Archive for Michael Chabon

The Book Booth: The House I Live In Edition

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Image: Vintage Labels
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: The House I Live In Edition

Well, it happened and there is much to be done. I personally couldn't watch the train wreck live and have distracted myself with other things, like, oh, reading books and gearing up for the future.

With the new regime and its uneasy attitude to truth, the press, education, or what have you, we could use some books about how to handle the upcoming years. Derek Miller, the author of the new novel The Girl in Green, has some good suggestions he shared with Publishers Weekly.
What Do We Do Now?

During the past eight years, we have had a president who can actually read well, we had one that thrived on reading and reading from a wide range of interests and topics. Recently the New York Times book reviewer, Michiko Kakutani interviewed President Obama about the role books have played in his administration and what he has learned.
Michiko Kakutani Interviews President Obama About the Books in his Life.

And speaking of critics, the National Book Critics Circle (NBCC) has announced the nominees for its awards which will culminate in a ceremony in March. Among the fiction writers honored are Michael Chabon, Zadie Smith and Ann Pratchett. Here's the full list of nominees.
NBCC Awards

PEN America, the organization founded in 1922 to defend free expression and persecuted writers, and which will have plenty to do in the next few years, also announced its nominees for best books of 2016. Some fifty authors have been selected in a variety of categories with winners announced in both February and later in March.
PEN's Best Books of 2017

Buzzfeed has kept itself busy of late and hasn't made a friend of the new imperial majesty in doing so. Still Buzzfeed does cover cultural news and book editor Jarry Lee has picked the 32 books she most looks forward to in the coming year.
Buzzfeed's Picks for Books to Read in 2017

But, wait! Buzzfeed also has ideas on decor with books! Here are some of their notions on how to display the books in your home. By the way, bookcases are still a pretty good way to do that.
And Where Will You Put All Those Books?

I've always loved bookplates. And now the University of British Columbia Library has digitized some vintage ones that are gorgeous. Allison Meyer at Hyperallergic.com has them for view here.
Vintage Bookplates

It's a tough week for many of us. But we must remember that this country belongs to us and we must remember what makes this nation great. And that would be its people. The House I Live In was written during the Second World War with music by Earl Robinson (who also wrote Joe Hill) and lyrics by Abel Meeorpol (who wrote Strange Fruit) and here sung by the amazing Paul Robeson with the original second stanza included.

Read and read some more. Have a fine weekend and please let us know what books are soothing your soul.

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The Book Booth: First We Take Manhattan Edition

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Image: NYTimes

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: First We Take Manhattan Edition

It's been a hard week, but we have managed to get through it. The struggle for justice and peace will continue in spite of our setbacks. And, for now, life goes on.

The Awards continued with the announcement of the National Book Award winners at a ceremony this past Wednesday night. Larry Wilmore hosted the event, and as NPR reported "Host Larry Wilmore set the tone early, taking aim at the president-elect with a series of quips and barbs in his opening monologue. Of Trump's election last week, Wilmore noted: "It's exciting in the way that an asteroid hurtling toward Earth is exciting." Among the winners were novelist Colson Whitehead for his novel Underground Railroad and Representative John Lewis for his collaboration on a young adult book March: Book Three.
NBA Awards

As it turns out, Bob Dylan will not be attending the ceremony for the Nobel Prize. He cited schedule conflicts. He would not be the first laureate not to attend, and must only deliver or have delivered a lecture of some kind in the next few months.
Bob Dylan Will Not Attend Nobel Prize Ceremony

Obviously there has been a lot of reaction in the literary world to the election of Donald Trump. There is much wariness and alarm. Here you can read the statement from the Authors Guild which is frightening.
Authors Guild Statment On President-Elect Trump

The New Yorker asked several writers for short essays on the election results, including novelists Hilary Mantel, Toni Morrison, as well as political writer Jeffrey Toobin and the aforementioned Larry Wilmore. The responses are well worth your time.
New Yorker Authors on President-Elect Trump

For what is in store for us, who can tell. But the calls for resistance are beginning and not without cause. Emily Temple at Lithub suggests 25 books for dealing with the anger and for action.
It's Time for Action

Andrew Liptak at The Verge has some suggestions as well, including the best of the dystopian novels that the Sci-fi genre has to offer.
Get Ready for Dystopia Right Here in the US

Another writer we should be reading in these times would be Kurt Vonnegut. His writing was always perceptive, interesting and, at times, very funny, and who couldn't use a laugh? Marc Leeds has recently compiled The Vonnegut Encyclopedia and here, for Publishers Weekly, he lists his top ten books by that master of the word.
Best Kurt Vonnegut Books

Billy Pilgrim was Vonnegut's character in Slaughterhouse Five, a man who survived the fire bombing of Dresden and was a spastic in time. Time travel has long been a staple in science-fiction. Here John Lanchester reviews for the New York Review of Books a new work by James Gleick, Time Travel: A History, which gives a good overview of the subgenre.
Time Travel

One of the good guys in modern literature is Michael Chabon, author of many novels, including his latest one, Moonglow, a fictional memoir of his family. Here Doree Shafrir profiles the man and his work for Buzzfeed.
Michael Chabon: An Underdog On Top of the World?

Sadly this past week we also lost poet, novelist and songwriter Leonard Cohen, who'd only recently released a new album of songs. I remember in my late teens when I first heard him sing Suzanne, Sisters of Mercy and That's No Way to Say Goodbye on his first album. There were more great songs to come, and now he will be sorely missed.
Leonard Cohen

Again, do not despair. Find a good book, take some time to breathe and have the best possible weekend you can. Enjoy this tune by Mr. Cohen and please let us know what books you are loving.

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