|Reading, writing, arithmetic. I’ve heard that somewhere before. It’s important to know the basics in all three, even though, in the moment, we usually apply only one discipline. There are so many books to recommend that I am almost paralyzed by the importance of what I write.|
I made an oath in my early days that I would learn and do all that is related to the culture of the “book.” Before I opened the bookstores, I took a class in making books by hand with Chris Yarborough. Opening the stores actively occupied my life (I mean every breath I took) with book ordering and book selling. Did I have time to read? Yes, I make time for those things that are important to my happiness. While visiting my sister yesterday, I had a flashback to my lovely mornings when my mother would make me read poetry aloud in Hungarian to her. My sister made me read from Mark Nepo’s selection of wisdom poetry titled Way under the Way. Most of his books are full of sentences or poems that are good to consider in our trying times. There are common threads in my family: the enjoyment of poetry, making music, and drawing.
Somewhere I read a quote from Larry McMurtry, who said that book-selling is an outward journey, and writing is the inward journey for him. He knows that for sure. He has a new novel that just came into the store titled Thalia. I have not read this one yet, but I am sure it will be a great gift item of the season.
One of the really difficult questions I field most days is, “Have you read this one?” The customer usually picks the one among the forty thousand titles I have not read that we do have on our shelves! I have read a few hundred of the titles we have in the store at most times. Just ask. I will walk you into my garden of books to help you grow.
I am a fan of the The Girl who Kicked the Hornet’s Nest by Stieg Larsson. The series is continued by David Lagercrantz, and it is a good one if you want to follow a girl’s passage to mete out “her justice,” like Wonder Woman. The latest Lisbeth Salander novel is The Girl Who Takes an Eye for an Eye, and you know Lisbeth does not disappoint.
In the front of our store there are displays of books that have just arrived or books that you might have missed. We’d like you to have a chance to look at all of them. There is a special section for “autographed books,” which are just the cat’s pajamas for gift giving.
I caught a segment of an interview of David Cornwall and sat there mesmerized. He is the one author that my father read and reread . You and I know him better by his pen name, John Le Carré. He’s had an amazing career and is an amazing human being. His gift for storytelling provides an honest view of what it means to be a good human being. It’s a great book to give this season, so check out a A Legacy of Spies.
Hot off the press is Alice McDermott’s latest novel The Ninth Hour. It is a poet’s virtuosity with language. Everyday is transubstantiated into art. On this, Peter Quinn and I totally agree.
A person calling from California asked if we have Cavallini calendars. Yes! Every year we stock up early since the publisher likes to sell out and not reprint. Just so you know, those and other calendars and planners are already available and ready to assist you for a fabulous next year.
It is an amazing selection of books and gift items (even if I have to say it myself) that are awaiting you. Make your holy days easy and hassle free. Check us out and make your selection with ease and a certainty that you are supporting your local folks. Parking is FREE the first hour in the garage just around the corner from us, and most downtown stores will validate your second hour.
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Malaprop's Presents An Evening with Dar Williams
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|Throughout the 1990s, the book most frequently challenged for library inclusion was a collection of short stories called Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark. Alvin Schwartz's series of three Scary Stories books, ostensibly written for children, is full of nightmarish stories and discomfiting illustrations by Stephen Gammon. The book could only be considered "age appropriate" if judged based on the age of its characters (like saying Stephen King's It is a children's book). I have no idea how I managed to sneak it past my parents' censure.|
Imagine you're nine years old; imagine that everything you've previously been allowed to read has been safe and boring and about fat cats with hats that sat on mats; and imagine opening a book containing illustrations of a rotting dismembered arm (somehow) auto-cannibalizing itself with a fork. The stories kept me up at night. The illustrations made me nauseous. The mere fact of owning such a book made my conscience guilty. And I absolutely loved it. Schwartz's Scary Stories ignited a love of badly behaved books. I gravitated toward protagonists who ran away to live in the mountains, who lived as truants, who slept in boxcars. I didn't care about Harry Potter until I learned some uptight parents tried banning it from my school, then I read them all in a (highly recommended) magical binge.
As I grew up, my understanding of risk and horror evolved. For example, what I found terrifying about The Shining wasn't the ghosts or the possession, but the familiarity of Jack's anger. I am less terrified by zombie apocalypse stories than I am of books like Annie Dillard's Pilgrim at Tinker Creek, which describe, in elegant detail, the cyclical massacre of fecundity and, by extension, my own unavoidable and unremarkable death...Yeesh.
I find the scariness of a story is directly proportional to my need to take a walk and process it after reading. And I think that has something to do with my attraction to horror. Scary stories, ghost stories, really hair-raising and disquieting stories: they motivate me to live more fully. Because, of course, you never know when a zombie might eat your brains.
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Lauren & Laurel: Halloween Picks!
|Lauren's top author picks to thrill you, chill you, and maybe even keep you up at night, starting with an upcoming event in our store.|
Libba Bray, The Diviners **She’ll be in the store for an event on October 3rd at 6 p.m.!**
Our bookseller Laurel's Review:
With a serial killer back from the grave and dark forces gathering, 1920s New York City is a dangerous place to be. Luckily, a group of young friends with supernatural abilities is ready to take on the danger and the mystery. In the midst of bootleg parties, musical rehearsals, budding romances, and fast friendships, the Diviners burn ghosts, read the future, walk in dreams, heal hurt people, and fight bigotry.
Libba Bray is a writer with the gift of lush prose, enabling the characters to steal the show with their incredible realism. They’re imperfect people you root for, even when they make mistakes. They’re of diverse backgrounds, but all are relatably human (okay, okay, a few might be super-human, but it’s all in the emotion). Bray brings history, magic, thrills, social justice issues, and personal growth together in this spectacular beginning to an enchanting series.
Dan Simmons: The Terror
Tony Burgess: Pontypool Changes Everything
Shirley Jackson: Haunting of Hill House, We Have Always Lived in the Castle
Lauren Beukes: The Shining Girls
Stephen King: Carrie, Salem's Lot
H.G. Wells: The Time Machine
And comics, too, booooooo!
Scott Snyder: Wytches
Junji Ito: Uzumaki
Spooks for any age...
Ray Bradbury: Something Wicked This Way Comes, The Halloween Tree
Neil Gaiman: Coraline
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