Thursday, September 30, 2010

It's YOUR Freedom

Meet The Author Tonight!!!

Beyond what most people think about archaeology--with its cleanly numbered dates, and discoveries--lies a vibrant and controversial realm of scientists, thieves, and contested land claims. Now, in Finders Keepers, Childs explores the field's transgressions against the cultures it tries to preserve and pauses to ask: To whom does the past belong? Written in his trademark lyrical style, this riveting book carries readers directly into his adventures and discoveries, lifting the curtain on the ethical dilemmas and dark side of archaeology. It is a book about man and nature, remnants and memory, a dashing tale of crime and detection. In other words, this is a ghost story.

As part of the Rocky Mountain Land Series, Childs will be reading from and discussing his book at our Historic Lodo store tonight at 7:30. (details)

The First Amendment

Definition from Nolo’s Plain-English Law Dictionary

The amendment to the U.S. Constitution that guarantees freedom of religion, freedom of expression (including speech, press, assembly, association, and belief), and freedom to petition the government for a redress of grievances.

For a more detailed description:
First Amendment | LII / Legal Information Institute

TC Tibits: 10 Book Burnings

from the folks at

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Banned Books Week

Dispatch From The Field: Joe's Review of "By Nightfall"

Peter and Rebecca Harris: mid-forties denizens of Manhattan’s SoHo, nearing the apogee of committed careers in the arts—he a dealer, she an editor. With a spacious loft, a college-age daughter in Boston, and lively friends, they are admirable, enviable contemporary urbanites with every reason, it seems, to be happy. Then Rebecca’s much younger look-alike brother, Ethan (known in thefamily as Mizzy, “the mistake”), shows up for a visit. A beautiful, beguiling twenty-three-year-old with a history of drug problems, Mizzy is wayward, at loose ends, looking for direction. And in his presence, Peter finds himself questioning his artists, their work, his career—the entire world he has so carefully constructed.

Like his legendary, Pulitzer Prize–winning novel, The Hours, Michael Cunningham’s masterly new novel is a heartbreaking look at the way we live now. Full of shocks and aftershocks, it makes us think and feel deeply about the uses and meaning of beauty and the place of love in our lives.

Joe writes:
There is something so familiar, so welcoming to me when I read a Michael Cunningham book.
Part of it is his writing style, how he never fails to talk about the surface while talking about the depth. How important beauty is to his characters. How what we want to say and what we say are not the same thing. How our desires change.

By Nightfall is a very good novel. Narrated by Peter Harris, an early-mid forties art dealer, married to Rebecca; Peter believes he has the life he has always wanted. Until Mizzy, Rebecca's younger (by almost 20 years) brother comes to New York for a visit, as he tries once again to reset his life into an acceptable course. What his visit does is to completely set Peter's life adrift.

With insightful prose and a gentle humor, Cunningham's characters live beyond the page. I
had unadulterated access to Peter's world: from watching him at work, at home, to seeing
his thoughts laid out before me. Exactly what a novel should do. This book is a book people should be talking about this fall."

Read an interview with the author here.

A Long Time Bookseller Writes About Freedom to Read

While the idea that all people should be free to read whatever material they want to read is an idea that most of us can agree upon, it is not an idea that is as easily lived up to.

I have been in the business of selling books for over 30 years and I fervently support every individual's right to read, and yet I still come upon material that I wish were not afforded the paper it is written on or the computer bytes used to send it out into the world. It is at those moments when I can feel like some of our customers feel, who say to me with all sincerity, " I do not believe in censorship, but this book is .... (horrible/evil/sexist/violent/too graphic . . . you fill in the word) AND you should not be selling it!" At that moment for them, for deeply felt personal reasons and beliefs, the ideal of "freedom to read" is set aside. An exception must be made!

Here is where the rubber meets the road. Here is where we each must step up and afford every person the right to read something that we personally may find to be vile and worthless, something that we would never choose to read, and something that we might even wish were never published.

Here is where we step up and say that it should and it must be up to each individual to make that decision for him or her self. And that, in order to make that decision, we must support a society that allows a wide diversity of information to be available to its members, an open spectrum of ideas to be discussed, to be written about, to be understood. Once we decide that it's okay to make the decision about what should and should not be available to be read we must understand that others will make those decisions, as well. Others will decide what's good enough for you to read. Others will decide what thoughts are acceptable for you to hear and what thoughts are not.

Sometimes it's not easy to live in a world that believes in this kind of freedom. I can't imagine how hard it would be to live in a world that does not.


TC Tidbits: A Banned Books Quiz from

Take the quiz here.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Treasure Your Freedom To Read

The Therapist Will See You At 7:30 Tonight At Our Highlands Ranch Store

Julie Pech has a degree in psychology and is a certified hypnotherapist. She’s also a nutrition educator with over 350 hours of holistic nutrition training. She owns a chocolate shop that produces healthful chocolates with all-natural ingredients including nuts, berries, spices, and organic flavoring oils. Pech speaks up to twenty times a month to various groups about chocolate and health, teaches classes on pairing chocolates with wines and teas, hosts fund-raisers and charity events, and travels on cruise ships as a guest lecturer speaking about chocolate. Pech will discuss and sign her new book The Chocolate Therapist: A User’s Guide to the Extraordinary Health Benefits of Chocolate ($14.95 Wiley).

Take advantage of the health benefits of chocolate with this informative guide

Dark chocolate sales are on the rise as people embrace the concept that chocolate can truly be good for them. But how do they know "what to eat, how much, and which kinds are the best?"

The Chocolate Therapist answers these questions and more. This book has everything a person needs to know to select the best chocolate for health. Both informative and entertaining, it includes alphabetized ailments, each with a chocolate recommendation, followed by supporting research as to how and why it helps the body.

The Chocolate Therapist also includes a collection of chocolate necessities: Wine & chocolate pairing section with over 40 wines and three chocolate pairings for each wine. Wine aroma and chocolate flavor wheels to help readers discovers new flavors and combinations in both the wines and the chocolates. The Chocolate Bible: A unique compilation of websites, chocolate companies, international brands and research sites. A"Where Do You Hide Your Chocolate" section, a laugh-out-loud chapter for anyone who has ever hidden a piece of chocolate Over 60 alphabetized ailments from Alzheimer's to Weight Loss

The Chocolate Therapist helps readers discover what author Julie Pech has known for years. The only difference between guilt-ridden and guilt-free chocolate enjoyment is simply "education, "and this book has it all.

An Important Ruling In Favor of the First Amendment

On September 20, 2010, the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit held that two Oregon statutes that criminalize distributing sex education and other non-obscene materials to minors are unconstitutional in violation of the First Amendment. The State of Oregon argued that the statutes applied only to “hardcore pornography,” but the Ninth Circuit found that they applied to much more, including The Joy of Sex, Mommy Laid an Egg, or Where Do Babies Come From,” Robie Harris’ It’s Perfectly Normal, Kentaro Miura’s manga Berserk, Judy Blume’s Forever, and Margaret Atwood’s A Handmaid’s Tale. The plaintiffs did not challenge Oregon’s existing law making it a crime to contact a minor with the intent of having sexual contact.

“This is an important victory permitting readers − both younger and older − to obtain what they are constitutionally entitled to read,” said Michael Powell of plaintiff Powell’s Books. “It is also a victory for booksellers who do not want to ask 13-year-olds for identification or risk going to jail for selling a Judy Blume book.”

“The court did the right thing by rejecting the State’s promise that it wouldn’t prosecute the plaintiffs under these statutes,” said P.K. Runkles-Pearson, counsel for plaintiffs. “This decision allows educators to provide straightforward health information to minors without worrying that the State will prosecute if it disagrees with them.”

The decision was issued in a lawsuit brought by Powell’s Books, Inc.; Annie Bloom’s Books; Dark Horse Comics, Inc.; Colette’s Good Food + Hungry Minds, LLC; Pauline Springs Books; St. John’s Booksellers, LLC; American Booksellers Foundation for Free Expression; Association of American Publishers, Inc.; Freedom to Read Foundation, Inc.; Comic Book Legal Defense Fund, Candace Morgan, Planned Parenthood of the Columbia/Willamette, Inc.; Cascade AIDS Project and the ACLU of Oregon.

Plaintiffs were represented by Michael A. Bamberger of Sonnenschein Nath & Rosenthal LLP, New York, general counsel to Media Coalition, and P.K. Runkles-Pearson of Stoel Rives LLP, Portland, Oregon, a cooperating attorney for the ACLU of Oregon.

(from a press release sent by

TC Tidbits: What the F@#*? How Publishers Have Handled A Certain Four Letter Word

Read the New Yorker article and see the book covers here.

Monday, September 27, 2010

Be a Reading Revolutionary!

Off The Grid But On Our Shelves

Inside the subculture of off-grid living

Written by a leading authority on living off the grid, this is a fascinating and timely look at one of the fastest growing movements in America. In researching the stories that would become Off the Grid, Nick Rosen traveled from one end of the United States to the other, spending time with all kinds of individuals and families striving to live their lives the way they want to-free from dependence on municipal power and amenities, and free from the inherent dependence on the government and its far-reaching arms. While the people profiled may not have a lot in common in terms of their daily lives or their personal background, what they do share is an understanding of how unique their lives are, and how much effort and determination is required to maintain the lifestyle in the face of modern America's push toward connectivity and development.

Censorship Sensativity Is An International Thing: A Bum Banning in Canada

"Annabel Lyon’s debut novel, The Golden Mean , is a fictionalized account of Aristotle’s teaching relationship with Alexander the Great. Since the book was published in Canada in the fall of 2009, it has been treated as a work of some literary merit. It won the 2009 Writers' Trust first prize, and was a finalist for both the Scotiabank Giller Prize and the Governor General’s Award. In Canada, that’s pretty much the literary trifecta: the best there is." (from

So, when BC Ferries, a major transportation company in Canada, banned the book from its gift shops because of it's "graphic cover" (a distant shot of a man's bare buttocks), and admitted to banning other books for similar reasons, it attracted international condemnation for the company. Especially after they admitted to selling several popular magazines that show people in various stages of undress on their covers.

The book recently came out in the United States--with a different cover. But not because of what happened in Canada--it is common practice to have different covers for different editions and countries.

The Golden Mean (US Edition)
A startlingly original first novel by “this generation’s answer to Alice Munro” (The Vancouver Sun)—a bold reimagining of one of history’s most intriguing relationships: between legendary philosopher Aristotle and his most famous pupil, the young Alexander the Great.

342 BC: Aristotle is reluctant to set aside his own ambitions in order to tutor Alexander, the rebellious son of his boyhood friend Philip of Macedon. But the philosopher soon comes to realize that teaching this charming, surprising, sometimes horrifying teenager—heir to the Macedonian throne, forced onto the battlefield before his time—is a necessity amid the ever more sinister intrigues of Philip’s court.

Told in the brilliantly rendered voice of Aristotle—keenly intelligent, often darkly funny—The Golden Mean brings ancient Greece to vivid life via the story of this remarkable friendship between two towering figures, innovator and conqueror, whose views of the world still resonate today.

TC Tidbit: New Words in the Oxford American Dictionary

Read the article from Oxford University Press.

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Banned Books Week

Award Winning Book by Sherman Alexie Banned in Missouri

Sherman Alexie tells the story of Junior, a budding cartoonist growing up on the Spokane Indian Reservation. Determined to take his future into his own hands, Junior leaves his troubled school on the rez to attend an all-white farm town high school where the only other Indian is the school mascot. Heartbreaking, funny, and beautifully written, The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian, which is based on the author's own experiences, coupled with poignant drawings that reflect the character's art, chronicles the contemporary adolescence of one Native American boy as he attempts to break away from the life he thought he was destined to live.

The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian, Alexie's YA debut, released in hardcover to instant success, recieving seven starred reviews, hitting numerous bestseller lists, and winning the 2007 National Book Award for Young People's Literature.

Read the article about the banning here.

Banned Books Week: The Ten Most Frequently Challenged Books in 2009

A challenge is defined as a formal, written complaint, filed with a library or school requesting that materials be removed because of content or appropriateness. The number of challenges reflects only incidents reported. We estimate that for every reported challenge, four or five remain unreported. Therefore, we do not claim comprehensiveness in recording challenges.

Out of 460 challenges as reported to the Office for Intellectual Freedom :

1.TTYL; TTFN; L8R, G8R (series), by Lauren Myracle
Reasons: Nudity, Sexually Explicit, Offensive Language, Unsuited to Age Group, Drugs

2.And Tango Makes Three by Peter Parnell and Justin Richardson
Reasons: Homosexuality

3.The Perks of Being A Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky
Reasons: Homosexuality, Sexually Explicit, Anti-Family, Offensive Language, Religious Viewpoint, Unsuited to Age Group, Drugs, Suicide

4.To Kill A Mockingbird by Harper Lee
Reasons: Racism, Offensive Language, Unsuited to Age Group

5.Twilight (series) by Stephenie Meyer
Reasons: Sexually Explicit, Religious Viewpoint, Unsuited to Age Group

6.Catcher in the Rye by J.D. Salinger
Reasons: Sexually Explicit, Offensive Language, Unsuited to Age Group

7.My Sister’s Keeper by Jodi Picoult
Reasons: Sexism, Homosexuality, Sexually Explicit, Offensive Language, Religious Viewpoint, Unsuited to Age Group, Drugs, Suicide, Violence

8.The Earth, My Butt, and Other Big, Round Things by Carolyn Mackler
Reasons: Sexually Explicit, Offensive Language, Unsuited to Age Group

9.The Color Purple by Alice Walker
Reasons: Sexually Explicit, Offensive Language, Unsuited to Age Group

10.The Chocolate War by Robert Cormier
Reasons: Nudity, Sexually Explicit, Offensive Language, Unsuited to Age Group

TC Tidbits: What's YOUR Position?

Read the Guardian article on reading in bed here, be sure to check out the comments too, they add to the fun.

Saturday, September 25, 2010

Raw, Honest and True

Strauss shares the true story of how one high school outing in his father's Oldsmobile resulted in the tragic death of a young girl, and the beginning of a different, darker life for the author. He delves deep into the meaning and consequences of that fateful, or possibly fateless, day.

Jackie says:
When Darin Strauss was 18 years old, he was in an car accident that resulted in the death
of a bicyclist. Darin was the driver, and the victim was one of his high school classmates. This was one month before graduation.

This is a book about survivors' guilt that has haunted him for, literally, half of his life. Though he was cleared of wrong doing, he's always felt guilty, always carried the responsibility for someone else's death with him. Her ghost has haunted him in very real ways--everything he has achieved came with the sidecar thought that 'and she didn't get to do this, have this, see this, be this.'

This is a brutally honest and unflinching book that Strauss originally wrote for himself
('because I deal with things by writing about them'), and then a friend talked him into
submitting a version to NPR's "This American Life". The response to that piece was
overwhelming. I like a line from Kelly Corrigan's review of the book the best: 'This might be the bravest book you will ever read.' I couldn't agree more."

Celebrate the Freedom to Read

2010 Banned Books Week Has Begun

“Think for Yourself and Let Others Do the Same” is the slogan for this year’s campaign. The poster above is available for purchase through the ALA Store online, along with other Banned Books Week merchandise such as t-shirts, buttons, and bookmarks.

This year’s slogan is borrowed from the Facebook group, “Un-Ban Gilbert Grape! Censorship is Wrong!” According to Andy Lange, one of the group’s leaders, the slogan is a shortened version of Voltaire’s quote, “Think for yourself and let others enjoy the privilege of doing so too.” Lange, along with other students from Carroll High School in Carroll, Iowa, created the Facebook group to show support for the Peter Hedges book, What’s Eating Gilbert Grape, which was removed from the school’s curriculum in 2006 by the superintendent when a parent complained about sexual content. The group collected signatures calling for a formal review of the book in hopes of returning the book to the curriculum. Their efforts proved successful! The Carroll school board later voted to overturn the superintendent’s decision to ban the book from the high school’s literature-to-film class.

This incident is just one example of how students (along with librarians, teachers, booksellers, and other members of the community) fight to retain books in schools and library collections. Imagine how many more books might be challenged—and possibly banned or restricted—if it were not for people who are dedicated to protecting our First Amendment right to read.

Banned Books Week highlights the importance of our First Amendment rights, and draws attention to the danger that exists when restraints are imposed on the availability of information in a free society.

We hope you will join us in celebrating Banned Books Week in your local library and community. For more information about Banned Books Week, please visit

(information provided by the ALA's Office of Intellectual Freedom)

TC Tidbits: A Garden of Books, Literally

Read about Jardin de la Connaissance.

Friday, September 24, 2010

Tomorrow is National Curiosity Day--Come Celebrate with Curious George

Saturday, September 25 at 3pm
at Tattered Cover Highlands Ranch

Curious George, everyone’s favorite monkey, is turning 70 this year, and we’re joining bookstores and libraries around the country to celebrate. Our young guests are invited to meet Curious George himself, and parents are encouraged to bring cameras so kids can get their pictures taken with him. We’ll have games and stories, and lots of curious fun!

Tanith Lee's Latest Channeled Work

Disturbed By Her Song
Disturbed By Her Song collects the work of Esther Garber and her half-brother Judas Garbah, the mysterious family of writers that Tanith Lee has been channeling for the past few years. Possibly autobiographical, frequently erotic and darkly surreal, their fiction takes place in a variety of eras and places, from Egypt in the 1940s, to England in the grip of the Pre-Raphaelites, to gaslit Paris and to the shadowy landscapes carved by the mind and memory. The themes of youth and age stream through these tales of homosexual love and desire. These stories recall, at times, the work of Lawrence Durrell, Colette, and Angela Carter.

From the interview with Lee:

"The prolific author Tanith Lee—almost 300 short stories, over 90 novels—is something of a legend in genre fiction. Her vast output includes science fiction, fantasy, horror, young adult, historical and mystery. She has won major awards, including the World Fantasy Award (twice) and her fiction has been widely anthologized. She is known for her lyrical style and strange plots.

She has just published one of the strangest books yet. Disturbed By Her Song (Lethe Press) collects the magical realist, quasi-historical short fiction of half-siblings Esther and Judas Garber—a lesbian and a gay man—that the heterosexual Lee channeled. Lee has featured gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender characters throughout all of her fiction—particularly in her now reissued classic fantasy Flat Earth series, which was partially influenced by Oscar Wilde’s fairy tales." (read the interview here)

TC Tidbits: E Books Aren't the First Bits of Technology to Upset the Publishing World

It goes back MUCH further than that. Read about it here.

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Come Meet Rita Mae Brown and Learn About Her New Series!

Explosive sabotage and the startling unearthing of a hundred-year-old skeleton on a Nevada ranch thrillingly start off this debut novel in a tail-wagging new series from New York Timesbestselling author Rita Mae Brown.

With the ruins of her high-powered Wall Street job now far in the rearview mirror of her rented silver Camaro, thirty-two-year-old Mags Rogers arrives at her great-aunt Jeep’s sprawling Wings Ranch to reassemble her life. In the passenger seat, with his suspicious nose to a cracked window, is Mags’s beloved wirehaired dachshund, the urbane Baxter.

Mags was named for her great-aunt, Magdalena—though everyone calls the spry octogenarian rancher Jeep. From piloting planes in World War II to discovering one of America’s largest gold deposits, Jeep has enjoyed a lifetime jam-packed with love and adventure, and she’s not done yet. At her side—to Baxter’s low-down distress—is Jeep’s loyal German Shepherd mix, King. The growlings are mutual: King sniffs that Baxter is a “fuzzy sausage.”
Meanwhile, someone pipe-bombs Red Rock Valley’s pumping station, endangering the water supply near and far. Deputy Pete Meadows links the sabotage to a string of local murders, but he doesn’t yet know if it’s a corporate plot or twisted eco-terrorism. He’s also called out to Wings Ranch when human bones are dug up in Jeep’s barn; the dead man’s ring identifies him as an elite Russian military officer from the late 1800s, apparently knifed to death. In her search to find out whodunit, Mags uncovers fascinating history about Jeep’s ranch, including an intriguing connection to Buffalo Bill.

Mags and Pete have mysteries to solve, among them why they are so drawn to each other. Baxter and King team up when it comes time to protect their humans. And all the while, Jeep Reed, the sassiest wit in the West, has a bold plan for Red Rock Valley in which they all will play a part.

TONIGHT at 7:30 at our Colfax Avenue store:

Rita Mae Brown is the New York Times bestselling author of the Mrs. Murphy mystery series (which she writes with her tiger cat, Sneaky Pie) and the Sister Jane novels, as well as Rubyfruit Jungle, In Her Day, Six of One, The Sand Castle, and the memoirs Animal Magnetism and Rita Will. Brown will read from and sign A Nose for Justice ($25.00 Random House), the first in a tail-wagging new series starring Baxter, an urbane wirehaired dachshund. Explosive sabotage and the startling unearthing of a hundred-year-old skeleton on a Nevada ranch offer a thrilling start to this new mystery.

A Trio of Paranormal Reviews from Teen Guest Blogger Molly

Three years ago, Sophie Mercer discovered that she was a witch. It’s gotten her into a few scrapes. Her non-gifted mother has been as supportive as possible, consulting Sophie’s estranged father—an elusive European warlock—only when necessary. But when Sophie attracts too much human attention for a prom-night spell gone horribly wrong, it’s her dad who decides her punishment: exile to Hex Hall, an isolated reform school for wayward Prodigium, a.k.a. witches, faeries, and shapeshifters.

By the end of her first day among fellow freak-teens, Sophie has quite a scorecard: three powerful enemies who look like supermodels, a futile crush on a gorgeous warlock, a creepy tagalong ghost, and a new roommate who happens to be the most hated person and only vampire on campus. Worse, Sophie soon learns that a mysterious predator has been attacking students, and her only friend is the number-one suspect.

As a series of blood-curdling mysteries starts to converge, Sophie prepares for the biggest threat of all: an ancient secret society determined to destroy all Prodigium, especially her.

Molly says:

"Hex Hall pulled me in right from the start. Hawkins blended humor, mystery, and real emotions into her book, making it entirely enjoyable. The story told has twists and turns at every corner, and my attention stayed on Sophie, the main character, and her adventures. Sophie uncovered much of her past, and some of the secrets that those around her held. Mysteries swept through Hex Hall and had me thinking about it for a long time, even after I finished."

Calla Tor has always known her destiny: After graduating from the Mountain School, she'll be the mate of sexy alpha wolf Ren Laroche and fight with him, side by side, ruling their pack and guarding sacred sites for the Keepers. But when she violates her masters' laws by saving a beautiful human boy out for a hike, Calla begins to question her fate, her existence, and the very essence of the world she has known. By following her heart, she might lose everything-- including her own life. Is forbidden love worth the ultimate sacrifice?

Molly says, :
"Nightshade was a thrill to read! It was compelling, romantic, desirable, and all together amazing. Once I picked the book up I couldn't put it down, and when ever I had to, I rushed back to the ever twisting puzzle that the story was. Cremer's book is almost addicting, and a great read. I was blown away by the way this book was written, and by the way the story line was put together. I hope this story continues, and I will be itching to read the sequel."

Evie’s always thought of herself as a normal teenager, even though she works for the International Paranormal Containment Agency, her ex-boyfriend is a faerie, she’s falling for a shape-shifter, and she’s the only person who can see through paranormals’ glamours.

But Evie’s about to realize that she may very well be at the center of a dark faerie prophecy promising destruction to all paranormal creatures.

So much for normal.

Molly says:
"This book was truly a thrill. I loved the way White wrote the book, to be the perfect perspective of a teenage girl, and how she blended real life with her own imagination to create this masterpiece . Brilliant new ideas popped up throughout the pages of this novel, all of which were wonderful in their own ways. Paranormalcy is a great book, and a wonderful read. "

TC Tidbit: Rappers and Their 20th Century Literary Counterparts

See who is matched up with who here.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Only One Week Until Mark Bittman Takes The Podum at Tattered

From the award-winning champion of conscious eating and author of the bestselling Food Matters comes The Food Matters Cookbook, offering the most comprehensive and straightforward ideas yet for cooking easy, delicious foods that are as good for you as they are for the planet. The Food Matters Cookbook is the essential encyclopedia and guidebook to responsible eating, with more than 500 recipes that capture Bittman’s typically relaxed approach to everything in the kitchen. There is no finger-wagging here, just a no-nonsense and highly flexible case for eating more plants while cutting back on animal products, processed food, and of course junk. But for Bittman, flipping the ratio of your diet to something more virtuous and better for your body doesn’t involve avoiding any foods—indeed, there is no sacrifice here. Since his own health prompted him to change his diet, Bittman has perfected cooking tasty, creative, and forward-thinking dishes based on vegetables, fruits, and whole grains. Meat and other animal products are often included—but no longer as the centerpiece. In fact the majority of these recipes include fish, poultry, meat, eggs, or dairy, using them for their flavor, texture, and satisfying nature without depending on them for bulk. Roasted Pork Shoulder with Potatoes, Apples, and Onions and Linguine with Cherry Tomatoes and Clams are perfect examples. Many sound downright decadent: Pasta with Asparagus, Bacon, and Egg; Stuffed Pizza with Broccoli, White Beans, and Sausage; or Roasted Butternut Chowder with Apples and Bacon, for example.

There are vegetarian recipes, too, and they have flair without being complicated—recipes like Beet Tartare, Lentil "Caviar" with All the Trimmings, Radish-Walnut Tea Sandwiches, and Succotash Salad. Bittman is a firm believer in snacking, but in the right way. Instead of packaged cookies or greasy chips, Bittman suggests Seasoned Popcorn with Grated Parmesan or Fruit and Cereal Bites. Nor does he skimp on desserts; rather, he focuses on fruit, good-quality chocolate, nuts, and whole-grain flours, using minimal amounts of eggs, butter, and other fats. That allows for a whole chapter devoted to sweets, including Chocolate Chunk Oatmeal Cookies, Apricot Polenta Cake, Brownie Cake, and Coconut Tart with Chocolate Smear.

True to the fuss-free style that has made him famous, Bittman offers plenty of variations and substitutions that let you take advantage of foods that are in season—or those that just happen to be in the fridge. A quick-but-complete rundown on ingredients tells you how to find sustainable and flavorful meat and shop for dairy products, grains, and vegetables without wasting money on fancy organic labels. He indicates which recipes you can make ahead, those that are sure to become pantry staples, and which ones can be put together in a flash. And because Bittman is always comprehensive, he makes sure to include the building-block recipes for the basics of home cooking: from fast stocks, roasted garlic, pizza dough, and granola to pots of cooked rice and beans and whole-grain quick breads.

With a tone that is easygoing and non-doctrinaire, Bittman demonstrates the satisfaction and pleasure in mindful eating. The result is not just better health for you, but for the world we all share.

Wednesday, Sept 29, at 7:30 pm at our Historic Lodo Store:
Journalist, food critic and bestselling author Mark Bittman’s books include How to Cook Everything, and his recent book Food Matters, a look at the links among eating too much meat, obesity, global warming, and other nasty features of modern life. Bittman will discuss and sign his new book The Food Matters Cookbook: 500 Recipes for Conscious Eating ($35.00 Simon & Schuster). Free numbered tickets for a place in the booksigning line will be available at 6:30 pm. Seating for the presentation prior to the booksigning is limited, and available on a first-come, first-served basis to ticketed customers only.

Request a signed copy:

Great New Essay and Short Story Collections


A brilliant new contribution to Kundera's ongoing reflections on art and artists, written with unparalleled insight, authority, and range of reference and allusion

Milan Kundera's new collection of essays is a passionate defense of art in an era that, he argues, no longer values art or beauty. With the same dazzling mix of emotion and idea that characterizes his novels, Kundera revisits the artists who remain important to him and whose works help us better understand the world we live in and what it means to be human. An astute reader of fiction, Kundera brings his extraordinary critical gifts to bear on the paintings of Francis Bacon, the music of Leos Janacek, and the films of Federico Fellini, as well as the novels of Philip Roth, Fyodor Dostoyevsky, and Gabriel GarcÍa MÁrquez, among others. He also takes up the challenge of restoring to its rightful place the work of Anatole France and Curzio Malaparte, major writers who have fallen into obscurity.

Milan Kundera's signature themes of memory and forgetting, the experience of exile, and the championing of modernist art are here, along with more personal reflections and stories. Encounter is a work of great humanism. Art is what we possess in the face of evil and the darker side of human nature. Elegant, startlingly original, and provocative, Encounter follows in the footsteps of Kundera's earlier essay collections, The Art of the Novel, Testaments Betrayed, and The Curtain.

Here Comes Another Lesson

Stephen O’Connor is one of today's most gifted and original writers. In Here Comes Another Lesson, O’Connor, whose stories have appeared in The New Yorker, Conjunctions, and many other places, fearlessly depicts a world that no longer quite makes sense. Ranging from the wildly inventive to the vividly realistic, these brilliant stories offer tender portraits of idealists who cannot live according to their own ideals and of lovers baffled by the realities of love.

The story lines are unforgettable: A son is followed home from work by his dead father. God instructs a professor of atheism to disseminate updated Commandments. The Minotaur is awakened to his own humanity by the computer-game-playing "new girl" who has been brought to him for supper. A recently returned veteran longs for the utterly ordinary life he led as a husband and father before being sent to Iraq. An ornithologist, forewarned by a cormorant of the exact minute of his death, struggles to remain alert to beauty and joy.

As playful as it is lyrical, Here Comes Another Lesson celebrates human hopefulness and laments a sane and gentle world that cannot exist.

Before You Suffocate Your Own Fool Self

Introducing a new star of her generation, an electric debut story collection about young African-American and mixed-race teens, women, and men struggling to find a place in their families and communities.

When Danielle Evans's short story "Virgins" was published in The Paris Review in late 2007, it announced the arrival of a bold new voice. Written when she was only twenty-three, Evans's story of two black, blue-collar fifteen-year-old girls' flirtation with adulthood for one night was startling in its pitch-perfect examination of race, class, and the shifting terrain of adolescence.

Now this debut collection delivers on the promise of that early story. In "Harvest," a college student's unplanned pregnancy forces her to confront her own feelings of inadequacy in comparison to her white classmates. In "Jellyfish," a father's misguided attempt to rescue a gift for his grown daughter from an apartment collapse magnifies all he doesn't know about her. And in "Snakes," the mixed-race daughter of intellectuals recounts the disastrous summer she spent with her white grandmother and cousin, a summer that has unforeseen repercussions in the present.

Striking in their emotional immediacy, the stories in Before You Suffocate Your Own Fool Self are based in a world where inequality is reality but where the insecurities of adolescence and young adulthood, and the tensions within family and the community, are sometimes the biggest complicating forces in one's sense of identity and the choices one makes.

Dancing with Mr. Darcy

An anthology of the winning entries for the Jane Austen Short Story Award

Two hundred years ago, Jane Austen— traumatized by her parents’ decision to give up the rectory in Hampshire where she grew up, and unable to write for a decade—accepted her brother Edward’s offer of a permanent home in his Chawton House estate. It was there that she picked up her pen once again . . . and gave the world some of the most beloved and enduring novels ever written.

The Jane Austen Short Story Competition celebrates the immortal author and her works, and the blessed home that afforded her the peace and security to create them. Judged and chosen by Sarah Waters, bestselling author of Tipping the Velvet and Fingersmith, Dancing with Mr. Darcy includes the winning selection and nineteen runners-up, as well as introductions from Waters and Rebecca Smith, the great-great-great-great-great niece of Jane Austen.

Comfort to the Enemy

The "Hot Kid" of the U.S. Marshals Service, Carl Webster maintains the law with a cool, showdown attitude. He's one of the richest creations in Elmore Leonard's half century of delivering the goods. From his appearances in the critically acclaimed novels The Hot Kid and Up in Honey's Room, Carl returns to lay down the law in a novella that originally appeared as a serial in the New York Times Sunday Magazine.

The title novella—plus two Carl Webster short stories—traces Carl's career from his run-in with 1930's gangsters to his investigation of a murder at a German POW camp in Oklahoma. This time it's Carl against war-seasoned Afrika Korps Nazis. With its pitch-perfect dialogue, compelling characters, and classic charm, Comfort to the Enemy is vintage Leonard.

Dracula's Guest

Before Twilight and True Blood, even before Buffy and Anne Rice and Bela Lugosi, vampires haunted the nineteenth century, when brilliant writers everywhere indulged their bloodthirsty imaginations, culminating in Bram Stoker's legendary 1897 novel, Dracula.

Michael Sims brings together the very best vampire stories of the Victorian era—from England, America, France, Germany, Transylvania, and even Japan—into a unique collection that highlights their cultural variety. Beginning with the supposedly true accounts that captivated Byron and Shelley, the stories range from Edgar Allan Poe's "The Oval Portrait" and Sheridan Le Fanu's "Carmilla" to Guy de Maupassant's "The Horla" and Mary Elizabeth Braddon's "Good Lady Ducayne." Sims also includes a nineteenth-century travel tour of Transylvanian superstitions, and rounds out the collection with Stoker's own "Dracula's Guest"—a chapter omitted from his landmark novel.

Vampires captivated the Victorians, as Sims reveals in his insightful introduction: In 1867, Karl Marx described capitalism as "dead labor, which, vampire-like, lives only by sucking living labor"; while in 1888 a London newspaper invoked vampires in trying to explain Jack the Ripper's predations. At a time when vampires have been re-created in a modern context, Dracula's Guest will remind readers young, old, and in between of why the undead won't let go of our imagination.

TC Tidbit: The Angst of a Book Recommendation--For One Man At Least

16 years of agony over Milan Kundera, explained here by Guardian blogger Darragh McManus.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Don't Put Off Checking Out This Book

Expressly designed for people who want to make changes but would be easily daunted by an elaborate self-help program, this concise, motivating guide is packed with highly practical tips and suggestions to help get things done in a timely manner.

Diana Gabaldon's First Graphic Novel Hits The Shelves Today

Diana Gabaldon’s brilliant storytelling has captivated millions of readers in her bestselling and award-winning Outlander saga. Now, in her first-ever graphic novel, Gabaldon gives readers a fresh look at the events of the original Outlander: Jamie Fraser’s side of the story, gorgeously rendered by artist Hoang Nguyen.

After too long an absence, Jamie Fraser is coming home to Scotland—but not without great trepidation. Though his beloved godfather, Murtagh, promised Jamie’s late parents he’d watch over their brash son, making good on that vow will be no easy task. There’s already a fat bounty on the young exile’s head, courtesy of Captain Black Jack Randall, the sadistic British officer who’s crossed paths—and swords—with Jamie in the past. And in the court of the mighty MacKenzie clan, Jamie is a pawn in the power struggle between his uncles: aging chieftain Colum, who demands his nephew’s loyalty—or his life—and Dougal, war chieftain of Clan MacKenzie, who’d sooner see Jamie put to the sword than anointed Colum’s heir.

And then there is Claire Randall—mysterious, beautiful, and strong-willed, who appears in Jamie’s life to stir his compassion . . . and arouse his desire.

But even as Jamie’s heart draws him to Claire, Murtagh is certain she’s been sent by the Old Ones, and Captain Randall accuses her of being a spy. Claire clearly has something to hide, though Jamie can’t believe she could pose him any danger. Still, he knows she is torn between two choices—a life with him, and whatever it is that draws her thoughts so often elsewhere.

Step into the captivating, passionate, and suspenseful world of The Exile, and experience the storytelling magic of Diana Gabaldon as never before.

Meet the author tomorrow, Sept 22 at 7:30 at our Highlands Ranch store.
Diana Gabaldon’s brilliant storytelling has captivated millions of readers in her bestselling and award-winning Outlander saga. Gabaldon will discuss and sign her first-ever graphic novel, The Exile ($25.00 Random House), which gives readers a fresh look at the events of the original Outlander: Jamie Fraser’s side of the story, gorgeously rendered by artist Hoang Nguyen. Free numbered tickets for a place in line for the booksigning will be available on Tuesday, September 21, at 9:00 am, with the purchase of The Exile, at any Tattered Cover Book Store location. Seating for the presentation prior to the booksigning is limited, and available on a first-come, first-served basis to ticketed customers only. We will begin seating ticketed customers at 6:30 pm.

Lynn Loves This Book!

From one of Israel’s most acclaimed writers comes a novel of extraordinary power about family life—the greatest human drama—and the cost of war.

Ora, a middle-aged Israeli mother, is on the verge of celebrating her son Ofer’s release from army service when he returns to the front for a major offensive. In a fit of preemptive grief and magical thinking, she sets out for a hike in the Galilee, leaving no forwarding information for the “notifiers” who might darken her door with the worst possible news. Recently estranged from her husband, Ilan, she drags along an unlikely companion: their former best friend and her former lover Avram, once a brilliant artistic spirit. Avram served in the army alongside Ilan when they were young, but their lives were forever changed one weekend when the two jokingly had Ora draw lots to see which of them would get the few days’ leave being offered by their commander—a chance act that sent Avram into Egpyt and the Yom Kippur War, where he was brutally tortured as POW. In the aftermath, a virtual hermit, he refused to keep in touch with the family and has never met the boy. Now, as Ora and Avram sleep out in the hills, ford rivers, and cross valleys, avoiding all news from the front, she gives him the gift of Ofer, word by word; she supplies the whole story of her motherhood, a retelling that keeps Ofer very much alive for Ora and for the reader, and opens Avram to human bonds undreamed of in his broken world. Their walk has a “war and peace” rhythm, as their conversation places the most hideous trials of war next to the joys and anguish of raising children. Never have we seen so clearly the reality and surreality of daily life in Israel, the currents of ambivalence about war within one household, and the burdens that fall on each generation anew.

Grossman’s rich imagining of a family in love and crisis makes for one of the great antiwar novels of our time.

Lynn says:

"In his nonfiction book, Writing in the Dark, Israeli author David Grossman says that 'if you give yourself away to your characters you inevitably write a political document, a social document. We are products of our era'. I just finished Grossman's To the End of the Land and was struck over and over by the truth in those words as I was swept along on a journey that confronted over and over the everyday realities lived in the Occupied Territories by Israeli and Palestinian alike... struck also by added dimensions to concepts like parenting, friendship, love... cruelty... kindness. The main character, Ora's both intuitive and conscious refusal to succumb to the dehumanizing normalcy of taking it all lying down, can't help but enlist the reader to join in on her personal walkabout to sort out the maddening structures of war impacting community, world and family. I can't begin to describe the gratitude I felt reading this book... for its respect and care for the delicate, muscular human soul with its awesome potential to find and create beauty... healing... peace in this world."

TC Tidbits: "What the court decided has raised questions about the very nature of non-fiction writing itself."

Find out what that is all about here.

Monday, September 20, 2010

Earth Has Landed!!!!!

The eagerly awaited new book from the Emmy-winning, Oscar-hosting, Daily Show-anchoring Jon Stewart--the man behind the megaseller America (The Book). Where do we come from? Who created us? Why are we here? These questions have puzzled us since the dawn of time, but when it became apparent to Jon Stewart and the writers of The Daily Show that the world was about to end, they embarked on a massive mission to write a book that summed up the human race: What we looked like; what we accomplished; our achievements in society, government, religion, science and culture -- all in a tome of approximately 256 pages with lots of color photos, graphs and charts.

After two weeks of hard work, they had their book. EARTH (The Book) is the definitive guide to our species. With their trademark wit, irreverence, and intelligence, Stewart and his team will posthumously answer all of life's most hard-hitting questions, completely unburdened by objectivity, journalistic integrity, or even accuracy.

Plus check out all the goodies has rounded up about this book.

Meet the Author Tonight!!!!

From national bestselling author Carol Cassella comes the story of one doctor’s struggle to hold her family together through a storm of broken trust and questioned ethics.

Claire is at the start of her medical career when she falls in love with Addison Boehning, a biochemist with blazing genius and big dreams. A complicated pregnancy deflects Claire’s professional path, and she is forced to drop out of her residency. Soon thereafter Addison invents a simple blood test for ovarian cancer, and his biotech start-up lands a fortune. Overnight the Boehnings are catapulted into a financial and social tier they had never anticipated or sought: they move into a gracious Seattle home and buy an old ranch in the high desert mountains of eastern Washington, and Claire drifts away from medicine to become a full-time wife and mother. Then Addison gambles everything on a cutting-edge cancer drug, and when the studies go awry, their comfortable life is swept away. Claire and her daughter, Jory, move to a dilapidated ranch house in rural Hallum, where Claire has to find a job until Addison can salvage his discredited lab. Her only offer for employment comes from a struggling public health clinic, but Claire gets more than a second chance at medicine when she meets Miguela, a bright Nicaraguan immigrant and orphan of the contra war who has come to the United States on a secret quest to find the family she has lost. As their friendship develops, a new mystery unfolds that threatens to destroy Claire’s family and forces her to question what it truly means to heal.

Healer exposes the vulnerabilities of the American family, provoking questions of choice versus fate, desire versus need, and the duplicitous power of money.

Tonight, at our Historic Lodo store at 7:30 pm, Carol Cassella, the author of the bestselling novel Oxygen, will read from and sign her new novel Healer ($25.00 Simon & Schuster), the story of one doctor’s struggle to hold her family together through a storm of broken trust and questioned ethics. “Healer contains absolutely everything I love in a book—a strong, sympathetic female character, suspense that keeps you turning pages, and a deep and nuanced understanding of love. Cassella’s book is brilliant on all fronts. It is one of the most gripping and ingeniously crafted novels I have read this year.” —Elin Hilderbrand, New York Times bestselling author of The Castaways.

New to Our Cookbook Shelves

The Kosher Baker
Producing flavorful and appealing kosher desserts has been a challenge in Jewish households throughout the ages. Without access to butter, cream, milk, cheese, yogurt, or other dairy products, creating a tasty and memorable dessert for family and friends requires more than simple substitutions and compromises. Now pastry chef and teacher Paula Shoyer provides the inspiration and innovation to turn the age-old challenges of parve baking into delectable delights in her one-of-a-kind kosher cookbook.

The Kosher Baker is your indispensable kitchen companion to a wide range of dairy-free desserts, from family favorites and time-honored holiday classics to stylish and delicious surprises of Shoyer's own careful creation. It even includes desserts not usually found on a kosher table, such as creamy key lime pie, luscious flan, and rich tiramisu. You'll find everything from cookies, biscotti, breads and muffins to pastries, tarts, fancy cakes, and mousses. Shoyer guides you through more than 160 mouth-watering recipes and expands every non-dairy baker's repertoire with simple, clear instructions and a friendly yet authoritative voice.

The Kosher Baker is organized as a tutorial into three primary sections--Quick and Elegant Desserts, Two Step Desserts, and Multiple Step Desserts--allowing the busy home baker to choose a dessert based on both taste and time constraints. The first section presents the fundamentals of simple kosher baking in the form of everyday treats like Amaretto Cookies, Orange Tea Cake, and Apple Pastry. The next two sections teach increasingly more challenging desserts, from a Challah Beer Bread Pudding with Caramel Sauce to Chocolate Babka. A special fourth section includes chapters on baking Challah, Passover desserts, and no-sugar-added desserts.

The Kosher Baker has something for everyone in the Jewish household for any occasion or holiday. It spills over with detailed information, including tips on storage, freezing, and thawing; tools; must-have ingredients; and tips and techniques. Anyone baking for those with special dietary needs such as food allergies or diabetic concerns will also find recipes to love in this comprehensive collection. It even includes recipes for nut- and gluten-free desserts, and vegan desserts.

Urban Pantry
Urban Pantry is a smart, concise guide to creating a full and delicious larder in your own home. It covers kitchen essentials, like what basics to keep on hand for quick, tasty meals without a trip to the store, and features recipes that adapt old-fashioned pantry cooking for a modern audience. Avid chef and gardener Amy Pennington demystifies canning and pickling for the urban kitchen and provides tips for growing a practical food garden in even the smallest of spaces. Her more than sixty creative recipes blend both gourmet and classic flavors while keeping economy in mind.

Urban Pantry holds sustainability at its center: Take advantage of local ingredients, eliminate wasteful kitchen practices, and make the most out of the food you buy or grow.

**Special note: Actress Gwyneth Paltrow recommended this book on her blog, GOOP, and gave this a big boost on to the best seller charts!**

MasterChef Cookbook
In the nationwide search for America’s best amateur chef, thousands of home cooks from across the country created their signature dish for an awe-inspiring panel of judges. Doctors, businessmen, students, construction workers, and stay-at-home moms alike put their heart on the plate for a chance to become the country’s first-ever Master Chef.

From the Mississippi Delta to the Midwest, exotic ethnic dishes to all-American staples, these talented home cooks showed the judges—and the world—what this country is really cooking. Now you can cook with the contestants and judges in your very own kitchen with the MasterChef Cookbook. Learn how to master the basic skills that define any chef; discover an exciting array of ingredients that will inspire new creations; and find out what the judges would have cooked if they were given the same challenges faced by the contestants.

From Cinnamon-Orange French Toast to Vietnamese Chicken and Rice; Southern-Fried Pork Chop to New England–Style Bouillabaisse; Bittersweet Chocolate Soufflé to Flaky Apple Pie, the MasterChef Cookbook offers more than 80 savory, sweet, and scrumptious recipes that prove some of the nation’s most delicious food comes from its most humble kitchens.

TC Tidbit: The Movie Spawn of "Neuromancer"

Read the article here.

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Recommendations From Other Indie Booksellers

How To Live Safely in a Science Fictional Universe
National Book Foundation 5 Under 35 Award winner Charles Yu delivers his debut novel, a razor-sharp, ridiculously funny, and utterly touching story of a son searching for his father . . . through quantum space–time.

Minor Universe 31 is a vast story-space on the outskirts of fiction, where paradox fluctuates like the stock market, lonely sexbots beckon failed protagonists, and time travel is serious business. Every day, people get into time machines and try to do the one thing they should never do: change the past. That’s where Charles Yu, time travel technician—part counselor, part gadget repair man—steps in. He helps save people from themselves. Literally. When he’s not taking client calls or consoling his boss, Phil, who could really use an upgrade, Yu visits his mother (stuck in a one-hour cycle of time, she makes dinner over and over and over) and searches for his father, who invented time travel and then vanished. Accompanied by TAMMY, an operating system with low self-esteem, and Ed, a nonexistent but ontologically valid dog, Yu sets out, and back, and beyond, in order to find the one day where he and his father can meet in memory. He learns that the key may be found in a book he got from his future self. It’s called How to Live Safely in a Science Fictional Universe, and he’s the author. And somewhere inside it is the information that could help him—in fact it may even save his life.

Bridget Allison from Phoenix Books in Esses, Vermont says:
"Charles Yu offers a story of a man traveling through time to find his father. It's an unlikely and surprisingly successful combination of intelligence, wit, and raw emotion. Yu writes with
great skill, immediately charming his readers."

In The Belly of Jonah
In the Belly of Jonah is a fast-paced mystery with a likable protagonist and an intricately woven narrative brimming with bizarre yet believable twists. The first in a series, the book expertly lays the groundwork for Liv Bergen, amateur sleuth, and her love interest, FBI Agent Streeter Pierce.

Liv becomes involved in the investigation of the murder of Jill Brannigan, a summer intern at the limestone mine Liv manages near Fort Collins, Colorado (a breathtaking setting that unwittingly becomes an accessory to crime). In doing so, she inadvertently puts her friends, her family, and herself at risk of being swallowed in the belly of a madman bloated with perverse appetites for women, surrealistic art, and renown.

Perhaps a bit too daring (and at times irreverent) for her own good, ''Boots,'' as Liv's eight siblings call her, soon realizes she has a knack for outsmarting and tracking down the Venus de Milo murderer--and she enjoys it! As the gripping plot of In the Belly of Jonah unfolds, Liv Bergen takes her place alongside the best female crime-solvers as a woman with smarts, self-confidence, and intuitive savvy.

Maria Upichard of Boswell Book Company in Milwaukee, Wisconsin says:
"Set among the imposing Colorado Rockies, this first novel in a frightening new series is a fast-paced, gripping mystery to be read with the lights on and the doors locked. You will cheer on this intelligent, gritty heroine as she endeavors to out-think a killer determined to make her his next masterpiece."

Twain's Feast
In the winter of 1879, Mark Twain paused during a tour of Europe to compose a fantasy menu of the American dishes he missed the most. He was desperately sick of European hotel cooking, and his menu, made up of some eighty regional specialties, was a true love letter to American food: Lake Trout, from Tahoe. Hot biscuits, Southern style. Canvasback-duck, from Baltimore. Black-bass, from the Mississippi.

When food writer Andrew Beahrs first read Twain's menu in the classic work A Tramp Abroad, he noticed the dishes were regional in the truest sense of the word-drawn fresh from grasslands, woods, and waters in a time before railroads had dissolved the culinary lines between Hannibal, Missouri, and San Francisco. These dishes were all local, all wild, and all, Beahrs feared, had been lost in the shift to industrialized food.

In Twain's Feast, Beahrs sets out to discover whether eight of these forgotten regional specialties can still be found on American tables, tracing Twain's footsteps as he goes. Twain's menu, it turns out, was also a memoir and a map. The dishes he yearned for were all connected to cherished moments in his life-from the New Orleans croakers he loved as a young man on the Mississippi to the maple syrup he savored in Connecticut, with his family, during his final, lonely years.

Tracking Twain's foods leads Beahrs from the dwindling prairie of rural Illinois to a six-hundred-pound coon supper in Arkansas to the biggest native oyster reef in San Francisco Bay. He finds pockets of the country where Twain's favorite foods still exist or where intrepid farmers, fishermen, and conservationists are trying to bring them back. He reminds us what we've lost as these wild foods have disappeared from our tables, and what we stand to gain from their return.

Weaving together passages from Twain's famous works and Beahrs's own adventures, Twain's Feast takes us on a journey into America's past, to a time when foods taken fresh from grasslands, woods, and waters were at the heart of American cooking.

Jerry Fieldsted from Windows on the World Books and Art in Mariposa, CA says:
"Unhappy with the food in Europe, in A Tramp Abroad Mark Twain famously described several American dishes he would immediately relish once he returned home. Beahrs revisits some of Twain's culinary desires with a fantastic book that digs deep into how much the American food industry has changed. His anthropological approach to the topic is riveting, and any fan of Twain and/or food will devour this tour de force."

Some We Love, Some We Hate, Some We Eat
Combining the intellect of Malcolm Gladwell with the irreverent humor of Mary Roach and the paradigm-shifting analysis of Jared Diamond, a leading social scientist offers an unprecedented look inside our complex and often paradoxical relationships with animals.

Does living with a pet really make people happier and healthier? What can we learn from biomedical research with mice? Who enjoyed a better quality of life—the chicken on a dinner plate or the rooster who died in a Saturday-night cockfight? Why is it wrong to eat the family dog? Drawing on more than two decades of research in the emerging field of anthrozoology, the science of human–animal relations, Hal Herzog offers surprising answers to these and other questions related to the moral conundrums we face day in and day out regarding the creatures with whom we share our world.

Some We Love, Some We Hate, Some We Eat is a highly entertaining and illuminating journey through the full spectrum of human–animal relations, based on Dr. Herzog’s groundbreaking research on animal rights activists, cockfighters, professional dog-show handlers, veterinary students, and biomedical researchers. Blending anthropology, behavioral economics, evolutionary psychology, and philosophy, Herzog carefully crafts a seamless narrative enriched with real-life anecdotes, scientific research, and his own sense of moral ambivalence.

Alternately poignant, challenging, and laugh-out-loud funny, this enlightening and provocative book will forever change the way we look at our relationships with other creatures and, ultimately, how we see ourselves.

Chris Wilcox of City Lights Bookstore in Sylva, North Carolina says:
“With this book Hal Herzog delivers provocative popular science at its witty, 'gee-whiz' best. With headings such as 'Feeding Kittens to Boa Constrictors,' this book challenges the reader to think through the knotty ethics of human interactions with other animal species. While it might make you squirm, you'll have fun reading this informal, often-humorous survey of the emerging, interdisciplinary field of anthrozoology. Like Malcolm Gladwell, Herzog blends scientific abstracts with anecdotes to form a compelling narrative.”

This Must Be The Place
The Darby-Jones boardinghouse in Ruby Falls, New York, is home to Mona Jones and her daughter, Oneida, two loners and self-declared outcasts who have formed a perfectly insular family unit: the two of them and the three eclectic boarders living in their house. But their small, quiet life is upended when Arthur Rook shows up in the middle of a nervous breakdown, devastated by the death of his wife, carrying a pink shoe box containing all his wife's mementos and keepsakes, and holding a postcard from sixteen years ago, addressed to Mona but never sent. Slowly the contents of the box begin to fit together to tell a story—one of a powerful friendship, a lost love, and a secret that, if revealed, could change everything that Mona, Oneida, and Arthur know to be true. Or maybe the stories the box tells and the truths it brings to life will teach everyone about love—how deeply it runs, how strong it makes us, and how even when all seems lost, how tightly it brings us together. With emotional accuracy and great energy, This Must Be the Place introduces memorable, charming characters that refuse to be forgotten.

Avery Dickey of Inkwood Books in Tampa, Florida says:
"A quirky cast of characters comes together to make up a highly entertaining, engaging, and touching book. Chief among them are Oneida Jones, a self-described freak who has embraced her oddness; her mother, Mona, a wedding cake baker and the proprietress of the Darby-Jones boardinghouse; and Arthur Rook, a recently widowed photographer who believes he can 'see' the real essence of a person. You will come to love these characters and this book!"

The Koala of Death
When zoo keeper Theodora “Teddy” Bentley fishes the body of Koala Kate out of Gunn Landing Harbor, she discovers that her fellow zoo keeper didn’t drown; she was strangled. The clues to Koala Kate’s killer implicate other animal keepers at the Gunn Zoo, including Outback Bill, marsupial keeper and Kate’s Aussie ex-boyfriend; and Robin Chase, the big cat keeper who’s got it in for Teddy. Also displaying suspicious behavior are several “liveaboarders” at the harbor; Speaks-To-Souls, a shady “animal psychic”; and even Caro, Teddy’s much-married, ex-beauty queen mother. But murderers aren’t all Teddy has to worry about. Her embezzling father is still on the run from the Feds, and the motor on the Merilee, her beloved houseboat is failing. To pay for the repairs, Teddy agrees to appear on a weekly live television broadcast featuring misbehaving animals that range from Wanchu, a cuddly koala, to Abim, a panicky wallaby – and all hell breaks loose in the TV studio. To add to Teddy’s woes, the killer zeroes in on her with near-fatal results. The Koala of Death brings a return to Gunn Zoo and the social-climbing humans and eccentric animals that made the prize-winning The Anteater of Death so popular. Readers will enjoy this behind-the-scenes peek at zoo life, and learn that poor little rich girls like Teddy lead much more complicated lives that they’d ever imagine – especially when they’re tracking killers.

Linda Dewberry of Whodunit? Books in Olympia, Washington, says:
"Zookeeper Teddy Bentley is back in this delightful second book in the Gunn Zoo mystery series. This time, in addition to solving the murder of her fellow zookeeper, Teddy finds that she has hidden talents as a TV personality. The characters are wonderful, and the setting reminds you of your childhood. Can't wait to read more of these!"