Archive for librarians

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: Mermaid Avenue Edition

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Image: TLS

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: Mermaid Avenue Edition

When we elect a most unimaginative man to be President of the United States, we can expect he has no use for the arts and humanities. So, along with the expected cuts to the budgets of NPR and PBS, it should not come as any surprise that he'd end funding for the National Endowment of the Arts and the National Endowment of the Humanities. Because, you know, who needs culture? Not real Americans.

Trump's Craziness and Boorishness for All to See

And so begins the resistance to the insanity and the inanity of this man and his minions. It was wonderful to see the Women's marches this past week, not only in DC but throughout the world. It was particularly pleasing that many of the signs and posters featured literary figures, including the late poet Audre Lorde and Virginia Woolf.

Literary Figures for #TheResistance in DC

Tim Keane at Hypeallergic wondered what the French novelist and playwright Jean Genet would have made of the current situation and suggest is very well might be the same as he saw America back in the late sixties and seventies.
What Jean Genet Would Have Thought About the World Today

And what should we be reading in times like these? The Guardian asked nine experts in their fields, including Alain de Botton and Steven Pinker to suggest some essential books in areas such as philosophy, film and economics to help guide us.
Reading to Guide Our Thoughts In the Era of New Craziness

On the anniversary, the 208th to be exact, of the birth of Edgar Allan Poe, this years nominees for the Edgar Awards were announced. There are a lot of names that are new to me and I look forward to checking them out.
Happy Birthday, Edgar!

Those pesky librarians got together again and chose the winners of their annual awards in children's literature, the Newberry and the Caldecott awards, and other prestigious mentions. You can see the full list of winners here.
The Caldecott and Newberry Awards by My Heroes: Librarians!

Just when you'd think that the Mark Twain estate was exhausted, it seems that an unfinished fairy tale that had its origins in a bedtime story he told his daughters has now surfaced. Sometime soon we'll be seeing an illustrated edition of his tale The Purloining of Prince Oleomargarine at you local independent bookstore. And how could it go wrong when your protagonist is named Oleomargarine?
A New, Illustrated Edition of a Mark Twain Children's Story!

The octopus has recently become a source of inspiration for those writing natural history. Several very interesting books have been published over the past few years and there is now a new one, Other Minds, written by Peter Godfrey-Smith, that delves into the mysteries of everyone's favorite cephalopod. Here Godfrey-Smith discusses his book for Works in Progress.
Octopuses's Secrets About to Be Revealed!

I love the BBC reboot of Sherlock Holmes and I devoured the fourth season these past weeks. Sherlock has certainly achieved a resurgence this past decade and it has been fun to watch. But did you ever wonder how Conan Doyle came up with the character's name? Michael Sims at LitHub has some answers to this question and the early background to the stories here.
Sleuthing the Source of a Sleuth's Name

Last week I posted the video to The House I Live In as sung by Paul Robeson. This week I want to share another song about where the American heart truly resides, in its people. So here is the Klezmatic's take on the Woody Guthrie lyric of Mermaid Avenue, from their lovely album Wonder Wheel. Please have a listen.
Mermaid Avenue

Keep fighting. Keep resisting. Keep reading. And let us know what books are inspiring you this weekend.

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The Book Booth: Nobel Prize Edition

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From BookRiot

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: Nobel Prize Edition

Yes, it is the week for the Nobel Prizes and on Thursday the prize in Literature was announced. This years winner is Svetlana Alexievich, a writer of non-fiction from Belarus. Her two best known works, Voices from Chernobyl and Zinky Boys: Soviet Voices from the Afghanistan War, will both be reprinted and released soon. Publishers Weekly has the details here.
Who is Svetlana Alexievich?

And as NPR notes, this is the first non-fiction award in a very long time, when back in the day, both Bertrand Russell and Winston Churchill won the literature award.
NPR on Svetlana Alexievich

It is my birthday weekend, and the family and I are off to the movies to see Ridley Scott's adaptation of Andrew Weir's novel, The Martian. I haven't read the book, but I'm looking forward to the movie. When I was a young boy, I thoroughly enjoyed a movie called Robinson Crusoe on Mars, which I think shares some of the same plot features as The Martian. Incidentally, Angela Watercutter at Wired believes The Martian proves that movies are better than books now. I'm not buying that, but her article has some interesting things to say.
Are Movies Now Better than Books?

Another movie that should spark some reading interest is Suffragette, which stars Meryl Streep and Carey Mulligan, due later this month. BookRiot has some books to suggest about that struggle to obtain the vote for women.
Women's Struggle to Get the Vote

There is a new historical novel that I'm going to check out soon. It's titled Mrs. Engels, and tells the story of Lizzie Burns, who was the mistress of Friedrich Engels, the political partner of Karl Marx. This work is the debut novel of Gavin McCrea who offered up these thoughts on becoming the character one is writing about here.
Becoming the Character You Write About

I don't think the ancient Babylonian Epic of Gilgamesh has ever been filmed. But it gets a revision of sorts as twenty new lines have recently been discovered, adding some dimension to our hero.
New Gilgamesh Text Discovered

The next installment of the memoirs of Patti Smith, M Train, has been released. Here she speaks with David Remnick of The New Yorker about the book and some of her works in progress.
Patti Smith Discusses M Train in The New Yorker.

The Fall is truly here in my little town now. The rain has returned and the leaves are spectacular. For those of you who, like me, love this season, may enjoy these literary quotes celebrating the season, from Sarah Seltzer at Flavorwire.
Literary Quotes to Welcome Fall

For some reason I cannot fathom, other than the fact that he never existed, Franklin W. Dixon has never received Nobel Prize consideration. The master writer of the Hardy Boys series certainly was prolific enough. But Frank and Joe Hardy never seemed to have grown up. John Ortved at The New Yorker has these suggested titles for when the boys finally achieve adulthood here. I can't wait to read What Happens at 9:00 PM.
Mysteries theHardy Boys Faced as they Became the Hardy Men

Here's hoping everyone has a fine weekend, filled with pumpkin spiced drinks and lots and lots of books. Please do let us know what titles are charming you

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The Book Booth: October Edition

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Image: 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: October Edition

Ok, I'm good with it being October. My medicare kicked in on the first, which is a good thing. The leaves are beginning to look spectacular. The sun is shining and no hurricane looms where I live. However, I was at our local chain drug store and lo, the store has its Christmas aisle up already! And I had just gotten used to seeing the Halloween displays. Apparently our war on Christmas is not succeeding yet.

Pope Francis paid a visit to the US Congress last week to great fanfare. In his address to the members, he mentioned the American Catholic activists Dorothy Day and Thomas Merton, which sent many scurrying to Wikipedia. They both wrote autobiographies, Day's The Long Loneliness and Merton's Seven-Story Mountain. These books are truly outstanding and certainly worth the time even for the non-believer.
Pope Francis, Dorothy Day, Thomas Merton

Of course the Pontiff's visit has not been without controversy. The revelation that he met somehow and in some way with Kim Davis has had a deflating effect on progressives. And then there have been the relentless attacks on Planned Parenthood. But I bear you good news! The author Daniel Handler, aka Lemony Snicket, and his wife, Lisa Brown, donated one million dollars to that good organization.
Lemony Snicket's Planner Parenthood Donation

And still more good news. Last week I noted that the book Into the River by Ted Dawe, a young adult novel, had been banned in New Zealand. Well, the folks at Polis Books here in the USofA has obtained the rights here and will publish the book for release probably in June of next year.
Into The River

As noted above, Halloween is a mere twenty-eight days away. Don't put things off to the last minute! If you have children and need some ideas on costuming, take a look at these literary ideas from Buzzfeed!
Trick Or Booking

From the Department of Regrets. Yes, some books get published that their authors would just as soon go out of print and fade from the public memory. Bustle has collected some of these. And yes, Ian Fleming's The Spy Who Loved Me is truly dreadful, though it does have the virtue of being short.
Successful Books Their Authors Hated

Perhaps the "blurb" is an even more important element to a book's design than is its cover art. Blurbs are funny things, and there have been times when I've read some work only to discover that the blurb writer has read a different book than I have. Or at least seemed to. Then there are the writers who also use pseudonyms for some of their work and use their real names to recommend said pseudonym's new book. In any case, NPR took a look at the blurb recently here.
Those Irrestible Blurbs

Here's something Ernest Hemingway and I have in common. We're both pack rats. However the detritus of my life will never be on display at the Morgan Library and Museum as Hemingway's recently has.
Papa Was a Pack Rat

The passing of literary agent Carmen Balcells at age 85 last week may have slipped under the radar of many. But she was a force and helped to champion the Latin American literary Renaissance of the sixties and beyond. The New Yorker profiled her here.
Carmen Balcells Latino Literary Agent Extraordinaire

Yes, this may be the age of the electronic reader, for all its ills and virtues. Still, there really is nothing like holding a book in your hands. Bustle outlines the pleasures of the printed page here.
There's Nothing Like a Real Book!

Have a great weekend, filled with some good words and stories and please let us know what books have captured your imagination.

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