Archive for Gandalf

The Book Booth: School's Out for Summer Edition

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Image: Saint Mazie by Jami Attenberg (via the BBC)

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: School's Out for Summer Edition

It is that most favorite time of year for students and teachers both, Summer Vacation! And for us book lovers that can mean only one thing: more time to read more books!

And it looks like there will plenty of books to choose from for summer reading. There are new novels from Harper Lee as well as Stephen King, among many more. USAToday recommended their top 25 reads here.
Summer Reading Suggestions from USAToday

For those of us whose tastes are a bit more literary, check out the BBC's top ten books for June. H/T to our own Lucian for finding this link.
Summer Reading Suggestions from the BBC

Here's a title that looks particularly interesting. It is a biography of that great musician, Tom Waits, written by Barney Hoskyns and entitled Lowside of the Road. Apparently the biographer got absolutely no help from his subject, or his close friends. And normally I'm reluctant to read biographies of people who'd rather stay reclusive. But in this case, I may make an exception. From the BookForum.
Tom Waits Unauthorized Bio

But feel free to cast aside any copies of Ayn Rand you may have. Flannery O'Connor tells you that Rand is not worth your time or money.
Flannery O'Connor on Ayn Rand

O'Connor was a much better critic than Rand, of course. Yet in this day of consumer "reviews", I can only wonder what O'Connor would have done with a star system. In case you haven't seen any of these types of things, the literary magazine Ploughshares has collected a few for your amusement.
Star Review Systems Under the Microscope (or is that 'Telescope')

And speaking of odd reviews, it seems that novelist Edith Wharton has returned from the afterlife to review the new Starbucks that recently opened in her childhood home!
Edith Wharton? Reviews Local Starbucks?

On the other hand, I doubt that Amazon.com much welcomed this review of its business practices from Ursula LeGuin recently. Ms. LeGuin awards no stars at all! Thanks to old friend George Carroll for finding this story.
No Amazon Stars for Ursula LeGuin!

This year is the centennial of Saul Bellow's birth and with, inclusion of his novels in the Library of America series. Although I don't share the enthusiasm for Bellow that the editor of these new editions, James Woods, has, I did admire Humboldt's Gift when I read it years ago. NPR had this appreciation of Bellow
Saul Bellow Appreciation by NPR

Recently at Publishers Weekly, Martin Edwards, author of the new history of the detective novel, The Golden Age of Murder, outlined that history here. Edwards believes the modern detective novel begins with E.C.Bentley's Trent's Last Case, published in 1913. It is an interesting essay, but completely avoids the hard-boiled novels of Hammett and Chandler.
How the Modern Detective Novel was Born

Last week featured the annual get together of booksellers, authors and publishers at BookExpoAmerica (which we abbreviate to the BEA). And if you needed any more reasons to read, like you need one, Jarry Lee at BuzzFeed asked some of the attendees why people should read and here is here photo essay of the responses.
Why Should People Read? (photo essay from BEA)

So go enjoy this summer with books, reading and the pleasures of the word. And by all means, let us know what books you've got going. Have a great weekend, folks.

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The Book Booth: Soon To Be June Edition

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Image: Wikipedia

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: Soon to Be June Edition

Time flies, especially when one gets older, and here we are, approaching the mid-year. Hard to know where the time all went and there remains plenty to do. Here's hoping most of you can have a relaxing weekend before you go back to the grind. So get outside and support one of your local independent bookstores, or make a trip to the library. There also remains a lot to be read.

To help you out with a selection, try this Buzzfeed quiz which purports to aid you in making deciding which new book you'll want to read this summer. Apparently I will be wanting to read the Harper Lee novel, Go Set a Watchman.

If your preferences is for something classic and scary, check out the suggestions made by Amelia Gray, author of the story collection, Gushot, at Publishers Weekly.
Looking for 'Scary' to read? Try these suggestions.

Then, again, catch up on some classic weirdness from some great women writers (Margaret Atwood being featured often here) that Sarah Seltzer recommends at Flavorwire.
Weird Books by Women

Cory Doctorow at BoingBoing thinks very highly of newer novel, The Subprimes by Karl Taro Greenfield, which seems to be a road novel, set in the near future of plutocrats and evil doers. Thanks to my friend Naka for passing this one along.
New Karl Taro Novel

One of the best American writers from the mid-20th century was William Gaddis. His novel, The Recognitions, is a tour de force and albeit very long, well worth attention. Joseph Tabbi has written a new biography of the man, Nobody Grew But the Business. Tabbi ranked his estimation of Gaddis's novels here.
A Look at William Gaddis

Another possibility is a different kind of classic, perhaps a bit obscure, like Dorothy Baker's Young Man with a Horn, based on the sad life of jazz musician, Bix Beiderbecke, and filmed in 1950 with a cast including Kirk Douglas, Lauren Bacall, Doris Day and Hoagy Carmichael (who was a friend of Bix's back in the days of the Paul Whiteman band). The New York Review of Books has republished it.
Young Man with a Horn

And, speaking of films, the folks at Film Comment has a list of their favorite films about authors. Great to see Mrs. Parker and the Vicious Circle, with a screenplay by one of our friends, Randy Sue Coburn, on the list.
Favorite Films about Authors

Independent bookstores, although perhaps not thriving, seem to be doing much better. And good news comes that Jeff Kinney, author of The Wimpy Kid Series, has opened his own store in Plainville, Mass. where he will occasionally man the cash register. If you're in the area, pay a visit! H/T to friend Polly for finding this.
New Independent Bookstore in Plainville, Massachusetts - owned by Jeff Kinney

NPR also examined the revival of indie stores recently. I'm glad to see this story getting some attention.
Bookstores are 'Hanging In There' !

For those of us wanting to expand our vocabularies, check out these more obscure words that MentalFloss found. Very interesting about the vomitorium, a word my spell checker thinks I have misspelled.
Old English Words You Can Still Use Today if You Want! 

Finally, in the wake of the vote in Ireland to legalize same-sex marriage, J.K. Rowling suggested a union between Dumbledore and Gandalf in the offing. This seemed to upset the folks at the Westboro Church, who threatened to picket the said event! Rowling had a great reply which you can read at HuffPo.
Dumbledore and Gandalf to Tie the Knot?  Read what J.K. Rowling has to say about it.

Enjoy some books this weekend, and let us know what books are enthralling you!

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