Archive for Thanksgiving

The Book Booth: Happy Thanksgiving Edition



Image: Buzzfeed

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 Thanksgiving Edition

Yes, the holiday season is now fast approaching, with Thanksgiving less than one week away. Somehow I threw my back out last week and with it, suffered some pain. But I am grateful I have a back! And I am grateful for a good many other things, most of which I'm sure I share with you. Enjoy some good eating next week, along with some good books.

And if you're searching for good reading, well, you might check out the winners from this years National Book Awards. NPR has them listed here.  In this day and age, everything that can be streamed on the internet, is streamed on the internet and the National Book Foundation has some cool videos about the books, both nominated and winners, here.

It is also that time of year when many publications pick their top books for the year. The Washington Post listed their top ten here, along with 100 additional titles from various genres. Looks like an exhaustive list!
Washington Post's Top 10

If you need answers as to what you want as a gift, or to give as a gift, this holiday season, Buzzfeed has some great ideas for book accessories, all guaranteed to enhance either your home or your reading experience. And who knows, maybe even your sex life.
BuzzFeed's Book Accessories

For the cinema lover who loves reading about that medium, check out film critic David Thomson's new book, How to Watch a Movie. KPPC offers this interesting interview with the author.
Interview with David Thompson

The off-kilter, difficult to categorize, and genre-bending books are a particular favorite of mine. Last week Lincoln Michel, author of the new novel Upright Beasts, chose ten of his favorite novels for Publishers Weekly and the list has some surprises.
Lincoln Michel's Favorite Novels

In the non-fiction realm, my old friend from our days at Jesus' General, Randolph Fritz, recently reviewed a new work by Adam Benfarado, entitled The New Science of Criminal Injustice. You can check it out at his blog here.

Oxford Dictionaries announced the word of the year and I suppose it wouldn't be a surprise that emoji is that word. But I kind of like lumbersexual, now that I sport suspenders as a part of my attire.
'Emoji' is the Word of the Year

But not everyone is happy with Oxford Dictionaries choice.
'What? 'Emoji' is the Word of the Year???

Quiz time! Our own Lucian found this fun one at the Christian Science Monitor and challenges your knowledge of the detective novel. I did better than average, but I did miss a few.
Literary Detectives - Who Solved that Crime?

Finally, how do you stack up against other readers? Buzzfeed has the answers (and questions) for you here.
What Sort of Reader or You? Hardcover or Paperback?

Have a wonderful Thanksgiving holiday, filled with the good things we all deserve. And by all means, please let us know what books you are cherishing. We'd like to know.


Lauren Mayer: I Love Costco



Lauren Mayer is a singer/songwriter/pianist who writes comedy songs about everything from Supreme Court decisions to the Kardashians. She proudly supports leftist causes including equal pay, reproductive choice, fair minimum wage, addressing climate change, and marriage equality.
Note: Check out Lauren's CDs, including her latest, "If My Uterus Were A Gun (And Other Musical Rants From The News)" - available at "" as well as on iTunes and Amazon. Her website is

From YouTube

How can you not love a store which treats employees well, espouses progressive values, and has great deals PLUS samples?

From Lauren's email to me:

I already loved the bargains, the samples, and the toilet paper - but learning they closed on Thanksgiving (bucking a really awful trend) and they treat employees so well, I couldn't help bursting into song!


The Book Booth: Thanksgiving Edition



Image via (article on Thanksgiving children's books)

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.

It's still a few days away, but it is coming up! Thanksgiving always means good eating, and a long weekend of not going to Black Friday sales or Walmart, but catching up on some good reading. And many thanks to Lucian for covering for me last week when I was suffering from my first cold in a very long time.

Nor where was I? Oh, yeah, there were a few things going on. It seems that Amazon and publisher Hachette have buried the hatchet. I've always been a sucker for a happy ending. PC has the story.  Amazon Hatchette Happy Ending

But not all Amazon endings are happy. Over in Seattle, things are changing rapidly and if you're young and single, not necessarily for the better. Tricia Romano has a few complaints over at Salon.
Seattle for Singles
(H/T to old friend George Carroll for finding this one.)

The National Book Awards were announced during the week, including a lifetime award presented to Ursula LeGuin. Who had a few unkind words for Amazon monolith.  LeGuin

Speaking of Seattle, during the years we lived there, we often rode the public buses, which were more convenient than trying to find parking places when going to work. (My work subsidized my bus pass, and thank you to Seattle University for that?. One of the pleasures in bus riding was being able to get some reading done, not the least of which were the poems placed in the ad areas. Seattle Metro discontinued the practice a while back, but happy to say, poetry has returned!  Seattle

Bruce Springsteen had recently published a childrens book, Outlaw Pete. Well, the Boss appeared not too long ago on The Daily Show to talk about the book and he and Jon Stewart seemed to have a good time.  The Boss and Jon Stewart

If you've been worried about Bryan Cranston's career since the concluding episodes of Breaking Bad, not to worry. He,too, has leaped into the field of Childrens books with a narration of Adam Mansbach's new "kids" book, You Have to F**king Eat.  Eat!

Springsteen and Cranston are not the only celebrities delving into literature of late. Tom Hanks recently published a short story in the New Yorker and has a contract now for a collection of short stories. And there are many more published actors than Mr. Hanks. Word and Film presented some of them here.
Tom Hanks's Short Story

Both SeattleTammy and I are looking forward to seeing Interstellar on the big screen. We would have, in fact, but my cold intervened. For those of you who loved the film, the good news is that the writer of the film, Jonathan Nolan is now developing Isaac Asimov's Foundation Trilogy for HBO.

For all you Lord of the Rings nerds, here is a great quiz from MentalFloss where you have to name the top fifty characters by the number of mentions in the trilogy. I sent this one to my close friend John Miller who knows most a great deal about Tolkien and he scored 46. I didn't even try. Who's Who in Tolkien?

With some sadness I will note the passing of LA Times film critic and author Charles Champlin. While he wasn't perhaps in the league with Pauline Kael or Andrew Sarris, his passion for the cinema was always evident and I enjoyed reading him during my LA years. Charles Champlin Has Moved On

Finally on a more upbeat note, David Rosenberg at Slate has this great article on the photographs by Brian David Griffith's on the many great independent bookstores across this nation. The photos give us hope that the death of Indies is exaggerated, and for that, I am thankful.
Independent Bookstores Still With Us

Have a wonderful Thanksgiving good people and please let us know what books you've got going this weekend.


Kinky Fears On Kinky Boots


Kinky Boots the Musical 2

Well, it's Monday and we're back to work. Something's been gnawing at me over the long weekend, and it wasn't the long lines for Black Friday, Small Saturday or today's Cyber Monday.

Last Thursday was Thanksgiving, as everyone who's still reaching for some anti-acid knows. Our belts are still let out two notches too many and we're still shaking our heads over some of the conversations with distant (in some cases from reality) relatives that we now won't have to have endure until next November.

A standard piece of tradition fare for me and my family is and has been for over half a century the watching of at least some of the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade. Face it, it's a staple item and as much a part of the holiday as the pumpkin pie, the turkey itself or the tryptophan-induced coma after eating.

In scanning the globe for stories as I do each day, plus monitoring the Twittersphere, looking for instantaneous reactions to the world at large, I was shocked and amazed and the outrage and uproar one of the performances generated from the televised parade.

It was this performance of the Tony Award-winning musical, Kinky Boots.

Here's a sampling of the uproar of tweets this performance generated:

And then then there was this one:

And this...

Now these are but three samplings of the fear and potential hate that are being demonstrated by some pretty opinionated folks. What are they really afraid of?

They seem to feel that indicating any alternative lifestyle is harmful. What is it in this family-friendly clip they are compelled to explain to their children, or even worse, protect them from?

This is a celebration of  life. Do these shallow people think that LGBT people have an illness? Haven't we gotten past that yet? This is no more a choice than the zebra having stripes or the peacock having feathers. Being gay, lesbian, bi-sexual or transgender is a part of life. A healthy part. And perpetuating fears isn't helping anything or anybody. Being LGBT is not contagious nor are they recruiters to their "sexuality." Recruitment is left to missionaries, sports coaches and the military. Three fears your children should be warned about more than something that's not a choice.

Ignorance is what's at hand here. And it's the tweeters who are demonstrating fear and perpetuating hate. If you want to "educate" your children, or America in general, and protect them, warn them of the dangers of ignorance and intolerance. That's going to do them much more good than scaring and misinforming them.

Don't be a poster child for stupid. Be a leader in smart.

So perhaps if you feel you need to explain anything to your children, it should be tolerance, acceptance and if you're really progressive, a sense of high, snappy, fashion.