We are going to not talk about the sixth extinction event this week, much to the relief of some members of the staff. Instead we are going to get out a copy of Brian Kesinger’s Dressing Your Octopus and make a parade of paper dolls across the front counter. Because it is important to take your octopus out for a stroll before it gets too hot and the poor dear dehydrates into calamari. 

No, seriously. We’re going to get away from gloom and doom. Really. We just need something to distract us. Ooh, how about a new Daniel Silva novel? House of Spies stars legendary spy, assassin, and art restorer, Gabriel Allon. So many questions arise when Allon is in the house. Is he spying? Is he assassining? Is he planning on doing a quick spot of art restoration? Hard to tell these days, what with the advances in laser technology. Regardless, Allon is sure to foil the dastardly plans of some shadowy organization bent on destroying the global economic marketplace. 

And speaking of illicit movement of capital, this week’s sole mass market paperback release is John Grisham’s The Whistler. Classic Grisham style legal thriller you can shove in your pocket for about what it costs to stop at Starbucks and get a beverage and a cake pop. Now, we’ll go off on a tear at some point about the publishing industry’s abandonment of the mass market audience, but in the short term, let’s just keep our focus on Lacy Stoltz, who is an investigator for the Florida Board on Judicial Conduct. She’s got a lead on a corrupt judge who has stolen more money than all of the other crooked judges combined. Like, ALL the judges, of ALL time. Of course, the guy who is dangling this lead wants to collect millions that would come his way under Florida law in regards to whistleblowers. Stoltz, though, suspects that not everything is as it seems, and can you blame her? 

And speaking of investigative prowess, Monica Hesse’s new book, American Fire, hits the shelves this week. Hesse investigates a long string of arsons that swept through Accomack County, Virginia, a few years back, and discovers that while, yes, one man was behind the sixty-plus fires, the reasons why he did what he did reveal quite a bit about the decaying nature of the small community in rural America. This is a book that speaks to wider concerns that may be creeping up on all of us. 

And speaking of creeping things, it’s time to start thinking about 2018. We know. We know. It’s way too early, but that’s not how the rest of the industry thinks. As far as they are concerned, it’s time to start selling you 2018 calendars and almanacs. And Llewellyn is fast out of the gate with their 2018 Magical Almanac and their 2018 Moon Sign Book. It really all depends on how you plan your life: whether it is by lunar or solar cycles. It doesn’t matter. We won’t judge. 

And speaking of upcoming events, don’t forget that this weekend is Rhubarb Days. We’ll have tables of books and authors out front, both days, and there will be lots of deals and opportunities to talk with real live authors. It’s kind of like a petting zoo, but with more death-defying action. 

And speaking of fan service, P. C. and Kristin Cast are back with a new book in their long-running House of Night series. Loved follows Zoey as she attempts to celebrate a very special birthday, but the event keeps getting overshadowed by ill omens and dark goings-on.

And speaking of ill omens and seances gone awry, Ami McKay’s Witches of New York is here. It’s Johnathan Strange & Mr. Norrell recast as Spiritualism gone amok in 1880’s New York City. It starts with an advertisement that reads “Respectable Lady Seeks Dependable Shop Girl,” and then jumps off the rails with the second line of the ad: “Those adverse to magic need not apply.” Well, those of us not adverse to magic are going to be all over this book. 

And speaking of things to get excited about, we finally got in copies of Valerian: The Complete Collection (volume 1), which is the groundbreaking graphic novel from 1967 that is the inspiration for the upcoming Luc Besson film. This is great stuff; almost like Asterix in Space or Prince Valiant with Aliens and Non-Euclidian Architecture

And finally, let’s point you toward The Alice Network by Kate Quinn, which is a story of lady spies during both the first and second World War. A young English woman is recruited into a daring spy network during WWI, and the secrets she knows will all come unraveled after WWII, when the cousin of a lost spy shows up and starts asking all the wrong questions. Murder! Betrayal! Espionage! Family Drama! 

And finally, we’re delighted to see Wendy N. Wagner’s first novel on the shelves this week. An Oath of Dogs opens with some back-country off-planet shenanigans and then steamrolls into a web of conspiracy and violence. It’s a clever SF thriller that takes place on a distant forest world where the local canine population is much, much smarter than these foolish humans who have been dropped in by their ruthless corporate overlords. 


We’re going to close out this edition of the newsletter with Now, Antoinette Portis’s latest early reader. Now focuses on a little girl and her favorite things. Most of these things are the things right in front of her, because it’s important to pay attention to where you are and what you are doing, right now. The rest . . . well, it’ll either be here tomorrow or it has already left. So, celebrate your now. 

Overheard At The Store »»

FERDIE: Oh, hello. Welcome to the bookstore. 

GINGER: Ah, hi. Yes, hello. 

FERDIE: Is this your first visit to the store?

GINGER: Yes, yes, it is. 

FERDIE: Is there something I can help you find? 

GINGER: Um, actually, there is. I’m looking for a gift. For a friend. Just a friend. 

FERDIE: Okay. I can help you with that. What sort of gift?

GINGER: Well, a book, you know . . . 

FERDIE: Yes. Ha ha! What kind of book?

GINGER: I’m not sure, really. He seems like the kind of person who reads a lot, but I don’t know what he’s read, so . . .

FERDIE: It’s difficult to find a book. 

GINGER: Right. 

FERDIE: Well, what does he like to read?

GINGER: I don’t know, really. I mean, he’s read Walden, and he seems to know something about the woods. 

FERDIE: A non-fiction book, then? 

GINGER: Maybe. That seems a little too . . . I dunno . . . personal? 

FERDIE: Like “I think you like trees, and so I got you this book about logging” sort of thing?

GINGER: Right. But what if he’s not into logging, right? 

FERDIE: I see your dilemma. How about fiction, then? 

GINGER: Sure . . . 

FERDIE: You . . . you don’t read much, do you? 

GINGER: Oh, I did. A lot. Back when I was in school. But I haven’t . . . you know, I’ve been busy. Working. 

FERDIE: Sure. Sure. I understand. Well, maybe you should get him a classic. Maybe something in a nice edition. That way if he’s already read it, then he’s getting a copy that says something about how you care about him.

GINGER: Oh! It’s noting like that. I’m just . . . I’m just—he’s a friend. 

FERDIE: Oh, okay. Well, friends give friends books. It’s okay. 

GINGER: It is? 

FERDIE: Certainly, dear. There’s nothing more meaningful and yet simultaneously non-committal than giving a book. It’s very sapiosexual but in a completely platonic sort of way. 

GINGER: Yes. That’s exactly the sort of book I’m looking for. 

FERDIE: Well, how about our new collection of leather bound Easton Press editions? There. Behind you. Fine editions, printed on archival paper with silk endpapers and full leather bindings. 

GINGER: Oh, those? Oh, I couldn’t afford one of those. 

FERDIE: Certainly you could. They’re less than a new hardback, and they’ll last longer than any of us. 

GINGER: Really? 

FERDIE: Really. 

GINGER: Oh, look. I know that book. Don Quixote. Isn’t that the one about the knight who fights giants from a windmill? 

FERDIE: No, dear. He fights windmills, thinking they are giants. 

GINGER: Oh, the poor man. 

FERDIE: But he does it because he imagines that a woman of unparalleled beauty and intelligence is endangered by them. 

GINGER: I suppose that’s okay, then. 

FERDIE: I suppose it is. 

GINGER: . . . I never had a man do something like that for me. 

FERDIE: Nor I, dear. 

GINGER: It sounds . . . romantic. And somewhat silly. I mean, windmills. Where would you find a windmill these days? 

FERDIE: It’s a metaphor, anyway. I suppose the modern equivalent would be cell towers, but that doesn’t—it doesn’t quite ring true. 

GINGER: No, it doesn’t. 

FERDIE: How about Walton’s The Compleat Angler

GINGER: I don’t know that one. 

FERDIE: It’s a contemplative guide to fishing, with an emphasis on the contemplation. 

GINGER: My friend doesn’t seem like a fisherman, but he does strike me as very contemplative. 

FERDIE: Or The Poems of Shelley. 

GINGER: Shelley? Didn’t she write Frankenstein?

FERDIE: No, Percy. Mary Shelley’s husband. Here. Look. He wrote “An Ode to the West Wind.” 

GINGER: That’s lovely. Oh, there are so many choices. 

FERDIE: No rush, dear. Take all the time you need . . . 


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