Archive for fairy tales

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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It's Not Always Easy To Listen To Jesus

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Jesus

WARNING: Before anyone gets offended, what follows is meant to be a lighthearted post, so don't get "cross" with me if you miss the "gospel" of this holier than thou piece.

Over the past few years, in the political world, the Christian Fundamentalist movement has been using the Bible and the names of God and Christ as excuses for everything from withholding aid to the poor and restricting female reproductive rights to combating evolution and replacing it with creationism. These outlier thinkers care not for scientific facts - to the contrary. So this begs the question, are the extreme evangelicals out of touch with reality? Just last week the Atlanta Daily World reported that Dr. Reginald Wayne Miller, Cathedral Bible College president, was arrested by the FBI for turning his students into slaves. He justified his actions as being based on the teachings and words of the bible. It wasn't the devil made him do it, it was Jesus. Holy smokes! (hey, can I say that?)

Maybe it's time to take and examine what might happen if our calls for divine help were actually answered.

Innovative, clever and sometimes off-the-charts short-film maker, Travis Richey, takes a humorous look at the outrageous with his Youtube short called Jesus Takes The Wheel. Maybe some of the Right-wing evangelicals would find a moment of sanity in this otherwise insane look at a very common practice. But certainly everyone can find fun in this juicy bit of lunacy. You'll peak your enjoyment with a bag of popcorn, a box of  jujubes, or your favorite strand of rosary beads.

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