Saturday, May 24, 2008

Memorial Day Weekend Tent Sale

Join us and our neighbors at the Lowenstein CulturePlex (Twist & Shout, Encore Restaurant, Neighborhood Flix) this weekend for sweet sales, face painting, music, and more.

Come by any time between 10 and 5 on Saturday and Sunday.

Happy Memorial Day Weekend!

Chuck Palahniuk fans!

Chuck Palahniuk was at our Lower Downtown store on Thursday night and we very deeply hope you enjoyed yourself if you came.

If you didn't, all stores have leftover signed copies of Snuff and all of Chuck P.'s other books except for Fight Club and Invisible Monsters
. That leaves: Survivor, Choke, Lullaby, Haunted, Diary, and Rant
. Signed. Come and get 'em.

Monday, May 19, 2008

The Art of Racing In The Rain

Two staff members write briefly about the new book, The Art of Racing in the Rain, by Garth Stein:

This book is a heartbreaking, can't-put-it-down treasure. The story is told by the family dog, Enzo, who is highly evolved and intellectual and preparing to be a man in his next life (he saw a show on the Discovery Channel that explained that that is what will happen to dogs such as himself). He was picked out of a litter at 12 weeks old by semi-pro race car driver Denny and was there for Denny meeting and marrying Eve and a witness to the couple's daughter Zoe's home birth. And, alas, he was there when Eve became ill and the family began to fall apart. Through it all Enzo struggles to care for the people he loves, communicate some essential truths that only he sees from his unique perspective, and fights for his family. Enzo's compassionate insider-yet-other commentaries about the nature of humans, family, love, loyalty, honesty, play and togetherness are moving and memorable.


A coworker of mine told me I needed to read this book. When I read the jacket flap, I wasn't too sure. I needn't have worried: this book is fantastic. A family drama told from the point-of-view of Enzo, the lab/terrier mix. Enzo's narration is honestly some of the most humane and insightful I've read recently. He struggles to communicate, to explain how he understands, but all he has are gestures. But then, even with all of our talking...sometimes it's only the gestures that get through. A well-written, interesting, engaging and emotional book.


The author, Garth Stein, is coming to our Lower Downtown store on Monday, June 9, at 7:30 p.m.

And, this book is the June selection for our Autographed Book Club. Click here for more information.

If you'd like to purchase the book, click here.

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

The Book Thief

Even with many many awards to it's credit, I hesitated to read The Book Thief by Markus Zusak. I am a wimp when it comes to violence. Reading a book for pleasure involving Nazi Germany seemed to me a contradiction in terms. My 16 year old son is the one who recommended it, which is what pushed me over the edge. (But I still opened it with trepidation.) I honestly don't think I'd ever have believed a stranger, but my son I trusted. I am so glad I did.

The narrator of the book is Death itself, after all. The main character a young girl who is given up by her loving but destitute mother into foster care in the middle of a frigid German winter snowstorm. This is the story of that young girl and her adopted family, street, and town just as World War II was taking shape and exploding.

How could an unknown reviewer be trusted when conveying how gentle. how...caring Death the narrator really was? I don't know how to put into words how a book about such a difficult subject could be so full of hope, really. The German people in this story were not all tarred with the Nazi brush. We know from our history lessons there was and is compassion and humanity in many who don't subscribe to the official party line in war-torn countries around the world. Even when harsh events occured, Death as narrator seemed to dwell more on the good in people than on the bad.

The Book Thief expertly tells a tale of love and support in an ugly racist time. I would never have believed I could be so touched by a fictional Young Adult book about Nazi Germany, but I was. I am grateful to Zusak for writing this book. His characters were captivating. Since I don't have Zusak's magic touch with words, I think you should judge for yourself if it is the book for you or your teen.

Ages: It probably varies from person to person. All I can say is this grown-up loved it as much as her 16 year old son did.


Thursday, May 8, 2008

Willy Vlautin Signing Tonight!

We know it's late notice, but Willy Vlautin will be at the Tattered Cover Colfax Avenue at 7:30 p.m. tonight, May 8, 2008. He'll be there to sign copies of his latest book, Northline. Willy is in the band Richmond Fontaine and should be playing songs he wrote specifically for the book Northline. A free CD is included with the first edition copies of Northline currently available.

Here's Joe's review of Northline:

This book started out so bleak. I mean, dusty wind-swept towns with no hope and lots of booze bleak. But then glimmers of hope, and glimmers of hope and the whole time: from bleak to hope, I was swept up in the storm of Allison's life. She moves from Vegas to Reno, fleeing her abusive boyfriend, her alcohol blackouts, and carrying a baby. Once in Reno, she finds that she hasn't escaped everything she fled. But life in Reno starts to look up, especially with the help of Paul Newman, who visits her in her head and talks her through things. They talk movies, he chides her for her behavior, she offers to cook for him. Eventually, Allison meets Dan, another wounded person, just trying to find a little bit of happy. Read this book when it comes out this spring. Willy Vlautin wrote a soundtrack of instrumental tracks that goes with it, and the music is as haunting and true as his writing. An excellent book.

So come on down to the Tattered Cover Colfax Avenue, 2526 E Colfax Ave. tonight at 7:30 p.m.

You can buy the book here.

Monday, May 5, 2008

Jane Eyre versus Wuthering Heights

Bookseller Jocelyn G. writes today's post.

I am OK with the fact I have lived this long and just gotten around to reading Jane Eyre (you notice I can't say 're-reading'), by Charlotte Bronte. I'll let your imagination run wild with just exactly how long that has been. At first I figured I was just the last person on the planet to read this classic- until I started confessing. Funnily enough, most people got that vague, evasive look in their eyes as they assured me 'yes, oh yes, of course I've read it- but awhile ago'. I think NOT. Let's face it: Jane Eyre has gone out of style. What else can I think since it wasn't required reading in my high school or college? So the reason I'm talking about it now is- I liked it. Yes, it's a bit old fashioned but that's not so terrible. Not every book that involves a romance has to be all about tearing clothes off, either (this one isn't, so if that's the only reason you want to read it, might as well skip it). Another reason I'm bringing up Jane Eyre is to compare it to Wuthering Heights, written by Charlotte's sister Emily. I had to read Wuthering Heights for my book club. (Notice, dear reader, I again have to say 'read, not re-read'.) (And my mother was an English teacher...)So I read Wuthering Heights, complaining the whole way. Emily Bronte obviously has a different style of writing and perception about what makes entertaining reading from sister Charlotte. I have to confess I didn't see the point of that book even once I had finished it. Burnt oatmeal, darkness and violent misery pervade each chapter. That there was the slightest lifting of gloom by the last pages wasn't enough to salvage that book for me. Inbreeding, poverty, and bad weather are bad for your health-- big news flash. Add heartbreak to the list for this book's purposes.
So- if you find yourself wanting to brag about something, I say read Jane Eyre. It gets more interesting the further you get into it. It will make you appreciate your upbringing (which can't help but have been better than hers was) and will enable you to name-drop a recently read (or yes, re-read) classic with confidence.
And you don't have to read Wuthering Heights- count your blessings.

If you want to compare these two classics for yourself: Jane Eyre. Wuthering Heights.