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December 04, 2023
November 23, 2023
Book culture is strong. People love browsing a bookstore. Book clubs have been around forever. With the advent of social media, Bookstagram and BookTok quickly appeared. And there is a great reason for this: books create a strong and special bond between people.
I was a high school English teacher for several years and the best class I ever taught was a 10th grade reading class. This was my favorite class because I had some of the best conversations with students and literature was always the impetus for those conversations.
We didn’t have to be reading the same book. They didn’t have to be reading a book I had read or even heard of. Through the characters and the setting, we were able to broach conversations we may never have thought of before.
One of the coolest things we see each day in our bookstore are book inscriptions. People give books as gifts, and rarely the reason for that gift is willy-nilly. We give books as gifts for important milestones and to important people because books convey ideas, thoughts and feelings we may not have the words for.
Not convinced? Here are more reasons books make great gifts!
November 13, 2023
Eric Jerome Dickey was a very popular writer in the 1990s. He recently passed from cancer in 2021 at the young age of 52. Until about 4 weeks ago, I had no idea he was still publishing books until I learned of his passing.
He had an interesting career. Graduating from Memphis State University with a degree in engineering, he moved to L.A. to work for Rockwell International as a software developer. Then decided he wanted to pursue the arts: acting, comedy and writing.
He published 15 novels in a variety of genres. And his book The Business of Lovers published in 2020 is one of this month’s Customer 5 star Favs.
I was nervous sending this book out to our customer; I kept thinking to myself: Is he still relevant? But he is just one of those writers whose reputation you can trust.
Here is what our customer Sam said, “This book was spot on. I couldn’t put it down. The story line was amazing and the ending was absolutely perfect.” And she added in her note of what she wanted to read next: “keep doing what you're doing.”
Another book that received 5 stars this month, is one I have never heard of: This Burns My Heart by Samuel Park.
Here is what Linda had to say about it:
This book was so. Damn. Good. Just my style blending history, Asian culture (in this case Korea), and romance. It reminded me of a Lisa See book who is one of my all-time favorite authors. The book spanned many years of Soo-Ja's life from a girl in her early twenties to a mother in her late thirties and it really took me on a journey of her struggle with the choices she made as a young woman. I felt very connected to her, even though I may not have made the same mistakes she has, as a woman in my early thirties I understand having to deal with the fallout of decisions I made when I was younger and more naïve. Not only that, but in her older years she is a perpetual people pleaser and will say whatever makes everyone else happy even if it means biting her tongue and suffering herself which I really really relate with. Every time Soo-Ja and Yul reunited my heart was in my throat hoping maybe this time something would work out between them, reading this as a hopeless romantic really really pulled at my heartstrings. The ending definitely made me cry, I wish there were a tiny bit more wrap-up (like an epilogue) but I was still satisfied with how it played out.
Working in a bookstore is the coolest! I get to learn about so many books. But running this subscription service is even better because of the feedback we receive!
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November 01, 2023
October 25, 2023
October 17, 2023
October 03, 2023
There are two books that have been top sellers for indie bookstores around the country recently that I am impatiently waiting to read:Tom Lake
I have only read one book by Patchett - The Dutch House - and I listened to it because Tom Hanks was reading it.
I loved it. Not just because he was the reader and did an amazing job, it was a good book. Reminder: I (Ang) look for good writing and good character development in a book. I don’t really care about plot.
The Dutch House is well written and the characters are complex and dynamic.
Here is a quick summary from Goodreads:
In the spring of 2020, Lara's three daughters return to the family's orchard in Northern Michigan. While picking cherries, they beg their mother to tell them the story of Peter Duke, a famous actor with whom she shared both a stage and a romance years before at a theater company called Tom Lake.
As Lara recalls the past, her daughters examine their own lives and relationship with their mother, and are forced to reconsider the world and everything they thought they knew.
Tom Lake is a meditation on youthful love, married love, and the lives parents have led before their children were born. Both hopeful and elegiac, it explores what it means to be happy even when the world is falling apart. As in all of her novels, Ann Patchett combines compelling narrative artistry with piercing insights into family dynamics. The result is a rich and luminous story, told with profound intelligence and emotional subtlety, that demonstrates once again why she is one of the most revered and acclaimed literary talents working today.
I love a generational tale about families, and after reading how Patchett wrote the family in The Dutch House, I absolutely trust her.The Vaster Wilds
The other book I am very excited about that has been flying off the shelves across the country is Lauren Groff’s The Vaster Wilds.
I have read several of Groff’s books. My favorite is probably The Monsters of Templeton. A woman returns to her childhood home after a scandalous affair and finds out her mother has been lying to her all this time. Looking for the truth takes her back generations (yup-another family saga!).
But this time there is a monster. Its corpse appears in the lake. A Monster. Yes, the townspeople are interested in it, but not on the level you’d expect.
It’s a wonderful story, with a touch of magical realism and lots of self discovery.
I also enjoyed Arcadia and The Fates and the Furies by Groff. I did not enjoy The Matrix and found it pretty outside of her style - it was stark and cold - but maybe that was because it took place in an abby. But I just didn’t love the characters, but I did love the message. Anyway, it was a quick read, and I read on because I really trust her as an author.
Here is what The Vaster Wilds promises (also from Goodreads):
A servant girl escapes from a colonial settlement in the wilderness. She carries nothing with her but her wits, a few possessions, and the spark of god that burns hot within her. What she finds in this terra incognita is beyond the limits of her imagination and will bend her belief in everything that her own civilization has taught her.
Lauren Groff’s new novel is at once a thrilling adventure story and a penetrating fable about trying to find a new way of living in a world succumbing to the churn of colonialism. The Vaster Wilds is a work of raw and prophetic power that tells the story of America in miniature, through one girl at a hinge point in history, to ask how—and if—we can adapt quickly enough to save ourselves.
The reviews are stunning. I am going to read it. And you should too!
September 26, 2023
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