Welcome to the official blog of Third Place Books

Monday, June 25, 2012

More Underground Reading

You may remember an earlier post about an awesome blog, Underground New York Public Library.  This week Ourit, the mastermind behind this wonderful project, posted an update on a reader he had snapped back in early May.  Turns out he ran across him again and got to chronicle how much progress the commuter had made in his heavy tome.  And if you haven't , you NEED to check out Ourit's beautiful work.

Images from Underground NY Public Library

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Read This Book

Jessica H. says, "Read this book"...

Glaciers,by Alexis M. Smith

Glaciers is a swift entrancing read by a promising new author.  As a dressmaking bookseller in Seattle, it was easy for me to fall under the spell of the vintage-hunting, Portland librarian protagonist.  However, it is the author's transportive prose and precise sense of time and place that compels me to recommend it to a wider audience.  When I am homesick while traveling, I need only open this book to be back in the great cities of the Pacific Northwest.

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Coming to a Theater Near You

It's that time of the year.  Summer movie season.  And if sometime in July or August you find yourself finally tired of our (hopefully) beautiful summer weather, and wanting to hit the cineplex, maybe you'll want to have read the book first.  Here are a few of the choice titles coming out this summer.

A Second Wind, by Philippe Pozzo di Borgo

This book is the inspiration for the award winning French film, The Intouchables.

As the descendant of two prominent French families and director of one of the world’s most celebrated champagne houses, Philippe Pozzo di Borgo was not someone in the habit of asking for help. Then, in 1993, right on the heels of his wife being diagnosed with a terminal illness, a paragliding accident left him a quadriplegic.  Passing his days hidden behind the high walls of his Paris townhouse, Philippe found himself the modern equivalent of an “untouchable”—unable to reach out to others, as others were afraid to reach out to him. The only person who seemed unaffected by Philippe’s condition was someone who had been marginalized his entire life—Abdel, the unemployed, uninhibited Algerian immigrant who would become his unlikely caretaker. In between dramas and jokes, he sustained Philippe’s life for the next ten years.

Abraham Lincoln Vampire Hunter , by Seth Grahame-Smith

While Abraham Lincoln is widely lauded for saving a Union and freeing millions of slaves, his valiant fight against the forces of the undead has remained in the shadows for hundreds of years. That is, until Seth Grahame-Smith stumbled upon The Secret Journal of Abraham Lincoln, and became the first living person to lay eyes on it in more than 140 years.

The Perks of Being a Wallflower, by Stephen Chbosky

This is the story of what it’s like to grow up in high school. More intimate than a diary, Charlie's letters are singular and unique, hilarious and devastating. We may not know where he lives. We may not know to whom he is writing. All we know is the world he shares. Caught between trying to live his life and trying to run from it puts him on a strange course through uncharted territory. The world of first dates and mixed tapes, family dramas and new friends. The world of sex, drugs, and The Rocky Horror Picture Show, when all one requires is that perfect song on that perfect drive to feel infinite. Through Charlie, Stephen Chbosky has created a deeply affecting coming-of-age story, a powerful novel that will spirit you back to those wild and poignant roller coaster days known as growing up.

And here are a few more books headed to the movies either this summer or later in the year...
Savages, by Don Winslow
The Bourne Legacy, by Eric van Lustbader (based on the Robert Ludlum series and character)
Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Dog Days, by Jeff Kinney
The Great Gatsby, by F. Scott Fitzgerald
The Hobbit, by J.R.R. Tolkien
Breaking Dawn (Part II), by Stephenie Meyer
Cloud Atlas, by David Mitchell
Life of Pi, by Yann Martel
World War Z, by Max Brooks

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

View From the Crow's Nest

From the information desk at the Lake Forest Park store Monday evening, I snapped to attention at the sound of a raven call piercing through the din in the commons. I wasn’t particularly surprised, though. The house was packed for our author event for Gifts of the Crow by John Marzluff and Tony Angell. In an excited crowd of over 500 bird enthusiasts, someone was bound to break out into a caw, right?

What I was able to catch of John and Tony’s talk was stellar, adorned with backyard crow and raven stories. Birds building tools to retrieve food? Sure. Dropping off little presents like glass beads and candy hearts for humans who look out for them? Yep. My eyes were opened to the amazing behaviors of these creatures with whom we’ve co-evolved and continue to coexist.

That’s why I was so excited when I discovered this adorable new corvid book in the children’s section yesterday! More, by I. C. Springman and Brian Lies, begins in a magpie’s empty nest. “Nothing,” it starts. Enter a little mouse who shares a treasure with the bird. “Something!” it continues. As you can imagine, something turns into a whole lot more until the nest is overflowing with stuff. Raise your hand if you can relate! *raises hand* The story of More is told simply through the words that quantify the amount of junk as it escalates, but the pictures tell the rest of the story. I can’t wait to read this one aloud to some kiddos I know, who will be keen to pick up on the pattern and respond to the beautiful and humorous illustrations. Maybe we’ll even practice a few bird calls as we go!

Posted by Jessica B.

Sunday, June 10, 2012

Reading in Translation

It's that time of year again!  Time for our Reading the World Table.  As always, Eric has put together a beautiful table filled with thrilling tales from around the world.  Translation gives you the chance to read something you wouldn't normally have access to.  And it's not just the original  language that makes these books so different and remarkable...

It's the different styles of writing, far off settings, and the strange and unique tales, that all weave together to give you the feeling that you are reading something truly out of the ordinary.  Come down and see some of our favorite translations from around the world.  Open a window on the world with a few well-chosen words.

Chris recommends: 
Reticence by Jean-Philippe Toussaint
This book could very easily be subtitled : the fevered imagination of a paranoid mind. It reads a lot like a murder mystery, only without the murder, and the mystery seems only to exist in the main character's head. It's a well-paced, cerebral anti-thriller that you'll want to read in one sitting.

Adam suggests:
Amsterdam Stories by Nescio
Can society and art - or the "artful life" - peacefully coexist, or must the two be forever at each other's throats, tooth and nail? This is the question Nescio asks again and again as he drops us onto the alluring but unforgiving byways of Amsterdam, watching as his characters try, sometimes tragically and sometimes comically, to compress essential pieces of themselves into immortal works - or acts - of art.

Thursday, June 7, 2012

Our Customers Are the Best Customers

One of the great things about working at an independent bookstore are the fabulous, loyal, kind customers.  I have worked at both the big box bookstore and indie bookstores, and there is just something different about indie shoppers.  I'm reminded of that every time I stand behind the counter, but even more so last month.  Maybe the planets were aligned in a particularly fortuitous pattern, but you all were just wonderful last month.  I'll give you three great examples of the superior indie shopper attitude.

Example 1:
One day, a man came in looking for a book.  He had all the information I needed.  The title, author, the ISBN number.  He could tell me what the cover looked like, and even the number of pages and the weights and measurements of it.  Now, it's not a lie when I say that I really do get a kick out of customers who come in with a vague remembrance of what a book looks like, and maybe a word in the title.  Mostly because I enjoy the search, and people are impressed at my "superb" book knowledge/amazing Google skills.  So when this customer gave me all the information, I wasn't exactly disheartened...but I do love the challenge.  At any rate, I commented that he seemed to know an awful lot about this particular book.  He replied, "Oh yeah!  I do things opposite!"  I looked confused, and he went on, "I do all my research on Amazon, and then I come and get the book or order it from you."  I beamed at him and wanted to leap over the counter and give him a giant bear hug.  Luckily I restrained myself, and we went off in search of his treasure.
Example 2:
I was working at the cash register when a women and her daughter approached.  The girl was about 6, and reached up really high to hand me the book over the counter.  Her smile was so big when she told me, " This is my favorite BOOK!"  I asked her if this was for her and she gave me a disparaging look, "I already have THIS book.  This one is for my friend.  It's her birthday and she is having a pool party!"  The girl and I talked about how great birthday parties are, especially pool parties.  We chattered on for a while, her mom very patient.  Most of the transaction took place between me and the 6 year old, mom was just there to hand over the cash.  After they paid, I asked if I could gift wrap it for them, and the mom said, "Please do!" and then let her daughter pick out the paper and the ribbon color.  As I was wrapping, the little girl said, "You're so good at wrapping!"  The mom smiled a wry smile, and I must have glowed from that sweet compliment for at least an hour after.
Example 3:
Some days after the previous instances, I was again at the cash registers ringing up a gentleman who was purchasing a few books.  We had a pleasant encounter and he went on his way.  I was busy doing something else when the same man came back a few moments later.  He asked if we had gift certificates, and I said that we did.  Then he asked if we had them in $50 amounts, and I told them that we could make gift certificates for any amount.  He purchased a $50 gift card and we were finished with the transaction when he hesitated...and told me this story...
Many years ago when he was in graduate school, he stopped at a restaurant for dinner.  When the waitress came to his table and took his order, he told her that what he really wanted was a fillet mignon, but what he could afford was just a hamburger.  The waitress took his hamburger order and went on her way.  When she returned with his food, it was a juicy, delicious, fillet mignon.  "But, I can't afford this, I didn't order this," he said.  The waitress told him that another man had overheard his fillet mignon desires, and that he knew what it was like to want something and not be able to pay for it.  So that anonymous man had paid for the fillet mignon dinner.
After that night, the gentleman told me that one day he wanted to be able to repay the kindness that the anonymous man had shown him.  And so, when he finally found himself in such a position, he often did as that anonymous man had done.  On this particular day, he said that he had seen so many great families out and about, that he just wanted to thank them.  And then he took the gift card that I had rung up for him, and surreptitiously placed it in stroller that was sitting just outside the doors of the store.  That was it.  He walked on, got in his car and left.  The family that owned the stroller was nearby, eating, reading, and playing, and the none the wiser for the kindness that had been shown them.  It was really a lovely thing to see.

So, those are just of the few reasons why I love working in an indie bookstore, and helping indie shoppers.  You know that every dollar counts for us, even if you do your research elsewhere; you have the patience and kindness to teach your kids to love reading, and love the stores and workers you support; and you're just the nicest people I have met in this lovely city.  Cheers, and thanks for shopping indie, and shopping with us.
Posted by Erin B.

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Lost and Found

Beloved author, Ray Bradbury, passed away on Tuesday.  A prolific author, his work spanned well-known science fiction classics, humor, and Hollywood screenplays. He received an Oscar nomination for the screen adaptation for John Huston's Moby Dick which starred Gregory Peck. Today is the day to dust off that old copy of Fahrenheit 451 and tuck in for a snuggle with one of the giants of literary science fiction.

Amid the news of such a great loss (one in what seems like a long string of great losses for the reading world),  archaeologists in London have uncovered the remains of the Curtain Theater in London.  The Curtain was a one-time home to Shakespeare's troupe of actors, Lord Chamberlain's Men.  It is thought that such plays as Henry V, and Romeo and Juliet had their debut performances in the "Wooden O" amongst these once lost, now found, old stones.

Sunday, June 3, 2012

Book Trailers

This is an old one from Huffington post, but I found it while cruising the internet in search of book trailers.  Didn't know such a things existed?  Well, they do, and here are a few awesome examples.


And here's one of my favorites just for the fun of it...Jane Austen's Fight Club.  Enjoy!