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.
It is still that time of year, when writers are rewarded for their works with any number of prizes. And one of the most prestigious is the Man-Booker Award, which, these days, seems to be open to anyone who writes in English. This years recipient is the Australian author and screen-writer Richard Flanagan who's novel Narrow Road to the Deep North is about a doctor's experience in a Japanese prisoner of war camp during World War II. The BBC has the scoop here.
I'm not familiar with Mr. Flanagan's work, but both the book and the man seem to be interesting, so I'll look forward to checking his work out. In the meantime, the Wall Street Journal featured this interview with him; he seems like the kind of guy it would be fun to have a beer with. Richard Flanagan
Also the National Book Foundation announced the shortlists for its awards this week. Some of the nominees include novelist Marilynne Robinson, cartoonist Roz Chast and drama critic John Lahr. NPR provides an overview of the nominees here. The winners will be feted at a ceremony on November 19th. Shortlists
As we noted last week, the French writer Patrick Modiano won the Nobel Prize for literature. And that we've never heard of him. Maybe we shouldn't be so surprised, though. Vauhini Vana of the New Yorker explores the reasons many good foreign writers remain obscure to those of here in the States. Foreign Writers' Obscurity in US
Of course, one of the great omissions from the list of Nobel winners is Leo Tolstoy. Tolstoy's career was long and varied. As was his reading list. BrainPickings has the story. What Did Tolstoy Read?
Publishers Weekly asked Lucy Worsley, who has published her The Art of the English Murder, a study of the birth of the genre, for her list of the ten top literary detectives. It is idiosyncratic, as most lists of this type are, and there is really only one she chose that would be on mine. Philip Marlowe. Top Ten Literary Detectives
Detectives are always pursuing the bad guys. Anthony Horowitz put together this quiz on literary villains for the Guardian. I'm afraid I didn't score all that well. Literary Villains.
We are getting closer and closer to Halloween and many folks like to visit and revisit some old horror masters. One of these writers include H.P. Lovecraft and his old pal Cthulhu. However, it is true that Lovecraft was a notorious racist. Laura Miller at Salon asks how we deal with his racism and still appreciate his writing. H.P.Lovecraft's Racism
In the meantime Buzzfeed has some costume ideas for all you literary trick or treaters. Some of these are very clever.
Literary Halloween Costume Ideas
Finally, we wrap with some advice for all you would-be writers staring at that blank page. Novelist Jane Smiley tells what to do.
Ready, Set, Write!
Here's hoping you all have a great weekend, filled with words and please let us know what's on your booklist!