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The Book Booth: Bastille Day Edition


Bastille Day


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.

Monday marks the 225th anniversary of Bastille Day in France, so if you happen to be there, join in the fun. It is also Woody Guthrie's 102nd and the lovely SeattleTammy celebrates her birthday, too, though she is not nearly that old. Happy Birthday, my dear lovely bride! In any event, before we go off storming the barricades, here's some items from the world of books to check out.

In the Department of Irony we find that Karl Marx still has readers. Even as the stock market soars. ABE Books recently sold a first edition of Das Kapital for some big bucks.

The Millions recently had a handy guide to books coming out later this year and early next year. There as some interesting titles by authors including E.L. Doctorow, Haruki Murakami, Lorrie Moore as well as some reprinrts, including Augustus by John Williams, who wrote the wonderful Stoner.  Millions Handy Guide to Books

It wasn't so long ago that the anticipation of a new book in the Harry Potter series was palatable. Believe me. Well, it turns out that J.K. Rowling has written a new story about Harry as an adult and it available online. HT to our friend, Lucian!  What's Harry Doing These Days?

Literature is full of rogues and femme fatales. You know. The kind of people are parents warned us against, but to whom we may have given into temptation. HuffPo has its list of literature's most dangerous love scoundrels here. Scoundrels

Then there are books devoted to the scandalous. Flavorwire has recommended ten of these, including the infamous Hollywood Babylon by Kenneth Anger, which, if not accurate at all times, is fun to read.  Scandals

In life there are dilemmas. If you love to read, there are even more complications. Buzzfeed explains what they are and offers no solutions. We have to live with these unanswerable questions.  Dilemmas

As many of you are aware, there has been an on-going dispute between and the Hachette Publishing Group which owns Little Brown, and other companies. Amazon has delayed the shipment of many Hachette writers, including James Patterson and J.K. Rowling. And Malcolm Gladwell.  Goliath Battles the Underdogs. It seems Gladwell wanted to get to the bottom of the whole controversy. After all, it is taking one to three weeks for customers to get Malcolm' latest book. Who better than Dick Cavett to set up a meeting between Gladwell and the new VP of Amazon fulfillment Goliath Meets with the Underdogs

Our current reading includes, for me, The Mayor of McDougal Street, the fascinating memoir by the late Dave Van Ronk about the early days of the Greenwich Village folk scene. SeattleTammy is tackling Pulitzer Prize winner Wallace Stegner's long and absorbing Angle of Repose. So tell us what books you got going. We'd like to know. Have a wonderful weekend and Happy Bastille Day!


Monday Links


Images from the conflict in Donetsk, Ukraine (from le monde)

Fahrenheit 1989: China Erases Memories of Tiananmen

'We'll Get You': An Albanian Boy's Life Ruined by Blood Feuds

Nucla becomes Colorado's first and only town mandating gun ownership

Syria Chemical Weapons on the Road to Destruction

Israel Plans More Settlement Units in the West Bank

Gunmen kill 11 at Karachi's Jinnah International Airport

Several Thousand in Paris March in Memory of Anti-Fascist Hero Clement Meric


Sunday Links


links Grapes

French anti-GM protestors walk free after destroying vineyard

In Case You Missed It: The President and Vice President Stop By a Shake Shack

Hilariously awful NRA show lists Hemingway – who shot himself – as hero gun owner

Legal Pot in the US Is Crippling Mexican Cartels

Peru: Community Resisting Mining Project In Yanacocha Facing State Repression, Mass Arrests

Teacher Email To Legislators Draws Harsh Reply

Senate confirms first Native woman federal judge


Overnight: Living LIke God in France: St. Paul de Vence



Germans have an expression for living very well.  It's 'living like God in France'.  When you see small French medieval towns like Saint-Paul-de-Vence which, except for the tourist shops, look very much as they must have when they were founded in the Middle Ages (in this case, the 9th century), it's easy to understand why.

Not far from Nice, it's home to the Fondation Maeght Museum of Modern Art, alone worth a visit to the French Riviera and this small town.  Learn more about Fondation Maeght here.


Overnight: Renoir - Private life of a Masterpiece (BBC Documentary)



From the 'About' section on YouTube:

Bal du moulin de la Galette (commonly known as Dance at Le moulin de la Galette) is an 1876 painting by French artist Pierre-Auguste Renoir. It is housed at the Musée d'Orsay in Paris and is one of Impressionism's most celebrated masterpieces. The painting depicts a typical Sunday afternoon at Moulin de la Galette in the district of Montmartre in Paris. In the late 19th century, working class Parisians would dress up and spend time there dancing, drinking, and eating galettes into the evening.
Like other works of Renoir's early maturity, Bal du moulin de la Galette is a typically Impressionist snapshot of real life. It shows a richness of form, a fluidity of brush stroke, and a flickering light.

More on this BBC documentary here.

Incidentally, 'moulin' = "mill"/ A "galette" is (from the Wiki) " a term used in French cuisine to designate various types of flat round or freeform crusty cakes similar in concept to a Chinese bing. "


How Dare First Lady Michelle Obama Dazzle?

Michelle Obama

Michelle Obama

One might think it takes a particularly ignorant individual, or individuals, to criticize the First Lady of the United States for wearing a ball gown to a state dinner. Yet, that is exactly what happened following last week’s official dinner honoring French President Francois Hollande.

On Tuesday, February 11th, First Lady Michelle Obama dazzled dinner guests wearing a GORGEOUS blue and black-laced gown designed by Venezuelan-America designer, Carolina Herrera. The next day, as if on cue, right wing darling Michelle Malkin, and her Twitter #BowDownWednesday crowd, were appalled – JUST appalled, I guess unhappy that Mrs. Obama did not “Bow Down” to their tacky level.

Amanda Marcotte states it best in the title for her piece on, How Dare Michelle Obama Wear a Ballgown to a State Dinner.”

The loonier edge of the right-wing media has been up in arms all week at the temerity of the Obamas to think they get to host state dinners for foreign leaders just because the country elected Barack Obama to be our president. The outrage (hopefully) reached maximum capacity when Michelle Malkin and her outrage crew at Twitchy discovered that the first lady wore ... wait for it ... a ballgown to Tuesday's state dinner for French President Francois Hollande. Not just any ballgown, but an expensive one, as tends to be the case when it comes to ballgowns worn to state dinners. Blood pressures at Twitchy rose to worrying heights when it was discovered that some journalists thought Michelle Obama looked lovely in her ballgown. In retaliation for the travesty of the first lady donning formal wear to a formal dining event, Malkin started retweeting her followers taking selfies of themselves in cheap clothes meant for casual events. We all know Michelle Malkin is not ignorant, no; she is just mean, mean and very good at frothing the ignorant masses.

Here are a few other First Ladies who missed the Malkinite message:

October 13, 2008 President and Mrs. Bush with the Prime Minister of Italy photo by Charles Dharapak/AP

February 8, 1995 President and Mrs. Clinton and Helmut Kohl, Chancellor of Germany photo by Tim Brakemeier/ AFP/Getty Images


March 31, 1987 President and Mrs. Reagan host French Prime Minister Jacques Chirac and his wife, Bernadette. photo by Ron Edmonds/AP

See More Historic State Dinner Fashion:


Video Mid Day Distraction- Daredevil filmed defying death


Seriously scary. Via.