Archive for Shakespeare

The Book Booth: And Time a Thief Edition

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Image: Bored Panda

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: And Time a Thief Edition

The days are getting shorter here in our town. It seems that it wasn't so long ago that the sun was setting at nine and now...it is setting closer and closer to six. And when daylight savings ends and we approach the solstice, it will be setting much closer to four thirty. Blink on those days and you'll miss the daylight.

As you know from walking down the aisle of any major store, Halloween is approaching, and has been for months. One of the spookiest of American writers was Shirley Jackson, best known for her novel The Haunting of Hill House and her short story The Lottery. She is the subject of an new biography by Ruth Franklin, Shirley Jackson: A Rather Haunted Life and Ms. Franklin tells Publishers Weekly about eleven things you may not know about Jackson here.

Jackson's story The Lottery, long a set piece for anthologies and Selected Shorts, is now the subject of a new graphic novel adaptation by Miles Hyman. You can see an excerpt from the new work at LitHub here.

Ah, what to read this weekend, the perpetual question. Well, Kyle Lucia Wu has some suggestions for short novels, including authors like Julian Barnes and the late Roberto Bolano here for Read it Forward.

Bruce Springsteen's memoir Born to Run has now been published. And author Richard Ford reviewed it for the New York Times Book Review. He liked it. Has it really been 43 years now since Greetings from Asbury Park been released? I guess it has.
Richard Ford Reviews The Boss's Born to Run

Lucian has found a couple of fun links. First if you happen to be traveling and staying in hostels, and you find yourself in Tokyo, definitely make it over to Book and Bed where you can fall asleep amid a library of 3000 books. And you'll have a night light. Cheap at $34 per night!
A Literary Bed On Which to Lay Your Head in Tokyo

Unfortunately I don't think you can make a reservation to stay the night at Hemmelig Rom, a secluded library in upstate New York. But you can see how lovely it is from these photographs at Bored Panda.
A Library of Your Own (Where Virginia Woolf Would Have Felt at Home)

I've probably mentioned it before, but my favorite play by William Shakespeare is The Tempest. It is one of the last plays he wrote, at his full maturity with some of the best poetry he wrote. Now Margaret Atwood has written a novel based on the play, Hag-Seed, set in Canada in the year 2013. She writes about the work here for the Guardian, and I'm looking forward to reading her adaptation.
The Tempest as a Novel by Margaret Atwood

Being an inmate in a Texas prison is a harsh life. And it is not made any easier by the powers that be when it comes to providing reading to those prisoners. The method of banning some books is, at best, capricious. The latest to be banned is a non-fiction work, Wolf-Boys by Dan Slater, which chronicles the story of two boys smuggled into America by the cartels. A grim story, yes. However a prisoner can always read Mein Kampf or some work by David Duke. Again, from the Guardian.
Books Banned Behind Bars

May your weekend reading be a bit more gratifying than that experienced in Texan prison cells. And please let us know what books you are appreciating. I'll leave you with Mary Martin and Kenny Baker singing Speak Low from the show One Touch of Venus, music by Kurt Weill and lyric by Ogden Nash. Please enjoy.

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The Book Booth: Storming the Fortress Edition

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Image: LitHub

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: Storming the Fortress Edition

By this time I think the French people are in recuperation mode after celebrating the 227th anniversary of the storming of the Bastille prison, as well as the horrific attacks in Nice. We also celebrated the 104th birthday of Woody Guthrie, who left an incredible legacy of music. He stormed a few fortresses himself and his guitar killed fascists. Well done, sir.

Most fans of Philip K. Dick know that in 1974 he underwent what was either a psychotic breakdown or a mystical experience that informed his later work. Either way, he experienced visions, and being the highly intelligent man he was, he tried to understand them. Kyle Arnold explores the visions here for Publishers Weekly.
Philip K Dick

This past week also the anniversary of the birth of French master Marcel Proust, born on 10 July 1871, not long after the days of the Paris Commune. Always precocious, he answered a questionnaire sent to him by Antoinette Faure, daughter of a French politician of some renown, at the age of 14. That questionnaire had some long-lasting cultural ramifications as Evan Kindley explains here for the New Yorker.
Marcel Proust Questionnaire

Proust remains a literary treasure for serious readers. But in case you are dubious, six contemporary writers, including Edmund White and Francine Prose, make the case for reading him here for LiteraryHub.
Why Read Proust?

The memory of the Spanish Civil War continue to linger, some 80 years after it began. The Spanish poet Federico Garcia Lorca was executed early in that conflict by Fascist forces. Now his new memorial in Granada is experiencing a dispute between the poet's family and the Spanish government.
Garcia Lorca Memorial Dispute

Poetry can be our refuge from the world and Lord knows,we have had a couple of trying weeks. Here BuzzFeed suggests seventeen poems to help us struggle through them.
17 Poems to Help You Through Life

They keep finding some very cool stuff at the Folger Library. Here Sarah Hovde shares an illustrated French edition from 1910 of Macbeth, with the illustration by Swiss artist Carlos Schwabe (probably).
An Illustrated French Macbeth at the Folger

This coming week we will, in all likelihood, see the anointing of Donald Trump as the presidential nominee of the Republican Party. The Guardian recently interviewed American writer Walter Mosley about the Donald, among other things. And congrats to Walter for the recent publication of his novel Charcoal Joe, another installment in his Easy Rawlins series. If you have never read him, go do so now. We'll wait.
Walter Mosley on the Presumptive GOP Nominee

Have a most pleasant weekend. Rest now after making the charges against the barriers and enjoy some great books. And please let us know what those books are.

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The Book Booth: Summer Wind Edition

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Image: Huffington Post

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: Summer Wind Edition

We hope everyone had a good 4th of July celebration this past week. Our cats did not particularly enjoy the festivities, but have survived it by taking some extra naps and begging for more scritches.

We enjoyed some good weather for the holiday, and although we didn't exactly garden, we at least thought about it and admired the yard. The cherries are out and the apples are getting plump. And we do have tomato plants to get into the ground. And for those of us who enjoy books that feature gardens, check out some suggested novels centered on gardens from HuffPo.
Literary Gardens

I believe that William Shakespeare indeed wrote the plays and poems long attributed to him. To contend that other, more highly educated noblemen authored his works has always smacked of an elitist worldview. Now, it seems, that with the discovery of documents showing the Bard's attempts to obtain a coat of arms in the late 1590's show, help show that Shakespeare the player was also Shakespeare the playwright.
Shakespeare the Player, Playwright, & Would-Be Nobelman!

We note the passing of Elie Wiesel at age 87. His Night has become classic in holocaust literature. May we always remember.
Elie Wiesel Has Left Us

And from the good folks at FSG's Work in Progress, an excerpt from Night.

Cynthia Ozick is, at age 88, still very much with us as a public intellectual and novelist and has recently published a new work of criticism. Here the New York Times Magazine profiles her career and current life.
NYT Profile of Cynthia Ozick

In the above profile, Ozick gives an appreciation of novelist Franz Kafka, from whom we get the notion of Kafkaesque as a condition of modern life. Here, from Open Culture, is a short animated feature which tells us what that is really all about.
Kafkaesque?  Much of Modern Life Still Is

I have no particular insight into the hows and whys some novels get adapted into movies and others do not. But this article by Shawn Taylor of Fusion gives us an ardent plea to adapt the novels of Octavia Butler to the silver screen. If Jules Verne can have 140 films made from his work, why hasn't anyone looked at the cinematic possibilities of the late Butler?
Octavia Butler On The Big Screen?

I've liked the idea of the Free Little Libraries that have cropped up around the country. Our little local Art Gallery has one and it seems to be well-used and loved. However that doesn't seem to be the experience of Dan Greenstone who relates his story about his here for Salon. H/ T to Lucian for sharing this link with me.
How The Little Free Library Made Me Hate Books and Fear My Neighbors

Here's hoping your summer is going well.

Please enjoy this lovely version of The Summer Wind by Madeline Peyroux, and by all means let us know what great books are filling up your days.
Madeline Peyroux

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The Book Booth: Memorial Day 2016 Edition

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Image: Mental Floss

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: Memorial Day 2016 Edition

The long weekend is here, and if you only looked at grocery store flyers, you'd think that one should devote it to grilling. But Memorial Day is more than the unofficial beginning of summer. I hope we all take a little time to remember those who sacrificed all they ever had or would have in service to our country.

Enough preaching. It is still political season and the Donald has now clinched enough delegates to be the GOP nominee this coming fall. But as you might suspect, most of the writers we know and love oppose his candidacy and have signed this open letter to America about that.
Open Letter from Writers Opposed to Trump Presidency

I think a great many writers these days compose their works on their computers. But, kids, there was a day when writers didn't have computers and if they didn't compose in long-hand, they used typewriters. MentalFloss relates which typewriter brands were popular among the authors of yesteryear.
Typewriters Authors Loved

Writers are good at excuses for any number of quirks and problems, like, say for procrastination and not facing the tyranny of the blank page. From Bustle, here are 14 things writers tell themselves and their friends.
Writers' Excuses for Procrastination

I don't know if it is procrastination, or laziness, or what that keeps George R.R. Martin from delivering his next installment of Game of Thrones. But if you are one of those who still eagerly anticipating its publication, the folks at Vox have recommendations of other authors you might want to check out in the meantime.
No New Game of Thrones?  Don't Panic! Here's Who You Can Read Until It Arrives! 

Philip Pullman, who is best known as the author of the His Dark Materials trilogy, relates to the Guardian how he was inspired by comic books and most notably, American comic books. Maybe he should share some with Mr. Martin.
Philip Pullman: Why I Love Comics

It is hard to know where some writers do get their inspiration from. Herman Melville's Moby Dick is one such work. The book was dedicated to Nathaniel Hawthorne with whom Melville had something of a bromance. But Michael Shelden, whose book Melville in Love will be published in June, suggests that it may have been an affair with a young woman of his acquaintance that had more to do with that novel.
An Illicit Romance Inspired Moby Dick?

For those of us who enjoy the literary short story, the 2016 selections for the O. Henry Awards will be published by Anchor Books in September. In the meantime, LiteraryHub has listed those works here.
O.Henry Award Selections

It is interesting what can be discovered with urban renewal. Recently in Rome, the headquarters of the Praetorian Guard, the Emperor's own small army, was dug up. And in London, the Curtain theater where some of the early plays of William Shakespeare has been unearthed. And from the internal evidence of the plays, it could mean that some of those plays prologues were added after their initial performances.
Unearthing Shakespeare

It is the long weekend before summer, and one would hope that there will be plenty of time for reading. But what of those days and weeks where we don't have that extra day? The Reading Room suggests five ways to expand your leisure reading time.
How You Can Find More Time To Read

Please have a safe and good weekend. And let us know what books are inspiring you!

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