Image: 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. 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: Super Bowl Edition
Yes, our national attention once again returns with much anticipation and nail-biting as on Sunday we will know if either the Denver Broncos or Carolina Panthers will become NFL champions. I hope your favorite team wins. Other than that, I have no pony in this race.
The Center for Fiction has an interesting page up, featuring the books that turned them into readers. The link will take you to Stephen King's pick, but there are plenty more on the sidebar. King's pick was Dr. Seuss. I loved the good doctor myself as a child, but I am not sure I can pinpoint the book or author that made me a reader. Though Franklin W. Dixon of Hardy Boys fame comes to mind.
The Book That Made Me A Reader
Have you ever been tempted to lie about having read a certain book? You know, so you don't look stupid or dense at a fashionable cocktail party you're attending? If so, you are not alone. And in England, it seems that the most lied about book is not War and Peace, but Alice's Adventures in Wonderland!
The Most Lied-About Books in the UK
I don't think I've ever lied about having read a certain book. But I've faked some of Finnegan's Wake, a book I've dabbled into from time to time over the years. It is a difficult book, with some pleasant rewards if one persists. But now there are some recordings by artists reading from Joyce's work, which may be one way to approach its density.
Can't Read Finnegan's Wake? Why Not Listen To It Instead?
I know that Charles Harold St. John Hamilton was not a writer with whom I'd have been familiar, but he certainly wrote a great deal. In fact, according to the New York Times, he was the most prolific writer ever.
Charles Harold St. John Who?
The Stanislavski Method to approaching a character in acting has been around a long time now. The immersion into character has delighted and thrilled many a movie and theater goer, with amazing performances by Brando, De Niro, Hoffman and many others. Thomas W. Hodgkinson, who has recently published his novel Memoirs of a Stalker, wonders if writers do not also use the same "method" when writing their own novels.
The Stanislavski Methods for Writers?
A couple of lists for your enjoyment. Callan Wink, who has had his story collection Dog Run Moon recently published, picked his favorite top ten books about the American West. It's an interesting list, with some fine books. Though it does lack some Wallace Stegner.
Rootin' Tootin' Shootin' Wild West Books!
Have you ever missed those heady days of the Cold War? Me, neither. But it did produce a lot of very good books. The Guardian lists some here. I may have picked LeCarre's Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy instead of Spy Who Came in from the Cold; and I would have added Pat Frank's Alas Babylon, a neglected work from the 1950's, or Eugene Burdick/Harvey Wheeler's Fail-Safe.
Cold War Books
Even the best of writers need the occasional pick-me-up, the pat on the back, the affirmations that keep one writing. Octavia Butler was no exception, and here are some of her reflective boosts. From Buzzfeed.
Finally, I don't think tea will be the beverage of choice for many of you watching the Big Game on Sunday. But if it happens to the thing you'll be brewing, George Orwell has some tips on making a great cup of tea.
How to Brew Tea (for the Big Game!)
Have a great weekend my friends. Enjoy the game if you're watching. And by all means, let us know what books you'll be reading at half-time.