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.
April, which can be either have showers sweet or be the cruelest month, depending on your attitude, is National Poetry Month. Whenever it rolls around, it makes me feel guilty as I don't read nearly enough of the stanzaic art. But I do have a copy of Kenneth Fearing's Selected Poetry on the nightstand, and I will read it soon and assuage my guilt.
If you, too, are behind on reading verse, check out Flavorwire's 50 most essential poetry books. These are good suggestions and any list that includes Shel Silverstein on an essential anything has got to be pretty good.
It has been nearly forty years since I read Kenneth Koch's Wishes, Lies and Dreams, about teaching the craft of poetry writing to inner city children. One hopes that poetry is still taught in schools and Andrew Simmons at the Atlantic makes a compelling argument for it being done so.
Although not a poet per se, John Steinbeck had a way with words and is neglected these days, at least by academic critics. Not so with Susan Shillinglaw who has this appreciation of thirteen of his novels at Publishers Weekly.
William Faulkner, on the other hand, did indulge in writing poetry, but obviously is now much more regarded as a novelist. ABE Books had this feature on Faulkner with some great book jacket art.
For science fiction fans that are looking for something new, io9 had these suggestions for neglected writers. I have to admit that I have not heard of, much less read, some of these authors.
Many authors are plagued at seminars and readings by the question, where do you get your ideas? It is a question most writers dread getting because they don't remember or they just seem to happen. Stephen King, however, can answer that question, at least in part, in this short essay on how he came up the idea for Carrie.
On the good news front, Kazuo Ishiguro will publish his first new novel, The Buried Giant, in March of 2015. He has not published one since 2005, so this comes as welcome news. And if you have not read his Remains of the Day, go do so right now. We'll wait for you.
In sadder news, last week saw the passing of Peter Matthiessen at age 86. Although probably best known as wonderful nature writer, he was a fine novelist and I cannot recommend At Play in the Fields of the Lord enough. The New York Times ran this obituary.
Banned Books Week wont happen again until next October. But for those who'd like to plan ahead, Cory Doctorow over at BoingBoing has a fashion tip here!
Finally, of all the book accessories available, I think the book plate is my favorite. You can use darn near anything as a bookmark (grocery receipts serve us well around here), but the plate is personal. HuffPo had some examples of some beauties here.
Please enjoy this weekend. Read some poetry. And by all means, let us know what book is delighting you!