Welcome to the official blog of Third Place Books

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Ladybug Girl Party!

Tomorrow is our Ladybug Girl party, and Monica is so excited, she's wearing her antennae already! Come to the bookstore tomorrow for activities, story time, and ladybug fun. We'll be back in the Children's Books section at 10:00 am with copies of Ladybug Girl at the Beach and other fun bug books.

Wearing Words

At Third Place Books, books are life!  We read them, recommend them, sell them, collect them, and we even coordinate our wardrobes with them.

Stan's Shirt is definitely telling you that you would love David Mitchell's latest (and Booker Longlister), The Thousand Autumns of Jacob de Zoet

And Adam is reminding you that In the Company of Crows and Ravens  may not be a new release, but it's still worth crowing about!

Maybe we should institute a Weekly Wear Your Favorite Book Day.

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

This Year's Man-Booker Dozen

One of my favorite times of the year has arrived! The Man-Booker Longlist was announced today collecting 13 nominations for Britain's premier literary prize. Last year's winner, Hilary Mantel's dense and dramatic historical novel Wolf Hall, was a best-seller at Third Place Books (and I devoured it like an iced mocha on a hot July afternoon), so I look forward in eager anticipation to  this year's list offerings.

Not all of the books are available in the U.S. yet but - have no fear - being on this list will propel them across the Atlantic speedily!

So without further ado, here is the 2010 Man-Booker Dozen:

Peter Carey, Parrot and Olivier in America (Knopf)*

Emma Donoghue, Room (Little, Brown & Company; 9/10)

Helen Dunmore, The Betrayal

Damon Galgut, In a Strange Room

Howard Jacobson, The Finkler Question

Andrea Levy, The Long Song  (FSG) 

Tom McCarthy, (Knopf ; published 9/10)

David Mitchell, The Thousand Autumns of Jacob de Zoet  (Random House)

Lisa Moore, February (Grove Press - Black Cat; paperback)

Paul Murray, Skippy Dies (Faber & Faber; 8/10)

Rose Tremain, Trespass (W.W. Norton; 10/10)

Christos Tsiolkas, The Slap (Penguin - paperback)


Alan Warner, The Stars in the Bright Sky

*Books currently in the store are in bold.

Our booksellers have been reading and enjoying nominations without knowing it: David Mitchell's Thousand Autumns of Jacob de Zoet has been a favorite amongst the staff. This exquisitely written historical novel about a Dutchman with the Dutch East India Trading Company on a small Japanese island in the eighteenth century has been enthusiastically and soundly praised. Robert enjoyed Tom McCarthy's expansive and inventive  C, and The Slap, by Australian Christos Tsiolkas, a novel about the repercussions of a small exchange at a suburban barbecue, has been flying off the shelves on both sides of the Atlantic.

Come in to check out these titles (we'll let you know as more titles are available) and cast your vote! The Man-Booker Prize shortlist will be posted Tuesday September 7th and the winner announced October 12th.

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Cats Rule, Dogs Drool

Okay, while "interviewing" the new staff members, I noticed something odd.  Between the two of them, they have 3 cats.  And I thought, "Huh, I have 2 cats, I wonder how many cats there are between all of us booksellers?"  So, I took a little poll.  Turns out, between 35 employees, there are 24 cats!  That's almost three quarters of a cat per person!  As opposed to dogs which are only numbered at 8 out of 35, or about 1/5 of a dog per person.  I wonder if that says something about readers and cats?  Or are we just fans of all those 4-legged friends and limited by certain living circumstances to the feline variety?  Thoughts?

Mark Twain loved cats too.  Coincidence?

PS: This post may or may not have been an elaborate excuse to show you a picture of my cat.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Meet the New Recruits!

We've got some new faces in the store, and we wanted to introduce them.

Meet Samantha!  This self-professed book fiend is excited to join the crew.  Samantha is a flautist; loves eating grilled cheese & tomato soup, though only during cold weather, so for the summer it's all blueberries; and she has a 15 year-old cat named Oreo.  Samantha is currently shelving the Business and Economics section, and we think she's doing a bang-up job!  She's been reading a lot of Dave Eggers lately. But her favorite book of the past few months if Butterfly Mosque, by G Willow Wilson

Introducing, Annie!  Annie has been reading since she could sit up in her crib.  She loves books, bookstores, book readers, and book writers.  Some of her favorite authors include Margaret Atwood, Anne Brashares, and Michael Ende...always!  Annie enjoys knitting, and will fit right in with our other resident crafters.  She's also recently braved the Reptile Zoo in Monroe, though vows it was too creepy to ever return.  And she has TWO cats, Saben and Beebee.  Right now Annie is reading Dewey: The Small-Town Library Cat Who Touched the World.

We are so happy to welcome these two, and hope you'll stop by and say hello when you get a chance.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Cookin' the Books

This month's smaller theme table is dedicated to the fabulous Ginger, the Espresso Book Machine (or the Book Oven, as I like to call her), and her beautiful array of wonder-books!  Vlad has selected and printed just a few of the many great hard to find and out-of-print titles that are available right now.  If you haven't had a book printed just for you yet, you may want to come down and check it out...it's quite the power trip!

Autumn suggests Goblin Market and Other Poems, by Christina Rossetti

Victorian poetry doesn't usually conjure up the image of two fruit-syrup covered lasses ravaging each other with their mouths but then you have to think that SOMETHING must have been going on under all those corsets and stifling social mores.  Typically known for her idyllic children's poems, the title poem in this collection will astonish you with it's thinly veiled sexuality.

Monica offers Rilla of Ingleslide, by L.M. Montgomery

Canada's home front during WWI, as seen through the eyes of a teenage girl whose family sends 3 boys to war, takes in an orphan, learns to make do with rationing, and experiences the daily small joys and dramas of life along with global scale ones.  Fans of Anne of Green Gables will recognize this last book of that series but it can be enjoyed as a stand-alone as well.


You'll find these titles and more, but if we happen to sell out of the title you want, give us about 30 minutes and we'll have one for you hot off the presses!

Monday, July 19, 2010

Reading the World

This month the Tree Table is featuring literature in translation.  Eric loves translated literature and he's sharing some of his favorite picks with you.  And if you're nervous about delving into the strange waters of translation, come by and ask us, many staff members are happy to give you their recommendations.  Plus, if you're a fan of Steig Larrson, remember those books are translated too!

Portrait of the Artist as a Domesticated Animal, by Lydies Salvagre (France)
In this dark ans hilarious novel a young writer steps inside the world of the obscenely rich when she becomes the biographer of a fast food mogul.  Mesmerized by the novelty  of her surroundings and by ongoing fantasied of Robert Deniro, who she meets early on, the "Artist" falls under the mogul's spell even as he proves himself a tyrant and a lunatic.

The Ice Palace, by Tarjei Vesaas (Norway)
This is one of those books you discover too infrequently- a book you instantly know you're going to grow old with, reading again and again over the years.  The Ice Palace is shot through with eeriness, mystery, and near-mystical enigma.  Yet on another level it is a very simple story told in an elliptical, poetic mode and built on a foundation of frighteningly powerful and conspicuously unnamed currents of emotion

Friday, July 16, 2010

Backroom Shenanigans!

We got a new author events podium yesterday...and wouldn't you know it, as soon as it was put together Stuffed Toy Horse King just had to make a speech about it.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Some Great Blogs for Your Review

Need some additional reading material (or just some pretty pictures to look at?)...check out some of these great book blogs:

The New Yorker books blog, the Book Bench (say that 5 times fast) is a really great read for all you bookish minded people.  If you haven't perused it, I must insist that you do so immediately!  There are great reviews, insightful little articles, and my favorite...PICTURES!  Specifically, 1,000 Words, the portion of their blog dedicated to "great images of books from around the world and the web."

Today's photo comes from another great blog, Bookshelf Porn, "a collection of all the best bookshelf photos for people who *heart* bookshelves."

Are you drooling?

And, speaking of drool...don't forget Hot Guys Reading Books, which Kestrel was kind enough to point me to.

And for those of you more interested in the ladies, there's Lit Life: Caught Reading from Elle magazine.

Fun stuff.  Hey, if you have any great book blogs in mind, let us know about them!

Monday, July 12, 2010

Olé! Olé!

To coincide with our Reading the World table and with Spain's FIFA World Cup victory, we've decided it's the perfect time to travel via armchair to España. Grab yourself a glass of sangria and a spot in the sun for a late afternoon read. 

Let us begin with the long-time favorite Arturo Perez-Reverte, whose newest novel, The Cavalier in the Yellow Doublet, is a part of his historical Captain Alatriste series. (I couldn't resist this debonair picture of the author.)

Award-winning Antonio Munoz Molina's In Her Absence was on our translation table two years ago, and his novel Sepharad uses the Sephardic diaspora, the Holocaust, and Stain's purges as a lens through which to read the twentieth century.

Carlos Ruiz Zafon's novel Angel's Game, the sequel to his bestselling Shadow of the Wind, has just been released in paperback, and has just published a children's book, The Prince of Mist, as well!

If you're feeling adventurous try Basque novelist Bernardo Atxaga and his novels Obabakok and The Accordionist's Son, or the New Yorker-published Dublin IMPAC winning novelist Javier Marias (Eg. The Man of Feeling or his magnum opus Your Face Tomorrow).

No one can forget Cervantes' masterpiece of world literature, Don Quixote, but perhaps you'd like to expand your horizons with Fernando de Rojas' Celestina, an irreverent fifteenth century tragicomedy that preceded Cervantes and was the first ever Spanish bestseller.

If you prefer non-fiction, try Giles Tremlett's Ghosts of Spain: Travels through Spain and its Silent Past, or - for those with wanderlust - Cees Nooteboom's Roads to Santiago: A Modern-Day Pilgrimage Through Spain.

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Abundant Praise for Zeitoun

Hey everybody! Dave Eggers' Zeitoun just came out in paperback.  If you missed it in hardcover, here's what we had to say about it:

Heroic and harrowing. Inspiring and insane. Spiritual and scandalous. I was sure I didn't need to read anything more about Katrina. I was wrong.
Abdulrahman Zeitoun's first-hand account of New Orleans in the days after Katrina is unlike any I have read before. There is a starkness, a silence, and strangely enough, a beauty to the things he experiences...to a point. And there are so many social injustice issues going on that it's hard to know exactly where the story will end; with what message will we walk away?

The simplicity of the language is at first striking. Could this really be a Dave Eggers book? But I understand now, that unlike What is the What, this book is less about the author and his craft and more about his subject. And I appreciate the more reportorial style. When I'm reading it I can say "I know this happened; this is real". It's an important, timely story and I believe the blurring of the line between memoir and fiction would have greatly
diminished it's power.

Read this book, tell your friends.
This book has convinced me that Dave Eggers was born to write other people's stories. He has done justice to Zeitoun's story and made it obvious that his was not a unique case without making the story sensational or romantic.

It's not a fun book, but like What Is The What, it's not nearly as depressing as it could have been and shows a personal side of a very public sequence of events.

If I could make one recently-read book "required reading" this would be it. I postponed reading it, then Tim Egan's moving review in the NYT moved it to the top of my list, and quickly to my finished shelf. The basic goodness of ordinary citizens contrasted with the bumbling of the government in the wake of Katrina 4 years ago is a lesson that should not be forgotten - while Zeitoun and his family persevered, their scars remain, as do those throughout New Orleans.
This is just a small sampling of our staff who have read and loved this book.  You really won't be disappointed.

Monday, July 5, 2010

Now a Major Motion Picture

Ah, the summer movie! Between June-September we are bombarded with the year's most entertaining and ambitious films. Directors, producers and screenwriters have drawn inspiration and substance from literature from the dawn of the motion picture (eg. Alice in Wonderland circa 1903). Stephanie Meyer's Eclipse aside, this summer's list of movies is no different. Before you watch the movie read these five books:

The City of Your Final Destination - Peter Cameron
An American graduate student travels to a plantation in Uruguay to persuade a dead writer's family to allow him to write the biography and, crossing the line between critical biographer and active character, soon becomes involved himself. The lush Ivory-produced film features veterans Laura Linney, Anthony Hopkins and Charlotte Gainsborough.

 Winter's Bone -  Daniel Woodrell
Adapted in a film that wowed the audiences at Sundance and Berlin (and certain bookstore employees). Deep in the Ozarks, seventeen-year-old Ree Dolly is looking for her father, who has jumped bail on meth charges. Woodrell's redneck lyricism propels a story that is bleak and brutal.

Scott Pilgrim - Bryan Lee O'Malley
Michael Cera, indie-nerd darling, will star as the eponymous hero in the film adaptation of Bryan Lee O'Malley's popular comic book series about a Canadian teenager who, among other things, must defeat his new girlfriend's seven exes.

Eat, Pray, Love - Elizabeth Gilbert
Julia Roberts stars in a film adaptation of Elizabeth Gilbert's best-selling memoir of a year's travels to Italy, India and Indonesia. Be entertained and enlightened by Gilbert's prose before being won over by Roberts' customary charisma.

Never Let Me Go - Kazuo Ishiguro
A star of our recent Dystopian Fiction table, Ishiguro's novel about three children in an English country boarding school growing up with only a distant realization of what is in store for them is sure to be a sensational period piece starring Kiera Knightley, Andrew Garfield and Oscar-nominee Carey Mulligan.

Friday, July 2, 2010

Hear ye! Hear ye!

Long-awaited news! We are proud to announce that Suzanne Collin's bestselling novel The Hunger Games is now out in paperback. Come by the store to get your copy of Hunger Games and its sequel, Catching Fire, before the third book in the series, Mockingjay, comes out August 24th.

And if you're a fan of dystopian fiction and/or Y-A novels, read this New Yorker article hypothesizing on the reasons behind the sudden popularity of the convergence of the two genres.