Archive for snow

The Book Booth: Mockingbird Edition



Image via: the New York Times

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.

My guess is that many of you have already seen that a "new" Harper Lee novel will be released. The book was apparently written before she began work on To Kill a Mockingbird and involves an adult Scout Finch visiting her father Atticus after the events of Mockingbird. The Gray Lady has the story.  Harper Lee

Of course the news set the twitters aflame with title suggestions, as Salon explains.
Mockingbird Prequel/Sequel

And it set off some controversy. Ms. Lee is now in assisted living and there is some worry that she may have been pressured into publishing this work. I was a bit surprised when the story appeared in the first place. I had the feeling that she had said what she wanted to say in the one book and was content with it. But apparently she is "happy as Hell". And I'm good with it, too, even if it isn't nearly as good as Mockingbird.
Harper Lee is Happy as Hell

Another thing you may have seen this week is the touching letter written by Roald Dahl on the death of his daughter from measles in 1962. Coming on the heels of the new outbreaks of measles in this country and with the boneheads who wont have their children vaccinated, creating a public health menace, well, it gets my blood to boiling.
Roald Dahl's Daughter Died of Measles -

Happier news came from the recent conference of the American Library Association where it was announced that Kwame Alexander won the Newberry Award for his children's novel The Crossover and Dan Santat won the Caldecott for his book The Adventures of Beekle. Publishers Weekly has the story here.

Let us admit it. Even at our advanced ages, we love kids picture books. NPR recently featured some newer titles that look wonderful.  Kids Books for Adults

The news from Hollywood is that James Franco, English student extraordinaire and actor, is set to star in an adaptation of John Steinbeck's 1936 novel, In Dubious Battle. Franco has appeared in other literary adaptations, including a recent film of William Faulkner's As I Lay Dying. The LA Times has the scoop here.
James Franco

I have been blitzing through that very fine HBO series Boardwalk Empire and in reading the credits (yes, I read the credits), I noticed that Dennis Lehane, author of Mystic River and Shutter Island, among other great books, wrote for the show as well as served as "Creative Producer". Apparently this development is not unusual in Hollywood these days.
Novelists as Screenwriters and Producers

The Daily Telegraph posted this rather interesting and chronological look at fifty cult novels. And To Kill a Mockingbird is on the list!
Fifty Cult Novels

Finally, for anyone worried about what to read next, Publishers Weekly provides you some previews of books to be in stores this spring, including new works from Toni Morrison, Kazuo Ishiguro, Nick Hornby and Thomas McGuane, to name a few.
Spring Book Preview

Happy reading for us all this weekend and be sure to let us know what you've just pulled off the shelf.


The Book Booth: Big Game Day Edition



Image via Bustle

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.

To the exclusion of nearly anything else, our little town is hyped and ready for Superbowl Sunday. In fact the town fathers and mothers have changed the name of the town, at least for now, to Hawkquiam, which shows you the team we all hope will win the Big Game.

Football is not a game that lends itself well to either song or story, unlike Baseball. Other than Mr. Touchdown, I cant think of a song about football. And Backfield in Motion doesn't count. There are a few novels, the best of which are Peter Gent's North Dallas Forty and Frank Deford's Everybody's All-American. Stephanie Long at Bustle suggests some other football related books you might enjoy. Football-Related Books

The game will be played in sunny Arizona this Sunday. However unless you live there, you probably don't have such fine weather. And considering the weather events of the week, you just may have snow on the ground. Claire Fallon at HuffPo has some suggestions for snow day reading.
Snow Day Reading

And in case you needed a reason to stay inside and read on a snowy day, Isaac Fitzgerald at Buzzfeed gives you plenty of reasons that will assuage your guilt.
Book Forts Are Better than Snow Forts

And while you are snuggled in with a good book, you might want to incorporate some of these suggestions from Brenna Clarke Gray at BookRiot for making your reading a richer experience.
Enrich Your Reading Experience.

Of course reading isn't the only indoor activity one could pursue. However being literate may be of some use in getting there, as Kathleen Massara at Flavorwire demonstrates. H/T to my good fried John Miller for this link.
Literary Quotes That Might Get You Laid

Assuming that your house still has power on a blizzardy day, I suppose you could watch something on the teevee machine. Emily Temple, also at Flavorwire, has listed her favorite literary moments in television history. There are many here with the clips and are well worth viewing, including Thomas Pynchon's visit to Springfield.
Literary Moments in Television History

As an old boss of mine once told me, it is a wonderful thing when your vocation is also your avocation, and I've been blessed that way. Over at the New York Times Book Review, authors Dana Stevens and Benjamin Moser discuss whether or not writing is just that.
Is Being a Writer a Job or a Calling?

We have more on the origins and popularity of the paperback book. Andrew Liptak at Kirkus Review weighs in with these thoughts. Another H/T to our friend Mark McKay for finding this one.
I've Got a Steady Job But I Want to be a Paperback Writer!

If football is not on your agenda this weekend, go ahead, get out if you can, and visit your local independent bookseller. Zachary Karabell at Slate offers a rosier picture our industry than you normally find, and gives you good reasons to support indies at Slate. Thanks to friend and author Joyce Yarrow for pointing me to this one.
Your Independent Bookseller is Your Friend and Always there for You.

Whatever your plans this weekend, find some time to get some reading done. And please do share with us the pleasures of the book you're currently passionate about. Enjoy your time!


The Book Booth: Happy Holidays Edition




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.

The Book Booth: Happy Holidays Edition

The solstice is imminent, and Christmas Day is not far behind. I hope this finds one and all ready for the holidays, and that you may sit, relax and enjoy a warm beverage. And perhaps you can watch the falling, silent snow. Enjoy this video from The Guardian.  Snow

But if you haven't finished your shopping, our old friend, buddy, pal, chum and otherwise voracious reader, Bill Gates has some suggestions as he recently picked his favorite books for the year. H/T to Lucian for finding this story.  Bill Gates's Favorite Books

Then there are those problem people on your shopping list. What do you get Captain Ahab for Christmas anyway? The folks at Bustle have some ideas for gifts for fictional characters. (Though Richard III wasn't really fictional).
Gifts For Fictional Characters

Good news for fans of Judy Blume. The famed writer of books for young adults will publish a new novel, directed at adults, her first in 15 years, this next June. Flavorwire has the details.
Judy Blume Novel for Adults

But sad news for fans of Clifford the Big Red Dog, whose creator, Norman Bridwell, recently passed away at the age of 86.
Normal Bridwell

It seems that the Bard was not always the bees knees and certainly not during his lifetime. Apparently there was no Shakespearomania until long after his death. Salon has this interesting article on how Shakespeare became, well, Shakespeare.

And this is sweet. Neil Gaiman and Molly Oldfield reading A Christmas Carol for the New York Public Library.

It has become a tradition with me to close my holiday posts both here at The Political Carnival and back in the days when we wrote at Jesus' General, with this closing of the third "stave" as Charles Dickens called it, when the Spirit of Christmas Past takes his leave of Scrooge. It is haunting, sad and still all too relevant today.

"To-night at midnight. Hark! The time is drawing near."

The chimes were ringing the three quarters past eleven at that moment.

"Forgive me if I am not justified in what I ask," said Scrooge, looking intently at the Spirit's robe, "but I see something strange, and not belonging to yourself, protruding from your skirts. Is it a foot or a claw?"

"It might be a claw, for the flesh there is upon it," was the Spirit's sorrowful reply. "Look here."

From the foldings of its robe, it brought two children; wretched, abject, frightful, hideous, miserable. They knelt down at its feet, and clung upon the outside of its garment.

"Oh, Man, look here! Look, look, down here!" exclaimed the Ghost.

They were a boy and a girl. Yellow, meagre, ragged, scowling, wolfish; but prostrate, too, in their humility. Where graceful youth should have filled their features out, and touched them with its freshest tints, a stale and shrivelled hand, like that of age, had pinched, and twisted them, and pulled them into shreds. Where angels might have sat enthroned, devils lurked, and glared out menacing. No change, no degradation, no perversion of humanity, in any grade, through all the mysteries of wonderful creation, has monsters half so horrible and dread.

Scrooge started back, appalled. Having them shown to him in this way, he tried to say they were fine children, but the words choked themselves, rather than be parties to a lie of such enormous magnitude.

"Spirit, are they yours?" Scrooge could say no more.

"They are Man's," said the Spirit, looking down upon them. "And they cling to me, appealing from their fathers. This boy is Ignorance. This girl is Want. Beware them both, and all of their degree, but most of all beware this boy, for on his brow I see that written which is Doom, unless the writing be erased. Deny it!" cried the Spirit, stretching out its hand towards the city. "Slander those who tell it ye. Admit it for your factious purposes, and make it worse. And abide the end."

"Have they no refuge or resource?" cried Scrooge.

"Are there no prisons?" said the Spirit, turning on him for the last time with his own words. "Are there no workhouses?"

From A Christmas Carol

Both Seattle Tammy and I wish to send along our seasons greetings to our fine readers. Happy Hanukkah, Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays everyone and good books for us all.


US Military Attack On South -- Fake Chemical Snow



A few days ago it was Bill Nye, the science guy who took on a creationist named Ken Ham in a debate. It was a battle of science vs. the Bible? Well, somehow science won. Go figure? Who'd of thunk it, right?

Well, in the past few days, the second big snowstorm of the winter - winter, mind you - fell deep into the south. How could that be? I mean, after all, it's winter. It's the south. People come here to get... warm?

Well, there's only one answer for the current snow/blizzard-like conditions deep into Dixie -- well, actually two answers for that. The right one (science) and the other one (a conspiracy theory).

Both the wackadoo theory and the actual science are brought to you by Rachel Maddow, the Science Gal. Yeah, she wears many hats. And this one fits her, and all of us, really nicely.

So, for those of you who look at a margarine spread and mock "I can't believe it's not butter," here's "It's the South and I can't believe it's snow."