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The Book Booth: Black Friday Edition

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Image: Washington Post


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: Black Friday Edition

Here's hoping you all enjoyed your Thanksgiving holiday, and that you survived the Black Friday sales at your local shopping mall. What I actually hope is that you skipped Black Friday all together and are enjoying some holiday shopping at your locally owned business. It is, after all, Small Business Saturday today.

Of some interest this past week, we find that since the terrorist attacks in France two weeks ago, the sales of Ernest Hemingway's A Moveable Feast have sky-rocketed, especially in its French translation. Which makes some sense inasmuch as it is a late life love letter to the fabled city.
Hemingway's Paris - A Moveable Feast - Sales Soar

From our end of the year lists Department comes this from BookRiot. These are the best literary Ted Talks from 2015. I enjoy a good Ted Talk when I find one and these are pretty darn good.
Literary Ted Talks

But nothing beats the Muppets when it comes to literature.
Sesame Street's Best Literary Moments

As NPR points out, it has been an event-filled year for Ta-Nehisi Coates, winner of the non-fiction award last week from the National Book Foundation. Here is an illuminating interview with him about his life and work.
Ta-Nehisi Coates Interview

Unless one is writing out-and-out pornography, sex is one of the more difficult topics to write well about in fiction. Noy Holland, whose most recent novel is titled Bird, discusses sex in fiction.
Sex in Fiction

From time to time here, I've pointed out recent discoveries of famous author's lost works. Some belong lost. Others remain of some interest. Well, it seems that a lost play by William Faulkner has been found. It is a comedy called Twixt Cup and Lip and was written soon after the Great War. The Washington Post has the story.
A Newly-Discovered Play by William Faulkner

Book dedications are usually mundane salutes to wives, moms, dads, best friends. But some are a bit more. Distractify has come up with some pretty lively ones here. I especially like the one made to Colin Firth. And thanks to our friend Caleb for sharing the link.
Badass Book Dedications

And when the next Black Friday comes, what will you do? Steely Dan has it covered for you here
Steely Dan

Enjoy the rest of your holiday weekend. Please do support your local businesses today. And do let us know what book has you in its thralls.

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The Book Booth: Happy Thanksgiving Edition

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Image: Buzzfeed


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: Happy Thanksgiving Edition

Yes, the holiday season is now fast approaching, with Thanksgiving less than one week away. Somehow I threw my back out last week and with it, suffered some pain. But I am grateful I have a back! And I am grateful for a good many other things, most of which I'm sure I share with you. Enjoy some good eating next week, along with some good books.

And if you're searching for good reading, well, you might check out the winners from this years National Book Awards. NPR has them listed here.  In this day and age, everything that can be streamed on the internet, is streamed on the internet and the National Book Foundation has some cool videos about the books, both nominated and winners, here.

It is also that time of year when many publications pick their top books for the year. The Washington Post listed their top ten here, along with 100 additional titles from various genres. Looks like an exhaustive list!
Washington Post's Top 10

If you need answers as to what you want as a gift, or to give as a gift, this holiday season, Buzzfeed has some great ideas for book accessories, all guaranteed to enhance either your home or your reading experience. And who knows, maybe even your sex life.
BuzzFeed's Book Accessories

For the cinema lover who loves reading about that medium, check out film critic David Thomson's new book, How to Watch a Movie. KPPC offers this interesting interview with the author.
Interview with David Thompson

The off-kilter, difficult to categorize, and genre-bending books are a particular favorite of mine. Last week Lincoln Michel, author of the new novel Upright Beasts, chose ten of his favorite novels for Publishers Weekly and the list has some surprises.
Lincoln Michel's Favorite Novels

In the non-fiction realm, my old friend from our days at Jesus' General, Randolph Fritz, recently reviewed a new work by Adam Benfarado, entitled The New Science of Criminal Injustice. You can check it out at his blog here.

Oxford Dictionaries announced the word of the year and I suppose it wouldn't be a surprise that emoji is that word. But I kind of like lumbersexual, now that I sport suspenders as a part of my attire.
'Emoji' is the Word of the Year

But not everyone is happy with Oxford Dictionaries choice.
'What? 'Emoji' is the Word of the Year???

Quiz time! Our own Lucian found this fun one at the Christian Science Monitor and challenges your knowledge of the detective novel. I did better than average, but I did miss a few.
Literary Detectives - Who Solved that Crime?

Finally, how do you stack up against other readers? Buzzfeed has the answers (and questions) for you here.
What Sort of Reader or You? Hardcover or Paperback?

Have a wonderful Thanksgiving holiday, filled with the good things we all deserve. And by all means, please let us know what books you are cherishing. We'd like to know.

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The Book Booth: An Odds and Ends Edition

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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: An Odds and Ends Edition

It is certainly Autumn here in our little town. Storms moving in from the Pacific, as they will in November, with plenty of wind and rain to keep us entertained during the day. And excellent weather to sit down and enjoy some good books.

I can't say that I'm the biggest American Football fan around, but I follow it a little bit. So it was pleasant for me to learn that Andrew Luck, quarterback for the Indianapolis Colts, is not only a reader, he reads good books and recommends them to his teammates. It's like their locker room is an extended book club.
The Andrew Luck Book Club

November is Native American Heritage Month and the staff at the Indian Country Today Media Network discusses some worthwhile books here. H/T to Seattle Tammy for finding this interesting link.
Native American Heritage Month Reading

I've mentioned recently that Patti Smith has a new volume in her memoirs, M Train, published this Fall. But she is not the only rock 'n' roller to have written a memoir. Among other pop stars with books out are Chrissie Hynde, Grace Jones, John Fogerty and Elvis Costello. Here are some brief descriptions of those autobiographies and they all look intriguing.
Pop Star Autobiographies

In the realm of literature, Vladimir Nabokov's biographer, Brian Boyd, recently helped edit the recently published Letters to Vera, a collection of the letters Nabokov wrote to his wife over a fifty year period. Here Boyd ranks his top ten Nabokov novels and I pretty much agree with his list. I'm not sure Pale Fire is "better" than Ulysses, but it is certainly one the greatest novels of the twentieth century.
Nabokov: Letters to Vera

I don't think Paul Theroux's The Mosquito Coast quite ranks up there with Nabokov or Joyce, but I liked the novel immensely when I read it many years ago. Theroux is still writing, with his latest work Deep South having been recently published. The New York Times Book Review caught up with him recently and offers this interview with the author.
The New York Times Interviews Paul Theroux

Calling Bill O'Reilly a historian is an insult to anyone who has taken up history as a profession. So it is much fun for me to see his right-wing colleagues take him to task, as George Will recently did over O'Reilly's opus Killing Reagan.
George Will on Bill O'Reilly's Killing Reagan

Pretty much confirming what most of us have thought since the Pinochet coup in 1973, the Chilean government now says that the poet Pablo Neruda was probably murdered by the army there and did not die conveniently from cancer as had been reported.
Pablo Neruda's Death - by Cancer or Assassination Squad?

Yes! Authors do shop at their local independent bookstores. Mental Floss featured 21 writers who talked about their favorite places here. H/T to Lucian for finding the link.
Writers' Favorite Independent Bookstores

I'm really terrible at memorizing phone numbers. I still have to look up the last four digits of my landline. Of course, I rarely call myself. But home addresses? Really? Here's a quiz to see if you know some of these literary addresses. I actually knew a couple of them.
Do You Know These Literary Addresses?

I've never commuted to work by subway, but I have ridden the bus for many years to and from work. I always got a lot of reading done that way. One time in Seattle, while riding home, I overheard two young women discussing characters from Djuna Barnes' novel Nightwood and remember thinking to myself, only in Seattle. Bustle offers some advice here on how to judge our fellow commuters from what they are reading.
Wondering Who Your Fellow Travelers Are? Check Out What They Read.

Have a pleasant weekend with many books, and with warm drinks to keep you cozy. And please do share with us what books you are enjoying!

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The Book Booth: Autumn Leaves Edition

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Image: Brain Pickings

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: Autumn LeavesEdition

Oh, the leaves are turning and falling. The colors around here are so vibrant and beautiful. And I read an article this week that tells us that we should not be raking those leaves! No! Unraked leaves provide an eco-system for the insect world that benefits both them and ourselves. Do the world a favor and do not rake the leaves!

Amazon.com this week opened up its first brick and mortar store in the University Village shopping mall in Seattle. The mall itself is close to the University of Washington campus, and the neighborhood is up-scale. (I think most Seattle neighborhoods are up-scale now). Once upon a time the mall featured a quaint independent book store and a wonderful independent record store. Ah, fond memories! In any event, as the writer from Forbes points out, this Amazon outlet is not really about selling books. It is about collecting data.
Amazon Wants To Know Even More About You!

Former bookseller Dustin Kurtz, writing for the New Republic, was equally unimpressed with the store. In fairness, he found the staff to be very good and it is a good thing that the staff are paid well, at least by industry standards. But the store resembles the front page of Amazon website and the selection is limited.
Amazon's Brick-and-Mortar Store Reviewed

We are beginning to approach that time of year. You know. The holiday season. And most retailers are gearing up. I know, I know. We haven't had Veterans Day yet, much less Thanksgiving. Nevertheless, most of the publishers have released all their major titles for the year, as buzz and promotion on book titles gets lost after Halloween. And thusly, Publishers Weekly has announced what it considers to be the best titles for the year here. It is designed by subject and offers one the opportunity to purchase books from independent booksellers.
Publishers Weekly Wants You to See the Titles You Might Miss in the Hubbub of the Christmas Rush

A more interesting list comes from Patti Smith, whose new memoir M Train was recently released. Here she chose her fifty favorite books for Brain Pickings and the titles are ambitious.
What Books Does Patti Smith Read?

If you have not had the chance to see Ridley Scott's adaptation of Andrew Weir's The Martian, do yourself a favor and go see the movie. Until then, take a look at Weir's interview with the Daily Beast. He loved the film and dismissed the scientific errors as fairly trivial, considering that the story is a drama and not a science project.
The Man Behind 'The Martian' 

I keep thinking I should do more with the Twitter. I look at it briefly every day, and I get too easily distracted to keep up with it. But there are some fun things to read there and Buzzfeed found some of the better grammar nazi tweets, which are pretty funny.
Twitter and Grammar Nazis

I have to admit that when I enter a home or apartment I haven't been to before, I do check out, almost immediately, the bookshelves. But as the folks at Bustle point out, it's not just the titles one should look at; look at the shelves themselves. And what do they say about you? I am somewhere between alphabetical and cluttered and full.
What Do Your Bookshelves Say About You? 

Do take a book down from the shelves this weekend and treat yourself to a good read. And please do let us know how you're liking the book you choose! Have a most splendid Autumn weekend.

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