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The Book Booth: Happy Thanksgiving 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.

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: Midsummer Nights Edition

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Image via Mental Floss
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: Midsummer Nights Edition

The other night the cats dragged in a small branch for some cat reason, and the leaves were already brown. It made me think that the Fall isn't that far away. But I'm not quite ready to give up the summer...so I'm going with mid-summer as long as I can. With maybe slightly cooler afternoons.

There is no holding off the march of time completely, and Fall is the colorful season, and quite lovely around here. And the Fall is the time of year publishers tend to schedule their Big books, for the holiday season. Publishers Weekly has a list here of the most anticipated titles, including new novels from John Irving, Jonathan Franzen and Orhan Pamuk.
Anticipated Fall Big Books

Time does pass by so quickly, the older one gets. I was recently reminded that it has been 26 years since Salman Rushdie's The Satanic Verses was published. In these days, Rushdie believes he would not have received the same level of support from the writing community that he did back in 1989, due to political correctness. I tend not to agree, but he may have a point.
What Would Happen if The Satanic Verses Were Published Today?

From the New Yorker, a couple of articles of interest. First, a remembrance of novelist James Salter from Mary Norris who attended a memorial for the man up in the Hamptons.
Mary Norris Remembers James Salter and His Commas

And then, Benjamin Moser wrote this appreciation of Brazilian writer Clarice Lispector, who passed away in 1977, but whose stories examined the links between literature and witchcraft. I have not read Ms.Lispector, but it seems I need to check her out.
Bell, Book, Candle, Witchcraft and Literature?

The World Science Fiction Convention is coming up on August 22nd, near Spokane, Washington. At the Convention, the Hugo Awards will be announced.You can see some of the details here.

The folks at io9 suggested these classic titles to read, in case you haven't, which might be a good idea, if you're planning to attend the convention.
Classic Titles to Actually Read Before the World SciFi Convention

My guess is that most of you have read L. Frank Baum's The Wizard of Oz, published a mere 115 years ago. MentalFloss listed some thirteen facts about the book that you may not know about the book or its author.
Oz and L. Frank Baum Facts

(And for a deeper look at the book with its political overtones, you may enjoy this article)
Following the Yellow Brick Road

With the many changes now occurring at the Vatican, this is welcome news. The library there is now being put on-line, and it looks to be amazing.
The Vatican Library Online For Free!

For those of us who enjoy a scandalous read now and then, check out Nick Tosches new novel Under Tiberius. Scott Simon interviewed the author for NPR here.
Looking For Some Scandal? Look No Further.

Novelist Alan Cheuse recently died at age 75 from injuries sustained in a car accident. I always enjoyed his book reviews at NPR. I didn't always agree with him, but he was a book enthusiast, and I will miss his commentaries.
Alan Cheuse Has Left Us at 75

Embrace the summer and enjoy! And please let us know what books you are savoring this weekend.

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The Book Booth: St. Valentines 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: St. Valentines Day Edition

A Happy Valentines Day to all you lovers and sweethearts out there. May you all have a candy tray filled with messaged hearts!

For those of you without a loved one to share the day, perhaps if you were even more interesting than you already are, your love life would spark up. With that in mind, take a look at Emily Temple's list of books that will make you more attractive intellectually. Or maybe not. In any event, Flavorwire has the list here.

The fallout from the news that there is another Harper Lee novel, a sequel to To Kill a Mockingbird, continues. For a more detailed look at the controversy, The New York Times devoted a lengthy article. Mockingird Prequel/Sequel?

But yet more controversy! Who exactly owns the screen rights to the new novel? Well, my guess is Ms. Lee does. But that doesn't stop people in Hollywood from talking. The Los Angeles Times reports. Mockingbird / Watchman Screen Rights?

Still, really, the big media news story this past week was Jon Stewart's announcement that he would be leaving the Daily Show later this year. Surely, we will all miss the caustic humor of Jon Stewart. But who will miss him the most? Why book publicists, of course, says the Washington Post.
Jon Stewart Is Moving On

Americans are woefully ignorant of literature written outside the United States. That so many of us had never heard of Patrick Modiano until he won the Nobel Prize for literature last year is evidence of that. That used not to be true. I remember when South American writing was all the rage and lively discussions were to be had over many European writers. Why this has come to pass, I don't really know. Bill Morris at the Daily Beast tackles the question here.
European Writers / Foreign Fiction

Maybe we should all try to adopt the plan of English writer Ann Morgan, who tried to read a different book from a different country, all within one year. She described how she blogged her activities and turned those posts into a book for the BBC. H/To to Lucian for finding this one.
Read the World!

In the used book business, we get lots of folks looking for out-of-print tomes all the time. Some are very easy to find. Yet others are obscure and difficult to obtain without a lot of cost. Bookfinder.com has come up with its list of the most requested OP titles for the past year. Not a lot of surprises, but I was sort of stunned to see Stephen King titles in the list. Who lets King go out of print? Thanks to our friend Mark McKay for sending the link along.
Stephen King Out of Print? Say It Isn't So!

To become a good Antiquarian bookseller, it takes a good eye and a lot of knowledge about the history of books, including types of paper, printing processes, etc. Susan Halas knows a great deal more than I do and shared the information some time ago here. Another h/t to Lucian.
Things to Know If You're a Newcomer in the Book Biz

Over the years, Margaret Atwood's A Handmaids Tale has been a classic of dystopian literature. Surprisingly for me, at least, the current Freshman class at West Point was required to read the book. And, even more surprisingly, Ms. Atwood ventured to the Academy to discuss the work and take questions from the cadets. Laura Miller at Salon has the story here.
Margaret Atwood at West Point

Perhaps some sort of dystopia is not that far away. And in the wrong hands, technology just might become evil! What of a future where the book cover judges you? A scary thought that is on the verge of happening. As Kevin McCarthy shouted, They're here, they're here!
Dystopia is Already Here

A Happy Valentines Day for us all. And whether the current book you are reading is romantic or not, let us know what good books you have piled up.

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The Book Booth: Mockingbird Edition

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Image via: the New York Times

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.

My guess is that many of you have already seen that a "new" Harper Lee novel will be released. The book was apparently written before she began work on To Kill a Mockingbird and involves an adult Scout Finch visiting her father Atticus after the events of Mockingbird. The Gray Lady has the story.  Harper Lee

Of course the news set the twitters aflame with title suggestions, as Salon explains.
Mockingbird Prequel/Sequel

And it set off some controversy. Ms. Lee is now in assisted living and there is some worry that she may have been pressured into publishing this work. I was a bit surprised when the story appeared in the first place. I had the feeling that she had said what she wanted to say in the one book and was content with it. But apparently she is "happy as Hell". And I'm good with it, too, even if it isn't nearly as good as Mockingbird.
Harper Lee is Happy as Hell

Another thing you may have seen this week is the touching letter written by Roald Dahl on the death of his daughter from measles in 1962. Coming on the heels of the new outbreaks of measles in this country and with the boneheads who wont have their children vaccinated, creating a public health menace, well, it gets my blood to boiling.
Roald Dahl's Daughter Died of Measles -

Happier news came from the recent conference of the American Library Association where it was announced that Kwame Alexander won the Newberry Award for his children's novel The Crossover and Dan Santat won the Caldecott for his book The Adventures of Beekle. Publishers Weekly has the story here.

Let us admit it. Even at our advanced ages, we love kids picture books. NPR recently featured some newer titles that look wonderful.  Kids Books for Adults

The news from Hollywood is that James Franco, English student extraordinaire and actor, is set to star in an adaptation of John Steinbeck's 1936 novel, In Dubious Battle. Franco has appeared in other literary adaptations, including a recent film of William Faulkner's As I Lay Dying. The LA Times has the scoop here.
James Franco

I have been blitzing through that very fine HBO series Boardwalk Empire and in reading the credits (yes, I read the credits), I noticed that Dennis Lehane, author of Mystic River and Shutter Island, among other great books, wrote for the show as well as served as "Creative Producer". Apparently this development is not unusual in Hollywood these days.
Novelists as Screenwriters and Producers

The Daily Telegraph posted this rather interesting and chronological look at fifty cult novels. And To Kill a Mockingbird is on the list!
Fifty Cult Novels

Finally, for anyone worried about what to read next, Publishers Weekly provides you some previews of books to be in stores this spring, including new works from Toni Morrison, Kazuo Ishiguro, Nick Hornby and Thomas McGuane, to name a few.
Spring Book Preview

Happy reading for us all this weekend and be sure to let us know what you've just pulled off the shelf.

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