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Showing posts from June, 2007

Honeymoon Hiatus, Pocket Reviews, and a Romantic Question

Dear readers, those who are about to marry salute you. Next week is going to be a whirlwind of family barbecues, pedicures, flower arranging, and packing for the honeymoon. The ALP and I are getting married in Brooklyn a week from tomorrow, and the next day we're off for our honeymoon in Puerto Rico. I have a feeling I won't find time to blog during the next few weeks, so I'm declaring this a hiatus. I've got a backlog of books I've read and have set aside to write about here, and since it looks like I'm not going to have time for detailed reviews any time soon, I'm giving them all to you in a pile with brief commentary. Consider it my rundown of recommended summer reading, with bookseller-style pocket commentary to help you decide what's the book for you. I can't remember what order I read them in, so they're just alphabetical, within their genre categories (just so I don't have to work in "graphic novel" to every descriptio

Chronicle: Out of the Book Report

John Freeman asked me to write up my impressions of the Friday night Out of the Book event; you can see an abbreviated version on the NBCC blog Critical Mass . Friday night, June 15, McNally Robinson hosted one of many incarnations of Out of the Book . You can check out the project website for details about the other events that took place all around the country, and the project's mission and future; this is just one event coordinator's take on how our evening came together. Ever since I realized that being a bookseller was my calling, my passion has been the various ways of creating space – for readers to discover books, for authors to present their work, and for literary conversations to take place. When Dave Weich of Powell's first sketched out for me the idea of the Out of the Book project when we were both in Portland for the ABA Winter Institute, I was on board even before I entirely understood what he was talking about. It seemed obvious to me that this proje

Monday - maybe?

Stay tuned for a posting later today, dear readers -- working on it.

Chronicle: Out of the Book conversations

I usually try to stay away from straight-up promotion of anything going on at the bookstore in this blog, but it would be disingenuous not to talk about the event that's taking up all my time and thought (other than the wedding, of course): tonight's Out of the Book event . As you've probably heard all about, Portland indie bookstore powerhouse Powell's has produced the first in what they hope will be a series of short films about books and authors as part of a project called Out of the Book ; sort of a filmic version of the author tour. The first features Ian McEwan's new novel On Chesil Beach . The film is distributed through independent bookstores all over the country ; over fifty of them will be showing the film this week, either in their store or in cooperating venues. And each will create their own unique event around the film, from glamorous parties to writing contests to readings by other local authors and critics. The goal for all is to create conversa

Punch-Drunk Wednesday

No time to say goodbye, hello -- just a couple quick links on another busy day. * Heard about McSweeney's big sale ? In a typically ingenious plan to earn back some of the money they lost in the chaos of the PGW distributor switchover (which in quick and dirty terms, hurt little publishers who were owned money for books they'd shipped to the distributor, as they're now being paid cents on the dollar for those same books by PGW's successor(s)), the clever folks at McSweeney's are auctioning off some one-of-a-kind items and selling lots of their stock at clearout prices. My favorite item (aside from the cut-price subscriptions to the Believer): the T-shirt that says "Impossible you say? Nothing is impossible when you work for the circus." True! * New clever blog idea of the day: The Book Inscriptions Project . Like Found Magazine for the odd and poignant things people write in gift books. Check it out, scan yours and send it in. * The story on WNYC t

Link-Mad Monday: BEA 2007 and On!

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Sorry about the lack of post on Friday -- the day got crazy, as is likely to happen more often as the wedding date (June 30!) approaches. I'll give a shot at recapping my BEA, with some extra linkage for fun. Wednesday Joined the rest of my fellow booksellers at the Brooklyn Marriott for a celebration of Brooklyn . Saw my old boss and mentor Toby of Three Lives and other familiar faces. And David McCullough's opening address -- man can that guy write. The author of 1776 and The Great Bridge expounded upon his own writing career, the Battle of Brooklyn, and the moment he knew he wanted to write about the Brooklyn Bridge. His previous book about the Johnstown Flood had been about the worst of humanity ("just because people are in positions of responsibility doesn't mean they're acting responsibly" he observed, presciently), and he wanted to write about the opposite, a great effort of idealism and civilization that succeeded. The bridge, he postulates, is suc

A Book Nerd BEA in pictures

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You'll get the narrative rundown later, along with all the valuable things I learned and people I met, but everyone knows the pictures are the fun part, right? I feel the story of my BEA will be clear from these photos: i.e., I burned out early. Stressing out over the EL party on Wednesday, the LBC party on Thursday, and my panel on Saturday meant that I was not at my best for the rest of the festivities. But "oh, my foes, and oh my friends," as notorious party girl Edna St. Vincent Millay wrote -- it was worth it. Here's an overhead shot of the scene at Floyd, the Brooklyn bar chosen to hold a roomful of young booksellers from all over the country for the First Annual EL-BEA. My coworker Katie chats with EL Council Member Sylla on Floyd's comfy couches. From left to right, Amanda of Harvard Square, Tom of McNally Robinson AND A Public Space, and Megan of Harvard Square (who has the distinction of being the only OTHER person to have both an EL button and an LB

BEA, Blogger Kick My Ass

I didn't make it to the PGW party on Saturday night because I wasn't feeling too hot, and I spent all day Sunday in bed with some kind of mutant sore throat that took over my entire body. I'm still pretty incoherent, stuffy and wobbly today, so I'm going back to bed. But you probably won't know any of this because Blogger has decided I might be spam and won't be able to make up its mind about that for about two days. Whatever. More about BEA when I can. Update: It's Tuesday, Blogger has forgiven me, and I'm still stupid sick. Stay tuned for BEA reports when I can get it together.