Archive for Winnie the Pooh

The Book Booth: October Edition



Image: Bustle

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: October Edition

Ok, I'm good with it being October. My medicare kicked in on the first, which is a good thing. The leaves are beginning to look spectacular. The sun is shining and no hurricane looms where I live. However, I was at our local chain drug store and lo, the store has its Christmas aisle up already! And I had just gotten used to seeing the Halloween displays. Apparently our war on Christmas is not succeeding yet.

Pope Francis paid a visit to the US Congress last week to great fanfare. In his address to the members, he mentioned the American Catholic activists Dorothy Day and Thomas Merton, which sent many scurrying to Wikipedia. They both wrote autobiographies, Day's The Long Loneliness and Merton's Seven-Story Mountain. These books are truly outstanding and certainly worth the time even for the non-believer.
Pope Francis, Dorothy Day, Thomas Merton

Of course the Pontiff's visit has not been without controversy. The revelation that he met somehow and in some way with Kim Davis has had a deflating effect on progressives. And then there have been the relentless attacks on Planned Parenthood. But I bear you good news! The author Daniel Handler, aka Lemony Snicket, and his wife, Lisa Brown, donated one million dollars to that good organization.
Lemony Snicket's Planner Parenthood Donation

And still more good news. Last week I noted that the book Into the River by Ted Dawe, a young adult novel, had been banned in New Zealand. Well, the folks at Polis Books here in the USofA has obtained the rights here and will publish the book for release probably in June of next year.
Into The River

As noted above, Halloween is a mere twenty-eight days away. Don't put things off to the last minute! If you have children and need some ideas on costuming, take a look at these literary ideas from Buzzfeed!
Trick Or Booking

From the Department of Regrets. Yes, some books get published that their authors would just as soon go out of print and fade from the public memory. Bustle has collected some of these. And yes, Ian Fleming's The Spy Who Loved Me is truly dreadful, though it does have the virtue of being short.
Successful Books Their Authors Hated

Perhaps the "blurb" is an even more important element to a book's design than is its cover art. Blurbs are funny things, and there have been times when I've read some work only to discover that the blurb writer has read a different book than I have. Or at least seemed to. Then there are the writers who also use pseudonyms for some of their work and use their real names to recommend said pseudonym's new book. In any case, NPR took a look at the blurb recently here.
Those Irrestible Blurbs

Here's something Ernest Hemingway and I have in common. We're both pack rats. However the detritus of my life will never be on display at the Morgan Library and Museum as Hemingway's recently has.
Papa Was a Pack Rat

The passing of literary agent Carmen Balcells at age 85 last week may have slipped under the radar of many. But she was a force and helped to champion the Latin American literary Renaissance of the sixties and beyond. The New Yorker profiled her here.
Carmen Balcells Latino Literary Agent Extraordinaire

Yes, this may be the age of the electronic reader, for all its ills and virtues. Still, there really is nothing like holding a book in your hands. Bustle outlines the pleasures of the printed page here.
There's Nothing Like a Real Book!

Have a great weekend, filled with some good words and stories and please let us know what books have captured your imagination.


The Book Booth: Happy Hanukkah Edition



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.
East West

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 letter

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.
Donald Hall

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.

Raymond Chandler's Opera Libretto

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.

Winnie the Pooh Banned in Boston? No, in Poland.

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.