Archive for Intercept

The Book Booth: Lawn Mowing Edition



Image: from Children's Book Council

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: Lawn Mowing Edition

We finally broke down and purchased an new electric mower a couple of weeks ago. Generally I like to see our yard meadow out, which is certainly more colorful, but our neighbors, and the city government, aren't so happy when we allow that to happen. So I mowed the lawn mid-week, before our first summer rain. And I'll have to do it again before the 4th of July as fireworks are legal in our town, and I'd rather not have a lawn fire. But two hours of mowing (we have a large back yard) takes a lot out of an aging and soon to be grumpy man.

I know that the solstice just happened, and we're really just beginning summer. But that won't stop us from looking forward to the autumn and the new books coming. Publishers Weekly has the fall book preview here and includes a new memoir from Bruce Springsteen and novels from Jonathan Safran Foer, Michael Chabon and Zadie Smith. Read more about them here.

PW also featured these debut novels arriving later in the year, and you may want to check out these young writers.
Debut Novels by Young Writers

The 112th anniversary of Bloomsday has now come and passed and Joyceans around the world celebrated the day Leopold Bloom traveled around Dublin's fair city. Louis Menard explored for the New Yorker why Ulysses is no longer shocking to us after all these years, and talks about a new book by Tasha Lewis who did art for every page of the work in her Illustrating James Joyce's Ulysses in Eight Weeks.
Thoughts on Ulysses

Mary Shelley's Frankenstein remains a much-pondered and taught work in colleges around the world. Here novelist Francine Prose looks at the origins of the work and the social context in which the book was written.
Mary Shelley's Frankenstein - Origins and Context

The stories of Arthur Conan Doyle about detective Sherlock Holmes have been adapted to nearly all media. One of Charlie Chaplin's earliest roles was on the English stage in a play about Holmes. And of course films and radio. Here OpenCulture has radio adaptations, starring John Gielgud and Ralph Richardson for your listening pleasure.
Sherlock Holmes on the Wireless

From Farrar Straus Giroux's blog Work in Progress, take a look at an excerpt from Terry Tempest Williams' new book on the national parks, titled The Hour of Land.
An Excerpt from The Hour of Land

And while we are discussing the "classics", Daniel Mendelsohn offered this essay for the New York Review of Books, reviewing the intersection of the arts and civic life, which he argues has been mostly lost to us, but was integral to ancient Athenians, for whom tragedy could, indeed, save the polis.
The Interception of the Arts and Civic Life.

At the Millions, Michael Bourne wonders what kind of literary critic and defender of the Western Canon Donald Trump would make. And with all things Trump, it is scary.

Have a great weekend, read lots and let us know what great books have got their hooks in you.


The Book Booth: Dad's Day Edition



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: Dad's Day Edition

Sunday is the day we honor our fathers, although we probably should be doing that daily and not on some Hallmark appointed day. If your dad is still with us, give him a call, send him a card, take him to lunch. And if he's no longer here, think some good thoughts about the ol' man.

My dad is the king of the pun. And he's been known to tell a joke or two. From Bustle, here are some literary Dad jokes from some contemporary writers.
Literary Dad Jokes!

One of the things my dad did when I was a teenage would-be intellectual and lover of arts was to indulge my interests by getting me subscriptions to magazines like Ramparts and Avant-Garde. It just so happens the old issues of the latter have now been digitized and are available on-line. H/T to my friend, Ray V. for sharing the link.
Ramparts and Avant-Garde Now Online

If your plans for the weekend include lazing about and watching movies, you may want to check out these recommendations from Public Books. I've seen most of these and recommend them myself. By the way, Turn: Washington's Spies is available for streaming on Netflix and it is a very interesting take on the Revolutionary war.
Revolutionary War Spies - on Netflix.

Speaking of the American Revolution, last Sunday the musical Hamilton swept the Tony Awards, winning eleven. If your curiosity has been piqued about Alexander, take a look at this New Yorker article about the books that he (and Aaron Burr) checked out from the Society Library back in the day.
What Did Alexander Hamilton and Aaron Burr Read?

Who could have predicted the rise of Donald Trump? Well, in a way, Sinclair Lewis did in his novel It Can't Happen Here. But as Cory Doctorow points out, Neal Stephenson did as well, 22 years ago in his novel Interface.

One of the great novels of the past 25 years or so is Don DeLillo's Underworld. The opening of the novel, the day the Giants beat my beloved Dodgers on Bobby Thompson's home run and the fate of that very baseball is one of the most breath-taking pieces of writing that I've read. Here DeLillo talks about the origin of the book with the Guardian.
Don DeLillo Discusses Underworld

I have been reading David Halberstam's mammoth history The Fifties and just finished his chapter on the Beats. So I was pleased to come across this illustrated poem of Allen Ginsberg's A Supermarket in California, his poem addressed to Walt Whitman.
Allen Ginsberg's A Supermarket in California

With some sadness comes the report of the passing of Spanish language translator Gregory Rabassa at age 94. His translation of One Hundred Years of Solitude was so good, Gabriel Garcia Marquez declared it greater than the Spanish language edition.
Gregory Rabassa, Marquez Translator

And if you're looking for weekend reading, why not try a work in translation. Daniel Saldana Paris, author of Among Strange Victims, deems these works originally written in Spanish as essential.
Best Spanish Language Books in Translation

Happy Fathers Day to all you dads out there. Have a great day and please let us know what novels you are now savoring.