Archive for bruce springsteen

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


Video- Bruce Springsteen: Santa Claus Is Coming To Town


Looks like it's going to be a "Mid Day Distraction" kind of day.