Friday, December 18, 2009

Looking Ahead

As the event and public relations coordinator for Anthology, I have the pleasure of working closely with authors and local musicians in providing readings, book signings and entertainment at the bookstore. We have brought three interesting evenings to our clientele since October, including a wonderful mix of prose and East Indian music with Bhanu Kapil's reading from Humanimal and Aakash Mittal's blend of jazz fusion.

In November, Young Adult author Laura Resau braved a cold and snowy night to travel from Fort Collins to Loveland for a very intimate evening of discussion and stories. Her books, What the Moon Saw, Red Glass, and the Indigo Notebook are insightful accounts of youth and their search for understanding, friendship and love. Over a cup of tea, Ms. Resau shared what inspired her books, travels to Mexico and Latin America countries, and revealed the depth of her characters in a way that reaches not only youth, but adult readers as well.

December we kicked back with what I would list as one of the most talented singer-songwriters I have heard in recent years. Baily Stauffer packed the house while delivering soulful, penetrating guitar, keyboard and vocals. I would compare her to Tori Amos; offering her own special blend of heartfelt emotion in her raw and transparent lyrics. Especially touching was her lovely rendition of O, Holy Night, in a nod to the Christmas season.

I have a special gift for you in January. After the holidays, you may be thinking of taking a road trip, a short journey, a won't want to miss Trent Newcomer as he reads from his award-winning book, The Call of the World. Part travelogue/part memoir, Trent shares his insightful and candid accounts of his solo backpacking trip around the globe. Did I mention awards? Winner (Travel Essay)-2009 National Best Books Award (USA Book News); Medalist (Travel Essay)-2009 Independent Publishers Book Award; Finalist (Travel/Travel Essay)- 2009 Next Generation Indie Book Awards. Please join us as we host Trent Newcomer at the bookstore January 8, 2010 from 6:30 pm to 8 pm. The event is free. Please mark your calendars for a wonderful evening with this young man. The Call of the World will be available in our bookstore next week.

February brings an evening of music the 12th of February (artist to be determined) and author Sally Bonkrude on February 25, 2010 from 6-7:30 pm. Ms. Bonkrude is a performance coach and author, who's book Conscious Performing helps offer positive inner change and excellence. I will have more information on this after the first of the year.

I hope you will post these dates and events on your 2010 calendars! It would be a pleasure to see many of our customers come out and support both local musicians and authors. Peace and blessings to you in the New Year.

Friday, December 11, 2009

New Around the Store

With the Holiday season in full swing, I know that it is easy to get overwhelmed. (Especially with all the commercials on TV, and the ads in every paper you grab.) So I thought it would be fitting to give everyone a little heads up on what is new around the store. This morning we received a lovely order from the amazing toy maker, Melissa & Doug. They specialize in wooden toys, and classic toys. There are lovely puzzles, Rainbow Stackers, and magnetic dress up dolls that are filling the children's section. We also Klutz toy books.

Another wonderful gift idea that arrived this morning are the new NPR CDs. This is a new idea that we are trying out; we get six different CDs that are being played on NPR, every six weeks. This shipment includes Rosanne Cash's "The List", Norah Jones' "The Fall", and the timeless classic "A Charlie Brown Christmas".
We also received lots of new books that are bound to be great Christmas gifts. Keri Smith's "How to Be An Explorer of the World," which is a wonderful book/journal in the same style of her beloved "Wreck This Journal". We have several copies of the intriguing "The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo", and of the heart-warming bestseller "The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society". When you swing by the store to peruse the shelves for the perfect gift, feel free to ask our knowledgeable staff for recommendations. Happy Shopping!

Thursday, December 3, 2009

I have never considered myself a "mystery/crime" reader. Late last year, I picked up "The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo" by Stieg Larsson and flew through it. Pretty sure I didn't even pause to sleep while reading that book. After finishing that amazing book, I was shocked that I wanted to read some more books that are located in the mystery/crime genre. After many suggestions, I picked up one of Janet Evanovich's Stephanie Plum books. It was a easy, fun read that I was able to complete in one sitting, but I found it lacked the substance that I had found in Larsson's book. I don't consider myself a book snob, but I was not really thrilled with the heavy hitters of the mystery/crime genre. I read James Patterson, Diane Mott Davidson, and I even tried Patricia Cornwell, but I was still hungering for a more juicy plot. This is when one of my co-workers suggested "Shutter Island" by Lehane. I agreed to read it for two main reasons. #1: My co-worker has always suggested wonderful reads. #2: I had happened to see a preview for the upcoming movie that stars Leonardo DiCaprio (and I always have to read the book before I see the movie).
I will be quite honest, that book sat on my night stand for about a month before I picked it up mid-morning one Saturday. It grabbed my about 30 pages into the story, and after that I could not put it down. I read all afternoon, and into the wee hours of morning. The story takes place on Shutter Island, which is located off the coast of Massachusetts, that is home to a mental institution. It follows the investigation of two U.S. Marshals on the hunt for an escaped patient. That is all I feel comfortable about giving away the ending, but I will say that I was completely taken aback by the ending. I had to re-read the ending to make sure that I had read it correctly the first time through. Swing by the store to grab your copy before the movie comes out, or grab it for a wonderful Christmas present for that person in your life who loves a good web of intrigue.
When you stop by the store, I would love to hear suggestions for more "mystery/crime" books. I think that I am hooked :)