Thursday, December 31, 2009
Wednesday, December 23, 2009
What a holiday present - we just got It's Beginning to Look a Lot Like Zombies, a Christmas carol book for the era. Seriously, this is hilarious.
Eat a toe, eat a toe, eat a toe (to the tune of Let it Snow)...
Monday, December 21, 2009
Friday, December 18, 2009
Stay warm and safe y'all
Wednesday, December 16, 2009
Tea with the Author
this Saturday, 3-5pm.
Join children’s authors Susan Detwiler, Edith Hemingway, Mona Kerby, and Lois Szymanski. The books range from Kindergarten-age up to Tweens. Buy a signed book for the holidays! Cookies and Tea/Coffee/Cocoa will be available.
Saturday, December 12, 2009
“Today 35 years later, nearly every general bookstore carries glbt books, often featuring them in special sections,” Maccubbin noted.
Lambda Rising was also a model for how a bookstore could be a resource in education and the fight against discrimination. I applaud your accomplishments and your example - this was how an Indie Bookstore SHOULD do it.
Friday, December 11, 2009
Sunday, December 6, 2009
Sat. Dec. 12, 3-5pm Tea with the Author –
Join Gayle Blum, author of the history “Images of America: Baltimore County.” Cookies and Tea/Coffee will be available.
Saturday, December 5, 2009
PLUS it's SNOWING!! Yay, I feel like Snoopy doing his happy dance.
Friday, December 4, 2009
Sunday, November 29, 2009
Friday, November 27, 2009
Friday, November 20, 2009
Speaking as a bookseller (so you're sure of my perspective and agenda), I see the following: authors are much better off with real publishers, not print-on-demand publishers, not vanity publishers. What an author gets with a real publisher is a distribution network --- it's getting the book/isbn on iPage and TitleSource and in Bowker, etc, so when your family and friends call their local library and bookstore, those folks can LOOK UP the book to order.
Both I and my bookstore have been burned by certain vanity publishers (requiring certain minimum numbers and not allowing returns, even for book signings). These are the companies I won't deal with any more. If a local author approaches me for a signing and they're with that company, I tell them that they (the author) must provide the books. I will sign a check to them, not their publisher...I am at least sure the author gets paid that way. Some of you may find this offensive but I'm trying to stay in business alongside the likes of the big chains --- so I can host more local authors.
If you are an author who has self-published, you have a VERY hard road to travel...marketing, distribution, travel, advertising is ALL YOUR RESPONSIBILITY.
So to get to Harlequin's decision: they're huge, and unlike other genres, romance is making money hand over fist. They shouldn't NEED to open a vanity arm. I wonder if this is a 'loss leader' for them? I don't think we'll know for awhile. It is absolutely bad for the writer community and possibly the publishing community as a whole. I applaud RWA, SFWA and MWA for taking a stand.
Wednesday, November 18, 2009
Sunday, November 15, 2009
in which you can play free music, or buy CDs, or check when next he plays with us. Yep, that guy - the one with the huge playlist!!! Some of his CD tracks were even recorded here in the shop.
Wednesday, November 11, 2009
In America's White Table, Marget Theis Raven and Mike Benny bring to life the story of a young family that put together their own White Table for their Uncle John.
Saturday, November 7, 2009
Thursday, November 5, 2009
Many of you are already aware that the American Booksellers Association (ABA) submitted a letter to the US Department of Justice, requesting that they investigate the possibly illegal predatory pricing practises going on between Wal-Mart, Amazon and Target as they heavily discount certain hardback bestsellers. On November 2nd, ComicsPRO also sent a letter to the DOJ indicating similar concerns. ComicsPRO is a trade organisation that represents direct-market comic book retailers.
In addition to agreeing with the ABA that "the practices of Amazon.com, Walmart.com, and Target.com to offer bestselling hardcover books for sale at prices well below the wholesale cost renders independent booksellers unable to compete and devalues the books in the eyes of consumers." ComicsPRO believes that the practices will affect comic books "as substantially as it affects the traditional book trade, and extends to the sale of graphic novels."
The ABA letter has been discussed a great deal in the media - for those of you interested in the details, a copy can be found here.
My personal opinion as a bookseller is that this price war is not sustainable and will eventually shrink the pool of available publishers and authors. Publishers pay attention to what sells - and if all that is selling are the 5-10 different $8.99-priced titles, they won't accept or print the new authors. They can't afford to. So we get a reduction in titles, a reduction in authors, and
eventually a reduction in publishers.
I ALREADY have issues obtaining copies of Edgar Rice Burroughs' Barsoom series for his loyal Baltimore-area fans. Princess of Mars seems to be the only title that gets re-printed...the rest are either older 'new' books or only available as 'used' books. I cannot imagine how much worse this could get if the book of new titles shrinks. I can see readers trying to find their favorite authors - and not finding them at anything resembling less than a mortgage payment.
I hope this situation gets sorted out before too much damage is done.
Wednesday, November 4, 2009
Sunday, November 1, 2009
Friday, October 30, 2009
Main Street Reisterstown will be holding sales and munchies all weekend. We will be hosting a pumpkin decorating contest – drop them off at noon, judging at 5pm – and live folk music from Steve Haug 3-6pm. Reisterstown's own TJ Perkins is reading from her middle-school mystery "Mystery of the Attic" at 6pm.
Wednesday, October 28, 2009
Sunday, October 25, 2009
Well, how about this? Saturday, we had a visit from a couple who knew quite a bit about the our building. Miss Mary Ellen's godmother used to own 303 Main Street - Edna Mae Uhler. She said that this building - back in the day - was INDEED on the Underground Railroad. Cool, huh? I tried to find out if there was written confirmation anywhere, but she didn't think there was. Pity, that.
This is really amazing, considering we just received 5 copies of The Underground Rail Road by William Still, first published in 1872 and recently reprinted.
I can just imagine folks hiding in the root cellar underneath the side that housed the post office (where Kids, Parenting and Science Fiction now live); then boxing themselves up to be put on the mail coach for Pennsylvania. God bless them.
Saturday, October 24, 2009
Friday, October 23, 2009
Wednesday, October 21, 2009
Sunday, October 11, 2009
WHO ATTENDED THE CEREMONY: [Karolina Lewestam, a Polish citizen and holder of a Polish driver's license, speaking on behalf of all her fellow Polish licensed drivers, expressed her good wishes to the Irish police service.]
More information on the rest of the awards ceremony can be found here.
Friday, October 9, 2009
Wednesday, October 7, 2009
Friday, October 2, 2009
Friday, September 25, 2009
Saturday, September 26, 2009, 3-5pm, Tea with the Author Join Baltimore writer Mare Cromwell, author of If I Gave You God's Number… Searching for Spirituality in America. Tea, coffee and cookies will be available. This book is a good choice for those readers who liked The Shack.
Wednesday, September 23, 2009
Sunday, September 20, 2009
might have to login to Facebook to read it.
Sigh, Puff has sadly slipped into his cave again...
Wednesday, September 16, 2009
Sunday, we have Reisterstown local Nathan Rabe playing 3-6pm.
Both these guys are singer/songwriter types, though Steve does a lot of Irish/Traditional music too.
Friday, September 11, 2009
Sending good thoughts and wishes and prayers your way...
Thursday, September 10, 2009
here at Tor.com. Pub date is 10/27/09.
Wednesday, September 9, 2009
Friday, September 4, 2009
Wednesday, September 2, 2009
This Friday, Sep. 4, 6-9pm Wine Tasting - Join us for Wine and munchies. Coffee/tea will also be available. Live Music by local Nathan Rabe.
Then Saturday, Sep. 5, 3-5pm Tea with the Author - Join Maryland’s Leslie Parrish, author of the DARK romantic thrillers Fade to Black, Pitch Black, and Black at Heart for tea, coffee and cookies.
Friday, August 28, 2009
Wednesday, August 26, 2009
Join us as we review Terry Pratchett's "Making Money," a comic lesson in the worth of paper money.
Friday, August 21, 2009
Read Banned Books!
Saturday, August 15, 2009
Friday, August 14, 2009
The Hugo Winners are - and congratulations to them ALL:
- Best Novel: The Graveyard Book, Neil Gaiman (HarperCollins; Bloomsbury UK)
- Best Novella: “The Erdmann Nexus”, Nancy Kress (Asimov’s Oct/Nov 2008)
- Best Novelette: “Shoggoths in Bloom”, Elizabeth Bear (Asimov’s Mar 2008)
- Best Short Story: “Exhalation”, Ted Chiang (Eclipse Two)
- Best Related Book: Your Hate Mail Will Be Graded: A Decade of Whatever, 1998-2008, John Scalzi (Subterranean Press)
- Best Graphic Story: Girl Genius, Volume 8: Agatha Heterodyne and the Chapel of Bones, Written by Kaja & Phil Foglio, art by Phil Foglio, colors by Cheyenne Wright (Airship Entertainment)
- Best Dramatic Presentation, Long Form: WALL-E Andrew Stanton & Pete Docter, story; Andrew Stanton & Jim Reardon, screenplay; Andrew Stanton, director (Pixar/Walt Disney)
- Best Dramatic Presentation, Short Form: Doctor Horrible’s Sing-Along Blog, Joss Whedon, & Zack Whedon, & Jed Whedon, & Maurissa Tancharoen, writers; Joss Whedon, director (Mutant Enemy)
- Best Editor Short Form: Ellen Datlow
- Best Editor Long Form: David G. Hartwell
- Best Professional Artist: Donato Giancola
- Best Semiprozine: Weird Tales, edited by Ann VanderMeer & Stephen H. Segal
- Best Fan Writer: Cheryl Morgan
- Best Fanzine: Electric Velocipede edited by John Klima
- Best Fan Artist: Frank Wu
And the John W. Campbell Award for Best New Writer (presented by Dell Magazines): David Anthony DurhamMore details here.
Friday, August 7, 2009
Munchies, the swinging sounds of Sinatra by Ken McDermott, coffee for those who don't drink wine. It will be a FINE time.
Wednesday, August 5, 2009
We all know someone with a Kindle (tm probably) - who is also relatively happy with it. Fine, good, they're reading...I am all in favor of reading.
However, I have been reading that Kindle's terms and conditions state "Digital Content will be deemed licensed to you by Amazon under this Agreement unless otherwise expressly provided by Amazon." So you're renting the book instead of buying it, right? (Feel free to correct me in the comments below - I may be wrong.)
Allowing for sociological changes due to the new medium, I have to say this protocol still sounds antithetical to the basic concept of book buying/book-ownership. I am not the only one who finds this odd and possibly harmful. The folks over at BoingBoing are starting up a Petition for a DRM (Digital Rights Management) Free Kindle.
What say you out there in reader-land? Am I being a stuffy old-fashioned bookseller or are there some real dangers there?
Saturday, August 1, 2009
Thursday, July 30, 2009
The Children's Book, A.S. Byatt (Chatto and Windus)
Summertime, J.M. Coetzee (Harvill Secker)
The Quickening Maze, Adam Foulds (Jonathan Cape)
How to Paint a Dead Man, Sarah Hall (Faber)
The Wilderness, Samantha Harvey (Jonathan Cape)
Me Cheeta, James Lever (Fourth Estate)
Wolf Hall, Hilary Mantel (Fourth Estate)
The Glass Room, Simon Mawer (Little, Brown)
Not Untrue & Not Unkind, Ed O'Loughlin (Penguin - Ireland)
Heliopolis, James Scudamore (Harvill Secker)
Brooklyn, Colm Toibin (Viking)
Love and Summer, William Trevor (Viking)
The Little Stranger, Sarah Waters (Virago)
For more information, visit www.themanbookerprize.com
Friday, July 17, 2009
On this day, during the Apollo 11 40th Anniversary, NASA posted Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter images of the Apollo 11 landing site. So very cool!
OK, once a geek, always a geek,
Thursday, July 16, 2009
In Watersmeet, a YA Fantasy, a teenage girl confronts prejudice, war, and family secrets.
When Brother's dad is shipped off to Iraq in Heart of a Shepherd, Brother must help his grandparents keep the ranch going. He's determined to maintain it just as his father left it, in the hope that doing so will ensure his father's safe return. The hardships Brother faces will not only change the ranch, but also reveal his true calling.
When the Whistle Blows introduces us to Jimmy, who lives in Rowlesburg, West Virginia during the 1940s. He does all the things boys do in the small mountain town: plays a mean game of football, pulls the unforgettable Halloween prank with his friends in the Platoon, a and promises to head off into the woods on the first day of hunting season no matter what. He also knows his father belongs to a secret society, and is determined to uncover the mysteries behind it But it is a midnight encounter with a train that shows Jimmy the man his father really is.
Operation Redwood propels the reader into clandestine e-mail exchanges, secret trips, fake press releases, and a tree-house standoff. These are among the clever stunts and pranks the kid heroes pull off in this exciting ecological adventure.
In Bull Rider, Cam O'Mara is a dedicated skateboarder. But when his older brother serves in Iraq and comes back partially paralyzed, the bull-riding mantle falls to Cam. This is a timely debut novel about family loyalty and hope in the face of tremendous trials.
Thursday, July 9, 2009
Community Bake Sale + Folk Music! Sunday the 12th July -
Community Bake Sale to benefit the Crisis Center 12-4 PLUS Steve Haug playing Folk/Celtic Music 3-6.
Wednesday, July 1, 2009
As we honor national heritage and liberty, we also celebrate our nation's local independent businesses who have given so many citizens opportunity and underpinned and underwritten community life and prosperity. It's also a time to consider the independent decision-making ability each of us possesses to choose the future of the place we make our home.
Love your Indies!
Friday, June 26, 2009
Saturday, 27 June 2009, 3-5pm
J.M. E. Flowers, author of the mystery “Searching for Blue Mercury,” will join us for Tea, coffee and cookies. Her book, Searching for Blue Mercury, is a mystery.
Monty Parker, Chief Detective on a serial killing case, sat immobilized at his desk. Lately the demons from his past had increasingly begun to take a greater hold on his life. The hallucinations that had haunted him since childhood were beckoning him. Now as he fought them with every fiber of strength he could rally as he realized the horrible truth. He knew the people that this monster had killed and mutilated. In police work that might have been true for one or two, but six? As he delved deeper into the files, he knew. These people were not some obscure, isolated cases. Their connection to him could mean only one thing. The person who committed these horrendous crimes was close to him, maybe even himself. He had to find out, to sabotage the files until he could sort it all out. Then there was Helen, his wife, Zoe his daughter, and Bev his lover to consider. How would they be affected by the turn of events that would surely follow him to their final conclusion? Follow Parker as he weaves his way through a spine tingling story of intrigue, insanity and coming to grips with his own reality. This story promises to hold your attention until the very last sentence.
Sunday, June 21, 2009
For my antipodean friends and family, Happy Winter Solstice!
Anyone out there have a favorite book about the solstice?
Friday, June 19, 2009
Tea with the Author features Jeri Smith-Ready tomorrow, Saturday the 20th, 3-5pm. Her latest is Bad to the Bone, 2nd in the WVMP series. You know, the Indie Rock station with the vampire DJs, the one that kinda sorta reminds you of that Indie Rock station near Westminster.
Yeah. That one. :)
Thursday, June 18, 2009
Angels & Demons by Dan Brown (what, you think we can really contain that much anti-matter for real?)
Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury
Any of the Harry Potter books by JK Rowling
The Yiddish Policemen's Union by Columbia native Michael Chabon (Alternate History is a mainstay of SFF)
Pride and Prejudice and Zombies by Jane Austen and Seth Grahame-Smith
See? You can find something amongst the classics or amongst the recent bestsellers...
Edited to add - Sharon Lee started this wonderful campaign - here's her announcement.
Friday, June 12, 2009
Thursday, June 11, 2009
Wednesday, June 10, 2009
With Father's Day on the horizon, I thought I would ask - what does/did your Dad like to read??
Wednesday, June 3, 2009
David Eddings, a true gem amongst fantasy authors, has pass away at the age of 77. Best known for The Belgariad series, David has inspired lots of authors to follow him. He was known for writing longhand rather than using typewriters or computers.
Edited to add a link to the Guardian's obit.
Friday, May 29, 2009
The Lambda Literary Awards seek to recognize excellence in the field of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender literature. Each year, over 80 judges -- writers, booksellers, librarians, journalists -- assess the entries in more than 20 categories.
Wednesday, May 27, 2009
Saturday, May 23, 2009
Memorial, by Gary Crew and Shaun Tan
A boy listens to the story of a Memorial tree planted in 1918 - a tree the town council wants to cut down.
Under the Blood-Red Sun, by Graham Salisbury
About Pearl Harbor and the Japanese-American Internment camps in Hawaii.
Heart of a Shepherd, by Roseanne Parry
A boy's dad gets shipped out to Iraq and he must help his grandparents keep the ranch going.
Heroes, by Robert Cormier
An 18 year-old returns from World War II with a Silver Star, a face lost to a grenade and a mission.
Thursday, May 14, 2009
is pleased to announce the winners of the 2009
Young Writers’ Contest.
1st - "The Hoard Keeper" - Brenden Bogley- New Market- home school
2nd - "Dreamland for Insomniacs" - Margaret Renninger - Silver Spring- Montgomery Blair high School of
3rd - Snow Angel - Helen Zhao – Reisterstown- Carver Center of Arts and Technology of Baltimore County
Honorable Mention tie –
a. "Welcome to Earth, May I take your Order" - Peter Veres -
Odenton – home school
b. "On the Bright Side" - Ali Schwartz –Seaford – Worcester Prep
Awards will be presented by the Compton Crook Award winner at Balticon 43, Maryland ’s oldest Regional Science Fiction Convention at the Hunt Valley Inn on May 23, 2009.
The Chalker YWC is open to all Maryland High School students, ages 14-18. Stories are judged “blind” by members of the Baltimore Science Fiction Society. The winners receive $150 (1st), $100 (2nd) and $50 (3rd) , a B.S.F.S. T shirt and membership in the convention. Stories may be read at www.bsfs.org.
To enter the 2010 contest, rules are posted on www.bsfs.org.
Balticon is in Hunt Valley this year...no parking charges! Oh - if you aren't already attending Balticon, the charge is only $11!!
Wednesday, May 13, 2009
They keep muttering about conjunctions with space debris. I finally realised that - while we watch conjunctions of planets all the time from Earth - when you're UP THERE, something coming THAT CLOSE is a bit worrisome.
Ah, good news, conjunction came and went and it seems nothing got punctured.
Tomorrow should be interesting - they get to look 'under the hood' on HST and start the tune-up/replacement.
What a great bunch of people,
Friday, May 8, 2009
In honor of Mother's Day, we are choosing our favorite Hot Authors.
Manil Suri, author of Age of Shiva
David Baldacci - who does great things as well as being author of The Whole Truth
Sebastian Junger, author of The Perfect Storm
Jonathan Franzen, author of The Corrections
Who is your favorite?
Lauretta & Anne
PS And - though they aren't authors - any of the guys in Porn for Women and Porn for Women of a Certain Age
Saturday, May 2, 2009
Come on in and ask where we stash our Advance Reader copies and take home a free book!
While supplies last, of course.
PS I thought I was a geek but this goes above and beyond: YouTube user bd594 has produced a cover of "Bohemian Rhapsody, " using a ScanJet, a TI99, an Atari 800, amongst other things. Talk about your metal music. We used to kid around in the Baltimore Symphony Chorus about Symphony for Copier and Vacuum Cleaner, but MAN.
Friday, April 24, 2009
- Where the Wild Things Are, by Maurice Sendak (HarperCollins)
- Make Way for Ducklings, by Robert McCloskey (Viking Juvenile)
- Don't Let the Pigeon Drive the Bus, by Mo Willems (Hyperion Books for Children)
The Hubble Space Telescope was launched 19 years ago today.
I was here in Baltimore, watching in the Auditorium at the Space Telescope Science Institute. I had just spent 2 weeks hanging out in Florida waiting - I had a shuttle launch pass - but the launch delay was longer than my vacation time. Ah, well, it turned out OK as I was surrounded by all my colleagues who had ALSO waited years for it to launch. Lots of cheering ensued, followed by ordering lunch in so we could celebrate a little while working.
Did we know what anxieties (with the mirror) were to come? No. We knew whatever happened - it would be new and unexpected and had the potential to revolutionize our view of the universe. I happen to think the satellite has lived up to her potential. :)
Side note - this is the International Year of Astronomy, marking 400 years since Galileo's telescope opened our eyes to the planets and worlds beyond Earth. PBS is running a documentary called 400 Years of the Telescope, and there are lots of commemorative events going on all over the world.
Go out and check out your night sky tonight!
See if you can find a familiar star or planet!
Think about Galileo, toting his little telescope all over Europe - he's the original Street Corner Astronomer. (Yes, Herman Heyn is following in Galileo's footsteps.)
Think also about Hubble and her buddies both in orbit and watching from the high mountains - they bring us Great Stuff.
Wednesday, April 22, 2009
Thursday, April 16, 2009
"The American Booksellers Association today announces the winners of the inaugural Indies Choice Book Awards. Formerly the Book Sense Book of the Year Awards, the new Indies Choice Book Awards reflect the spirit of independent bookstores nationwide through new categories and a broader range of winners and honor books..."
And the winners are
- Best Indie Buzz Book (Fiction): The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society, by Mary Ann Shaffer and Annie Barrows (The Dial Press)
- Best Conversation Starter (Nonfiction): The Wordy Shipmates, by Sarah Vowell (Riverhead)
- Best Author Discovery: The Story of Edgar Sawtelle, by David Wroblewski (Ecco)
- Best Indie Young Adult Buzz Book (Fiction): The Graveyard Book, by Neil Gaiman (HarperCollins)
- Best New Picture Book: Bats at the Library, by Brian Lies (Houghton Mifflin)
- Most Engaging Author: Sherman Alexie
All GREAT stories.
More information can be found here.
Wednesday, April 15, 2009
Pride and Prejudice and Zombies by Jane Austen and Seth Grahame-Smith
I am approaching Pride and Prejudice and Zombies on tiptoes. What has Seth done to Jane's delicately perceived book? Here's an example. Elizabeth and her sisters are at their first assembly with the love interests - Mr Bingley and Mr Darcy, when zombies break in.
"A few of the guests, who had the misfortune of being too near the windows,were seized and feasted on at once...As the guests fled in every direction, Mr Bennett's voice cut through the commotion "Girls! Pentagram of Death!" Elizabeth immediately joined her four sisters, Jane, Mary, Catherine, and Lydia in the center of the dance floor. Each girl produced a dagger from her ankle and stood at the tip of an imaginary five-pointed star. From the center of the room, they began stepping outward in unison-each thrusting a razor-sharp dagger with one hand, the other hand modestly tucked into the small of her back...Apart from the attack, the evening altogether passed off pleasantly for the whole family."
Well he's stomped all over it with blood and zombies hasn't he? It is quite a surreal journey. Well worth a read.
The Beautiful Struggle by Ta-Nehisi Coates
This book is a coming of age in West Baltimore. Not one of the best neighborhoods but with a Black Panther Dad raising you to Consciousness you have a chance. Plus Dad has a printing press in the basement where he revives the forgotten heroes of black thought, history and biography. It's going to rub off on you. The knowledge, as taught in the street, is tough to beat. Ta-Neshi's Dad trys a constellation of values to anchor his children and he eventually pushes all of his children towards Mecca-Howard University. I was lost in the slang but the rhythm of the writing kept me reading. How beautiful the language it's style, the humor. I would love to hear it read out loud. So if you want an experience-cultual and literary- try The Beautiful Struggle, a beautiful book.
Friday, April 10, 2009
and Tuesday, April 14th is . Stop by and thank your librarians for all they do!
Wednesday, April 1, 2009
Sunday, March 29, 2009
Saturday, March 28, 2009
Land of Marvels by Barry Unsworth
Land of Marvels is the backstory to today's . I always find Barry Unsworth instructive because his work is so well researched. In this book he has drawn for us a microcosm of the never ending dynamic in the . Here is the push by outside powers to penetrate the soverignty of a country for their own gain - economic or strategic - take your pick.
In this book we are witnesses to the surge of interest in oil during the early 1900's. Unsworth has set the story just before the outbreak of WW1, when the Ottoman Empire is teetering.
The main character is an amateur archaeologist driven by his belief in his dig's importance to Assyrian history. It is being threatened by the new German railroad being built to Baghdad.
At his table are eventually gathered a mini League of nations, all with definite interests in Iraq. We have the British archaeological team, an American geologist9 assuming the obscuring cloak of archaeology), an English major(also Secret Service), a Swiss/German journalist and a Swedish religious couple convinced they have found the . So here are the West's interests encapsulated - history, oil, security and religion, with the local Arab population mere adjuncts to the major players. The author sets the story in motion and delivers everyone up in a neatly wrapped conclusion.
Thursday, March 26, 2009
On March 24th, 2009, Lawrence Ferlinghetti, co-founder and co-owner of City Lights Booksellers and Publishers in San Francisco, and one of this country's most beloved poets, will celebrate his 90th birthday.
For those of you wondering, "Where have I heard his name before?" Ferlinghetti's City Lights Publishers published Allen Ginsberg's Howl in 1956, giving rise to the Beat movement. At least the public part of the Beat movement.
Happy Belated Birthday!!
Friday, March 20, 2009
Grant information here.
Thanks to the popular and talented John Scalzi for the Word.
Thursday, March 19, 2009
The Man Booker International Prize Longlist is also announced.
I'm rooting for Peter Carey, myself.
Sunday, March 15, 2009
After you've read a book, write a short note about it, giving your opinion of the book. What goes in the note? The things you would tell a friend if you wanted to convince your friend to read it--or avoid it.'
Then post the note at http://scienticity.net/wiki/Special:BooknoteForm
Thanks to HeatherJ for the heads-up.
Easy, huh? Spread the word!
Saturday, March 14, 2009
Bless their hearts:
RESOLVED, BY THE SENATE OF THE NINETY-SIXTH GENERAL ASSEMBLY OF THE STATE OF ILLINOIS, that as Pluto passes overhead through Illinois’ night skies, that it be reestablished with full planetary status, and that March 13, 2009 be declared “Pluto Day” in the State of Illinois in honor of the date its discovery was announced in 1930.
There's more details here.
Lauretta, who needs to get one of these t-shirts.
Friday, March 13, 2009
The Spare Room by Helen Garner
I was so excited to see a Helen Garner book actually published here in the US. She is my favorite Australian author. The Spare Room is searing. Our character prepares the spare room for a friend's visit. A friend who is dying of cancer, refuses to admit it and has become prey to medical charlatans. How far can a friendship be pulled? Affirmation and hope are the initial responses but as the care exhausts the carer the truth can rise brutally to the surface. We are pulled along and into that vortex by the author's clear unadorned prose.
Somehow Garner can conjure the particular and the universal in one story. How much can a friend ask and how much can the other give? Nicola is a frustrating mix of open hearted love, vulnerability and stubborn frightened denial. An ancient hippie. Helen, her friend of 15 years, is a good friend, someone who cherishes friendship but is driven to the edge. Their way through, not around, this problem is beautifully explored.
I would recommend any of Helen Garner's writing as a rare experience.
Thursday, March 12, 2009
Jade Lady Burning & Slicky Boys by Martin Limon
I've discovered another Soho Press author - Martin Limon. He set his series in post war South Korea, on US with their accompanying pleasure quarters. A harsh environment but it's growing on me. The interactions with Koreans from bar owners to bar girls are definitely unvarnished. Limon also gives us glimpses of civilian Korean life with some very nice sensitive cultural pieces.
Our hero is a part Mexican kid in his 20s who was foster home reared. Sueno reenlists after one stint in Korea and is now working as a Sargent in . He prefers the truth to comfort in his job. What would the genre do if our guys and gals were not driven and unable to settle for less?
Sueno's sidekick is Ernie Bascom - the brawn with a short fuse when it comes to officers. He is usually quiet preferring to view the female landscape through those bottle cap lenses. Together they investigate military murders, managing to create havoc and step on a few toes as they go.
Wednesday, March 11, 2009
The Rose Variations by Marisha Chamberlain
What adventures Rose has had in this book. Life adventures, professional adventures. I enjoyed the setting in a university music department in Minnesota. Rose is a composer working her way to tenure, while at the same time experiencing a variety of relationships. It felt close, emotionally, to real life, and was fascinating to re-experience that time of one's life.
The narrative moved along with less wallowing in the emotions than I expected. There was always another experience around the corner.
The biggest questions in the book are will our heroine earn tenure and will she find love, despite a dysfunctional upbringing. I found myself hope she would find both and I will let you,dear reader, be the judge of that.
Friday, March 6, 2009
Our local library has a Book Club that's been running a number of years - and they just started a blog! Welcome, Reisterstown Readers to the blogosphere! They meet the 2nd Thursdays of the month at the Reisterstown Library - and their next book is Manhunt.
Thursday, February 26, 2009
that's my personal definition of good science fiction - it forces you to think, specifically about humans and the human condition.
There's a lovely obituary in Farmer's local paper.
What stories do YOU remember from Philip Jose Farmer?
Friday, February 20, 2009
I remember crying several times during really sad bits of stories. Not often, by yes, when the boy threw himself into Lloyd Alexander's Black Cauldron.
Interesting question, no? Go have a look.
Thursday, February 19, 2009
Friday, February 13, 2009
Let us know in the comments which one you saved, 'K?
Thursday, February 12, 2009
Loyola College in Maryland is running a Humanities Symposium on the nature of food and its relationship to humanity. In addition to studying The Omnivore's Dilemma, the 2-and-a-bit month long seminar will cover movies, tastings, children's nutrition, history, and art. Many events are free and open to the public! Details may be found here.
Thursday, January 29, 2009
"It is with great sadness that I report that John Updike died this morning at the age of 76, after a battle with lung cancer." said Nicholas Latimer of Alfred A. Knopf, a unit of Random House. "He was one of our greatest writers, and he will be sorely missed." Latimer said Updike died in a hospice in Massachusetts.
Friday, January 16, 2009
Join Maryland author Mary Ellen Hughes and the American Association of University Women for tea, cookies and discussion. Mary Ellen is the author of three 'cozy' mysteries set in a local Maryland craft store.
Sunday, January 4, 2009
It should be interesting.