Archive for fall

The Book Booth: Visual Arts Edition - Archive



Seattle Dan and Seattle Tammy will not be able to join us this week so I thought that I would post The Book Booth from a year ago - November 16, 2013.

Note: read more Book Booths from our archive here.


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, as well a brick and mortar in small town Washington State. Both have been in the book business since shortly after the Creation, or close to 6000 years now.

Somehow I ended up with many links this week that featured books in graphic form, one way or another. So prepare to be dazzled graphically. At least I hope you are.

First, the folks at prepared a graphic of the most read books in the world. The titles probably wont surprise you. Well, Twilight Saga surprised me somewhat. But I'm pleased that 50 Shades of Gray isn't included.

I mentioned Classics Illustrated last week, but only discovered (thanks to my friend Nakaima Oh) this week that Julian Peters illustrates famous poems. Here is his take on The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock, and it is very good. Take a look, dare to eat a peach and wear the bottoms of your trousers rolled.

NPR featured a new book by graphic artist Joe Sacco, The Great War, which tells the story of the battle of the Somme, one of the bloodiest battles ever fought. The text folds out to a length of 24 feet, so be sure you have some room.

Medieval book copiers often would use old, washed out paper to do their handiwork. Now some European scholars have been able to use Science, and see just what texts got copied over and the results are stunning. Thanks to SeattleTammy for finding this one.

Other arts inspire the writer as well. Jason Diamond at Flavorwire examines seven books that have an architectural bent.

Then, again, books inspire others in the arts. This coming week marks the unveiling of the new Harry Potter stamps from the United States Postal Service. USA Today has the story.

I wouldn't want to leave out animators. Here is a cool representation of novelist Stephen Millhauser's Home Run.

Paddy found some very small bookstores, while perusing Boingboing. First off, a very small and well-lighted place in San Francisco. Then there is this one in Helsinki which reminds me of SeattleTammy's nightstand.

As does this one in Paris.

Finally, for all you Dr. Who nerds out there, and you know who you are, Tom Hawking of Flavorwire has this history of the good pictured on the Bayeux Tapestry! Enjoy.

A good weekend for us all! And let us know what you're reading to pass the time away.


The Book Booth: Autumnal Edition




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.

I hope everyone survived International Talk Like a Pirate Day yesterday and none of ye scurvy mateys were made to walk the plank! Monday is the equinox and we begin our march to the holidays and Winter. Enjoy those beautiful colors; for those of you still in Heat Wave mode, may the Fall breezes soon soothe your homes and yourselves.

Fall Season means awards. The Nobels will be announced in early October. The National Book Awards occur in mid-November and the Foundation just announced the long lists for each of its categores. You can view the nominees here.  Awards

Annalisa Quinn at NPR book news has an overview of some of the books here.

This years favorite to win the Nobel Prize for Literature is Haruni Murakami, of course. (He'll probably remain so until he actually wins the thing.) The Guardian featured this interview with the cult Japanese novelist which provides a good overview of his work.  Murakami Interview.

No awards are presented for beards. That's a shame, because there are some good literary beards. (I say this as a man whose facial hairs refuse to grow longer than a half-inch). The Telegraph has its favorites here. That Alan Moore has a great one.  Literary Beards

Our canine friends have no problems growing hair. They are our best companions and love even self-absorbed writers. Anton Chekov, who made the above list, also makes the Guardian's list of top ten author dogs.

I have never adorned my body with tattoos and I think I'm happy about that. What could I possibly want to have permanently etched into my skin? But I could be tempted with a quote from literature. The folks at Bustle found 24 examples that could work. Literary tattoes:

Too many books and not enough space? I think it is a commonplace problem for most book lovers. Buzzfeed has some suggestions for storage here.  What to do with all those books?

Recently Emily Temple talked about ten books based on other books. It's a good list and some of the suggested readings (Flaubert's Parrot, Wide Sargasso Sea) are well worth reading.

Not to be outdone, Buzzfeed also featured 24 books to pursue based on what you may have loved reading in High School. Again, there are some good suggestions here.  24 Books to Read Now

From the book illustration department comes these cover designs from the imagination of Edward Gorey when he was the art director for Anchor Books. These are just wonderful.
Cover Designs You'll Want to See

Enjoy your last weekend of summer and by all means, please let us know what books are charming you! We want to know.


Lauren Mayer: It's Been a Lousy Summer



Lauren Mayer is a singer/songwriter/pianist who writes comedy songs about everything from Supreme Court decisions to the Kardashians. She proudly supports leftist causes including equal pay, reproductive choice, fair minimum wage, addressing climate change, and marriage equality.
Note: Lauren's CD is now available!! Hear clips or purchase CD/downloads at It is also on iTunes and will soon be on Amazon!

From YouTube

We've had so much bad news lately, we're relieved to start September!


The Book Booth: Thanksgiving Edition



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, as well a brick and mortar in small town Washington State. Both have been in the book business since shortly after the Creation, or close to 6000 years now.

I know the holiday is still a few days off, but you wont see another post from me for another week when all the hoopla is over and we are all still digesting food. So a great holiday, all!

Giving thanks this past week were the winners of the National Book Awards. In something of a surprise, James McBride won for his novel Good Lord Bird, a story narrated by an escaped slave. Not so surprising was that Thomas Pynchon was a no-show.

We can only hope that the Awards don't go to the winners heads. As Lindesay Irvine at the Guardian explains, success can be the kiss of death for some authors.

With Thanksgiving coming up, you know there will be plenty of football to watch on the TV machine. It has been said that as a rule of thumb, when it comes to writing about sports, the smaller the ball, the better the writing. Jason Diamond at Flavorwire shows this isn't necessarily true (though there is one baseball book) with his recommendations for sports books that even non-fans would enjoy.

With it being the 150 year anniversary of the American Civil War, I've been watching (again, because I keep forgetting who wins), the Ken Burns documentary that aired some years ago. Of course one of the most charismatic of the commenters on that show was the late Shelby Foote. So it was something of a surprise to learn that he was a huge Marcel Proust fan. And now that it has been 100 years since Proust self-published Swann's Way, William Carter at Speakeasy wonders how well the book has held up. (And makes me wonder what people will be still reading 100 years from now.)

Making the rounds of book signings and reading has been space flyer Chris Hadfield, who recently published An Astronaut's Guide to Life on Earth. Paddy passed along this fine post and book trailer from BoingBoing. And in case you missed it a couple of weeks ago, here is a good interview of Hadfield from Bob Edwards Weekend show.

The folks at the Oxford English Dictionary recently announced their new word of the year. It turns out that Selfie (I had to go look it up) beat out such other fine neologisms as "schmeat" and "twerk".

Years ago, when I worked for what was then a major chain store, books were tagged with both the price as well as number that indicated to us clerks what section of the store to stock these books. We had to be careful, though, as sometimes there would be slip-ups. For instance, Philip Roth had published a book entitled The Breast, and the tag helpfully noted it should be stocked in the Health section. And I guess these slip-ups continue at other stores. This one was bound to upset some people.

(From Seatle Tammy- P.S. to the Costco Bible story. This guy says he had posted it as snark, and it went viral on him. I think it's interesting that preachers aren't allowed a sense of humor in modern America.)

I don't use Twitter nearly as much as I should. But, then again, I'm not a famous literary personage. So here are some first tweets by the famous of the writing arts.

This past week saw the passing of the writer and Nobel Laureate, Doris Lessing at age 94. HuffPo had this remembrance and video about her.

It is wonderful thing to be able to discover a forgotten writer or book, as I did recently with John Williams and his beautiful novel Stoner. Gabe Habash at Publishers Weekly has the same feeling about the obscure but wonderful writer, Barry Hannah.

Finally, 2013 also marks the centennial of the birth of Albert Camus. The Guardian took the opportunity to offer this quiz on how existential you are. I guess I'm not as much as I thought I'd be.

A Happy Holiday for our readers, who I hope will be able to enjoy a long weekend of food and books. And let us know what tome you're paging through!