Archive for national book awards

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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The Book Booth: Autumn Leaves Begin to Fall 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.  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: Autumn Leaves Begin to Fall Edition

Salutations from the stormy coast, where the leaves are beginning to fall, and coating my lawn. One of the bonuses this year for us has been a huge apple crop from our tree. I wish we had a cider press, but it looks like for the winter we will be well supplied with applesauce. Which isn't a bad thing.

As we go to press here, the Nobel committee has not announced the winner for the prize in literature. We'll know next week, it seems. The New Republic looks at potential laureates here.
Candidates for the Nobel Prize for Literature
But we do know now the finalists for this years National Book Awards, which will be presented on November 16th. No big surprises. If I were placing bets at Ladbrokes, I'd go with Colson Whitehead's The Underground Railroad.
National Book Awards Finalists

Winners of the Pulitzer Prize in fiction can often fall into obscurity, adorning lists of previous writers so honored. Who reads Allen Drury anymore, though his Advise and Consent won, sold very well and was adapted to both screen and stage? Or Caroline Miller who won in 1934? MacKinlay Kantor who won for his massive novel Andersonville in 1956, has met this fate. Kantor also wrote the novel Glory for Me, which was famously adapted to the screen in The Best Years of Our Lives, a wonderful film that you should watch if you haven't seen it. His grandson Tom Shroder remembers him here for lithub. It is sad reading and I was sorry to see that Kantor became a complete reactionary.
Macaulay Kantor Remembered

One of the perks of becoming a famous and popular author is that he or she actually has some pull in Hollywood productions. Not to mention some financial reward that not many writers get. Here the Hollywood Reporter tells us the current top 25 authors that have great influence in Tinseltown.
Authors with Influence in Hollywood

Planning some off-season Fall traveling? The rates are lower and tourist spots not nearly as crowded as they are in Summer. E. Ce Miller at Bustle has some suggestions for literary places to visit, though I personally wouldn't going to Key West this week.
Literary Places to Visit This Fall

And if you are going to travel, which books should you bring along, or pick up along the way? Legal Nomad has some interesting selections you may want to try.
Travel Books Recommended by a Great Travel Blog

For those of us staying at home, but want to read and discover other places and people, Gulnaz Khan has some suggestions for you at National Geographic. Thanks to Lucian for passing this along to me.
More Travel Book Recommendations

Wow! Emma Bovary is now 160 years old. Madame Bovary was immensely controversial when first published and its author, Gustave Flaubert, prosecuted for writing pornography. Charlotte Jones has this appreciation of the work for the Guardian.
Charlotte Jones on Emma Bovary 

Over at Publishers Weekly, the novelist Mauro Javier Cardenas listed some of his favorite novels with very long sentences. It is a good list, a bit heavy on Latin American writers, and does not include either James Joyce or Marcel Proust.
Favorite Novels with Long Sentences

And I did see many years ago, the poster of this sentence from Proust diagrammed. I wish I'd have bought it.
Proust's Longest Sentence Diagrammed

Finally, for your audio pleasure, enjoy the late and missed Eva Cassidy sing Autumn Leaves, music by Joseph Kosma and English lyric by Johnny Mercer. (The original song in French had a lyric by Jacques Prevert).

Have a magnificent weekend and please share with us what books are delighting you now.

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The Book Booth: Happy Thanksgiving Edition

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Image: Buzzfeed


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 Thanksgiving Edition

Yes, the holiday season is now fast approaching, with Thanksgiving less than one week away. Somehow I threw my back out last week and with it, suffered some pain. But I am grateful I have a back! And I am grateful for a good many other things, most of which I'm sure I share with you. Enjoy some good eating next week, along with some good books.

And if you're searching for good reading, well, you might check out the winners from this years National Book Awards. NPR has them listed here.  In this day and age, everything that can be streamed on the internet, is streamed on the internet and the National Book Foundation has some cool videos about the books, both nominated and winners, here.

It is also that time of year when many publications pick their top books for the year. The Washington Post listed their top ten here, along with 100 additional titles from various genres. Looks like an exhaustive list!
Washington Post's Top 10

If you need answers as to what you want as a gift, or to give as a gift, this holiday season, Buzzfeed has some great ideas for book accessories, all guaranteed to enhance either your home or your reading experience. And who knows, maybe even your sex life.
BuzzFeed's Book Accessories

For the cinema lover who loves reading about that medium, check out film critic David Thomson's new book, How to Watch a Movie. KPPC offers this interesting interview with the author.
Interview with David Thompson

The off-kilter, difficult to categorize, and genre-bending books are a particular favorite of mine. Last week Lincoln Michel, author of the new novel Upright Beasts, chose ten of his favorite novels for Publishers Weekly and the list has some surprises.
Lincoln Michel's Favorite Novels

In the non-fiction realm, my old friend from our days at Jesus' General, Randolph Fritz, recently reviewed a new work by Adam Benfarado, entitled The New Science of Criminal Injustice. You can check it out at his blog here.

Oxford Dictionaries announced the word of the year and I suppose it wouldn't be a surprise that emoji is that word. But I kind of like lumbersexual, now that I sport suspenders as a part of my attire.
'Emoji' is the Word of the Year

But not everyone is happy with Oxford Dictionaries choice.
'What? 'Emoji' is the Word of the Year???

Quiz time! Our own Lucian found this fun one at the Christian Science Monitor and challenges your knowledge of the detective novel. I did better than average, but I did miss a few.
Literary Detectives - Who Solved that Crime?

Finally, how do you stack up against other readers? Buzzfeed has the answers (and questions) for you here.
What Sort of Reader or You? Hardcover or Paperback?

Have a wonderful Thanksgiving holiday, filled with the good things we all deserve. And by all means, please let us know what books you are cherishing. We'd like to know.

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The Book Booth: Autumnal Rhythms Edition

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Image: Stylist

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: Autumnal Rhythms Edition

The Fall is settling in. The daylight hours are just a wee bit shorter than the nighttime. The baseball playoffs are looming, with the season nearly over. There is football to take us into the winter months. And school is back, kids with backpacks going in the morning, and returning home in the afternoon.

I am of that generation that learned to read using the Dick and Jane primers. (I don't exactly remember learning to read and am told that I was reading before first grade, though). Those readers have seemingly been around forever. MentalFloss has some tid-bits of information on them in the article linked to below, and if you grew up with Dick and Jane, you'll find them interesting. Including the fact that Dr. Seuss hated them.
Dick and Jane Readers

I do remember as well the Raggedy Ann books being around, though I don't think I ever read one. I seem to recall having the doll around, which probably belonged to my sister. In any event, the doll and her brother Andy are celebrating their 100th birthdays this year.
Raggedy Ann Celebrates 100th - and Brother Andy Too!

When I visit our local library late in the afternoon, there are dozens of students huddled in the stacks and around the computer stations. And our local librarians handle them with aplomb. Of course librarians are heros as they should be. io9 featured some from both books and movies.
Our Librarians, Our Heroes

We hear much more about censorship and book banning here in the States than we do elsewhere in the world. But it still happens, even in other English-speaking states. Recently, New Zealand has banned a young adult novel entitled Into the River by Ted Dawe. H/T to Lucian.
New Zealand Young Adult Novel Banned

The author responded to the ban in this interview with the Observer.
Ted Dawe Responds To Ban

The Book Club phenomenon continues unabated. If you have ever wanted to start a group, the Stylist recently published a simple set of rules to get going. Rule number 7 seems to be the most important. Heh.
Book Clubs Are 'In' Again

The use of the nom de plume seems so 19th century. One thinks of George Eliot or George Sand. Even Dickens. But a poem by one Yi-Fen Chou that has been chosen to be included in the annual Best American Poetry collection has stirred some controversy. It seems Chou is actually one Michael Derrick Hudson, who is not Chinese-American, but a white man.
A 'Nom de Plume' With A Twist. Bias, Anyone?

I noted last week that the longlists for the National Book Awards have been released. If you look at those lists, you might wonder which ones you may want to actually read. Salon has conveniently described each one with the adjectives used in the blurbs. Who doesn't want to read a book that is "engrossing" or even "orgiastic"?
In the Mood for an 'Orgiastic' Book Today?

Finally I make another plea for reading the short story. There can be so much that is enriching in the short form and it is not an easy genre to master. Andrew Malan Milward, whose own collection, I Was a Revolutionary, has been published recently, suggests these collections that excel in evoking the sense of place.
Publishers Weekly on Short Stories

Have a most wonderful weekend with lots of books! Please let us know what books are giving you pleasure.

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