One More Page Books

2200 N. Westmoreland Street, Arlington, VA 22213 * 703-300-9746 * Mon-Sat: 10 am - 8 pm; Sun: noon - 5 pm

Thursday, December 30, 2010

The latest on the store on this Dec 30 morning

The author events were great!  We had three gracious and fun authors to kick off activities for the new store. While we may not have been in the store space, you turned out to meet Ellen Crosby, Richard Thompson and Richard Gazala.  It was a wonderful preview of what it will be like when the store opens.

Speaking of the store opening, we look forward to kicking off 2011 with an open store.  We have two inspections scheduled for January 3rd and if those goes well, we can start moving in!

Someone said to me -- 2011 will be a better year -- which made it sound like 2010 was not a good year.  While it's been frustrating these last months with the permits and inspections, I have a beautiful store, great books and sidelines, super staff and fantastic friends and family who have provided tremendous support.  2010 has been a great year and I hope we all have a wonderful and happy New Year!!  Thank you all!

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Author events are STILL ON!

Our doors may not be open yet, but the events are ON!  Author events will be held in the WestLee Party room - right next door to One More Page.  Look for the signs and see you there!!

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Fantastic Author Lineup!

So exciting!  As we prepare to open the doors of One More Page, we have lined up several exciting author events to kick off our grand opening. Mark your calendar (they're all fantastic):

Sunday, December 19, 2-4 pm
Ellen Crosby will be signing the latest in her Lucie Montgomery mystery series,  The Viognier VendettaTake time to check out other books in the series: The Merlot Murders, The Chardonnay Charade, The Bordeaux Betrayal and The Riesling Retribution (we have them all!).

Monday, December 20, 7-9 pm:
Another one of my favorites, Richard Thompson, will be signing his latest book, Shapes and Colors. If you read the Washington Post, you've seen his Cul de Sac strip next to Doonesbury on page 2 of Style.  What a fantastic fun gift - a signed copy of one of Thompson's collections (we'll have them all!).

Tuesday, December 21, 7-9 pm
Richard Gazala will sign his debut thriller Blood of the Moon.

I'll let this review speak for itself on this great book:
“A stunning debut. Well-researched, tightly plotted, and teeming with vividly-drawn characters. Gazala has a great voice, as well as a clear gift for breakneck pacing and narrative drive. A rich and rewarding read.” 

What a great line-up - we look forward to seeing you!

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Pics of the store-to-be

I've been so busy working on the store that I haven't updated the blog with pics of the progress.  I started this blog in April 2008 when I first started planning for the store.  As the Grateful Dead would say, what a long, strange trip it's been. 

It's taken way longer than I thought and things usually did NOT go according to my plan, but each major setback worked out for the right although I often didn't see that until after the fact.  An indication to me that this was the right thing for me was that after a day of being frustrated/angry/disappointed after a set-back, I got right back to it and moved on.

It feels like it's taken forever for construction to get started, but now that it has, the store has quickly taken shape and now (in the words of my cousin), it's starting to look like a store (instead of a construction site).

What it originally look like (note the lovely orange and white checked floor).

Where the children and adult sections meet
New Paint and Floor

Most importantly...books and more books!

We plan to open the weekend of December 11-12...details to follow!

Friday, November 19, 2010

The Janus Stone and the Kindle

The title of the book is The Janus Stone by Elly Griffiths.  The method of reading was my new Kindle.  Don't call me a traitor - I want to know what it's all about.

First, the book. I've not read any of Griffiths' books feature Ruth Galloway, forensic anthropologist, but I will from now on.  In the midst of excavation for a new complex, a child's bones are found under the foundation of the main building.  In one of its past lives, the house and grounds had been a Catholic orphanage. While the hunt begins to find out who the victim was and who murdered them, someone's also hunting Ruth Galloway, playing on her emotional vulnerability as a newly pregnant woman.

"When a child’s body is found buried under a Victorian mansion, Ruth is called in to investigate.  The police, led by Detective Chief Inspector Harry Nelson, discover that the house used to be a Catholic children’s home. Nelson finds out that, forty years ago, two children went missing from the home. Is the body one of the missing children or does it go back to the days when the building housed an eccentric but very influential family?"

Ironically, one of the things I liked was that Detective Chief Inspector Henry Nelson, the father of Ruth's unborn baby, is also happily married.  It didn't leave us with a pat ending in that string of the story.

Now, the Kindle.  Did not love it although I think it would be good to bring on a trip loaded up with books.
  • Not sure if it was just this book, but usually when you're reading a book and the action shifts within a chapter, there is an extra space between the paragraphs.  Kindle did not do that with this book, so I'd find myself jumping from Ruth sleeping to Nelson meeting with his staff.  Miss the visual break.
  • Like to read in bed and didn't like having to keep it tilted the right way all the time.
  • Only shows one page at a time, feel like I was constantly turning pages.
Will keep using it from time to time and see if I start to appreciate it more.

Saturday, November 6, 2010

The SciFi count thus far

Following is the tally of my nephews' "must-keep" books - hardbacks and paperbacks - many battered from being read countless times:

Far and away the leader - STAR WARS - 69 books (with more to be counted)

They have already provided recommendations for store inventory which I have ordered.  My in-home experts. :D

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

What if Mary had twins? Read about the Good Man and the Scoundrel

If you follow Anne Rice’s “Christ the Lord” series or read Bart Ehrman’s books about the variety of early Christian teachings and writings, then you may want to dive into Philip Pullman’s The Good Man Jesus and the Scoundrel Christ, the latest entry in Canongate’s The Myths series. Pullman tackles the daunting task of transforming the familiar gospels’ descriptions of the life and teachings of Jesus into an engaging novel with a fresh, contemporary voice. However, he adds a bizarre twist: what would have happened if Mary gave birth in Bethlehem to twins, one named Jesus and the other nicknamed Christ?

This is a book for almost everyone: conspiracy theorists, Gnostics, theologians, and individuals with varying degrees of faith (although Biblical purists may cringe at some of the content). While he draws heavily from the gospels, Pullman also peppers his story with tenets, concepts, and stories from traditional religious teachings and legends (mostly from the Catholic Church) handed down for almost two millennia , rediscovered gospels and alternative Biblical texts, recent books and movies about Jesus, and various religious conspiracy rumors and gossip.

While this can be a disquieting read for some, The Good Man Jesus... is an easy read, written in a colloquial, almost pastoral, manner. As Pullman notes on the dust jacket, “... what I do with (the story) is my responsibility alone. Parts of it read like a novel ... a history ... a fairy tale ... it is, among other things, a story about how stories become stories.”

Monday, October 18, 2010

New Science Fiction Must Read

Strong recommendation for The Half Made World by Felix Gilman from my 18 year old nephew who raced through it this weekend. Book jacket describes it as: "A fantastical reimagining of the American West which draws its influence from steampunk, the American western tradition, and magical realism."

Oh yea, Ursula Le Guin also gave it a great recommendation - "gripping, imaginative store, terrifically inventive setting, a hard-bitten, indestructible hero and an intelligent fully adult heroine - we haven't had a science fiction novel like this for a long time." Released Oct 2010.

I have one more copy of this if anyone wants to read it...

Friday, October 15, 2010

The Lost Art of Reading

A review from my much smarter, younger sister on The Lost Art of Reading - due out at the beginning of November.

You might expect a lot of librarians and bibliochretics (“users of books”, what the Naval Research Laboratory called its first librarian) to weigh in on David L. Ulin’s The Lost Art of Reading: Why Books Matter in a Distracted Time. Caveat – I am not a librarian, I just play one at work.

This compact book (153 pages) is a short but in-depth read. Ulin tackles the topic by discussing his son’s assignment to read The Great Gatsby (and the son’s decided lack of enthusiasm for the reading process). He then wends his way through his younger years, finding treasured nuggets of books almost everywhere to escape the mundane real world in which he was forced to participate.

As he grew, Ulin found that while books still occupy his time, they don’t occupy his mind as much as they had previously. He considers not only the impact of this mindset on what we read but how we perceive the process of reading and how we experience the story within the book. With ever-changing technology, a story can be experienced in ways the author never conceived.

As I read, I had visions of the Twilight Zone episode, “Time Enough at Last”, with Burgess Meredith as a book lover who is constantly prevented from reading by those in his sphere. After everyone else is wiped out by war, he thinks he can read as much as he wants for the rest of his life. His happiness is short-lived, however, because he drops his glasses, breaking the lenses and his hopes for a book-filled future. Perhaps Ulin and we relate – all the books at our fingertips but just beyond our reach.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

And more books

Let me know if you want to read any of these and I'll get it off to you -

How can you not want to read a book with the name Skippy Dies?  Skippy dies early on during a donut eating contest and things take off from there.  Jess Walter laid it out like this in his review in the Washington Post::

If killing your protagonist with more than 600 pages to go sounds audacious, it's nothing compared with the literary feats Murray pulls off in this hilarious, moving and wise book. Recently named to the Man Booker Prize long list, "Skippy Dies" is an epic crafted around, of all things, a pack of 14-year-old boys. It's the "Moby-Dick" of Irish prep schools.

The school in question is Dublin's venerable Seabrook College...a 140-year-old institution whose social dynamics make "Lord of the Flies" seem like "Gilligan's Island." Its halls are a maze of bullying, name-calling, alcohol and drug use, sexual obsession and predation. And that's just the faculty.

And a few more:

The Poison Tree by Erin Kelly, coming out in January 2011.  "Brilliant suspense debut that will appeal to readers of Kate Atkinson, Donna Tartt and Tana French." Highly anticipated.

Half A Life by Darin Strauss. Strauss' memoir of how his life changed when as an 18-year old he struck and killed a 16 year old classmate while driving with friends to play miniature golf. It happened half his life ago. For more, read the NY Times review.

Sunday, October 10, 2010

More ARCs, not Arks

All industries have their acronyms and the books industry is no exception.  ARCs are Advanced Reading Copies that publishers put out 3-6 months before general release to get early interest and buzz so bookstores purchase and promote the books,

Let me know if you'd like to read any of the below and give me your feedback:

A book that will definitely will generate heated discussion - Battle Hymn of the Tiger Mother by Amy Chua, coming out in January 2011 from Penguin. I met her the other night and was quite taken with her candor and openness. Chua decides to raise her third-generation, half-Jewish daughters in a super-traditional Chinese style: no playdates, no school plays, no sleepovers, no B-pluses, lots of piano and/or violin practice. "It's about a bitter clash of of cultures, a fleeting taste of glory and how I was humbled by a thirteen-year-old."

You Know When the Men are Gone by Siobahn Fallon, out in January 2011. In a sure sign of interest, there's already a reading guide out for this selection of short stories.
"There is an army of women waiting for their men to return to Fort Hood, Texas...each woman deals with her husband’s absence differently. One wife, in an attempt to avoid thinking about the risks her husband faces in Iraq, develops an unhealthy obsession with the secret life of her neighbor. Another woman’s simple trip to the PX becomes unbearable when she pulls into her Gold Star parking space. And one woman’s loneliness may lead to dire consequences when her husband arrives home...It is a place where men and women cling to the families they have created as the stress of war threatens to pull them apart. "

A Discovery of Witches by Deborah Harkness, due out in February 2011. "A mesmerizing and additive read" this ARC is getting great reviews on GoodReads.
"When historian Diana Bishop opens a bewitched alchemical manuscript in Oxford’s Bodleian Library it represents an unwelcome intrusion of magic into her carefully ordinary life. Though descended from a long line of witches, she is determined to remain untouched by her family’s legacy. She banishes the manuscript to the stacks, but Diana finds it impossible to hold the world of magic at bay any longer."

Caribou Island by David Vann, coming out January 2011.  Vann is the  international bestselling author of Legend of a Suicide.  Set in the "beautiful, treacherous wildness of Alaska...captures the drama of a husband and wife whose bitter love, failed dreams and tragic past push them to the edge of destruction."

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Be the First to Read

If you're reading this, you have a lot of patience as I have been delinquent in writing.  Here's a little thank you -- if you'd like to read any of the below, let me know and I get it out to you.  These are all advance copies from Penguin Group so you can be ahead of the rest of the world.  I just ask that you let me know whether you liked it or not (since they're all ones I'd like to read someday).

Let's get started with a personal favorite:

1)  Moby-Duck by Donovan Hohn, coming out in March 2011.  The cover alone is enough to make you want to read this.  "The True Story of 28,800 Bath Toys Lost at Sea and of the Beachcombers, Environmentalists and Fools, Including the Author, Who Went in Search of Them."

Read the Harpers piece about the spill that occurred in January 2002 from a ship heading from Hong Kong to Tacoma and folks that started finding rubber duckies along the shore.

2)  The Wilder Life by Wendy McClure, coming out in April 2011.  "My Adventures in the Lost World of Little House on the Prairie." " pilgrimage, tribute to Laura Ingalls Wilder and a hilarious account of butter-churning obsession."

3)  Moonwalking with Einstein:  The Art and Science of Remembering Everything by Joshua Foer, due out in March 2011.  Hey, if the subtitle doesn't make you want to read it, look what it did for him: "Foer's unlikely journey from chronically forgetful science journalist to U.S. Memory Champion."  (I think I saw this was being made into a movie.)

4)  The Border Lords by T. Jefferson Parker, due out in January 2011.  "Parker has produced a body of work unsurpassed, perhaps unmatched, by any other contemporary writer of crime fiction" Kirkus Reviews.   Read a review of the book.  It sounds intense and action-packed.

5)  The Death Instinct by Jed Rubenfeld, due out in January 2011.  Whoever reads this MUST provide a report back to me.

"Under a clear blue September sky, America's financial center in lower Manhattan became the site of the largest, deadliest terror attack in the nation's history.  It was September 16, 1920.  Four hundred people were killed or injured.  The country was appalled by the magnitude and savagery of the incomprehensible attack which remains unsolved to this day."

This historical mystery book blends fiction and fact. Read a little from the FBI on the 1920 bombing.

...on a totally unrelated note, I  think he's married to Amy Chua, also an author, who I saw last night talking about her new book (but that's for another day).

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Busy, Busy, Busy...but still some time to read

Lauren Oliver's new book, Delirium, comes out in Feb 2011. Love is a disease, but you can't be "cured" until you are 18, so kids must be protected during the dangerous period prior to the cure. The cure will keep you "happy and safe forever." At the beginning of each chapter, Oliver takes famous quotes and bible passages and turns them on their ear for this new world when love is illegal. Regulators, invalids, the Wilds, sympathizers. No matter how you fight it, love will find a way.

On a totally different note, Jon Krakauer's Where Men Win Glory about Pat Tillman, is disturbing, but like Delirium in one key way. In both books, governments, sure they are right, will go to great lengths to move forward their beliefs. In an aside, I was reminded about the meaning of snafu from soldiers in the 1940's (appropriate word for events in this book): Situation Normal; All F**ed Up.

Hadn't read any of Michael Chabon's books previously, although they've been on my list. Drawn into The Yiddish Policemen's Union and had to really read this closely. It's a complex mystery set in Federal District of Sitka, a "temporary" safe haven created in the wake of the Holocaust and the 1948 collapse of the state of Israel. The end of the "temporary" haven is fast approaching and different players are looking to move in. Chabon has a way of inserting wonderful descriptions that made me go back and re-read them (did that really say that!??!). Great book.

Saturday, September 18, 2010

The Right Stuff can be Scary (and Gross): Packing for Mars

My wonderful sister reviewed Mary Roach's Packing for Mars which I have not had the pleasure of reading yet. After hearing Mary speak at BookExpo in June, I have been singing her praises far and wide as she had the entire audience, incl. host Jon Stewart, gasping and laughing throughout her talk. After reading her book, you too many wonder (as she did) about the wisdom of inviting her to speak at breakfast. Without further ado, the review:

Did you ever wonder why almost every time there is a news story about the International Space Station (ISS), they have a clogged toilet up there? In her latest book, Packing for Mars: The Curious Science of Life in the Void, Mary Roach will clue you in on that as well as the good, the bad, and the excruciatingly unpleasant aspects of space travel (see chapter 14 for more about the ISS plumbing problems). You may have seen her on the Daily Show with Jon Stewart or heard Craig Finn Of 'The Hold Steady' answer questions about the book on the NPR quiz show, Wait Wait ... Don’t tell me! this past July 24. I first became aware of her books when I saw her on C-SPAN 2’s Book TV talking about her previous book, Stiff: The Curious Life of Cadavers (simultaneously icky and interesting).

Caveat: while her books are certainly educational, they are definitely not for the faint of heart and probably not intended for most pre-adolescent children. It cuts right to the heart of how the US and Soviets ran their space programs, what they did to both humans and animals to get things to work, and what those largely forgotten astronauts and cosmonauts endured to keep us enraptured over 40 years ago. And it’s not a pretty picture, even in the future.

That said, with her tongue-in-cheek style, Mary tackles all of those questions us non-astronauts ask about space travel:
• Tom Wolfe’s The Right Stuff gave us the American perspective but how do the Japanese select their astronaut candidates?
• How difficult is it to work in zero gravity (and how lousy can it really make you feel)?
• Will personal hygiene become more medieval than metrosexual?
• In order to reduce weight and waste, will future astronauts have to eat their clothes (or worse)?
• What will the impact of long-term space flight (e.g., two years to and from Mars) have on physiology and personal relationships?
These and many other questions are being carefully over-planned, leading to many fraught-filled adventures here on Earth. As the subtitle on one of her chapters notes, “Planning a Moon Expedition is Tough, but Not as Tough as Planning a Simulated One.”

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Where Men Win Glory

Jon Krakauer's books never fail to draw me in, although I admit it took a while for this one about Pat Tillman to capture my full attention.

The books starts with Pat's upbringing, the influence of his parents and relationship with his brother, Kevin and wife Marie. Intermingled with Pat's story are chapters on what is happening in the rest of the world which set the scene for the war Pat will be joining. In these early chapters, he grows into someone almost too good to be true. Fortunately Krakauer also shows Pat's intensity and inability to suffer fools (who seem to be plentiful).

When Pat goes to Iraq and later to Afghanistan, that's when the book became engrossing. Even knowing the story of the cover-up regarding the circumstances of his death, the telling does not lose the ability to shock and disillusion us. I applaud the perseverance of Pat's family, friends and others who persisted in knowing the truth and for, as always, Krakauer's excellent research skills.

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Things are speeding up for the store

Nice piece in Publishers Weekly about One More Page. It generated a bunch of calls from publishers reps which is wonderful. Things are moving along with the floor plan finalized work on the store will begin soon (hopefully!).

Things are starting to come together!

Monday, August 30, 2010

Jackie's Summer Reads

Another great reviewer, Jackie let me know about some of her favorite books from the summer. Jackie, almost 15, is an avid reader and part of the crew helping me set-up the new store (opening in October!). She caveats her selections as mostly being for girls, although a couple would be enjoyed by boys and girls.

~The Iron King by Julie Kagawa. Her favorite book! First of the series and just fantastic.

~Maximum Ride by James Patterson. Very funny with sarcastic humor; was "if-y" at first, but totally worth it. First of the series. Good for guys also.

~The Secrets of the Immortal Nicholas Flamel by Michael Scott. Grabbed the fourth book called Necromancer. Great for that getting over harry potter syndrome that people have :D)  This is one I wanted to read also. Good for guys also.

~Deadly Little Secret by Laurie Stolarz. Completely suspenseful, stayed up so late because could put it down.

~ Oh.My.Gods by Tera Lynn Childs. Very cute; to help get over Percy Jackson syndrome with all the mythology in it too.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Chocolate is good for your heart (in more ways than one)

Not about a book, but since I plan on selling special chocolates in the store, this posting is bookstore related. A brief article in the Washington Post Health Section today discussed a recent study that showed chocolate is good for the heart.

Now, I already knew that chocolate feeds the soul, but this study found women who consumed one or two servings each week of what is considered high-quality chocolate (contains a higher density of cocoa) had a 32 percent lower risk of developing heart failure.

Unfortunately (for people like me), the study also found that "women who treated themselves to at least one serving each day did not appear to benefit."

The message is clear - dark chocolate rules!

Thursday, August 5, 2010

My mystery bias coming through loud and clear

Doesn't this sounds like a great book? Read more in Shelf Awareness:

"It sounds like a fictional thriller: great detectives from five continents meet once a month in secret chambers to ponder--and hopefully solve--cold cases over a gourmet lunch. But it's not fiction. In The Murder Room: The Heirs of Sherlock Holmes Gather to Solve the World's Most Perplexing Cold Cases, Michael Capuzzo tells the story of the Philadelphia-based Vidocq Society, a group with 82 members--one for each year of the life of Eugène François Vidocq, the first modern detective--and more than 100 associate members drawn from all over the world."

"...Capuzzo focuses on the three men who formed the Society in 1990: Frank Bender--manic, intuitive, psychic and happily sex-addicted--is the most celebrated forensic artist working today. Richard Walter--tall, melancholy, acerbic, chain-smoking--is a forensic psychologist and eerily brilliant profiler. William Fleisher, head of U.S. Customs enforcement in three states, is the administrator who allows Bender and Walter, "equal parts Reason and Revelation," to function at their best...As they and their colleagues solve the most baffling, often heartbreaking cold cases, we come face to face with terrifying crimes and eccentric and enthralling forensic professionals."

Top 10 Killer Thrillers

Looking for something to curl up with and scare yourself silly? Over 600 books were nominated by NPR's audience and based on over 17,000 voters, the top 10 Killer Thrillers are:

1. The Silence of the Lambs by Thomas Harris
2. The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo by Stieg Larsson
3. Kiss the Girls by James Patterson
4. The Bourne Identity by Robert Ludlum
5. In Cold Blood by Truman Capote
6. The Da Vinci Code by Dan Brown
7. The Shining by Stephen King
8. And Then There Were None by Agatha Christie
9. The Hunt for Red October by Tom Clancy
10. The Hound of the Baskervilles by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle

A few of my votes made the list. Now, I have a few more in queue to read!

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Too good to not share -- book lovers are everywhere

Hope you do not find this inappropriate, but I have to share this piece from today's Shelf Awareness:

Naked Girls Reading is "an all-star international lineup of naked readers" who last night kicked off the Toronto Burlesque Festival. The Globe and Mail called them "the newest phenomenon of the phenomenal burlesque revival... Burlesque divas remove the pasties and G-strings--those time-honoured barriers to complete nudity--and grab a book.... The format is generally four or five readers who take 10-minute turns, ending with a group read from a common book. The readers usually perch demurely on a chaise."

The group was formed early last year, a salon founded by burlesque star Michelle L'amour (pictured above). "We hold the series every month at my studio," she told the paper. "Each evening has a theme, and each girl selects her own material which can come from fiction, non-fiction, song lyrics or poetry. For example, for the 'Independent Women' show, readings included Dorothy Parker, Mae West and Coco Chanel."

The reading lists and other information are available at

One woman who participates in Naked Girls Reading commented: "It has a courtesan feel about it. It's seductive, because we're naked, and, at the same time, comforting, like listening to your mother reading to you when you were little."

Another said: "In burlesque, we unveil our bodies. In Naked Girls Reading, we unveil our souls."

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Another kind of diet: Diet for a Hot Planet

My sister, Teresa, provides a much more thorough review than I usually do -- read on!

After reading Anne Lappe’s Diet for a Hot Planet: The Climate Crisis at the End of Your Fork and What You Can Do About It, you will never look at a hamburger, ear of corn, or Pop Tart the same way again. And the timeliness of this book is almost impeccable: chapter 4, “Playing with our Food, mentions a 2005 BP accident in Texas City, Texas, which killed 15 and was linked to safety violations caused by budget cuts.

While she details the industrial farming and livestock practices of agribusiness, Lappe is not all doom and gloom about our food future. She provides seven basic principles for a Climate Friendly Diet as well as discussing some cookbooks and websites for those who don't know where to begin. In the end, you might decide to become a locavore, freegan, or maybe just be a little healthier.

Thursday, June 24, 2010

The case for books

Check out this study on the power of books in the home have on a child's educational. Growing up in a home filled with books, I was pleased to see a study showing that books in the home are as important as parents’ education level in determining level of education children will attain.

Following is a summary from on the study (emphasis is mine).

RENO, Nev. – Whether rich or poor, residents of the United States or China, illiterate or college graduates, parents who have books in the home increase the level of education their children will attain, according to a 20-year study lead by Mariah Evans, University of Nevada, Reno associate professor of sociology and resource economics.

For years, educators have thought the strongest predictor of attaining high levels of education was having parents who were highly educated. But, strikingly, this massive study showed that the difference between being raised in a bookless home compared to being raised in a home with a 500-book library has as great an effect on the level of education a child will attain as having parents who are barely literate (3 years of education) compared to having parents who have a university education (15 or 16 years of education). Both factors, having a 500-book library or having university-educated parents, propel a child 3.2 years further in education, on average.

Evans said, “Even a little bit goes a long way,” in terms of the number of books in a home. Having as few as 20 books in the home still has a significant impact on propelling a child to a higher level of education, and the more books you add, the greater the benefit.

The researchers were struck by the strong effect having books in the home had on children’s educational attainment even above and beyond such factors as education level of the parents, the country’s GDP, the father’s occupation or the political system of the country."

So get out there and buy books!

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Washington KidsPost Summer Book Club

Top picks from the Washington Post KidsPost Summer Book Club.  Go to a local indie bookstore and pick them up!

June 23: "The Red Pyramid" by Rick Riordan. The start of a new series from the author of the hugely popular "Percy Jackson" books. Age 9 and older.

June 30: "The Summer Before" by Ann M. Martin. This "prequel" looks at the lives of the girls in "The Baby-Sitters Club" before the club formed. Age 8 and older.
July 7: "Theodore Boone: Kid Lawyer" by John Grisham. The author of many legal thrillers your parents have probably read writes his first book for kids. Age 9 and older.
July 14: "Chasing Orion" by Kathryn Lasky. The author of the "Guardians of Ga'hoole" series writes a story set in Indiana in the 1950s. Age 9 and older.
July 21: "The Batboy" by Mike Lupica. The sports columnist is back with another sports- and family-themed novel. Age 8 and older.
July 28: "Finally" by Wendy Mass. A tale of a girl who just can't wait to be 12. Age 9 and older.
Aug. 4: "The Talent Show" by Dan Gutman. One of the most reliably funny authors for children is back with a story of kids who try to raise money to rebuild their town after a tornado strikes. Age 7 and older.
Aug. 11: "Closed for the Season" by Mary Downing Hahn. Maryland author Hahn, who has been writing creepy stories for kids for years, won an award for this mystery at a shuttered amusement park. Age 9 and older.

Highly Recommend The Hunger Games (Young Adult and Adult)

With all the books I picked up at BookExpo, you'd think I wouldn't need to buy anything new for a while. But as soon as I got home, I bought The Hunger Games from Aladdin's Lamp bookstore across the street.

The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins was awesome.  Read it and then read Catching Fire, the next book in the series.  Don't take my word for it, listen to several well-known and avid fans:

"I was so obsessed with this book I had to take it with me out to dinner and hide it under the edge of the table so I wouldn't have to stop reading. The story kept me up for several nights in a row, because even after I was finished, I just lay in bed wide awake thinking about it...The Hunger Games is amazing."
--Stephenie Meyer,

"The Hunger Games is as close to perfect an adventure novel as I've ever read. I could not put it down. Collins has transformed the ancient Labyrinth myth into a terrifyingly believable tale of future America. Readers will be hungry for more.
--Rick Riordan, author of The Percy Jackson Series and The 39 Clues

Monday, June 7, 2010

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Jon Stewart, Barbra Steisand, John Grisham, but enough name dropping

BEA - BookExpo in America - in NYC was amazing. My first time there, but thankfully I had good tips from past attendees and the ABA lounge saved my sanity many times.

Top things about BEA:

1) Breakfast with Jon Stewart, John Grisham, Condoleezza Rice and Mary Roach (she noted she was the "and more" of the breakfast). Jon Stewart "read" from his upcoming book: "Earth (The Book): A Visitor's Guide to the Human Race." A nice recap of the breakfast from the Dallas Morning News.
2) Barbra Streisand interview - talked about her new book on design and was quite engaging.
3) Seeing Tim Gunn autograph his book for 3 hours (instead of the usual 1 hour) because he took time to talk and take pictures with every person in his line. I can't imagine how long he would have been there had it not been a ticketed line.
4) The ABA lounge - a sanctuary.

Hanging out with Alison as we "strolled" (tried to navigate the BUSY floor), catching up with bookstore friends and meeting new ones and talking with authors about their books - passionate, excited and fun crowd. Wonderful show!

Monday, May 24, 2010

Stieg Larsson's Millennium Trilogy

It's not the Star Wars trilogy, but this trilogy of books from Stieg Larsson has a similar effect. These books resonate so strongly with some of us that we continue talking about them long after we finished reading one and wait with great anticipation for the next one.  Patrick Anderson's review in the Washington Post today captures some of why we (I) love these books and it will be with a bittersweet feeling that I read The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet's Nest.  While there may be the remnants of a book in the pages Larsson left behind when he passed away, we know that the series has an end.

Sunday, May 23, 2010

Off to BEA in NYC

BookExpo America in NYC this week is the "THE PREMIER North American publishing event."  I'm already overwhelmed with the options and I'm not even there yet.  Hundreds of authors and publishing houses talking about the exciting books coming out this year.

But I'm just as excited to visit with the indie bookseller community - constantly amazed at the intelligence, fun and creativity of these folks.  Looking forward to sharing all the news when I return!

Saturday, May 22, 2010

Outside my area of expertise, but thankfully

I know several very knowledgeable young men who will help me with this new section on Science Fiction/Fantasy.

Starting around 14 years old and up to ??, these guys are locked into books, websites, games from their favorite authors and probably know well before booksellers when new ones are on the way. It will be an education for me.
Here's one to get us started: Baen Free Library.  Basically, Baen Books is putting a number of books out there in electronic format for fans to read for free.  An extensive list of books from Baen authors are available through this site.  As a future bookseller, I should find this threatening, but I don't.  It's just one more way to read more and be part of a community.

Hoping to meet David Weber who will be at the Baen Booth at BEA.  My nephew's a fan, so I'd like to find out what it's all about. 

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

A familiar friend

Through the din I hear you
Slow down to listen and look
Your sound, so joyful, directs my eyes
When I find you, I watch as long as I can
When I turn back
You are gone

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Check out Jess Recommends

right over there at the top of the right column.  Yes, right there above the cartoon.

Jess is a voracious reader at age 11 and I love her take on books.  She inspires me with her love of reading and interest in trying a wide variety of books.

Monday, May 17, 2010

Without further favorite peep dioramas (part 1)

from the Washington Post Peeps Show IV.  Yes, it's sad, but true, I appreciate all aspects of peeps.
1)  the winner - "Epp"
2)  my favorite - "Creating a Masterpeeps"
3) another favorite - ""Easter at the National Peep-Thedral: A House of Prayer for All Peeps"

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Hi Mom

I planned to do this while I was home this weekend, but we were so busy doing fun things together that I didn't have time (infinitely preferable to writing this post).

I love hearing people say that I'm like you (even though I'm very far from it).  I hope to grow more like you as time goes on -- I couldn't think of a better person to become.

Happy (slightly) belated Mother's Day, you may not always understand why we do what we do, but are always behind us 200% with ideas, support and love. 

You've always been an inspiration and forward-thinking person who's easy to admire.  I remember when we were kids and you got involved in recycling LONG before anyone else did.  We had barrels for tin and glass collection in the garage for people to drop off recycling that got picked up monthly.  How you brought so much to your job, that you ushered in 3 (?) new presidents at the college and they continued to call you back as a consultant for years after you left until you finally said no.

My friends all ask after you and dad and look forward to seeing you.  That we all enjoy spending time together as a family comes directly from you and dad and your wonderful relationship with each and with your families.  Thank you for being such an amazing mom and friend.

...And, you think I'm kidding about the store -- you and dad would be such an asset and we all would love to have you here with us.  Someday, when you're ready for your next adventure...

Friday, April 30, 2010

Another vote for The Passage

It's not even out yet, but I've received another great response to the The Passage by Justin Cronin (early June 2010 release).

Remember it's post-apocalyptic, involves vampires and is (as the publisher Random House notes) "a relentlessly suspenseful adventure and an epic chronicle of human endurance in the face of unprecedented catastrophe and unimaginable danger."

Reader feedback: "I really enjoyed the book. It had quite a few "twists and turns" and held my attention throughout. Towards the end, there were a few good surprises as well. When I think about it, it kind of reminds me of the Lord of the Rings: a band of characters on a quest with plenty of dangers on the way...Watch out for any guy named Babcock!"

When you read the book, you'll know why you don't want Babcock to show up on your doorstep.

Wednesday, April 7, 2010's been a while

Not sure I've every gone a month without a posting, but that tells you how busy it's been.  Reading books, working a lot and trying to find a new space for the store.  After working several months trying to get a lease together, I decided to move on to another spot.  Sigh...

On the plus side, I am devouring Book # 2 in the Stieg Larsson Millennium Trilogy - The Girl with Who Played with Fire.  The movie of Book #1, The Girl with Dragon Tattoo, was recently released in the US and it was amazing.  It didn't pull any punches.  If it had been made in the US, I fear it would have been greatly watered down.  Read the book first.

Earlier this week, NPR had a story about avid fans of Stieg Larsson who are not waiting for the U.S. realease of the third and final book in the trilogy, The Girl who Kicked the HornetE's Nest.  Folks were ordering the book from UK booksellers, asking friends to pick them up, etc., not wanting to wait for the May 25th US launch date (it was released in the UK in October 2009).  I don't blame them and am not sure why publisher Knopf would delay the US release so long when the demand is so strong.

Saturday, February 27, 2010

Jess recommends (isn't that a great name for a column?)

"Read Finally and The 68 Rooms and I loved them!"

The Sixty-Eight Rooms by Malone, Marianne.
"Ruthie and Jake, 12...finds an old key hidden in a corridor of the Thorne Rooms at the Art Institute of Chicago. Ruthie’s dream has been to examine the 68 miniature rooms – and her wish becomes even better when she touches the key and shrinks to mini-room size...the real adventure begins – an adventure that will affect more than just the two of them."
Fans of Chasing Vermeer, The Doll People, and From the Mixed-Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler will enjoy this one!

For older teens:
Finally is definitely for older girls. Also good: "Just as long as we're Together" and its sequel Here's to you, Rachel Robinson by Judy Blume. DEFINITELY for teens.

From Judy Blume's website: "Rachel's a straight-A student. She practices the flute 45 minutes a day. She strives for perfection in everything she does. But she grinds her teeth at night and dreads dinnertime, now that her troublemaker older brother, Charles, has been thrown out of boarding school and is back home, acting up to get attention. It's the end of 7th grade and Rachel's friends, Stephanie and Alison are way less stressed than she is. Can they help Rachel learn to lighten up? Can anyone? The companion book to Just As Long As We're Together."

Monday, February 22, 2010

And 2 from me...Murder and Love

Mysteries and Wine - two of my favorite items. Enjoyed The Merlot Murders by Ellen Crosby for the aforementioned reasons and also because it takes place right here in Northern Virginia. I'm ready to work my way through her wine rack of mysteries. Her most recent book is The Riesling Retribution. Would love to get her to be part of our store opening.

The phenomena of Eat Pray Love passed me by. A friend gave the book a bad review, so I never picked it up. Then I saw Elizabeth Gilbert do a reading of her new book Committed and really appreciated her humor, so I went back and read the first one and enjoyed it immensely. Wish I could have some parts of her life -- like the $ and the freedom to travel.

Two different books -- both recommended

High praise from my 19 year old nephew for Kaboom: Embracing the Suck in a Savage Little War - an Iraq War memoir written by Matt Gallagher.
And from Joe on Bad to the Bone by Jeri Smith-Ready. Can you lose when you combine vampires and rock 'n roll? The is book two WVMP Radio series (vampire radio -- VMP!!).

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Books, books and more books have arrived

All the new books from last week's Winter Institute 5 were delivered yesterday! I'm am overwhelmed with so many wonderful books and pondering how many I can read???

It's funny that the books made it to DC from San Jose faster than many of the booksellers from this region made it home. Some folks are still stuck out there with next ETA of Friday. With my 3 day journey home to DC, I just beat the books back.

Monday, February 8, 2010

Long Journey Home

Been on the road since early Friday morning trying to get back to DC from the American Bookseller's Winter Institute (WI5) in San Jose.  Snow has conspired to keep many East Coast booksellers on the West Coast.  I made it as far as Pittsburgh and am enjoying a visit with my folks.

WI5 was amazing with the opportunity to hear what's going on in the bookstore industry, hear first hand how stores keep customers involved, what's going on with e-books and, of course, to hear about new books.  I could hardly carry all the books I couldn't stand to leave behind.

One benefit of all my travel and waiting time has been the opportunity to dive into several of the new books I picked up at Author's night.  Angelology by Danielle Trussoni (March 2010 publication date). Motion picture rights to this book have already been sold to Sony.

"A thrilling epic about an ancient clash reignited in our time- between a hidden society and heaven's darkest creatures

There were giants in the earth in those days; and also after that, when the sons of God came in unto the daughters of men, and they bore children to them. Genesis 6:5"

The Passage by Justin Cronin (June 2010 publication date). The buzz on this book is major and it's predicted to be one of the big books of 2010. After reading it, I have to second that. The book is reminiscent of the Stephen King's The Stand and here's what King had to say about The Passage:

“Every so often a novel-reader’s novel comes along: an enthralling, entertaining story wedded to simple, supple prose, both informed by tremendous imagination... Read fifteen pages and you will find yourself captivated; read thirty and you will find yourself taken prisoner and reading late into the night. It has the vividness that only epic works of fantasy and imagination can achieve. What else can I say? This: read this book and the ordinary world disappears.”—Stephen King

Saturday, February 6, 2010

A traveler's haiku

After my free verse on traveling out to San Jose, my lovely SIL modified one of FB postings (on long, difficult trip home) into a Traveler's Haiku:

     Stuck in San Jose.
     Missed the connecting flight home.
     My accursed trip.

...and I haven't made it home yet, but am back on the East coast and with family. 

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Flight free verse

I think free verse means I can write it any way I'd like.  Flying from Dallas to San Jose in late afternoon made me feel like the path of the plane was paralleling the movement of the sun.

     I like the thought of flying with the sun
     Chasing it to sun down

(it sounded much more melodious in my head).

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Books and Booksellers

Heading to the American Booksellers Association's Winter Institute in San Jose this week.  Looking forward to meeting fellow booksellers in person that I've "met" online and checking out lots of new books!!

Saturday, January 30, 2010

The Power of Half

At the NAIBA show last fall, I picked up an advance reading copy of The Power of Half by Kevin Salwen and his fourteen year old daughter, Hannah Salwen. I picked it up because I am constantly trying to simplify my life and somehow divest myself of the many things I have. But that's not really what this book is about:

"It all started when 14-year old Hannah Salwen...had a eureka moment when a homeless man in her neighborhood was juxtaposed against a glistening Mercedes coupe. "You know, Dad," she said, pointing, "If that man had a less nice car, that man there could have a meal."

This glaring disparity led the Salwen family of four, caught up like so many other Americans in this age of consumption and waste, to follow Hannah's urge to do something...And so they embarked on an incredible journey together from which there would be no turning back. They decided to sell their Atlanta mansion, downsize to a house half its size, and give half of their profits to a worthy charity...Each week they met over dinner to discuss their plan. It would transport them across the globe and well out of their comfort zone. Along the way they would inspire so many others wrestling with the same questions: Do I give enough? How much is enough? How can I make an impact in the world?"

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Good thing Jessi recommended these books because...

I'm not sure I would have read ones where the main character is called "Armpit."

Thankfully, she is more open and really enjoyed these two books by Louis Sachar: Holes and Small Steps.

Holes, published in 1998 and subsequently made into a hit movie (starring pre-Transformers Shia LeBeouf), has won more awards than I have room for in this posting.  I will mention that among its many honors, it won the prestigious National Book Award and the Newbery Medal.

"Stanley Yelnats was given a choice. The judge said, "You may go to jail, or you may go to Camp Green Lake." Stanley was from a poor family. He had never been to camp before....At Camp Green Lake,the warden makes the boys "build character" by spending all day, every day, digging holes...It doesn't take long for Stanley to realize there's more than character improvement going on at Camp Green Lake. The boys are digging holes because the treacherous warden is searching for something, and before long Stanley begins his own search—for the truth."

It was eight long years until the much anticipated Small Steps was published. A lot of love for this book, not quite at the level of "Holes" but very highly rated.

"Two years after being released from Camp Green Lake, Armpit is home in Austin, Texas, trying to turn his life around. But it’s hard when you have a record, and everyone expects the worst from you. The only person who believes in him is Ginny, his 10-year old disabled neighbor. Together, they are learning to take small steps. And he seems to be on the right path, until X-Ray, a buddy from Camp Green Lake, comes up with a get-rich-quick scheme. This leads to a chance encounter with teen pop sensation, Kaira DeLeon, and suddenly his life spins out of control, with only one thing for certain. He’ll never be the same again."

Monday, January 18, 2010

ALA announces the Newbery & Caldecott winners

drum roll...and the winners are:

Newbery Winner: When You Reach Me by Rebecca Stead
"By sixth grade, Miranda and her best friend, Sal, know how to navigate their New York City neighborhood...But things start to unravel. Sal gets punched by a new kid for what seems like no reason, and he shuts Miranda out of his life. The apartment key that Miranda’s mom keeps hidden for emergencies is stolen. And then Miranda finds a mysterious note scrawled on a tiny slip of paper.

The notes keep coming, and Miranda slowly realizes that whoever is leaving them knows all about her, including things that have not even happened yet. Each message brings her closer to believing that only she can prevent a tragic death. Until the final note makes her think she’s too late."

Caldecott winner: The Lion & the Mouse by Jerry Pinkney
"In award-winning artist Jerry Pinkney's wordless adaptation of one of Aesop's most beloved fables, an unlikely pair learn that no act of kindness is ever wasted. After a ferocious lion spares a cowering mouse that he'd planned to eat, the mouse later comes to his rescue, freeing him from a poacher's trap. With vivid depictions of the landscape of the African Serengeti and expressively-drawn characters, Pinkney makes this a truly special retelling, and his stunning pictures speak volumes."

Friday, January 15, 2010

Looking for something to read? December's Bestselling Mystery Books

The following were the bestselling books at member bookstores of the Independent Mystery Booksellers Association in December:

1. U Is for Undertow by Sue Grafton (Putnam)
2. Talking About Detective Fiction by P.D. James (Knopf)
3. 9 Dragons by Michael Connelly (Little, Brown)
3. Trial by Fire by J.A. Jance (Touchstone)
5. The End of the Road by Sue Henry (Obsidian)
6. The Paris Vendetta by Steve Berry (Ballantine)
7. The Professional by Robert B. Parker (Putnam)
8. The Girl Who Played with Fire by Stieg Larsson (Knopf)
9. Fired Up by Jayne Ann Krentz (Putnam)
9. The Price of Malice by Archer Mayor (St. Martin's)
9. Alone by Loren D. Estleman (Forge)

1. The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo by Stieg Larsson (Vintage) - LOVE THIS ONE
2. The Private Patient by P.D. James (Vintage)
3. Eggs Benedict Arnold by Laura Childs (Berkley)
4. Dog on It by Spencer Quinn (Atria)
5. The Price of Butcher's Meat by Reginald Hill (Harper)
6. Beat the Reaper by Josh Bazell (Back Bay)
7. Tower by Ken Bruen and Reed Farrel Coleman (Busted Flush)
8. Among the Mad by Jacqueline Winspear (Picador)
8. Mrs. Malory and Any Man's Death by Hazel Holt (Berkley)
8. Thai Die by Monica Ferris (Berkley)

Thursday, January 14, 2010

I don't often say this, but do NOT read this book

Julie Powell, author of the lovely book Julie and Julia, has a new book:  Cleaving.  Yep, it's about what you think it is. 

Even though it's hard to get excited about a book that describes butchering in detail, some folks took a chance because they enjoyed Julie and Julia so much.  They were not rewarded for their loyalty.  Here's one friend's reaction:

"HATED IT!! Sickening descriptions of hacking away at animal carcass and details of their inevitably cruel executions made it almost impossible to get through. Her bizarre marital and extra-marital relationships make the memoir all the more unbearable."

Yea, don't read it.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

In Rapt Attention...Part 2

We continue with Jess' book recommendations:

The Percy Jackson series by Rick Riordan. "The adventures of Percy Jackson and his modern demigod friends as they fight mythological monsters and the forces of the titan lord Kronos."

The Weird School series by Dan Gutman.  "a silly series for beginning readers. At Ella Mentry School, all the grownups are quite weird in their own weird way. The main characters are A.J. (a boy who doesn't like school) and his arch-enemy Andrea Young (who loves school and everything else A.J. hates)."

The Winnie Books: Eleven, Twelve, and Thirteen by Lauren Myracle

The Mysterious Benedict Society by Trenton Lee Stewart
"Are you a gifted child looking for Special Opportunities?" This curious newspaper ad catches the eye of orphan Reynie Muldoon. After taking exams that test both mind and spirit...The children soon learn they've been chosen by mysterious Mr. Benedict for an important infiltrate the isolated Learning Institute for the Very Enlightened, from which messages of distrust and compliance are being broadcast into the minds of the world's citizens." Ilene Cooper, Booklist.

The Pendragon series by DJ MacHale. "Imagine what it would be like to discover you aren't the person you thought you were. That's what happened to Bobby Pendragon. He was living the life of a normal 14 year old guy, until his Uncle Press came by one night to say: "I need your help." From that moment on, nothing was the same. He and his uncle were swept off on a series of adventures that would take them through both time and space. Their mission? To protect the territories of Halla from a demon named Saint Dane, a cold-blooded villian who wants nothing less than the destruction of all humanity. The only force standing in Saint Dane's way is a mysterious group of people called...Travelers."

Monday, January 11, 2010

In rapt attention...Part one

At a recent gathering of friends, I was thrilled and encouraged to find three of us listening in rapt attention to the 10-year daughter of our hostess as she rattled off a list of her favorite books.  To see such enthusiasm and joy of reading was wonderful and reminded me of how I have always felt about books.

We all feverishly took notes on her recommendations and I share them with you.  I hope that she and other readers I know will provide suggestions and reviews on favorite books to the store.

Maniac Magee by Jerry Spinelli - a Newberry Award winner
"...a folk story about a boy, a very excitable boy. One that can outrun dogs, hit a home run off the best pitcher in the neighborhood, tie a knot no one can undo. "Kid's gotta be a maniac," is what the folks in Two Mills say."

Eragon series by Christopher Paolini. I've read the first one and saw the movie, but have 2 more to catch up on.
"When Eragon finds a polished blue stone in the forest, he thinks it is the lucky discovery of a poor farm boy; perhaps it will buy his family meat for the winter. But when the stone brings a dragon hatchling, Eragon realizes he has stumbled upon a legacy nearly as old as the Empire itself."

The Doll People by Ann Martin and Laura Godwin. Looks like one in a series...
"Passed down from one generation to the next, the Doll family has lived in the same dollhouse...for 100 years. While the world outside has changed, their own lives have not changed...with two significant exceptions. First, Auntie Sarah Doll suddenly and mysteriously disappeared 45 years ago...More recently, the modern, plastic Funcraft family has moved into Kate's little sister's room...focusing on Annabelle's and Tiffany Funcraft's risky mission to find Auntie Sarah, the authors provide plenty of action and suspense." Publishers Weekly

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Google, e-books and independents

From Shelf Awareness - Jan 7, 2010

"The Wall Street Journal outlined threats to from Apple and Google. "Of the three, Amazon appears to be the most vulnerable to new competition, both because of the breadth of its business and e-commerce's increasing importance."

"These threats include Apple's forthcoming e-reader and Google's plans for an e-book store to be called Google Editions. An interesting aspect of Google Editions: "Google plans to let independent bookstores sell e-books through the service, buttressing their ability to compete with Amazon.' "

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

My mom always takes care of me

In so many ways.  The most immediate one as I look through my Christmas bounty is books that I really wanted (and marshmallow peeps...and the wine is nice too).  Thanks Mom!!