Thursday, June 5, 2008

One More Thing...

I didn't get to go to BEA this year (Book Expo, the book world's huge trade show/carnival) as it was in California which was a bit of a bummer. I'm pretty much over it at this point but there is one thing I am still regretting...I missed out on a private party/concert by Prince. AT HIS HOUSE!!!

I saved my invitation just the same.

Shop Talk

For the back page of the upcoming New York Times Book Review Leanne Shapton (former bookseller and author of Was She Pretty) drew sketches of booksellers at independent bookstores around New York City and asked them the following questions: "Have you ever kicked anyone out? Do you correct customers' pronunciation? What's the strangest thing anyone has left behind?"

In the hopes of having Ms. Shapton come to Brookline to sketch me I have taken it upon myself to answer her questions in advance.

Have you ever kicked anyone out? No. But my fear of doing so is exactly why I never wanted to become a manager. I have asked people who use their outside-voices while on their cell phones to please keep it quiet. The nasty-look versus embarrassed-grimace response is about 1:1.

Do you correct customers' pronunciation? No, but I put try to put them out of their misery as soon as I realize they're looking for books by J.M. Coetzee (by the way, it's kind of like this: cut-TSEE-uh). I do always smile bigger when I'm at the register and ask someone how they are and they reply with "well" rather than "good."

What's the strangest thing anyone has left behind? I can't think of anything really good at the moment but I can say that I haven't had to purchase an umbrella since I started working in a bookstore. Helpful hint if you get caught in the rain: ask at a bookstore if there are any spare umbrellas in the lost and found--it's a good bet you'll get lucky.

And to make this more interesting, my most awkward customer interaction (of late): I recently had a very odd exchange with a customer when I was at the register. She came up to me and gushed, "Has anyone ever told you you look just like Anne Frank? You look just like Anne Frank!" Er, no. But thank you?

On a pretty unrelated note:
This week's NYTBR reviews The Drunkard's Walk by George Johnson. Cool. Extra-cool? The illustrations for the review are by Jessica Hagy!

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

The Year is Half Over...How Did That Happen?

So I could share with you (and remind myself!) of what I've been reading I started a couple I just have to make sure I keep them updated!

I've been so busy with rep appointments and I want to share all the awesome books coming soon, but it might have to wait for a bit...which will be good as it will give me a chance to go through the catalogs again to remind me of what's coming!

A fall book from Simon and Schuster that I already finished and loved is French Milk by Lucy Knisley. It's a graphic novel travelogue of a month in Paris with her mother. Honestly, I'll be upfront about the fact that there's no real storyline or character development, but I thoroughly enjoyed myself and when I was done reading I felt that:

A. I want to go to Paris with my mom
B. I want to go to Paris with Lucy Knisley
C. I want to go to Paris with Lucy Knisley's mom
D. Actually, I'll take any of the above.

I'm not quite sure why I liked this book so much since, with few exceptions, I'm not a big fan of graphic novels (I know, I'm a traitor to my generation). Jessica over at The Written Nerd is a graphic novel whiz/aficionado and has offered me suggestions in the past, but they never took. Maybe it's because this is so simple--a journal of daily visits to the museums, restaurants, and shops. Maybe it's because my favorite things in the world are museums, restaurants, and shops. Or maybe it's just that the snoop in me really appreciated that I got to read someone's diary.

Related Notes:

The only other graphic novels I've really gotten into are by Jeffrey Brown (his most recent is Little Things). Apparently I really like my graphic novels as autobiographical petit fours.

Perhaps it is not surprising that I enjoyed the book Snoop: What Your Stuff Says About You by Sam Gosling.

Unrelated Note:

Apparently The Book Bench, the New Yorker's book blog has linked to me. First thought: Wow! Second thought: Why? I'm not very good at articulating why I like the books I do, I'm a horrible writer, and I ignore this thing for stretches of inimitable length. Perhaps this means I need to step up my game. Or this means I will not long be linked with such estimable company. Time will tell.