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The Book Booth: When Librarians Gather Edition

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Image: LA Times


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 Librarians Gather Edition

This past week librarians from around the country gathered for the mid-winter meeting of the American Library Association, to confer with their fellow librarians and do other remarkable stuff to keep the written word alive.  And while they met, the ALA announced this years winners for the Newberry Medal, awarded this year to Matt De La Pena for Last Stop on Market Street, and the Caldecott Medal, given to Sophie Blackall for Finding Winnie: The True Story of the World's Most Famous Bear. You can see the other winners here.

The librarians also awarded the Carnegie Medals.
You can read to whom for what here.

The New York Public Library recently released a virtual ton of digital images and the good folks at Flavorwire featured some great book jacket art from the 1920's and 1930's.
NYPL Book Jacket Art

Thursday morning, way too early for anyone to be really awake on the west coast, the Academy Award nominations were announced, and movies based on books did pretty well. The Revenant, novel by Michael Punke, picked up many nominations, including best picture and actor for Leonardo diCaprio. The Martian, book authored by Andrew Weir, was also nominated for best picture and actor for Matt Damon. And The Big Short, non-fiction by Michael Lewis, was nominated as well for best picture. The nominees are here.
Academy Award Nominations

And with some luck, good box office and positive reviews, these movies have a chance at glory next year. Interesting that the Tarzan franchise is getting revisited. But the two I'll be looking forward to are Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children and Pride and Prejudice and Zombies. Because who can get enough of zombies?
Read These Books Before They're Made Into Movies

We note the passing of the great and illustrious David Bowie. As one might suspect, he was an avid reader. Here is his eclectic favorite 100 books.
David Bowie's Favorite 100 Books

President Obama gave his State of the Union address this week, and once again stunned us with his facility with words and speech-making. But we shouldn't be surprised. He's always shown his abilities at critical reasoning, even at the age of 22 when he wrote a friend about T.S. Eliot.
President Obama as Literary Critic

The human need to find and categorize damn near everything isn't anything new. Check out this beautiful Dutch book, published in 1692, of finding every color known to us. It is a stunning looking tome.
Every Color Under The Sun

Have a great weekend, enjoy some leisure time and be sure to let us know what great books you are loving.

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The Book Booth: The Best of 2015 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: The Best of 2015 Edition

We seem to be in the midst of the holiday season, now, and a Happy Hanukkah to all of you who celebrate the festival of lights. Seattle Tammy and I are getting our house in shape so we can set up a tree this year. Which is something we really haven't done in a while. So we are enjoying so far.

It is also that time of year when the critics give us their "best-of" lists, which always are fun to explore. For instance, the Boston Globe has an exhaustive list here.
The Boston Globe's 'Best Of' List

And of course the New York Times has their selection of the best ten books here.
The New York Times' 'Best Of' List

NPR has its list, complete with dust jacket art, which is pretty cool.
NPR's 'Best Of' List

President Obama has his own opinions. He recently shared with ABC his picks for favorite novel (Lauren Groff's Fates and Furies) as well as his favorite movie and song.
President Obama's 'Best Of' List

All these lists make me realize, I have so many books I need to catch up on.

Tracy Chevalier is probably best known for her novel Girl with a Pearl Earring. She also has had published The Last Runaway and her novel At the Edge of the Orchard will arrive in March of next year. Both of those novels deal with mid-19th century America. So she is well-acquainted with novels from the Civil War and she chose her top five here. I would add Daniel Woodrell's A Woe to Live On, which was filmed by Ang Lee some years back as Ride with the Devil.
Tracy Chevalier's Recommendations

Ethan Hawke is both a versatile actor and novelist. His most recent novel is Rules for a Knight. The New York Times interviewed him here and I must say, he has good taste in literature.
NYT Inverview with Author Ethan Hawke

For graphic novel fans, this one looks like a good one. It is the life of Rosa Luxembourg as visualized by Kate Evans. Here's an excerpt from the Nation Magazine.
Graphic Novel on the Life of Rosa Luxembourg

So what are the best novels ever written by a British author? The BBC sought the opinions of over 80 book critics that live outside Merrie Olde England and came up with this list of the top 25.
25 Greatest British Novels (chosen by non-Brits)

Mark Twain lived to see a great many things that we now take for granted. Electrical lighting. The automobile. The airplane. And the advent of motion pictures. Here he is from 1909, the year before his death, filmed by non less than Thomas Edison.
Mark Twain Filmed by Thomas Edison

Finally, in case you need any convincing, Bustle provides the 11 reasons you should give books as gifts this year. But I doubt you need the convincing. And you probably have your own good reasons.
Why You Should Give Books as Gifts This Holiday Season

Have a wonderful weekend and please let us know what books you're asking Santa for this year.

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The Book Booth: December Is Here Edition

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Image: Buzzfeed


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: December is Here Edition

Yes, the leaves have fallen for the most part. In fact at my computer station, usually nicely shaded by Magnolia leaves, is now aglow with sunlight that pierces my eyes on sunny days. Who knew I'd need shades to play on the internets?

And it is holiday shopping season. Christmas music is ubiquitous in all the stores and we can only hope we can make it through the month without hearing Frosty the Snowman over and over again. But it is easy enough to get over the holiday blahs with some good books. Bustle recommended these Christmas stories to help inspire a good Yule.
Yule Stories

Small Business Saturday has come and gone. I hope you were able to visit one or more of your local independent businesses. President Obama did his part, patronizing Upshur Street Books in DC with his daughters and buying an armload of books.
A Literate World Leader: President Obama's Christmas Shopping List

If you've been waiting to do shopping for yourself or others, you might want to consider these titles that Buzzfeed recommends as good December reading. The Gold Eaters by Ronald Wright has piqued my interest. And Isabel Allende is a fine writer.
More Great Books to Read This December

The latest craze has been adult coloring books. There is something meditative and pleasant about coloring. Except if you worry too much about going outside the lines. Or if you are a man who worries about indulging in childish pursuits. Good fortune, though, there are coloring books for men!
Adult Coloring Books (Yes, You Read That Right!)

Well, there is a bit of controversy over the new BBC production of War and Peace. I've read the book, albeit some time ago, and I just don't remember this part.
The BBC Rewrites Tolstoy?

About 99% of all writers, especially those who are young, cannot support themselves by writing alone. Those day jobs are important to keep going. Here is what some writers did for a living before becoming famous. H/T to Lucian for the link.
How Authors Kept Body and Soul Together While Writing Masterpieces

Ancient Rome has long been a source of fascination to me. It was the area of history I concentrated on in college and I enjoy whatever novels or histories that come along. Here NPR has interviewed Cambridge Classics professor, Mary Beard, about her new history SPQR: A History of Ancient Rome. And like her, I really loved I, Claudius.
Interview with Cambridge Classics Professor & Author Mary Beard

Hoping that you are enjoying the season! Please let us know what books you are enjoying and what books you plan to give as gifts!

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The Book Booth: Halloween Edition

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Smiling Pumpkin image from Bustle

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: Halloween Edition

Today is the day. All the ghosts and goblins and witches will invade our neighborhoods, demanding candy and other goodies. The full moon has just passed, adding to the overall eerie night. Be careful opening that door! You don't know what creepiness might await you...and just what is that rapping noise coming from the attic?

Still haven't carved that pumpkin? No worries. The folks at Bustle have you covered with these spooky literary ideas.
Literary Pumpkins

For those of you planning to attend a Halloween party tonight and you're stuck for a costume idea, check out these suggestions that are also from Bustle.
Literary Halloween Costumes

Of course you could go to a Halloween party dressed as one of the GOP candidates, any of which could scare you nearly to death. Clown makeup would be a must. Perhaps not so over the top as Pennywise in the novel It. But you certainly would induce coulrophobia among the other guests. In any event, politicians have always been on the receiving end of many an insult. Here is some of the best insults by authors for their political foes.
Writers Insult Politicians

And if visiting haunted homes is your idea of a great vacation, there are plenty of literary ones to choose from, including Shirley Jackson's and H.P. Lovecraft's. One hope Cthulu doesn't answer the door.
Literary Haunted Houses

Although it would be very cool to visit Middle Earth, one really cannot in the physical sense. But if one could, it sure would be handy to have a map annotated by J.R.R. Tolkien.
J.R.R. Tolkien's Middle Earth Map

So you woke up, got out of bed, dragged a comb across your head, made your way downstairs and had a cup, looked up and noticed you were late...and made the bus in seconds flat...But you forgot your book! No worries! The French have solved that pesky problem. HT to good friend Caleb for the link.
Get Your Short Stories Here!

The Library of America does beautiful reprints from the best in American literature. Christopher Carduff was hand-picked by John Updike to edit Updike's works. Here Carduff chooses the top ten from the authors works for Publishers Weekly. Oddly, he did not mention Couples, which was something of a breakout novel for Updike. But he did pick my favorite, Hub Fans Bid Kid Adieu.
The 10 Best John Updike Books

It is something quite remarkable and good that we currently have a President who loves to read and read fiction. Here is the interview (part 2) that President Obama had with novelist Marilynne Robinson.
Marilynne Robinson Interviews President Obama On His Reading

We note the passing of the much admired novelist Paul West, who has struggled with health issues for some time now. I very much liked his The Very Rich Hours of Count Von Stauffenberg, his richly imagined narrative of the man who attempted to assassinate Hitler. The New York Times has the obituary here.
Paul West Has Left Us at 85

Finally, some book decorating inspirtation. Buzzfeed recently featured these beautiful rooms which prove Virginia Woolf's dictum that books do furnish a room. Enjoy.
How Books Complete Rooms

Have a happy, safe and very spooky Halloween! And by all means let us know what books have given you the chills on these autumn nights.

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