming to the Screen in 2017

This week saw the passing of novelist and art critic John Berger at age 90. His Ways of Seeing was especially helpful for a young SeattleDan when he was trying to figure the world out. He'll be missed.
John Berger Has Moved On to the Next Level

The African-American science fiction writer Octavia Butler passed away some ten years ago now, but her work endures as does her memory. Here Sheila Liming remembers being Ms. Butler's neighbor.
Octavia Butler, Science Fiction Writer, Also No Longer Among Us, Is Remembered by Her Neighbor

So you're attending a literary soiree this weekend? Need some conversation? Check out some of these jokes meant for the well-read at Buzzfeed. Some are better than others, just saying'...
Jokes Only the Well-Read Will Understand

So you're planning to move and you have a literal ton of books to take with you. Emma Nichols just completed a trans-continent move herself and has good advice on how to handle it.
Moving? You Can't Take All Those Books With You, So What Do You Do With Them?

And as I said earlier, we don't have to be nice (although being kind is important) especially when it comes to neo-fascism. Here Judy Collins sings the protest song penned by Malvina Reynolds some fifty years ago. Be strong. Have courage.

May your weekend be blessed with good books and let us know what works are pleasing you now.

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The Book Booth: What Are You Doing On New Year's Eve Edition

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Image: GatesNotes
The Book Booth is a weekly feature at The Political Carnival, relating news, notes, and reflections from the world of books and publishing.  It is written by @SeattleDan and SeattleTammy, operators of an on-line bookstore (which you can find here) , who have been in the book business since shortly after the Creation, or close to 6000 years now.

The Book Booth: What Are You Doing New Years Eve Edition

We are now at year's end, a year that for many of us, really and truly sucked. We live in an age when we can conceive of multiverses, perhaps countless of them. And if true, we somehow ended up in this one, where we have an evil man about to take the reins of power. I'm not sure what we did to deserve this, but as is observed in the movie Unforgiven, maybe deserve has nothing to do with it.

Still there is art and literature, and there is no short supply of good works. Publishers Weekly asked a number of writers, including Colson Whitehead, what their favorite books of the year were and received some interesting picks.
Writers Pick Their Favorite Books of the Year

The PW staff also chose their own best books read during the past year. Some are golden oldies, others are newer. I'm intrigued enough to want to read The ABCs of Socialism, published through the good people at Verso and Jacobin Magazine.
Publishers Weekly Staff's Picks for 2016

Bill Gates weighed in on his favorite books for the past year. He's known to be a voracious reader....but he seems to prefer non-fiction to fiction titles.
What Books Did Bill Gates Read in 2016?

Every year has its share of neglected and overlooked titles and who better to know what those books are but independent booksellers themselves. If you're looking for something a bit different, take a look at some of these.
Independent Booksellers Weigh In on the Best Overlooked Books of 2016

Emily Temple at LitHub has collected some of the year's stories, in case you've been wandering around in a daze for the past couple of months, as many of us have.
LitHub's Favorite Stories of 2016

Have you read everything you wanted to read that was published in 2016? Looking forward to the new books arriving this coming Spring? Publishers Weekly has its top picks for forthcoming books here, conveniently arranged by category.
Publishers Weekly on 2017's Forthcoming Books

If that were not enough, JK Rowling revealed this past week that she is currently on two new books, one by her nom de plume Robert Galbraith, and the other under her own name. Which has led to speculation that Harry Potter may return.
Watch for Two New J.K.Rowling Books in 2017!

Speaking of Harry Potter and books for younger readers, we note the passing of Richard Adams, author of the now classic Watership Down, at age 96.
Richard Adams Has Moved on to the Next Adventure

We've all suspected that reading print makes us both smarter and healthier, and now science confirms. I'm not at all sure it makes you richer in any financial way, as the subtitle of this article indicates; it hasn't for me. But I do feel reassured. H/T to my friend Dwight Johnson for the link.
Does Reading Print Make You Richer?

Finally, here's a project for 2016. Read these 100 essential novels and then scratch the books off this cool chart to reveal another cover for the work. From Pop Chart Lab who has other charts that may amuse you.
A New Year's Resolution Reading Project Chart

Our best wishes for a Happy New Year. 2017 couldn't be worse, could it? And Ella and I wonder what you're doing New Year's Eve? Sip some bubbly and curl up with a good book? Sounds like a good idea to me. Happy New Year, dear reader.

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