Archive for Ulysses

The Book Booth: The Uprising Edition

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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: Uprising Edition

It has been a stupefying two weeks and somehow we're still here. It has been encouraging in many ways that we've had protests on two consecutive weekends and resistance is growing. Keep up the good work folks!

George Orwell's 1984 remains on the best seller lists. In fact, the classic has now hit number one for paperback sales.
'1984' now at #1

And Michiko Kakutani argues at the New York Times why this should be. We live in the world now of "alternate facts" and where two plus two equals five.
Michiko Kakutani Tells Us Why

On the other hand, Josephine Livingstone at the New Republic argues differently. She suggest the text we actually should be looking at is Franz Kafka's The Trial.
Kafka for the Trump Era

If one needs some inspiration from the past, Dwyer Murphy has some suggestions at LitHub of memoirs from people as disparate as Huey Newton to Daniel Berrigan and take some heart that others have suffered and rebelled.
Memoirs from Others Who Have Suffered and Rebelled

I'm sure many of us have been fascinated with the BBC updating of Sherlock Holmes. I've also been enjoying the series Ripper Street, that excellent series dealing with crime in late 19th century London, specifically Whitechapel where Jack the Ripper once roamed. Oliver Harris at the Strand Magazine has some suggestions for other mysteries located there for your reading pleasure.
Crime Mysteries Set in London

If Westerns are more to your taste, Andrew Hilleman, author of the recently published novel, World, Chase Me Down, has chosen his top ten neglected titles in the genre. His suggestions include some work that does transcend genre and well worth reading.
Top 10 Westerns to Get to Know

This past Thursday marked the anniversary of both James Joyce's birthday and the publication of his magnum opus, Ulysses. Here Adam Thirwell reviews the new literary history The Most Dangerous Book: The Battle for James Joyces' Ulysses for the New York Review of Books. He details why the book is still scandalous, and subversive.
Scandalous and Subversive Still: Ulysses

And speaking of anniversaries, on January 29th 1845, Edgar Allan Poe's The Raven first saw print. Alison Natasi at Flavorwire has assembled many of the dust jackets that have accompanied the book over many years.
The Raven Covers Through the Years

For those of us who like to see novelistic art transformed into a different medium, check out artist Nicholas Rougeux's poster art of words turned into constellations. Flavorwire has some examples here.
When You Wish Upon a Star: Words Turned Into Constellations

Are you a compulsive book buyer? You certainly wouldn't be alone in your obsession. The Guardian's Lorraine Berry examines the phenomenon here. There are worse things to be OCD about.
You're Walking Along a Street...You See a Book You Just Have to Buy...Why?

We do need to remember that resistance to evil regimes is a necessary historical constant. During World War II, there was a group of young German dissidents, the White Rose, which was ultimately ruthlessly wiped out, but offers us hope that we, too, can make our voices heard. Here is a link to some of their leaflets.
Resistance to Hitler: The White Rose

Keep in mind, reading can be a subversive act, an act of rebellion. So keep at it and let us know what books are inspiring you this weekend. And for a little background music, enjoy Muse's song Uprising. You'll be glad you did.

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The Book Booth: Lawn Mowing Edition

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Image: from Children's Book Council

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: Lawn Mowing Edition

We finally broke down and purchased an new electric mower a couple of weeks ago. Generally I like to see our yard meadow out, which is certainly more colorful, but our neighbors, and the city government, aren't so happy when we allow that to happen. So I mowed the lawn mid-week, before our first summer rain. And I'll have to do it again before the 4th of July as fireworks are legal in our town, and I'd rather not have a lawn fire. But two hours of mowing (we have a large back yard) takes a lot out of an aging and soon to be grumpy man.

I know that the solstice just happened, and we're really just beginning summer. But that won't stop us from looking forward to the autumn and the new books coming. Publishers Weekly has the fall book preview here and includes a new memoir from Bruce Springsteen and novels from Jonathan Safran Foer, Michael Chabon and Zadie Smith. Read more about them here.

PW also featured these debut novels arriving later in the year, and you may want to check out these young writers.
Debut Novels by Young Writers

The 112th anniversary of Bloomsday has now come and passed and Joyceans around the world celebrated the day Leopold Bloom traveled around Dublin's fair city. Louis Menard explored for the New Yorker why Ulysses is no longer shocking to us after all these years, and talks about a new book by Tasha Lewis who did art for every page of the work in her Illustrating James Joyce's Ulysses in Eight Weeks.
Thoughts on Ulysses

Mary Shelley's Frankenstein remains a much-pondered and taught work in colleges around the world. Here novelist Francine Prose looks at the origins of the work and the social context in which the book was written.
Mary Shelley's Frankenstein - Origins and Context

The stories of Arthur Conan Doyle about detective Sherlock Holmes have been adapted to nearly all media. One of Charlie Chaplin's earliest roles was on the English stage in a play about Holmes. And of course films and radio. Here OpenCulture has radio adaptations, starring John Gielgud and Ralph Richardson for your listening pleasure.
Sherlock Holmes on the Wireless

From Farrar Straus Giroux's blog Work in Progress, take a look at an excerpt from Terry Tempest Williams' new book on the national parks, titled The Hour of Land.
An Excerpt from The Hour of Land

And while we are discussing the "classics", Daniel Mendelsohn offered this essay for the New York Review of Books, reviewing the intersection of the arts and civic life, which he argues has been mostly lost to us, but was integral to ancient Athenians, for whom tragedy could, indeed, save the polis.
The Interception of the Arts and Civic Life.

At the Millions, Michael Bourne wonders what kind of literary critic and defender of the Western Canon Donald Trump would make. And with all things Trump, it is scary.
#NeverTrump

Have a great weekend, read lots and let us know what great books have got their hooks in you.

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The Book Booth: Yet Another Full Moon Edition

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Image: timeanddate.com

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, as well a brick and mortar in small town Washington State. Both have been in the book business since shortly after the Creation, or close to 6000 years now.

It looks to be a clear summer night in our little town this weekend, and we should be able to see the glorious moonlight this evening as it traverses our southern sky. There is something about a full moon that satisfies the soul. Almost like reading a good book...

It's still two months away from the Nobel Prize announcements, but checking the odds, Haruki Murakami is once again the favorite. (If you are the wagering kind, you'll find the odds here🙂

Murakami's previous novel IQ84 is a huge, ambitious work, but his new work is shorter, and has this appreciation from Laura Miller at Salon.  Murakami.

If your curiosity is piqued but want to know more about Murakami's work, check out this summary by Matthew Stretcher at Publishers Weekly of his favorite novels from the author. Murakami novels.

It seems that this year is the 60th anniversary of the publication of JRR Tolkien's Lord of the Rings Trilogy.

The Guardian offers up this quiz in order to see how much you really know about Tolkien and his magnum opus.
Tolkien

From the department of the creepy, comes this article from BoingBoing regarding William Burroughs and his, umm, er, distaste for centipedes. Caution, it is illustrated. William Burroughs

And H/T to my friend and author Ray Vukcevich, writer of short stories and general whimsy. You can see Ray's webpage here.

Even creepier, though, is this new jacket design for Penguin Classics release of Roald Dahl's Charley and the Chocolate Factory. I mean, huh?

From the files of history department comes a review of this interesting book on the birth of modernist painting in Paris, Sue Roe's In Montmarte:Picasso, Matisse and Modernism in Paris 1900-1910. with another H/T to our friend Lucian!

Now I didn't know this. Many long-term booksellers have taken the seminar offered by the American Bookseller Association. I did, many full moons ago. And it seems that Amazon Chairman of the Board, Jeff Bezos did as well.

Though I don't think we attended together. I'd probably have remembered that. American Bookseller Association Seminar

I do know that I am not the hippest guy around when it comes to social media. And although I know of Tumblr, I have not used it. Perhaps I should.

For Anne Rice fans, who thought that the lamentable Queen of the Damned would be the last film version from her Vampire Chronicles, take heart! More movies may get made!

Finally as we close this weeks post, comes a quiz from MentalFloss. Can you guess what these author's previous line of work was? I couldn't, scoring a dismal 10%.

Authors' Day Jobs.

A most pleasant weekend for you all, with many books. And please let us know what works you are loving!

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The Book Booth: Dog Days Edition

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image via http://blog.personalized-golf-balls.com/

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, as well a brick and mortar in small town Washington State. Both have been in the book business since shortly after the Creation, or close to 6000 years now.

August is here. The days are beginning to shorten, almost imperceptibly, and the skies remain blue, at least here they do. The kids are still out of school and we seem them playing in the park, dashing through the water fountains.

And Baseball is still being played.

Yesterday marked the non-waiver trade deadline and a lot of players now have new homes. Also earlier in the week, the Hall-of-Fame induction ceremonies were held, with some worthy names being celebrated. That includes one of the best writers on baseball, Roger Angell who received the Spink Award for his outstanding career covering baseball for the New Yorker magazine.  Roger Angell

As it is still summer, there is still time for a vacation. Novelist Emma Straub takes a look at some literary vacationers which looks like fun. Though I caution all to not make a journey with Patricia Highsmith's Mr. Ripley.  Literary Vacationers.

I'd suggest skipping these locales explored by Jason Diamond over at Flavorwire as well. They're not even places you'd want to visit, much less live there.  Depressing Places in Literature

One of the places Diamond recommends avoiding is the late Chilean novelist Roberto Bolano's Santa Teresa from his last novel 2066. If you have not read Bolano, check him out. Chris Andrews at Publishers Weekly suggests that the novel Distant Star is his best. You can read his appreciation here.  Roberto Bolano

If traveling around Dublin in 1904 is your cup of tea, but you have struggled with reading Ulysses, good news is on the way. Joyce's classic novel may soon become a video game. And perhaps a bit more accessible. Ulysses as a video game? 

More good news! A collection of stories that Dr. Seuss wrote for Redbook magazine circa 1950 and long-forgotten will be issued in September from Random House. And as the Guardian reports, some of the characters will be familiar to you.  Short Stories by Dr. Seuss.

I was not aware that there was such a group as the Penguin Collectors Society. It apparently has 500 members, all devoted to owning books from that esteemed publisher. The New Republic tells us about them as well as tracing the evolution of book jacket design through its history.

It seems some of these collectors are running out of room to store their books. They just might want to consider a hideaway bed, like the one featured here at Lifehacker. What To Do With All Those Books.

In sadder news, the novelist Bel Kaufman, author of Up the Down Staircase, passed away at the age of 103. I read it many years ago, while still in high school, and it was one of those seminal novels for me at that time. I remember having the book with me in English class and my teacher noticing it on my desk. "I wish I'd written that", she whispered to me.  Bel Kaufman has left us.

Finally comes an appreciation of the independent bookstore from author Bill Morris who is upbeat about its prospects for survival even in the Age of Amazon. H/T to my good buddy Brian Payne for sending this along to me.

Enjoy these lazy, hazy, crazy days of summer and please let us know what books you're reading and loving.

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