Tuesday, March 31, 2009

If only I had more to give...

Hey guys, thanks so much for your interest in the galley giveaway; I only wish I had more so you all could get one!

Congrats to Marie and Pam, who were each first for their respective titles! I've put your books behind the counter so come on in to pick them up. Since there were multiple requests, though, please come get them within the week or I'll offer them to the next in line. And do make sure to tell me if you like them!

I'll try to do another galley grab soon, so do keep an eye out! And it's great to let me know what you're interested in--please do feel free to write me with what you like so I can offer up what would be of greatest appeal (and if you were a runner-up, please do send me an email and maybe I can find something else you'd like!).

And remember that the Iain Pears is still up for grabs! **UPDATE** Sorry, but the Pears has been claimed as well. Jeremy, it'll be behind the register for you.

Wow, there were a lot of exclamation points in this post. I'll try to be more restrained next time.

Monday, March 30, 2009

Galley Grab!

So it's a pretty old post of theirs, but just last week I was directed to this Gawker article about using galleys to get, um, well, to get to know someone better (I think someone tweeted about it--thank you, whomever you are!).

I can categorically state that I have never been hit on due to my reading of a galley (or of any book, actually. Another chapter in the story of my sad solitary existence. Sorry, that was way too much self-pitying). I have caused confusion and anger when someone once noticed I had a paperback copy of a book that was only available in hardcover. They first thought I was lying to them when I said it was only available in hardcover and then thought I was being snobby and showing off when really I wasn't, I was just trying to explain why I had a paperback. I felt horrible (I'll now move from self-pitying to self-loathing). And this is why I now try to hide my galleys when I read them in public (especially if I'm behind in my reading and the book has already been released), thereby making sure I'll never succeed in flirtation via advanced access. Oh, the humanity!

But, gentle readers, do not let my failures of seduction deter you from testing this out yourselves! Herewith I offer some galleys that may spark interest or conversation with that attractive somebody squashed next to you on the Green Line.

Stone's Fall by Iain Pears--A new historical mystery from the author of An Instance of the Fingerpost, this is a mystery of high finance and espionage set in fin-de-siecle Europe (read more here). **Added flirtation bonus--this puppy is 800 pages which makes you appear erudite, shows your ability to commit (if only to an intense read) and allows you to show off those triceps!**

The City and the City by China Mieville--A sci-fi mystery that involves places named Beszel and Ul Qoma and an investigation into murder by Inspector Tyador Borlu of the Extreme Crime Squad (read more here). **This will totally get you in with that geek chic guy you've been eyeing.**

The Food of a Younger Land edited by Mark Kurlansky--I am so super-psyched for this one! Kurlansky is one of the kings of literary nonfiction with his popular food histories such as Salt and Cod. Here he has compiled writings from a previously unpublished WPA project titled "America Eats" which employed authors--including Zora Neale Hurston and Eudora Welty--to record the regional eating habits and histories of regular Americans (read more here). **You can take your flirtation to the next level by inviting that cutie checking out your book to join you for our reading with Mr. Kurlansky on Friday, May 15th at 7:00.**

If you want in on these opportunities for connection, even if just with a good book, please leave me a note in the comments with your name and I'll leave the book for you at our front counter. Unfortunately I only have one copy of each so it'll be first come, first served. And please, allow me to share the love by only requesting one title.

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Pride and Prejudice and Zombies and Vampires

I'm pretty sure that those rumors of vampires at Boston Latin were just a front for an impending zombie invasion. Hopefully the werewolves are preparing their counterattack.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009


As the great & wise Friend Owl said in Bambi, "Nearly everybody gets twitterpated in the springtime." We at the Brookline Booksmith have decided to take these words to heart and just joined Twitter as @booksmithtweets! Tweeting are myself, Katie, and Genie (our Events Director). If you're interested primarily in words of wisdom from Carl and Andrea in our Used Book Cellar then you might be interested in following them @ubcbrookline. We will try not to have a Booksmith twitter throwdown (though that actually sounds kind of fun).

And speaking of owls, Kerri in the card & gift room and I are both crazy for them. She has gotten in THE CUTEST owl stuff for the spring including this wallet which I am buying myself immediately because I always see cute stuff that we have and then never buy it figuring I'm here, you know, everyday and can buy it anytime and then I NEVER DO and it SELLS OUT and I want to SMACK MYSELF. (I apologize for the excitement, but this is what owls do to me). So, dear reader, feel free to come in and snap up these owl wallets because I already have mine, thank you very much.

Monday, March 16, 2009

A Dickensian Moment?

I absolutely loved Matthew Pearl's The Dante Club, so I'm super excited for tomorrow, when his new book, The Last Dickens goes on sale. Yay! I'm equally excited that we'll be hosting Mr. Pearl at our store on Thursday, April 9th (details here).

Additional items of Dickensian note include: Drood, Dan Simmons's new book that, like Pearl's, concerns itself with the creation of Charles Dickens's final (and unfinished) novel, The Mystery of Edwin Drood, has been selling very well. Also, PBS's Masterpiece is in the middle of a Dickens series. (side note: I can't wait until Little Dorrit starts March 29th. It stars Matthew Macfadyen! God, did I love him in MI-5. And he was not at all shabby as Mr. Darcy though I know he will never unseat Colin Firth in most people's minds).

Are we in the middle of a particularly Dickensian moment?

Finally, strange coincidences that will bring us back to Dickens: I remember that Matthew Pearl's last book, The Poe Shadow, came out at the same time as Louis Bayard's The Pale Blue Eye, both of which were historical fiction focusing on Edgar Allan Poe (I can't tell if this means Mr. Pearl has bad timing or good instincts). But what was Bayard's book previous to that? Mr. Timothy, a reimagining of Dickens's Tiny Tim from A Christmas Carol!

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Staff Picks--Liz, Liz, and Elizabeth

More staff picks! I realized I need to go through them quickly as there are a whole new batch that will be going up in a few weeks (which means I need to decide what my next pick will be...I saw that Jennifer 8 Lee's The Fortune Cookie Chronicles just came in today which upends my shortlist).

Elizabeth recommends The Zookeeper's Wife: A War Story by Diane Ackerman: "This book gives new meaning to selflessness. It's the story of a family and countless others who put themselves in the face of evil to help others to stand up for what's right. Could you do the same?"

Liz E., who spends much of her time in our children's section, loves If You Were a Penguin by Wendell and Florence Minor: "I have been a fan of Wendell Minor for years -- his illustrations are wonderful, capturing the very essence of each story he helps to bring alive! This one is just wonderful -- plus, it's all about penguins! Can you toboggan on your stomach or fly underwater?"

And Liz T. suggests The Academy Awards: The Complete Unofficial History by Gail Kinn and Jim Piazza: "I love old movies and movie history. My cable box is permanently set on Turner Classic Movies. This book sits on the bookcase next to the couch for quick and easy reference. In addition to the lists of winners and nominees, there's also a lot of great trivia. Love it!"

Read more of their recommendations here, here, and here.

By the way, in case you were wondering, in addition to the Liz trio we also have Kate F., Kate R., & Katie as well as both Lisa F. and Lisa P.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Delicious Soul Food (and good news for vegans!)

One of my favorite new cookbooks of the season just came out: Vegan Soul Kitchen by Bryant Terry. When I was buying it my rep mentioned how much she (and her dinner guests) liked the Citrus Collards with Raisins Redux she made. And Katie has already picked up a copy and told me how much she loved the Cajun-Creole-Spiced Tempeh Pieces with Creamy Grits.

I was always bummed that I couldn't eat a lot of Southern cooking as it usually involves foods I don't eat (shellfish and pork in particular) so I am so thrilled to have some delicious soul food I can try. My mouth is seriously watering just looking at the table of contents...I want some sweet, sour, and spicy blackberry limeade and carrot-cranberry-walnut salad now! And I love how each recipe comes with a soundtrack (for example, Bo Diddley's "I'm a Man" is suggested for garlic broth-braised brussels sprouts).

This book is seriously good--not just for vegans but for anyone looking for some new inspiration. Check it out! (and check out more from Bryant Terry here).

By the way, if you are vegan (or just looking to eat more veggies) you should send a big hug and kiss to the folks of Da Capo Press. Their spring/summer list is packed full of the most amazing vegan cookbooks one after another (and we'll be carrying all of them). Check it out:

March: The aforementioned Vegan Soul Kitchen by Bryant Terry

May: Ani's Raw Food Desserts by Ani Phyo (who wrote our bestselling raw food cookbook, Ani's Raw Food Kitchen)

June: Vegan Brunch by Isa Chandra Moskowitz (who wrote our bestselling vegan cookbook, Veganomicon)

Honestly, if I were vegan I'd be doing a happy dance right about now.