Thursday, January 29, 2009

Staff Picks--Katie

Katie (comedienne, vegan chef extraordinaire, and master of our psychology and history sections) picked a classic sci-fi book for her recommendation--The Chrysalids by John Wyndham.

She says, "As if coming-of-age wasn't tricky enough, young David must keep his telepathic powers secret in a society where religious and genetic fundamentalists destroy anything that deviates from the norm. Thank you, New York Review of Books, for resurrecting this fantastic gripping tale."

P.S.- Paul highly approves of this choice.
P.P.S.- Read more of Katie's recommendations here

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Staff Picks--Dava

Dava recommends The Knitters Handy Book of Patterns by Ann Budd.

She says "Like a good cookbook, this book is filled with basic 'recipes' to get you into knitting. Take the information about gauge, needles and sizing (all explained in the introduction), mix with the appropriate yarn, and you will be whipping up some lovely creations."

More recs from Dava here!

Still Busy...

So far I've bought from Dover, Perseus, University of Chicago (and other university presses it distributes), Simon & Schuster, Candlewick, and HarperCollins kids. Whew! I do hope I'll figure out a good way to preview some of my favorites from all of them. During the next few busy weeks I'll try to keep updating with some of the new recommendations from fellow Booksmith staffers.

Monday, January 19, 2009

Last One Standing

Sorry not to have updated last week--I've begun my buying for the summer which means I've been busier than usual. Of course it also means there's more that I want to tell you all about what's exciting coming up. I'm not sure how I'll do it, but I'll try!

I haven't made mention of it (partly because I'm never happy to see anyone losing jobs or storefronts closing, partly because I'd like to spend my time focused on us more than our competition) but recently the Barnes and Noble down the street from us shut their doors. Dana, our fearless general manager and co-owner, wrote a little something about it for Shelf Awareness that you can read here (scroll to the bottom).

In other news I was able to read Temple Grandin's Animals Make Us Human in time for our event last week (As suspected, I was working the register during her talk. I would insert a Debbie Downer wah-wah here but the popularity of the event meant we were piping audio through the whole store for those who couldn't fit downstairs so all was good. ). The book was wonderful and insightful and heartbreaking and, sadly, totally confirmed that my lifestyle is in no way conducive to owning a dog. I'm very glad that I get to pet all the dogs that come into our store and feed them biscuits or I would go crazy from doggy deprivation.

Friday, January 9, 2009

My Staff Pick

New staff picks were due today and as usual I had a hard time deciding what I wanted to recommend. There were A LOT from which I was trying to choose. I thought about my recent faves, Blindspot, Graceling, and then I thought about doing something a little more old-school and recommending Cooking for Mr. Latte or Tender at the Bone (there's something about the winter that just leads me to food memoirs). In honor of Sasha and Malia I thought of recommending The President's Daughter and I still think I might see if I can slip that in as an extra this month.

Finally I decided on a book I loved last year that just came out in paperback--Gods Behaving Badly by Marie Phillips. It tells the story of Greek gods run amok in modern London and the unsuspecting humans who fall prey to their shenanigans, and it completely charmed me when I first read it. Thinking about the book always makes me smile, and while part of me feels like maybe it's more of a summer read I decided in the end that maybe it's actually good to have something light and fun to turn to while cold brutal winter sets in over the next few weeks.

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Temple Grandin's New Book Is Here Today. Temple Grandin Will Be Here Next Week!

Today we got in a ton of new titles, but the one I'm most excited to pick up is Temple Grandin's new book Animals Make Us Human. I need to get a move-on and finish The Yiddish Policemen's Union because I want to make sure to finish Ms. Grandin's book before next week when she'll be reading from it here at the Booksmith. That's right, TEMPLE GRANDIN WILL BE SPEAKING AT BROOKLINE BOOKSMITH A WEEK FROM TODAY--Tuesday, January 13th at 7:00!

(Hmm, I seem to have caught caps lock fever from Christopher Moore)

Monday, January 5, 2009

Galley Grab!

Up for grabs today is Fool, the new novel by Christopher Moore that goes on sale February 10th.

It comes wrapped in brown paper that proclaims: "WARNING! THIS IS A BAWDY TALE. Herein YOU WILL FIND GRATUITOUS SHAGGING, MURDER, SPANKING, MAIMING, TREASON, and heretofore UNEXPLORED HEIGHTS OF VULGARITY and PROFANITY, as well as NON-TRADITIONAL GRAMMAR, SPLIT INFINITIVES, and THE ODD WANK. If that sort of thing bothers you, then gentle reader pass by, for we endeavor only to entertain, not to offend. That said, if that's the sort of thing you think you might enjoy, then you have happened upon THE PERFECT STORY!"

I think that pretty much says it all. Well, not quite. If you want to find out what it's actually about you can click on the title above which will go to a fuller description.

Want it? Leave a comment with your name and I'll put one on hold for you. Right now I only have one but I may be able to find another (sans plain brown paper wrapper) if there is demand.

Friday, January 2, 2009

Brookline Booksmith's Bestselling Books of 2008

Happy New Year Blogsmith readers! With no further ado I present to you our list of the past year's top selling titles.

25. Last Lecture by Randy Pausch
24. Boston Restaurants 2008-2009 by Zagat
23. The Road by Cormac McCarthy
22. The Given Day by Dennis Lehane
21. The Yiddish Policemen's Union by Michael Chabon
20. In Defense of Food by Michael Pollan
19. Divisadero by Michael Ondaatje
18. Better by Atul Gawande
17. Water for Elephants by Sara Gruen
16. Twilight by Stephenie Meyer
15. Then We Came to the End by Joshua Ferris
14. The Diving Bell and the Butterfly by Jean-Dominique Bauby
13. New Moon by Stephenie Meyer
12. What Is the What by David Eggers
11. A New Earth by Eckhart Tolle

Our top ten...
10. The Audacity of Hope by Barack Obama
9. The Gathering by Anne Enright
8. The Omnivore's Dilemma by Michael Pollan
7. The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao by Junot Diaz
6. When You Are Engulfed in Flames by David Sedaris
5. Out Stealing Horses by Per Petterson
4. Eat, Pray, Love by Elizabeth Gilbert
3. Three Cups of Tea by Greg Mortenson
2. Unaccustomed Earth by Jhumpa Lahiri

and our top seller of the year...
1. Dreams from My Father by Barack Obama

If you'd like to see how this compares to last year's list, you can check it out here. You'll see we have a few repeats: Three Cups of Tea, Eat, Pray, Love, The Omnivore's Dilemma, The Gathering, Water for Elephants, The Yiddish Policemen's Union, The Road, and Zagat's Guide.

Of note for me this year are our triple doubles--two titles each from President-Elect Obama, Michael Pollan, and Stephenie Meyers (Why is it that New Moon, her second book, outsold Twilight, her first? Curious. Perhaps because there are multiple editions of Twilight out there? Hmm, something to check.).

Thank you so much to all of our wonderful customers and friends. Here's to another fantastic year of great books!