Archive for Edgar Allan Poe

The Book Booth: The Uprising Edition

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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: Uprising Edition

It has been a stupefying two weeks and somehow we're still here. It has been encouraging in many ways that we've had protests on two consecutive weekends and resistance is growing. Keep up the good work folks!

George Orwell's 1984 remains on the best seller lists. In fact, the classic has now hit number one for paperback sales.
'1984' now at #1

And Michiko Kakutani argues at the New York Times why this should be. We live in the world now of "alternate facts" and where two plus two equals five.
Michiko Kakutani Tells Us Why

On the other hand, Josephine Livingstone at the New Republic argues differently. She suggest the text we actually should be looking at is Franz Kafka's The Trial.
Kafka for the Trump Era

If one needs some inspiration from the past, Dwyer Murphy has some suggestions at LitHub of memoirs from people as disparate as Huey Newton to Daniel Berrigan and take some heart that others have suffered and rebelled.
Memoirs from Others Who Have Suffered and Rebelled

I'm sure many of us have been fascinated with the BBC updating of Sherlock Holmes. I've also been enjoying the series Ripper Street, that excellent series dealing with crime in late 19th century London, specifically Whitechapel where Jack the Ripper once roamed. Oliver Harris at the Strand Magazine has some suggestions for other mysteries located there for your reading pleasure.
Crime Mysteries Set in London

If Westerns are more to your taste, Andrew Hilleman, author of the recently published novel, World, Chase Me Down, has chosen his top ten neglected titles in the genre. His suggestions include some work that does transcend genre and well worth reading.
Top 10 Westerns to Get to Know

This past Thursday marked the anniversary of both James Joyce's birthday and the publication of his magnum opus, Ulysses. Here Adam Thirwell reviews the new literary history The Most Dangerous Book: The Battle for James Joyces' Ulysses for the New York Review of Books. He details why the book is still scandalous, and subversive.
Scandalous and Subversive Still: Ulysses

And speaking of anniversaries, on January 29th 1845, Edgar Allan Poe's The Raven first saw print. Alison Natasi at Flavorwire has assembled many of the dust jackets that have accompanied the book over many years.
The Raven Covers Through the Years

For those of us who like to see novelistic art transformed into a different medium, check out artist Nicholas Rougeux's poster art of words turned into constellations. Flavorwire has some examples here.
When You Wish Upon a Star: Words Turned Into Constellations

Are you a compulsive book buyer? You certainly wouldn't be alone in your obsession. The Guardian's Lorraine Berry examines the phenomenon here. There are worse things to be OCD about.
You're Walking Along a Street...You See a Book You Just Have to Buy...Why?

We do need to remember that resistance to evil regimes is a necessary historical constant. During World War II, there was a group of young German dissidents, the White Rose, which was ultimately ruthlessly wiped out, but offers us hope that we, too, can make our voices heard. Here is a link to some of their leaflets.
Resistance to Hitler: The White Rose

Keep in mind, reading can be a subversive act, an act of rebellion. So keep at it and let us know what books are inspiring you this weekend. And for a little background music, enjoy Muse's song Uprising. You'll be glad you did.

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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: The History Edition

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Image: BBC


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: The History Edition

In my more Orwellian moments, I become scared that history is being lost, re-written by the Ministry of Truth and myth is replacing reality. Of course one doesn't have to look further than the GOP and the candidates who want to lead this country. Imagine history books as written by Donald Trump or Sarah Palin. I shudder.

Take, for instance, the recent release of a book published by Scholastic that depicts the "servants" of George Washington happily baking the father of our country a birthday cake. The furor has caused the publisher to withdraw the book. H/T to Lucian for the link.
George Washington's Happy Servants (according to Scholastic)

Clare Fallon at HuffPo has the background on the controversy here as well as stories about American slavery for younger readers that are more grounded in reality.
A Real Overview of Slavery

The birthday of Edgar Allan Poe just past this week (he was just about a month older than Lincoln and Darwin). But did you know, (strike up the therermin music) that the master of the macabre and father of the detective story was a time-traveler? HistoryBuff has the proof!
Edgar Allen Poe's Time Machine

I've always suspected that world mythologies and folk tales were in some way related, at least as far as the Indo-Europeans were concerned, but not being a folklorist myself, did not know for sure. It seems that this may be the case and that some old tales are very old, indeed.
Fairy Tale Origins

Back in 1965, the Nobel Prize in Literature went to Soviet writer Mikhail Sholokov. It seems he beat out some tough competition in Vladimir Nabokov, Pablo Neruda and Juan Luis Borges. Nabokov certainly should have won some year, but did not, and Neruda was awarded the prize the year before his death. Still Sholkov's And Quiet Flows the Don did inspire one of the great contemporary folk songs, Pete Seeger's Where Have All the Flowers Gone.
Nobel Prize in Literature for Russian Authors

Although he has never achieved the literary limelight of the likes of Hemingway, Steinbeck or Faulkner, Herman Wouk has produced a number of good novels, including the Caine Mutiny and Winds of War. He has now attained his 100th year and NPR did this profile in his honor.
Herman Wouk Profile by NPR

Sadly, last week we saw the passing of that fine actor, Alan Rickman from cancer at age 69. BookRiot posted this tribute to him in all his roles that were based on book characters. Rickman also wrote the play I Am Rachel Corrie and knew a bit or two about words.
Alan Rickman Has Left Us

This story has been making the rounds on the internets, but in case you have missed it, Ursula LeGuin recently gave the dunderheads holding the park refuge hostage a piece of her mind. And very succinctly. Thanks to old friend Mortaljive for the link.
Bird Refuge Dunderheads Upbraided by Ursula LeGuin

We've been doing some house interior work for our many books, and this little piece on library ladders gives inspiration. Check them out!
Library Ladders for the Home

Have a most pleasant weekend, dear readers, and let us know what books have enthralled you.

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The Book Booth: Halloween Edition

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Smiling Pumpkin image from Bustle

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.

The Book Booth: Halloween Edition

Today is the day. All the ghosts and goblins and witches will invade our neighborhoods, demanding candy and other goodies. The full moon has just passed, adding to the overall eerie night. Be careful opening that door! You don't know what creepiness might await you...and just what is that rapping noise coming from the attic?

Still haven't carved that pumpkin? No worries. The folks at Bustle have you covered with these spooky literary ideas.
Literary Pumpkins

For those of you planning to attend a Halloween party tonight and you're stuck for a costume idea, check out these suggestions that are also from Bustle.
Literary Halloween Costumes

Of course you could go to a Halloween party dressed as one of the GOP candidates, any of which could scare you nearly to death. Clown makeup would be a must. Perhaps not so over the top as Pennywise in the novel It. But you certainly would induce coulrophobia among the other guests. In any event, politicians have always been on the receiving end of many an insult. Here is some of the best insults by authors for their political foes.
Writers Insult Politicians

And if visiting haunted homes is your idea of a great vacation, there are plenty of literary ones to choose from, including Shirley Jackson's and H.P. Lovecraft's. One hope Cthulu doesn't answer the door.
Literary Haunted Houses

Although it would be very cool to visit Middle Earth, one really cannot in the physical sense. But if one could, it sure would be handy to have a map annotated by J.R.R. Tolkien.
J.R.R. Tolkien's Middle Earth Map

So you woke up, got out of bed, dragged a comb across your head, made your way downstairs and had a cup, looked up and noticed you were late...and made the bus in seconds flat...But you forgot your book! No worries! The French have solved that pesky problem. HT to good friend Caleb for the link.
Get Your Short Stories Here!

The Library of America does beautiful reprints from the best in American literature. Christopher Carduff was hand-picked by John Updike to edit Updike's works. Here Carduff chooses the top ten from the authors works for Publishers Weekly. Oddly, he did not mention Couples, which was something of a breakout novel for Updike. But he did pick my favorite, Hub Fans Bid Kid Adieu.
The 10 Best John Updike Books

It is something quite remarkable and good that we currently have a President who loves to read and read fiction. Here is the interview (part 2) that President Obama had with novelist Marilynne Robinson.
Marilynne Robinson Interviews President Obama On His Reading

We note the passing of the much admired novelist Paul West, who has struggled with health issues for some time now. I very much liked his The Very Rich Hours of Count Von Stauffenberg, his richly imagined narrative of the man who attempted to assassinate Hitler. The New York Times has the obituary here.
Paul West Has Left Us at 85

Finally, some book decorating inspirtation. Buzzfeed recently featured these beautiful rooms which prove Virginia Woolf's dictum that books do furnish a room. Enjoy.
How Books Complete Rooms

Have a happy, safe and very spooky Halloween! And by all means let us know what books have given you the chills on these autumn nights.

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