Friday, August 31, 2007

3 Day Weekend?

It's hard not to jealous of the 9-5ers. I've been in retail so long that I don't remember what it's like to have a 3 day weekend off. On the Cape, this is the last gasp of summer and the end of our busy season. So no posts this weekend, we'll be back on Tuesday along with the rest of you lucky dogs. Hope you remembered to pack a good book.

Thursday, August 30, 2007

Podcast Links

NPR exposes its phallic shaped mic to Pamela Druckerman, author of Lust in Translation. Druckerman's book is an examination of the way infidelity differs around the world.

Since we're already talking about sleeping around, fans of the book Restless Virgins: Love, Sex, and Survival at a New England Prep School will want to head on over to WBUR for an interview with the authors, Abigail Jones and Marissa Miley, Both Jones and Miley are graduates of Milton Academy, the prep school that they are, exposing.

The Agony Column interviews 'bookseller extraordinaire' Mark V. Ziesing about the current state of bookselling, alternatives to Harry Potter and the catalog he writes.

Just in time for the back to school sojourn, The Penguin Podcast offers up ten minutes with two writers sure to inspire every less than studious student. Alexandra Koslow, author of Slacker Girl, reads a brief excerpt from her novel about life, love and the pursuit of leisure. Ron Bliwas, author of The C Student's Guide To Success, shares a few of the tips he hopes to sell you more of.

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

News Bits, In Brief

The Wall Street Journal recommends investing in art books. This week, anything's better than the stock market.

A new website for the Hugo Awards has been launched. Sci-fi fans knew all about this years ago, though, what with their access to time machines and wormholes and the Tardis.

Jack "King" Kirby gets a birthday tribute in The New York Times, and a virtual gallery displaying an eclectic selection of his artwork over at

American Splendor's Harvey Pekar meets No Reservations' Anthony Bourdain, and both make their own comic strips documenting the experience!

Alison Morris at Publisher's Weekly lists a slew of booksellers who blog. No, she didn't mention us. Yes, we're offended.

Will Self Publishing Soon Be Referred To As 'Rolling Your Own'?

A few weeks ago we highlighted a publisher's plan to sell classic literature specially designed to look like packages of cigarettes. It gets weirder. Now there's a company hoping to sell small books of poetry via cigarette vending machines. What? No flask bound fiction for us drunks?

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Marginal Graffiti

Are you the sort of reader who jots notes in the margins of the books that you're reading? Do you underline passages that hit a raw nerve, or witty one liners that you plan to wow your co-workers with at the next office party? Have you ever written something totally unrelated -- say, a phone number or grocery list -- in a book, simply to avoid getting up from the comfortable position you're sitting in?
If so, stand tall. You've nothing to be ashamed of.
Unlike those folks who only open their books partway so as to avoid creasing the binding, you're actually enjoying your reading experience. Hell, you've taken it to the next level, making it an interactive activity. What's more, you've proven yourself to be such an avid reader that while loving and respecting literature, you've also made it into a natural extension of yourself. Think of it this way: you write stuff down on the back of your hand all of the time, don't you? The fact that you're able to draw quick police sketches of shady individuals on the inside cover of your airport read only proves that you are books and books are you.
So to hell with the haters who scoff at scuffed bindings and your corner-of-the-page flip book adaptations. They've never experienced the joy of picking up an old paperback, only to find the pin number to a long lost checking account with fourteen dollars plus interest accrued. Nor have they ever tasted their own vomit after opening up an old book of poetry and seeing their freshman year knockoffs iambic pentametered in the blank spaces.
Sure, you'll never be able to sell (or even give away) your unwanted books for fear of the cringe-worthy secrets that you wrote in the margins seeing the light of day, but honestly, is there really such a thing as an unwanted book? When I look around my dusty old mansion, piled from floor to ceiling with books that might benefit needy schoolchildren, I remind myself that once a book has been, personalized, it's a part of me. As such, the inevitable donation and/or disposal of my ballpoint battered books will be handled under the same stipulation with which I have agreed to donate my organs.
Only after I'm dead.

(For my preferred crematorium and a map to the spot where I'd like my ashes scattered, see the margin of page 152 of my copy of Exquisite Corpse: Surrealism and the Black Dahlia Murder.)

Monday, August 27, 2007

R.I.P. Grace Paley

The marvelous short story author and poet Grace Paley has passed away.

There are plenty of obits across the web, but why not this one?

And Ursula Le Guin's remembrance is quite lovely.

Check out a selection of her publications, including her Collected Stories.

Study Up on Gwendolen Gross Before Her Event on Thursday

Gwendolen Gross will be at the Inkwell this Thursday, August 30th at 6:30 PM to talk about her new novel The Other Mother.

Dubbed “the reigning queen of women’s adventure fiction” by Joanna Smith Rakoff in Book Magazine, Gwendolen Gross grew up in Newton, Massachusetts. She graduated from Oberlin College, where she studied science writing and voice performance. Read her complete bio here.

Join us in welcoming novelist Gwendolen Gross. Author talk, Q&A, Book Signing. Complimentary wine & cheese.

A compelling novel about family, work, and the constant push and pull of contemporary womanhood, Gross, author of Getting Out and Field Guide, creates a stunning, dark, and suspenseful novel.
"A finely wrought domestic drama, The Other Mother draws out the intimacies of two women poised against each other's yearnings. Gwendolen Gross writes with the kind of nuance and grace that fire every moment of this timely story."
-Amy Scheibe, author of What Do You Do All Day?

Amanda is a successful book editor at a prominent publishing house in New York City. Thea is a stay-at-home mother of three who has never really left the community in which she grew up. The two women find themselves both drawn to and repelled by each other and their opposing choices in the constant struggle to balance career and family life. When a disaster forces Amanda and her family to take refuge in Thea’ s home, the underlying tensions simmering between them are forced to the surface.

"A suspenseful and compulsively readable domestic drama that's anything but ordinary. Smart and timely, The Other Mother is sure to keep the 'mommy wars' debate raging."
-Harlan Coben, author of The Woods

Click here to read the NPR Late Summer review.

Click here to read an Excerpt from The Other Mother.

Déjà Links

Because I'm lazy and busy and out of topics linking Oprah, O.J. and J.K. Rowling (If only Oprah used her initials more. Wait -- isn't Oprah's magazine called O?), I've decided to recycle my three-days-old idea of offering links to the Top 10 Books on the NYTimes Best Sellers List (Hardcover Fiction).

What? There's four new entries and it's a damn good idea.

A Thousand Splendid Suns by Khaled Hosseini

Play Dirty by Sandra Brown

Force Of Nature by Suzanne Brockmann

The Quickie by James Patterson and Michael Ledwidge

Loving Frank by Nancy Horan

Sandworms of Dune by Brian Herbert and Kevin J. Anderson

The Secret Servant by Daniel Silva

Devil May Cry by Sherrilyn Kenyon

Spook Country by William Gibson (audio version, read by Gibson!)

The Burnt House by Faye Kellerman