Archive for seattle tammy

The Book Booth: A Midsummer Edition

FacebookTwitterRedditDiggStumbleUponTumblrLinkedInPinterestEmailShare

Book Hammock

Image: The Daily Mail

Baseball's mid-season classic is over with the American League prevailing and marking (sort of) the half season mark. The summer days seem sweetly long. And temptation lures us to sit under a tree, or on a bench with a book in hands, transporting us to other worlds and times. Summertime, oh, yes.

Earlier this week a memoir by Marja Mills concerning the author Harper Lee and titled The Mockingbird Next Door was released. And to quite a bit of controversy. Although not quite as reclusive as, say, Thomas Pynchon, Ms. Lee does keep to herself. And she is not happy with this book.  More here.

But not so fast, says Ms. Mills. Both Harper Lee and her sister Alice knew that a book about them was in the works and both Ms. Mills and her publisher, Penguin Press, stand by the book.

The whole affair opens up other, old, controversies. Did Harper Lee, who has published only one book in her life, really write Mockingbird, or did her friend Truman Capote have a hand, maybe a heavy hand, in its composition? Frankly, anyone who has ever read Capote and Mockingbird shouldn't have any doubts. To Kill a Mockingbird reads NOTHING like a Capote story or novel. That he may have made a suggestion or two, sure. The folks over at LiberaLand have this take on the whole can of worms here. H/T to Lucian! Harper Lee: You Don't Know Me.

That authors, like Capote and Lee, should seek each others company and advice shouldn't be any surprise. Literary history has many such examples and Claire Fallon at HuffPo examines a few of them here.  Author Friendships

The world being such as it is, and because we all need a chuckle from time to time, Jason Diamond has put together a list of 25 books that will make you laugh out loud. There are some missing here....

Which the staff at Publishers Weekly makes up for with this list that includes both James Thurber and Catch-22.  PW's Funny Book Staff Picks.

Fortunately, humor is not a verboten area for writers. At least not yet. But are there still taboos in the world of publishing and subject matter. Francine Prose and James Parker ponder the question at the New York Times.  The Last Literary Taboos.

As a kid, I was much more of a DC comics guy. I liked Superman, Batman, the Flash, Green Lantern. All those guys. But once I exhausted the monthly issues of those super-heroes, I would catch up on Riverdale's own Archie Andrews and wonder what did he ever see in Veronica. Alas, Archie has grown up and is scheduled for a noble death, saving the life of his best friend.

On a sadder note, the South African novelist and Nobel Laureate Nadine Gordimer passed away this week at age 90. The Guardian had this appreciation of both her life and her work here.

And to top of this fine summer day's post, and for those of us taking a staycation this year, take a gander at this list from Eilsabeth Donnelly at Flavorwire detailing a non-fiction tour of the US of A with an eclectic and delightful selection of books.

Enjoy your day in the sun and please let us know what you are reading these days. We'd love to hear from you.

FacebookTwitterRedditDiggStumbleUponTumblrLinkedInPinterestEmailShare

The Book Booth: Bastille Day Edition

FacebookTwitterRedditDiggStumbleUponTumblrLinkedInPinterestEmailShare

Bastille Day

Image: imgion.com

THE BOOK BOOTH
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.

Monday marks the 225th anniversary of Bastille Day in France, so if you happen to be there, join in the fun. It is also Woody Guthrie's 102nd and the lovely SeattleTammy celebrates her birthday, too, though she is not nearly that old. Happy Birthday, my dear lovely bride! In any event, before we go off storming the barricades, here's some items from the world of books to check out.

In the Department of Irony we find that Karl Marx still has readers. Even as the stock market soars. ABE Books recently sold a first edition of Das Kapital for some big bucks.

The Millions recently had a handy guide to books coming out later this year and early next year. There as some interesting titles by authors including E.L. Doctorow, Haruki Murakami, Lorrie Moore as well as some reprinrts, including Augustus by John Williams, who wrote the wonderful Stoner.  Millions Handy Guide to Books

It wasn't so long ago that the anticipation of a new book in the Harry Potter series was palatable. Believe me. Well, it turns out that J.K. Rowling has written a new story about Harry as an adult and it available online. HT to our friend, Lucian!  What's Harry Doing These Days?

Literature is full of rogues and femme fatales. You know. The kind of people are parents warned us against, but to whom we may have given into temptation. HuffPo has its list of literature's most dangerous love scoundrels here. Scoundrels

Then there are books devoted to the scandalous. Flavorwire has recommended ten of these, including the infamous Hollywood Babylon by Kenneth Anger, which, if not accurate at all times, is fun to read.  Scandals

In life there are dilemmas. If you love to read, there are even more complications. Buzzfeed explains what they are and offers no solutions. We have to live with these unanswerable questions.  Dilemmas

As many of you are aware, there has been an on-going dispute between Amazon.com and the Hachette Publishing Group which owns Little Brown, and other companies. Amazon has delayed the shipment of many Hachette writers, including James Patterson and J.K. Rowling. And Malcolm Gladwell.  Goliath Battles the Underdogs. It seems Gladwell wanted to get to the bottom of the whole controversy. After all, it is taking one to three weeks for customers to get Malcolm' latest book. Who better than Dick Cavett to set up a meeting between Gladwell and the new VP of Amazon fulfillment Goliath Meets with the Underdogs

Our current reading includes, for me, The Mayor of McDougal Street, the fascinating memoir by the late Dave Van Ronk about the early days of the Greenwich Village folk scene. SeattleTammy is tackling Pulitzer Prize winner Wallace Stegner's long and absorbing Angle of Repose. So tell us what books you got going. We'd like to know. Have a wonderful weekend and Happy Bastille Day!

FacebookTwitterRedditDiggStumbleUponTumblrLinkedInPinterestEmailShare

The Book Booth: Fifth of July Edition

FacebookTwitterRedditDiggStumbleUponTumblrLinkedInPinterestEmailShare

BookFireworksw247h244

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.

I hope everyone enjoyed their holiday yesterday with magnificent pyrotechnic displays and that your eardrums are not shattered, there were no cinders in your eyes and that you ended the day with as many digits as you began the day with.

It being a holiday weekend, I'm sure many of you may be heading to the beach to soak some rays. In our little town, not far from the ocean, we are seeing a lot of RVs and surfboards as the tourists pass through. And I'd think many of them have reading material with them. The beach read is now a long tradition, as MentalFloss points out. And it is nice to see the all-too forgotten Ring Lardner appear on the shortlist. Beach Reads From 100 Years Ago

The busy folks at MentalFloss also picked the most favorite novels set in all the states. They ask if you agree or not. For my state, they picked Twilight, which takes place about 100 miles north of us. I'd hate to think that title is representative of the great state of Washington. I might have gone with something by Tom Robbins (pick one). At least something without vampires with angst. Most Famous Book Set In Each State

I learned long ago that an author may not copyright a title. If I so wished, I could write a novel and title it Gone with the Wind if I so chose. Not that I would. I'd go with Treasure Island or The Great Gatsby, or something I liked better. It seems that duplicate titles are something of a problem and the Guardian asks if writers are running out of titles.

Maybe decisions about titles are a matter of writers block. Andrew Lewis Conn, who has recently published a novel O Africa, a title I have not seen used before, suggested seven ways to get past the tyranny of the blank page. How To Get Past Writer's Block

Or you could go with Brian Eno's whimsical and fun Oblique Strategies.

For those of you looking for new and off-the-beaten path books, you might want to take a look at the New York Times' article on new and young African authors. Africa seems to be going into a literary renaissance that only the post-colonial scholars have been aware of.

SeattleTammy and I are regular users of our local library. Ours is staffed by some fine and knowledgable librarians and it is always a delight to browse the shelves. The folks at Pew recently conducted a survey on library usage and discovered some interesting facts about them. It would seem most people think libraries are a good thing! Even if they don't use them much.

Finally, are you stuck at home? Not going to the beach or your local cafe to take in the ambience? You could be dreaming about going to one of these places and luxuriate in a book-friendly world. Via BuzzFeed. Places Bookworms Would Rather Be Right Now

Have a great weekend, enjoy yourselves and please let us know what you've pulled off the bookshelf to enjoy.

FacebookTwitterRedditDiggStumbleUponTumblrLinkedInPinterestEmailShare

The Book Booth: Father's Day Edition

FacebookTwitterRedditDiggStumbleUponTumblrLinkedInPinterestEmailShare

book booth

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.

A Happy Fathers Day to all you dads out there and fond remembrances for those who have left us. I hope you all enjoy a fine day of being treated to some of the nicer things in life. And speaking of Dads, the Christian Science Monitor featured some memorable fathers in literature. It's a good list, and I wholeheartedly recommend Richard Russo's Empire Falls which you'll find on the list here.

If you're still looking for a book gift for Dad, and he happens to be the rugged type, he may just enjoy Ernest Hemingway. Nancy Sindelar, who recently published a book on Papa's influences, posted this list of the best of his work and I would rank the books pretty much as she has. Including the rather high ranking for To Have and Have Not, which is usually dismissed as important.

Powells Books in Portland, Oregon, has a high profile already in our business. And it deserves it, being both huge and good in its selection of titles. And it remains an independent. Well, it turns out they have a big fan in the person of Stephen Colbert, no less.

This week we have not one, but two different quizzes on matching the title to the book jacket. The first, from The Guardian, isn't so daunting.

This quiz, from Publishers Weekly, however, is tough. Good luck to you, if you are playing along at home.  Quiz.

We now have a new US Poet Laureate! Charles Wright is well-deserving of the post and the honor. The New York Times had this appreciation of his career.  Charles Wright

Former poet laureate Donald Hall is now 86 and not writing much these days. He has a lifetime of fine poetry and books about baseball behind him. But he was moved to write a short poem about US Senate candidate Scott Brown. And it seems Donald Hall has little use for the man.

I've always thought poems should be read aloud. They are written for the ear and not the eye. So in that regard, The Guardian has a list of its favorite recordings of poems read aloud by their authors. And I did not know that Tennyson lived long enough to be recorded. How very cool.

Do you have trouble keeping literary movements straight? Have no fear, MentalFloss has found a way to explain all those realisms and other isms here for you.  Literary movements.

Lucian was kind enough to pass along this article to me and I like it. It sums up my attitude about reading, readers and books. Don't listen to those who would have you read only books on the canon. Read whatever you want and the rest be damned.  From Jezebel

A Happy Fathers Day to all you dads out there. And happy reading. Tell us what you are currently loving!

FacebookTwitterRedditDiggStumbleUponTumblrLinkedInPinterestEmailShare

The Book Booth: May Day Edition

FacebookTwitterRedditDiggStumbleUponTumblrLinkedInPinterestEmailShare

HandPenWriterw283h212

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 is finally May and blue skies are smiling on my little town. Folks are outside, riding bikes, strolling past the river, and getting their gardens growing. And some sit on lawn chairs, reading books. It is all looking good.

We start with the always popular Buzzfeed quiz which asks you to ponder what American literary character you are. It turns out I am John Ames III from Marilynne Robinson's Gilead, a book I haven't read. I suppose I must now.

Then again, there are fictional characters who enjoy reading. One wonders what characters they would get if they took the above quiz. Nevertheless, the Guardian listed their top ten fictional readers here.

Emily Temple at Flavorwire presented these lovely children's books covers from around the world and are really quite stunning to look at.

Speaking of chidrens lit, I always felt that Dr. Seuss was a subversive fellow. But I had not realized, at least to one Toronto library patron (and probably not Mayor Rob Ford), just how far the good doctor went in leading the young ones astray.

Ever wonder about the difference between the Dewey Decimal and Library of Congress systems of library cataloging? The folks at the Book Patrol have prepared this handy chart for you.

As we noted last week, it was the 450th anniversary of Big Bill Shakespeare's birthday. Sally O'Reilly at The Guardian had these comparisons of novels and the work of the Bard, with some surprising results.

Here's some good news. Dan Brown and Ayn Rand have dropped off the list of most favorite ever books Americans love. Sadly, Gone with the Wind (don't get me started), still appears. But so does Moby Dick!

In the wake of the passing of Gabriel Garcia Marquez, and if you are looking for some fine writers from Latin America to fill that void, the Wall Street Journal had these suggestions. Most definitely, check out the work of the late Roberto Bolano!

Finally, Brandon Keim over at Wired had these observations on paper vs. screen reading. Or, perhaps, paper plus screen reading. HT to Lucian for passing this on.

Enjoy the sun this weekend and please tell us what books you loving!

FacebookTwitterRedditDiggStumbleUponTumblrLinkedInPinterestEmailShare

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