Archive for Ursula LeGuin

The Book Booth: Happy Fall Edition


Image: ElectricLit

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: Happy Fall Edition

The autumn leaves have begun to fall, if my backyard is any indication. I mowed the other day, and I chopped a few of them into little pieces. There is something satisfying about the crunching sounds the leaves make when the mower passes over them. I hope all of you are enjoying the new season.

With the new season, it is time to enjoy the harvest. SeattleTammy looks forward to making good soups, which she does very well, mind you. And with good food, there should be good books. ElectricLit recommends some Good Eating Books!

Do you ever wonder what the Lords of Silicon Valley read? The folks at Wired checked out Marc Andreessen's of Andreessen/Horowitz and were surprised by what they found. Pogo, Peanuts and Kevin Brownlow's cinema history and much more. H/ t to Lucian for the link.
Silicon Valley Venture Capitalist's Library

I've recently been talking about the new Library of America edition of Ursula Le Guin's early novels. It just so happens, that the Paris Review has excerpted Ms. Le Guin's introduction which you can read here.
Ursula LeGuin on Her Work:
The MotherlandFinding—and writing—the worlds where only I had been

I've noticed that as a general rule, people on the political right often lack imagination. They seem not to enjoy reading, the stage, or stories in general. For those of us who do read, we seem to have more sympathetic, even empathetic qualities. There may be good reason for this phenomenon, as Tom Blunt at Signature explains.
How Literary Fiction Teaches Us to be Human

For those of you who'd like a poetry fix, check out the profile in the New Yorker of English poet Alice Oswald by Dan Chiasson. Her work taking off on Homer looks very interesting.
Poetry Fix! Poetry Fix! Get Your Poetry Fix Here!

This link from BuzzFeed is fun. It has over twenty underused words. And here I thought absquatulate meant running off with the bosses wife. I was close.
Give Those Underused Words Some Exercise!

Sadly we lost two fine writers this past week. W. P. Kinsella was a prolific Canadian writer, often using baseball as a touchstone. His Shoeless Joe is a masterwork, turned into the good Kevin Costner film Field of Dreams. Alas, I'm unconvinced that Joe Jackson deserves a shot at the Hall of Fame, but the novel has some wonderful moments.
Shoeless Joe Author Kinsella Has Left Us

And playwright Edward Albee, who penned Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf, among many other works, passed away at 88.
Edward Albee Has Also Moved On to The Next Adventure

Enjoy this new season and our hopes that your harvests have been good to you. Sit back, relax and read a good book. And let us know what works you are loving this weekend.


The Book Booth: School's Out for Summer Edition



Image: Saint Mazie by Jami Attenberg (via the BBC)

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: School's Out for Summer Edition

It is that most favorite time of year for students and teachers both, Summer Vacation! And for us book lovers that can mean only one thing: more time to read more books!

And it looks like there will plenty of books to choose from for summer reading. There are new novels from Harper Lee as well as Stephen King, among many more. USAToday recommended their top 25 reads here.
Summer Reading Suggestions from USAToday

For those of us whose tastes are a bit more literary, check out the BBC's top ten books for June. H/T to our own Lucian for finding this link.
Summer Reading Suggestions from the BBC

Here's a title that looks particularly interesting. It is a biography of that great musician, Tom Waits, written by Barney Hoskyns and entitled Lowside of the Road. Apparently the biographer got absolutely no help from his subject, or his close friends. And normally I'm reluctant to read biographies of people who'd rather stay reclusive. But in this case, I may make an exception. From the BookForum.
Tom Waits Unauthorized Bio

But feel free to cast aside any copies of Ayn Rand you may have. Flannery O'Connor tells you that Rand is not worth your time or money.
Flannery O'Connor on Ayn Rand

O'Connor was a much better critic than Rand, of course. Yet in this day of consumer "reviews", I can only wonder what O'Connor would have done with a star system. In case you haven't seen any of these types of things, the literary magazine Ploughshares has collected a few for your amusement.
Star Review Systems Under the Microscope (or is that 'Telescope')

And speaking of odd reviews, it seems that novelist Edith Wharton has returned from the afterlife to review the new Starbucks that recently opened in her childhood home!
Edith Wharton? Reviews Local Starbucks?

On the other hand, I doubt that much welcomed this review of its business practices from Ursula LeGuin recently. Ms. LeGuin awards no stars at all! Thanks to old friend George Carroll for finding this story.
No Amazon Stars for Ursula LeGuin!

This year is the centennial of Saul Bellow's birth and with, inclusion of his novels in the Library of America series. Although I don't share the enthusiasm for Bellow that the editor of these new editions, James Woods, has, I did admire Humboldt's Gift when I read it years ago. NPR had this appreciation of Bellow
Saul Bellow Appreciation by NPR

Recently at Publishers Weekly, Martin Edwards, author of the new history of the detective novel, The Golden Age of Murder, outlined that history here. Edwards believes the modern detective novel begins with E.C.Bentley's Trent's Last Case, published in 1913. It is an interesting essay, but completely avoids the hard-boiled novels of Hammett and Chandler.
How the Modern Detective Novel was Born

Last week featured the annual get together of booksellers, authors and publishers at BookExpoAmerica (which we abbreviate to the BEA). And if you needed any more reasons to read, like you need one, Jarry Lee at BuzzFeed asked some of the attendees why people should read and here is here photo essay of the responses.
Why Should People Read? (photo essay from BEA)

So go enjoy this summer with books, reading and the pleasures of the word. And by all means, let us know what books you've got going. Have a great weekend, folks.