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The Book Booth: Banned Books Week Edition

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Image: Columbus Public Library

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.

During the last week of September the American Library Association sponsors Banned Books Week. Our local library has a great display set up and I would not be surprised if your local independent bookseller has one as well. It is a good time to reflect on our first amendment rights as well fight back against the forces of censorship. The ALA has a list of activites and other assorted goodies here.

And it is probably not too late to get some posters and other resources as offered from the Comic Book Legal Defense Fund. Posters

Banning and censoring books has a long history that extends well past the Index of the Church. But more recently, say 1930, it was still well-entrenched here in the USA. The New Republic inteviewed one censor here, and, no, this is not an Onion parody.

And the tradition continues. Nearly every week I hear of some lame attempt to ban certain works, especially in schools, because, you know, the minds of children and teens can get warped. MentalFloss weighs in with a top ten list of books currently under attack.

I've always wondered what banned book I was. Well, always is the wrong word. But I did wonder earlier in the week when I saw this quiz from PlayBuzz and developed by the Columbus State Library. Turns out I'm the Tropic of Cancer, which was a surprise to me as I'm not the biggest Henry Miller fan.

What banned book are you?

Banning books always arouses controversy. And Hollywood, when it is brave (or it can make them a few bucks), will adapt and film those books. Word and Film listed its top ten list of banned books adapted into celluloid.

From the if you can't lick 'em, re-write 'em Department comes this odd attempt to make Harry Potter more palatable to "Christian" values. Harry does make a lot of banned lists, and I don't think Republican Jesus makes an appearance in any of the books. In any event, here is one woman's stab at revising Harry Potter; if you can read more than three paragraphs of some really bad writing, you have a lot more patience than I do. (And thanks to our own Lucian for finding this.)

Harry Potter as a Christian (and no, this is not an Onion story either!)

I don't think that there is any way to clean up these passages from Children's literature though.

You probably wont find Harry Potter or rewrites of it on any list featuring experimental novels. But writers love to experiment with narratives and style. Emily Temple has such a list of some very interesting experimental novels here at Flavorwire.

Over at BoingBoing, Ella Frances Sanders recently illustrated some words from foreign languages which are thought to be untranslatable. Some of these are clever. And I admit to suffering from Tsundoku syndrome. Untranslatable words translated (or sorta).

And finally some good news for those of us who still enjoy actually thumbing through and turning the pages of a book. H/T to old friend George Carroll for finding this article from Mic.com
Great news for people who actually read books.

Have a great weekend folks. Go find yourself a banned book to read and let us know how much you are enjoying it.

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The Book Booth: Labor Day Edition

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Labor Day
Image: 9pixs.com

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.

Welcome to the Labor Day Weekend, and the unofficial end of summer. We hope you have good weather for your cookouts, picnics and lounging while reading a good book. And take a moment to remember the men and women who have worked so hard to make our lives much better.

Labor Day also (usually) marks the beginning of the new school year and a lot of assigned readings. Students who want to take a break from some of the more stodgy prose might want to check out the eclectic recommendations from Emily Temple at Flavorwire of books not likely to be taught in school.

Returning students may also want to refresh their vocabulary lists for the new year. MentalFloss helps out with a list of ten words that seem to confuse and get misused. And you don't want to be one of those students.  Confused and misused words.

For those English Lit students, chances are you will be grateful that none of these 18th century novels will get assigned. The Toast.net provides them in alphabetical order.  Real Titles of 18th Century Novels

I don't read literature to get advice, but sometimes it is there anyway. Again from Flavorwire, here is a compilation of words to take to heart.  Life Advice from Literature

One author I probably wouldn't want advice from is the very odd Patricia Highsmith, author of The Talented Mr.Ripley and Strangers on a Train. But her talent as a writer is undeniable. Joan Schenkar at Publishers Weekly lists the top ten of Highsmith's novel.  Patricia Highsmith

I am new to emojis but I found this list of opening lines written in it to be a lot of fun. :)  Emoji Opening Lines

A sense of place seems so important to a novelists perspective. Just think of Faulkner. Or Joyce. Novelists Thomas Mallon and Mohsin Hamid discussed the connection recently at the New York Times Book Review.  Where Novelists Live and What They Write

Of course it would not hurt to have a writing studio like one of these.  Stunning Writing Studios

And speaking of places, there are the totally imagined ones. Middle-Earth is one of the most vividly imagined. So for you Tolkien fans, BuzzFeed created this list of facts about Lord of the Rings that you may not know.  Lord of the Rings Places

Finally it seems that some authors marry well and some do not. The Guardian offers a quiz on literary wives. Where William Shakespeare is concerned Ann Hath a way.  Literary Wives

We hope you all have a great holiday weekend, filled with good food and even better books. And let us know what those books are!

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The Book Booth: Ice Bucket Edition

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StevenKingIceBuckerw212h212

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.

It seems everyone is taking the Ice Bucket challenge and it is certainly for a worthy cause. Why even certain authors are participating... Ice Bucket Authors

An ice bucket may have been more appropriate for King's protagonist in The Shining, Jack Torrance. That novel and several other good ones are featured in Mark Watson's list of great novels with hotel settings. Not listed is Vicki Baum's Grand Hotel, published back in the late twenties. How soon they forget. Hotel Novels

The World Science Fiction Convention (Loncon3) was held last week and by all accounts, it was well attended and enjoyable. During the conference, the Hugo Awards were announced and you can view the winners here. SciFi Winners

Also announced at the Convention, and good new for fans of The Time Traveler's Wife, is that the author Audrey Niffenegger will be writing a sequel. The Bookseller has the news. Sequel

The Italian novelist Italo Calvino was known for his stories of whimsy and the fantastic, and very well worth reading today. Here he offered fourteen reasons why one should read the classics.

For the fantastic, look no further than Susan Hoerth's book sculptures! Here fairy tale characters jump out from their texts.  Book Sculptures

There are defenders of "the canon" who absolutely hate Harry Potter. Well, screw 'em. The novels will hold up, in my opinion, for a very long time and be enjoyed immensely for young adults (as well as old adults). And the influence of the series cannot be denied. Here is an analysis on how the books have affected the Millennials from the New Statesman, with a h/t to our friend Lucian. Harry Potter's Influence on the Real World

So you've written your novel and it has been published and lo, and behold, your publisher thinks so highly of the work that you are off on a book tour to help promote sales. Sounds like fun, doesnt' it? Novelist Lesley Kagan begs to differ.  Book Tour Stories

Here's another article by Laura Miller at Salon about the Amazon/Hachette contremps that continues unabated. This one is particularly good as it gives a good context for what is happening. Amazon & Hachette: Still Duking it Out

And you know me. Please patronize your local independent bookstore. Tom Roberge of New Directions publishers gives some very compelling reasons for doing so.  Why You Should Buy Your Books from your Local Independent Bookstore.

I hope your ice buckets are chilling some favorite drink of yours this weekend, and that is near where ever it is you happen to be reading. And do tell us what book that might be! Happy Weekend everyone.

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The Book Booth: Summer Days Edition

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book necklace

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 of us enjoy a cool, refreshing drink on a weekend summer day. Others are busy penning the worst opening line for a novel, hoping to win the distinguished Bulwer-Lytton Prize. Keep writing and better luck next year as this years winner has been announced. And it is worthy.  The Winner!

Earlier in the month, Rick Perlstein's The Invisible Bridge: The Fall of Nixon and the Rise of Reagan was published. His previous history of the sixties, Nixonland, received great acclaim (as it should have, it is a terrific read). However Right-Wing critics took the opportunity to impugn Perlstein with charges of plagiarism. Laura Miller at Salon, however, says enough is enough and looks at the issue here. Plagiarism?

And then there is quoting out of context. Which, it seems, Amazon has been doing using no less a personage than George Orwell in its on-going battle against the Hachette Publishing Group. According to the Guardian, the Orwell estate is not happy, not happy at all.  Amazon Misquoting

In sadder news this week, we saw the passing of Robin Williams (Laffy had a sweet tribute here  Laffy's post on Robin Williams). His comic legacy is huge, as is his cinema performances, among them Dead Poets Society. His contribution to keeping literature alive is examined by Roger Tagholm at Publishing Perspectives. Robin Williams's Legacy

As we have talked about here many times, film adaptations of written works often spark a lot of controversy, especially if an author loves or hates the adaptation. Shortlist. com has thirty such responses in a fun presentation. Film Adaptations Not Everyone Is Happy With

The Telegraph recently weighed in on the top 100 novels everyone should read. I found the rankings a bit odd, but there are some interesting choices.  The Telegraph's Top 100 Novels

Then there are the well-meaning English teachers who seem to have a literary canon of their own. George .R.R. Martin had little use for them or their canon. He seems to have made out ok...  SciFi Will Rot Your Brain - or Maybe Not

We all have our own passions when it comes to books, or any art medium for that matter. iO9 has this list of books that will make one more passionate about science and scientists.

You are reading this post on the internets, of course. And we all know that the internets are meant to post cute cat pictures. So enjoy some cats and their literary names, courtesy of Buzzfeed.

Looking for something weird and good to read for the weekend? Novelist Stephanie Feldman recommends these ten creepy novels that will give you the shivers. From Publishers Weekly.

Finally if you are looking for something "crafty" to do this weekend, and you want some inspiration, take a look at these book-related projects from Buzzfeed. Book-related art.

So kick back, enjoy that chilled drink, and let us know what great book you are reading. And by all means, have a great weekend.

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