One More Page Books

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Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Saner, better shopping for Christmas

I am not someone who does their Christmas shopping early. Ever.

But I do try to find the right gifts for people (even if I do buy them late). :-)

But this year was a wonderful shopping experience for me AND I felt like the gifts were more particularly selected. In looking at ideas for the bookstore, I also found beautiful, unique gifts at local markets and shops, such as Eastern Market, Politics and Prose, McLean Craft Fair, The Grape Juice and others.

...which also allowed me to shop and buy locally, from local businesses...and to get ideas for artists whose work I'd like to sell in my shop. The ABA's Indiebound program is all about recognizing the contribution of bookstores and other local merchants to the local economy and community - maybe it's finally sinking in with me.

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Whoohooo...we're #2!

#2 is pretty darn good considering the competition. Shelf Awareness noted: "Seattle has once again topped the list of America's most literate cities, but this year Washington, D.C., edged traditional literate city powerhouse Minneapolis as a surprise runner-up."

America's most literate cities for 2009:

Portland, Ore.
St. Paul

The annual study by Jack Miller, president of Central Connecticut State University, "focuses on six indicators: newspaper circulation, number of bookstores, library resources, periodical publishing resources, educational attainment and Internet resources," USA Today reported.

Thursday, December 17, 2009

The mystery binge continues

In my independent bookstore prowl, I continue to pick up more books. Faster than I can read them, but I enjoy trying to keep up.

Recently finished The Italian Secretary by Caleb Carr, author of The Alienist and The Angel of Darkness. This is a change up from those books in both location and cast of characters, moving from Dr. Laszlo Kreizler in New York City to Sherlock Holmes in Scotland. I liked it quite a bit, but not as much as the Alienist which I love.
"The Italian Secretary captivates." - Publishers Weekly.

Another book add to the reading list...City of Silver by Annamaria Alfieri. Read Daniel Mallory's review in the Washington Post: "...Densely brocaded with period detail, "City of Silver" reads like an El Doradan "Name of the Rose," all cloistered intrigue and New World decadence." Having spent several weeks in Peru and Bolivia and reading up on the history, I look forward to reading this book. What's the term for a history mystery??

Monday, December 14, 2009

Another adult book related to a children's book

First, Neverland: J. M. Barrie, The Du Mauriers, and the Dark Side of Peter Pan by Piers Dudgeon and now...

Alice I Have Been by Melanie Benjamin due out January 12, 2010.
"The story about the inspiration for Alice's Adventures in Wonderland and Through the Looking-Glass concentrates on Alice Liddell: we savor the richly imagined life of a privileged child, a young woman smitten with a prince, a society wife and mother, an elderly widow, and of course "Alice," the perennial Child...As this marvelous novel opens, in 1932, Alice Liddell Hargreaves is starting a letter to her son:

"But oh my dear, I am tired of being Alice in Wonderland. Does it sounds (sound?) ungrateful? It is. Only I do get tired.

"Only I do get tired.

"I pause, place the pen down next to the page and massage my aching hand; the joints of my fingers, in particular, are stiff and cold and ugly like knots on a tree. One does get tired of so many things, of course, when one is eighty; not the least of which is answering endless letters.

"However, I cannot say that, not to my own son."
(From Shelf Awareness Maximum Shelf Oct 26, 2009)

Friday, December 11, 2009

Still shopping? More books suggestions because Indiebound says...

Some new and others not so new...
The Monster in the Box by Ruth Rendell.  Last book featuring Reginald Wexford, Chief Inspector of Kingsmarkham, UK.  "One of the best written detective series genre" says Michael Sims of the Washington Post.

The Race for Timbuktu by Frank T. Kryza. Read Jonathan Yardley's review of the story of the expedition to find and lay claim to the riches of this fabled city.

The Geography of Bliss: One Grump's Search for the Happiest Places in the World by Eric Weiner. Read Weiner in the Washington Post on undertaking this adventure, starting with: "I am not a happy person, never have been. As a child, my favorite Winnie-the-Pooh character was Eeyore."

Shadows Still Remain by Peter de Jonge (co-writer of three of James Patterson's best-sellers). Patrick Anderson's review in the Washington Post concludes: "When the crime-fiction aficionados set out to pick their best first novel of the year, "Shadows Still Remain" will be a contender."

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Misc musings on NYC, e-books, fairies and Steig Larsson

Really looking forward to going to NYC this weekend to visit my college roomies and to visit some indie bookstores AND catch up with a new friend whose store is scheduled to open in January. Hope to check out several of these...

Idlewild Books at 12 West 19th Street (near 5th Avenue)- a travelers mecca - my dream store.

And several in Brooklyn, which seems to be home to many independent bookstore:

BookCourt at 163 Court Street (between Pacific & Dean)
Greenlight Bookstore at 686 Fulton Street - I think it just opened this past fall
WORD bookstore at 126 Franklin Street

Freebird Books & Goods at 123 Columbia St.

And a few more...
Three Lives & Co. at 154 West 10th Street
St, Mark's Bookshop at 31 Third Avenue
Book Culture – 2915 Broadway

Good books...
Always love it when a friend is enthused about a book as much as I am -- The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo by Stieg Larsson, the first of his trilogy with Lisbeth Salandar. Fans love this series so much that booksellers are purchasing the final book in the trilogy from the UK where it has already been released. It's unclear why it will take several months to be released in the U.S.

"HarperCollins became the third major publisher in two days to make the decision to delay e-book publication of selected titles in 2010. Simon & Schuster and Hachette had made a similar announcement earlier (Shelf Awareness, December 10, 2009)."
Not sure that I agree with this strategy -- ebooks will come whether they're delayed or not.

Last but not a switch from omnipresent vampires in teen novels, Fragile Eternity is a book about fairies, but they're kick-ass fairies who are way stronger than humans, who fight and are flawed. Fragile Eternity is the third book from Melissa Marr and her Wicked Lovely universe. It is the sequel to her first book, Wicked Lovely, and includes characters from her second book, Ink Exchange. And of course it involves star-crossed lovers...

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

"Because cheese and crackers never changed anyone's life"

"The value of books... because cheese and crackers never changed anyone's life: When people get yet another basket filled with fruit or wine or cheese and crackers--it is hard to remember who sent what--but when they receive a book or a basket of feels thoughtful and personal and memorable."
--An e-mail newsletter sent by Roxanne Coady, owner of R.J. Julia Booksellers, Madison, Conn., promoted "Corporate Gift Ideas."

Friday, December 4, 2009

Yum...I KNEW I liked this guy

...He's from Piscataway and his book is about New Jersey
...The cover of said book, I Shudder, features marshmallow peeps.
...And now...he lives on candy!

In the NY Times interview, Living for Candy, and Sugar-Coated Goblins, Paul Rudnick "reveals a horrible truth no parent wants published: It is possible, it seems, to live on candy."

"Mr. Rudnick is the living proof. At 51, 5-foot-10 and an enviably lean 150 pounds, Mr. Rudnick does not square with the inevitable mental image of a man who has barely touched a vegetable other than candy corn in nearly a half-century."

The Recipe Club:  A Tale of Food and Friendship by Nancy Garfinkel, Andrea Israel

“I’ve been to many combat zones, so I kn ow a real fight when I see one—and the characters in this book pull no punches. But what surprised me is how their conflict is just as engaging as their crazy humor and deep affection for each other. This book perfectly combines my two favorite things in the world: fiction and food. It's a great read.”—Bob Woodruff, ABC News anchor and journalist

Cate Blanchette in Arlington

Yes, she was visiting Aladdin's Lamp, the children's bookstore right across the street from me.  Sounds like she and her children were there for a while persuing the wide selection of books and toys.

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Driveway moment with the Smothers Brothers

It was what NPR calls "driveway moments." I got home, but stayed in the car to listen to the end of Terry Gross' interview with David Bianculli, author of Dangerously Funny: The Uncensored Story of "The Smothers Brothers Comedy Hour."(yes, I want this book)

Publisher description:  "A behind-the-scenes look at the rise and fall of The Smothers Brothers Comedy Hour -- the provocative, politically charged program that shocked the censors, outraged the White House, and forever changed the face of television."

"Decades before The Daily Show, The Smothers Brothers Comedy Hour proved there was a place on television for no-holds-barred political comedy with a decidedly antiauthoritarian point of view...."

"...Before it was suddenly removed from the CBS lineup (reportedly under pressure from the Nixon administration), The Smothers Brothers Comedy Hour was a ratings powerhouse. It helped launch the careers of comedy legends such as Steve Martin and Rob Reiner, featured groundbreaking musical acts like the Beatles and the Who, and served as a cultural touchstone for the antiwar movement of the late 1960s."

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

And more...

Finished two advance reader editions of teen books that now go off to the real critic, my niece, who is a much more thorough and critical reviewer than I. There are both first books from these authors.

Before I Fall by Lauren Oliver. Release date: 3/2/2010. Like Groundhog Day, but more serious. I liked it.
From publisher: "What if you only had one day to live? What would you do? Who would you kiss? And how far would you go to save your own life?"

"Samantha Kingston has it all: the world’s most crush-worthy boyfriend, three amazing best friends, and first pick of everything at Thomas Jefferson High—from the best table in the cafeteria to the choicest parking spot. Friday, February 12, should be just another day in her charmed life."

The Sky is Everywhere by Jandy Nelson. Release date: March 2010. Very quick read and I liked it.
From publisher: "This remarkable debut is perfect for fans of Sarah Dessen, Deb Caletti, and Francesca Lia Block. Just as much a celebration of love as it is a portrait of loss, Lennie’s struggle to sort her own melody out of the noise around her is always honest, often hilarious, and ultimately unforgettable."

...An observation after reading several teen books in succession -- there's a lot of death.

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

So many books I want to read and am reading - Part 1

The pile of books in my rooms keeps get higher and higher. I have become a book addict. I can't visit an indie bookstore without finding a least 3 books I MUST HAVE. In the meantime, I'm still reading the advance copies of books from the NAIBA show.

So in no particular order, these books look interesting...

Neverland: J.M. Barrie, the Du Mauriers, and the Dark Side of Peter Pan by Piers Dudgeon a nutshell, it sounds totally twisted.

Strange Things Happen by Stewart Copeland
"The world knows Stewart Copeland as the drummer for The Police...But they may not know as much about his childhood in the Middle East as the son of an agent for the CIA. Or his film-making adventures with the Pygmies in the deepest Congo." HarperStudio a nutshell, if it's anything like his movie, Everyone Stares, it will be great and a lot of fun.