Archive for seattle tammy

The Book Booth: Happy Easter Edition

FacebookTwitterRedditDiggStumbleUponTumblrLinkedInPinterestEmailShare

books

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.

The Pulitzer Prizes were announced this past week, and there didn't seem to be much hoopla surrounding the prizes this year. I mean besides the WaPo for public service, which seemed a bit controversial.In any event, Donna Tartt took the prize for fiction for her well-regarded The Goldfinch.

USA Today interviewed her, kinda sorta, here.

The Goldfinch is Tartt's third novel. And it has been eleven years
between her second and third. Second novels are notoriously difficult
for authors, especially for those who's debut novels were considered
sensational. Norman Mailer comes to mind. He followed Naked and the
Dead
with Barbary Shore which was received, let us say, with less than
enthusiasm. The Millions considers the second novel and wonders if we
may be living in a golden age for second novels
.

Speaking of golden ages, Flavorwire had these vintage photos of
bookstores past
. I spent many an hour browsing through the Pickwick
store in Hollywood and even worked a while at the Beverly Hills
branch, though that was after the B. Dalton chain had acquired
Pickwick. The Hollywood store was one of the best ever.

Our own Lucian found this entertaining article from the BBC on the
hidden meanings in children's literature
. Clearly kid's books often
yield more than one kind of reading. Think of Alice in Wonderland,
which has a lot more going on than just Alice's adventures with all
sorts of odd and memorable characters. Or The Wizard of Oz. (L. Frank
Baum was a feminist/socialist).

Lily King at ABEBooks had these essential young adult books featured
recently, most of which can be read at many levels. And, of course,
the book jacket art is always fun to gaze at.

Ah, the emoticon. We all use them, mostly as a shorthand. And it seems
to be a fairly new phenomenon. Well, maybe not. It seems that perhaps
Robert Herrick may have done so in 1648, and a smiley face at that.
Considering that England at the time was about to execute King
Charles, I think that interesting. The Atlantic has the story.

The inventive music composer Brian Eno recently revealed his favorite
twenty books
. Every time I open up my computer, I think of him. In any
event, his list is highly eclectic, as one who knows his work, one
might expect.

Whizzpast had this article on the best opening lines from novels of
the 1950s
. We are all aware of the importance of the opening line.
Even if you've never read it, nearly everyone knows the opening line
of Moby Dick. Or Tale of Two Cities.

In the book accessories department, consider the tote bag.
SeattleTammy and I use them all the time for shopping. And we have
many, collected over the years from book trade shows. A recent article
at HuffPo showed off some of these very handsome looking bags.

Finally, the famed Latin American author Gabriel Garcia Marquez passed away after a lingering illness on Thursday. If you have never read 100
Years of Solitude, do yourself a favor and read it. It is in the top
ten of books I loved. NPR has the news.

Enjoy your weekend and be sure to let us know what book you have
going! And Happy Easter to those of you celebrating.

FacebookTwitterRedditDiggStumbleUponTumblrLinkedInPinterestEmailShare

The Book Booth: National Poetry Month Edition

FacebookTwitterRedditDiggStumbleUponTumblrLinkedInPinterestEmailShare
book

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!

FacebookTwitterRedditDiggStumbleUponTumblrLinkedInPinterestEmailShare

ARCHIVE: The Book Booth Day-Trip Edition

FacebookTwitterRedditDiggStumbleUponTumblrLinkedInPinterestEmailShare

daytrip

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.

FacebookTwitterRedditDiggStumbleUponTumblrLinkedInPinterestEmailShare

The Book Booth: Opening Day Edition

FacebookTwitterRedditDiggStumbleUponTumblrLinkedInPinterestEmailShare

book

Photo of Tennessee Williams Credit: Express/Getty Images

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.

With Spring comes Baseball Season. All thirty teams start with a clean slate and hopes for October playoff berths. Best of luck to them all. But especially my Seattle Mariners.

It is the season of flowers and many a garden is a-bloom. Keats
observed that a thing of beauty is a joy forever. So in that spirit, here are some gorgeous childrens books illustrations from the 1920's, including some by Arthur Rackham. From Buzzfeed.

I will be heading out to the library later, where I will pick up a copy of the well-reviewed recent novel, Night in Shanghai by Nicole Mones. In this day and age, my library system sends me email notices when items become due. But in times past, one had to rely on memory. MentalFloss found some library books that were past due and then some.

Here's a prize that I did not know existed and hadn't realized it was so coveted. It is the Diagram Prize for oddest book title. And this years winner indeed has an odd title. H/T to our friend Mark McKay for alerting us.

Book Clubs have become a huge feature on the literary landscape these days. Publishers spend a great deal of time and money marketing their titles to them. And why not? It is a fine way to share passion for reading. And for eating. Literary biographer James Atlas offered up some thoughts on the phenomenon at the New York Times Book Review.

So your hopes to become a rock 'n' roll star didn't quite pan out.
Plan B, of course, was to be a best-selling author. The problem is,
though, that the sales figures are not what they seem. And you may have to invest some big bucks to get there. On to Plan C!

Well, if Plan C involves academic publishing, take heed. There are vanity houses out there who'll be happy to publish that senior year paper of yours. H/T to our good friend and author of Tone Deaf in Bangkok, Janet Brown.

But if writing is what you really want to do, don't be dissuaded by the previous links. Give it a go and along the way, you will find these books on writing very useful. Via BrainPickings.

And if you become famous enough, your juvenilia will be much sought after and published. Even if it has been left in a drawer for eighty years, as seems to be the case with Tennessee Williams.

I do have a certain fascination with early cinema. So I found this article from MentalFloss on early adaptations of famous novels very interesting. Alas, some of these we will never see.

I have been binge watching Dexter on the Netflix. It is based on a
mystery novel entitled Dexter Darkly Dreaming, which I have not read.  Other novels have been adapted to the tee-vee medium and with the success of Game of Thrones, I'm guessing that studio execs are looking for fresh material. io9 has some suggestions.

Here's hoping you are enjoying your weekend with a good book, some spring like weather and excitement over the coming baseball season.

And please let us know what books you are enjoying.

FacebookTwitterRedditDiggStumbleUponTumblrLinkedInPinterestEmailShare

The Book Booth: Spring Is Here Edition

FacebookTwitterRedditDiggStumbleUponTumblrLinkedInPinterestEmailShare

book

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.

The Book Booth: Spring Is Here Edition
Spring is here, spring is here, life is skittles and life is beer. So says the wise poet, Tom Lehrer. And with Spring comes all things new again, including a bunch of new words admitted into the canon of the Oxford English Dictionary. Buzzfeed has some of these defined for you here. Good to see bookaholic is now an official word. I think it has been used for many years now.

With Spring comes house cleaning and chores put off during the winter. For SeattleTammy and me, that means the never-ending need for more bookshelves. Here is a great way to use those out-of-date encyclopedias that you have around. Instruction manual included!

And while we ponder our Spring home projects, this very cool item - book masking tape! - is now available for purchase and use around the house.

Need some mystery reading to get you through the weekend? ABEBooks recently featured crime novels with their usual display of great cover art.

I have probably mentioned before that as a young lad, I voraciously
read the Hardy Boy series. I couldn't get enough of them. Mystery
solving, though, has changed over the years and imagine, if you will,
Woody Harrelson and Matthew McConnaughey, as our intrepid crime
busters. The cover art might look something like this.

I finished blitzing House of Cards on Netflix. For those of you who
need more tales of power and Machiavellian mischief, Buzzfeed has this outstanding reading list of fiction and non-fiction works that should satisfy.

Frank Underwood, the anti-hero of House of Cards, must have been like one of those jerks you knew back in Middle and/or High School. Where else does one learn such duplicitous behavior? HuffPo recently ranted about other annoying teens here.

In my experience, I have never found books written by political
conservatives to be big sellers. Of course a lot of that experience
came in Seattle, which is uber-liberal. But I do know that many of the
conservative titles sales came from book club sales nationwide, which
is why they would end up on the New York Times bestseller lists, which
counts those sales. Still it is nice to hear that there seems to be
problems in the right-wing dystopia of "literature".

Sometimes being grumpy is a matter of waking up on the wrong side of
the bed. And then others are born that way and end up writing for the
National Review. So take heart, would-be writer! Even the best authors
get reviewed by these grumpuses.

Happy Springtime all! Enjoy your weekend with a fine book and let us
know what you are reading.

FacebookTwitterRedditDiggStumbleUponTumblrLinkedInPinterestEmailShare

The Book Booth: St. Patrick's Day Edition

FacebookTwitterRedditDiggStumbleUponTumblrLinkedInPinterestEmailShare

book

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.

The Book Booth: St. Patrick's Day Edition I know today is actually the Ides of March, but I know few people who actually still celebrate the assassination of Julius Caesar these days. And I'm not at all sure what such a celebration would entail. I have the feeling I wouldn't like it. But St. Patricks Day....it's time to break out the green beer. Because nothing says all things Irish like green beer. Speaking of odd things like green beer, you may have seen this floating around the internets. The Meta Picture had these books you may not have realized were real.  I can attest to many of them. And possibly NSFW.

For those of you looking for a craft project this weekend, check out some of these book dioramas that Flavorwire posted.

But if you anything like SeattleTammy and me, what you really need are more bookshelves. So to inspire you, check out these bookshelves provided by Bustle. Some of these are simply stunning.  What wouldn't look better on those shelves than some 19th century editions of Charles Dickens featuring some of these illustrations? A question that has been probably plaguing you for weeks, if not years and decades, is who is the most influential writers out there in today's modern world. Well, based on twitter followers, the Millions has the top five. I have to say I'm pleased to see Stephen Fry in there. I love that guys stuff, whether it is his writings or his other work.

One of the social media modes I personally have not checked out is Tumblr. Apparently I need to do so. Mashable had these places to explore if you happen to be a book nerd. And if you are reading this, you are.

From the book to movie department comes the books one should read before the movie is released from Word and Film. I am particularly looking forward to the adaptation of Thomas Pynchon's Inherent Vice. I don't think Pynchon has been filmed before.  Not to be outdone, MentalFloss featured six books that took some time from print to celluloid.

Though the last pick is a stretch, and not one I'm going to rush out and see.  I am a big fan of Latin American literature and especially of magical realism. For those who'd like to look into this world of fiction, the Latin Times has this excellent list. It seems odd but a number of first-person narratives are unnamed. More than I would have thought as this list from Flavorwire shows.

Good people, I hope all of you have a pleasant weekend with many books to read. And if you plan to party on St. Pat's day, be careful and be good. St. Patrick wants it that way. And let us know what books you got in your pile!

FacebookTwitterRedditDiggStumbleUponTumblrLinkedInPinterestEmailShare

The Book Booth: Odds and Ends Edition

FacebookTwitterRedditDiggStumbleUponTumblrLinkedInPinterestEmailShare

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.

BooksImage: www.writersleague.org

As an old friend used to say, the odds are good, but the goods are
odd. So what do we have this week here in the world of books?

Well, this is odd, because I don't think I've ever linked to a Parade
Magazine article. And odd because some of these books seem odd to me
as the most popular read books in the various states. What would be
the most read book in your state and, do you believe it?

Moira Redmond at the Guardian has some peeves about some authors and their narrative mistakes. I have to agree about some pop culture references. If you are going to make them, do it subtly.

And then there's this from Bored Panda. The forty worst titles and book covers ever. This is probably not safe for work. (By the way, I remember Eating People is Wrong as a Flanders and Swann tune; I didn't realize it had once been the title of a book.)

This past Monday was Read Across America day. In observance, HuffPo offered up 19 quotes that may inspire you to keep reading, as if you needed them.

Recently John Le Carre talked about the real life model(s) for his most famous character, George Smiley. Apparently there is some controversy and he was defending his creation, who is, after all, fictional.

Speaking of George Smiley, I do enjoy re-reading the Karla Trilogy from time to time. I know that there are some people who think re-reading favorite novels is a waste of time. I disagree, of course.

I mean, really, you don't re-watch movies you enjoy. In any event, Kit
Steinkellner argues for visiting old book friends again at the Book
Riot.

I recently talked about the banning of Wendy Donigers' book The Hindus: An Alternative History in India. Ms. Doniger talks about the experience here in a piece for the New York Times.

Ever read a novel that ends in mid-sentence? They do exist and Gabe Habash examines the whys and wherefores at his blog from Publishers Weekly.

I have not watched True Detective on the teevee machine as of yet, and will have to wait for when it shows up on Netflix. But everyone seems to love it. Buzzfeed has this reading list for understanding some of the subtext for the series, and for the Southern Gothic genre.

Tyler Coates had this article at Flavorwire not too long ago, of 15
writers reading from their own work
. And it is very cool. Be warned
some of the videos are pretty long, so you'll need a relaxing
afternoon if you want to enjoy them all at once.

Wishing everyone a good weekend, filled with books and reading. And
just what are you reading today? Let us know.

FacebookTwitterRedditDiggStumbleUponTumblrLinkedInPinterestEmailShare