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: Mermaid Avenue Edition
When we elect a most unimaginative man to be President of the United States, we can expect he has no use for the arts and humanities. So, along with the expected cuts to the budgets of NPR and PBS, it should not come as any surprise that he'd end funding for the National Endowment of the Arts and the National Endowment of the Humanities. Because, you know, who needs culture? Not real Americans.
And so begins the resistance to the insanity and the inanity of this man and his minions. It was wonderful to see the Women's marches this past week, not only in DC but throughout the world. It was particularly pleasing that many of the signs and posters featured literary figures, including the late poet Audre Lorde and Virginia Woolf.
Tim Keane at Hypeallergic wondered what the French novelist and playwright Jean Genet would have made of the current situation and suggest is very well might be the same as he saw America back in the late sixties and seventies.
What Jean Genet Would Have Thought About the World Today
And what should we be reading in times like these? The Guardian asked nine experts in their fields, including Alain de Botton and Steven Pinker to suggest some essential books in areas such as philosophy, film and economics to help guide us.
Reading to Guide Our Thoughts In the Era of New Craziness
On the anniversary, the 208th to be exact, of the birth of Edgar Allan Poe, this years nominees for the Edgar Awards were announced. There are a lot of names that are new to me and I look forward to checking them out.
Happy Birthday, Edgar!
Those pesky librarians got together again and chose the winners of their annual awards in children's literature, the Newberry and the Caldecott awards, and other prestigious mentions. You can see the full list of winners here.
The Caldecott and Newberry Awards by My Heroes: Librarians!
Just when you'd think that the Mark Twain estate was exhausted, it seems that an unfinished fairy tale that had its origins in a bedtime story he told his daughters has now surfaced. Sometime soon we'll be seeing an illustrated edition of his tale The Purloining of Prince Oleomargarine at you local independent bookstore. And how could it go wrong when your protagonist is named Oleomargarine?
A New, Illustrated Edition of a Mark Twain Children's Story!
The octopus has recently become a source of inspiration for those writing natural history. Several very interesting books have been published over the past few years and there is now a new one, Other Minds, written by Peter Godfrey-Smith, that delves into the mysteries of everyone's favorite cephalopod. Here Godfrey-Smith discusses his book for Works in Progress.
Octopuses's Secrets About to Be Revealed!
I love the BBC reboot of Sherlock Holmes and I devoured the fourth season these past weeks. Sherlock has certainly achieved a resurgence this past decade and it has been fun to watch. But did you ever wonder how Conan Doyle came up with the character's name? Michael Sims at LitHub has some answers to this question and the early background to the stories here.
Sleuthing the Source of a Sleuth's Name
Last week I posted the video to The House I Live In as sung by Paul Robeson. This week I want to share another song about where the American heart truly resides, in its people. So here is the Klezmatic's take on the Woody Guthrie lyric of Mermaid Avenue, from their lovely album Wonder Wheel. Please have a listen.
Keep fighting. Keep resisting. Keep reading. And let us know what books are inspiring you this weekend.