Monday, February 28, 2011

Jackie Went Prowling in the Newsstand and Found:

Finding creative uses for old items is nothing new to artists, but the spirit of preserving the planet is more important than ever before andGreenCraft Magazine is here to honor and inspire those who find artistic applications for normally discarded resources.

GreenCraft Magazine will provide ideas for repurposing trash to treasure by showcasing projects where waste is repurposed into ecologically chic creations. Last, but not least, to maintain the theme of recycling, the entire publication will be printed on recycled paper.

I am a crafter from wayyyyyyyyyyyyyyy back, and this new-to-me find has just blown me away. There are articles in here that show creative uses of old wall calandars, tape measures, mystery keys, (you know, the one's hanging out in the junk drawer belong to nothing that still belongs to you), plastic bags, old teeshirts, old onesies, paper of all sorts, breakfast boxes and more. These are inventive ways to use stuff you have, stuff you might be throwing away, to make art and fun. More than 85 project ideas in this one issue alone! You really need to come in and check it out!


Don't Miss Meeting This Man TONIGHT

Jonathan Evison | WEST OF HERE from markmcknight on Vimeo.

7:30 pm at our Colfax Avenue Store.

TC Tidbits: Organizing The Bookcase

Sunday, February 27, 2011

A 40 Year Old Secret Is Finally Told

The extraordinary personal journey of a man who, against all odds, rose to become one of America’s most surprising and promising new political figures

Scott Brown's greatest win did not occur on a cold January election night in 2010 when he came from behind to capture the U.S. Senate seat held by Ted Kennedy for nearly fifty years. It began when he survived a savage beating at the drunken, dirty-fingernail hands of a stepfather when he was barely six years old, while trying to protect his mother.

In this gripping memoir of resilience and redemption, Brown tells the story of his difficult, often nomadic childhood, shunted from house to apartment, and town to town, seventeen times over his first eighteen years. He somehow thrived despite a largely absent father, who married four separate times. So did his mother, in relationships frequently stained with alcohol, anger, and even violence. For nearly two decades' growing up, Brown endured innumerable hardships and challenges, even stealing food to eat. He was periodically sent off to live with relatives, his possessions wrapped in a few old blankets. Saved by basketball, he was the boy who shoveled snow from the public courts to shoot hoops alone in the frozen cold.

With clear-eyed conviction and unflinching can-dor, Brown tells the story of his own bad-boy days, of the coaches who mentored him, and of how he found a way out of familial chaos through the swish of a ball in the net, winning a starting slot on the Tufts varsity basketball team as a freshman player and becoming the tenth-highest scorer to graduate in the school's history. His rise from there was even more improbable: a first-year law student and member of the Massachusetts National Guard, he was picked as Cosmopolitan magazine's "America's Sexiest Man" and was vaulted into the glamorous world of New York modeling at the height of the 1980s. But the man who was once ushered into the backrooms of Studio 54 returned to Massachusetts to continue with his military and legal training, settle down, raise a family, and soon found an unlikely path that would lead him to national political stardom. Here, too, are the secrets from the unprecedented Senate race that captured the country's imagination and how Scott Brown won his remarkable victory.

Poignant, heartfelt, humorous, and profound, this is the story of one man's dream and his determination to fight for a better future.

Erin Brockovich Adds Novelist To Her Resume

From New York Times bestselling author and internationally renowned environmental and consumer advocate Erin Brockovich comes Rock Bottom, a debut thriller and first in a series of novels that introduces one of the most fascinating and memorable characters in suspense fiction.

Ten years ago, a pregnant seventeen-year-old, Angela Joy Palladino, fled her hometown, Scotia, West Virginia, as a pariah. Over time, AJ succeeded in establishing herself as an environmental activist, dubbed “The People’s Champion,” only to be forced to retreat from the spotlight in the wake of a crushing media disaster.

When AJ is offered a job with a lawyer who is crusading against mountaintop removal mining, she is torn. As a single mother of a special needs nine-year-old boy, AJ can use any work she can get. But doing so will mean returning to the West Virginia hometown she left in disgrace so long ago.

Upon arriving in Scotia, AJ learns of the sudden death of the lawyer who hired her. Soon after joining forces with his daughter, Elizabeth, threats begin to surface, bodies begin to pile up, and AJ discovers that her own secrets aren’t the only ones her mountain hometown has kept buried. Hitting rock bottom, AJ must face the betrayal of those once closest to her and confront the harrowing past she thought she had left behind.

In Rock Bottom, Erin Brockovich combines passionate intensity, first-rate storytelling, and her real life experiences in a novel that will leave you breathless.

Read more about it here.

People In Denver Are Talking About:

Jarvious Cotton's great-great-grandfather could not vote as a slave. His great-grandfather was beaten to death by the Klu Klux Klan for attempting to vote. His grandfather was prevented from voting by Klan intimidation; his father was barred by poll taxes and literacy tests. Today, Cotton cannot vote because he, like many black men in the United States, has been labeled a felon and is currently on parole.
--from The New Jim Crow

As the United States celebrates the nation's "triumph over race" with the election of Barack Obama, the majority of young black men in major American cities are locked behind bars or have been labeled felons for life. Although Jim Crow laws have been wiped off the books, an astounding percentage of the African American community remains trapped in a subordinate status--much like their grandparents before them.

In this incisive critique, former litigator-turned-legal-scholar Michelle Alexander provocatively argues that we have not ended racial caste in America: we have simply redesigned it. Alexander shows that, by targeting black men and decimating communities of color, the U.S. criminal justice system functions as a contemporary system of racial control, even as it formally adheres to the principle of color blindness. The New Jim Crow challenges the civil rights community--and all of us--to place mass incarceration at the forefront of a new movement for racial justice in America.

TC Tidbit: Steve Carell to Star in " Dogs of Babel"

Read the details here.

Saturday, February 26, 2011

Wendy's Window: Fresh February Fiction

Red Wolf
Beneath a dark winter sky . . . death waits patiently.

A journalist is murdered in the frozen white landscape of a northern Swedish town. Annika Bengtzon, a reporter at a Stockholm-based tabloid, was planning to interview him about a long-ago attack against an isolated air base nearby, and now she suspects that his death is linked to that attack. Against the explicit orders of her boss, she begins to investigate the event, which is soon followed by a series of shocking murders. Annika knows the murders are connected. At the same time, she begins to suspect that her husband is hiding something, and nothing can counteract the loneliness that has crept into her life.

Behind everything lurks the figure of the Red Wolf, a cold-blooded killer with the soul of a lover. In the end, she must discover the truth not only about the murders but also about the lies that are destroying her own family.

The Omega Theory
"The wolf shall dwell with the lamb, and the leopard shall lie down with the kid. And a child shall lead them." She smiled. "That's you, Michael. That's why Brother Cyrus needs you. You're going to help us fulfill the prophecy."

The Omega Theory opens with media reports that, despite U.S. warnings, Iran has tested a nuclear bomb. But the blast from the device is different and far more dangerous than that of any previous nuclear weapon. Surveillance instruments show that for one split second an event occurred that had not taken place since the Big Bang fourteen billion years ago. Meanwhile, science historian David Swift and quantum physicist Monique Reynolds learn that their autistic son, Michael, has been kidnapped by a militant cult called the True Believers. Michael, a descendant of Albert Einstein, has inherited Einstein's remarkable intelligence and is the only person in the world who knows Einstein's last secret—the Final Theory, a set of equations that could explain all the forces of nature. Only those who understand the key to creation could know how to destroy it. The Iranian nuclear blast is a demonstration of this understanding. Soon David and Monique realize their desperate search for Michael is also a desperate race to stop the horrific power of the theory from being unleashed. Joining forces with FBI Agent Lucille Parker, David and Monique race from the Old City of Jerusalem to the deserts of Turkmenistan to rescue Michael and stop the cult's fanatic leader. Their journey proves just how difficult it is to stop those who are willing to die in the name of God. Praised by bestselling peers such as Douglas Preston and James Rollins, Mark Alpert shows he is at the top of his writing game and the cutting edge of science, seamlessly weaving fact and fiction with nonstop heart-pounding action in this explosive thriller. We will never see our universe in quite the same way again.

Fatal Error
Ali Reynolds begins the summer thinking her most difficult challenge will be surviving a six-week- long course as the lone forty-something female at the Arizona Police Academy—not to mention taking over the 6:00 AM shift at her family's restaurant while her parents enjoy a long overdue Caribbean cruise. However, when Brenda Riley, a colleague from Ali's old news broadcasting days in California, shows up in town with an alcohol problem and an unlikely story about a missing fiance, Ali reluctantly agrees to help.

The man posing as Brenda's fiance is revealed to be Richard Lowensdale, a cyber-sociopath who has left a trail of broken hearts in his virtual wake. When he is viciously murdered, the women he once victimized are considered suspects. The police soon focus their investigation on Brenda, who is already known to have broken into Richard's home and computer before vanishing without a trace. Attempting to clear her friend's name, Ali is quickly drawn into a web of online intrigue that may lead to a real-world fatal error.

Shortcut Man
In the City of Angels, not everyone plays by the rules. When people need a problem fixed fast, and discreetly, they call Dick Henry. Henry is known as a "shortcut man," someone who believes that the shortest answer to many problems may not always be legal. As he cuts through the red tape for his clients, who range from an elderly woman ripped off by shady contractors to a landlord with a tenant many months behind on the rent, Henry always gets the job done, no matter what the cost. In Shortcut Man, Henry spends his days hunting down slimy con men and his nights seducing Lynette, an intoxicating, long-legged vixen. But when Henry gets an assignment from porn producer Artie Benjamin, his life suddenly becomes much more complicated. Now Henry must complete the job, avoid being killed, and somehow figure out what to do with Lynette. Filled with dark comedy, whip-smart writing, and a memorable cast of characters, Shortcut Man evokes Chandler and Hammett—hard-boiled crime at its best—and is an exciting beginning to a crackling new series.

The Adults
In her ruefully funny and wickedly perceptive debut novel, Alison Espach deftly dissects matters of the heart and captures the lives of children and adults as they come to terms with life, death, and love.

At the center of this affluent suburban universe is Emily Vidal, a smart and snarky teenager, who gets involved in a suspect relationship with one of the adults after witnessing a suicide in her neighborhood. Among the cast of unforgettable characters is Emily's father, whose fiftieth birthday party has the adults descending upon the Vidal's patio; her mother, who has orchestrated the elaborate party even though she and her husband are getting a divorce; and an assortment of eccentric neighbors, high school teachers, and teenagers who teem with anxiety and sexuality and an unbridled desire to be noticed, and ultimately loved.

An irresistible chronicle of a modern young woman's struggle to grow up, The Adults lays bare—in perfect pitch—a world where an adult and a child can so dangerously be mistaken for the same exact thing.

Save As Draft
SAVE AS DRAFT @Readers A love triangle evolving over e-mails, texts, and Facebook messages that makes you wonder if the things we leave unsaid—or rather unsent—could change the story of our lives.

6:59 PM Feb. 14th via twitterfeed
Sent: Monday, February 14, 2011
From: Izabell To: Reader Subject: Save as Draft

Are we Facebook friends yet? I'm the wactress (waitress/actress) turned lawyer who lives her life online. (Don't we all these days?)

Anyway, I've got this problem. . . . There's this guy. His name's Peter. He's my best friend and co-worker, and we just started dating, which is potentially a huge mistake. But, that's not all. There's this other guy, Marty. I met him on eHarm, and he ran with the bulls in Spain. I can't get him off my mind. What a mess. I'd love your advice if you can take a second out of your crazy, high-tech life. Shoot me an e-mail. Or text me. Or BB messenger me. And friend me if you haven't already! You can find me on Facebook under Save as Draft.


Hot Off The Presses

Helga Divin, the matriarch of a prominent white family from Durban in Kwa Zulu-Natal, South Africa, lies dying in the splendid London mansion of her second husband, the unscrupulous industrialist Arnold Miro.

Her children Danny and Bridget, both well established in Boston, rush to her side where they quickly realize that Arnold, in addition to mistreating their mother, has begun to claim as his own a priceless collection of African artifacts that their dead father spent a lifetime assembling and chronicling.

The collection's most important pieces are a pair of majestic ivory tusks that were once owned by King Shaka, founder of the Zulu nation and a major symbolic figure in modern South Africa. Their father's account of the origins and provenance of the tusks – how, after a long and complicated journey, they had finally come into his possession – was a story often told and long accepted.

As Danny and Bridget move to thwart what they see as an unforgivable theft of their family heirlooms, they find themselves having to face instead the truth about their father's stories, the true ownership of this unique collection of Africana, and long held beliefs about their own past and their country's history.

After many years away, the two return home to Durban to finish what they started in London. Amid the turbulence of the "new" South Africa, and against the backdrop of dramatic changes in the lives of old family friends' and former domestic servants, Danny and Bridget come face-to-face with the reality that much of what they always thought to be true is instead as fragile and as suspect as the story of King Shaka and his ivory tusks.

Read an interview with the author about this book.

Read the first book in the saga:

David Schmahmann's stunning debut novel is an accomplished, arresting tale of forbidden love during apartheid in South Africa. At once a compelling love story and a powerful commentary on life amidst political and social turmoil, Empire Settings announces the arrival of a significant new literary talent.

Danny Devin is a young white man in South Africa who enters into an illicit romance with a young, mixed race schoolgirl, the daughter of black domestic servant. When social constraints force Danny to end the romance, he travels to America with the hopes of starting a new life. There he meets Tesseba, a curious and trusting artist who takes him in and marries him to save him from deportation. The two build a life together, but Danny continues to be plagued by a growing sense of loss. Twenty years later, Danny returns to a "new" South Africa in the hopes of saving a family fortune and finding the girl he has never forgotten.

In precise yet lyrical prose, David Schmahmann spins a heart-wrenching tale that reveals the subtle, yet powerful intersection of politics and individual choice, and proves that nothing is ever only black and white.

TC Tidbit: "Legoized" Authors

A bit of fun shared with us by Be sure to check out the additional links in the article for even more fun Lego homages.

Friday, February 25, 2011

Jackie's Raving About This New Series

Ari can’t help feeling lost and alone. With teal eyes and freakish silver hair that can’t be changed or destroyed, Ari has always stood out. And after growing up in foster care, she longs for some understanding of where she came from and who she is.

Her search for answers uncovers just one message from her long dead mother: Run. Ari can sense that someone, or something, is getting closer than they should. But it’s impossible to protect herself when she doesn’t know what she’s running from or why she is being pursued.

She knows only one thing: she must return to her birthplace of New 2, the lush rebuilt city of New Orleans. Upon arriving, she discovers that New 2 is very...different. Here, Ari is seemingly normal. But every creature she encounters, no matter how deadly or horrifying, is afraid of her.

Ari won’t stop until she knows why. But some truths are too haunting, too terrifying, to ever be revealed.

Jackie says:
"I'm a sucker for a new twist on the paranormal fiction front, and this book really delivers it. This takes place in the near future, in a very different version of New Orleans--now called New 2. It has become it's own separate entity, bought from the U.S. by nine old families of the area who are collectively called The Novem.

Ari, a 17 year old foster child and a working bounty hunter, is searching for her past--for why her mother abandoned her at the age of 4, for who her father is, for any sign of a family of her own. Her search leads her to New 2 and into the strangeness that lives and breathes in the city. It's rumored to be the haven of paranormals of all sorts, but the exotic nature of the place is far greater than anything Ari had ever imagined. Something has been waiting for her to return to New 2, her birthplace, and Ari finds herself hunted by mysterious and powerful warriors, and protected (or used?) by the mysterious Novem. All manor of paranormals come out to make the their stand, for or against, this strange teenager with her silver hair and her teal eyes whose as yet unknown power could save, or damn, them all.

This is a planned series, and believe me when I say I will be first in line for volume 2. I read this first book in one setting, not able to pry myself away from the pulse pounding action and the ever growing mystery of just who, or what, Ari is. Once you enter New 2, it is very, very difficult to leave. "

Book Club Alert: Now Out in Paperback

In March 2003, Operation Iraqi Freedom made world headlines when a U. S. army convoy was attacked en route to Baghdad. Shoshana Johnson became the first black female prisoner of war in United States history.

Shoshana holds nothing back in this harrowing account of an ordinary woman caught in extraordinary circumstances. She reveals decisions made by chain of command that may have led to her twenty-two-day imprisonment, describes the pain of post-traumatic stress disorder, and shares the surprising story of how a specialist in a maintenance company ended up on the front lines of war. Told with exceptional bravery and candor, I'm Still Standing is at once a provocative look at the politics of war and the unforgettable story of a single mom and soldier who became an American hero.

TC Tidbit: Be the Belle of the Book Ball In This Dress

The dress was designed by Ryan Novelline from Boston. Check out his website.

Thursday, February 24, 2011

He's Got a Passion for Cities

A pioneering urban economist offers fascinating, even inspiring proof that the city is humanity's greatest invention and our best hope for the future.

America is an urban nation. More than two thirds of us live on the 3 percent of land that contains our cities. Yet cities get a bad rap: they're dirty, poor, unhealthy, crime ridden, expensive, environmentally unfriendly... Or are they?

As Edward Glaeser proves in this myth-shattering book, cities are actually the healthiest, greenest, and richest (in cultural and economic terms) places to live. New Yorkers, for instance, live longer than other Americans; heart disease and cancer rates are lower in Gotham than in the nation as a whole. More than half of America's income is earned in twenty-two metropolitan areas. And city dwellers use, on average, 40 percent less energy than suburbanites.

Glaeser travels through history and around the globe to reveal the hidden workings of cities and how they bring out the best in humankind. Even the worst cities-Kinshasa, Kolkata, Lagos- confer surprising benefits on the people who flock to them, including better health and more jobs than the rural areas that surround them. Glaeser visits Bangalore and Silicon Valley, whose strangely similar histories prove how essential education is to urban success and how new technology actually encourages people to gather together physically. He discovers why Detroit is dying while other old industrial cities-Chicago, Boston, New York-thrive. He investigates why a new house costs 350 percent more in Los Angeles than in Houston, even though building costs are only 25 percent higher in L.A. He pinpoints the single factor that most influences urban growth-January temperatures-and explains how certain chilly cities manage to defy that link. He explains how West Coast environmentalists have harmed the environment, and how struggling cities from Youngstown to New Orleans can "shrink to greatness." And he exposes the dangerous anti-urban political bias that is harming both cities and the entire country.

Using intrepid reportage, keen analysis, and eloquent argument, Glaeser makes an impassioned case for the city's import and splendor. He reminds us forcefully why we should nurture our cities or suffer consequences that will hurt us all, no matter where we live.

The National Book Award Folks Have a New Poetry Blog

In 2009, the National Book Foundation took a look back at the 77 books that had won the National Book Award for Fiction since 1950 through a book-a-day blog featuring short essays by writers, editors, agents, and critics. This year, the Foundation is hosting a retrospective examining more than sixty years of National Book Award-winning poetry, including a daily blog with original essays by contemporary poets on all past Award Winners in Poetry, and a series of public programs in three U.S. cities.

On February 14, the Foundation launched its NBA Poetry Blog by publishing Ross Gay's essay on William Carlos Williams, Winner of the first National Book Award for Poetry in 1950. The blog, which will highlight a different Award Winner each weekday into May 2011, also includes the original book covers, photographs of the authors, lists of the National Book Award Judges and Finalists for each year (when available), and related material and links.

NEA logo, 2011

Funded by a grant from the National Endowment for the Arts, this project will result in a digitized literary archive that will take up permanent residence on the Foundation's website.

For more information on the Winners, bloggers, and upcoming public programs in New York City on February 24 and 25, Portland, Oregon on April 7, and Minneapolis on April 13, visit

TC Tidbits:Shakespeare's Rambo

Read about this modernized version of Coriolanus here.

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

"I LOVE These Books!": A Sneak Peak from Jackie

I am deeply in love with this new series by Gryphon House. They are simply magical--fun, educational, encouraging family projects, and practical. How fantastic is THAT?!

Curious kids will delight in the fifty fun-filled recipes in The Budding Chef! This book offers great ways for parents and their budding chefs, ages three to six, to have fun together as they make soft pretzels, whip up some real butter, and have a winter picnic.

This introduction to cooking and baking is filled with fifty (mostly) healthy kitchen adventures. The easy-to-follow instructions and easy-to-find ingredients help parents share their love of the cooking in kid-friendly ways and create special moments that they—and their children—will cherish forever.

Kids will love these delicious recipes: Quesadilla Fiesta ,"Hello Pumpkin!" Muffins, Omelet in a Bag, The Incredible Edible Spaceship, Breakfast Banana Split and more.

With a cup of wonder, a teaspoon of laughter, and a scoop of fun, these recipes and activities bring parents and children together to share magical moments!

The Budding Gardener offers great ways for parents and their budding gardeners, ages three to six, to create memories together as they plant a seed and watch it grow, create a garden marker, make a spider web out of sweet pea seeds and bamboo, and beautify the garden with a stone path or rock tower.

This kid-friendly introduction to gardening features easy-to-follow instructions and easy-to-find materials that help parents share their love of the outdoors with their children in imaginative new ways.

Dig in to these exciting activities:

  • Homemade Worm Farm
  • Mystery Seed Garden
  • Backyard Butterfly Garden
  • Grassy Haired Friend

With a little dirt, some water, and a few tools, these activities bring parents and children together to share magical moments!

These books are not coming out until April, but they can be pre-ordered now. Believe me, these books will become highly treasured in your family (or even in a class room, teachers, or Scouts, den mom's). I'm several multiples older than the 3-10 age group these books are aimed at, but I'll be making some of these projects myself because they are just too cool not to!


Sometimes You Say the Right Thing to the Right Person

Another slice of TC life from our own Evan Silverman:

Sometimes you say the right thing to the right person. A customer came up to the checkout counter at the Tattered Cover Bookstore and handed me a 20 dollar bill. She told me the reason she was giving this money to me was because of a message I had left for her the previous week.

I had been gathering some books together for her from different stores and I called her to let her know that all five of her books had come into the reserve desk at Colfax Avenue. Her message machine went something like this “Hi this is Helen, I'm not available right now, if you leave me a message I will call you back as soon as possible. I am currently in Las Vegas-please tell me whether I should bet on red or black”

My response to her was as follows “Hi Helen, this is Evan Silverman calling from the Tattered Cover Bookstore on Colfax Avenue. I am calling to tell you that I have all of your books together now and we will hold them for a week. I would also like to let you know that I might bet on black. Thank you.”

Taking to heart my suggestion, she went into a casino in Vegas, sat down at the roulette wheel and bet on black. She watched the ball spin around and around. Finally it slid into a black slot. We won and I bought pizza for everybody!

TC Tidbit: How to Make an Interactive Comic

from our friends at Galleycat and award-winning author Jason Shiga

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Tattered Cover Has Fallen For...

A deeply evocative story of ambition and betrayal, The Paris Wife captures a remarkable period of time and a love affair between two unforgettable people: Ernest Hemingway and his first wife Hadley.

Chicago, 1920: Hadley Richardson is a quiet twenty-eight-year-old who has all but given up on love and happiness—until she meets Ernest Hemingway and her life changes forever. Following a whirlwind courtship and wedding, the pair set sail for Paris, where they become the golden couple in a lively and volatile group—the fabled “Lost Generation”—that includes Gertrude Stein, Ezra Pound, and F. Scott and Zelda Fitzgerald.

Though deeply in love, the Hemingways are ill prepared for the hard-drinking and fast-living life of Jazz Age Paris, which hardly values traditional notions of family and monogamy. Surrounded by beautiful women and competing egos, Ernest struggles to find the voice that will earn him a place in history, pouring all the richness and intensity of his life with Hadley and their circle of friends into the novel that will become The Sun Also Rises. Hadley, meanwhile, strives to hold on to her sense of self as the demands of life with Ernest grow costly and her roles as wife, friend, and muse become more challenging. Despite their extraordinary bond, they eventually find themselves facing the ultimate crisis of their marriage—a deception that will lead to the unraveling of everything they’ve fought so hard for.

A heartbreaking portrayal of love and torn loyalty, The Paris Wife is all the more poignant because we know that, in the end, Hemingway wrote that he would rather have died than fallen in love with anyone but Hadley.

Jackie says:
"McLain has done the impossible--she's convinced me to read Ernest Hemingway. She did this by introducing Hadley, his first wife, in the pages of The Paris Wife, which is the tale of their courtship, marriage and life in Europe, Paris mostly. She was 28, he was 21, and they were exactly what the other needed. Hadley, who had been treated, perhaps erroneously, as a bit of an invalid and as such had a very limited life up until a visit to a school friend in Chicago introduced her to the larger than life young man suffering from PTSD and generally running wild. He gave her a life...sweeping her off to Paris as soon as they married. She gave him stability--someone to love him, to wake him from his nightmares, to be his home. They fell into a crowd of the "larger than life"--Scott and Zelda Fitzgerald, The Murphys, Ezra Pound, Gertrude Stein-- where Ernest eagerly soaked up advice and lifestyle, becoming more like them everyday while Hadley remained steadfast. The highs got higher and the lows got lower until, at last, Hadley had had enough. In essence, this is a re-telling of A Moveable Feast, through the eyes of Hadley, the person about whom Ernest said, "I wished I'd died before I ever loved any other woman but her." That's the kind of love you want to believe exists--or at least I do. And that's exactly what makes this book so impossible to put down."

Joe says:
"Do yourself a favor, dear reader, and give yourself to this wonderful book.
In The Paris Wife, Paula McLain brings back to life Hadley Hemingway, Ernest Hemingway's first wife. This fictional account tells of their meeting in Chicago and their life in Paris of the 1920's, chronicled in Hemingway's posthumous The Moveable Feast.

Hemingway is known as such a man's man, a man's writer: four wives, numerous lovers, such manly & thrilling adventures, that it may seem almost daring to explore his life from the perspective of one of the women in his life. But it does seem to provide a more complete picture of Hemingway. In The Paris Wife, Hadley is not only an ardent supporter of his writing, but his best friend, his lover and his wife. She is his confidant, hid sounding board, and a co-imbiber. She says in the book that she actively took a supporting role to Hemingway, that it was their decision together. But she is so thoroughly realized, so completely brought to life that I found myself rooting for her even among a story I know so well from him. This book is very difficult to put down, so compellingly is it written. McLain really brings post-World War I Paris alive, and provides another view of their friendships with some of the early 20th century's most famous writers: F Scott Fitzgerald, Gertrude Stein, Alice Toklas, Sherwood Anderson among others. And she paints Hemingway's growing interest in Spain and bullfighting that so many of us know him for, all through the eyes of his loving first wife, Hadley. Really, I loved this book, and think you will,too."

Jump To Meet The AuthorTonight!

Robert Tipton is an expert in innovative change management solutions, and has developed the JUMP! Innovative Change Model™ over the past several years while helping individuals, teams and entire organziations get unstuck, get moving, and create sustainable change.

JUMP! brings together the principles of quantum physics, ancient philosoply, spiritual practices and sound leadership in a a two-part book. Part good-old story telling (the fable), and part consulting tools (the model), JUMP! is chocked full of innovative, practical tools and advice on how to successfully manage your life, career, and organizational change.

In Tipton's own words, "I have incorporated quantum principles, ancient philosophy, spiritual practices, and sound leadership into the four stages of innovative change I share in JUMP!. I knew from the start that I’d need two pieces of the book to satisfy both sides of my own personality. Part of me wanted to understand JUMP! at an emotional level, and I found I needed a story to help me with that. Then the “Mr. Spock” side of me needed to see JUMP! described as a process. Therefore, there are two parts in JUMP!: a fable and a model. The fable is just that—a fictional account using fictional characters designed to tell a story that has a point of view. Some books of this kind use case studies, but I decided to use a fictional story because my clients tend to get miffed if I share the details of their specific situations! So, I created a fictional situation based upon work I do as a change coach. The model is a process-oriented depiction of the JUMP! model I use in my consulting practice. Those of you who like process maps and flowcharts will love it!"

TONIGHT at 7:00pm at our Highlands Ranch Store:

Robert Tipton, change management keynote speaker, author, coach and leadership team facilitator, will host an interactive event based on his new book Jump! Get Unstuck: Extraordinary Life Breakthroughs Through Innovative Change . At this event for adults and kids alike, Tipton will offer new techniques to accelerate and improve the creative problem solving process for attendees, and our young guests will be able to work on some really cool instant challenges, and will explore all sorts of fun things to help spark their creativity! Robert Tipton will donate $5.00 for every book sold at this event to Colorado Destination ImagiNation, a non-profit organization that provides educational programs for students to learn and experience creativity, teamwork and problem solving.

Learn more about Destination ImagiNation and Destination ImagiNation Colorado.

Jackie says:
"Robert Tipton is a very inspiring man--his quiet passion, his unending enthusiasm and his no-nonsense approach to making a better life are all inspiring. The fact that he uses so much of his work for and with Destination ImagiNation is the icing on a very tasty, life changing cake. You really don't want to miss hearing this guy talk--the book is great, but he is fantastic!"

TC Tidbits: 50 of the Most Essential Works of Jewish Fiction in the Last 100 Years


Monday, February 21, 2011

Disptaches from the Field: Joe's Talking About Oates

"My husband died, my life collapsed."

In a work unlike anything she's written before, National Book Award winner Joyce Carol Oates unveils a poignant, intimate memoir about the unexpected death of her husband of forty-six years and its wrenching, surprising aftermath.

On a February morning in 2008, Joyce Carol Oates drove her ailing husband, Raymond Smith, to the emergency room of the Princeton Medical Center where he was diagnosed with pneumonia. Both Joyce and Ray expected him to be released in a day or two. But in less than a week, even as Joyce was preparing for his discharge, Ray died from a virulent hospital-acquired infection, and Joyce was suddenly faced—totally unprepared—with the stunning reality of widowhood.

A Widow's Story illuminates one woman's struggle to comprehend a life without the partnership that had sustained and defined her for nearly half a century. As never before, Joyce Carol Oates shares the derangement of denial, the anguish of loss, the disorientation of the survivor amid a nightmare of "death-duties," and the solace of friendship. She writes unflinchingly of the experience of grief—the almost unbearable suspense of the hospital vigil, the treacherous "pools" of memory that surround us, the vocabulary of illness, the absurdities of commercialized forms of mourning. Here is a frank acknowledgment of the widow's desperation— only gradually yielding to the recognition that "this is my life now."

Enlivened by the piercing vision, acute perception, and mordant humor that are the hallmarks of the work of Joyce Carol Oates, this moving tale of life and death, love and grief, offers a candid, never-before-glimpsed view of the acclaimed author and fiercely private woman.

Joe says:

"Imagine being married to one person for forty-eight years. Imagine that one person being the only person you have ever been with. Imagine that this person, with whom you have lived with for all but two months of those 48 years, and with whom you have shared a life, but not shared everything you think, were to suddenly and rather unexpectedly die. Would you be bereft? Guilty? Angry? Suicidal?

This nightmare scenario happened to the acclaimed and award-winning author Joyce Carol Oates. A Widow's Story is her memoir about the aftermath of her beloved husband's death. It is very much a book about survival. It is also a very intimate account of one person's grief. She does not strive to say this is how you will grieve were this to happen to you. This is what happened to her. This is a touching love story, as she retraces their entwined lives from 1960's Milwaukee to 2008 Princeton, New Jersey. This is the story of a writer and an editor, and the
lives they led. The cast of characters include many well-known authors, including one of Joyce's best friends, Edmund White. These friends do their best to help her through her very personal grief. But it is ultimately her recounting of their life together, and her getting to know her husband through an unpublished novel, that I feel allowed her to write this book, to survive as only she knows how: as a writer. This book is a fascinating and at times humorous look at our culture: of prescribed notions of grieving, of the role of pharmaceuticals in our lives, of the role of writer, teacher, editor in our culture.

While reading, I found that I underlined and circled a lot of passages, dog-earing pages so I can go back to read them. This book contains so many interesting observations about our culture, instructions for writing and for living the examined life.

To whom would I recommend this book? To writers, to students, to educators. To folks in relationships who do not want to think of their partner dying. For people who have lost someone they love. For bookclubs, this book will provide much discussion material. Really, to nearly everyone, for this book is ultimately, a book about living, and finding meaning as we live."

It Isn't Easy Being Dante

Being only half-vamp in a high school like Carpathia Night makes you a whole loser. But Danny Gray manages to escape the worst of the specists at his school. Thanks to genetic treatments he had as an infant, most people assume Danny's other half is human. Which is a good thing.

Ever since the development of synthetic blood – SynHeme – vamps have become society’s elite, while wulves like his father work menial jobs and live in bad neighborhoods. Wulves are less than second class citizens; once a month they become inmates, forced to undergo their Change in dangerous government compounds.

For Danny, living with his vamp mother and going to a school with a nearly all-vamp student body, it’s best to pretend his wulf half doesn’t even exist. But lately Danny's been having some weird symptoms -- fantastic night vision; a keener-than-usual sense of smell; and headaches, right around the full moon.

Even though it's easy to be in denial, it's hard to ignore evidence. There's only a month until the next few moon, and Danny's time is running out.

TC Tidbits: Leonard and Raylan

The popular television series "Justified" is based on a novella written by Elmore Leonard, Fire in the Hole , which is extremely difficult to find these days, alas. But Leonard has enjoyed seeing his characters come alive on the small screen, and in fact is an advisor for the show, all of which has inspired him to make his new novel-in-progress about Raylan (in fact, that's the working title). Read more about it here. And even more here.

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Meet the Author Tomorrow Night!

From the best-selling author of The Elegant Universe and The Fabric of the Cosmos: his most thrilling and accessible book to date—a state-of-the-art tour of the cutting-edge science that is changing the way we see our world.

In recent years, a growing body of work—based on the principles of quantum mechanics, cosmology, and string theory—has been steadily converging around a proposal that our universe is actually only one of many universes. In fact, research supports a number of different models of parallel universes in which our world appears: for instance, as one of many “bubbles” in a rapidly growing bath of universes, or as one of numerous cosmic slabs separated from one another through additional spatial dimensions.

Brian Greene, with his trademark impartiality, crystal-clear prose, and inspired use of analogy, opens up the strange worlds of the “multiverse,” taking us on a journey grounded firmly in science, and limited only by our imaginations.

Greene will be at our Historic Lodo store at 7:30 pm to discuss and sign his new book. Free numbered tickets for a place in the booksigning line will be available at 6:30 pm; one ticket per person in line. Seating for the presentation prior to the booksigning is limited, and available on a first-come, first-served basis to ticketed customers only.

"Certain biographers will want to beat me with a turf shovel," Joseph O'Connor Admits*

Dublin 1907, a city of whispered rumours. A young actress begins an affair with a damaged older man, the leading playwright at the theatre where she works. Rebellious and flirtatious, Molly Allgood is a girl of the inner city tenements, dreaming of stardom in America. She has dozens of admirers but in the backstage of her life there is a secret.

Her lover, John Synge, is a troubled genius, the son of a once prosperous landowning family, a poet of fiery language and tempestuous passions. Yet his life is hampered by convention and by the austere and God-fearing mother with whom he lives. Scarred by a childhood of loneliness and severity he has long been ill, but he loves to walk the wild places of Ireland. The affair, sternly opposed by friends and family, is turbulent, sometimes cruel, often tender.

Many years later, an old woman makes her way across London on the morning after a hurricane. Christmas is coming. As she wanders past bombsites and through the city's forlorn beauty, a snowdrift of memories and lost desires seems to swirl. She has twice been married: once widowed, once divorced, but an unquenchable passion for life has kept her afloat as her dazzling career has faded.

A story of love's commitment, of partings and reconciliations, of the courage involved in living on nobody else's terms, Ghost Light is a profoundly moving and ultimately uplifting novel.

*Read the this quote comes from.

TC Tidbits: The Lisa Simpson Book Club

Megastar and Animated Phenomenon Lisa Simpson is showcasing her library on it out!

Saturday, February 19, 2011

Distpatches From The Field: Joe on Union Atlantic

At the heart of Union Atlantic lies a test of wills between a retired history teacher, Charlotte Graves—who has suddenly begun to hear her two dogs speaking to her in the voices of Cotton Mather and Malcolm X—and an ambitious young banker, Doug Fanning, who is building an ostentatious mansion on what was once Charlotte’s family land. Drawn into the conflict is Nate Fuller, a troubled high-school student who stirs powerful emotions in both of them. What emerges is a riveting story of financial power, the defense of tradition, and the distortions of desire these forces create. With remarkable scope and precision, Union Atlantic delivers a striking vision of the violent, anxious world we’ve come to inhabit.

Joe says:

"Now out in paperback, Union Atlantic is not to be missed. Doug Fanning is a young banker at Union Atlantic, doing very well for himself. He has purchased a mini-mansion next door to Charlotte Graves, a retired schoolteacher who has begun to talk to her dogs. She is tutoring Nate Fuller, a trouble high school senior who gets involved with Doug Fanning. Charlotte's brother (an in some ways, her protector), Henry Graves, is the president of the New York Federal Reserve, who must investigate the bank, Union Atlantic. In ever-tightening circles, the lives of these four enmesh, pulling the reader down into a taut spiral of emotion and surprisingly tense economic drama. I was surprised by this book: I, in general, do not care how our monetary system works, just so it does. But Haslett does a great job of showing why I should care about the workings of the system, and proves it to be a fascinating subject. This is a complex, compelling, sensual and emotionally-wrought tale, written with authority and talent. One of my favorite books of 2010, and one I plan on reading again soon."

"'Among Others' is about the joy of reading," says author Jo Walton

Startling, unusual, and yet irresistably readable, Among Others is at once the compelling story of a young woman struggling to escape a troubled childhood, a brilliant diary of first encounters with the great novels of modern fantasy and SF, and a spellbinding tale of escape from ancient enchantment.

Raised by a half-mad mother who dabbled in magic, Morwenna Phelps found refuge in two worlds. As a child growing up in Wales, she played among the spirits who made their homes in industrial ruins. But her mind found freedom and promise in the science fiction novels that were her closest companions. Then her mother tried to bend the spirits to dark ends, and Mori was forced to confront her in a magical battle that left her crippled--and her twin sister dead.

Fleeing to her father whom she barely knew, Mori was sent to boarding school in England–a place all but devoid of true magic. There, outcast and alone, she tempted fate by doing magic herself, in an attempt to find a circle of like-minded friends. But her magic also drew the attention of her mother, bringing about a reckoning that could no longer be put off…

Combining elements of autobiography with flights of imagination in the manner of novels like Jonathan Lethem’s The Fortress of Solitude, this is potentially a breakout book for an author whose genius has already been hailed by peers like Kelly Link, Sarah Weinman, and Ursula K. Le Guin.

Read Walton's article about writing Among Others.

Read an interview with the author.

TC TIdbits: What the ABA Gave President Obama

The Board of Directors of the Amerian Booksellers Association met with President Obama in the Oval Office in late January for the presentation of the ABA White House Library, a wide selection of current titles, given to each presidential administration since 1929, for the reading pleasure of the First Family. See the list.

Friday, February 18, 2011

This Is Coming Out Next Week, But Jackie Couldn't Wait To Tell You About It

In the dim light of the darkroom, I'm alone, but not for long.
As white turns to gray, Kate is with me.
The background of the dance studio blurred, so the focus is all on her
legs extended in a perfect soaring split.
The straight line to my squiggle,
my forever-best friend.

Sixteen-year-old Liz is Photogirl—sharp, focused and confident in what she sees through her camera lens. Confident that she and Kate will be best friends forever.

But everything changes in one blurry night. Suddenly, Kate is avoiding her, and people are looking the other way when she passes in the halls. As the aftershocks from a startling accusation rip through Liz's world, everything she thought she knew about photography, family, friendship and herself shifts out of focus. What happens when the picture you see no longer makes sense? What do you do when you may lose everything you love most? Told in stunning, searingly raw free verse, Exposed is Kimberly Marcus's gut-wrenching, riveting debut and will appeal to fans of Ellen Hopkins, Laurie Halse Anderson and Virginia Euwer Wolff.

Jackie says:

"I picked this book up initially because it seemed to have a photography theme (the main
character is a photography student), which is up my interest alley. When I saw that it was written completely in free verse, I almost put it down. But I read the first couple of pages...and didn't put it down until I read every last page. Some of them twice. Wow, oh wow, oh wow is this a fantastic book. This is a powerhouse of a debut novel for Marcus, who has a pitch perfect ear for the teenage mind and the dynamics of both family and friends at that age. The emotions are raw, they come crashing out of the sparsely worded pages in vivid waves that at times can take your breath away. I am stunned and awed by this novel and think that just about everybody should read this book, not just teens. It is remarkable writing, plain and deceptively simple. Magnificent!"

New Memoirs

A Box of Darkness
Upton and Sally Brady were a rare breed: cultivated and elegant, they lived a life of literary glamour and high expectations. Sally a debutante; Upton a classics major from Harvard, they met at the Boston Cotillion. He was articulate, witty, and worldly, and he danced like Fred Astaire. How could she resist? Despite raising four children on Upton’s modest wage as the editor-in-chief of the Atlantic Monthly Press, theirs was a world of champagne, sailboats, private islands, famous writers, family rituals, and ice-cold martinis. They lived life on their terms. But as time wore on, Upton, the charming and brilliant husband, the inventive, beguiling partner, grew opinionated, cranky, controlling, and dangerous. When Upton died suddenly one evening in their Vermont cottage, Sally began uncovering secrets. As she went through his papers, she discovered that her husband of forty-six years had desired the love of other men. Her riveting, charismatic husband was not quite the man he appeared to be, and a year of mourning became for Sally a time to unravel the dark and unexpected web he had left behind. Hers is a moving and powerful story of coming to terms with what cannot be changed. It is also a story of great love.

After their parents divorced in the 1970s, Andre Dubus III and his three siblings grew up with their exhausted working mother in a depressed Massachusetts mill town saturated with drugs and crime. To protect himself and those he loved from street violence, Andre learned to use his fists so well that he was even scared of himself. He was on a fast track to getting killed-or killing someone else. He signed on as a boxer. Nearby, his father, an eminent author, taught on a college campus and took the kids out on Sundays. The clash of worlds couldn't have been more stark-or more difficult for a son to communicate to a father. Only by becoming a writer himself could Andre begin to bridge the abyss and save himself. His memoir is a riveting, visceral, profound meditation on physical violence and the failures and triumphs of love.

Henry's Demons
On a cold February day two months after his twentieth birthday, Henry Cockburn waded into the Newhaven estuary outside Brighton, England, and nearly drowned. Voices, he said, had urged him to do it. Nearly halfway around the world in Afghanistan, journalist Patrick Cockburn learned from his wife, Jan, that his son had suffered a breakdown and had been admitted to a hospital. Ten days later, Henry was diagnosed with schizophrenia. Narrated by both Patrick and Henry, this is the extraordinary story of the eight years since Henry’s descent into schizophrenia—years he has spent almost entirely in hospitals—and his family’s struggle to help him recover.

With remarkable frankness, Patrick writes of Henry’s transformation from art student to mental patient and of the agonizing and difficult task of helping his son get well. Any hope of recovery lies in medication, yet Henry, who does not believe he is ill, secretly stops taking it and frequently runs away. Hopeful periods of stability are followed by frightening disappearances, then relapses that bleed into one another, until at last there is the promise of real improvement. In Henry’s own raw, beautiful chapters, he describes his psychosis from the inside. He vividly relates what it is like to hear trees and bushes speaking to him, voices compelling him to wander the countryside or live in the streets, the loneliness of life within hospital walls, harrowing “polka dot days” that incapacitate him, and finally, his steps towards recovery.

Patrick’s and Henry’s parallel stories reveal the complex intersections of sanity, madness, and identity; the vagaries of mental illness and its treatment; and a family’s steadfast response to a bewildering condition. Haunting, intimate, and profoundly moving, their unique narrative will resonate with every parent and anyone who has been touched by mental illness.

History of a Suicide

On the night of April 15, 1990, Jill Bialosky’s twenty-one-year-old sister Kim came home from a bar in downtown Cleveland. She argued with her boyfriend on the phone. Then she took her mother’s car keys, went into the garage, closed the garage door. She climbed into the car, turned on the ignition, and fell asleep. Her body was found the next morning by the neighborhood boy her mother hired to cut the grass.

Those are the simple facts, but the act of suicide is anything but simple. For twenty years, Bialosky has lived with the grief, guilt, questions, and confusion unleashed by Kim’s suicide. Now, in a remarkable work of literary nonfiction, she re-creates with unsparing honesty her sister’s inner life, the events and emotions that led her to take her life on this particular night. In doing so, she opens a window on the nature of suicide itself, our own reactions and responses to it—especially the impact a suicide has on those who remain behind.

Combining Kim’s diaries with family history and memoir, drawing on the works of doctors and psychologists as well as writers from Melville and Dickinson to Sylvia Plath and Wallace Stevens, Bialosky gives us a stunning exploration of human fragility and strength. She juxtaposes the story of Kim’s death with the challenges of becoming a mother and her own exuberant experience of raising a son. This is a book that explores all aspects of our familial relationships—between mothers and sons, fathers and daughters—but particularly the tender and enduring bonds between sisters.

History of a Suicide brings a crucial and all too rarely discussed subject out of the shadows, and in doing so gives readers the courage to face their own losses, no matter what those may be. This searing and compassionate work reminds us of the preciousness of life and of the ways in which those we love are inextricably bound to us.

My Father's Fortune
For the first time, Michael Frayn, the "master of what is seriously funny,"* turns his humor and narrative genius on his own family's story, to re-create the world that made him who he is.

Whether he is deliriously funny or philosophically profound, as a novelist and a playwright Michael Frayn has concerned himself with the ordinary life lived by erring humans, which is always more extraordinary than people think. In My Father's Fortune, Frayn reveals the original exemplar of the extraordinary-ordinary life: his father, Tom Frayn.

A clever lad, a roofing salesman with a winning smile and a racetrack vocabulary, Tom Frayn emerged undaunted from a childhood spent in two rooms with six other people, all of them deaf. And undaunted he stayed, through German rockets, feckless in-laws, and his own increasing deafness; through the setback of a son as bafflingly slow-witted as the father was quick on his feet; through the shockingly sudden tragedy that darkened his life.

Tom Frayn left his son little more than three watches and two ink-and-wash prints. But the true fortune he passed on was the great humor and spirit revealed in this beguiling memoir.

* Anthony Burgess

TC Tidbits: Literary Outlaws

from our friends at

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Dispatches From the Field: Joe Loves This Page-Turning Mix of Fact and Fiction

Under a clear blue September sky, America's financial center in lower Manhattan became the site of the largest, deadliest terrorist attack in the nation's history. It was September 16, 1920. Four hundred people were killed or injured. The country was appalled by the magnitude and savagery of the incomprehensible attack, which remains unsolved to this day.

The bomb that devastated Wall Street in 1920 explodes in the opening pages of The Death Instinct, Jed Rubenfeld's provocative and mesmerizing new novel. War veteran Dr. Stratham Younger and his friend Captain James Littlemore of the New York Police Department are caught on Wall Street on the fateful day of the blast. With them is the beautiful Colette Rousseau, a French radiochemist whom Younger meets while fighting in the world war. A series of inexplicable attacks on Rousseau, a secret buried in her past, and a mysterious trail of evidence lead Young, Littlemore, and Rousseau on a thrilling international and psychological journey-from Paris to Prague, from the Vienna home of Dr. Sigmund Freud to the corridors of power in Washington, D.C., and ultimately to the hidden depths of our most savage instincts. As the seemingly disjointed pieces of what Younger and Littlemore learn come together, the two uncover the shocking truth behind the bombing.

Blending fact and fiction in a brilliantly convincing narrative, Jed Rubenfeld has forged a gripping historical mystery about a tragedy that holds eerie parallels to our own time.

Joe says:

"Jed Rubenfeld's The Death Instinct begins on a clear September day in downtown New York, when a bomb explodes on Wall Street. With parallels to recent events, this novel is set in 1920, with World War One having just ended, immigration paranoia running rampant, and a country no longer able to legally consumer alcohol. War vet Dr. Stratham Younger and his friend, New York Police Captain James Littlemore get caught up in the events on Wall Street. Thus begins a caper on a grand scale. In steps Colette Rousseau, a woman Younger met in Europe during the war. She is beautiful, and a scientist who worked with Madame Currie on radiology studies. This is a thrilling novel, and the action takes place in New York, Washington, Vienna, Paris and Prague. Rubenfeld juggles a large cast of characters and keeps the action well-paced and believable. The bombing really happened, and the author blends fact and fiction very well. This was a quick read for me, mostly because it was very hard to put down!"

Not All Snow Days Are Fun

The day the blizzard started, no one knew that it was going to keep snowing for a week. That for those in its path, it would become not just a matter of keeping warm, but of staying alive....

Scotty and his friends Pete and Jason are among the last seven kids at their high school waiting to get picked up that day, and they soon realize that no one is coming for them. Still, it doesn't seem so bad to spend the night at school, especially when distractingly hot Krista and Julie are sleeping just down the hall. But then the power goes out, then the heat. The pipes freeze, and the roof shudders. As the days add up, the snow piles higher, and the empty halls grow colder and darker, the mounting pressure forces a devastating decision....

TC Tidbits: Pulp Fiction Covers Are Artist Thomas Allen's Latest Medium

Watch the great video below to get a complete overview of the show--and turn it up because the music is as great as the art!

Public Presentation Intro from Thomas Allen on Vimeo.