Archive for Caldecott

The Book Booth: Mermaid Avenue Edition

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Image: TLS

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: Mermaid Avenue Edition

When we elect a most unimaginative man to be President of the United States, we can expect he has no use for the arts and humanities. So, along with the expected cuts to the budgets of NPR and PBS, it should not come as any surprise that he'd end funding for the National Endowment of the Arts and the National Endowment of the Humanities. Because, you know, who needs culture? Not real Americans.

Trump's Craziness and Boorishness for All to See

And so begins the resistance to the insanity and the inanity of this man and his minions. It was wonderful to see the Women's marches this past week, not only in DC but throughout the world. It was particularly pleasing that many of the signs and posters featured literary figures, including the late poet Audre Lorde and Virginia Woolf.

Literary Figures for #TheResistance in DC

Tim Keane at Hypeallergic wondered what the French novelist and playwright Jean Genet would have made of the current situation and suggest is very well might be the same as he saw America back in the late sixties and seventies.
What Jean Genet Would Have Thought About the World Today

And what should we be reading in times like these? The Guardian asked nine experts in their fields, including Alain de Botton and Steven Pinker to suggest some essential books in areas such as philosophy, film and economics to help guide us.
Reading to Guide Our Thoughts In the Era of New Craziness

On the anniversary, the 208th to be exact, of the birth of Edgar Allan Poe, this years nominees for the Edgar Awards were announced. There are a lot of names that are new to me and I look forward to checking them out.
Happy Birthday, Edgar!

Those pesky librarians got together again and chose the winners of their annual awards in children's literature, the Newberry and the Caldecott awards, and other prestigious mentions. You can see the full list of winners here.
The Caldecott and Newberry Awards by My Heroes: Librarians!

Just when you'd think that the Mark Twain estate was exhausted, it seems that an unfinished fairy tale that had its origins in a bedtime story he told his daughters has now surfaced. Sometime soon we'll be seeing an illustrated edition of his tale The Purloining of Prince Oleomargarine at you local independent bookstore. And how could it go wrong when your protagonist is named Oleomargarine?
A New, Illustrated Edition of a Mark Twain Children's Story!

The octopus has recently become a source of inspiration for those writing natural history. Several very interesting books have been published over the past few years and there is now a new one, Other Minds, written by Peter Godfrey-Smith, that delves into the mysteries of everyone's favorite cephalopod. Here Godfrey-Smith discusses his book for Works in Progress.
Octopuses's Secrets About to Be Revealed!

I love the BBC reboot of Sherlock Holmes and I devoured the fourth season these past weeks. Sherlock has certainly achieved a resurgence this past decade and it has been fun to watch. But did you ever wonder how Conan Doyle came up with the character's name? Michael Sims at LitHub has some answers to this question and the early background to the stories here.
Sleuthing the Source of a Sleuth's Name

Last week I posted the video to The House I Live In as sung by Paul Robeson. This week I want to share another song about where the American heart truly resides, in its people. So here is the Klezmatic's take on the Woody Guthrie lyric of Mermaid Avenue, from their lovely album Wonder Wheel. Please have a listen.
Mermaid Avenue

Keep fighting. Keep resisting. Keep reading. And let us know what books are inspiring you this weekend.

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The Book Booth: Mockingbird Edition

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Image via: the New York Times

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.

My guess is that many of you have already seen that a "new" Harper Lee novel will be released. The book was apparently written before she began work on To Kill a Mockingbird and involves an adult Scout Finch visiting her father Atticus after the events of Mockingbird. The Gray Lady has the story.  Harper Lee

Of course the news set the twitters aflame with title suggestions, as Salon explains.
Mockingbird Prequel/Sequel

And it set off some controversy. Ms. Lee is now in assisted living and there is some worry that she may have been pressured into publishing this work. I was a bit surprised when the story appeared in the first place. I had the feeling that she had said what she wanted to say in the one book and was content with it. But apparently she is "happy as Hell". And I'm good with it, too, even if it isn't nearly as good as Mockingbird.
Harper Lee is Happy as Hell

Another thing you may have seen this week is the touching letter written by Roald Dahl on the death of his daughter from measles in 1962. Coming on the heels of the new outbreaks of measles in this country and with the boneheads who wont have their children vaccinated, creating a public health menace, well, it gets my blood to boiling.
Roald Dahl's Daughter Died of Measles -

Happier news came from the recent conference of the American Library Association where it was announced that Kwame Alexander won the Newberry Award for his children's novel The Crossover and Dan Santat won the Caldecott for his book The Adventures of Beekle. Publishers Weekly has the story here.

Let us admit it. Even at our advanced ages, we love kids picture books. NPR recently featured some newer titles that look wonderful.  Kids Books for Adults

The news from Hollywood is that James Franco, English student extraordinaire and actor, is set to star in an adaptation of John Steinbeck's 1936 novel, In Dubious Battle. Franco has appeared in other literary adaptations, including a recent film of William Faulkner's As I Lay Dying. The LA Times has the scoop here.
James Franco

I have been blitzing through that very fine HBO series Boardwalk Empire and in reading the credits (yes, I read the credits), I noticed that Dennis Lehane, author of Mystic River and Shutter Island, among other great books, wrote for the show as well as served as "Creative Producer". Apparently this development is not unusual in Hollywood these days.
Novelists as Screenwriters and Producers

The Daily Telegraph posted this rather interesting and chronological look at fifty cult novels. And To Kill a Mockingbird is on the list!
Fifty Cult Novels

Finally, for anyone worried about what to read next, Publishers Weekly provides you some previews of books to be in stores this spring, including new works from Toni Morrison, Kazuo Ishiguro, Nick Hornby and Thomas McGuane, to name a few.
Spring Book Preview

Happy reading for us all this weekend and be sure to let us know what you've just pulled off the shelf.

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