Archive for japan

The Book Booth: And Time a Thief Edition


Image: Bored Panda

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: And Time a Thief Edition

The days are getting shorter here in our town. It seems that it wasn't so long ago that the sun was setting at nine and is setting closer and closer to six. And when daylight savings ends and we approach the solstice, it will be setting much closer to four thirty. Blink on those days and you'll miss the daylight.

As you know from walking down the aisle of any major store, Halloween is approaching, and has been for months. One of the spookiest of American writers was Shirley Jackson, best known for her novel The Haunting of Hill House and her short story The Lottery. She is the subject of an new biography by Ruth Franklin, Shirley Jackson: A Rather Haunted Life and Ms. Franklin tells Publishers Weekly about eleven things you may not know about Jackson here.

Jackson's story The Lottery, long a set piece for anthologies and Selected Shorts, is now the subject of a new graphic novel adaptation by Miles Hyman. You can see an excerpt from the new work at LitHub here.

Ah, what to read this weekend, the perpetual question. Well, Kyle Lucia Wu has some suggestions for short novels, including authors like Julian Barnes and the late Roberto Bolano here for Read it Forward.

Bruce Springsteen's memoir Born to Run has now been published. And author Richard Ford reviewed it for the New York Times Book Review. He liked it. Has it really been 43 years now since Greetings from Asbury Park been released? I guess it has.
Richard Ford Reviews The Boss's Born to Run

Lucian has found a couple of fun links. First if you happen to be traveling and staying in hostels, and you find yourself in Tokyo, definitely make it over to Book and Bed where you can fall asleep amid a library of 3000 books. And you'll have a night light. Cheap at $34 per night!
A Literary Bed On Which to Lay Your Head in Tokyo

Unfortunately I don't think you can make a reservation to stay the night at Hemmelig Rom, a secluded library in upstate New York. But you can see how lovely it is from these photographs at Bored Panda.
A Library of Your Own (Where Virginia Woolf Would Have Felt at Home)

I've probably mentioned it before, but my favorite play by William Shakespeare is The Tempest. It is one of the last plays he wrote, at his full maturity with some of the best poetry he wrote. Now Margaret Atwood has written a novel based on the play, Hag-Seed, set in Canada in the year 2013. She writes about the work here for the Guardian, and I'm looking forward to reading her adaptation.
The Tempest as a Novel by Margaret Atwood

Being an inmate in a Texas prison is a harsh life. And it is not made any easier by the powers that be when it comes to providing reading to those prisoners. The method of banning some books is, at best, capricious. The latest to be banned is a non-fiction work, Wolf-Boys by Dan Slater, which chronicles the story of two boys smuggled into America by the cartels. A grim story, yes. However a prisoner can always read Mein Kampf or some work by David Duke. Again, from the Guardian.
Books Banned Behind Bars

May your weekend reading be a bit more gratifying than that experienced in Texan prison cells. And please let us know what books you are appreciating. I'll leave you with Mary Martin and Kenny Baker singing Speak Low from the show One Touch of Venus, music by Kurt Weill and lyric by Ogden Nash. Please enjoy.


The Book Booth: Memorial Day Edition

Is this Shakespeare? A 400-year-old book says it is.

Is this Shakespeare?
A 400-year-old book says it is.

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. @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: Memorial Day Edition

We enter our long weekend that honors those men and women who have, as Lincoln said, given their last full measure of devotion in service to their country. It is good to have a long weekend, but let's do take a moment to remember those people who have served us to their utmost.

Memorial Day does mark the unofficial start of summer (though I object; summer starts when summer starts and not a second sooner), and with the coming of the warmer months, many of us plan traveling vacations. The folks at Bustle suggested a few places to visit that are the settings for some pretty good books here.

Of course Paris holds many a literary landmark. So those traveling abroad may want to consider these places, too. Again, from the well-traveled folks at Bustle.
Literary landmarks in Paris.

If the Far East, and specifically Tokyo, is your destination, check out the Tsutaya Bookstore, which sent Tom Downey, a writer at Gone, into paroxysms of delight. Via my friend Naka Oh.
Must Visit Tokyo bookstore.

James Joyce once remarked that Italian literature was Dante and that was saying quite a lot. No figure dominates the landscape as the master of terza rima. And it seems the poet turns 750 years old this year. He remains well worth anyone's time to read. John Kleiner at the New Yorker has this appreciation.
Dante would be 750 Years Old This Year

The same may be said of Shakespeare for English literature. But we've never been quite sure what the man looked like. The English magazine Country Life thinks his contemporary likeness has been found in, of all things, a book of botany that came out in the 1590s.
What Did Shakespeare Look Like?

In the Lost and Found Department, it seems that over the years filmmaker Orson Welles worked on his memoirs, tentatively titled Confessions of a One Man Band. Archivists at the University of Michigan have found extensive fragments. When and if published, they should be a very interesting read.
Orson Welles's Memoirs (Fragments)

And then there has been found an early unpublished work by Anton Chekhov, The Frank. The book is a collection of humor pieces and short fiction and will soon be published by the New York Review of Books. Jonathan Sturgeon at Flavorwire has the story here.
Unpublished Chekhov Work: The Frank

Earlier this week, I listened to a delightful interview by Robert Siegel of famed cartoonist Jules Feiffer on NPR. You can read the highlights or listen yourself here:
Jules Feiffer on NPR

So it is fitting that a new book has been published about him, Out of Line: The Art of Jules Feiffer. At age 86, the man is still working and recently wrote a graphic novel, a form new to him, called Kill My Mother. In conjunction with the publication of Out of Line, Feiffer had this conversation with Neil Gaiman, which you can read about here.
Jules Feiffer Talks With Neil Gaiman

And at last, we'll go out with a little quiz. Buzzfeed wants to know how many of these film adaptations of books you have seen. It seems I've not seen enough of them, much less read all the books.
Film Adaptations Quiz
Have a fine weekend working your way through your large pile of books and let us know which ones you are currently devouring.


Tokyo Revealed-Documentary



Image: Travel Channel

From: YouTube


Video Mid Day Distraction- Japanese Kindergartners Sing the Dayman Song from It's Always Sunny


I have no idea what the song is (I actively avoid "It's Always Sunny") but the kids are damn cute. Via.