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The Book Booth: Visual Arts Edition - Archive

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Seattle Dan and Seattle Tammy will not be able to join us this week so I thought that I would post The Book Booth from a year ago - November 16, 2013.

Note: read more Book Booths from our archive here.

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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, 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.

Somehow I ended up with many links this week that featured books in graphic form, one way or another. So prepare to be dazzled graphically. At least I hope you are.

First, the folks at Visual.ly prepared a graphic of the most read books in the world. The titles probably wont surprise you. Well, Twilight Saga surprised me somewhat. But I'm pleased that 50 Shades of Gray isn't included.

I mentioned Classics Illustrated last week, but only discovered (thanks to my friend Nakaima Oh) this week that Julian Peters illustrates famous poems. Here is his take on The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock, and it is very good. Take a look, dare to eat a peach and wear the bottoms of your trousers rolled.

NPR featured a new book by graphic artist Joe Sacco, The Great War, which tells the story of the battle of the Somme, one of the bloodiest battles ever fought. The text folds out to a length of 24 feet, so be sure you have some room.

Medieval book copiers often would use old, washed out paper to do their handiwork. Now some European scholars have been able to use Science, and see just what texts got copied over and the results are stunning. Thanks to SeattleTammy for finding this one.

Other arts inspire the writer as well. Jason Diamond at Flavorwire examines seven books that have an architectural bent.

Then, again, books inspire others in the arts. This coming week marks the unveiling of the new Harry Potter stamps from the United States Postal Service. USA Today has the story.

I wouldn't want to leave out animators. Here is a cool representation of novelist Stephen Millhauser's Home Run.

Paddy found some very small bookstores, while perusing Boingboing. First off, a very small and well-lighted place in San Francisco. Then there is this one in Helsinki which reminds me of SeattleTammy's nightstand.

As does this one in Paris.

Finally, for all you Dr. Who nerds out there, and you know who you are, Tom Hawking of Flavorwire has this history of the good doctor...as pictured on the Bayeux Tapestry! Enjoy.

A good weekend for us all! And let us know what you're reading to pass the time away.

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The Book Booth: June is Here Edition

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Fox affiliate wants you to know that Maya Angelou will not be in Houston today.

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.

It was quite a week in the world of books. Foremost, we lost one of America's great literary lights in the passing of Maya Angelou, whose works will endure. The New York Times had this appreciation which is well worth your time: Maya Angelou

USA Today featured these quotes from Ms. Angelou as well as some other links about her life and work.

In much happier news, LaVar Burton has begun a Kickstarter campaign to revive Reading Rainbow, and it seems to have been very successful, and something of which I'm sure Maya Angelou would have approved. Check out his video here, and for some of you of a certain age, it just might bring a tear to your eyes.

Still in search for books to read this summer? The New Republic has some interesting selections. And any list that include Haruki Murakami can't be all bad.

If there are books you've missed in the past that you've been meaning to get to, BuzzFeed has these suggestions for Summer reading, including some short novels like Death in Venice or The Lover, all worthwhile reading.

If your tastes are more literary, Claire Fallon at HuffPo has a list of some fine younger writers you could check out here.

You may want to add Hilary Clinton's new memoir Hard Choices to your reading list. The book will be published on June 10th and deals in the main with her years as the Secretary of State. She will also be doing an author tour (which can be pretty grueling) and some signings. USA Today suggests that this could be step one for her in the 2016 campaign.

John Dickerson at Slate had these thoughts on the memoir, and does see the book as part of a campaign launch. Dickerson Slate article.

Perhaps you loved a book in the past and wish there had been more. MentalFloss has a list of sequels you may not have known existed, and to which you can add to your summer reading. Though you wont catch me reading any sequels to GWTW. Life is too short.

Hey, maybe that Tory government in England isn't so American-Friendly! Ari Shapiro at NPR has this story of three American works now dropped from the curriculum, including To Kill a Mockingbird. Harumph! I say.

Here is yet another BuzzFeed quiz for you. It asks how many of the listed 99 titles you have read. But the really cool thing about this quiz has to be the original dust jacket art! Take a gander.

Our weekend forecast here is for splendid weather for our little town, and I hope you have the same. Read lots and by all means, tell us what books you are enjoying.

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The Book Booth: National Poetry Month Edition

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Photograph: Matt Carr/Getty Images / The Guardian

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.

April, which can be either have showers sweet or be the cruelest month, depending on your attitude, is National Poetry Month. Whenever it rolls around, it makes me feel guilty as I don't read nearly enough of the stanzaic art. But I do have a copy of Kenneth Fearing's Selected Poetry on the nightstand, and I will read it soon and assuage my guilt.

If you, too, are behind on reading verse, check out Flavorwire's 50 most essential poetry books. These are good suggestions and any list that includes Shel Silverstein on an essential anything has got to be pretty good.

It has been nearly forty years since I read Kenneth Koch's Wishes, Lies and Dreams, about teaching the craft of poetry writing to inner city children. One hopes that poetry is still taught in schools and Andrew Simmons at the Atlantic makes a compelling argument for it being done so.

Although not a poet per se, John Steinbeck had a way with words and is neglected these days, at least by academic critics. Not so with Susan Shillinglaw who has this appreciation of thirteen of his novels at Publishers Weekly.

William Faulkner, on the other hand, did indulge in writing poetry, but obviously is now much more regarded as a novelist. ABE Books had this feature on Faulkner with some great book jacket art.

For science fiction fans that are looking for something new, io9 had these suggestions for neglected writers. I have to admit that I have not heard of, much less read, some of these authors.

Many authors are plagued at seminars and readings by the question, where do you get your ideas? It is a question most writers dread getting because they don't remember or they just seem to happen. Stephen King, however, can answer that question, at least in part, in this short essay on how he came up the idea for Carrie.

On the good news front, Kazuo Ishiguro will publish his first new novel, The Buried Giant, in March of 2015. He has not published one since 2005, so this comes as welcome news. And if you have not read his Remains of the Day, go do so right now. We'll wait for you.

In sadder news, last week saw the passing of Peter Matthiessen at age 86. Although probably best known as wonderful nature writer, he was a fine novelist and I cannot recommend At Play in the Fields of the Lord enough. The New York Times ran this obituary.

Banned Books Week wont happen again until next October. But for those who'd like to plan ahead, Cory Doctorow over at BoingBoing has a fashion tip here!

Finally, of all the book accessories available, I think the book plate is my favorite. You can use darn near anything as a bookmark (grocery receipts serve us well around here), but the plate is personal. HuffPo had some examples of some beauties here.

Please enjoy this weekend. Read some poetry. And by all means, let us know what book is delighting you!

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ARCHIVE: The Book Booth Day-Trip Edition

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Seattle Dan and Seattle Tammy are taking the weekend off to travel. Accordingly, I thought we might publish an archive Book Booth about day trips from last summer. I hope you're having a great weekend Dan and Tammy and thanks for your many great posts on The Political Carnival!!!

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.

One of the nice things about summer is that people take vacations, go places and see things. This weekend SeattleTammy and I will be taking a trip up to Seattle, always fun in itself, but this trip has the added pleasure of meeting up with internet friends we rarely see and some of whom we haven't met. Ah, on the road again!

In the meantime, enjoy some hot liquid refreshments and let's catch up on the world of books and reading. And although school children across the land may be dreading it, the arrival of Autumn is right around the corner. For us in the book biz, the Fall season is crucial. Publishers Weekly has an article on what good books we may expect to be coming off the presses and it looks like there will be some good ones.

One book SeattleTammy and I anticipate is a new novel by Thomas Pynchon, due out in mid-September. It is titled Bleeding Edge and deals with both the events of 9/11 and Silicon Valley. Maybe we can get him to stop by and sign some copies. But probably not. David Kipen of Publishers Weekly reviews it here.

Pynchon is known to have taken the famous literature course taught by Vladimir Nabokov, when the latter taught at Cornell. I guess many famous novelists moonlight by teaching and it seems Jorge Luis Borges did the same. Here are some thoughts that this giant of Latin American letters had on English writers and literature.

One of the issues that gets talked about passionately here at TPC is the treatment of the prisoners at Guantanamo Bay. It seems that recently, some of the novels by John Grisham have been banned. And Mr. Grisham is not happy.

There are banned books and then there are books you should read before you're 20, or wait until you're in your 30's. Emily Temple at Flavorwire offered up 15 books Not to read in your 20's.

As we all know, the internets were created so we could share photos of our cats. Buzzfeed had these kitty photos of felines reading quality literature.

On a more serious note, this years winners of the PEN Literary Awards were announced this past week. And we are very happy that our internet friend Mark Kram, Jr.'s book Like Any Normal Day won for the years best sports book. It is a very touching book and we cannot recommend it highly enough.

More from Publishers Weekly who offered five books that were ahead of their time. I would have included The Life and Opinions of Tristram Shandy, but the choices here are interesting.

Finally Verlyn Klinkenborg says it well here, on the differences between the physical book and e-reading. Amen.

A great weekend for you all. And let us know what books top your nightstand this week.

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