Archive for France

The Book Booth: Another Oscar Show Edition



Image: Truthout

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: Another Oscar Show Edition

Indeed, they are rolling out the red carpets Sunday evening in Hollywood as the industry once again celebrates itself with lots of awards and stuff. May all the films you are rooting for win the statuette for outstanding work!

One of Hollywood's most valuable statuettes is actually a film prop, the one of which dreams are made of. Yes, if you have one of the original props of the Maltese Falcon, you've got yourself a treasure there. One year SeattleTammy gave me a replica for Christmas, but it was not enamaled in old jewels alas. Vanity has the story here of the priceless bird here.

Most film adaptations by author? I'd have guessed Stephen King. I'm not even close.
Whose Stories Make It to the BigScreen?

Good news for all Dr. Whovians! Last week saw the publication of the Dr. Who coloring book for your coloring pleasure. Time magazine tells the tale.
Dr. Who? Coloring Book

Although he has never won an Oscar (or been nominated for one), William Shatner has won both an Emmy and a Golden Globe award for his acting efforts. He now has another book available, Lenny, which details his friendship with Leonard Nimoy. Here he talks about Nimoy's second career as a poet.
William Shatner Writes About Leonard Nimoy in Lenny

I have long been fascinated about the relationships between different languages and what we can learn from those relationships. From BusinessInsider comes this wonderful chart, exploring them among the Indo-European and Uralic families. And there are cute cats!
How the Languages We Speak Are Interrelated

On the heels of the news that Harper Lee had passed away last week, we learned that novelist/philosopher Umberto Eco had also died at age 84. His The Name of the Rose is a wonderful mystery novel and more. If you haven't read it, go get a copy now.  NPR remembered the man here.
Umberto Eco Has Left Us at 84

The tribute poured in last week for Harper Lee. Here are five things you may or not have known about the author. I, for one, did not know she was a descendant of Robert E. Lee.
Remembrances of Harper Lee

Noam Chomsky, one of our remaining intellectuals, is still with us and his mind and writings are as active as ever. His new book, What Kind of Creatures are We? is a collection of recent lectures he has given. Here he discusses the work and other matters with Truthout.
Noam Chomsky Chooses Optimism Over Despair 

At my age now, I do try to exercise daily and while I'm not anyone's idea of fit, I do feel the benefits from it. Even better news is that for people who are at retirement age, belonging to a book group could be just as important as exercise in living longer.
More here.

Please have a beautiful weekend with lots of reading and books. By all means, let us know what is delighting you...and have fun watching the Oscars!


The Book Booth: Odds and Curious Facts Edition



Image: NBC News

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: Odd and Curious Facts Edition

Well, it isn't exactly Ripley's Believe It or Not, but I found a few things this week that my surprise. Or not. And who, on this fine and pleasant weekend morning, doesn't want some amusement?

We all know that it takes some books some time to get published and editors often don't know what they have until it gets published somewhere else. It took James Joyce years to get Dubliners published. And Ulysses was essentially privately published. Literary history has many examples of books that were rejected outright as Litreactor notes here.
Books by Authors Who Refused to Take 'No' for an Answer

We all like to read stories that reflect our own lives in some way (though I'm in the midst of reading Melville and have no desire to become a whaler), and Marley Dias, an 11 year old black girl, is no exception. She managed to collect and donate 1000 books that featured young black girls, truly inspiring and landed her a spot on Larry Wilmore's show. H/T to my friend Caleb for finding the link.
The Image of Black Girls in Literature (from Books Collected by a Black Girl)

Then there is the truly obsessed reader. Since 1999 Michael Orthofer has graded the books he has read at his website, The Complete Review, and the number totals more than 3500 books so far. Which is pretty amazing. Admittedly, I read slowly, so I am impressed. The New Yorker profiled Mr. Orthofer here.
Michael Orthofer's Impossible Quest to Read and Review the World

As those of you who have patiently looked at my weekly articles here know, I like good jacket art. Buzzfeed recently featured some new designs for some old classics, and the result is impressive.
New Book Jacket Designs for Old Classics

With so many ads delivered to us these days electronically, we forget that in the days of yore, before radio and tv, not to mention the internet, most advertisements appeared in print, either in newspapers or magazines. Bookriot featured a few of those book ads from 1910. Remember any of these?
Book Ads from 1910

Looking for a gift for your book lover friends, but afraid to get a book they may all ready have? Take a gander at some of the cool items that Mallory McInnis has found at, again, Buzzfeed.
Great Non-Book Gifts for Book Lovers (Accio Books!)

Finally, as I'm sure you have seen, Harper Lee, author of To Kill a Mockingbird, passed away at age 89. NPR appreciated her here.
Nell Harper Lee Leaves This World at the Age of 89:
Publishers Weekly

Enjoy your weekends with lots of reading and many books. And please let us know what books you are loving this week.


The Book Booth: Valentine's Day Edition



Image: Buzzfeed

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: Valentines Day Edition

Ah, the day to remember our loved ones with chocolate, cards and, one would hope, books. Which Buzzfeed reminds us.
Books for Valentine's Day!

If you and your sweetie are at some loss of how to celebrate your together, Bustle has some ideas for you.
How to Celebrate Valentine's Day!

But what becomes of the broken-hearted, as Jimmy Ruffin asked nearly fifty years ago? The last thing that those who have lost at love want to see or hear are books or songs about love; it seems every song on the radio will be about love gone wrong. Susie Steiner, author the novel Missing, has some suggestions for books for dispirited lovers here at the Guardian. To her list, I would add Ann Beattie's Chilly Scenes of Winter, which, at least, provides some hope.
Books for Good People Currently In-Between Significant Others

The big news in books this week was the announcement that there will be a new Harry Potter book coming out this summer.
Harry's Back! (and Hermione and Hagrid and Ron and...)

But as JK Rowling wants to remind us, Harry Potter and the Cursed Child is NOT a novel, but a play script, and follows Harry and family nineteen years after the last novel.
More on Your Favorite Wizard's Return (to Stage and Page)

Is the printed page dying? Maybe not, if today's students are to be believed. They seem to prefer real books. Thanks to my buddy John Miller for sending this link along.
So You Think the Dead Tree Content Delivery System is Dead? Think Again

Even famous writers have a few obscure works in their oeuvre. Ernest Hemingway's Across the River and Into the Trees (the title being a paraphrase of what Stonewall Jackson was reputed to have said after his mortal wound at Chancellorsville), would be one of those books. But it may have a second life now that a film adaptation featuring Pierce Brosnan is now in the works.
Across the River and Into the Cinema for Hemingway

The advance word on Jane Mayer's Dark Money, a book detailing the bizarre and very scary world of the Koch Brothers, is positive. I know our library system has many, many holds on it. Salon has a good feature here that will make you want to learn more.
The Koch Brothers' Dirtiest Deeds Exposed

For those of us who loved the film Sorrow and the Pity, about the French resistance movement during the Second World War, should find the new book by Robert Gildea, Fighters in the Shadow, to be of great interest. The New York Review of Books examines it here. H/T to Lucian for finding this link.
Vive la France (et la Resistance)!

To all a very Happy Valentines Day! Enjoy it with your sweetie and good book. And let us know what books you are adoring!


The Book Booth: Small Business Saturday Edition


Image via 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. @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.

Today is Small Business Saturday and it is my fervent prayer that you all saved your pennies and did not shop any of the retailers open on Thanksgiving (and aid the corporate bastards) or get suckered into a Black Friday deal. Maybe next year when Black Friday comes we can all stand by the door and catch the gray men when they dive from the fourteenth floor.

One of the more interesting things that happened during the week was the discovery of a First Folio Shakespeare in a library in France. Only some 230 copies exist. When originally published in 1623, the cost was four pounds, which was a considerable amount of money then. I wonder if they'd sell it to me now for that much. I sort of doubt it.  Shakespeare

Another find during the week is the fabled "Joan Anderson" letter that a young Neal Cassady wrote to Jack Kerouac in the early fifties that ultimately changed Kerouac's prose style. NPR had the story here and is worth a listening. Kerouac

One of the perks of being a novelist (unless you're J.D.Salinger) is that sometimes you end up as a character in another writer's novel. Shakespeare, Dickens, Austen, Poe...and many others feature in this list of fifty novels with characters based on real authors from Flavorwire. Authors as Characters

Or you could end up, or have one of your characters, on a tee-shirt. Lucian passed along this selection of T's from Buzzfeed.
Literary T-Shirts

On the flip side from Buzzfeed, authors certainly hope that they're not put into these embarrassing situations at your local bookstore. Watch the signage folks!

And speaking of fails, this is why local elections are important. You could have the Texas Board of Education making atrocious decisions on textbooks that affect the rest of the nation.
Texas Textbooks

It is coming on Winter and the days are growing shorter. And darker. Those afflicted with SAD probably should not take up the recommendations from Emily Temple at Flavorwire of the fifty gloomiest novels written.
Winter Literary Gloom

If civil war is more to your tastes, the Guardian had these suggestions, which is more international in scope. However, in my most humble opinion, there are much better books out there about the American Civil War than Gone with the Wind. Read Daniel Woodrell's A Woe to Live On, or Charles Frazier's Cold Mountain. Or The Red Badge of Courage.
Civil War Books

Sadly we note the passing of British mystery writer P.D. James at age 94. NPR has the story here.
P.D James has moved on.

Finally here is a sweet remembrance of the founder of the great New Directions publishing company James Laughlin by his friend Jonathan Galassi. It is not always the big publishing houses that bring out "litertature", but those small houses like ND or City Lights that make perusing a bookstore so delightful.
Smaller Publishers

We hope everyone had a most wonderful and splendid Thanksgiving. And please, if you are going to do some shopping today, please patronize your local small business. And by all means, let us know what books you're reading! We want to know.