Archive for nobel prize in literature

The Book Booth: September Song Edition

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Image Literary Arts Organization

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: September Song Edition

The direction of time is certainly moving toward Fall here. Many of the trees have those vibrant colors and the sun keeps setting earlier every night. SeattleTammy and I are preparing for the inevitable. We replaced the furnace filters this week and vacuumed out the ducts. Now to winterize the garden.

With the coming of the Fall come the prizes. The National Book Foundation revealed this week its longlist for the awards to be presented in November. In the fiction category, my money is on Colson Whitehead's The Underground Railroad.
National Book Foundation Awards

And with an awards ceremony of its own in late October, the Man Booker shortlist was also announced this past week and includes two American, two Canadian and two British authors. I have to admit I'm not familiar with these works, but Paul Beatty is a good and unusual nominee. The Nobel Prizes will be awarded in early October, so stay tuned.
Man Booker Award Coming Soon

If you happen to be in Portlandia Oregon on November 5th, go check out the annual Portland Book Festival, presented by the folks at Wordstock. There will be many, many authors attending.
Wordstock Portland Book Festival

So you'd like to be a writer but you're stuck. The blank page terrifies you and you don't know where to start, where to go, who to turn to. Well, these authors have advice and a lot of the suggestions here are quite a help. From the Guardian..
Yes! I Want to Write a Book! How Do I Get Started?

Some writers work fast, others take their time. Did you know it took Anthony Burgess less time to write A Clockwork Orange than it took Dickens to write A Christmas Carol? MentalFloss has a nice graphic here on how long it took certain works to be written.
How Long Did It Take to Write That Book?

Once you've written the book that's been inside you these many years, there comes the matter of getting it published. No easy task for many. But do take heart. The Stranger by Albert Camus had to overcome many obstacles to see the light of day, including getting by the censors of the occupying German army, as Alice Kaplan, author of Looking for the Stranger: Albert Camus and the Life of a Literary Classic, explains here.
Getting The Stranger Published Was No Piece of Cake

Jonathan Safran Foer, the author of Everything is Illuminated and Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close, has a newly published novel out, Here I Am. The good people at Farrar Straus, and Giroux have an excerpt here for your perusal.
Excerpt from Here I Am

If I may, I'd like to suggest the work of my good friend John Olson. John is a charming and versatile poet as you can see from this piece he published at the Seattle Review of Books.
John Olson in the Seattle Review of Books

John has also written a new novel, In Advance of the Broken Justy, the details of which are here.

I am, as some of you may have noted, a big fan of the Library of America editions. It seems that they have now published American Musicals, a collection of some sixteen librettos of some of the best out there. But, as Steve Vineburg notes here, some musicals survive the transition from stage to screen better than others.
Musicals on the Big Screen

I'll leave you now to enjoy Walter Huston performing September Song, music written by Kurt Weill and lyrics by Maxwell Anderson for their 1938 show Knickerbocker Holiday.
 

 
Have a most gratifying weekend and please do let us know what books you are loving.

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The Book Booth: The History Edition

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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.  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 History Edition

In my more Orwellian moments, I become scared that history is being lost, re-written by the Ministry of Truth and myth is replacing reality. Of course one doesn't have to look further than the GOP and the candidates who want to lead this country. Imagine history books as written by Donald Trump or Sarah Palin. I shudder.

Take, for instance, the recent release of a book published by Scholastic that depicts the "servants" of George Washington happily baking the father of our country a birthday cake. The furor has caused the publisher to withdraw the book. H/T to Lucian for the link.
George Washington's Happy Servants (according to Scholastic)

Clare Fallon at HuffPo has the background on the controversy here as well as stories about American slavery for younger readers that are more grounded in reality.
A Real Overview of Slavery

The birthday of Edgar Allan Poe just past this week (he was just about a month older than Lincoln and Darwin). But did you know, (strike up the therermin music) that the master of the macabre and father of the detective story was a time-traveler? HistoryBuff has the proof!
Edgar Allen Poe's Time Machine

I've always suspected that world mythologies and folk tales were in some way related, at least as far as the Indo-Europeans were concerned, but not being a folklorist myself, did not know for sure. It seems that this may be the case and that some old tales are very old, indeed.
Fairy Tale Origins

Back in 1965, the Nobel Prize in Literature went to Soviet writer Mikhail Sholokov. It seems he beat out some tough competition in Vladimir Nabokov, Pablo Neruda and Juan Luis Borges. Nabokov certainly should have won some year, but did not, and Neruda was awarded the prize the year before his death. Still Sholkov's And Quiet Flows the Don did inspire one of the great contemporary folk songs, Pete Seeger's Where Have All the Flowers Gone.
Nobel Prize in Literature for Russian Authors

Although he has never achieved the literary limelight of the likes of Hemingway, Steinbeck or Faulkner, Herman Wouk has produced a number of good novels, including the Caine Mutiny and Winds of War. He has now attained his 100th year and NPR did this profile in his honor.
Herman Wouk Profile by NPR

Sadly, last week we saw the passing of that fine actor, Alan Rickman from cancer at age 69. BookRiot posted this tribute to him in all his roles that were based on book characters. Rickman also wrote the play I Am Rachel Corrie and knew a bit or two about words.
Alan Rickman Has Left Us

This story has been making the rounds on the internets, but in case you have missed it, Ursula LeGuin recently gave the dunderheads holding the park refuge hostage a piece of her mind. And very succinctly. Thanks to old friend Mortaljive for the link.
Bird Refuge Dunderheads Upbraided by Ursula LeGuin

We've been doing some house interior work for our many books, and this little piece on library ladders gives inspiration. Check them out!
Library Ladders for the Home

Have a most pleasant weekend, dear readers, and let us know what books have enthralled you.

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The Book Booth: Labor Day Edition

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Image: FlavorWire

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: Labor Day Edition

I guess Labor Day is supposed to mark the end of summer in some cultural sense. Certainly there is the nip of Fall in the air here and in our little town, school is set to begin again. Let's all enjoy the long weekend, and let us honor those men and women who really built America, and continue to do so.

Some colleges and universities have begun their school years already, while others will gear up at the end of September. Flavorwire recently suggested some book titles that may appear in some curricula that you may want to take a gander at. The fifty or so books here are slanted well towards the modern and post-modern, but it is an interesting list, nonetheless.
Assigned College Textbooks You Might Want to Read Whether You're in College or Not

Presidential election politics are heating up, about six months too soon, if you ask me, but there we are. All the major candidates will author (or, more probably, have ghost-written) books about themselves, or have books written about them. Not to worry. The election is a mere 14 months away and the 2020 campaign wont start until six to eight months later. That said, Publishers Weekly notes that Bernie Sanders leads the way in book publishing. So you can feel the Bern here.
Bernie Sanders Books

So many books get published every year. And yet many more languish in editor's slush piles and get either a cursory reading or just plain rejected. Few books by unknown authors see the light of day. Judith Guest's Ordinary People comes to mind. A Confederacy of Dunces went from publisher to publisher before Louisiana University Press finally issued it. Ruth Gaim, whose novel Into the Valley was just published by the Soho Press after sixty rejections. She details her thoughts about rejection here for Publishers Weekly.
So A Publisher Rejects Your Manuscript? So What?

Then again, can a writer have too many works published? There are many authors out there who seem to publish yearly and often more than that. James Patterson. Joyce Carol Oates. Stephen King offers an interesting explanation on being prolific here for the New York Times.
Being Prolific - What Does It Say About an Author?
(written by Stephen King)

By the way, the Nobel Prizes will be announced in October, and Joyce Carol Oates should be happy to know that she is in the top five, according to the odds makers at 13 to 1.
Who Are the Nobel Prize in Literature Contenders?

Good news for the fans of Eoin Colfer's eight book Artemis Fowl series. Disney Studios has tapped Kenneth Branagh to develop the books into cinema. The man has done Shakespeare well! He can certainly do Artemis
Kenneth Branagh to Develop Eoin Colfer Book

As you may remember, the beloved Terry Pratchett, author of the Discworld series, passed away from complications from Alzheimer's Disease last March. The good news is that his 41st book of the series, The Shepherd's Crown, has been published and it has received some fine reviews.
5 Stars for Terry Pratchett's Final Novel

Finally we note the passing of Dr. Oliver Sacks this week. His books were fascinating explorations of the brain. I remember how much I loved his Awakenings, which I read some forty years ago now (and filmed nicely with Robin Williams and Robert DeNiro). His books will always be a source of pleasure and interest.
Dr. Oliver Sacks Has Left Us

Have a terrific long weekend and enjoy some good books! And, as always, please do let us know what books you are loving.

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The Book Booth: The Nobel Prize Goes to Who? 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.

Well the Nobel Committee has selected this year's winner and Haruni Murakami will have to wait for another year. The French writer Patrick Modiano took the honors, and as the WaPo points out, he is little known outside of France. And, I have to admit, I had not heard of him before the announcement was made. Patrick Modiano.

For the curious among you who'd like to know more about Modiano, Alexandra Schwartz at the New Yorker provides some context and assessment.  More on Modiano.

On the other hand, Jonathon Sturgeon at Flavorwire is completely baffled at this choice by the Swedish judges.
Even more on Modiano.

In other prize news, the venerable Kirkus Review, which has been around since 1933, will now be giving out awards for outstanding books and writers. The first ceremony will be held in Austin on October 23rd. NPR has the story.

In the film adaptation department, Shortlist magazine recently recommended nine films based on books that you may not be aware of. I was happy to see Ridley Scott's The Duelists, a negelcted film with a great performance by Harvey Keitel.  Films Based on Unknown Books.

I'm a fan of Paul Thomas Anderson's films, and I am also a fan of Thomas Pynchon's novels. It seems Anderson has directed Pynchon's novel Inherent Vice, due in theaters in December with a very interesting cast. This is the first work of Pynchon's that I know of to get a film treatment and I look forward to seeing it. Rope of Silicon reports on the critical reaction after a showing at the New York Film Festival.  Review of Inherent Vice

For fans of the TED talks, BookRiot has listed its literary favorites here. And it is always fun to see Billy Collins.
Literary TED Talks.

We know about book to film adaptation. How about book to song adaptation? If you've never heard Kate Bush's Wuthering Heights, go listen to it now! And what is Bobbie Gentry's Ode to Billie Joe but a Fauklner story set to music? The folks at Shortlist recently listed 25 songs that reference books.

Emily Temple at Flavorwire had a good article on the favorite books of fifty iconic celebrities.

Finally have you ever idly doodled or simply wanted to see if you still had some ink in your pen? Medieval copyists did, too. io9 has the story.  World's Oldest Book Doodles.

A good weekend for us all, and tell us what books you are currently devouring!

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