Archive for F. Scott Fitzgerald

The Book Booth: Ghost of 'Lectricity Edition

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Image: NPR Paul Natkin Getty Images
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: Ghost of 'lectricity Edition

Well, that is a surprise. Bob Dylan has long been on the long list of those betting on Nobel Laureates, but usually at very long odds, and below fellow American writers Philip Roth and Joyce Carol Oates. So I cannot say I'm shocked. But it is a surprise. There are those who are complaining that a musician won, but that is nonsense. At his peak, I cannot think of another lyricist that had either his impact or influence. So congrats to our Nobel Laureate in Literature, the first American in many years to win the prize.
Bob Dylan

In case you are wondering about the process involved in nominating and naming a laureate, Christian Lorentzen describes it here for Vulture. Note that Mr. Lorentzen wrote the article before today's announcement.
Who Nominates Writers for the Nobel Prize?
wrote the article before Thursday's announcement.

At age 75 Bob Dylan would qualify as an older man, though his continual touring belies any notion that he feels his age. There is an abundance of literature about old men, even when there is no country for them. Ross King of the Guardian chose his top ten stories about our elderly men here. I would have included the protagonist of Paul Auster's Brooklyn Follies, but the list is good.
Top 10 Books about Old Men

F. Scott Fitzgerald drank himself to death before he got old or won any major literary awards. Still he had some insight into aging and the dreams of youth as Joe Muscolino shows here for Signature-Reads.
FSF on Flappers, Tipplers, and Philosophers

The use of a pseudonym has long been a part of literary history. Charles Dickens used Boz. Samuel Clemens used Mark Twain. Mary Ann Evans used George Eliot. So no big deal, right? Not so fast as the literary world is in a furor over the unmasking of Italian novelist Elena Ferrante.

Book reviewer Adam Kirsch weighed in here at the New York Times on the controversy.
More on 'Elena Ferrante'

Halloween is looming and it is time to start thinking about spooky things. Colin Dickey's new book Ghostland examines some of the more haunted places around our nation and here he lists the top ten for Publishers Weekly, including the Las Vegas Strip where apparently Benny Siegal still lounges at the Flamingo pool.
Where the Ghosts Are

And then there is the epidemic of scary clowns. Who knew that they constituted a whole sub genre in fiction? Tobias Carroll explains here for Literary Hub.
Creepy Clowns in Your Books!

Quiz time! Buzzfeed wonders if you can name the title of these novels from their opening lines.
Put Your Thinking Caps On for the 'Opening Lines' Quiz!

I suppose it is not too early to start thinking about holiday gifts for the book lovers on your list. Bustle has some suggestions here. The Book Rest Lamp looks great, if I happen to be on your list.
Holiday Gifts Are On Your Horizon - Literary Ones Here

As we brace ourselves here in the Pacific Northwest for some weekend wind "events", I hope yours is eventless. Or be sure to invest in some flashlights so you may continue your reading in case your power goes off. And by all means, let us know what books you are treasuring.

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The Book Booth: Here Comes the Rain Again Edition

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Image: The Guardian

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: Here Comes the Rain Again Edition

I generally refuse to acknowledge that Labor Day marks the end of summer. Officially the equinox is not until September 22nd and that is nearly three weeks after the holiday. However, our weather is mild here, the leaves keep turning and we had a rain front move through the other night, so I guess I'll have to review the situation.

With September we do have back-to-school going on. I see the kids in my neighborhood, backpacks attached, walking to and from school. They look...ready. I'm not seeing glee in their faces, but then, again, they don't look bored either. And with back-to-school, we have a list from the Guardian of the best College novels. It's a good one, especially with the now forgotten Lucky Jim included. However the list does not have the best one written, Stoner, the fascinating novel by John Williams which you should now go read if you haven't already.
Campus Novels / University Life

If like me, you won't give summer up just yet, the author Jess Walter offers up a summer tale, In the Woods, which Mr. Walters advises you should stay the hell out of.
The Woods: Not a Place You Want to Be

If you're in the mood for a comical short story, take a look at Robert Coover's latest, Invasion of the Martians, over at the New Yorker. It takes on contemporary politics as well as some of the sillier aspects of popular culture. And I do recommend reading Coover. I think his novel about Richard Nixon and the Rosenbergs, The Public Burning, still holds up after forty years.
When Martians Invade!

We are all familiar with the tales of the Brothers Grimm, Snow White, Rapunzel, Little Red Riding Hood. Well, the folks at MentalFloss have for you some of their more obscure tales, and they are weird, indeed.
Less Known Grimm Brothers' Fairy Tales

Some good news from Scribners this past week. Next year they will publish short stories by F. Scott Fitzgerald that have not seen print before. Apparently at the time he wrote them, they were deemed a bit too controversial for most 1930's magazines.
Unpublished Stories from F Scott Fitzgerald to Finally See the Light of Day

One of the most fascinating figures from the 19th century was the Swiss writer and explorer, Isabelle Eberhardt. Here Jamie James describes her life in an excerpt from his new book The Glamour of Strangeness: Artists and the Last Age of the Exotic.
Isabelle Eberhardt's Life

We have grown accustomed to first person and unreliable third person narratives. But it seems the growing trend is a return to the omniscient narrator in fiction which Elliott Holt discusses here for the New York Times Book Review.
Who Knows What the Shadow Knows? The Omniscient Narrator 

Sad news in the field of young children's books in that the author and illustrator Anna Dewdney passed away this week at age 50 from brain cancer. NPR had this appreciation of the woman best known for her Llama Llama series.
Llama Llama Author Leaves Us

Have a most pleasant weekend, filled with good books, as always. Let us know what book is sitting on top of your to-be-read pile and enjoy.

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The Book Booth: Fourth of July Edition

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Image: From Mentalfloss via Flickr (credit bottom right of image)

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: Fourth of July Edition

A Happy Fourth of July, dear readers. It's a great day to celebrate with fireworks and BBQs and all that. But it's also a good day to reflect that this nation was conceived on the concept that all men are created equal. And our history is the long road to try to achieve something like that.

Do you remember the Little Golden Books. In my early youth, my mother kept me well supplied, though I'm sure she got sick unto death of constantly reading me The Saggy, Baggy Elephant, surely a classic. MentalFloss has the history of these gems here.
Little Golden Elephant Books

Writers can find inspiration in many places. Recently author Stephen Jarvis, who's novel Death and Mr. Pickwick, shared the story behind the novel, which draws its story from the Dickens novel. And Brian Ferry. And other musicians. Ideas can seem to come from anywhere.
Where Do Ideas Come From?

We learned not too long ago that the Starz network has picked up Neil Gaiman's American Gods for a mini-series. Even better news for Gaiman fans is that the author will also be writing some of the episodes. Apparently he has written teleplays in the past for Dr. Who and Babylon 5, so he is no stranger to adaptation.
Neil Gaiman's Teleplays

Have some time on your hands this weekend? Then take the challenge! Can you guess the 100 most commonly used words in English? And do it in twelve minutes? You can give a try here.
How's Your Vocabulary?

Or you could spend your time more wisely by finding some new writers to read. The folks at Quartz have these recommendations of young Latin American writers who would be worth perusing. H/T to old friend George Carroll for the link.
Young Latin American Writers

Then there are those who use their time in more frivolous ways. Like F. Scott Fitzgerald, who conjugated the verb to cocktail for Blanche Knopf. And thanks to another pal, Diane Frederick, for sharing.
F.Scott Fitzgerald Conjugates 'To Cocktail'

Far from frivolous, these teachers at a middle school in Biloxi, Mississippi know how to spend their days off this summer. Take a look at how they transformed the hallway in one of the school buildings.
Biloxi, Mississippi Teachers Transform a School Hallway

Ken Bruen is no stranger to the noir novel. He has written many himself, featuring Jack Taylor. His latest novel is Green Hell. Here he lists his rather idiosyncratic top ten noir novels. Many of these, I don't know, but David Goodis was one heckuva writer and not read enough these days.
Top 10 Noir Novels (per David Goodis)

Many years ago, after having left her job as a sales rep for Penguin Books, Seattle Tammy was at loose ends. One day she received a phone call from the owner of Seattle Mystery Bookshop, Bill Farley, asking her if she wouldn't want to work the odd day and some hours at the shop located in Seattle's Pioneer Square. Tammy agreed and over the years, she eventually became the manager of the store. Bill was her mentor and her friend over these past years. Earlier this week, Bill passed away at age 83. We will miss him and thank him for his many generosities and friendship.
Bill Farley (of the Seattle Mystery Bookshop) Has Passed Away

Enjoy the holiday, Be Safe, and let us know what you have on the grill....and what books your reading this weekend.

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The Book Booth: Happy Easter and Opening Day 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. @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: Happy Easter and Opening Day Edition

Every few years Easter and baseball's opening day more or less coincide. So my best wishes to you celebrating Easter, and for those of you who belong to the Church of Baseball, happy opening day!

Spring is the time when, at least in popular lore, love blooms. And with love comes sometimes comes frustration. Unrequited love also rears its ugly head. Over at BBC Culture, Textual Healing offers guidance who suffer from all sort of love's maladies. H/T to Lucian.
Lovesick? Try Textual Healing

Love inspires passion, both in spirit and in carnal ways. MentalFloss recently featured some famous poets who, in their spare time, indulged themselves in writing some "dirty" verse.
NSFW Poems from Poets You Know
For myself, I only know some limericks that aren't safe for work.

Among those characters in literature that suffered in love's game was Jay Gatsby and his obsession with Daisy Buchanan. Anne Margaret Daniel gives some background to the novel and to the whereabouts of the Scott Fitzgerald's first draft here in this interesting post from HuffPo.
Some Insights Into The Great Gatsby

If springtime is not your cup of tea, and you'd rather get down and dirty with your reading, check out some Southern Gothic. Jamie Kornegay, a bookseller from Greenwood, Mississippi, has recently authored another addition to the genre, a new novel entitled Soil. And also chose for Publishers Weekly, his favorites. Some of the usual suspects are here and also some interesting titles I'm not familiar with.
Some Southern Gothic Titles You May Not Know

One of the best loved and best selling titles in Science Fiction of recent years has been Ernest Cline's Ready Player One. Well, it will be now made into a film and with a director no less than Steve Spielberg set.
Ready Player One to Become a Spielberg Film

Although Thomas Pynchon's novels are not science fiction per se, science plays a major thematic background, especially his early books, which concern themselves with entropy and the second law of thermodynamics. But could it be that the author predicted parallel universes and mini-black holes so many years ago in Gravity's Rainbow? Could be, says Jonathan Sturgeon at Flavorwire.
Parallel Universes Predicted by Thomas Pynchon?

Pynchon famously avoids the public eye. He has said he's not reclusive; he merely doesn't like to talk to the press. Of course, that said, few have seen him and photos are rare. (Well there is the paper bag disguise he cleverly used when appearing on the Simpsons>) Again from BBC Culture, Lucy Scholes talks about Pynchon and the idea of being "reclusive".
The Author No One Has Ever Seen

Tired of reading? Like to use your fingers and be creative? Try one of these coloring books featured recently at NPR.
Coloring Books for Grownups? Why Not?

Finally, does anyone really know what time it is? Does anyone really care? Via SeattleTammy comes this clock.
What Time is It?  Book O'Clock of Course!

A Happy Easter to all of you celebrating the day! And may your favorite team go to the World Series this season and be defeated by the mighty Seattle Mariners. And, let us know what books you've got going! We'd love to hear about them.

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