Monday, June 30, 2008

Jackie's Summer Mystery Series Reading List

Summer time has always been about reading freedom for me--no classes dictating what I had to read when, etc. Plus time--loads of g-l-o-r-i-o-u-s time--for reading. My childhood summers were spent with the likes of Nancy Drew and Trixie Beldon. In my young adult years I followed James Patterson's Alex Cross through harrowing crime after harrowing crime. I got hooked on the prolonged joy of what I would call "series reading"--following the same set of characters through more than one book and adventure after adventure, reading them back to back so our "relationship" seemed seamless. I still do it today, though time isn't as plentiful in these grownup summers as it was back then (it's true what my folks said--time really DOES go faster as you get older)--Laurel K Hamilton's Anita Blake series has me in thrall, Laurie R King's Sherlock Holmes based mysteries are good friends, and the more innocent stories from Jennifer Chiaveri ni's E lm Creek Quilters or Jane Kirpatrick's stalwart settlers keep me coming back for more. There's a series for everyone, truly. So I thought I'd list 20 mystery (my genre of choice) series that you may, or may not, know about that would make great summer reads:
Scrapbooking Mysteries by Laura Childs (who also writes a Teashop Mystery series!)
Gay Vampire Mysteries by Dean James
Foodie Mysteries by Joanne Pence or Joanne Fluke
Veterinarian Mysteries by Lillian Roberts or Laura Crum or Georgetter Livingston
Southern Mysteries by Anne George or Patricia Sprinkle or Charlaine Harris
Egyptian Mysteries by Elizabeth Peters
Bed and Breakfast Mysteries by Mary Daheim
Knitting Mysteries by Maggie Sefton
Ministry Mysteries by Emilie Richards
Debutant Dropout Mysteries by Susan McBride
Psychic Eye Mysteries by Victoria Lane
Death on Demand Mysteries by Carolyn Hart
And so, so, so many more.
Happy Summer Reading!!!! -- Jackie

Thursday, June 26, 2008

Colcannon at the Colfax Store This Saturday

A must see at the Tattered Cover Colfax Avenue!
Saturday, June 28th 10am

A few years back a striking Irish gentleman named Mick approached me about doing an event in our store. Well, I think he approached me, it was a few years back so I could be embellishing the story a bit. Anyway, I was given this CD to listen to, THE POOKA AND THE FIDDLER AND HAPPY AS LARRY (Colcannon, Oxford Road Records 2005). I took it home and returned to work the next morning happy as a kitten. 'THE POOKA' is traditional storytelling set to music, beautiful, mesmerising, music. I'd not heard anything like it before, yet it did bring back childhood memories of listening to Peter and the Wolf.

The performance was amazing. On October 15th, 2005, Mick arrived with the the entire crew of Colcannon: Jean, Brian, Mike, and Rod. The lower level of the old Cherry Creek store was filled with the young, the old and everyone inbetween. The entire audience was captivated as Mick and the instruments told their stories. Ooh horray!

Skipping forward to July 2006, we had just moved our store to the new Colfax Avenue location a month before. The dust had settled and it was time to celebrate. I gave Mick a call. I could not think of a better way to welcome our customers to the Tattered Cover Colfax Avenue than to have Colcannon bring in 'THE POOKA'. And I was right, they did it again. The entire Colcannon crew showed up (this time they brought me candy), filled the lower level, and enchanted the audience with their storytelling and music. By
this time, I was just smitten with the whole bunch. Did I mention that Mick used to work in the old theater that is now our bookstore? I call that a good match.

This week marks the two year anniversary of the Tattered Cover Colfax Avenue. And guess what? Yes, we're bringing Colcannon back to help us celebrate. I've already started humming along, skipping to work and dreaming of pookas. This is definitely a must see. The Colcannon crew will be at the Tattered Cover Colfax Avenue this Saturday, June 28th, at 10am performing THE POOKA AND THE FIDDLER. And I'll be there too, gushing over them and dancing along. Oh, and you can check out Colcannon on the web at

For more information on this event, click here.
I hope to see you Saturday.


Monday, June 23, 2008

David Sedaris at the Tattered Cover!

For those of you who may have missed David Sedaris' visit to the Lower Downtown Tattered Cover, here is a brief review from Bookseller Bonnie:

You know when you're flying and you are just sure that the person next to you is farting their ass off? According to David Sedaris it might not be them but in fact the put-together flight attendants roaming the aisles. A reader of his clued him in, "We call it crop dusting," she said.

Now that I think of it, David told a lot of fart jokes on Sunday. People were practically peeing their pants as he read from his newest book When You Are Engulfed In Flames. And speaking about peeing your pants, he talked about that too. Who would have thought that potty humor would lead to some of the best writing of all time?

After his reading, David signed every book for every person who wanted one. Most readers also got little drawings and a chat with the author as well. He signed books for more then 6 hours and was delightfully personable. What a treat for the Tattered Cover!

Saturday, June 21, 2008

Booked -- Girls Rock Edition!

The carnival came to the Tattered Cover Colfax Avenue this past weekend, well at least it seemed like a carnival. We had our first run with a new young adult author program called BOOKED (Girls Rock edition). How do I explain BOOKED? Well, take your traditional author reading and signing, combine it with a talk show format, mix in a bit of game show, roll the dice, and you get BOOKED. Our premiere event Girls Rock consisted of three YA Colorado Authors: Denise Vega (my co-conspirator) Lynda Sandoval, and Terri Clark. Each author came ready and willing (well, that might be a slight exaggeration) to play. After the formalities of introducing the authors to the audience, it was game time. Using a set of giant dice, audience members volunteered, or were just plain picked, to choose an author and roll the dice. Die #1: fact, fiction, read, roll again, author asks, wild card. Die #2: pig-latin, flap arms like chicken, drama, round trip, beard, blindfolded. I can't rember the exact order of things, but highlights included: Denise Vega, and daughter both sporting a fake beard while asking and answering the question, Terri Clark answering questions blindfolded with a superman tie, and Lynda Sandoval doing a professional book reading in good old pig- latin. Each author brought items to raffle off, munchies to eat, music and printouts of their playlists. Everybody, authors, audience and staff just had a ton of fun. I can't wait to do this again.

Beth, in Marketing

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Even though the time has long since passed when summer meant free days of fun in the sunshine, days at the pool, and long sultry afternoons with a great book, I can't help but approach summer with dreams of all the above. Every year I pick out a few summer reads. Books that I think will represent that summer for me. That will transport me out of the tedium of having to put on work clothes when the high temperature is going to be in the 90's. Something to look forward to during those long evenings I now spend on my porch.

I thought I would write a little bit about the books I'm planning on reading this summer, and perhaps inspire you to set out with some great summer dreams of your own:

For the past few summers, I have picked a book relating to the garden that I will read all summer long. Last year it was the excellent Animal, Vegetable, Miracle by Barbara Kingsolver, now in paperback. This year it's Gardening At The Dragon's Gate, by Wendy Johnson. This is a zen approach to gardening in the form of a memoir. I am really enjoying it. I like to spend my weekend mornings gardening, weeding, watering, and then sit with my coffee and this book. Her approach to gardening is very similar to mine: it is more than making plants grow, it is a way of communicating not only with nature, but the past and the future as well. I recommend this book.

Each summer, I like to read some lighter fare as well. Something when your attention may wander: either to watch a bird you haven't seen before, or because the people watching is really superb in the summer. This year, I am planning on starting to read Men From The Boys by William J Mann. This is the first novel by the author, published in 1998. He has since written a few other books, sequels to this first novel. And though I may have implied that this is lighter fare, I think it would be better described as a conversational approach to some very serious topics: coming out of the closet, HIV and AIDS, and trying to be yourself. I have been wanting to read this highly regarded series for a number of years, and will finally do it this year.

A friend just recommended I read The Good Thief by Hannah Tinti. The book doesn't come out until August, but I have it on good faith that it's going to be well worth the wait. From what I've been hearing, this book is one of those fantastic, can't put down, completely transported to another world kind of books. Which is often exactly what I crave during the summer.

So these are three of the books I am planning on reading this summer. Of course, I have a huge shelf of books I want to read, and plan on getting to, including finishing the Tales of the City series by Armistead Maupin. I'm on the fourth book, and can't wait to fall back into the City.

I'd love to hear from you about what you're planning on reading this summer.

Bookseller Joe