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The Book Booth: October Chill Edition

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From: Boing Boing

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: October Chill Edition

Fall is in full stride in our little town. The trees are shedding their vibrantly colored leaves, we have the occasional rainfall and in the evenings, there is a chill in the air. Our furnace is once again engaged in the nighttime. And Halloween is right around the corner.

So if you are in the mood for eerie reading, Flavorwire recently offered up the most creepy settings in horror fiction, including titles from both the modern novels and the classics. I might have added Wuthering Heights, but that could just be me.
You Want Creepy?  Here It Is!

Edgar Allan Poe was the 19th century master of the macabre. Here from MentalFloss are nine celebrities performing The Raven for your edification. Be warned. There is a reading by Shatner...
Quoth the Raven

If you'd rather indulge in science fiction and fantasy, author Ann Leckie, whose new novel, Ancillary Mercy, has just been released, picked her favorite novels for Publishers Weekly. She makes some interesting choices and her number one pick is Frankenstein.
The 10 Best Science Fiction Books

Ever see the graphics of a book cover, well, move? Check this out. Henning M. Lederer animated the illustrations for over fifty books and the results are pretty stunning. The ambient music is also fun.
Retro Book Covers Animated !

I've just been introduced to the ElectricLiterature site and it is pretty cool. If you haven't read it before, I think you'll enjoy. Especially the retelling of the Odyssey by Jeff Bender. Good stuff.
Electric Literature!

If it hadn't been before, the graphic book is now approved by academia! In fact Nick Sousanis was recently awarded his doctorate for his dissertation Unflattering and had it published by the Harvard University Press.
Graphic Book Makes It To The Harvard University Press

The author tour and bookstore readings have been a staple in the publishing industry for a long time. But things have changed and nowadays, they are not as routine anymore. Author Noah Charney, who recently completed a tour of his own, explains why at the Atlantic Magazine.
Author Tours and Bookstore Readings a Thing of the Past? 

Once upon a time...ah, the opening line. There are many great ones, ones burned into our collective memories. The Telegraph featured thirty of them recently here. There are a few that I would have added, but no matter. These are good.
The Opening Line (30 Great Ones!)

Finally, to lighten the mood, Buzzfeed had some jokes that all book lovers will understand right away. Enjoy.
Book Jokes

Please indulge yourself in a warm drink to take off the chill. Get comfortable and enjoy a good book this weekend. And please let us know what books that have you enthralled.

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The Book Booth: May Days Edition

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Image: Mystery Writers of America:

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: May Days Edition

May has arrived and I'd like to say Happy belated May Day to you all. I've always thought we should make a bigger deal of the day here in the United States, but sometime ago, the Congress, in its wisdom, created Labor Day to be celebrated in September, so American workers wouldn't share the same day as the rest of the world. Because socialism, or something. Anyway.

This years Edgar Awards this week with no controversy to speak of. Stephen King was honored for Best Novel. The other winners and nominees can be found here.

Stephen King has created some very scary and mean villains in his career. Word and Film recently listed eight of the most evil, and for those of you who have read the books or seen the movie adaptations will be familiar with those characters listed. Randall Flagg would certainly top my list. Here are some of the others.
Literary Villains

One of our best mystery writers, well, one of our best writers period, recently weighed in on the future of reading over at the Wall Street Journal. Walter Mosley assures us that reading and books are going nowhere. Books will continue to be published. And people will read them.
Books

I discussed the kerfuffle a couple of weeks ago surrounding the Hugo Awards. It seems Cory Doctorow at BoingBoing has collected some suggestions for improving the awards by adding some new categories that will make everyone happy!
New Hugo Awards Category Suggestions

And for you sci-fi fans who appreciate thoughtful writers, BoingBoing also had this interview with William Gibson at their site. William Gibson Interview

The Pen Award this year has instigated a controversy of its own. Their Freedom of Expression Award was given to the French satirical magazine, Charlie Hebdo, and there are many writers none too happy about that.
Pen Freedom of Expression Award to Charlie Hebdo

We note the passing of M.H. Abrams at the venerable age of 102. Anyone who ever took and English Lit class that used the Norton Anthologies will remember him as the editor of those large tomes. He was also well known for his critical studies of Romanticism, including the Mirror and the Lamp. The New York Times had this obituary.  RIP M.H. Abrams

The Jane Austen revival seems to go on and on, unabated. Now she has been joined by Anthony Trollope, whose bicentennial birthday is this year. Adam Gopnick at the New Yorker offers this assessment and appreciation.  Anthony Trollope

Trollope didn't seem to have a problem in writing and publishing some very long novels. He was probably one of those authors who could claim to say what Buzzfeed recently suggested all writers would like to be able to say. Except for maybe the Oprah book club thing.
Things All Writers Wish They Could Say

Hello. My name is Dan. I am a book addict. (h/t to my friend Brian Payne for finding this).  Yes, Books Are An Addiction

Wishing you all a great weekend and a most happy May! Please let us know what books you're got stacked up and are enjoying.

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The Book Booth: Deflation Edition

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Image via SLTrib.com

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.

After last weekend, it would seem that the Packers were deflated spiritually and the Colts literally. In our little town, due to its proximity to the Big City, one can see that every other car, house and business sports a 12th man sign, which leads me to believe that the Seahawk roster exceeds the 53 person limit. But who's counting?

I suppose enjoying sports helps one to be a well-rounded person, though I would never claim it is essential. Apparently neither do the folks at BuzzFeed, who, in asking how well-rounded your book collection is, don't include sports as a qualification.
Book Collection Suggestions

If you aren't exactly well-rounded, you could become more interesting by reading some of the books Emily Temple suggests at Flavorwire.
Well-Rounded Book Collection Suggestions

If you wish to be interesting by being au courant, Jane Ciabattari over at the BBC suggests her top twelve novels of this current young century. And anything by Michael Chabon is well worth your time.
12 Novels of the 21st Century

Of late there has been a resurgence of interest in books about revolution and revolutionaries. Neel Mukherjee at the Guardian reviews the top ten books of the genre. I was happy to see Joseph Conrad's The Secret Agent included. Go read it if you haven't before.
You Say You Want a Revolution?

Perhaps you're more in the mood for a good horror novel, but you've exhausted your Stephen King collection. Nick Cutter, author of very recently published novel entitled The Deep, suggests ten good horror novels that you may possibly be unaware of.
Got Horror?

Of course the first American master of the horror genre was Edgar Allan Poe. Ernest Hemingway contended that Mark Twain was the source from which modern American literature descended; Gore Vidal insisted it was Poe. (Poe was certainly very influential among the late 19th century French symbolist poets). I'd go with Herman Melville myself. Nevertheless, author Marilynne Robinson has written a very good appreciation of Poe at the New York Review of Books. I have not read Poe's late work, Eureka, but it sounds fascinating.
Edgar Allan Poe

Speaking of works that may seem obscure, I've never heard of William Hill Brown, or his novel The Power of Sympathy, which seems to be regarded as the first true American novel. I don't think I'm going to rush to the library to get a copy or anything, but Dan Piepenbring at the Paris Review gives it an overview.
The Power of Sympathy

If it were not bad enough that the NSA already knows my thoughts, it seems that publishers now have a source to tell them whether you have finished a book or not. Fortunately for me, I don't have an e-reader and have to make do with heavy tomes with paper pages. The rest of you may want to watch out though. Joseph Bernstein at Buzzfeed explains.
The NSA Knows When You've Been Sleeping, Knows When You're Awake, and Knows What You've Been Reading

Well my friends, have a most wonderful weekend, filled with books and words to cherish. Please let us know what books have you enthralled.

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New Poe Poem Found And Read Into Congressional Record

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Edgar Allen Poe

I am a bit old school in some areas, especially the arts. I enjoy all kinds of mediums, paint, charcoal, pastels, oils, water colors, stone. I'm especially fond of newer formats -- electronics and innovated creations like holograms and multi-dimensional light imagery. But there is one form of artistic expression where I can lose myself for hours, even days. It's plain old literature.

I read all kinds, from trashy dime story detective novels to considered works of art. I like science fiction as well as historical drama. Young adult fare to epic sweeping romances. Now I'll even let you in on a secret. I also appreciate poetry.

Yes, poetry. Whether an occasional revisit of Romeo and Juliet by Shakespeare or the more epic sweeps of Homer's The Iliad or The Odyssey. Narrative or rhyming, poetry means a lot to me.

Recently I heard rumor a long lost poem by Edgar Allan Poe was found and it would be read on the floor on the U.S. Congress. I had read The Raven, Annabelle Lee and others by the master of the macabre but this "new" work wasn't one of the famous -- It was called, Just The Way It Is.

I knew of Poe as such a visionary -- his horrifying, dark imagery. Leonore and The Conqueror Worm.  How excited I was when I heard that a newly discovered work by the master of macabre was going to be read aloud in the Capitol Building, I rushed to listen to it on C-Span1.

Imagine, a lost poem by Poe? Does it get much better that this? By the way, it's rumored to be his last work. Knowing that he died a mysterious death, some say madness, others poisoning, others, that he was killed to keep some secret from being revealed. He was a cryptographer. Maybe this poem would shed some light onto his final demise. Maybe you can find a clue among his last words.

It came on two pages,
It has withstood the ages.
The word "shall,'' is only 10 times mentioned,
But enough to get one's attention.
No taxes did this law raise,
To this day it continues to create much praise;
Two great religions does it claim,
The "Law of the Ten Commandments'' is its name.
A current writing, 1,990 pages long,
Has a socialist philosophy that is all wrong;
Difficult for the people to understand,
And troubling what big government doth demand.
Over 3,445 "shalls'' it does loudly shout,
New massive taxes does it proudly tout;
Written in secret by the bureaucrats,
For exclusive use of the taxacrats.
The Congressional bill called "Health Care Reform,"
Is illusionary, the authors are still ill-informed;
Government ought not take over America's health biz.
And that's just the way it is."

That's it? That piece of drivel is the missing work of one of the literary greats?

Wow. Okay, Pit and the Pendulum and The Telltale Heart it ain't. Actually it ain't even good. It's crap. But I could discount that because, well, Edgar was ill in his final years. Whatever illness he was suffering from, must have been really severe.

Wait a minute. Hold on. Oh no...

I hope you won't be too pissed off at me.

Ted Poe

This poem was written by Poe all right -- but the wrong Poe. This piece of drivel was written and delivered by House Representative Ted Poe (R-Tex.).  No wonder it sucks. Rep. Poe is a Tea Party ally of Rafael Ted Cruz. I hear they're such tight BFF's that Senator Raffy Cruz took the nickname 'Ted' from him, his literary hero.

And this whole speech is about healthcare. The Affordable Care Act. Obamacare.

Okay. Now it all makes sense. Sorry if I confused you. When I heard a poem by Poe was going to be read into the official Congressional record, you could see how I could make that mistake.

Roseanne Roseannadanna

In the words of Roseanne Roseannadanna, "Never mind."

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