Archive for reading

The Book Booth: Valentine's Day 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.  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: Valentines Day Edition

Ah, the day to remember our loved ones with chocolate, cards and, one would hope, books. Which Buzzfeed reminds us.
Books for Valentine's Day!

If you and your sweetie are at some loss of how to celebrate your together, Bustle has some ideas for you.
How to Celebrate Valentine's Day!

But what becomes of the broken-hearted, as Jimmy Ruffin asked nearly fifty years ago? The last thing that those who have lost at love want to see or hear are books or songs about love; it seems every song on the radio will be about love gone wrong. Susie Steiner, author the novel Missing, has some suggestions for books for dispirited lovers here at the Guardian. To her list, I would add Ann Beattie's Chilly Scenes of Winter, which, at least, provides some hope.
Books for Good People Currently In-Between Significant Others

The big news in books this week was the announcement that there will be a new Harry Potter book coming out this summer.
Harry's Back! (and Hermione and Hagrid and Ron and...)

But as JK Rowling wants to remind us, Harry Potter and the Cursed Child is NOT a novel, but a play script, and follows Harry and family nineteen years after the last novel.
More on Your Favorite Wizard's Return (to Stage and Page)

Is the printed page dying? Maybe not, if today's students are to be believed. They seem to prefer real books. Thanks to my buddy John Miller for sending this link along.
So You Think the Dead Tree Content Delivery System is Dead? Think Again

Even famous writers have a few obscure works in their oeuvre. Ernest Hemingway's Across the River and Into the Trees (the title being a paraphrase of what Stonewall Jackson was reputed to have said after his mortal wound at Chancellorsville), would be one of those books. But it may have a second life now that a film adaptation featuring Pierce Brosnan is now in the works.
Across the River and Into the Cinema for Hemingway

The advance word on Jane Mayer's Dark Money, a book detailing the bizarre and very scary world of the Koch Brothers, is positive. I know our library system has many, many holds on it. Salon has a good feature here that will make you want to learn more.
The Koch Brothers' Dirtiest Deeds Exposed

For those of us who loved the film Sorrow and the Pity, about the French resistance movement during the Second World War, should find the new book by Robert Gildea, Fighters in the Shadow, to be of great interest. The New York Review of Books examines it here. H/T to Lucian for finding this link.
Vive la France (et la Resistance)!

To all a very Happy Valentines Day! Enjoy it with your sweetie and good book. And let us know what books you are adoring!

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The Book Booth: Super Bowl Edition

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Image: 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.  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: Super Bowl Edition

Yes, our national attention once again returns with much anticipation and nail-biting as on Sunday we will know if either the Denver Broncos or Carolina Panthers will become NFL champions. I hope your favorite team wins. Other than that, I have no pony in this race.

The Center for Fiction has an interesting page up, featuring the books that turned them into readers. The link will take you to Stephen King's pick, but there are plenty more on the sidebar. King's pick was Dr. Seuss. I loved the good doctor myself as a child, but I am not sure I can pinpoint the book or author that made me a reader. Though Franklin W. Dixon of Hardy Boys fame comes to mind.
The Book That Made Me A Reader

Have you ever been tempted to lie about having read a certain book? You know, so you don't look stupid or dense at a fashionable cocktail party you're attending? If so, you are not alone. And in England, it seems that the most lied about book is not War and Peace, but Alice's Adventures in Wonderland!
The Most Lied-About Books in the UK

I don't think I've ever lied about having read a certain book. But I've faked some of Finnegan's Wake, a book I've dabbled into from time to time over the years. It is a difficult book, with some pleasant rewards if one persists. But now there are some recordings by artists reading from Joyce's work, which may be one way to approach its density.
Can't Read Finnegan's Wake? Why Not Listen To It Instead?

I know that Charles Harold St. John Hamilton was not a writer with whom I'd have been familiar, but he certainly wrote a great deal. In fact, according to the New York Times, he was the most prolific writer ever.
Charles Harold St. John Who?

The Stanislavski Method to approaching a character in acting has been around a long time now. The immersion into character has delighted and thrilled many a movie and theater goer, with amazing performances by Brando, De Niro, Hoffman and many others. Thomas W. Hodgkinson, who has recently published his novel Memoirs of a Stalker, wonders if writers do not also use the same "method" when writing their own novels.
The Stanislavski Methods for Writers?

A couple of lists for your enjoyment. Callan Wink, who has had his story collection Dog Run Moon recently published, picked his favorite top ten books about the American West. It's an interesting list, with some fine books. Though it does lack some Wallace Stegner.
Rootin' Tootin' Shootin' Wild West Books!

Have you ever missed those heady days of the Cold War? Me, neither. But it did produce a lot of very good books. The Guardian lists some here. I may have picked LeCarre's Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy instead of Spy Who Came in from the Cold; and I would have added Pat Frank's Alas Babylon, a neglected work from the 1950's, or Eugene Burdick/Harvey Wheeler's Fail-Safe.
Cold War Books

Even the best of writers need the occasional pick-me-up, the pat on the back, the affirmations that keep one writing. Octavia Butler was no exception, and here are some of her reflective boosts. From Buzzfeed.
Reflective Boosts

Finally, I don't think tea will be the beverage of choice for many of you watching the Big Game on Sunday. But if it happens to the thing you'll be brewing, George Orwell has some tips on making a great cup of tea.
How to Brew Tea (for the Big Game!)

Have a great weekend my friends. Enjoy the game if you're watching. And by all means, let us know what books you'll be reading at half-time.

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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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The Book Booth: Autumn Leaves Edition

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Image: Brain Pickings

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: Autumn LeavesEdition

Oh, the leaves are turning and falling. The colors around here are so vibrant and beautiful. And I read an article this week that tells us that we should not be raking those leaves! No! Unraked leaves provide an eco-system for the insect world that benefits both them and ourselves. Do the world a favor and do not rake the leaves!

Amazon.com this week opened up its first brick and mortar store in the University Village shopping mall in Seattle. The mall itself is close to the University of Washington campus, and the neighborhood is up-scale. (I think most Seattle neighborhoods are up-scale now). Once upon a time the mall featured a quaint independent book store and a wonderful independent record store. Ah, fond memories! In any event, as the writer from Forbes points out, this Amazon outlet is not really about selling books. It is about collecting data.
Amazon Wants To Know Even More About You!

Former bookseller Dustin Kurtz, writing for the New Republic, was equally unimpressed with the store. In fairness, he found the staff to be very good and it is a good thing that the staff are paid well, at least by industry standards. But the store resembles the front page of Amazon website and the selection is limited.
Amazon's Brick-and-Mortar Store Reviewed

We are beginning to approach that time of year. You know. The holiday season. And most retailers are gearing up. I know, I know. We haven't had Veterans Day yet, much less Thanksgiving. Nevertheless, most of the publishers have released all their major titles for the year, as buzz and promotion on book titles gets lost after Halloween. And thusly, Publishers Weekly has announced what it considers to be the best titles for the year here. It is designed by subject and offers one the opportunity to purchase books from independent booksellers.
Publishers Weekly Wants You to See the Titles You Might Miss in the Hubbub of the Christmas Rush

A more interesting list comes from Patti Smith, whose new memoir M Train was recently released. Here she chose her fifty favorite books for Brain Pickings and the titles are ambitious.
What Books Does Patti Smith Read?

If you have not had the chance to see Ridley Scott's adaptation of Andrew Weir's The Martian, do yourself a favor and go see the movie. Until then, take a look at Weir's interview with the Daily Beast. He loved the film and dismissed the scientific errors as fairly trivial, considering that the story is a drama and not a science project.
The Man Behind 'The Martian' 

I keep thinking I should do more with the Twitter. I look at it briefly every day, and I get too easily distracted to keep up with it. But there are some fun things to read there and Buzzfeed found some of the better grammar nazi tweets, which are pretty funny.
Twitter and Grammar Nazis

I have to admit that when I enter a home or apartment I haven't been to before, I do check out, almost immediately, the bookshelves. But as the folks at Bustle point out, it's not just the titles one should look at; look at the shelves themselves. And what do they say about you? I am somewhere between alphabetical and cluttered and full.
What Do Your Bookshelves Say About You? 

Do take a book down from the shelves this weekend and treat yourself to a good read. And please do let us know how you're liking the book you choose! Have a most splendid Autumn weekend.

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