Thursday, July 31, 2008

Wine & Song - followed by BREAKING DAWN

Friday, 1 August 2008 is jam packed!

6-9pm Wine & Song

New for summer - casual wine, munchies and music. Our wine is provided by Vino 100 though they cannot be with us tonight. Tea and hot drinks will be available for those who choose not to drink wine. Ken McDermott and his jazz/pop stylings will sing us inti the evening.

9pm - 1am BREAKING DAWN Release Party

Stephanie Meyer's Breaking Dawn will release at 1 minute past midnight Friday night. Join us for for activities, munchies and discussion! Prom dress suggested but optional. Character-based costumes an acceptable alternative.

NOTE: If you want to pre-order the book for pickup this night, call the shop or stop by. Otherwise, your online order will ship via post.

Sunday, July 27, 2008

Hip Hop Canterbury Tales

Thanks to the folks at the Baltimore Sun's Read Street blog, we heard about a Hip Hop/Rap version of the Canterbury Tales. There's video and audio links on the page. Incredible stuff!


Friday, July 25, 2008

FREE Book-related material on the internet

Taking them in the order they release:

Breaking Dawn fans: Did you know that Stephenie Meyers is working on a version of Twilight as seen by Edward? It's called Midnight Sun and you can read the first chapter for FREE here. Remember Breaking Dawn releases at one minute past Midnight Friday August 1st, 2008. Well, technically, August 2nd. We are having a party - starting at 9pm and going until 1am. Come on by - bring your prom outfits or a costume; bring your fan fiction; bring your opinions (Team Edward? Team Jacob? Team Switzerland?).

Fantasy fans! Some of you know from our website or from Library Thing that Tee Morris and Philippa Ballantine are making a return visit on August 23rd. Well, their publisher is running a sweet deal involving FREE copies of their books in electronic format. Thanks Dragon Moon Press! NOTE - We will have copies of these books once they release 8/8/2008.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008


1858 was one of the last stable years before the Civil War. Bruce Chadwick covers the major political and personal decisions of some of the major figures in American political life, hence the subtitle 'Abraham Lincoln, Jefferson Davis,Robert E.Lee, Ulysses S.Grant and the War They Failed To See.'

A fair fraction of the book is taken up with James Buchanan's career - possibly the most incompetent President. He managed to weaken the Democrats by inserting himself into the battle for an Illinois Senate seat with the incumbent Douglas fighting Buchanan's animosity and Abe Lincoln.

Jefferson Davis survived a life threatening illness and spent the year recuperating in the North. Surprisingly he became more friendly and understanding of the North's position and looked like he could compromise but his southerness reasserted itself and 'the rest is history'. This book is a prequel to the Civil War if you like.

The Age of Shiva Manil Suri
Manil Suri's long awaited second book is a very personal story of a woman's life and relationship with her son. She miscalculates an infatuation with her sister's boyfriend which is then compounded by the impulses of the young man. They are caught in flagrante and society forces this marriage between social unequals. Mura has one son and a loveless marriage to a disillusioned drunkard. Suri describes her slow dissolution into an erotic, dependent love of her son. The Age of Shiva is distinctly different from his more spiritual Death of Vishnu. Vishnu dealt with life in an apartment block. Shiva is focused on one relationship. Suri's writing is always worth reading.

Gerhardt Meurer

Friday, July 18, 2008

Janwillem van de Wetering - RIP

One of our SOHO Press authors passed away on July 4th. Janwillem van de Wetering had a very interesting life - from joining a South African motorcycle gang to attempting to become a Buddhist monk in Kyoto, to being a policeman in Amsterdam, his life experiences informed his writing. His gentle Zen-like humor made his mysteries a quirky joy.

NPR's Fresh Air just re-ran his interview as a memoriam.

Book to Movie news!

The True Confessions of Charlotte Doyle, by Avi, and on a number of summer reading lists, is being directed by Danny DeVito! Saoirse Ronan (of Atonement and City of Ember fame), Pierce Brosnan and Morgan Freeman have all been cast and shooting starts in September.


Larry McMurtry - a minor mystery solved

I had noticed Larry's McMurtry's memoir, Books, just came out and I was reading up on it in BookPage. He was a bookseller! In 1970, Larry and a partner bought up the stock of a D.C. bookstore called Lowdermilks and used it to open their own Booked Up. Booked Up stayed in Georgetown for 32 years before moving to Archer City, Texas.

A bookseller!
No wonder!

You see, I vividly remember Larry McMurtry accepting his Oscar for the Brokeback Mountain screenplay. He gave a wonderful and unexpected shout out to the booksellers of the world and it really warmed my heart. If you want to read the exact quote, Bibliophile Bullpen kept track of it.

This memoir covers a lot of the details surrounding running a used bookstore so it may be a lot of fun for the used book fans.

You go, Larry!

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Tea with Louis Diggs + Folk Music this Saturday

This Saturday, July 19th, we have 2 events:

Tea with an Author, 3-5pm
Join Baltimore author Louis Diggs for tea and munchies and discussion. Louis is a noted historian specializing in African Americans living in Baltimore County.

"Holding onto Their Heritage" focuses on the communities of Bond Avenue in Reisterstown and Piney Grove in Boring. "Our Struggles" covers a variety of Baltimore County African American communities, notably including Belltown along Featherbed Lane in Owings Mills. "Surviving in America" documents the history of Randallstown, among other towns. Many of Louis' books will be available for purchase.
For more information, visit

Music at the Bookstore, 6-9pm
Celtic/Folk musician Steve Haug is back! Tea and cookies will also be available.

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Collecting the books of LOST

This is a little bizarre, but hey, if it gets people reading, it can't be that bad:
The crew of LOST (the TV series) has collected all the books read by the cast in the episodes and then posted them on the Lost Book Club. There are some interesting choices - many of which we have in the shop.


Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Wine Tasting for Adults + CSI for Kids this weekend

This weekend will be busy!

Friday the 11th, we have a Wine @ the Bookstore 6-9pm.
Our wine is provided by Vino 100 though they cannot be with us tonight. Tea and hot drinks will be available for those who choose not to drink wine.

Saturday the 12th, we'll have a CSI seminar for kids - 11am-1pm.
Join T.J. Perkins, author of several middle-school mystery novels for an exploration of Crime Scene Investigation tactics. It's science but it's FUN.

Saturday, July 5, 2008

Cozy Mysteries - new and old

We just received a selection of newly-published and old-favorite "cozy mysteries" and one of my regulars asked, "Just what IS a 'cozy mystery'?" There seems to be no OFFICIAL definition but many know a cozy when they read one - so I'll give you my personal definition:

1) Amateur detective - may or may not be partnered with a pro. For example, Agatha Christie's Miss Marple often consulted with the police on her cases but Nancy Atherton's Aunt Dimity doesn't.

2) Very little gory detail - either in crime scenes or sex.

3) Often has a theme such as catering (Diane Mott Davidson), crafting (Mary Ellen Hughes), and bookstores (Carolyn Hart and lately Lorna Barrett).

Make sense to you? Who are YOUR favorites?

Meanwhile - allow me to point out an old friend and a soon-to-be-new-friend.

Old: Aunt Dimity's Death by Nancy Atherton is the start of a delightful, British-themed mystery series. We meet Lori Shepherd who is going through a tough time - divorced, temporarily-employed, and almost broke. She is contacted by a very traditional law firm who confirms her identity with a long list questions - then, out of the blue, asks her about a childhood story about 'Aunt Dimity.' Lori was under the impression that Aunt Dimity was a made-up character in her mother's stories. Now Lori finds out that Dimity was an old chum of her mother's from her days in London during World War II. Dimity's estate has a request/task for Lori - and amongst the papers, Lori uncovers a mystery. The writing is smooth, the plot is charming, and a wee bit sad...this is an altogether delightful mystery.

New: Lorna Barrett sets her Murder is Binding in a New Hampshire town that boasts a whole block of used bookstores. Tricia Miles is getting her used-and-collectible mystery bookstore up and running and trying to settle in with the local and fellow booksellers when two events rock her world. Her city-slicker-shopaholic sister drops in for a surprise visit and she finds the cookbook store owner dead of a knife in the back, literally. Now Tricia is the prime suspect and no one except her staff and her sister are willing to help. This story has a decent number of twists and turns and is quite satisfying.