Archive for bruce springsteen

The Book Booth: And Time a Thief Edition


Image: Bored Panda

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 Time a Thief Edition

The days are getting shorter here in our town. It seems that it wasn't so long ago that the sun was setting at nine and is setting closer and closer to six. And when daylight savings ends and we approach the solstice, it will be setting much closer to four thirty. Blink on those days and you'll miss the daylight.

As you know from walking down the aisle of any major store, Halloween is approaching, and has been for months. One of the spookiest of American writers was Shirley Jackson, best known for her novel The Haunting of Hill House and her short story The Lottery. She is the subject of an new biography by Ruth Franklin, Shirley Jackson: A Rather Haunted Life and Ms. Franklin tells Publishers Weekly about eleven things you may not know about Jackson here.

Jackson's story The Lottery, long a set piece for anthologies and Selected Shorts, is now the subject of a new graphic novel adaptation by Miles Hyman. You can see an excerpt from the new work at LitHub here.

Ah, what to read this weekend, the perpetual question. Well, Kyle Lucia Wu has some suggestions for short novels, including authors like Julian Barnes and the late Roberto Bolano here for Read it Forward.

Bruce Springsteen's memoir Born to Run has now been published. And author Richard Ford reviewed it for the New York Times Book Review. He liked it. Has it really been 43 years now since Greetings from Asbury Park been released? I guess it has.
Richard Ford Reviews The Boss's Born to Run

Lucian has found a couple of fun links. First if you happen to be traveling and staying in hostels, and you find yourself in Tokyo, definitely make it over to Book and Bed where you can fall asleep amid a library of 3000 books. And you'll have a night light. Cheap at $34 per night!
A Literary Bed On Which to Lay Your Head in Tokyo

Unfortunately I don't think you can make a reservation to stay the night at Hemmelig Rom, a secluded library in upstate New York. But you can see how lovely it is from these photographs at Bored Panda.
A Library of Your Own (Where Virginia Woolf Would Have Felt at Home)

I've probably mentioned it before, but my favorite play by William Shakespeare is The Tempest. It is one of the last plays he wrote, at his full maturity with some of the best poetry he wrote. Now Margaret Atwood has written a novel based on the play, Hag-Seed, set in Canada in the year 2013. She writes about the work here for the Guardian, and I'm looking forward to reading her adaptation.
The Tempest as a Novel by Margaret Atwood

Being an inmate in a Texas prison is a harsh life. And it is not made any easier by the powers that be when it comes to providing reading to those prisoners. The method of banning some books is, at best, capricious. The latest to be banned is a non-fiction work, Wolf-Boys by Dan Slater, which chronicles the story of two boys smuggled into America by the cartels. A grim story, yes. However a prisoner can always read Mein Kampf or some work by David Duke. Again, from the Guardian.
Books Banned Behind Bars

May your weekend reading be a bit more gratifying than that experienced in Texan prison cells. And please let us know what books you are appreciating. I'll leave you with Mary Martin and Kenny Baker singing Speak Low from the show One Touch of Venus, music by Kurt Weill and lyric by Ogden Nash. Please enjoy.


The Book Booth: Thanksgiving Edition



Image via (article on Thanksgiving children's books)

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.

It's still a few days away, but it is coming up! Thanksgiving always means good eating, and a long weekend of not going to Black Friday sales or Walmart, but catching up on some good reading. And many thanks to Lucian for covering for me last week when I was suffering from my first cold in a very long time.

Nor where was I? Oh, yeah, there were a few things going on. It seems that Amazon and publisher Hachette have buried the hatchet. I've always been a sucker for a happy ending. PC has the story.  Amazon Hatchette Happy Ending

But not all Amazon endings are happy. Over in Seattle, things are changing rapidly and if you're young and single, not necessarily for the better. Tricia Romano has a few complaints over at Salon.
Seattle for Singles
(H/T to old friend George Carroll for finding this one.)

The National Book Awards were announced during the week, including a lifetime award presented to Ursula LeGuin. Who had a few unkind words for Amazon monolith.  LeGuin

Speaking of Seattle, during the years we lived there, we often rode the public buses, which were more convenient than trying to find parking places when going to work. (My work subsidized my bus pass, and thank you to Seattle University for that?. One of the pleasures in bus riding was being able to get some reading done, not the least of which were the poems placed in the ad areas. Seattle Metro discontinued the practice a while back, but happy to say, poetry has returned!  Seattle

Bruce Springsteen had recently published a childrens book, Outlaw Pete. Well, the Boss appeared not too long ago on The Daily Show to talk about the book and he and Jon Stewart seemed to have a good time.  The Boss and Jon Stewart

If you've been worried about Bryan Cranston's career since the concluding episodes of Breaking Bad, not to worry. He,too, has leaped into the field of Childrens books with a narration of Adam Mansbach's new "kids" book, You Have to F**king Eat.  Eat!

Springsteen and Cranston are not the only celebrities delving into literature of late. Tom Hanks recently published a short story in the New Yorker and has a contract now for a collection of short stories. And there are many more published actors than Mr. Hanks. Word and Film presented some of them here.
Tom Hanks's Short Story

Both SeattleTammy and I are looking forward to seeing Interstellar on the big screen. We would have, in fact, but my cold intervened. For those of you who loved the film, the good news is that the writer of the film, Jonathan Nolan is now developing Isaac Asimov's Foundation Trilogy for HBO.

For all you Lord of the Rings nerds, here is a great quiz from MentalFloss where you have to name the top fifty characters by the number of mentions in the trilogy. I sent this one to my close friend John Miller who knows most a great deal about Tolkien and he scored 46. I didn't even try. Who's Who in Tolkien?

With some sadness I will note the passing of LA Times film critic and author Charles Champlin. While he wasn't perhaps in the league with Pauline Kael or Andrew Sarris, his passion for the cinema was always evident and I enjoyed reading him during my LA years. Charles Champlin Has Moved On

Finally on a more upbeat note, David Rosenberg at Slate has this great article on the photographs by Brian David Griffith's on the many great independent bookstores across this nation. The photos give us hope that the death of Indies is exaggerated, and for that, I am thankful.
Independent Bookstores Still With Us

Have a wonderful Thanksgiving good people and please let us know what books you've got going this weekend.


The Book Booth: The Holidays are Looming Edition



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.

There is no escaping it. The Holidays are approaching at apparently an alarming rate. This past Monday I had a doctor's appointment and Christmas music was piped in through the office. Believe me there is nothing like having your prostate examined while Santa Claus is Coming to Town is playing the background.

On a cheerier note, The New York Times Book Review recently asked the novelists Thomas Mallon and James Parker what influenced them most, other than other books. Both gave interesting answers. Mallon loves photographs while Parker likes, it seems, drummers. H/T to Lucian for the link.
What Influences Your Writing?

Other artists who are not known for their book writing can be influenced by books, of course. Bruce Springsteen, who has just had a childrens book published called Outlaw Pete, talked to the New York Times about his reading habits. Not too bad for a self-educated man. The Boss's Reading Habits

And if you'd like to know what the Boss' favorite books are, he gave the list to Brain Pickings. Thumbs up to the Richard Ford novels! What Does the Boss Read?

The late David Foster Wallace was one of the great novelists of recent years. He also taught at the University level and taking one of his classes must have been intense, judging from the syllabus that Salon provides here.  Syllabus.

In need of some inspiration? Look no further than these motivational posters captioned by the one and only Dorothy Parker.  Motivational Posters

End of the year lists continue to pour in. This week Publishers Weekly listed its favorite comic/graphic novel list. It is always "pleasant' to see Roz Chast on any list.  Comic/Graphic Novels

I guess in some ways that lists that are the best of can be sort of an exercise in futility. If asked what my favorite or the best Bob Dylan album is, I can't really tell you. In a way, it is like picking a favorite child. But lists do stir discussion and there certainly isn't any harm in them. Bearing that in mind, here is a recent list of the best Mark Twain books as compiled by Harry Katz, author of MarkTwain's America.  Best Mark Twain Books

Planning a trip to Southern California? Sure there are the usual suspects to visit. But why not seek out the literary? While not exactly a map to the home of the stars, Carolyn Kellogg at the LA Times offered up a sort of map for some of the famous and now departed writers final resting places.  Writers in LA: Final Resting Places.

They say that first paragraphs will make or break a book and help the reader decide if they wish to continue reading. Publishers Weekly presented some great first pages here. Read through them, see if you don't get sucked in.
Great First Paragraphs

Finally, believe me, I know what a tough and hard this past week was. It would be easy to become overly depressed and/or cynical. But we always have our books! And Buzzfeed reminds us what a pleasure and source of solace they can be.
Books as a Source of Solace

Have a great weekend gentlepeople, and let us know what books are getting you through the days ahead.


VIDEO- "Gov. Christie Traffic Jam" as sung by Bruce Springsteen & Jimmy Fallon


jimmy fallon bruce springsteen

Via Late Night with Jimmy Fallon, we get a splendid song parody about the Chris Christie traffic jam mess:

Bruce Springsteen & Bruce Springsteen rework "Born To Run" to address the Fort Lee, NJ bridge scandal. Bruce's new album "High Hopes" is available on iTunes now:

This song parody is making the rounds, and for good reason:

chris christie New Yorker cover bridge