December 6, 2010
The holiday season must be here — otherwise, we are listening to Run-D.M.C.’s Christmas in Hollis for no good reason. (Other than the hell of it.)
Last night’s event with Skippy Dies author Paul Murray was, in a word, epic. Murray is impressively entertaining and well-spoken, and kept the crowd nodding and laughing throughout his reading and interview with Ed Champion. We’ve got a limited number of signed copies of both editions, so get ‘em while the getting’s good.
And then, of course, there’s this coming weekend’s Annual Holiday Open House to look forward to. The list of participating authors just keeps on growing, and we’re planning some fun goodies and surprises, so definitely stop by sometime Saturday and/or Sunday between noon and 4 p.m. (If you’re on the Facebook, you can RSVP!)
Let’s see, let’s see — oh, right, the gift guide! Let us make your shopping easier: just buy these books. And! We are now the exclusive source for signed and personalized books from local romance author and WORD favorite Sarah MacLean. You just try getting Stephanie and Jenn to shut up about her, go ahead. We dare ya.
November 19, 2010
If you haven’t already heard about it, the #fridayreads tag has taken over Fridays on Twitter. Folks from (literally) all over the world share what book (or sometimes books!) they’re reading this week, and THERE ARE PRIZES. Awesome, right?
But what about those of us not on The Twitter? Fear not! For it has expanded to include everyone who can click a link. You can participate thanks to a new partnership with Rebecca over at The Book Lady’s blog — full details here!
November 18, 2010
Jenn (events manager): At first glance, a customer and I agreed: it’s an amazingly cool concept, but we can’t imagine actually trying to READ it. Since then, however, several very smart people have talked me into the belief that if I gave it the time, it would probably be worth it.
Stephanie (manager): Is reading something from beginning to end really the only purpose of a book? And if it is now, should it always be? I would be sad if our industry only ever focused on either content or on what readers are asking for and never did anything else. That would get very, very boring.
Christine (owner): It’s so interesting to see where print is taking risks in the ominous ‘books are dying’ climate. I love that JSF takes those risks, it’s why I’m a huge fan of his to begin with. So I am very excited about it.
Dustin (bookseller): It’s an astounding sculptural argument for the joys of dead-tree tech, and JSF chose a truly interesting foundational text for it. But the real beauty of the book, to my mind, is that because its pages are literally transparent it makes more obvious the terrible dialectic between depth and opacity in any book.
What’s your take?
November 7, 2010
In a few weeks we’ll be sending out our annual gift guide to try to make your holiday season a little easier (and a little more literate). And while we certainly have a (very, very, very, very) long list of ideas for this holiday season, we’d love to include some customer recommendations.
What books do you love to give? What books have you gotten and regifted? Have an idea that you think everyone should know about? Email Stephanie (stephanie at wordbrooklyn dot com) with the books that you can’t wait to give this year, and let us know. You might make it into this year’s guide!
April 8, 2010
If you’ve been reading our picks of the week at Largehearted Boy, you know that one of our favorite books of the last month has been debut novel Matterhorn, by Karl Marlantes. This is just one of the best novels you’ll read this year. It’s long and grim (much like its setting, the Vietnam War) and absolutely worth reading to the end. It took thirty years of work and a bizarre set of coincidences for the book to reach publication, so think of it as the book equivalent of a finely-aged whiskey. We hope you’ll read it soon.
We also hope you’ll buy it from us so that you can help us join a campaign that our fellow booksellers (and lovers-of-Matterhorn) at Maria’s Bookshop in Durango, Colorado, began. They’ve challenged bookstores across the country to donate a portion of the sale of each copy of Matterhorn to their local chapter of Disabled American Veterans, and we’re taking them up on that challenge. Whether you buy it in the store or online, we will donate $2 for each copy of Matterhorn we sell. Spread the word!
November 6, 2009
Last night we had our fourth installment of YA NOT?: a literary salon for not-so-young adults, and hosted not one, not two, but THREE fantastic YA authors. It was the sort of evening that started with the reveal that originally the authors had intended to name the evening “Hookers and Blow,” and ended with Robin recommending that everyone in the audience eat fruit.
Robin, on being asked what, if anything, she takes into consideration about her readers when writing, and whether YA authors have an obligation to think about their stories having a moral: “What is writing a book, anyway, if it’s not trying to convince people that this is the way the world is and this is how you should feel about it? Authors who write for adults do the same thing. They just don’t call it a moral.”
Libba, after being asked if being a parent has changed her mind about whether there is any content truly unacceptable in YA fiction and if there’s anything she wouldn’t let her son read: “I mean, are you asking if I’m worried my kid is going to go off and read books that are too grown-up for him? Because no, no I’m not at all concerned about my kid sneaking away and secretly READING.”
On the responsibilities of YA authors, Carolyn said: “The only responsibility authors have is to their story.”
And Robin said: “I think the only obligation we have is to acknowledge that books change people’s lives. We can’t control reader reaction to our books, good or bad. But we need to remember that our words matter.”
In case you were wondering which superpowers each authors would go for: Libba wants to be fluent in all languages. Robin wants teleportation. And Carolyn wants to be able to rewind time.
Perhaps the highlight of the evening, however, was Carolyn’s introduction of the word “spoony” to the proceedings (and to most of the attendees). Though none of us had heard of it beforehand—and Robin adamantly protested against its very existence—it nonetheless came to dominate the evening and appear in the answer to almost every question.
Unfortunately for Robin, though, it is a very well-documented word. Here, for example, is the Merriam-Webster entry: “silly, foolish; especially : unduly sentimental.” It’s also in the Routledge Dictionary of Contemporary Slang, along with this delightful example of usage: “I felt rather spoony upon that vixen.” The final nail in the coffin, however, is its use in David Copperfield, and yet another fantastic sentence: “There is no doubt whatsoever that I was a lackadaisical young spoony.“
Spoony! Please try to use it as many times as possible today, and keep last night’s YA NOT? alive.
I’ll end the post with this thought from Robin, who told us that she has not read many classic books:
“I do think it’s valuable to read them, though. I just don’t do it. Like fruit! I don’t eat it. But I advise that you do.”
YA NOT will be on hiatus next month, but stay tuned for more fantastic YA authors next year! To learn more about last night’s authors—all WORD favorites, all highly recommended—check out their websites: Libba, Robin, and Carolyn. Signed copies of their newest books available at WORD as long as supplies last!