Archive for comics

The Book Booth: Memorial Day 2016 Edition



Image: Mental Floss

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: Memorial Day 2016 Edition

The long weekend is here, and if you only looked at grocery store flyers, you'd think that one should devote it to grilling. But Memorial Day is more than the unofficial beginning of summer. I hope we all take a little time to remember those who sacrificed all they ever had or would have in service to our country.

Enough preaching. It is still political season and the Donald has now clinched enough delegates to be the GOP nominee this coming fall. But as you might suspect, most of the writers we know and love oppose his candidacy and have signed this open letter to America about that.
Open Letter from Writers Opposed to Trump Presidency

I think a great many writers these days compose their works on their computers. But, kids, there was a day when writers didn't have computers and if they didn't compose in long-hand, they used typewriters. MentalFloss relates which typewriter brands were popular among the authors of yesteryear.
Typewriters Authors Loved

Writers are good at excuses for any number of quirks and problems, like, say for procrastination and not facing the tyranny of the blank page. From Bustle, here are 14 things writers tell themselves and their friends.
Writers' Excuses for Procrastination

I don't know if it is procrastination, or laziness, or what that keeps George R.R. Martin from delivering his next installment of Game of Thrones. But if you are one of those who still eagerly anticipating its publication, the folks at Vox have recommendations of other authors you might want to check out in the meantime.
No New Game of Thrones?  Don't Panic! Here's Who You Can Read Until It Arrives! 

Philip Pullman, who is best known as the author of the His Dark Materials trilogy, relates to the Guardian how he was inspired by comic books and most notably, American comic books. Maybe he should share some with Mr. Martin.
Philip Pullman: Why I Love Comics

It is hard to know where some writers do get their inspiration from. Herman Melville's Moby Dick is one such work. The book was dedicated to Nathaniel Hawthorne with whom Melville had something of a bromance. But Michael Shelden, whose book Melville in Love will be published in June, suggests that it may have been an affair with a young woman of his acquaintance that had more to do with that novel.
An Illicit Romance Inspired Moby Dick?

For those of us who enjoy the literary short story, the 2016 selections for the O. Henry Awards will be published by Anchor Books in September. In the meantime, LiteraryHub has listed those works here.
O.Henry Award Selections

It is interesting what can be discovered with urban renewal. Recently in Rome, the headquarters of the Praetorian Guard, the Emperor's own small army, was dug up. And in London, the Curtain theater where some of the early plays of William Shakespeare has been unearthed. And from the internal evidence of the plays, it could mean that some of those plays prologues were added after their initial performances.
Unearthing Shakespeare

It is the long weekend before summer, and one would hope that there will be plenty of time for reading. But what of those days and weeks where we don't have that extra day? The Reading Room suggests five ways to expand your leisure reading time.
How You Can Find More Time To Read

Please have a safe and good weekend. And let us know what books are inspiring you!


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.


The Book Booth: All Souls Day 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.

Here's hoping everyone survived Halloween. Today is the Day of the Dead, celebrated in many Latin American countries and tomorrow is All Souls Day. And a good time to remember those who have left us.

I'm guessing all your pumpkins have already been carved and you may be thinking of taking them to compost bin. But you might want to save this link for next year, as Buzzfeed has some great literary ideas for the orange gourds. Pumpkins

Even with Halloween over for this year, one might still be in the mood for some scary stories. Emily Temple at Flavorwire listed her favorite fifty short stories which seems exhaustive. Short Stories

And if that isn't enough, ElectricLit has its own list of macabre stories to chill your blood.  Macabre Stories

Our own Lucian has alerted me that as a special Halloween treat, J.K. Rowling has posted a new Harry Potter story online. Buzzfeed has the scoop.  Dolores Umbridge

Speaking of things fantastic, J.R.R. Tolkien has long been the subject of adulation among his legion of fans. Recently MentalFloss reposted an article from 2010 in which it is suggested that you may not know all you think you know about the man.  Who Was JRR Tolkien?

I have long been a big fan of Malcolm Lowry's Under the Volcano, memorably filmed by John Huston. So it is exciting news that a draft of a novel that Lowry had worked on before Volcano and long thought lost, is now to be published. The BBC has the story of Ballast to the White Sea here: Ballast

To be quite honest, I never was a huge Archie Andrews fan. I was much more into the DC superheroes. But times change and so has the crew from Riverdale High School. The comics have become edgy.  Archie Has Changed

It is now that time of year when we will begin to see the Best of 2014 lists. Lists of this kind, even with two months to go in the year, aren't unusual. Publishers, for the most part, have released all the books they want to see sold during the holidays. There just isn't much that gets published in November and December. So here is Publishers Weekly Best of 2014 in books.

In the on-going controversy between publishers and Amazon, Matt Yglesias recently weighed in, wondering if publishers are actually needed. Evan Hughes takes Yglesias to task here in the New Republic. Lord only knows what Yglesias is thinking. Via old pal, George Carroll.  Matt Yglesias Has It Wrong

Finally we note the passing of poet Galway Kinnell at age 87. He wrote many a beautiful line and was an inspiration to me in my youth. The New York Times has the obit here.  Galway Kinnell

Have a wonderful weekend, and, as always, let us know what books are keeping you up late at night.


Video Mid Day Distraction- Batgirl's equal pay for women PSA (1972)


Geez, 1972 and we're still not there. Via Boing Boing.