Monday, October 20, 2014

Some Books Just Make it Hard

Also, Noggin in a National Book Award finalist (because you needed another reason to read it). Congratulations John Corey Whaley!

Monday, October 13, 2014

Books for the Fall

Three really exciting, super thrilling new books!

1. Blood of Olympus by Rick Riordan
I mean...come on. It's the LAST BOOK! Then we have to wait for Magnus Chase (which is set IN BOSTON!). Did I mention that we have signed copies?

2. Red Knit Cap Girl and The Reading Tree by Naoko Stoop
We love the Red Knit Cap Girl in general. But we love her even more when there are books involved.

3. A Bean, A Stalk, and a Boy Named Jack by William Joyce
I love him. I love him. William Joyce's books are lovely and funny and just so brilliantly rendered. His newest, a take on Jack and the Beanstalk, is no exception.

A little while back I did a post on books that reminded me of summer. Now, it's fall and it's my favorite season and I haven't talked yet about books that feel like fall. This is a very important season.

So let's do that now. In no particular order I present Books That Remind Amy of Fall:

1. Doll Bones by Holly Black
Maybe it's the creepy factor. The potentially possessed doll, the late night bus ride, the cemetery. But this book makes me think of fall. Dead leaves and moonlit skies.

2. Fletcher and the Falling Leaves by Julia Rawlinson
My love for this book is no secret, neither are its ties to fall. When the leaves start falling Fletcher worries that is friend the tree is sick. It's sweet and lovely.

3. First Test by Tamora Pierce
Back to school books often have a fall-ish air to them, even though school starts in the summer. This isn't technically school and the books spans a year so it covers all of the seasons but there's still something so essentially autumnal about it.

4. 5th Wave by Rick Yancy
I could probably say that this reminds me of fall because it's sort of about the fall of humanity but that's not it...I don't think. It just has the same sort of Fall feel.

5. Flora's Very Windy Day by Jeanne Birdsall
The fall colors, the dead leaves, the wind stealing a sibling. I mean that all just screams fall!

6. Book of Shadows by Cate Tiernan
The start of school in the midwest mixed with a setting of graveyards and the discovery of magick. Tiernan's entire Sweep series is the perfect read for an autumn week.

7. Ballad by Maggie Stiefvater
This one I find interesting because the first in the series, Lament feels like a spring book to me. But this is the darker side to the story. It has more of an edge and that is all fall.

8. Unspoken by Sarah Rees Brennan
This is all fall. Creepy woods and sorcerers and small towns.

9. Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark by Alvin Schwartz
Do I even need to say anything about this one?

10. The Lost Boy by Greg Ruth
Creepy woods. Even creepier creatures. Beautiful and unique artwork. A boy finds an old fashioned recorder on which he hears the story of a boy years before who gets caught in a good versus evil battle that goes wrong.

I was sitting here trying to figure out what it is about these books that make me think of fall. I'm not really sure what it is to be honest. As I was thinking of titles I was very quickly dismissing titles with a brief "No, that's winter/spring/summer." I'm not sure if it's just setting, or an unsettling plot, or just a feeling but something about all of these titles reminds me of fall.


Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Travel as a Rabbit

Here's the latest and greatest happenins in the travel section!

Come scope our Destination of the Month display before it turns to October: SEATTLE

I am studying the Finnish language and just learned the sweetest idiom: "Matkustaa jäniksenä," or "to travel as a rabbit," meaning travelling for free, as a stowaway (like a bunny sneaking on a boat!). I prefer the first image the phrase brought to mind, a bunny too short to reach the Charlie Card machine so he just snuck under the turnstile and didn't pay his fare.

Anyway, everyone knows the best way to travel as a rabbit is to pack like and move fast, so do I have a grip of petite pocket guides for you! These adorable, fun-size guide books are full of off-the-beaten path trivia, must-sees and gorgeous design:

First up are the WildSam guides. Currently available for Nashville, Austin, San Francisco and Detroit, they have awesome almanacs full of local trivia, interviews with local movers and shakers, places to check out that are more funky and local haunts than tourist spots, and even a grip of pretty graph paper in the back for notetaking and scrapbooking on the fly! $18 each.

Citi x 60 guides are brand new, and available for all kinds of big-city locales: New York, Paris, Tokyo, Barcelona, Berlin and more. The idea here is that 60 local artists, business owners, writers, creatives and other influential and design-oriented share their favorite haunts, so you get a bunch of ideas for discovering a city from the people who love it the most, and seek out the most unique and vibrant offerings! Super inexpensive and pretty as well at $9.95 each.

The Hunt guides, representing cities from Austin to Singapore are beautifully designed with must-sees and local faves as well, an emphasis on shopping and amazing food make these guides a must for the urban adventurer. $16 each.

Happy travels! 

Monday, September 29, 2014

What Is It About Movie Covers?

There are so many exciting book but here are three:

1. Unmade by Sarah Rees Brennan
FINALLY! The conclusion to Brennan's Lynburn Legacy trilogy is out! And if you read it and want to cry  at her in person you can come and see her on October 22nd here at the store.

2. The Infinite Sea by Rick Yancy
The sequel to his alarmingly realistic alien invasion story The 5th Wave.

3. Afterworlds by Scott Westerfeld
It feels like we've been waiting for a new Westerfeld forever! It's finally here and it's a beautiful, literally hefty tome.

I don't know what it is about movie covers. The movie poster can be absolutely beautiful and I still won't like it as the cover of the book. I may look at it and think (or say) "That's not so bad." But that doesn't mean I want that edition. I'd rather have the original.

And I'm not the only one. It's been an overwhelming trend. Most people don't like the movie editions of books.

The thing is, even I'm not entirely sure what it is. A store only having a movie edition is not going to stop me from buying the book. I want the book. I'll buy the book. The cover doesn't change anything and I know that but that doesn't mean I want that cover.

Last week we had some students from the Roxbury school come and check out the store. In addition to filling out some sort of scavenger hunt form they each had a budget so they could pick out a book or two.

Amid the chaos of requests were the expected calls for The Fault in Our Stars. We have so many copies I never anticipated this being an issue. I stood off to the side and directed people to what they were looking for.

"Right here, in Young Adult."

Then came the:

"OH! Do you have any more with their faces on them?"

I blinked and then again. Finally responding, "Yeah...I think so."

Before I knew what was happening I was standing on a ladder above Young Adult handing out all six copies (copies some of us were lamenting having forever) of the movie edition to a gaggle of yelling students. This was alarming, and not least of all because I couldn't get down with the crowd at the bottom and I'm still just a little afraid of heights.

Some of the students refused to buy the normal edition of the book. One even found the book in Spanish and asked another if they thought she could learn the language enough to read it.

It was such a reversal of what I was used to. I started thinking about the movie cover issue from the other side.

Why would you buy the original cover with the movie one right there for the taking?

Did the students want the movie cover because the movie poster was the first representation of the story they'd seen? Is that what the "original" cover is to them? Is it because they really like looking at Shailene Woodley and Ansel Elgort? Are they just part of the movie generation where this is what books are, representations of their movie counterparts?

Does it really matter if the book is selling?

From now on, I'll try to stop glaring the new editions down when we get them in because, hey, maybe that's the version someone is looking for. Maybe they won't buy the other one. Maybe they really do just have a huge crush on that one actor. I'm not going to judge.


P.S. The awesome people at Books and Whatnot seem to think that Stick Figure Amy is pretty cool. They featured her in one their posts! So, if you were ever curious about her origin story check it out!

Monday, September 22, 2014

For the First Day of Actual Fall

I cheated on one of the releases.... shhhh!

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Weekly Bestsellers: September 8-September 14

Weekly Bestsellers

Second week of September and our events series is kicking into gear. Topping the hardcover list we have two events books. We hosted Joyce Carol Oates, a woman who is prolific in both book form and on Twitter, and she joined us at the Coolidge Corner Theatre to read from her new collection of short stories. And on Saturday, Chris Guillabeau visited every country in the world and shared the lessons he learned with us at his event for The Happiness of Pursuit

In paperbacks, once-local author Dennis Lehane's novel The Drop, is adapted from the film which was originally adapted from Lehane's short story "Animal Rescue." Got that? And for those of us who can't get enough of the brilliant Roxane Gay (and there are a lot of us, customers and staff alike) we are thrilled her essay collection, Bad Feminist, is out as a paperback original. 

Here's the rest of the list. See you next Tuesday! - Shuchi

1) Lovely, Dark, Deep: Stories by Joyce Carol Oates
2) The Happiness of Pursuit: Finding the Quest That Will Bring Purpose to Your Life by Chris Guillebeau
3) The Bone Clocks by David Mitchell
4) Colorless Tsukuru Tazaki and His Years of Pilgrimage: A Novel by Haruki Murakami, translated by Philip Gabriel
5) What If?: Serious Scientific Answers to Absurd Hypothetical Questions by Randall Munroe
6) The Secret Place by Tana French

1) The Drop by Dennis Lehane
2) Bad Feminist: Essays by Roxane Gay
3) The Examined Life: How We Lose and Find Ourselves by Stephen Grosz
4) The Boys In the Boat: Nine Americans and Their Epic Quest for Gold at the 1936 Berlin Olympics by Daniel James Brown
5) The Trauma of Everyday Life by Mark Epstein
6) Snow Hunters by Paul Yoon - A staff favorite, Yoon's slim, breathtaking novel is about a young man starting life anew after the Korean War. Our Book Club will meet to discuss Snow Hunters on Monday, October 13th at 7:30PM.
7) Acceptance: Book Three of The Southern Reach Trilogy by Jeff VanderMeer - I'm about halfway through book two, Authority, and I can't get enough of the mysterious, terrifying world VanderMeer has created in this trilogy. The final book just received a rave review in The New York Times.