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: More Harry Potter Edition
It has been a remarkable week and I am enjoying every bit of the meltdown. It couldn't happen to a nicer man and political organization. In the mornings, I look for the latest gaffe to chuckle over. I guess I am a mean person.
The past weekend saw the release of Harry Potter and the Cursed Child Parts One and Two, and the parties saw many happy fans. And the sales? Well, the play script is selling quite well, thank you.
Cursed Child Script Selling Well
An interesting Slate conversation with Jonathan Franzen on fame, fascism, and why he won't write a book about race.
Franzen on Slate
In case you are not going to London any time soon to watch the play, BuzzFeed has some pictures from the production. I don't think that is Daniel Radcliffe playing Harry, though.
Harry Potter and the Cursed Child Production Photos
I've heard that the book itself has received some mixed reviews, though I haven't seen them or gone looking for them for that matter. But The Telegraph in London loved the stage production as this review will attest. Thanks to Lucian for sending the link along.
Harry Potter Stage Production Reviews
Last week marked the 150th anniversary of the birth of Beatrix Potter, famed writer of many fine children's works, including the Peter Rabbit books. But not many of us know of her work in the field of nature, and most especially in the lives of the fungus. Here the Guardian explores her work in mycology.
From Harry Potter to Beatrix Potter on Mycology
I've been talking up the literary podcast here recently and I've stumbled upon another good one, particularly for Shakespeare and culinary arts enthusiasts. Her, Wendy Wall, author of the recently published Recipes for Thought: Knowledge and Taste in the Early Modern English Kitchen, discusses some in the time of the Bard at the Folger Library.
In 2013, Claire Conner published her memoir of growing up in the John Birch Society, Wrapped in the Flag. (You can read Rick Perlstein's interview and discussion here for The Nation:
How the John Birch Society was 'Grown'
Now there is another interesting book on the same subject published, JG Daniel's Hate or Be Hated. Alternet has an excerpt here.
An Excerpt from Hate or Be Hated
The annual Ernest Hemingway competition was held last week in Key West. And the winner was no less than Dave Hemingway! No relation, apparently.
Dave Hemingway Wins the Hemingway Competition!
I've long made the case that the novels of Ross MacDonald that feature detective Lew Archer are gems and that MacDonald should be regarded as the equal of Chandler and Hammett. Here Mary Ann Gwinn makes the case more eloquently for the Seattle Times, and notes that some of the work is now available in the beautiful Library of America series.
Get Reacquainted with Ross McDonald
So many of us know the opening lines to great works of literature. You know, it was the best of times, it was the worst of times; A screaming comes across the sky, etc. But how many of us remember the great closing lines. My favorite may be the conclusion of Moby Dick (which, of course, has one of the great openings as well): It was the devious-cruising Rachel, that in her retracing search after her missing children, only found another orphan. Tom Blunt has twelve more good ones that he found for Signature.
Great Closing Lines
Oprah Winfrey's book club is still going strong and she has picked as her next selection The Underground Railroad by that fine writer, Colson Whitehead. Here the New York Times profiles Mr. Whitehead.
Colson Whitehead on Slavery
If you are looking for the next good book to read, you may want to check out what other booksellers are recommending for summer reading. Here seven book people have suggestions made for NPR.
What Books Are Booksellers Recommending?
Here's to a fine weekend, filled with books and laughter. And please let us know what books you are recommending!