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Friday, January 10, 2014

Bookseller Spotlight!

New year, new blog features!  A big part of the reason you shop with us is because of our awesome and knowledgeable staff.  At least we hope so.  We thought you might enjoy meeting some of those awesome and knowledgeable people through this new Bookseller Spotlight.  We'll feature a different bookseller every few weeks or so.  You'll get to enjoy their interesting, (hopefully hilarious and weird) answers to questions about the store and books and reading and such.  Plus a look at what they're currently reading and loving right now.  Up first...

Emily A.
Emily has worked at our Lake Forest Park store for seven years.  Phew! That's a lot of bookselling.  Her favorite food is Perohi  or pierogies to the rest of us.  "I love to make food to share, but when I make a batch of perohi, I want to eat every single one. They bring out my inner hoarder."  She also claims she could eat pizza every single day.  Emily has lived at at least 25 different addresses in seven different states.  When not reading (or moving) she likes to ride her bike, bake delicious treats, and bask in the sun.

How long have you been a bookseller? 14 years

What do you do at the bookstore? I shelve cooking and maps. Plus I'm the book club coordinator, and a buyer

Favorite book in your section? I'm smitten with A Commonplace Book of Pie by Kate Lebo, a collection of recipes and delightful prose-poems, like pie-horoscopes, by a local poet and pie-slinger. Jessica Lynn Bonin's gorgeous illustrations make this a beautiful, homey little book.

What book do you recommend most? Depends on who's asking. For bakers, it's The Dahlia Bakery Cookbook or Rustic Fruit Desserts. Sherman Alexie's Lone Ranger and Tonto Fistfight in Heaven, Haruki Murakami's The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle, Kurt Vonnegut's Mother Night, anything by Mo Willems but especially the Knufflebunny books and Elephant and Piggie: We Are in a Book!

What's your favorite bookstore besides Third Place? My mother and I met in San Francisco for a weekend of bookstore hopping, and we enjoyed all of the stores we visited. I loved Book Passage's store in the Ferry building. For a tiny space, they have an incredibly well-stocked store. One of the booksellers actually sang Maurice Sendak's Chicken Soup with Rice (ala Carole King) for me.

Can you read more than one book at a time? Rarely. If I put a book down, I rarely go back to it.

Do you have to finish a book once you've started, or do you give up on books? I used to finish compulsively, but that was before I became a bookseller. There are just too many great ones to slog through one I'm not enjoying.

Favorite author, or three, or five? Haruki Murakami, Kurt Vonnegut, Shel Silverstein, Mo Willems, Richard Brautigan, Sherman Alexie, Bonnie Becker, Barbara Kingsolver, just scratchingt the surface.  

Do you have an all-time favorite book? What is it? Where the Sidewalk Ends. I will never forget listening to I'm Being Eaten by a Boa Constrictor and Sarah Cynthia Sylvia Stout Who Would not Take the Garbage Out in my 6th grade reading class. Is there anyone alive who doesn't love this book? If so, they probably just haven't met it yet.

Guilty reading pleasure? Diana Gabaldon's Outlander series. They are a fast paced, detailed, addictive, genre-bending mashup of romance, swashbuckling adventure, time travel, and all the best elements of historical fiction. I'm excited that the new installment comes out June 10th, and we will be hosting her at the LFP store on July 1st.

How are your bookshelves arranged at home? I have a few shelves of things a won't part with, an overflowing and constantly rotating shelf of cookbooks, stacks of recently acquired books and cookbooks on the kitchen table (I really need to deal with that pile. There's not much room left for eating), and a big bookcase of random stuff that is shelved variously by size, author, kid-appropriateness, and subject. I desperately need to build another bookcase. To anyone else it probably looks like complete chaos, but I know where everything is. I also have a box of old falling-apart mass market paperbacks that I unearth every now and then. Oh, I just remembered there are big teetering piles in the bedroom that I should probably go through....  

Do you keep the books you buy?  I pass most of my books on to my mom and my friends. My partner jokes that no one else is allowed to bring books into our apartment, they are only allowed to take them away. I often buy used Vonnegut paperbacks just to have around in case someone comes by who hasn't read him. I'm a Vonnegut pusher. 

Favorite movie version of a book? Smoke Signals (Alexie) and Mother Night (Vonnegut), the first Harry Potter (owl post!) and the Fellowship of the Ring (the Shire!) for their movie magic 

Favorite book as a kid? In the small town in Maine where I lived until age 7, the Carnegie library was the only authorized stop on the walk home from school. I checked out all of the forest tales of Thornton W. Burgess and read them sitting on the floor in the hallway between my bedroom and the kitchen. The only book that I kept through all of my moves is a copy of One Morning in Maine.

Have you read Ulysses? Nope. Not a word. 

Currently reading and raving over?  
Under the Wide and Starry Sky by Nancy Horan

Before I read this book, I didn't give a fig about Robert Louis Stevenson and had only read his poetry as a child. Now I want to read all of his books and journals! Nancy Horan (author of Loving Frank) brings the colorful Stevensons to life in this vibrant work of historical fiction, full of bold characters who buck the conventions of their time, following their hearts wherever they might lead. From France to California and from Scotland to the South Pacific, they are plagued by illness and must balance the demands and expectations of family with the need to make a living and an appetite for adventure.

Also, read The Goldfinch. It's awesome. Erin was right.

So, that's it from Emily. Now that you know a bit about her, come out to LFP and ask her tons of questions about biking, baking, and books!

(I would just like to take a moment to clarify that I did not solicit the "Erin was right." comment...though I often am, and definitely in this case...Goldfinch plug!!!!...I should be getting commission for this)

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