Archive for snowy days

The Book Booth: Mockingbird Edition

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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.

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The Book Booth: Big Game Day Edition

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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!

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