Amid the tumult and confusion of life in America—2017 style—we continue to stand fast by the adage that books are timeless curiosities that prove, over and over again, that we wander along a curious loop that perennially takes us around to a world that seems oddly familiar, yet strangely different. 

In the box this week is a collection from some old geezer who prattles on across dozens of letters to the editor about how life used to be better in the old days and if there’s anything he’s learned in the sixty odd years he’s been railing away in the wilderness, it’s that youth can go suck lemons until they’ve had enough life experience to appreciate the virtues of a fine wine and stoicism. Reading these letters is not unlike taking that call from your Uncle every Sunday wherein he reminds you that the current state of the world is your fault, because when he left it—sixty odd years ago—it was just fine. 

Well, it wasn’t, Uncle Seneca, but thanks for reminding us that kindness, a daily affirmation of civility, and fulsome generosity of spirit will keep even the most cranky of codgers alive. 

The next book is the story of a petulant man-child who fails to understand the correspondence between the growth of a physical deformity and his inability to tell the truth. We believe this is fiction based on the child-friendly graphics of the cover, but we think there’s a darker morality tale at play here. You should probably peruse this one first before letting your kids read it.

We brought copies of this book in because we’ve been having a number of requests for literature related to some of the alternative scientific information outlets. The BadHombreLands NPS twitter account calls this book a “chilling exploration of life after government stooges turn national lands over private industries,” and Rogue NOAA says “You think the weather’s f*cked now, wait until there is worm sign the like of which even God has never seen.”  [And yes, we know that’s from the alternate cinematic edition and isn’t in the book, but whatever, it’s a great line.] And finally, let’s remember that you can never build a wall that can’t be breached—even if it takes atomics. 

Knickerbocker Classics has released a lovely edition of this next book, with interior illustrations and a bright yellow casebound cover. It’s another metaphor for the current political climate, complete with tin despots, cowardly authoritarians, a persistent heroine who leads the common folk in an uprising against a wizard who uses a lot of smoke and mirrors to hide his true intentions. We’re not spoiling anything when we tell you the wizard isn’t wearing any pants. No, wait. That’s a different book. It’s hard to keep these straight sometimes. 

We have the latest volume in the pocket-sized Collections of Subversive Language. This one contains a salacious bounty of lyrically concise manifestos that can be readily recited when confronted by bigots, blowhards, and other backward-bound batrachians. Some of these are short enough they’ll fit on cakes, if you needed pleasing platitudes on the occasion of a loved one’s birthday. 

And speaking of concise strategies to confuse your enemies, we have copies of the book that summarizes that new martial practice makes for good household management craze that has been sweeping Japan. Ever since we learned how to get rid of all the crap in our houses in order to lead more full lives, we’ve been somewhat adrift, haven’t we? Fortunately, this lavishly illustrated guide to the strategy of art—the practice of persistent patience and the single stroke solution—provides us with a clear path through these uncertain times. 

And finally, this sure to be classic tale of bifurcated personalities will undoubtedly be made into a fast-paced thriller filled with beautiful people, but you can read it now, and be both horrified and amazed at the reality-bending tale of man who cannot remember what he has said and done, even when he is confronted by his own words and actions. It’s tragic, really, and yet such a compelling read. It’s like watching press conferences from the White House, only more Gothic. 

Overheard At The Store »»

FERDIE: Uh, what did I just read?

COLBY: Those sound like interesting books!

FERDIE: They're . . . um . . . they're not new . . . 

COLBY: They look new to me! Look how shiny that red one is!

FERDIE: You do realize that the author died in the 17th century, don't you?

COLBY: Good literature is timeless. Didn't you read that opening paragraph? 

FERDIE: Yes, but . . . 

COLBY: And that header graphic? It's a Mobius loop. Right? We're part of an eternally re-occurring cycle, where we get to experience life again, but we come back as different people. Transmigrational reincarnation. 

FERDIE: That's not—

COLBY: Last time I was a badger. I hope I'm a narwhal next time. That'd be awesome. I think you were probably a goat once. 

FERDIE: A goat? 

COLBY: Yeah. I can totally tell from your expression. Goats look like that all the time. 

FERDIE: I think this loop has turned me inside out. 

COLBY: It must be working, then. Hang on!


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