We have some event planning to share. First: yes, we are doing game night. This Sunday, in fact, from 3pm to 7pm. We’ll have one of the lads running a D & D adventure, and we’ll have assorted other board games for you to try out. It sounds like we have managed to wrangle a copy of Wingspan, which is exciting as we’ve only been trying for six months or so. 

Anyway, here’s the FB event. Please let us know if you are planning on attending and tell us what you’d be interested in playing. That way we can plan accordingly. Moving forward, we’re going to ease into Game Nights as an every other week event. Unless, of course, y’all make the noise and then we’ll start doing them more often. 

Evening hours on Thursday and Friday continue, of course. Thursday until 7pm. Friday until 8pm. Come see us as the day spins out and we can chat books and weather patterns. 

And finally: Author Swizzle is scheduled for August 8th at 6pm. What’s a swizzle, you ask? Well, it’s a happening. A festivity. A par-tay. Instead of trying to wrangle individual authors to come for a visit, we’re going to wrangle a bunch. We’ll have a gaggle (or is it a thunder?) of authors in the store. They’ll have a few minutes here and there to talk loudly about their books, and the rest of the time, there will be swizzling. Ask questions! Get your picture taken with an author! Get books signed! 

One of the ongoing difficulties independent authors have these days is finding audience through independent bookstores. Indie bookstores want to build communities around their local readers and authors, bla bla bla. Circle of life nonsense, right? Well, that’s what the Swizzle is for. That co-mingling of community part. Not the bla bla bla part. 

So, that is what is happening around here, above and beyond the usual summer Sumner events. Plan accordingly. Leave some room on your bookshelves. And remember to hydrate. 

And now, this week’s books. 

Up first is Michelle Ruiz Keil’s All of Us With Wings, which is a magical realist ode to punk rock magic. Set in a San Francisco that looks a lot like ours, All of Us With Wings follows Xochi, a struggling runaway who eagerly joins an interesting family as the governess to the family’s headstrong daughter. Naturally, things get weird and wonderful and strange, and it’s hard to not get sucked into Xochi’s word. This is Keil’s debut novel, and she has a lot of that raw energy currently missing from YA right now. 

And speaking of raw energy, we also have Christina Henry’s The Girl in Red. At a high level, this is basically a dystopian version of Little Red Riding Hood, but that’s a very high level view. Down in the grit of the sentences, however, this book has got a lot of power running through its language. It’s a familiar story, at first. But it goes its own way, leaving a bloody trail behind it, and you are going to follow it all the way to the end. 

Mark Haddon has a new book out this week. It's called The Porpoise, and it is supposedly a retelling of Shakespeare's retelling of the story of Pericles. Or something labyrinthian and byzantine like that. We're not entirely sure. Early reviewers are filled with starry-eyed adoration, but you know? We're having a little trouble getting past the misogynistic gaslighting that seems to be at the core of the story. We're probably missing something here, but hey, if one of you wants to read it and let us know, we'll be happy to revisit the book later. 

On a different note, Brian Evenson has a new collection out this week. Evenson is one of the great modern horror writers, though much too literary for his own good. If you haven't had the  delight of being unsettled by Evenson's view of the world, Song for the Unraveling of the World is a fine place to start. 

Also, Max Gladstone heads to space for Empress of Forever, which is sort of what might happen if one of our smart daughters is intercepted while trying to bring down Skynet and is transported a couple millennia into the future, where everything is like 1984 x a billion. Naturally, she persists, resists, and brings about a revolution. Things blow up, of course. And the social commentary is wry and pointed. And then more things blow up so you don't feel like this is a polemic. 

Oh look! Nancy Atherton is back with Aunt Dimity and the Heart of Gold, the 24th book in the cozy and ghostly mystery series. This time around, while everyone is snowed in during the holiday season, a mysterious visitor uncovers a mysterious secret inside the local chapel. Naturally, cluehounds must clue, and they're going to need help from ghostly Aunt Dimity to solve the mystery of the . . . wait for it . . . heart of gold. 

And speaking of mysteries, we have to share the marketing copy of Audint--Unsound: Undead with you. 

For as long as recording and communications technologies have existed, operators have evoked the potential of sound, infrasound, and ultrasound to access anomalous zones of transmission between the realms of the living and the dead. In Unsound: Undead, contributors from a variety of disciplines chart these undead zones, mapping out a nonlinear timeline populated by sonic events stretching from the 8th century BC (the song of the Sirens), to 2013 (acoustic levitation), with a speculative extension into 2057 (the emergence of holographic and holosonic phenomena).

For the past seven years the AUDINT group has been researching peripheral sonic perception (unsound) and the ways in which frequencies are utilized to modulate our understanding of presence/non-presence, entertainment/torture, and ultimately life/death. Concurrently, themes of hauntology have inflected the musical zeitgeist, resonating with the notion of a general cultural malaise and a reinvestment in traces of lost futures inhabiting the present.

This undead culture has already spawned a Lazarus economy in which Tupac, ODB, and Eazy-E are digitally revivified as laser-lit holograms. The obscure otherworldly dimensions of sound have also been explored in the sonic fictions produced by the likes of Drexciya, Sun Ra, and Underground Resistance, where hauntology is virtually extended: the future appears in the cracks of the present.

"Rawk!" is all we have to say about this. Actually, we should whisper that word into an electro-acoustic pickup, which will transmit our breathy exhalation into a sonic crackle in the ether that will be heard by phantasmal echoes, which will then reverberate atonally in psychic collaboration. Harmony of the spheres, yo. 

Over here, we have The Capital, Robert Menasse's debut novel (ably translated by Jamie Bulloch), which is a sprawling, witty, messy novel about the modern bureaucracy that keeps the European Union ticking along. Sort of. There are pigs afoot, trysts a-happening, and lots of paperwork gone a-filing (or not, as the case may be). Menasse's got an advanced degree is sardonic delivery (witness: "He faked desire for her; she faked an orgasm. The chemistry was right."), and while The Capital won't unravel Brexit for you, it'll make you understand that everyone is as befuddled and bemused (and terrifying) as you are. 

And finally, Rachel Poliquin and Nicholas John Frith deliver the next in the Superpower Field Guide series. This one is about moles. That's right. Bionic diggers. Myopic sniffers. Lawn aeraters. These field guides are filled with clever diagrams, charming insights, and helpful quizzes that will teach you everything (and then some!) you ever wanted to know about moles. 

Overheard At The Store »»

NADIA: You two are here early. 

PODGE: Are we?

HODGE: We are. 

NADIA: That’s—what’s going on? 

PODGE: Books.

HODGE: Yes, books. 

NADIA: What did you do? 

PODGE: We shelved some books. 

HODGE: Like you asked. 

NADIA: Yes, but—Oh my God! Where is the Horror section? 

PODGE: It’s over here. Next to Westerns. There was space. 

HODGE: We were attempting to consolidate the collection, as it were. 

NADIA: You can’t put Horror there! 

PODGE: But it fit . . . 

NADIA: Yes, but it’s across the aisle from Contemporary Romance. That’s like . . . like . . . 

PODGE: Getting peanut butter in your chocolate? 

HODGE: Having sushi before 11am? 

NADIA: Yes. No. What? I can’t even—

PODGE: How else are readers going to find each other if they don’t have opportunities to talk about books they like—

HODGE: Awkwardly talk about books they like. 

PODGE: —yes, awkwardly talk about books they like with people they don’t know? 

NADIA: We’re not running a dating service here. 

HODGE: But isn’t that what Romance readers want? 

PODGE: And what Horror readers fear? 

NADIA: You two are in some serious trouble. Just as soon as I—

[SFX: Front door bell]

CUSTOMER: Hello, I’m looking for Nora Roberts and Stephen King. Can you help me? 

NADIA: [strangling noise] You read both?  

CUSTOMER: Not at the same time. I like to alternate. Don't you read a balanced assortment of books? 

[SFX: Otter paws slapping together in a ‘high five.’]


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