Archive for Go Set a Watchman

The Book Booth: Hot Enough For You? Edition

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Image: 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.

The Book Booth: Hot Enough for You Edition

Summer may be winding down, but you wouldn't know in most places. Even here in our little town, the days are warm. Very warm. Hot, even, for a place that normally gets off-shore breezes and temperate weather.

And while we are speaking of hot, Amazon.com and its founder, Jeff Bezos, are in the proverbial hot waters. The New York Times revealed a work culture that was less than benign. Evil, even. Publishers Weekly offered an overview here.
Life Working for Amazon

I personally don't know firsthand the corporate doings at Amazon headquarters. I'm pretty sure the warehouse work conditions are just this side of medieval, and I wouldn't be surprised if the Times article was, for the most part, accurate. In any event, the story has stirred controversy, and some disagreement even over at the Gray Lady.
How Accurate Was the Portrayal of Amazon's Work Culture?

Our own Lucian Dixon pointed me to this article about Harper Lee. It was written before the publication of Watchman but I think it provides the best context I've seen for Ms. Lee and the events leading to her decision to bring out the novel.
Let's Talk About Harper Lee

Moving on to lighter fare, it's time for a quiz. Last lines are important to novels. You know, "They lived happily ever after". Buzzfeed asks if you can identify the last lines to these novels. I think I got about half of them and it is multiple choice. Have at it!
Do You Know Your Last Lines?

And titles! The Great Gatsby was called by Fitzgerald many things before the title was finally decided. Here's the story of some other works which had other working titles. By the way, the initial title for Lolita shouldn't be much of a surprise, considering how large the ghost of Edgar Allan Poe looms over the story.
Original Original Titles Tell a Story

Multiple narrators/narratives? Why sure! Susan Barker, whose most recent novel, The Incarnations, is a multi-generational novel set in China, recently listed her favorite ten novels that employ a multi-narrative scheme. And, yes, Nabokov is listed here again.
Wait! Who's Narrating This Story Again?

Another top 100 novels in English. I rather like this list. Robert McCrum, probably best-known here as the co-author of The Story of English, composed this one for The Guardian, and he takes a historical approach, rather than doing it from his favorite to his 100th favorite.
Another (But Different) 'Best 100 Novels' List

Finally, you know the aroma, the lovely aroma, of entering a bookstore. You want to know the reason why? It's something like vanilla..H/T to my friend Caleb.
Oh, Yum - What's That Smell? Is It 'Ulysses'? For Whom The Bell Tolls?

Keep cool and have a great weekend, filled with some fine reading. And please let us know what books you've got going now.

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The Book Booth: Lazy Crazy Hazy Days of Summer Edition

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From: BostonHerald/Associated Press

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: Lazy, Crazy, Hazy Days of Summer Edition

The days are sunshiny, bright and warm, but not too hot, here in my little town. There's a gentle breeze outside the window, brushing the magnolia leaves against the window. Damn, I gotta get out there and prune that thing!

It's been a great summer for reading. There is nothing like sitting back with a cool drink and leafing the pages of a book while lounging in a comfortable setting. And the folks at the LiteracySite remind us why we both enjoy and need that time.
Why We Enjoy Reading

With the publication of Harper Lee's Go Set a Watchman, the New Republic wondered what other works by famous authors have gone unpublished while sitting in some desk drawer. To me, it seems that some of these works probably deserve the obscurity that the authors wanted for these tomes. Others look interesting.
Unpublished Works by Famous Authors

For myself, I remain wary of reading Watchman. For all the reasons Maureen Corrigan explains over at NPR. Some things I just don't want to know about Atticus. H/T to Lucian for sending me this link.
Should You Read Watchman?

With the recent controversy over the Confederate flag andthe arguments over "heritage" to conceal racism, I have been thinking about the American Civil War, now 150 years finished. So I am excited to learn of this new graphic novel, Battle Lines, a collaboration between historian Ari Kelman and graphic artist Jonathan Fetter-Vorm. I've placed a hold on it at the library, and I'll let you know if it is good.
A Graphic Novel About the Civil War

Some good news from the war on censorship. A federal judge has blocked an Arizona law that banned nude photos in books, papers and other media. The law's original intent was to stop "revenge" porn, but it really extended basically to anything "nude". The American Booksellers Association has the full story here.
Arizona Censorship Law Struck Down

Part of my development as a young reader was the adventures of Frank and Joe Hardy (as well as Tom Swift and the Tarzan series), something for which I readily admit. No, I didn't read classics at age 10. But I may never have read literature at all without the Hardy Boys. Here MentalFloss explores some facts many people don't know about those intrepid young sleuths.
Who Were The Hardy Boys?

By my teens, I was reading the American masters of modernism, though, including Steinbeck, Fitzgerald and Hemingway. But I never did get around to Hemingway's Green Hills of Africa (or Death in the Afternoon). The book is being reissued with some additional material from his family and it looks to be a more interesting work.
Green Hills of Africa Reissued (with additional material)

Earlier in the Spring, I discussed the Hugo Award Kerfuffle. (You can see that post here: Hugo Award Controversy.

Voting for the Hugo Awards is still going on and Game of Thrones author George RR Martin is encouraging folks to vote, no matter what. More On The HA Controversy

Author E.L. Doctorow passed away this week at age 84. My favorite two novels of his were Book of Daniel, a novel about the children of two executed cold war spies, and the brilliant Ragtime. If you've never read him, go check some of his work out. Doctorow

Somehow the folks at Buzzfeed snuck into my house and found that every available surface space is covered by books. At least they didn't get a shot of the mountain of books that are on SeattleTammy's bed table that looks to be a catastrophe in the making.
Secret Lives of Booklovers Revealed.

To all of you, a splendid summer weekend, filled with books and reading. We'll see you next week and please do let us know what books you are enjoying

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The Book Booth: The Watchman Edition

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Image: Publishers Weekly

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: The Watchman Edition

Not the Watchmen. The Watchman, as in Go Set a Watchman. Yes, Harper Lee's novel has finally hit the bookstores. It has been anticipated for a while, with some trepidation. The first chapter was released before Tuesday's release and met with some mixed reviews and feeling, as Publishers Weekly reports.
Early Reviews of Go Set a Watchman

And, as to be expected, the sales on Tuesday were astounding.
Watchman's First Day Sales

In case you need refreshing on the controversy surrounding the book, NPR discussed the background on this podcast. You'll need to scroll to the Monday, January 13th edition.
Watchman Publishing Controversy
(scroll down to Monday, July 13th, 2015 - Hour 1)

PW also asked a number of authors for their reflections on To Kill a Mockingbird and the impact that book made on them as persons and writers.
Mockingbird's Influence on Authors

And could there be more Harper Lee books to come? CNN reported that there may be yet another novel and a non-fiction work no longer hidden in a drawer somewhere.
Still Another? Harper Lee Novel Out There?
I'm certain that there will be no forthcoming unpublished novels by Jane Austen. Well, at least I'm reasonably sure. Nevertheless, despite all the years since her novels were released, there is still much to learn about them. MentalFloss lists ten things you may not know about Pride and Prejudice here.

If you are in the mood for something different, and you enjoy short stories, you may want to check out the recommendations from Mia Alvar, whose own collection, In the Country, was recently released. Some of these I don't know, but Pam Houston is always a hoot and Bienvenido Santos's Scent of Apples is a treasure to be discovered, if you haven't already.
10 Short Story Collections You've Never Read

Everyone has a favorite summer song. I always liked Chad and Jeremy's Summer Song. And, of course, The Beach Boys, pick a song, any song. Amy Sachs posted some of her favorite books which inspired songs over at Bustle.
Summer Songs, Summer Books

Ahh, nothing like enjoying a libation while lazing about on a summers day and reading a book. Kristian Wilson suggested some drink and book pairings here.
Summer Drinks, Summer Books

Finally, we are book nerds, aren't we? Admit it. Farrah Penn at Buzzfeed has conveniently charted and Venn Diagramed what that exactly means.
What Does It Mean to be a 'Book Nerd'?

Good readings to you all this weekend. If you happen to be reading Go Set a Watchman, let us know how you like it. Or let us know about any other book you are enjoying.

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The Book Booth: An Odds and Ends Edition

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Image: WSJ

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: An Odds and Ends Edition

As you'll all notice, this weeks post is abbreviated. Yours truly had a cataract removed from his right eye earlier in the week, and this operation, while successful, cut, so to speak, into my time for finding links. But I hope you enjoy the links I did find.

The big news of the week is that Harper Lee's other novel, Go Set a Watchman is set to be released on July 14th. The first chapter has been previewed in various locales and to some mixed reviews:
Watchman Review 1
Watchman Review 2

We often look to literature for guidance in our lives. This search may not be a particularly good idea for those of us who seek advice on romance, as the folks at Bustle remind us
Terrible Advice on Love and Relationships in Literature.

Then, again, if you're house-hunting, there are some fine and elegant places that you may enjoy from literature. I took this quiz from the Reading Room and it seems I am best suited to the Burrow from the Harry Potter novels. Hmm.
What Literary Domicile Would Suit Me Best?

One shouldn't judge a book by its cover. But while browsing in the bookstore, a good cover may very well have you pick it up to peruse. And for me, I do love a good book cover design. Here are some of the best from this year as chosen by Paste Magazine.
Good Cover Designs

Over at Locus Magazine, Cory Doctorow argues that Science Fiction is not good at predicting the future, but it is great about both the past and times in which a particular book may have been written. Take a look at his illuminating essay here.
Science Fiction Predicts the Future? Wrong.

Another Jack Kerouac letter is about to be auctioned. The letter is interesting, detailing his thoughts about the novel he never finished, Spotlight, to his agent Sterling Lord. Also available is the rather classic photo Allen Ginsberg took of Kerouac, smoking a cigarette while standing on the outside staircase of an apartment. Buzzfeed has the story here.
Kerouac Letter

One of the most powerful novels of the past ten years is Don Winslow's The Power of the Dog, a novel I heartily recommend. The book describes the War on Drugs from many points of view and details the harsh realities of the Mexican drug cartels. Winslow has now written a sequel, The Cartel, which both SeattleTammy and I look forward to reading.
New Don Winslow Novel

Please enjoy another fine summer weekend with lots of reading and books. Take care of your eyes, and do let us know what books are giving you thrills.

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