Archive for George Washington

The Book Booth: The History Edition

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Image: BBC


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: The History Edition

In my more Orwellian moments, I become scared that history is being lost, re-written by the Ministry of Truth and myth is replacing reality. Of course one doesn't have to look further than the GOP and the candidates who want to lead this country. Imagine history books as written by Donald Trump or Sarah Palin. I shudder.

Take, for instance, the recent release of a book published by Scholastic that depicts the "servants" of George Washington happily baking the father of our country a birthday cake. The furor has caused the publisher to withdraw the book. H/T to Lucian for the link.
George Washington's Happy Servants (according to Scholastic)

Clare Fallon at HuffPo has the background on the controversy here as well as stories about American slavery for younger readers that are more grounded in reality.
A Real Overview of Slavery

The birthday of Edgar Allan Poe just past this week (he was just about a month older than Lincoln and Darwin). But did you know, (strike up the therermin music) that the master of the macabre and father of the detective story was a time-traveler? HistoryBuff has the proof!
Edgar Allen Poe's Time Machine

I've always suspected that world mythologies and folk tales were in some way related, at least as far as the Indo-Europeans were concerned, but not being a folklorist myself, did not know for sure. It seems that this may be the case and that some old tales are very old, indeed.
Fairy Tale Origins

Back in 1965, the Nobel Prize in Literature went to Soviet writer Mikhail Sholokov. It seems he beat out some tough competition in Vladimir Nabokov, Pablo Neruda and Juan Luis Borges. Nabokov certainly should have won some year, but did not, and Neruda was awarded the prize the year before his death. Still Sholkov's And Quiet Flows the Don did inspire one of the great contemporary folk songs, Pete Seeger's Where Have All the Flowers Gone.
Nobel Prize in Literature for Russian Authors

Although he has never achieved the literary limelight of the likes of Hemingway, Steinbeck or Faulkner, Herman Wouk has produced a number of good novels, including the Caine Mutiny and Winds of War. He has now attained his 100th year and NPR did this profile in his honor.
Herman Wouk Profile by NPR

Sadly, last week we saw the passing of that fine actor, Alan Rickman from cancer at age 69. BookRiot posted this tribute to him in all his roles that were based on book characters. Rickman also wrote the play I Am Rachel Corrie and knew a bit or two about words.
Alan Rickman Has Left Us

This story has been making the rounds on the internets, but in case you have missed it, Ursula LeGuin recently gave the dunderheads holding the park refuge hostage a piece of her mind. And very succinctly. Thanks to old friend Mortaljive for the link.
Bird Refuge Dunderheads Upbraided by Ursula LeGuin

We've been doing some house interior work for our many books, and this little piece on library ladders gives inspiration. Check them out!
Library Ladders for the Home

Have a most pleasant weekend, dear readers, and let us know what books have enthralled you.

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The Book Booth: Valentine's Edition

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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.

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As I learned earlier this week, Valentine was sainted in AD 496 by
Pope Gelasius 1. Virtually nothing is known of him, other than he was
martyred on February 14 in 314. But somehow, that seems appropriate,
for who does know the mysteries of love?

Literature is replete with the stuff of love. Flavorwire had its top
25 great love affairs
. Be sure to check out number 8, which has the
Alan Ladd movie tie-in cover art for The Great Gatsby. If that doesn't
make you want to read it, I don't know what will.

Of course, nothing says I Love You like having it eternally etched
into your skin. BuzzFeed featured some "epic" literary tattoos here.

And book lovers suffer more than the world can understand. HuffPo

featured eleven "conundrums" that only we are aware of.
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/01/10/book-lover_n_4562002.html?ir=Books

Not all love affairs endure. In fact, some writers are bold enough to
avenge themselves through their writings. MentalFloss shared some of
these misguided relationships here.

For whatever reason, love has often been linked to war. I suppose it
shouldn't be remarkable, if we remember the Greek god of war Ares was
the brother of the goddess of love, Aphrodite. In any event,
Publishers Weekly recently discussed ten of the best contemporary war
novels here.

If you are between books and wondering what to read, you might want to
check out Kim Stanley Robinson's discussion of three science fiction
novels with modernist overtones
.

Or if you are feeling more ambitious, one the librarians from the New
York Public Library offered up 25 books that changed the world. A
list, by the way, not everyone loved; check out the comments below the article.

A new offering in historical fiction comes from the author of
Fatherland, Robert Harris, who has just had published his take on the
affair Dreyfus, An Officer and a Spy. The Wall Street Journal examined
it here.

There has been something of a dust up this week when Penguin Books
India has decided to pulp religious historian Wendy Doniger's The
Hindus: An Alternate History. Doniger has long been a professor at the
University of Chicago and is well respected in the field. Of course,
she's none too happy. Story here.

Penguin Books India defended their decision here.

Finally, I wanted to share this very insightful essay from George
Packer in the New Yorker on the history of Amazon and its impact on
books and book selling. If you read no other links from today's post,
read this one.

I hope everyone enjoyed their Valentines Day with someone or something
you love. And I'd be remiss if I didn't point out that Monday is
Presidents Day. Ah, I remember the days when we got two days off from
school for both Washington and Lincoln's birthdays. Those days are
long gone. I shall spend Monday contemplating the presidential term of
the long-neglected William Henry Harrison.

Let us know what books you're enjoying this long weekend!

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George Washington owes $300,000 in library late fees

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By GottaLaff

The Father of Our Country stiffed a public library? What kind of example will this set for the kiddies? First he chops down a cherry tree, now this?

What next, we find out his teeth were his own and he hated wigs? What's happening to this great country of ours?! Say it ain't so!

Oh no. I just had a thought. The Tea Baggers. Just think of the chopped liver they'll make with this:

A New York library is pretty sure that long-deceased President George Washington owes about $300,000 in late fees.

Staff at the New York Society Library discovered papers recently that showed Washington in 1789 borrowed the 12th volume of the "Commons Debates" and a copy of "Law of Nations," yet never returned either tome.


Next thing you know, we'll see signs at Tea Tantrum rallies that say, "Washington's team didn't pay fines! Why should we?



The New York Daily News has more.

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