Archive for books – Page 2

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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The Book Booth: Happy Merry Christmas Edition

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Image: Cedmagic

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: Happy Merry Christmas

I've done this post every year since the time SeattleTammy and I did book reviews for Jesus' General and for here at The Political Carnival. I've emphasized the importance of what Dickens warns us about all that time, but it seems this year, more than ever, we need to remember. Merry Christmas, Happy Hanukkah, Good Kwanzaa to all and let us make merry in spite of everything.

"'Forgive me if I am not justified in what I ask,' said Scrooge, looking intently at the Spirit's robe,' but I see something strange, and not belonging to yourself, protruding from your skirts. Is it a foot or a claw.'

'It might be a claw, for the flesh there is upon it,' was the Spirit's sorrowful reply. 'Look here.'

From the foldings of its robe, it brought two children; wretched, abject, frightful, hideous, miserable. They knelt down at its feet, and clung upon the outside of its garment.

'Oh, Man. look here. Look, look, down here.' exclaimed the Ghost.

They were a boy and a girl. Yellow, meagre, ragged, scowling, wolfish; but prostrate, too, in their humility. Where graceful youth should have filled their features out, and touched them with its freshest tints, a stale and shrivelled hand, like that of age, had pinched, and twisted them, and pulled them into shreds. Where angels might have sat enthroned, devils lurked, and glared out menacing. No change, no degradation, no perversion of humanity, in any grade, through all the mysteries of wonderful creation, has monsters half so horrible and dread.

Scrooge started back, appalled. Having them shown to him in this way, he tried to say they were fine children, but the words choked themselves, rather than be parties to a lie of such enormous magnitude.

'Spirit. are they yours.' Scrooge could say no more.

'They are Man's,' said the Spirit, looking down upon them. 'And they cling to me, appealing from their fathers. This boy is Ignorance. This girl is Want. Beware them both, and all of their degree, but most of all beware this boy, for on his brow I see that written which is Doom, unless the writing be erased. Deny it.' cried the Spirit, stretching out its hand towards the city. 'Slander those who tell it ye. Admit it for your factious purposes, and make it worse. And abide the end.'

'Have they no refuge or resource.' cried Scrooge.

'Are there no prisons.' said the Spirit, turning on him for the last time with his own words. 'Are there no workhouses.'" - A Christmas Carol, Stave 3: The Second of the Three Spirits

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The Book Booth: And Winter Came Edition

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Image: FSG

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: And Winter Came Edition

Winter begins later next week, but the signs are everywhere. Here in our little town, the temperatures go from a high of 39F to lows below freezing. We had a dusting of snow last week, but nothing that lasts. One hopes the snow packs this year will be big for all those places that have been plagued by drought.

The Nobel Ceremonies took place last week and, as expected, Bob Dylan did not attend. He did send a speech that was delivered by the American Ambassador to Sweden, Azita Raji. Here is the text and it is probably the most humble thing I've ever seen from the man.
Bob Dylan's Nobel Prize Speech

Patti Smith performed the entirely appropriate Dylan song A Hard Rain is Gonna Fall, backed by the Royal Stockholm Philharmonic, in what the New Yorker called a transcendent presentation. You can watch it here, and I urge you to do so. It is quite moving.
Patti Smith Accepts Bob Dylan's Nobel Prize

Ms. Smith describes the whole experience for the New Yorker here and how emotional it was for her.
Patti Smith on Singing At Bob Dylan's Nobel Prize Ceremony

In a week where I've encountered so much lack of empathy and the failure of some imaginations, it is good and wise to be reminded of the role literature can play in allowing us to engage our better natures in thinking of others. Amanda Michalopoulou explores literature and empathy here for the Guardian.
Literature and Empathy

The surge recently of hate crimes and hate speech is certainly one facet of that failure of imagination and it affects us readers and book lovers. Libraries have not been spared this scourge and I fear we will see more of this behavior as the next administration takes over. The New York Times has the details.
Libraries and Hate Crimes

On a cheerier note, Brian Seibert has a new non-fiction work out entitled What the Eye Hears: A History of Tap Dancing. He discusses the book and provides many video examples here for Works in Progress.
Tap Dancing

If winter traveling is on your schedule, you might want to check out these bookstore locations. Seven writers, including Ta-Nehisi Coates and Geraldine Brooks, describe their favorite emporiums here for the New York Times, places ranging from Nigeria to Tasmania.
Traveling? Great Bookstores Wherever You're Going

Winter does approach quickly. Time to find your hot drink, a good book, and perhaps listen to Enya's tune, As Winter Came. And please do let us know what books you are enjoying this holiday season. A good one for us all.

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