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: May Day Edition
Aside from the spring May pole dances and celebrations, May the first also is the International Workers Day. Though here in the US we honor working people in September (because, surely, we cannot do so on the day that the rest of the world, filled with socialists as it is, does so), the date was chosen to remember the working people who demonstrated at the Hay Market in Chicago so long ago. So Happy May Day all!
With that in mind, the Nation magazine recently suggested five books on African-American history, which includes the contributions of slaves as well as the sharecroppers who helped build our nation, albeit in bondage. The book Hammer and Hoe looks particularly interesting.
As we head on into May, I have a few more April items to serve up. April is, as mentioned before, National Poetry Month and the folks at Mental Floss have a piece on the US Poet Laureate, which may clear things up for anyone confused on the matter. Including the fact that the Laureate is not paid by tax dollars, in case right-wing loons start to spout off.
The US Poet Laureate
April is also the birth and death month of the Bard of Avon, which I've probably be-labored the past few weeks. In any event, Shakespeare's work surely will outlast us all. Stephen Greenblatt had a nice appreciation of his legacy here at the New York Review of Books.
Still More on the Bard (Who Is Always Interesting)
And Literary Hub has links to other articles about Big Bill, including a discussion on Hamlet as a sexless bro and a feature on his second-best bed, which he bequeathed to his wife, Ann Hathaway.
The Bard's Possessions
If you are feeling tired this weekend, but feel guilty about not catching up on your reading of the classics, Lucian found these abridgments you might want to peruse.
Why Read the Classics When You Can Read these Super Short Synopses?
Then, again, some of us prefer to watch our books on film or on TV. So good news for those who'd rather see than read Neil Gaiman's Good Omens! He is adapting it for a TV series.
Neil Gaiman's Got Those Good Omens!
Robots and other automata have been staples of Science-Fiction for a long time. In a fascinating article at Literary Hub (again), the origin of these things is explored. I hadn't realized that even Edgar Allan Poe had been intrigued by the Turk Chess Player, going back to 1836 and before.
Science Fiction, Double Feature
The Hugo Awards are coming back and with them, our friends, the sad puppies, who once again have managed to load the nominations with their own special favorites. Because, you know, Lefty sci-fi is for wusses.
It's Hugo Awards Time Again
(and that means Hugo Awards Ideological Strife Again!)
I mentioned last week that novelist Don DeLillo has a new novel coming out, Zero K, which explores many of his previous themes, often of the pre-Apocalyptic type. Tony Tulathimutte discusses them here for the New Republic.
Don DeLillo's Themes
This is kind of fun. The folks at The Daily Telegraph picked fifty cult novels and grouped them by decade here. Many will be familiar, others long and happily forgotten.
Finally, please note that Saturday is Indie Bookshop Day. Please help to keep your local independent store alive and thriving and go find a book to purchase from them. And let us know what that book is!