Archive for oscars

The Book Booth: March Comes In Like a Lion Edition



Image: Michigan Daily

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: March Comes in Like a Lion Edition

April might be the cruelest month, but March has its own reputation. I know many of my friends are having a very cold and snowy winter, so maybe March will provide some relief. Here in our little town, it has been such a mild winter that the Magnolia tree outside my window is in full bloom. It's gorgeous and a month too early.

The red carpets have been rolled up, the parties are long since over and the Oscar ceremony is finished for this year. The film Birdman won the big one, of course. For those who haven't seen the movie (and that would include me), the plot centers around a stage production of a short story by Raymond Carver, What We Talk About When We Talk About Love. And this has sparked a new interest in the writer often described as America's Chekov. Publishers Weekly examined the revival here.

Time travel has been a staple in science-fiction for a very long time. Also in film. Those of us old enough to remember George Pal's adaptation of The Time Machine from the early sixties who were enchanted by the Eloi and appalled by the Morlocks still love a good time travel setting. i09 has some suggestions from literature that would make very entertaining films.

Maybe some Hollywood producer would like to do a re-boot of Sherlock Holmes. Oh, wait. It's been done. Twice in the past decade alone. Well, if the writers for these need further inspiration from Arthur Conan Doyle himself, maybe they should be searching the attics of some English houses.
English Attics Hold Treasures

I mentioned a few weeks back that author and perennial Nobel Prize candidate for literature, Haruki Murakami, has begun to write an advice column, that is posted on his website. It has begun, and he has been getting some intriguing questions, and he has given both sympathetic and amusing answers.
Here are some examples. Advice from Haruki Murakami

Most writers would describe their private lives to be dull and rather humdrum. Yet, we, as readers, are fascinated by the lives of the authors. Bustle looked at some recent novels that delve into the inner drama of the literary life.
Authors' Inner Drama

It seems no one was more fascinated by the lives of the writers than J. Edgar Hoover and his acolytes at the FBI. And during the sixties, Hoover seemed to be utterly transfixed by African-American writers, and especially James Baldwin, whose file approached nearly 2000 pages. William Maxwell has written a book about the Bureau and black writers in a new book, F.B.Eyes, where he examines these would-be literary critics. Maxwell talks about his new book here.

I know many of my east coast friend, and in particular my friends in New England, are sick unto death of snow. So I'm not sure that they will love and appreciate these chilly scenes of snow in literature from MentalFloss.
Snow in Literature

Finally, it is a fun parlor game to come up with great first lines and great last lines from literature. The DailyMail in England recently polled its readers for their favorites and the winner was Peter Pan, an unusual choice. Here is the list, which is fairly Anglo-centric, though it was nice to see Dr. Seuss in there. What would be some of your favorite opening lines be?
Your Favorite Opening Lines?

May March bring you all some mild weather and beautiful flowers. And by all means, please let us know what great books you are reading this weekend.


The Book Booth: Academy Awards Edition


Image: Oregon Life

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: Academy Awards Edition

Yet another year and once again, the Academy has neglected to nominate me for any awards at all. And after all the years I've put in, watching movies. I don't get it. But others will "get" their awards and, for me, another year of neglect.

Another guy neglected by the Academy was Norman Mailer. Of course if you've ever seen the screen versions of The Naked and the Dead or An American Dream, maybe that is understandable. But at least he'll be having a film adaptation coming up of his Armies of the Night, his account of the march on the Pentagon in 1967.

F. Scott Fitzgerald closed out his all too brief life, living in Hollywood, where he did screenplay doctoring and had a credit for his work on Three Comrades. His decline is well documented, and sad. Jeff Baker at Oregonlive has these reflections on his Hollywood career.
FSF in LaLa Land

The film version of 50 Shades of Grey opened this past weekend to mega millions of dollars in receipts. I don't think we'll be seeing it nominated for much of anything at next year's Oscars, but who knows? However someone should give an award to Gilbert Gottfried for his reading of the book, which absolutely Not Safe for Work.
50 Shades

I'm certainly not opposed to eroticism in fiction, if done well. TimeOut has these suggestions for books much better written than 50 Shades. I, for one, liked Vox by Nicholson Baker, very much.
Eroticism in Fiction

Here is a fun graphic timeline of books that have been banned over the centuries from PrinterInk. I don't think 50 Shades has made the cut yet for being an important banned book.
Banned Books

Of course To Kill a Mockingbird has been banned at various times and in various places. And with the announcement of a new Harper Lee novel coming out this summer, Sam Tanenhausl at Bloomberg reflects on the endurance of Mockingbird.
Why To Kill a Mockingbird Won't Die

In more fun book news, a new Dr. Seuss book will be published this coming July. It was discovered in his office, fully written, illustrated and entitled What Pet Should I Get. Publishers Weekly has the story here.

How well up are you on your Edgar Allan Poe quotations? And, for that matter, how well do you know your Goth song lyrics? Flavorwire challenges you to guess what is what here in this quiz. Good luck!  Edgar Allen Poe Goth Lyrics Quiz

This week saw the passing of former US Poet Laureate Philip Levine. He was a fine poet, accessible and thoughtful. NPR had this story on his life and work.
Philip Levine Has Left Us

Finally, our little town has had a very mild winter, if we don't count the eight inches of rain we had one day, leading to some major flooding. But the rest of the country seems to have snow. A lot of snow. And a great time to catch up on your reading. Buzzfeed looks at the upside of being snowbound.

Good luck to all you Oscar nominees and hoping I can join you on the red carpet next year! In the meantime, let us know what books you've got going and recommend. A good weekend to us all.


Monday Links


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Monday Links


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The $11 Billion Year
From Sundance to the Oscars, an Inside Look at the Changing Hollywood System

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13 Ways Europe Does Food Safer, Cleaner, and Kinder

Can You Walk On Water?

Watch what happens when the Tea Party takes over a school board. Warning: It gets ugly

Wes Anderson: In A World Of His Own

Watch This Fish Drive A Tiny Car (Really!)