Image via Taste of Home
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 Festival of Lights begins on the evening of Tuesday the 16th and so we wish all of you celebrating a big Happy Hanukkah. Unfortunately, Governor Walker was unable to pass along his own special greeting here, as he's still boning up on Jewish customs and holidays.
For those of you still holiday shopping, and I'm guessing that is most of you, Maria Popov at Brainpickings found this new reissue of East of the Sun, West of the Moon with beautiful illustrations by Kay Nielsen.
However, if you'd been intending to put in the winning bid on the fabled Joan Anderson Letter that we discussed a couple of weeks ago, don't be in a hurry. Both the estates of Jack Kerouac and Neal Cassady have made legal claims to the letter and it may not be auctioned at all.
Kerouac's novels were in the roman a clef genre, with the names changed to protect the innocent. But recently some authors have dispensed with the name change, and insert themselves right into the story. MentalFloss talks about the authors here.
Authors As Characters In Their Own Books
Truman Capote famously once called Jack Kerouac a typist, not a writer. I think time wasn't on Capote's side in his judgment. And then sometimes, in inventing the non-fiction novel, Truman sometimes bent the truth. But does it matter?
Laura Miller at Salon talks about In Cold Blood here.
First impressions are important, or so they tell me. The same is true with a book's first line, or first page. Publishers Weekly recently found several contemporary first pages that do suck the reader into the story immediately.
Those All Important First Lines
It's not surprising that David Foster Wallace was included in the above mentioned article. He is regarded as a modern master now. Adam Kirsch offers this appreciation at Salon.
David Foster Wallace
Another modern master is the poet (and baseball fan, having ghosted the Doc Ellis autobiography among other works) Donald Hall.
His book of poems Without You, written after the passing of his wife, the poet Jane Kenyon, is an astonishing work. At age 86, he is no longer writing poems, but he still works on essays.
NPR caught up with him in this recent interview.
In the Who Knew? department, an early work of Raymond Chandler has recently been discovered. It was copyrighted soon before he joined the Canadian military in 1917, and, oddly, does not feature his most famous literary creation, Philip Marlowe. Instead, it is a libretto to an opera. Hmm.
I have to admit that I'm not a big fan of A.A. Milne's Winnie the Pooh. But it has never occurred to me that the Bear was somehow controversial. At least there is a town in Poland that thinks his sexuality is a bit too much. Or too little. Or something. H/T to my friend Caleb Bullen for sharing the link.
Finally, the never-ending cycle of book to movie continues. The International Business Times recently covered some of the films you can expect to see next year, in AD 2015. And let us hope that the trend of dividing some adaptations into multiple films is laid to rest. I mean, really. Two movies of Mockingjay? Three of The Hobbit? Will the madness never end?
Books Adapted to Movies in 2015
Happy Hanukkah and good reading to you all. Be sure to let us know what great books you're absorbed in and have a great weekend.