Friday, October 30, 2009
Well, as we here in Colorado celebrate Halloween in our seemingly traditional way (digging out from a blizzard!), the good folks at the American Academy of Poets have been celebrating the holiday in all sorts of fun ways. They've added lots of Halloween content to their website, and is a great way to while away an afternoon...or ghoulish evening.
Click here to read an article about the graves of poets.
And click here to see a number of poems about Halloween.
And, if you still haven't picked out a Halloween costume for tomorrow night's party, click here for some literary ideas.
And have a Happy Halloween!
Tuesday, October 27, 2009
I actually did a little happy dance when I found out that Ree Drummond, author of The Pioneer Woman Cooks and blogger extraordinaire was coming to Tattered Cover to do a signing (there are some publishing people in New York who are still giggling about THAT). But I fell for Ree hook-line-sinker and spur. This isn't just a cookbook she's written--she's chronicling life on a ranch with a growing family in a down-to-earth, self effacing, charming and utterly irresistible way. And the woman can COOK!!! But she's very honest, and probably most funny, when talking about the disasters that occurred in her kitchen, as well. The added bonus of her exceptional photography in the book is just icing on a very delicious cake. Come see Ree (and me!) at our Colfax Store on Monday, November 2 at 7:30 pm.
Here's my review of her book:
The Pioneer Woman Cooks
by Ree Drummond
This book is a lot of fun. Part cookbook, part scrapbook (complete
with the author's own photography and honest to goodness clip art),
and all love affair with food, family and ranch life. There are homey
tidbits (like what NOT to scratch after seeding a jalapeno), old
fashioned recipe instructions ("throw on a big pile of pico de gallo"
or "if your husband walks in as you're completing this step, shield
the bowl with your body and stir quickly. What he doesn't know won't
hurt him.") and other hilarities, this book is as much fun to simply
sit and read as it is easy to follow the recipes which include tons of
step by step photographs. There are also plenty of pictures of the
kids, the cowboys, the horses, the basset hounds and even the dirty
dishes to show that anything good tends to make a bit of a mess. This
is cooking for cowboys and kids, and it couldn't be more entertaining
or mouthwatering! She's also got a great blog with a recipe share
link called Tasty Kitchen (with even MORE fabulous recipes).
Foodies--check her out and I think you too will fall under her
humorous charm: www.thepioneerwoman.com.
Wednesday, October 21, 2009
Kazuo Ishiguro's latest novel, Nocturnes, Five Stories of Music and Nightfall, has really struck a chord (argh, but it's true!) with a number of our booksellers.
When we heard that he had a new novel coming out, many of us scrambled to get a chance to read the advanced copy. We only had one copy that we passed from bookseller to bookseller.
Here's what some of those who have read the book had to say:
Ishiguro conceived of this book as if it were a piece of music in five movements. It is his first collection of short stories, coming after his six very accomplished and nuanced novels. The theme of music is woven into each of these stories, connecting them, and sometimes the
characters, as if with a gossamer thread. I am not usually a short story reader, but I absolutely loved this book! It is sometimes heartbreaking, always lyrical, and surprisingly humorous - I laughed out loud at times. He is so skillful at using narrative in a way that lets the reader in on insights about his characters that they are unaware of. His prose is clear and precise.
This is an extraordinary piece of writing that gently and insistently pulls you from one story to the next, rewarding you every step of the way.
Wow. Just read this book in one sitting. Utterly sublime. These five short stories of music and nightfall just highlight what a wonderful writer Ishiguro is. Each of these stories stand on their own, but read as an ensemble, their slow & gentle power carries the reader away. The stories are full of heartbreak and loss, of the sweet music of memory, of spare descriptions that paint a picture so perfectly, the reader is sitting in the hotels, the piazzas and hearing the music. Each is told from a first-person narrator, not always visible to us. This adds an intimacy to the stories that really brings out the emotional impact of each. Highly recommended. I would like to sit back down and re-read them again and again, like listening to music.
After reading Joe and Linda's glowing reviews, I had to give this one a try for myself. It really is a wonderful book, and for it was a great introduction to an author I have previously avoided (blame the cure-for-insomnia movie that was made from his "The Remains Of The Day"). I'm especially pleased with his character development given the fact that these are short stories--really short, since there is 5 of them in this slim volume. But each story gave me both a character that I could identify with and a character that I had to puzzle over. The themed stories (music and nightfall) and the interwoven characters added a nice touch as well. They read quickly but give you plenty to think about. In a nutshell--I'm impressed.
Friday, October 16, 2009
Announcing the Tattered Cover's second V.I.B. choice: Jarrettsville by Cornelia Nixon. This is a paperback original, which means that we get all of the power this novel has to offer, only at a smaller price!
Jarrettsville takes place in Northern Maryland, just as the Civil War has officially ended. It is a love story. It is the story of a murder and subsequent trial. It is unlike anything else I have read. Rebel sympathies have not faded with the end of the war. Southern values have not changed overnight. Into this world comes Martha Cairnes, a modern-for-her-time woman who falls in love with Nick McComas, a neighbor whose family helped fleeing slaves during the war. They fall in love, but are held back from fully realizing their love from their families and societal pull. It is a tragic story, told from multiple points of view. This book will leave folks with much to talk about.
But don't just take my word on it, Cathy Langer, our lead buyer was the person who got me to read it, and here's her review:
Cornelia Nixon's novel begins in 1869 as Martha Jane Cairnes murders Nicholas McComas in
front of many witnesses in Jarrettsville, Maryland, a town just below the Mason-Dixon
Line and a microcosm of America in the years following the Civil War. This tale of two
lovers and why it ends so badly for them is the story of neighbor fighting neighbor, old
customs and quarrels dying hard, passion, friendship, and the complicated relationships
between whites and blacks, all told exquisitely.
Thursday, October 8, 2009
Last night David Small held his audience spellbound during a multimedia presentation and interview with Bret Bertholf at Tattered Cover in LoDo. His new book Stitches is a groundbreaking work that looks like a graphic novel but, here's the clincher, it isn't fiction. It's the chilling story of his own childhood. Read about it in our earlier blog post below. Then sit down, open it up, and take a look.
Tuesday, October 6, 2009
My coworker, Charles, handed me a book recently and told me, "Joe, you have to read this." I hesitated as I always do when someone tells me I have to do something. And then one evening I picked up the book. And I devoured it. And I have been walking around the store telling people, "You have to read this book." It's powerful. It's humorous. It's touching and very sad. I'm glad I read it. And the exciting thing is this: not only can you read this book, you can come to the Tattered Cover LoDo store this Wednesday night, October 7, and meet David Small. He's the author of Stitches: A Memoir.
David Small is reading this Wednesday at 7:30 at the Tattered Cover Lower Downtown.
Here is an interview with him on NPR.
Below is a series of scenes from the book.