Discovering New & Classic Voices in 2012
by Emöke B'Racz
It is the time to think of gift-giving and celebrating the joys of this holiday season. I am in constant amazement that time can go by so quickly. The surprise is mine that I am now sixty-four years wise and can still be of service to you, the reader. I know everywhere you look offers of book suggestions abound, but I can tell you without a doubt that my staff suggestions and those on NPR (thank goodness they are still around) and Shelf Awareness (sign up through us!) are among the best.
My contribution is truly for reading for yourself and creating the space in your mind to deal with whatever life brings you. It might not seem that reading books will do that but it does it for me! Reading good books is a service to ourselves. Entertainment might be the sister to service. This is also a good season to be armed with some fun reads.
At the Carolina Mountain Literary festival we celebrated John Ehle, one of my favorite writers. If you have not read his lyrical The Road or The Landbreakers you are lacking the feel for the ground you walk on and the history of how this region was founded. Ehle’s wife, the actress Rosemary Harris, visited our table of books and purchased for her grandchildren a signed copy of Drawing Down the Moon: The Art of Charles Vess. It came to her attention because of our bookseller’s recommendation and I think she is quite delighted with the book!
Discovering new voices is what I love doing in my reading. Although David Hinton is not a newcomer, his Hunger Mountain: A Field Guide to Mind and Landscape might give you the power to study and be one with the " mountain" in your life, or as Bill McKibben says "if you don't [have a special mountain], it will make you want to get one!" David Hinton is a translator of ancient Chinese poetry with many awards after his name. He is well worth your time. And so is Amy Leach in Things That Are: Essays published by Milkweed Editions. I have always been fond of that press so trust me and treat yourself to another view of our universe and us in it. Don’t overlook Kingsolver's latest achievement in Flight Behavior, a very fine novel for our thinking caps.
In our latest Women on Words meeting we assigned ourselves the task of rewriting our favorite myth or legend. Two of us rewrote Red Riding Hood and it might amuse you to read Snow Child by Eowyn Ivey as such. You probably will not read about this debut novel in the NYT book review section but you read about it here. One of my favorite series of books are the Wooden Books by Walker and Co. This season they have added two titles to their wonderful list: The Miracle of Trees by Olavi Huikari and Grammar: the Structure of Language by Rachel Grenon. English is my third language and I did not learn it in a classroom setting, so my grammar at times is questioned by my poet friends since they are sticklers for properly expressing the impossible. Which brings me to Mary Oliver's new poetry collection, A Thousand Mornings. She seems to bring my mind to such an ease, giving me a sunset feel to the day in my soul. The presentation of paintings and poetry in Elizabeth Bishop: Objects and Apparitions is surprising and beautiful. No words to look up, no challenges but once the poems and paintings enter my mind-brain-heart-soul (as Deepak Chopra would say) I am connected to a world much-welcomed. Ah, poetry, the music of words, in words and in the stratosphere.
Do I dare to mention one final item that I am just enthralled by, with and knee deep in the reading/studying? Lapham's Quarterly. This journal offers a journey in reading that is better then surfing the net. It is a journey that encourages me to study our humanity's many faceted qualities. Literary journals and fine magazines are a perfect gift for 'hard to gift' persons! I am one of those since my needs are within the pages of books that I read and search for at Malaprop's and Downtown Books & News.
May your days be filled with appreciation of all the blessings within our community. Be well and support your community in this magical valley that the surrounding mountains afforded us!
“every little thing is everything”
Read, Reward, Relax: Three Ways Malaprop's Thanks You This Holiday Season
by Linda Barrett Knopp
Read: Interested in a dedicated eReader, one with a no-glare E Ink screen that displays like print on paper? The one Wired magazine chose as their favorite eReader for 2012? We sell them—they’re Kobos! We offer Glo and mini Kobos and find both of them very easy to use, easy on the eyes, and easy on the wallet. We are offering a HUGE deal on Black Friday and Small Business Saturday. The mini Kobos, usually $79, will be only $49! It’s hard to believe, but it’s true. Two days only and while supplies last. Come and get ‘em!
Reward: Wait, there’s more! From Black Friday (11/23) through December 2 we are offering another great deal. Our “Thanks for Shopping Indie” promotion features the adult and children’s books independent booksellers across the country raved about in 2012. Purchase any book in our Thanks for Shopping Indie display and you receive a $5 gift card as your reward for shopping indie. Buy 5 books and get $25 in gift cards! The more you buy, the more you earn towards future purchases.
Relax: You’ve just heard a book reviewed on NPR while you were driving to work and you must have it. But your schedule doesn’t permit a quick jaunt to Malaprop’s to pick it up! Relax. Malaprop’s now offers free downtown delivery! If you’re within the boundaries of this map, give us a call and we’ll bring the book right to your doorstep or office. Free downtown delivery every day until 4pm. Ahhhh.
Books From Our Children's Book Buyer
by Carolyn Green
This Is Not My Hat
written & illustrated by Jon Klassen
The dark and hilarious Jon Klassen is at it again. He cracked us up last year with I Want My Hat Back- the story of a bear who WANTS HIS HAT BACK (and may be up to some things nefarious to get it back.) This is Not My Hat follows a fish on a perilous journey through the sea- wearing a hat. That is not his. It does not end well. (But you will still be giggling!)
The Carnival of the Animals
poetry by Jack Prelutsky
illustrated by Mary GrandPre
This is not a new book, but continues to be one of my all-time favorites! The wonderful children's poet Jack Prelutsky has written poems inspired by Camille Saint-Saens's famous work The Carnival of the Animals. The richly illustrated book includes a CD of the music- as well as dramatic readings of the poems by Prelustky himself! This is a lovely book for children who love poetry, animals, and music!
The Tree House
by Marije Tolman and Ronald Tolman
If you aren't familiar with the Tolmans yet, you are in for such a treat when you see their beautiful books! This father and daughter pair won the Bologna Ragazzi prize for fiction in 2010 for this wordless masterpiece. Their other collaboration, The Island is similarly magical in its evocative illustrations. Come on a journey with bear and whale as they visit The Tree House- a place of wonder filled with friends who join them by land and air. Perfect for fans of Wonder Bear!
Seraphina by Rachel Hartman
Seraphina is a wonderfully written young adult fantasy novel by debut author Rachel Hartman. Hartman has created the most compelling female character since Katniss Everdeen (in my opinion). Combining action, mystery, fantasy, dragons, and a pinch of romance, Seraphina is a great pic for adult and teen readers alike!
A Note From Our Sidelines Buyer
by Lauren Harr
Wanna make a book into a themed gift? Luckily, we have some amazing outside-of-the-book doodads around the store to help you do just that. Here are a few suggestions from our Sidelines department to ease your Christmas shopping stress.
1. The Traveler. Especially if this person is a child of the 1980s, Andrew McCarthy’s memoir, The Longest Way Home, would make a great gift for an adventurous spirit. Add to this one of Penguin’s The Lost Girl or On the Road luggage tags, an all-weather pen and journal for jotting, and a travel case for necessities and you’ve got one well-rounded gift.
2. The Classic Bibliophile. You know them—many of your favorite booksellers fall under this category. They already own, in handsome editions, all of their favorite classics from Moby Dick to Pride & Prejudice to For Whom the Bell Tolls. How about the new book about the books we keep, My Ideal Bookshelf, and some literary goodies from Out of Print Clothing Co., a classic title mug from Penguin, a do-it-yourself library kit, or a literary-inspired candle?
3. The Geek. For the technology-lover with a bent for Steampunk or Scifi, go full throttle with a Kobo Glo pre-loaded with Cherie Priest’s new novel, The Inexplicables. Add in some letterpress style tattoos (for street cred), nerdly bumper stickers, some Dr. Who post-its, and a little geek trivia for off-screen downtime.
4. The Frustrated Game of Thrones fan. There isn’t much you can do—George R. R. Martin may take years to complete the series. In the meantime, we can traverse the landscape with Lands of Ice & Fire, a compilation of maps. To soothe our eager souls we can also write Mr. Martin thank you notes for creating such a compelling bunch of books (or desperate letters pleading for the next book), track the houses and conspiracy theories in a Winterfell-worthy journal, and open our bottles of mead with a Screwnicorn. Sigh.
5. The Bookclubber. Pair Louise Erdrich’s National Book Award-winning novel The Round Housewith a beautiful mug for sipping hot tea or coffee and reading. Throw in a fruit and nut bar from Unemployed Philosopher’s Guild and a Mighty Bright booklight and you have a reading party for any time of day.
6. The Local Enthusiast. If they love all things WNC, get this person Ron Rash’s novel The Cove and/or Anne Fitten Glenn’s new book, Asheville Beer. Easily round it out with locally made journals, headbands, or Malaprop’s gear plus some local color bumperstickers.
Kristen-Paige Madonia & Nathan Kotcki
Remember Me as a Time of Day
December Authors Birthday Celebration for Children