Archive for Patti Smith

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: When the Weather is Fine 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: When the Weather is Fine Edition

The heat abated here early in the week, but summer is not done with us, as it turns out. More heat has arrived and lethargy is sinking into the very marrow of our bones. Some things will wait till tomorrow to get done.

There are now a few signs of impending autumn. Of course all the stores have their back-to-school displays, which went up, I believe, the week after the school year ended in June. Some of the trees here have leaves that are turning color and beginning to drop to the ground. And football season is about to begin.

We do tend to think of football players as not being the sharpest knives in the drawer, which is a sad stereotype, especially when it turns out not to be true. Witness Seattle Seahawk defensive end Michael Bennett who has started a book club among his teammates with their first selection being Malcolm Gladwell's Outliers.
Michael Bennett's Book Club

If the Fall can't get here quickly enough for you, Bustle featured some 14 poems about the season. I'd forgotten how much I liked John Keats poem, and it is included here, as well as Robert Frost.
14 Poems about Fall

And speaking of Mr. Frost and the coming of the Fall, Nathan Gelgud has illustrated Frost's most famous poem, The Road Not Taken, here for Signature. It should put you in the mood for an autumnal stroll.
The Road Not Taken - Illustrated

One of the more interesting stories to come out this week was the news that the Spanish publisher Siloe will be publishing a facsimile edition of the mysterious Voynich manuscript, which has never been deciphered. They are accepting pre-orders and the cost will run you 8 to 9 thousand dollars.
Voynich Manuscript Facsimile Edition

So when did the Book as we know it first appear. I'm sure most of us are familiar with ancient texts having been written on scrolls, which were certainly not the most user-friendly way of reading. Keith Houston discusses the origin of the codex and the bound book here for the BBC.
When Did the Bible Become an Actual Book?

For those of us who have read Josephine Tey's Daughter of Time, we are aware of the controversy that surrounds the short reign of Richard III, who is quite the monster in Shakespeare's play, a classic case of the victors writing history. Here for the Folger Library, is a discussion between historians and Shakespeare scholars about the unfortunate monarch.
Historians and Scholars Debate Who Richard III Really Was

The New Yorker recently featured a couple of articles of note. First Patti Smith offered up some observations on giving book recommendations and making a cameo on the TV series The Killing. I'm not very familiar with the show, but I do see it is on Netflix.
Patti Smith Writes About Her Cancelled Detectives

At age 26, Joe McGinnis became the youngest writer to make the New York Times Bestseller list with his account of the 1968 election of Richard Nixon, The Selling of the President. Success and fame came early to him, as well as some very hard times. His son, Joe McGinnis Jr. recounts memories of the man and the struggles that he endured.
Joe McGinnis, Jr., Writes about His Dad

Finally, some welcome news in that John LeCarre will be publishing a memoir next month titled The Pigeon Tunnel. Publishers Weekly has a nice graphic of the man's work and the film adaptations of his books. I'm looking forward to reading the book.
John LeCarre's Memoir: The Pigeon Tunnel

We hope the weather is fine wherever you happen to be. Enjoy some fine books and let us know what books you are loving.

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The Book Booth: An Odds and Ends 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: An Odds and Ends Edition

It is certainly Autumn here in our little town. Storms moving in from the Pacific, as they will in November, with plenty of wind and rain to keep us entertained during the day. And excellent weather to sit down and enjoy some good books.

I can't say that I'm the biggest American Football fan around, but I follow it a little bit. So it was pleasant for me to learn that Andrew Luck, quarterback for the Indianapolis Colts, is not only a reader, he reads good books and recommends them to his teammates. It's like their locker room is an extended book club.
The Andrew Luck Book Club

November is Native American Heritage Month and the staff at the Indian Country Today Media Network discusses some worthwhile books here. H/T to Seattle Tammy for finding this interesting link.
Native American Heritage Month Reading

I've mentioned recently that Patti Smith has a new volume in her memoirs, M Train, published this Fall. But she is not the only rock 'n' roller to have written a memoir. Among other pop stars with books out are Chrissie Hynde, Grace Jones, John Fogerty and Elvis Costello. Here are some brief descriptions of those autobiographies and they all look intriguing.
Pop Star Autobiographies

In the realm of literature, Vladimir Nabokov's biographer, Brian Boyd, recently helped edit the recently published Letters to Vera, a collection of the letters Nabokov wrote to his wife over a fifty year period. Here Boyd ranks his top ten Nabokov novels and I pretty much agree with his list. I'm not sure Pale Fire is "better" than Ulysses, but it is certainly one the greatest novels of the twentieth century.
Nabokov: Letters to Vera

I don't think Paul Theroux's The Mosquito Coast quite ranks up there with Nabokov or Joyce, but I liked the novel immensely when I read it many years ago. Theroux is still writing, with his latest work Deep South having been recently published. The New York Times Book Review caught up with him recently and offers this interview with the author.
The New York Times Interviews Paul Theroux

Calling Bill O'Reilly a historian is an insult to anyone who has taken up history as a profession. So it is much fun for me to see his right-wing colleagues take him to task, as George Will recently did over O'Reilly's opus Killing Reagan.
George Will on Bill O'Reilly's Killing Reagan

Pretty much confirming what most of us have thought since the Pinochet coup in 1973, the Chilean government now says that the poet Pablo Neruda was probably murdered by the army there and did not die conveniently from cancer as had been reported.
Pablo Neruda's Death - by Cancer or Assassination Squad?

Yes! Authors do shop at their local independent bookstores. Mental Floss featured 21 writers who talked about their favorite places here. H/T to Lucian for finding the link.
Writers' Favorite Independent Bookstores

I'm really terrible at memorizing phone numbers. I still have to look up the last four digits of my landline. Of course, I rarely call myself. But home addresses? Really? Here's a quiz to see if you know some of these literary addresses. I actually knew a couple of them.
Do You Know These Literary Addresses?

I've never commuted to work by subway, but I have ridden the bus for many years to and from work. I always got a lot of reading done that way. One time in Seattle, while riding home, I overheard two young women discussing characters from Djuna Barnes' novel Nightwood and remember thinking to myself, only in Seattle. Bustle offers some advice here on how to judge our fellow commuters from what they are reading.
Wondering Who Your Fellow Travelers Are? Check Out What They Read.

Have a pleasant weekend with many books, and with warm drinks to keep you cozy. And please do share with us what books you are enjoying!

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