From: The New Yorker
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: More Awards Edition
Yep, it is that time of year, where awards and nominees for awards are announced. Last week's winner of the Nobel Prize in Literature, Svetlana Alexievich, was not particularly controversial; she had been the leading candidate in the betting halls. But, as The Telegraph points out, Vladimir Putin is probably not a fan. Here's some background on the new Laureate.
Who is Svetlana Alexievich?
Then, again, the choice of Alexievich may not suit all tastes. Consider the Amazon reviewers! Here are some classic reviews from Amazon about Alexievich, and other previous winners of the Nobel.
Amazon Reviews of Nobel Prize Winners' Books
And earlier this week, the winner of the prestigious Man Booker was announced. Marlon James is a Jamaican writer, who's long and ambitious novel, A Brief History of Seven Killings, is well-regarded by critics, and even described as one as a post-post colonial work. The novel deals with the actual assassination attempt on Bob Marley in 1976, and includes many, many characters and several plot turns.
Man Booker Prize Winner Marlon James
On the other hand, Jeff Chu at Vox thinks the Man Booker should have been Hanya Yanagihara's A Little Life, and he makes a persuasive case. The book is also nominated for the National Book Award, and perhaps will get some recognition there in Novemeber. H/T to my friends Jack John Hall and Marilyn Dahl for the link.
Should A Little Life Have Won the Man Booker?
And speaking of the National Book Awards, the shortlist of nominees is now available. I'm afraid I can't be much help on any of the titles, having read none of them. But my guess is that any or all of them are worth your attention. From Publishers Weekly.
National Book Awards Nominee Shortlist
Most of these writers are no longer in need of writing tips or manuals. But in case you might be, check out these from the novelist William Gass, whose latest work is Eyes: Novellas and Short Stories, and whose previous novels include Omensetter's Luck and The Tunnel. The advice is weird and idiosyncratic. But kind of fun.
Writing Tips from William Gass
Well, it is that time of year, with Halloween looming. The readers at Buzzfeed had these recommendations for great and overlooked horror novels. And I would concur with the selection of M.R. Carey's zombie novel, The Girl with All the Gifts, which is quite good, with thumbs up from both me and Seattle Tammy.
Underrated Horror Books
And I guess these pumpkin spiced lattes are quite the rage this season as well. Quirk Books recently listed some literary characters who probably enjoy quaffing a latte. Though, somehow, Proust's Marcel didn't make the list. I guess he would have stuck with tea along with his madeline cookies.
Pumpkin Spice Latte Drinkers Literature
I've always found Henry David Thoreau as a bit odd and a bit holier than thou. So I read this article by Kathryn Schulz about the mans moral compass very interesting when Lucian passed it along to me. Then, again, other than being an abolitionist, I don't think I'd have been a good transcendentalist.
Kathryn Schulz Trashes Henry David Thoreau in The New Yorker (with good reason)
Finally from the Good News Department, comes a couple of items. First, the powers that be in New Zealand have seen fit to lift the ban on Ted Dawe's young adult novel, Into the River, news of which cheered the author.
NZ Ban on Into the River Lifted
And this is very cool! The Metropolitan Museum of Art now offers as a free download over 400 books for your perusal and enjoyment. Thanks to OpenCulture for alerting us and h/t to my friend Diane Frederick for the link.
Metropolitan Museum of Art - Free Download of Art Books
Have a most pleasant weekend. Try one of those pumpkin-spiced drinks and read some great books. And by all means, let us know what books you are treasuring.