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.
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.
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.
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.