Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Booksigning at Market Block Books in Troy

Friday, 7:00 PM
Troy Night Out
Market Block Books
290 River Street
Troy, NY

Meet Brad Kessler! He will be signing his new book Goat Song. Brad is also the author of Birds in Fall, one of my favorite novels. Brad's new book is about his experiences raising goats and making cheese in Vermont. But more than this, the book explores the origins of the pastoral life, both etymologically and culturally. He's a brilliant writer and I think you'll be surprised at what a good book this is.

Stop by and meet this wonderful author.
Saturday, 12:00 PM
Market Block Books
290 River Street
Troy, NY

Come and meet Mike Esposito this Saturday at Market Block Books. Mike did a wonderful job collecting photos from Little Italy's past. We've already had people browsing the book saying things like, "that's my grandmother's kitchen!" Unlike many of the Images of America series that has historic photos of a city's past, this book has more intimate memories of a neighborhood that still has its connections in the present. This is a palpable historic in a book: the families, the churches, the stories. If you take a moment to look at this book you'll see the lives who made up this part of Troy, New York.

Monday, June 22, 2009

Bookseller's Bookshelf: Marggie

Here's what Marggie has lined up to read next:

The Prayer Room by Shanthi Sekaran
This novel, for fans of Jhumpa Lahiri and Chitra Divakaruna, is about a British English professor, his Indian bride and their triplets adjusting to life in Sacramento, California, in 1974.

The Far Traveler: Voyages of a Viking Woman by Nancy Marie Brown
This book tells the true story of Gudrid, who saled from Iceland to Newfoundland 500 years before Columbus.

The Help by Kathryn Stockett
This is a novel set in 1862 Mississippi and told through the voices of three unforgettable women.

Jesus Was a Liberal by Rev. Scotty McLennan, Dean of Religious Life at Stanford
According to Marcus Borg, this is "an immensely readable book that reclaims the honorable word 'liberal' for a vision of Christianity that is persuasive, compelling, and faithful."

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

The Ugly Duckling retold by Rachel Isadora

I've just fallen in love with this series of Rachel Isadora's fairytales! She has been retelling & illustrating a number of classic fairytales from Grimm & Andersen but with illustrations inspired by a decade of her living in Africa. I have to say that The Ugly Duckling is one of my favourites! Besides being absolutely gorgeous, her vibrant collage/mixed media illustrations add a new depth & flavour to these beloved & familiar classics.

Friday, June 5, 2009

Perfect for Graduation

Here's a new book that would be perfect for anyone graduating from college.
The book has that title that makes my skin crawl, but I've given it a good read through and it's not what it seems. It's a very practical book for folks in their 20s and 30s to help get their financial lives in order. And the "rich" part is really a hook. Sure, some will read this book as a way of getting ahead, but the book offers a balanced approach to finances including sharing your wealth and doing what you truly love.

The author has a good sense of humor and solid advice. Even an old codger like me can learn something from this book.
I Will Teach You to Be Rich by Sethi, Ramit

Thursday, June 4, 2009

Stanley unwinds after BEA.

After being in NYC for the weekend I feel like all my molecules are buzzing. And without much time between the convention and work I jumped right into my next appointment at the store, meeting with one of my favorite reps. (Seriously, I like ALL the reps who come to see me. They are a great bunch!) When I got home on Tuesday night I was worn down and wanted to skip out on going to my weekly meditation group. But I hopped in the car and headed to Albany. Once I got there I knew I needed to be there. I needed to be still and do nothing for an hour. Just sit.

But sometimes it takes more than that one session to restore my inner calm. And so Wednesday came and I got back on the moving sidewalk and buzzed through the day. I was busy the whole day, not much of a break except to grab a bite to eat at the front counter. Bad form! I needed to stop and smell the roses.

Speaking of smelling the roses... when I got home last night I went across the street to see my neighbor who was working in her garden. She showed me her English roses with enormous blooms and smelling divine. Then she showed me her wild roses which are taking over her work shed. Small, delicate white blooms which start from tiny pink buds. Beautiful. Then she pulled out her binoculars from her table and pointed them to the top of a mulberry tree three yards away. At the top was a small flock of cedar waxwings, with black masks, happily eating berries. When we finished watching the birds her husband showed up and we sat on the back deck and sipped a beer. I was calm and peaceful and happy. After an hour of conversation I came back home and picked a pot full of greens from my backyard and mixed up a delicious supper of beans and greens and brown rice. I was content. I slowed down. I picked up the readers copy of a book I've been reading and settled into bed. The perfect ending to the day.

PS. Happy Birthday Allen Ginsberg, wherever you are!

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

BEA Recap from Susan T.

This past weekend, I headed down to New York City for Book Expo America, the annual bookseller convention. Every year, thousands of booksellers and publishers gather to kvetch, kvell, and talk books; it is also a reflection on the state of the bookselling industry in the United States. To judge by the scaled-down booths, parties, and swag, the state of bookselling is at a cautious crossroads. Are books terminal? Will we all be doing our bedtime reading on screens in the foreseeable future? I think (and hope) that books will be a viable option for the rest of my life (and, I hope, my career!) For me, BEA is all about learning about the new books coming out in the fall, meeting authors whose books I love, and hanging it with people who share my passion for reading. On to the show!

I arrived an NYC on Friday night and headed to the Housing Works Cafe and Bookstore for a Midnight Fried Chicken Party put on by the Lee brothers of The Lee Bros. Southern Cookbook fame. They have a new cookbook coming out this fall, The Lee Bros. Simple Fresh Southern, and if the food at this party is any indication, it is going to be a heck of a cookbook! I especially enjoyed the soybean & tomato salad with buttermilk dressing. YUM! And the fried chicken was meaty, juicy & flavorful. All in all, an excellent way to start the show.

On Saturday, I headed to the Javits Center for the trade show proper. I won't say anything about all the exciting advance copies of the new fall releases I got, because you can't get them yet and it isn't fair to tease, but I met Kristin Cashore, author of Graceling, and thanked her for writing a novel whose heroine is the anti-Bella from Twilight--strong and independent, with or without a boyfriend at her side. I also met Isa Chandra Moskowitz, a vegan cookbook author whose latest, Vegan Brunch, appeals to me for some reason. I am not vegan, but I am trying to eat healthier, and some of these recipes look pretty simple, even for the novice cook. I glimpsed Craig Ferguson signing his new book, and said hello to Alan Bradley, the author of the bestselling Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie. The highlight was meeting Michael Malone, author of Handling Sin, which has been one of my favorite books to recommend for over 20 years. His newest, The Four Corners of the Sky, was just released and is in the store in hardcover. Oh, and I met Tracy Kidder and got a signed copy of his forthcoming fall release.

By 4:00, I was dragging and my arms were tired of carrying canvas bags loaded with books. After a short rest at the hotel, I went out again, to meet friends for dinner. Before dinner, I stopped at the Strand Bookstore. I browsed for an hour and bought a book. Coals to Newcastle doesn't begin to cover it, but I like supporting independent bookstores when I travel. Yes, going to BEA is truly a busman's holiday, but one I totally enjoy. Now if I can only find a place to put all the new books I acquired........