Archive for James Joyce

The Book Booth: The Uprising 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.  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: Uprising Edition

It has been a stupefying two weeks and somehow we're still here. It has been encouraging in many ways that we've had protests on two consecutive weekends and resistance is growing. Keep up the good work folks!

George Orwell's 1984 remains on the best seller lists. In fact, the classic has now hit number one for paperback sales.
'1984' now at #1

And Michiko Kakutani argues at the New York Times why this should be. We live in the world now of "alternate facts" and where two plus two equals five.
Michiko Kakutani Tells Us Why

On the other hand, Josephine Livingstone at the New Republic argues differently. She suggest the text we actually should be looking at is Franz Kafka's The Trial.
Kafka for the Trump Era

If one needs some inspiration from the past, Dwyer Murphy has some suggestions at LitHub of memoirs from people as disparate as Huey Newton to Daniel Berrigan and take some heart that others have suffered and rebelled.
Memoirs from Others Who Have Suffered and Rebelled

I'm sure many of us have been fascinated with the BBC updating of Sherlock Holmes. I've also been enjoying the series Ripper Street, that excellent series dealing with crime in late 19th century London, specifically Whitechapel where Jack the Ripper once roamed. Oliver Harris at the Strand Magazine has some suggestions for other mysteries located there for your reading pleasure.
Crime Mysteries Set in London

If Westerns are more to your taste, Andrew Hilleman, author of the recently published novel, World, Chase Me Down, has chosen his top ten neglected titles in the genre. His suggestions include some work that does transcend genre and well worth reading.
Top 10 Westerns to Get to Know

This past Thursday marked the anniversary of both James Joyce's birthday and the publication of his magnum opus, Ulysses. Here Adam Thirwell reviews the new literary history The Most Dangerous Book: The Battle for James Joyces' Ulysses for the New York Review of Books. He details why the book is still scandalous, and subversive.
Scandalous and Subversive Still: Ulysses

And speaking of anniversaries, on January 29th 1845, Edgar Allan Poe's The Raven first saw print. Alison Natasi at Flavorwire has assembled many of the dust jackets that have accompanied the book over many years.
The Raven Covers Through the Years

For those of us who like to see novelistic art transformed into a different medium, check out artist Nicholas Rougeux's poster art of words turned into constellations. Flavorwire has some examples here.
When You Wish Upon a Star: Words Turned Into Constellations

Are you a compulsive book buyer? You certainly wouldn't be alone in your obsession. The Guardian's Lorraine Berry examines the phenomenon here. There are worse things to be OCD about.
You're Walking Along a Street...You See a Book You Just Have to Buy...Why?

We do need to remember that resistance to evil regimes is a necessary historical constant. During World War II, there was a group of young German dissidents, the White Rose, which was ultimately ruthlessly wiped out, but offers us hope that we, too, can make our voices heard. Here is a link to some of their leaflets.
Resistance to Hitler: The White Rose

Keep in mind, reading can be a subversive act, an act of rebellion. So keep at it and let us know what books are inspiring you this weekend. And for a little background music, enjoy Muse's song Uprising. You'll be glad you did.

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The Book Booth: Lawn Mowing Edition

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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.
#NeverTrump

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

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The Book Booth: Odds and Curious Facts Edition

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Image: NBC News


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: Odd and Curious Facts Edition

Well, it isn't exactly Ripley's Believe It or Not, but I found a few things this week that my surprise. Or not. And who, on this fine and pleasant weekend morning, doesn't want some amusement?

We all know that it takes some books some time to get published and editors often don't know what they have until it gets published somewhere else. It took James Joyce years to get Dubliners published. And Ulysses was essentially privately published. Literary history has many examples of books that were rejected outright as Litreactor notes here.
Books by Authors Who Refused to Take 'No' for an Answer

We all like to read stories that reflect our own lives in some way (though I'm in the midst of reading Melville and have no desire to become a whaler), and Marley Dias, an 11 year old black girl, is no exception. She managed to collect and donate 1000 books that featured young black girls, truly inspiring and landed her a spot on Larry Wilmore's show. H/T to my friend Caleb for finding the link.
The Image of Black Girls in Literature (from Books Collected by a Black Girl)

Then there is the truly obsessed reader. Since 1999 Michael Orthofer has graded the books he has read at his website, The Complete Review, and the number totals more than 3500 books so far. Which is pretty amazing. Admittedly, I read slowly, so I am impressed. The New Yorker profiled Mr. Orthofer here.
Michael Orthofer's Impossible Quest to Read and Review the World

As those of you who have patiently looked at my weekly articles here know, I like good jacket art. Buzzfeed recently featured some new designs for some old classics, and the result is impressive.
New Book Jacket Designs for Old Classics

With so many ads delivered to us these days electronically, we forget that in the days of yore, before radio and tv, not to mention the internet, most advertisements appeared in print, either in newspapers or magazines. Bookriot featured a few of those book ads from 1910. Remember any of these?
Book Ads from 1910

Looking for a gift for your book lover friends, but afraid to get a book they may all ready have? Take a gander at some of the cool items that Mallory McInnis has found at, again, Buzzfeed.
Great Non-Book Gifts for Book Lovers (Accio Books!)

Finally, as I'm sure you have seen, Harper Lee, author of To Kill a Mockingbird, passed away at age 89. NPR appreciated her here.
Nell Harper Lee Leaves This World at the Age of 89:
NPR
Publishers Weekly

Enjoy your weekends with lots of reading and many books. And please let us know what books you are loving this week.

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The Book Booth: Happy Bloomsday Edition

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Image: from Bustle

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: Happy Bloomsday Edition

Despite the fact that Google spellcheck doesn't like how I spelled Bloomsday, the anniversary of Leopold Bloom's trek around Dublin on June 16th 1904 is upon us. So grab yourself a gorgonzola sandwich, pour yourself a glass of burgundy and if you happen to be in Dublin, stop into Davy Byrne's pub to celebrate.  #Bloomsday

The summer season is fast approaching with the solstice but days ahead. With that in mind those of us lucky enough to live near large bodies of water can head out to the beach with lotions and books at hand. Bustle has these recommendations for good beach reading. I can't say I'm familiar with any of these titles, but then again, I'm old.
Beach Reading Suggestions

For those of us who'd prefer literary titles, MentalFloss collected these favorite books by well-known authors. Scroll past the Ayn Rand, whom they feature first as she wouldn't have known good literature from a hole in the ground. The rest of them are good. Who knew that Samuel Beckett loved Catcher in the Rye?
What Books Do (or Did) Famous Authors Recommend?

Then there are the stories about the glamorous and not so glamorous in Hollywood. Author Michael Friedman, whose novel Martian Dawn was recently republished, had these novels of Tinseltown on his personal list of the best over at Publishers Weekly. Of course both The Last Tycoon and Day of the Locust are must reads.
10 Best Tinseltown Novels

The New York Times Book Review recently had this short interview with Stephen King. Asked about some of his favorite non-fiction writers, I was pleased to see him name Rick Perlstein, author of some very fine modern American histories, Nixonland and The Invisible Bridge. And I was taken by his selection of Don Robertson as his numero uno novelist.
Stephen King's Favorite NonFiction Writers

You know what modern novels lack? A good duel. I'm sure there is plenty of fisticuffs in today's fiction, but no ten paces, turn around and fire stuff. So it's good to see James Guida at the New Yorker discuss the swashbuckling duels in literature.
Swashbucklers!

Not too long ago, I noted here that Kazuo Ishiguro had recently published a new novel, his first in years, The Buried Giant, and that it contained elements of fantasy. Apparently the book has stirred a bit of controversy among fantasy novel fans and brought out the issues of genre. So at The New Republic, Neil Gaiman and Ishiguro recently discussed the notion of genre and what it means for the literary writer.
What is 'Genre'?

In other book news, the successor to Charles Wright as US Poet Laureate was announced this week. He is the poet Juan Felipe Herrera, author of such collections as Half of the World in Light and Senegal Taxi. I salute the former UCLA Bruin and hope he enjoys his tenure.
New US Poet Laureate is Former UCLA Bruin!

Amazon.com is no stranger to legal probes and the behemoth gets some more scrutiny as European Union regulators will soon examine its dealings in e-readers. NPR reports here.
Amazon and the European Union Antitrust Probe

I know I can be fairly obsessive about books and so can my wife. But I guess I'd really start worrying if either of us displayed any of these symptoms of serious book collecting from this amusing list provided by the New Antiquarian.
How Are Serious Book Collectors Different From You and Me?

Have a splendid weekend my book loving friends and please let us know what books you are enjoying on an early summers day.

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