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, as well a brick and mortar in small town Washington State. Both have been in the book business since shortly after the Creation, or close to 6000 years now.
Some weeks are better than others and this past one pretty much sucked. Paddy and Laffy offer their mid-day distractions and I've need them this week. I hope that by talking about books, you may enjoy some diversion as well this weekend.
And, of course, the big news in Literature is the announcement of this years Pulitzer Prizes. Publishers Weekly has the list of winners here.
As there was no fiction last year, which provoked all sorts of controversy, NPR's Morning Edition discussed the financial aspects of having a winner during the business segement, with some commentary by Steve Inskeep and David Greene. Listen to the audio.
To be quite honest, I hadn't heard of Adam Johnson and his winning novel, The Orphan Master's Son, which takes place in the recesses of North Korea, so this feature on him in PW comes in handy.
For years, in mystery circles, their have been high accolades for the Belgian author, Georges Simenon. I have read one of his books, but it was in a Spanish translation for an advanced High School class, and I can't remember a thing about it. The blog Guernicamag. had this appreciation of him.
Speaking of my formative educational years, I can't remember any great "campus" novels during my years as an undergraduate. The best one that is close to the years I spent attending the University was Been Down So Long, It Looks Like Up to Me, by Richard Farina, which is still worth reading today. The other one I can think of is The Strawberry Statement, which is not. Flavorwire assures that the campus novel genre is still alive and kicking.
In other book recommends, ABEBooks had this fine feature on books by librarians. I love our local libraries and the librarians who, underpaid and understaffed, do such a great job of bringing the printed word to our communities.
Congrats and kudos to an old friend and colleague, Harry Kirchner, who has ventured into the publishing biz with a new line of re-issued out of print titles. The imprint is Pharos Editions and the announced titles are intriguing. I read Inside Moves years ago and enjoyed it a great deal. Basketball does not lend itself to great reads, but this is the exception. And McTeague, the novel by Frank Norris was famously filmed in the silent era as Greed by Erich Von Stroheim.
In the Book to Film department, it seems that a new documentary on the life and work of the reclusive J.D. Salinger will be released in September and then shown again on PBS this coming January. Rope of Silicon has the poster art and the story.
As far as I know, Salinger's works have never been filmed. He probably didn't need film adaptations to assure his fame. But other authors have benefited a great deal from having their work appear on the silver screen, and Word and Film has a list of six such authors.
Then, again, maybe having your novel filmed isn't such a great idea. Deja View has the list of ten films that have a passing resemblance to the works they're base upon.
Hang in there, dear readers, and enjoy the weekend. Tell us what books you have on your nightstand!