Tuesday, April 30, 2013

“Dark, comedic, and unsettling, 'Dreams and Shadows' is everything an urban fantasy sets out to be.” --Tor.com

A brilliantly crafted modern tale —part Neil Gaiman, part Guillermo Del Toro, part William S. Burroughs—that charts the lives of two boys from their star-crossed childhood in the realm of magic and mystery to their anguished adulthoods

Screenwriter and acclaimed film critic C. Robert Cargill makes his fiction debut with Dreams and Shadows, taking beloved fantasy tropes, giving them a twist, and turning out a wonderful, witty, and wry take on clash between the fairy world and our own.

There is another world than our own—one no closer than a kiss and one no further than our nightmares—where all the stuff of which dreams are made is real and magic is just a step away. But once you see that world, you will never be the same.

Dreams and Shadows takes us beyond this veil. Once bold explorers and youthful denizens of this magical realm, Ewan is now an Austin musician who just met his dream girl, and Colby, meanwhile, cannot escape the consequences of an innocent wish. But while Ewan and Colby left the Limestone Kingdom as children, it has never forgotten them. And in a world where angels relax on rooftops, whiskey-swilling genies argue metaphysics with foul-mouthed wizards, and monsters in the shadows feed on fear, you can never outrun your fate.

Dreams and Shadows is a stunning and evocative debut about the magic and monsters in our world and in our self.

Browse through the book HERE.

Heather says:
"A fantasy set in the Austin, Texas, of today, and in the world of fairy existing just alongside our own, Dreams and Shadows is a tale of two boys, and how their very different interactions with the magical folk shape their lives and the lives of everyone around them. As I've mentioned before in my reviews, I'm a bit squeamish about violence, so I shy away from horror. While I wouldn't characterize Dreams and Shadows as horror, it certainly has its horrific moments. This is not a light tale – it is both a cautionary tale about being careful what you wish for, and about trusting what you think you know, especially when the culture, and the motivations of those around you are very different from your own.

C. Robert Cargill is a screenwriter and film critic, and his debut novel reflects the skills he's honed in his other work. He has crafted a world that I was completely immersed in, its beauty and darkness both vividly depicted, and its characters multifaceted and very real. Cargill's publisher compares his work to that of Neil Gaiman, Lev Grossman, and Guillermo Del Toro, and I would agree wholeheartedly. If you're a fan of any of the above, I think you'll love this book."

A Memoir of Coming Of Age In Confinement While Hoping for Vindication

Amanda Knox spent four years in a foreign prison for a crime she did not commit.

In the fall of 2007, the 20-year-old college coed left Seattle to study abroad in Italy, but her life was shattered when her roommate was murdered in their apartment.

After a controversial trial, Amanda was convicted and imprisoned. But in 2011, an appeals court overturned the decision and vacated the murder charge. Free at last, she returned home to the U.S., where she has remained silent, until now.

Filled with details first recorded in the journals Knox kept while in Italy, Waiting to Be Heard is a remarkable story of innocence, resilience, and courage, and of one young woman’s hard-fought battle to overcome injustice and win the freedom she deserved.

With intelligence, grace, and candor, Amanda Knox tells the full story of her harrowing ordeal in Italy—a labyrinthine nightmare of crime and punishment, innocence and vindication—and of the unwavering support of family and friends who tirelessly worked to help her win her freedom. 

TC Tidbit: The World's Best Thinkers, According To Prospect Magazine

Monday, April 29, 2013

"It opened my eyes about many things, made me cry a time or two, and, most of all, it made me think...." --Jackie

The acclaimed author of The Wasted Vigil now gives us a searing, exquisitely written novel set in Pakistan and Afghanistan in the months following 9/11: a story of war, of one family’s losses, and of the simplest, most enduring human impulses.

Jeo and Mikal are foster brothers from a small town in Pakistan. Though they were inseparable as children, their adult lives have diverged: Jeo is a dedicated medical student, married a year; Mikal has been a vagabond since he was fifteen, in love with a woman he can’t have. But when Jeo decides to sneak across the border into Afghanistan—not to fight with the Taliban against the Americans, rather to help care for wounded civilians—Mikal determines to go with him, to protect him.

Yet Jeo’s and Mikal’s good intentions cannot keep them out of harm’s way. As the narrative takes us from the wilds of Afghanistan to the heart of the family left behind—their blind father, haunted by the death of his wife and by the mistakes he may have made in the name of Islam and nationhood; Mikal’s beloved brother and sister-in-law; Jeo’s wife, whose increasing resolve helps keep the household running, and her superstitious mother—we see all of these lives upended by the turmoil of war.

In language as lyrical as it is piercing, in scenes at once beautiful and harrowing, The Blind Man’s Garden unflinchingly describes a crucially contemporary yet timeless world in which the line between enemy and ally is indistinct, and where the desire to return home burns brightest of all.

Check out this video (which we can't upload here for some unknown reason), of the author talking about why he wrote this book and more.

Jackie says:
"This is an atmospheric and heart wrenching view of what the aftermath of 9/11 was for the people of Pakistan and Afghanistan.  It focuses on one family, but the story it tells explains a part of the world that we know so little about at the day top day family level.  Everything is in there--the poverty, the richness of life, family, war, peace, religion, traditions, education, Taliban, pride, guilt, life, death and, above all, survival.  The prose is very lyrical, boarding on poetic, but that does not soften the blow of the violence these characters are subjected to (or subject others to).  It isn't an easy read, but it is one that I highly recommend.  It opened my eyes about many things, made me cry a time or two, and, most of all, it made me think about 9/11 in a very, very, very different way."

Eric B. Is Recommending...

Daughter of a cold, controlling mother and an anonymous donor, studious, obedient Elizabeth Fitch finally let loose one night, drinking too much at a nightclub and allowing a strange man’s seductive Russian accent to lure her to a house on Lake Shore Drive.

Twelve years later, the woman now known as Abigail Lowery lives alone on the outskirts of a small town in the Ozarks. A freelance security systems programmer, her own protection is supplemented by a fierce dog and an assortment of firearms. She keeps to herself, saying little, revealing nothing. Unfortunately, that seems to be the quickest way to get attention in a tiny southern town.

The mystery of Abigail Lowery and her sharp mind, secretive nature, and unromantic viewpoints intrigues local police chief Brooks Gleason, on both a personal and professional level. And while he suspects that Abigail needs protection from something, Gleason is accustomed to two-bit troublemakers, not the powerful and dangerous men who are about to have him in their sights.

And Abigail Lowery, who has built a life based on security and self-control, is at risk of losing both.

1889, LONDON.


Victorian London—a violent cesspool of squalid depravity. Only twelve detectives—The Murder Squad—are expected to solve the thousands of crimes committed here each month. Formed after the Metropolitan Police’s spectacular failure in capturing Jack the Ripper, the Murder Squad suffers the brunt of public contempt. But no one can anticipate the brutal murder of one of their own…

A Scotland Yard Inspector has been found stuffed in a black steamer trunk at Euston Square Station, his eyes and mouth sewn shut. When Walter Day, the squad’s new hire, is assigned to the case, he finds a strange ally in Dr. Bernard Kingsley, the Yard’s first forensic pathologist. Their grim conclusion: this was not just a random, bizarre murder but in all probability, the first of twelve. Because the squad itself it being targeted and the devious killer shows no signs of stopping before completing his grim duty. But Inspector Day has one more surprise, something even more shocking than the crimes: the killer’s motive.

Old Filth and The Man in the Wooden Hat told with bristling tenderness and black humour the stories of that Titan of the Hong Kong law courts, Old Filth QC, and his clever, misunderstood wife Betty. Last Friends, the final volume of this trilogy, picks up with Terence Veneering, Filth's great rival in work and - though it was never spoken of - in love.

Veneering's were not the usual beginnings of an establishment silk: the son of a Russian acrobat marooned in northeast England and a devoted local girl, he escapes the war to emerge in the Far East as a man of panache, success and fame. But, always, at the stuffy English Bar he is treated with suspicion: where did this blond, louche, brilliant Slav come from?

Veneering, Filth and their friends tell a tale of love, friendship, grace, the bittersweet experiences of a now-forgotten Empire and the disappointments and consolations of age.

TC Tidbit: We Just Wanted To Take A Moment To Thank All of the Book Givers Who Handed Book on World Book Night (4/23/13)

You guys were awesome!!!!!!!!!!  Thank you for so actively believing in books, reading and all the joy that comes with that. 

Sunday, April 28, 2013

The End of "What's For Dinner?"

The Fresh 20, the popular budget-friendly meal-planning service founded by working mother Melissa Lanz, is now a cookbook, offering families an all-natural and easy approach to mealtimes.

Using just 20 organic, non-processed ingredients per week, home cooks can create 5 wholesome, delicious meals in just minutes. A busy home cook herself, Lanz understands the “What’s for dinner?” conundrum and has developed a program that gives parents healthy cooking options.

Inspiring and educational, The Fresh 20 is filled with gorgeous color photos, shopping lists that take advantage of seasonal fruits and vegetables, prep tips, and, of course, easy and delicious recipes — including vegetarian, vegan, and gluten-free options.

Erin's Recommending...

In his most beautiful and moving work to date, Bob Staake explores the universal themes of loneliness, bullying, and the importance of friendship. In this emotional picture book, readers will be captivated as they follow the journey of a bluebird as he develops a friendship with a young boy and ultimately risks his life to save the boy from harm. Both simple and evocative, this timeless and profound story will resonate with readers young and old.

Bob Staake has been working on this book for 10 years, and he believes it is the story he was born to write.

Learning to ride a bike is one of the most important milestones of childhood, and no one captures the emotional ups and downs of the experience better than Chris Raschka, who won the 2012 Caldecott Medal for A Ball for Daisy. In this simple yet emotionally rich "guide," a father takes his daughter through all the steps in the process—from choosing the perfect bicycle to that triumphant first successful ride. Using very few words and lots of expressive pictures, here is a picture book that not only shows kids how to learn to ride, but captures what it feels like to fall . . . get up . . . fall again . . . and finally "by luck, grace, and determination" ride a bicycle!

Readers will herald the return of their favorite phobic boy in this, the fifth book in the beloved Alvin Ho series. Alvin's mother has been getting bigger . . . and bigger. Alvin's sure it's all the mochi cakes she's been eating, but it turns out she's pregnant! There are lots of scary things about babies, as everybody knows—there's learning CPR for the newborn and changing diapers (no way)—but the scariest thing of all is the fact that the baby could be a GIRL. As a result of the stress, Alvin develops a sympathetic pregnancy and hilarity definitely ensues. Once again, Lenore Look and LeUyen Pham deliver a story that's funny and touching in equal measures.

 In a magical kingdom where your name is your destiny, 12-year-old Rump is the butt of everyone's joke.
Rump has never known his full name—his mother died before she could tell him. So all his life he's been teased and bullied for his half-a-name. But when he finds an old spinning wheel, his luck seems to change. For Rump discovers he can spin straw into gold. Magical gold.

His best friend Red Riding Hood warns him that magic is dangerous—and she's right! That gold is worth its weight in trouble. And with each thread he spins, Rump weaves himself deeper into a curse.

There's only one way to break the spell: Rump must go on a quest to find his true name, along the way defending himself against pixies, trolls, poison apples, and one beautiful but vile-mannered queen. The odds are against him, but with courage and friendship—and a cheeky sense of humor—Rump just might triumph in the end.

An inventive fairytale retelling, perfect for fans of Gail Carson Levine or Shannon Hale.

The race is on for a new student council president, and the Breakfast Bunch is rallying for Hector! The competition is already heavy, but the race heats up when school security is at stake: student and staff high-tech gadgets are disappearing left and right. Whoever the culprit is, this is one stealthy thief—and the school is so busy with the election that he gets away with it every time. Luckily some of Lunch Lady's own culinary gadgets have eluded the crook, but will they be enough to catch this sticky-fingered bandit? And will Hector be able to pull off a victory? 

Sometimes the most dramatic scenes in a high school theater club are the ones that happen between the actors and crew off stage.
Seventeen-year-old Tyler Darcy's dream of being a writer is starting to feel very real now that he's sold his first short story to a literary journal. He should be celebrating its publication with his two best friends who've always had his back, but on this night, a steady stream of texts from his girlfriend Sidney keep intruding. So do the memories of his dream girl, Becky, who's been on his mind a little too much since the first day of high school. Before the night is over, Ty might just find the nerve to stop all the obsessing and finally take action. 

TC Tidbit: A Special interview With David Foster Wallace

Saturday, April 27, 2013

Happy 40th Birthday Lonely Planet!!!!!


The Lonely Planet Story

A beat-up old car, a few dollars in the pocket, and a sense of adventure.

That's all Tony and Maureen Wheeler needed for the trip of a lifetime. They met on a park bench in Regent's Park and married a year later. For their honeymoon, they decided to attempt what few people thought possible - crossing Europe and Asia overland, all the way to Australia. It took them several months and all the money they could earn, beg or borrow, but they made it. And at the end of it all, they were flat broke… and couldn't have been happier.

It was too amazing an experience to keep to themselves. Urged on by their friends, they stayed up nights at their kitchen table writing, typing and stapling together their very first travel guide, Across Asia on the Cheap.

Within a week they'd sold 1500 copies and Lonely Planet was born. Two years later, their second journey led to South-East Asia on a shoestring, which led to books on Nepal, Australia, Africa, and India, which led to… you get the picture.

Fast-forward over 40 years


Lonely Planet has gone on to become the world’s most successful travel publisher, printing over 100 million books. The guides are printed in nine different languages; English, French, German, Spanish, Italian, Brazilian Portuguese, Russian, Chinese and Korean. Lonely Planet enables curious travellers to experience the world and get to the heart of a place via guidebooks and eBooks to almost every destination on the planet, an award-winning website and magazine, a range of mobile and digital travel products and a dedicated traveller community.

As Lonely Planet became a globally loved brand, Tony and Maureen received several offers for the company. But it wasn’t until 2007 that they found a partner whom they trusted to remain true to Lonely Planet’s principles. In October of that year, BBC Worldwide acquired a 75% share in Lonely Planet, pledging to uphold Lonely Planet’s commitment to independent travel, trustworthy advice and editorial independence. In 2011, BBC Worldwide became sole shareholders of the company.
"At Lonely Planet we like to say that our writers go to the end of the road. And they had damn well better. Because I go to the end of the road." --Tony Wheeler
BBC Worldwide is the main commercial arm, and a wholly owned subsidiary of, the British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC).

Today, Lonely Planet has offices in Melbourne, London and Oakland, with over 450 employees and over 200 authors. In 2012, Lonely Planet also set up its first office in Gurgaon, India, publishing guidebooks for Indian travellers.

Tony and Maureen are still actively involved with Lonely Planet. They continue to travel and devote much of their spare time to charitable projects. And the company is still driven by the philosophy in Across Asia on the Cheap: 'All you've got to do is decide to go and the hardest part is over. So go!'

Here are some of our travel buyer's favorites from Lonely Planet and on our shelves now:

Bobby Flay Is Taking It Slow and Smokey In His Latest Grilling Cookbook


The man who got America fired up about grilling now extends his serious outdoor skills to low and slow barbecue and the intoxicating flavors of wood smoke.

You’ve always known the best grilling recipes come from chef-restaurateur and Food Network star Bobby Flay. Now, just as on his Emmy award-winning show of the same name, Bobby turns his attention to true barbecue in Bobby Flay’s Barbecue Addiction. With this book you get the best of both worlds and can decide whether to barbecue Tuscan Rosemary Smoked Whole Chickens or quickly grill some Pimiento Cheese-Bacon Burgers, depending upon your craving.
Here is everything you need for a great backyard bash: pitchers of cold drinks, such as Sparkling Bourbon Lemonade, and platters of starters to share, like Grilled Shrimp Skewers with Cilantro-Mint Chutney, and inventive sides, including New Potato-Corn Chowder Salad.
You’ll also find tons of helpful information on the pros and cons of different cookers, fuels, woods, and grilling gear; how to light and tend a fire; how to tell when your steaks are done; as well as Bobby’s top ten tips for the perfect cookout. With 150 recipes and 100 color photographs, Bobby Flay’s Barbecue Addiction is the new outdoor cooking manifesto for fellow worshippers of smoke, fire, and good times.

Get a sneak peek recipe HERE.

More Bobby Flay recipes HERE.

TC Tidbit: Five Characters Who Would Make Terrible Real Life Boyfriends

Friday, April 26, 2013

Miki Finally Takes On the Iconic "Bel Canto"


Somewhere in South America, at the home of the country's vice president, a lavish birthday party is being held in honor of the powerful businessman Mr. Hosokawa. Roxanne Coss, opera's most revered soprano, has mesmerized the international guests with her singing. It is a perfect evening -- until a band of gunwielding terrorists takes the entire party hostage. But what begins as a panicked, life-threatening scenario slowly evolves into something quite different, a moment of great beauty, as terrorists and hostages forge unexpected bonds and people from different continents become compatriots, intimate friends, and lovers.

Miki says:
"I don’t think that it is possible to be a bookseller and not hear something about Ann Pachett’s Bel Canto.  It is one of those books that you always recommend if you have read it and you feel guilty about if you haven’t.  Finally, my guilt and shame have been washed away because I have indeed read the infamous Bel Canto

There is not much more that I can say about the book that has been said in the millions of reviews that have been written in the past, but I will say that there is a reason why the novel is still talked about, raved about, recommended, and compared to so often. 

I did not expect Bel Canto to live up to the hype, but it certainly exceeded my expectations.  The writing is impeccable, the characters are so easy to fall in love with, and the end is flawless.  Now, when this title comes up, I can stop feeling ashamed and lead customers right to the beautiful masterpiece that is ."

"Once again, Mitchell Zuckoff has uncovered a thrilling historical tale and told it masterfully. Seamlessly interweaving the past and the present, Frozen in Time is one of those epic adventure stories that will hold you in its grip from beginning to end." -- David Grann, author of "The Lost City of Z"

Two harrowing crashes . . . A vanished rescue plane . . . A desperate fight for life in a frozen, hostile land . . . The quest to solve a seventy-year-old mystery

The author of the smash New York Times bestseller Lost in Shangri-La delivers a gripping true story of endurance, bravery, ingenuity, and honor set in the vast Arctic wilderness of World War II and today.

On November 5, 1942, a U.S. cargo plane on a routine flight slammed into the Greenland ice cap. Four days later, a B-17 on the search-and-rescue mission became lost in a blinding storm and also crashed. Miraculously, all nine men on the B-17 survived. The U.S. military launched a second daring rescue operation, but the Grumman Duck amphibious plane sent to find the men flew into a severe storm and vanished.

In this thrilling adventure, Mitchell Zuckoff offers a spellbinding account of these harrowing disasters and the fate of the survivors and their would-be saviors. Frozen in Time places us at the center of a group of valiant airmen fighting to stay alive through 148 days of a brutal Arctic winter by sheltering from subzero temperatures and vicious blizzards in the tail section of the broken B-17 until an expedition headed by famed Arctic explorer Bernt Balchen attempts to bring them to safety.

But that is only part of the story that unfolds in Frozen in Time. In present-day Greenland, Zuckoff joins the U.S. Coast Guard and North South Polar—a company led by the indefatigable dreamer Lou Sapienza, who worked for years to solve the mystery of the Duck’s last flight—on a dangerous expedition to recover the remains of the lost plane’s crew.

Drawing on intensive research and Zuckoff ’s firsthand account of the dramatic 2012 expedition, Frozen in Time is a breathtaking blend of mystery, adventure, heroism, and survival. It is also a poignant reminder of the sacrifices of our military personnel and their families—and a tribute to the important, perilous, and often-overlooked work of the U.S. Coast Guard.

You can browse inside the book HERE.

TC Tidbit: The Nocturnal Glenn Gould

Thursday, April 25, 2013

Jackie Isn't Sure What To Call This Book--Fact or Fiction--But She Finds It Quite Beautiful


The latest novel from the #1 internationally best-selling author of The Alchemist.

There is nothing wrong with anxiety.
Although we cannot control God’s time, it is part of the human condition to want to receive the thing we are waiting for as quickly as possible.
Or to drive away whatever is causing our fear. . . .
Anxiety was born in the very same moment as mankind. And since we will never be able to master it, we will have to learn to live with it—just as we have learned to live with storms.

*  *  *

July 14, 1099. Jerusalem awaits the invasion of the crusaders who have surrounded the city’s gates. There, inside the ancient city’s walls, men and women of every age and every faith have gathered to hear the wise words of a mysterious man known only as the Copt. He has summoned the townspeople to address their fears with truth: 

“Tomorrow, harmony will become discord. Joy will be replaced by grief. Peace will give way to war. . . . None of us can know what tomorrow will hold, because each day has its good and its bad moments. So, when you ask your questions, forget about the troops outside and the fear inside. Our task is not to leave a record of what happened on this date for those who will inherit the Earth; history will take care of that. Therefore, we will speak about our daily lives, about the difficulties we have had to face.” 

The people begin with questions about defeat, struggle, and the nature of their enemies; they contemplate the will to change and the virtues of loyalty and solitude; and they ultimately turn to questions of beauty, love, wisdom, sex, elegance, and what the future holds. “What is success?” poses the Copt. “It is being able to go to bed each night with your soul at peace.” 

*  *  *

Now, these many centuries later, the wise man’s answers are a record of the human values that have endured throughout time. And, in Paulo Coelho’s hands, The Manuscript Found in Accra reveals that who we are, what we fear, and what we hope for the future come from the knowledge and belief that can be found within us, and not from the adversity that surrounds us.


Jackie says:
"A manuscript, carbon dated back to 1307 AD, was found in 1974.   It is written in Arabic, Hebrew and Latin.  It concerns a town meeting in July 14, 1099, a day before the French army was to invade the city (Jerusalem).  A Greek man who had made his home there for years, who was known as The Copt.  He sat with the elders of the various religions in the town, and he invites the spectators to ask him questions and he would answer them all.  The book is a transcript of those questions and their deeply beautiful answers.  

While religion and beliefs came into play in many of the answers, I don't really feel like it was preachy in any way.  It was more of a philosophical view at a lot of difficult things, both in the town's situation and those that live in the human heart.  It's a quick read in some ways, but I found myself going back over the answers again and again.  The writing is so well rendered, one wonders if this is truly fiction, or is there maybe something larger behind it.  All I can tell you is to read it for yourself."

“Original and fresh…A fascinating blend of historical fiction and Jewish and Arab folklore” --Library Journal

Helene Wecker's dazzling debut novel tells the story of two supernatural creatures who appear mysteriously in 1899 New York. Chava is a golem, a creature made of clay, brought to life by a strange man who dabbles in dark Kabbalistic magic. When her master dies at sea on the voyage from Poland, she is unmoored and adrift as the ship arrives in New York Harbor. Ahmad is a jinni, a being of fire, born in the ancient Syrian Desert. Trapped in an old copper flask by a Bedouin wizard centuries ago, he is released accidentally by a tinsmith in a Lower Manhattan shop.

Struggling to make their way in this strange new place, the Golem and the Jinni try to fit in with their neighbors while masking their true natures. Surrounding them is a community of immigrants: the coffeehouse owner Maryam Faddoul, a pillar of wisdom and support for her Syrian neighbors; the solitary ice cream maker Saleh, a damaged man cursed by tragedy; the kind and caring Rabbi Meyer and his beleaguered nephew, Michael, whose Sheltering House receives newly arrived Jewish men; the adventurous young socialite Sophia Winston; and the enigmatic Joseph Schall, a dangerous man driven by ferocious ambition and esoteric wisdom.

Meeting by chance, the two creatures become unlikely friends whose tenuous attachment challenges their opposing natures, until the night a terrifying incident drives them back into their separate worlds. But a powerful menace will soon bring the Golem and the Jinni together again, threatening their existence and forcing them to make a fateful choice.

Marvelous and compulsively readable, The Golem and the Jinni weaves strands of folk mythology, historical fiction, and magical fable into a wondrously inventive and unforgettable tale.

Read an excerpt HERE.

TC Tidbit: "Television drove me back..."

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Heather Has Fallen For This Action Packed Book That Started Out As A Movie Idea


From legendary Hollywood director Chris Columbus (Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone and Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets) and bestselling author Ned Vizzini (It's Kind of a Funny Story) comes this first book in an epic new fantasy series.

Brendan, Eleanor, and Cordelia Walker once had everything: two loving parents, a beautiful house in San Francisco, and all the portable electronic devices they could want. But everything changed when Dr. Walker lost his job in the wake of a mysterious incident. Now in dire straits, the family must relocate to an old Victorian house that used to be the home of occult novelist Denver Kristoff—a house that feels simultaneously creepy and too good to be true.

By the time the Walkers realize that one of their neighbors has sinister plans for them, they're banished to a primeval forest way off the grid. Their parents? Gone. Their friends? A world away. And they aren't alone. Bloodthirsty medieval warriors patrol the woods around them, supernatural pirates roam the neighboring seas, and a power-hungry queen rules the land. To survive, the siblings will have to be braver than they ever thought possible—and fight against their darkest impulses. The key may lie in their own connection to the secret Kristoff legacy. But as they unravel that legacy, they'll discover it's not just their family that's in danger . . . it's the entire world.

Heather says:
"I love stories where books play a central role. And I love stories packed with action and humor, and kids who shine when faced with great challenges and difficult choices. As the director of the first two Harry Potter movies, Chris Columbus knows a little bit about these things – and his debut novel, written with bestselling author Ned Vizzini, doesn't disappoint.

The first in a new fantasy series, House of Secrets features exactly that, a lovely old house, too good to be true for the struggling Walker family, full of ancient secrets, as well as a wonderful old library and lots of hidden passages and rooms. The Walker children face giants, pirates, re-animated skeletons, dark magic, and a particularly nasty enchantress. With just enough left unexplained at the end, I'll be eagerly awaiting the next installment in this story."

What Kept Them Going, And Other Fascinating Things


Franz Kafka, frustrated with his living quarters and day job, wrote in a letter to Felice Bauer in 1912, “time is short, my strength is limited, the office is a horror, the apartment is noisy, and if a pleasant, straightforward life is not possible then one must try to wriggle through by subtle maneuvers.”

Kafka is one of 161 inspired—and inspiring—minds, among them, novelists, poets, playwrights, painters, philosophers, scientists, and mathematicians, who describe how they subtly maneuver the many (self-inflicted) obstacles and (self-imposed) daily rituals to get done the work they love to do, whether by waking early or staying up late; whether by self-medicating with doughnuts or bathing, drinking vast quantities of coffee, or taking long daily walks. Thomas Wolfe wrote standing up in the kitchen, the top of the refrigerator as his desk, dreamily fondling his “male configurations”. . . Jean-Paul Sartre chewed on Corydrane tablets (a mix of amphetamine and aspirin), ingesting ten times the recommended dose each day . . . Descartes liked to linger in bed, his mind wandering in sleep through woods, gardens, and enchanted palaces where he experienced “every pleasure imaginable.”

Here are: Anthony Trollope, who demanded of himself that each morning he write three thousand words (250 words every fifteen minutes for three hours) before going off to his job at the postal service, which he kept for thirty-three years during the writing of more than two dozen books . . . Karl Marx . . . Woody Allen . . . Agatha Christie . . . George Balanchine, who did most of his work while ironing . . . Leo Tolstoy . . . Charles Dickens . . . Pablo Picasso . . . George Gershwin, who, said his brother Ira, worked for twelve hours a day from late morning to midnight, composing at the piano in pajamas, bathrobe, and slippers . . .

Here also are the daily rituals of Charles Darwin, Andy Warhol, John Updike, Twyla Tharp, Benjamin Franklin, William Faulkner, Jane Austen, Anne Rice, and Igor Stravinsky (he was never able to compose unless he was sure no one could hear him and, when blocked, stood on his head to “clear the brain”).

Brilliantly compiled and edited, and filled with detail and anecdote, Daily Rituals is irresistible, addictive, magically inspiring.

Read the series of Daily Ritual articles Mason Currey is writing on slate.com.

TC Tidbit: A "Revealing" Quote

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Hank's Got Some Advice About Reading David Sedaris' Newest Book

A new collection of essays from the #1 New York Times bestselling author who has been called "the preeminent humorist of his generation" (Entertainment Weekly).
From the unique perspective of David Sedaris comes a new book of essays taking his readers on a bizarre and stimulating world tour. From the perils of French dentistry to the eating habits of the Australian kookaburra, from the squat-style toilets of Beijing to the particular wilderness of a North Carolina Costco, we learn about the absurdity and delight of a curious traveler's experiences. Whether railing against the habits of litterers in the English countryside or marveling over a disembodied human arm in a taxidermist's shop, Sedaris takes us on side-splitting adventures that are not to be forgotten.

Hank says:
"I have no illusions that I'm helping to get the word out about an author whose books will pretty much sell themselves, but here's what I thought of David Sedaris's forthcoming collection. It is subtitled 'Essays, Etc.', which is a good description. Many of the pieces are essays of a generally confessional nature, although you have to stop and wonder if all (or on a particularly suspicious day any!) of what is being confessed is in the strictest sense true. But life is weird, and I guess it's possible.
These are punctuated by narratives in which Sedaris adopts various personae, all essentially incarnations of the Anti-Sedaris. He gleefully lampoons them, providing plenty of rope. The book ends with a poem describing various canine hazards. 
As far as I know, David and Amy Sedaris are the only professionally humorous family members, but their sister Gretchen could probably hold her own. The essay Standing Still deals in part with the serious matter of Gretchen escaping from an assailant.  Because she lost her glasses in the struggle, she is only able to give the police a vague description. Their father, who seems to occupy the territory between Character and Jerk throughout the book, decides they can't rely on law enforcement to catch the man, and starts driving them around Raleigh to look for "a black man." Gretchen quips, 'With long pants and a white T-shirt on. Clothes he couldn't possibly have changed because they're permanently attached to his body.'
Although I did so, I can't really recommend reading #2 to Go while you're eating lunch. Some people may prefer not to read it even when they aren't! By comparison, the taxidermy content of  Understanding Understanding Owls didn't faze me, nor the colonoscopy talk of The Happy Place, and I found myself giggling out loud in public. The rest of the giggling was, as far as I know, only inside my head."

Liz and Michele Are Recommending...

A great, hilarious new voice in fiction: the poignant, all-too-human recollections of an affable bird researcher in the Indiana backwater as he goes through a disastrous yet heartening love affair with the place and its people.

Nathan Lochmueller studies birds, earning just enough money to live on. He drives a glitter-festooned truck, the Gypsy Moth, and he is in love with Lola, a woman so free-spirited and mysterious she can break a man’s heart with a sigh or a shrug. Around them swirls a remarkable cast of characters: the proprietor of Fast Eddie’s Burgers & Beer, the genius behind “Thong Thursdays”; Uncle Dart, a Texan who brings his swagger to Indiana with profound and nearly devastating results; a snapping turtle with a taste for thumbs; a German shepherd who howls backup vocals; and the very charismatic state of Indiana itself. And at the center of it all is Nathan, creeping through the forest to observe the birds he loves and coming to terms with the accidental turns his life has taken.

In this irresistible memoir, Anna Quindlen writes about a woman’s life, from childhood memories to manic motherhood to middle age, using the events of her life to illuminate ours. Considering—and celebrating—everything from marriage, girlfriends, our mothers, parenting, faith, loss, to all the stuff in our closets, and more, Quindlen says for us here what we may wish we could have said ourselves. As she did in her beloved New York Times columns, and in A Short Guide to a Happy Life, Quindlen uses her past, present, and future to explore what matters most to women at different ages. Quindlen talks about

Marriage: “A safety net of small white lies can be the bedrock of a successful marriage. You wouldn’t believe how cheaply I can do a kitchen renovation.”

Girlfriends: “Ask any woman how she makes it through the day, and she may mention her calendar, her to-do lists, her babysitter. But if you push her on how she really makes it through her day, she will mention her girlfriends. ”

Our bodies: “I’ve finally recognized my body for what it is: a personality-delivery system, designed expressly to carry my character from place to place, now and in the years to come.”

Parenting: “Being a parent is not transactional. We do not get what we give. It is the ultimate pay-it-forward endeavor: We are good parents not so they will be loving enough to stay with us but so they will be strong enough to leave us.”

Candid, funny, and moving, Lots of Candles, Plenty of Cake is filled with the sharp insights and revealing observations that have long confirmed Quindlen’s status as America’s laureate of real life.

Happy Book and Lover's Day!!!!

Every year on April 23rd, Barcelona erupts in a celebration of chivalry and romance. It all began in the Middle Ages with an annual Festival of Roses to honor St. George, Patron Saint of Catalonia. A brave Roman soldier, he allegedly slew a dragon about to devour a beautiful young princess. According to legend, a rosebush then sprouted from the blood of the slain dragon and the soldier plucked its most perfect blossoms to give to the princess as a remembrance.

In 1923, the traditional Rose Festival merged with International Book Day, established to celebrate the lives of Miguel de Cervantes and William Shakespeare, both of whom died on April 23rd in 1616. Now, bookstalls and flower stands sprout up along the Rambla, a two-mile stretch connecting the city with the Mediterranean Sea. Thousands of Barcelonans crowd the streets to enjoy a festive atmosphere of readings, music, literature, and dance. And rare is the woman without a rose-or the man without a book tucked under his arm.

The Tattered Cover is delighted to honor this springtime celebration of culture, beauty, intelligence, and love. Complimentary roses and bookmarks will be available on April 23 with the purchase of a book; while supplies last. As always, we’ll be happy to turn your purchases into lovely wrapped gifts at no extra charge.

A million books will be given out this evening in honor of World Book Night.  Tattered Cover wants to thank each and every giver out there tonight spreading the joy of reading.  And an enormous thanks goes to the many publishers and organizers that it took to make this event happen. 

Thank You!!!
Thank You!!!!
Thank You!!!!!

Monday, April 22, 2013

Miki's Been On a Sedaris Binge

With anticipation and excitement building over David Sedaris’ newest book, Let’s Explore Diabetes With Owls*, I felt a nagging need to revisit some of Sedaris’ older works.  I took the plunge and got the Ultimate David Sedaris Audio Collection.  This collection includes Naked, Dress your Family in Corduroy and Denim, Holidays on Ice, Me Talk Pretty One Day, Barrel Fever, and Live at Carnegie Hall

Sedaris has always been able to invoke loud chuckles and chortles from me as I attempt to read silently on buses, airplanes, or book stores.  Listening to him narrate his own books is an entirely different beast.  There were points where I thought I might have to pull off of the highway to ensure the safety of fellow drivers.  I don’t know that I have ever laughed as hard or as often as I did during my time with this audio collection. 

If you have never listened to a Sedaris book, I highly recommend listening to the quintessential Sedaris story, “Santa Land Diaries” which is featured on the Holidays on Ice discs.  This story was one of my favorites when I read it, but now having listened to the recording, I don’t think there is a better way to experience this story than to hear Sedaris and his intonations delivering this epic Christmas tale.

I don’t think there is a single person in the world that could make a better delivery of his writing than Sedaris himself.  He is quick, hilarious, and belongs in a category all his own.  I can’t wait to read/listen to Let’s Explore Diabetes With Owls!

*Let's Explore Diabetes With Owls will be on our shelves tomorrow, April 23, 2013!


“An explosive novel…Every character is enthralling…This is a boldly plotted, sharply funny, and purposefully bone-shaking novel of sexual violence, political terror, “collective shame,” and dark family secrets, all transcended by courage and love.” --Booklist

Maya’s Notebook is a startling novel of suspense from New York Times bestselling author Isabel Allende.

This contemporary coming-of-age story centers upon Maya Vidal, a remarkable teenager abandoned by her parents. Maya grew up in a rambling old house in Berkeley with her grandmother Nini, whose formidable strength helped her build a new life after emigrating from Chile in 1973 with a young son, and her grandfather Popo, a gentle African-American astronomer.

When Popo dies, Maya goes off the rails. Along with a circle of girlfriends known as "the vampires," she turns to drugs, alcohol, and petty crime--a downward spiral that eventually leads to Las Vegas and a dangerous underworld, with Maya caught between warring forces: a gang of assassins, the police, the FBI, and Interpol.

Her one chance for survival is Nini, who helps her escape to a remote island off the coast of Chile. In the care of her grandmother’s old friend, Manuel Arias, and surrounded by strange new acquaintances, Maya begins to record her story in her notebook, as she tries to make sense of her past and unravel the mysteries of her family and her own life.

Happy Earth Day Everyone!

Sunday, April 21, 2013

Come To the Fundraiser for the Iconic Bloomsbury Review!!!

Legends: They Live On

Join us for the Colorado premiere of the award-winning nature documentary The Legend of Pale Male—a benefit screening for The Bloomsbury Review, a literary treasure that has been celebrating and serving great writing since 1980. Plan to attend this lift-off event as Bloomsbury engages a new era … and Pale Male, the famous red-tailed hawk of Central Park, courts his eighth mate (!!!).

Saturday, April 27, 6:30 pm
at Montview Boulevard Presbyterian Church
1980 Dahlia Street, Denver CO
Reception @ 6:30 p.m.
Screening @ 7:15 p.m.
Chat with filmmaker post-screening
FOR MORE INFORMATION: 303-455-3123 OR 800-783-3338

Celebrating More Than 34 Years of Publishing

We don’t plug the mega-bestsellers. We don’t push celebrity biographies or “how-to-get-richer-thinner-smarter-happier books.” And we don’t hype books or authors that are reviewed in every newspaper and magazine in the country. You hear enough about them already. The Bloomsbury Review is simply lively writing about good reading and great writers.

Thousands of readers across the United States, Canada, and overseas turn to The Bloomsbury Review (TBR) for those hidden publishing gems they know they won’t find reviewed elsewhere, as well as for clever, entertaining, and thoughtful critical writing. Discriminating readers are alive and well, and TBR is the source they turn to for discovering a new writer, a work of fiction that isn’t on the best-seller list but ought to be, or a nonfiction title that takes them to places, ideas, or decisions that they might not have reached otherwise. TBR reviews the often overlooked books from large, small, independent, nonprofit, and university publishers, as well as new presses beginning to make their mark on the literary scene.

The Bloomsbury Review was founded by Thomas Auer (1953-2003), who launched a review magazine as a newsletter out of a small Denver bookstore in the later 1970s. Tom’s dream was a magazine that would focus on those many quality titles lost in the bustle of mainstream buzz and budgets—a place where fine authors and fine books would receive the attention they so richly deserve. The first issue appeared in November 1980. It is now published by his sister, Marilyn Auer, who, with help from the literary community and friends, is carrying Tom’s dream and TBR forward into the future.

Thirty-four  years later, The Bloomsbury Review continues to be independent, eclectic, and fresh. It has received many awards over the years, including the prestigious Maggie from the Western Publishing Association, the Jack D. Rittenhouse Award for “outstanding contributions to publishing in the West,” and the Mountains and Plains Booksellers Association Award for Exceptional Contributions to the Literary Community—among many others. In February 2009, The Bloomsbury Review was the recipient of the Mayor’s Award for Excellence in the Arts, which annually recognizes organizations “that have made significant and lasting contributions to the arts in the city and county of Denver.”

Select reviewers from around the world—from the United States to Japan to the United Arab Emirates—bring their particular areas of expertise to bear on the pleasure to be found in new books on art, politics, fiction, poetry, film, and on every other conceivable topic that the mainstream review media may have missed. Interviews with established authors as well as those on the rise round out the appeal of TBR, making it a must-read for anyone in the literary know. Gene Luen Yang, Lawrence Ferlinghetti, the Dalai Lama, Alice Walker, Thomas McGuane, Jane Hirshfield, Charles Simic, Barry Lopez, Linda Hogan, Edwidge Danticat, Bill Moyers, Kinky Friedman, Clarissa Pinkola Est├ęs, Ana Castillo, Sherman Alexie, Bebe Moore Campbell, Chris Abani, Isabel Allende, J.P. Donleavy, Robert Bly, Mary Oliver, Walter Mosley, Noam Chomsky, Edward Abbey, and T.C. Boyle are among the many writers who have shared their wisdom and humor with TBR’s readers.

Younger readers will find much to interest them as well. The discovery of a new book can pave the way to a literate future for children and young adults, and TBR always features reviews of books to please and nurture the youthful imagination.

The Bloomsbury Review: more than 34 years of celebrating and serving literature. A book magazine for the discriminating reader, young or old, who knows how sublime time can be when it’s shared with just the right book.

Want to know more?  Click HERE.

BTC visited TBR's offices and took a few pictures to give you a sense of a new meaning of  "great things come in small packages".

The TBR Buddha 

 Marilyn Auer, publisher, and David Perkins, a long time reviewer for TBR