Archive for Nobel Prize

The Book Booth: And Winter Came 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: And Winter Came Edition

Winter begins later next week, but the signs are everywhere. Here in our little town, the temperatures go from a high of 39F to lows below freezing. We had a dusting of snow last week, but nothing that lasts. One hopes the snow packs this year will be big for all those places that have been plagued by drought.

The Nobel Ceremonies took place last week and, as expected, Bob Dylan did not attend. He did send a speech that was delivered by the American Ambassador to Sweden, Azita Raji. Here is the text and it is probably the most humble thing I've ever seen from the man.
Bob Dylan's Nobel Prize Speech

Patti Smith performed the entirely appropriate Dylan song A Hard Rain is Gonna Fall, backed by the Royal Stockholm Philharmonic, in what the New Yorker called a transcendent presentation. You can watch it here, and I urge you to do so. It is quite moving.
Patti Smith Accepts Bob Dylan's Nobel Prize

Ms. Smith describes the whole experience for the New Yorker here and how emotional it was for her.
Patti Smith on Singing At Bob Dylan's Nobel Prize Ceremony

In a week where I've encountered so much lack of empathy and the failure of some imaginations, it is good and wise to be reminded of the role literature can play in allowing us to engage our better natures in thinking of others. Amanda Michalopoulou explores literature and empathy here for the Guardian.
Literature and Empathy

The surge recently of hate crimes and hate speech is certainly one facet of that failure of imagination and it affects us readers and book lovers. Libraries have not been spared this scourge and I fear we will see more of this behavior as the next administration takes over. The New York Times has the details.
Libraries and Hate Crimes

On a cheerier note, Brian Seibert has a new non-fiction work out entitled What the Eye Hears: A History of Tap Dancing. He discusses the book and provides many video examples here for Works in Progress.
Tap Dancing

If winter traveling is on your schedule, you might want to check out these bookstore locations. Seven writers, including Ta-Nehisi Coates and Geraldine Brooks, describe their favorite emporiums here for the New York Times, places ranging from Nigeria to Tasmania.
Traveling? Great Bookstores Wherever You're Going

Winter does approach quickly. Time to find your hot drink, a good book, and perhaps listen to Enya's tune, As Winter Came. And please do let us know what books you are enjoying this holiday season. A good one for us all.

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The Book Booth: I Guess I'll Have To Change My Plan 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: I Guess I'll Have to Change My Plan Edition

Just when you think things can't get weirder, the coming new regime surprises with cabinet and department head choices. Generals, wrestling mavens and all in all horrible unexperienced people are heading to DC to govern. What a mess.

But there are still books to savor, and with the year-end, we are still getting Best Of lists. Here is the one from NPR Concierge that includes the book jackets, and recommendations. Many recommends.
NPR Concierge Best Of for 2016

Speaking of dust jackets, Jarry Lee at Buzzfeed found her favorite 32 jackets from this past year and some of them are striking.
Most Beautiful Book Covers of 2016

The folks at Mashable have teamed up with the writers organization PEN to announce its long list of notable works from the past year. The lists are worth a look and include some books that passed by my radar, and I'd guess yours as well.
PEN Literary Awards

Probably the most notable literary feud of the 20th Century was between novelist Vladimir Nabokov and critic Edmund Wilson, ostensibly over the former's English translation of Pushkin's Eugene Onegin. But there was more to the feud than that as Alex Beam, author of The Feud: Vladimir Nabokov and Edmund Wilson and the End of a Beautiful Friendship, tells us in a short essay at Publishers Weekly.
Vladimir Nabokov & Edmund Wilson's Feud

On the other hand, the late Cuban dictator Fidel Castro and novelist Gabriel Garcia Marquez remained best friends forever. In fact, it seems Fidel offered suggestions and criticisms to "Gabo" over the years and none of them were ideological. Not surprisingly, Fidel was a voracious reader. Via my friend Nakaima Oh. Castro and Marquez: A Long Literary Friendship

It seems that the daughter of Nathaniel Hawthorne, Rose, is up for canonization by the Catholic Church. It seems she lived abroad many years, married and later became a nun and founded an order to care the terminally ill cancer patients. Suzanne Raga has the story at MentalFloss.
Rose Hawthorne To Be Canonized?

As I noted, Bob Dylan will not be attending the Nobel Ceremony this month due to some preexisting commitments. But he has written a speech that will be delivered by someone. It would be neat if, in fact, Patti Smith, who will be performing a Dylan song at the ceremony, were to give the speech.
Bob Dylan's Speech to the Nobel Prize Committee

From The Tropic of Cancer to Catch-22, many books have been banned or shunned due to obscenity. Louis Menand has a great article on the history of controversial books and reviews the attempts of two publishers, Jack Kahane and Barney Rosset, to get many of these works into print. From the New Yorker.
Banned Books and Blockbusters

One of the drawbacks of not having a television machine is that I don't get to see programs until they show up on Netflix or Prime. One of those programs is Westworld. Apparently the show is replete with literary references which Tom Blunt at Signatures discusses here.
Westworld's Literary References

Winter is fast approaching. In fact we've seen a few snowflakes around our town recently and expect more next week. And what do book lovers do in the cold season? Bustle has some suggestions.
Snuggle Up By The Fire Winter Reading

The election has, well, just about screwed up everything and then some. It's going to be a long four years and we must get ourselves prepared for the winter of our discontent. We're going to have to change our plans, I guess. In the meantime enjoy the song as performed by Ambrose and His Orchestra with vocals by Sam Browne.

And find yourself a good book, take a deep breath and let us know what books you are putting a smile on your lips. Attachments area

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The Book Booth: First We Take Manhattan 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: 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: Little Red Wagon 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: Little Red Wagon Edition

In the continuing saga of Bob Dylan and the Swedish Academy, there is still silence. Mr. Dylan has not acknowledged the Nobel, nor may any public comment. And the Academy considers his non-communication as arrogance. There is no doubting Dylan's quirky sense of himself and Adam Kirsch at the New York Times opines that perhaps the ghost of Jean-Paul Sartre haunts the whole procedure, bad faith and all.
Adam Kirsch on Bob Dylan's Nobel Prize Silence

In happier news, Paul Beatty was announced to be the first American writer to win the Man-Booker award this past week for his novel, The Sellout.
Paul Beatty First American to Win Man-Booker Award

Beatty has been a well-regarded writer here in the States for some time now. But not so much in the UK. The rules for the Man-Booker changed a few years ago, allowing anyone writing in English and published in Great Britain to be eligible for the prize. And as Charlotte Higgins explains in this interview with the author, it was no easy thing to get his novel published there.
Publishing Paul Beatty in the UK

It may have taken over 400 years, but Christopher Marlowe is getting his due recognition this week. The Oxford University Press will now credit the murdered playwright as a co-author with the Bard on the Henry VI plays. H/T to Lucian for the link.
Oxford University Press Gives Credit Where It's Due

Last week marked the 162nd anniversary of the birth of famed Irish writer Oscar Wilde. Ever Sullivan has written a new biography of the man, Fall of the House of Wilde: Oscar Wilde and His Family. Here the biographer shares ten things you may or may not have known about Oscar for Publishers Weekly.
Oscar Wilde Just Had a Birthday. How Much Do You Know About Him?

And how could we not celebrate Oscar's birthday without sharing some of his bon mots. Here, from a Signature piece published a couple of years ago, are quotes concerning Art with a capital A Wilde essayed.
Oscar Wilde on Art

Good news for J.R.R. Tolkien fans! There will be a new book, unearthed by his son Christopher, published next year entitled Beren and Luthien, detailing the love affair between the eponymous characters. The story has werewolves in it!
Lost 'Lord of the Rings' Book to be Published Next Year!

And speaking of torrid love affairs, you may now be able to own the gun that poet Paul Verlaine attempted to shoot his lover, Arthur Rimbaud, with back in 1873. Christies will be auctioning the piece on November 30th. So if you happen to have a spare $60,000, make a bid!
A Literary Gun for Real Up for Auction

No doubt that Barack Obama is one of the best-read Presidents to have served our nation. Here for Wired, Obama lists his essential reads with a plan to read these works in only 89 hours. Thanks to my friend Naka for sharing this link.
President Obama's Reading List

In the WTF department this week, the head writer for the Daily Show, Daniel Radosh, had to give his permission for his son to read Fahrenheit 451 for school. Mr. Radosh's response has gone viral, and you can read it here:
Literary Irony of the Week: Permission Required to Read Fahrenheit 451

In other social media, Antonio French set off a hilarious twitter hashtag event when he complained that Donald Trump's answers on policy during the last debate sounded like a book report from a student who hadn't read the book.
#TrumpBookReport Hashtag

Remember, we are now a mere eleven days from the election. If your state allows early voting, what's keeping you? Get your votes in, and vote down ticket this year. It is so important. And then kick back, pour yourself a glass of your favorite drink or brew and enjoy a good book. And please let us know what that book is!

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