Archive for Man-Booker Prize

The Book Booth: More Awards Edition

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From: The New Yorker

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: More Awards Edition

Yep, it is that time of year, where awards and nominees for awards are announced. Last week's winner of the Nobel Prize in Literature, Svetlana Alexievich, was not particularly controversial; she had been the leading candidate in the betting halls. But, as The Telegraph points out, Vladimir Putin is probably not a fan. Here's some background on the new Laureate.
Who is Svetlana Alexievich?

Then, again, the choice of Alexievich may not suit all tastes. Consider the Amazon reviewers! Here are some classic reviews from Amazon about Alexievich, and other previous winners of the Nobel.
Amazon Reviews of Nobel Prize Winners' Books

And earlier this week, the winner of the prestigious Man Booker was announced. Marlon James is a Jamaican writer, who's long and ambitious novel, A Brief History of Seven Killings, is well-regarded by critics, and even described as one as a post-post colonial work. The novel deals with the actual assassination attempt on Bob Marley in 1976, and includes many, many characters and several plot turns.
Man Booker Prize Winner Marlon James

On the other hand, Jeff Chu at Vox thinks the Man Booker should have been Hanya Yanagihara's A Little Life, and he makes a persuasive case. The book is also nominated for the National Book Award, and perhaps will get some recognition there in Novemeber. H/T to my friends Jack John Hall and Marilyn Dahl for the link.
Should A Little Life Have Won the Man Booker?

And speaking of the National Book Awards, the shortlist of nominees is now available. I'm afraid I can't be much help on any of the titles, having read none of them. But my guess is that any or all of them are worth your attention. From Publishers Weekly.
National Book Awards Nominee Shortlist

Most of these writers are no longer in need of writing tips or manuals. But in case you might be, check out these from the novelist William Gass, whose latest work is Eyes: Novellas and Short Stories, and whose previous novels include Omensetter's Luck and The Tunnel. The advice is weird and idiosyncratic. But kind of fun.
Writing Tips from William Gass

Well, it is that time of year, with Halloween looming. The readers at Buzzfeed had these recommendations for great and overlooked horror novels. And I would concur with the selection of M.R. Carey's zombie novel, The Girl with All the Gifts, which is quite good, with thumbs up from both me and Seattle Tammy.
Underrated Horror Books

And I guess these pumpkin spiced lattes are quite the rage this season as well. Quirk Books recently listed some literary characters who probably enjoy quaffing a latte. Though, somehow, Proust's Marcel didn't make the list. I guess he would have stuck with tea along with his madeline cookies.
Pumpkin Spice Latte Drinkers Literature

I've always found Henry David Thoreau as a bit odd and a bit holier than thou. So I read this article by Kathryn Schulz about the mans moral compass very interesting when Lucian passed it along to me. Then, again, other than being an abolitionist, I don't think I'd have been a good transcendentalist.
Kathryn Schulz Trashes Henry David Thoreau in The New Yorker (with good reason)

Finally from the Good News Department, comes a couple of items. First, the powers that be in New Zealand have seen fit to lift the ban on Ted Dawe's young adult novel, Into the River, news of which cheered the author.
NZ Ban on Into the River Lifted

And this is very cool! The Metropolitan Museum of Art now offers as a free download over 400 books for your perusal and enjoyment. Thanks to OpenCulture for alerting us and h/t to my friend Diane Frederick for the link.
Metropolitan Museum of Art - Free Download of Art Books

Have a most pleasant weekend. Try one of those pumpkin-spiced drinks and read some great books. And by all means, let us know what books you are treasuring.

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The Book Booth: More Awards and Other Stuff 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. @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!

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