Thursday, August 30, 2012

Four Bargains

If you receive our newsletter, the image above probably looks familiar (and if you don't subscribe to our newsletter, you really should!). Sorry Paul, I'm stealing one of your newsletter design elements. But we have some of my favorite books on the bargain tables! Here they are.

The Year of Magical Thinking by Joan Didion ($5.99) - This was the first book I read by Joan Didion and after I read it I was obsessed with reading all her essays and books. Written during the first year after her husband's sudden death, this memoir explores the curious way our minds and memory work while trying to cope with the loss of a loved one. Joan Didion is a stunning, precise writer who effortlessly manages to write about the supremely personal in a universal way. This limited UK edition comes with a unique element: artist Bob Crowley, who created six paintings for the stage production of the book, created this cover. The image draws "on the idea of a landscape of grief" and when the jacket is taken off and unfolded, it can be flattened into a print.

The White Tiger by Aravind Adiga ($5.99) - I zipped through this novel. The White Tiger is written in the form of a letter. In his letter to the Chinese leader, Balram Halwai talks about how he carved out his career from nothing to how he became a murderer. The epistolary form gives the novel a sense of urgency and Balram, conscious that of the letter's recipient, keeps the plot moving. But Adiga doesn't use the form as a scapegoat to avoid ruminating on modern day India. Balram is charming as Lolita's Humbert Humbert and The White Tiger is as socially relevant as The Reluctant Fundamentalist by Moshin Hamid. A must read for anyone interested in India.

Evening Is the Whole Day by Preeta Samarasan ($4.99) - Set in Malaysia, Evening Is the Whole Day goes back and forth in time to tell the story of what causes the mysterious Rajasekharan family to dismiss their servant, Chellam. Evening Is the Whole Day unfolds like a slow mystery and ends in a gut wrenching reveal. Samarasan's language is lavish and beautiful, and the characters, like six-year-old Aasha who is haunted by the ghost of her grandmother, are so memorable. Samarasan is talented; she has a style all her own, but one that has the range of some of the greats, like Toni Morrison and Arundhati Roy.

Divisadero by Michael Ondaatje ($4.99) - Divisadero is a lovely, meditative and complex novel. It's a hard one to describe, but Ondaatje as a way of creating haunting events early on in a story that resonate with characters throughout the rest of their novel, and Divisadero is no different. Anna and Claire are sisters who live on a farm in Northern California, along with their father and their hired farmhand, Coop. When an incident between the four sets them apart, the family fractures and splits off into different directions all over the world. The novel moves from the Northern California to gritty San Francisco and Nevada, to the French countryside, and goes in surprising directions with its characters. There's just something about this one that sticks with you long after the end.

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Pessoa Pilgrimage

We'd overstayed our welcome at Prazeres Cemetery. As my companion and I began walking back toward the gates, a guard came hurrying down the path, gesturing toward his wrist with the universal "we're closing" gesture. The guard directed us to go wait at the gates for him, then hurried on his rounds. We found our way back to some very tall, black iron gates, with a very thick chain locked around them. I tried not to think of what would have happened to us if the guard had not found us. The graves at Prazares (which, strangely, means "pleasures" in Portuguese) are, for the most part, above ground, sepulchers hold the coffins and urns of the dead. We had just been peering in on the poet Fernando Pessoa and his family, who seemed closer than was comfortable. I was relieved when the guard reappeared to let us out; I had to suppress the impulse to sprint through the opened gates.

"At least we found Pessoa," I said to my companion as we left. It hadn't been easy. We'd gotten the address at his house museum--that's right, the graves have addresses. In fact, walking through Prazeres Cemetery was like walking through a miniature city. Almost all the bodies were housed in impressive mausoleums adorned with weeping statues.

Outside the cemetery we boarded the old yellow 28 tram to take us back to the city center. Our legs could not sustain anymore of Lisbon's hills--seven to be exact, Pessoa himself tells us in the opening sentence of a guidebook the poet wrote of his city: "Over seven hills, which are as many points of observation whence the most magnificent panoramas may be enjoyed, the vast irregular and many-colored mass of houses that constitute Lisbon is scattered."

Read more about our Pessoa pilgrimage on our blog at

Saturday, August 25, 2012

No Sleep Till [...?]

I have never been what I would call a "good" sleeper. I'm not bad, I can usually fall asleep eventually, I don't sleep great with other people in the bed, or in an unusual place, etc. A lifetime of living city-adjacent has made my brain averse to the deep-quiet; unless there's a hum of traffic or an electric fan, I can have trouble dropping off. What is happening out there!? What kind of red-eyed murderers are stirring among the cicadas and the night crawlers!?!

My parents, however, have considerably weirder sleeping habits. For as long as I can remember and as long as I have been alive my parents have been night workers. My stepmother is a nurse and my Dad is a respiratory therapist, and both of them prefer the less high maintenance nighttime shift over the hectic, stressful day time. Even here, at the book store, a definite change in tone occurs when the sun sets. Things take on a different weight as darkness sets.

But decades of 12 hour night shifts and sleeping during the day has permanently ruined my parents' sleeping cycles. Its not unusual that I will get a text from my stepmother at 3 in the morning about the 20th episode of Parks and Recreation she just watched. My Dad can fall asleep at the drop of a hat, but it's staying asleep, or getting into real REM sleep, that he has trouble achieving. Their bedroom is a dark cave of silence; the windows are boarded up with cardboard to keep out light, and soundproofed as best they can be to protect against erstwhile barking of woefully abandoned apartment dogs and the psychosis inducing, ever changing pitch of the leaf blower, the lawnmower, the various implements of a mind lost to gardening.

It was the artwork that made me pause in front of this book while I was walking through Children's the other day. The detailed, dark art in a children's setting reminded me of several things, including but not limited to Coraline, The Gashlycrumb Tinies, and the cover art of the "A Series of Unfortunate Events" books, drawn by Brett Helquist.

Once intrigued, I flipped through the book itself and found out, lo and behold, that it's about a family that becomes nocturnal after moving their home to another part of the world. The family discovers first that they are unable to adjust to a new time zone, and then, subsequently, that they don't want to. They prefer the night time, and all the secret features it holds.

When I was in LA last summer, I saw the Tim Burton show that was happening at the LACMA, and he's a very interesting guy in many ways, but the characters in this book reminded me of his art in many ways. The appearance of small, dark, unusually shaped characters with key peculiarities that somehow decide to stop (or never start) fighting their nature and go against the grain.

I prefer children's books that have a bit of an edge to them, and I always have, even when I was a kid. Picture books like "The Stinky Cheese Man" (and anything by Jon Sciekza) and "The Girl who Cried Rose Petals" (now long out of print but about, you guessed it, a girl who cries rose petals) always held so much more allure than the other picture books. There's something about the juxtaposition of something bizarre and quirky in a world that generally veers towards the safe, the reassuring, the cloyingly happily ended. I'm not saying that's not what kid's books shouldn't be, or what childhood shouldn't include - I'm just saying that, when I was a youngster, I was more interested in the version of Cinderella where the wicked stepsisters get their toes cut off. Although, come to think of it, I was recommended for therapy by every single one of my elementary and middle school teachers until like 7th grade.

But, you guys, I'm pretty sure the crazy begat the picture books, not the other way around. Actually, compared to some of the other literature available, The Insomniacs is pretty tame. Really, the other thing odd about the protagonist family is that they prefer to stay up all night. They're not even doing anything truly weird, like sewing a fourth family member together out of parts or trying to resurrect grandma - the little girl even attends school, remotely via webcam. The book is very sweet and interesting and has great art, and, if you read it and like it, the Brothers Hilts are coming to Booksmith for a book signing event this very September! So stop in, check out the book, and come to the event because those are all the best  things to do.

But before you do that, check out this webpage of terrifying French children's books, and then you get back to me before you start calling me "Spooky Mulder", okay!? JEEPERS

Friday, August 24, 2012

Chaos in Tejas

I just got back from a week in Austin, Texas and boy and howdy was it a good time. I ate so much barbecue the composition of my blood is literally 1/3 wood smoke now, and I've spent the last coupla days back in Boston letting my stomach shrink from insatiable Texas-size to normal size. Special thanks here to Franklin Barbecue where we had to line up 3 hours early for the most...indescribably amazing food I've ever stuffed down my gullet.

Among the whirlwind chaos I reigned in Tejas (bars, roller derby, donut trucks, pub trivia, vintage shops) a girl like me has one steadfast weakness. Bookstores (duh). I am completely one of those weirdos that goes to other bookstores on her days off AND vacations. A calling is a calling.

Of the many awesome bookstores I hit in Austin here check out some of the best:

603 N Lamar

This massive indie is spacious, well-stocked and has great staff picks throughout. I picked up a few favorites for my Texan host and got some rad Keep Austin Weird stickers for free. They even have a cafe! A good place to stop in on your jaunt after eating at the restaurant Bacon, or having rad burgers at Counter Cafe across the street.

Domy Books
913 E Cesar Chavez

Domy is a ways away from things but it's crazy awesome. Domy features art, photography, comics and fiction in a well-curated collection, as well as cool toys, zines and cards and a gallery space. Worth the walk, and not far from renowned (and awesome) coffee shop Progress. (Try the Iced Lightning!)
Recycled Reads
5335 Burnet Road
This very tidy, well-organized shop is an ongoing library sale, in which all sales benefit the Austin Public Library. I found a German edition of Das Parfum for $2. Not only is this difficult to find in general, it woulda set me back $30 in Cambridge had I bought it new. Super cheap, too. All paperbacks are $1, and hardcovers are $2.

South Congress Books
1608 South Congress Ave
If I had to pick favorites (and I never, ever would) I might have spent the most time in South Congress Books. The gentleman behind the counter was a well-read sweetheart and even all the customers were super cool, recommending books to each other and patiently browsing the shelves around all the patrons. It was a beautiful shop with multimedia book art gracing the walls, all used inventory in great condition, and really cool local handmade gifts and cool cards and journals. They sold individual pages out of cool old books in cellophane sleeves for cheap for crafty projects. Also, the bookmarks are super sturdy. South Congress itself is a great destination, just south of downtown Austin it's a stretch of road lined with great antique stores, record shops, massive candy stores, and a food truck lot in addition to a million other things. A great hub to spend a lazy and vibrant afternoon.

Thanks for reading, and I hope your travels take you to Austin because it is a fun and wild city with plenty to do ALL the time. Don't miss it!

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Travel by Color

As a child I always loved the tales in which the characters escaped into paintings, portals to a new world. I have a vivid memory of the scene in the BBC's production of C.S. Lewis's Voyage of the Dawn Treader where two school children are sucked up from their humdrum school day into a framed piece of artwork to land in the middle of a strange world where the creatures are fantastical and the colors are new. Up until last month, I considered this phenomenon to only exist in the world of myth. That was before I traveled into one of Cezanne’s paintings.

My husband and I were visiting his cousin in the south of France, when our hosts decided to give us a tour of Aix en Provence, where they had previously lived for 20 years. We eagerly followed them through the narrow streets lined with walls the color of creamed corn with pigeon-blue shuttered windows. We watched the cobblestones for the markers that showed our path to be Cezanne’s. Eventually we ended up at an exhibition where we viewed some of Cezanne’s early works, the painter’s palette, along with a book of Emile Zola’s, inscribed to his childhood friend, Cezanne. All of these artifacts were thrilling, but the real treasure had greeted us along the horizon as we approached the town by highway, a presence I felt looming beyond the city streets: Mount St. Victoire, the subject of several of Cezanne’s most stunning landscapes.

On our way out of Aix en Provence, we drove la Route Cezanne, the route which Cezanne used to stroll, pausing to capture the fields, trees, and occasional houses on canvas. As we careened around the narrow roads, closer and closer to the base of Mt. St. Victoire, I rolled down the window and stared. Golden fields stretched before me, bordered by dark green Cypress trees. Occasionally a small cream stucco house would appear with a red-orange tiled roof. I recognized it all with something of the thrill of reunion and the sudden realization: We were inside one of Cezanne’s paintings. The colors were unmistakable: we had arrived, entered a world where life and art blurred into brilliant shades of color and sudden dashes of light...

Find the rest of this post and discover books about traveling by color on our blog at

Saturday, August 18, 2012

The Last Days of Ptolemy Gray

I just moved into my parent's house in Newton about two weeks ago. So far it has been going exceptionally well, although it bears mentioning that I don't have a license or a working bicycle at the moment, and so my sister and parents basically have to pick me up and drop me off everywhere I go. Last Thursday I had to day off work, my sister was working until 3, and my parents had vacated to the Cape for a few days, so I found myself helplessly stranded in Newton. Any other day this would be a huge inconvenience but since it was one of my days off, I saw it as an excuse to not do a whole lot. I am living there completely rent free, so I figured such hospitality warranted a few hours of cleaning. I did the kitchen and living room, and while in a flurry of dusting and inhaling various bacteria-free products, I stumbled across The Last Days of Ptolomy Grey in the form of an overdue library book.

I had been seeing this book around the store, it had been on remainder for a few weeks, and it intrigued me but I didn't pick it up. Now, however, trapped in Newton with nowhere to be, I started reading the novel. 80 pages later, Emma came home and I barely noticed. I got completely wrapped up in this book. I am a first time Walter Mosley reader, but this will not be the last of his books I read. The way Mosley weaves a story around Ptolemy, a 90 year old man stuck deep in crippling senility and memory loss. Mosley's prose is so skillful and poetic that he manages to create a world through Ptolemy's eyes in a very visceral way; Ptolemy's conscience wanders in an out of the present and what he remembers of his past, and the narrative follows seamlessly. Falling back on familiar literary tropes is easily done when talking about memory, but Mosley manages not to make me cringe while threading together time.

I haven't finished it yet, but essentially what the story is about so far is an old man who has trouble deciphering what is real and what is memory, and recalling memories that he should be able to access. With the help of his young caregiver, he takes a trial medicine (supposedly rom The Devil, which is another excitingly well-crafted parallel Mosley executes) that helps him remember everything but will also probably kill him in the process. Ptolemy doesn't care; all he needs is a few weeks to wrap up his affairs, and then he has no more use for his mind, body, or this mortal coil.

I find the characters realistically fascinating, the writing is beautiful but very, very easy to read, and the phonetic dialogue truthful without being insulting or pandering. I love this book! I'm so excited that Mosley has written so many other books. Thank god I have another day off tomorrow. I hope nobody is available to drive me anywhere. Definitely check out this novel!

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Novel Into Film

When a book version of a movie is set to release, you can almost hear an audible sigh from the book's fans. Particularly when the book that is greatly beloved and seems impossible to put on the big screen without losing something. But I think of film adaptations as just that - another interpretation of a book. If I were to write the film adaptation of The Hunger Games, I'm not sure if I really would've shown the Gamemakers creating their various obstacles for the tributes  - but I appreciated how the filmmakers perceived it, as a sterile white room with hollogram versions of the arena, the whole process coming off like an extremely involved video game. You could almost understand how the Gamemakers didn't seem to grasp the reality of what they were doing. I was a bit disappointed at the romantic take on The Curious Case of Benjamin Button, based on the sardonic novella by F. Scott Fitzgerald, but also appreciated that the film chose to focus on how the aging process affected a romantic relationship, a storyline that the novella glosses over. Or Atonement, a movie so visually stunning I almost forgave the heavy-handed overdirected feeling of a novel whose narration unfolds to a brilliant reveal. And there's The Wonder Boys, one of those adaptations that fans of the book almost universally appreciate because it manages to get the wry angst of academia without the flourish of Michael Chabon's luxurious prose.

I suppose the sighing comes from the danger that people will see the movie and forget that it came from a book. But what we see at the Booksmith (and no doubt what publishers and those in the book industry know all too well) is that an impending movie release more often than not it piques a curiosity. It gives an image or makes a reader remember a name while they're browsing, makes them read the back of a book they may have otherwise not picked up. And if someone truly loved the story on the screen, they'll often come in and buy the book to read the version that inspired the film (or, as in one case I witnessed, someone came in and bought Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy by John le Carré because they had seen the movie and were not sure they got the ending).

There are two movie adaptations coming out this year that has everyone buying the book: The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald and Cloud Atlas by David Mitchell. I've read The Great Gatsby and it has been adapted before, and I'm excited to see Leonardo DiCaprio in the role of Gatsby, and hope the actual movie is a bit more nuanced than the glitzy trailer. And after watching the Cloud Atlas trailer, I'm still not quite sure I understand what is going on, but I love how the story seems to play with time. After seeing the trailer, there is no way I'm not reading this book.

For your viewing pleasure:

The Great Gatsby movie trailer

Cloud Atlas movie trailer

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Searching for Saudade in the City of Lisbon

Our first day in Lisbon dawned clear and bright. We wandered blinking through sunny Rossio Square, down the grand grid-like avenues (designed by the Marques de Pombal after the devastating 1755 earthquake, our DK Eyewitness Lisbon guide informed us), and out into a brilliant Praça do Comércio, a wide square that opens to the Tagus River, which sparkled and danced before us.

Looks like Lisbon has thrown off its melancholy," my companion noted as I rushed toward the water, eager to see the line "where the earth ends and the sea begins," a phrase Jose Saramago appropriated from Portuguese poet Camões to begin his novel, The Year of the Death of Ricardo Reis.

I reached the line, marked by two glistening white pillars, and bent down to touch the water. Warm waves lapped invitingly at my fingertips. I straightened and looked out to the horizon, expecting to think of distant lands, but was distracted by the immense red suspension bridge to my right, a twin to San Francisco's Golden Gate and created by the same designer. But this wasn't sunny California. When Saramago's character Ricardo Reis reached these shores from Brazil, it was raining. He was lonely, searching, though he was not sure for what. He knew only that the poet Fernando Pessoa had just died.

I had a copy of Pessoa's Book of Disquiet in my pack. But I didn't feel the disquiet that I had expected to descend upon my arrival, and I couldn't sense the strain of sorrow that runs through almost every book I have ever read set in the city of Lisbon, from Saramago and Pessoa to John Berger’s Here is Where We Meet and Dutch author Cees Nooteboom's The Following Story. In all of these books the boundaries between life and death blur like the constant flux of the Tagus on riverbank, and everyone yearns for something they cannot have.

"It's the Portuguese saudade that you’re after," our host at the Lisbon Story Guesthouse, Bruno, explained when I told him I didn't feel the same way in the real Lisbon as I did in the imagined. Saudade. I first heard the word while reading Berger, who defines it as: “the feeling of fury at having to hear the words too late pronounced too calmly.

"Saudade is a word that has no definition," Bruno told us. "The closest I can tell you is that it is a longing for something that can never happen." He described a Brazilian musician who conceived of the idea as a mother continually unmaking and remaking the bed of her dead child.

I looked at Bruno. "I guess if I was after that, I shouldn't have come to Lisbon on my honeymoon. I should have waited for some heartache."

He nodded. "You cannot help but be a tourist now. But when you live here day to day, you begin to see it. The Portuguese are a sad people, for many reasons."

But slowly, Lisbon revealed its story to us...

Read more about our search for saudade on our blog at the

Friday, August 10, 2012

Hollah for a dollah

The Used Book Cellar has 20,000 volumes in its subterranean environs. We buy hundreds of books on our buying days and hundreds of books are sold a week. Sometimes, out of these hundreds of books purchased and hundreds of books sold, some books don't find their forever home within a certain period of time. In order to make room for new acquisitions, we have to let these little guys loose for a SINGLE dollar so that they'll for sure be adopted. Many Brookline-ites know our dollar cart outside and our dollar bookcase inside well, many amazing bargains can be found upon their trusty shelves. Just this week I placed upon the cart the following books: The Languages of Tolkein's Middle Earth, Death House Letters of the Rosenbergs, a novel entitled Fan Tan written by MARLON BRANDO, an introductory guide to astral travel (didn't know you needed that, did you?) and a history of Werewolves in western culture.

Basically really cool stuff that maybe didn't get snatched up because nobody thinks to look in writing books for the best possible guide on Elvish known to man. So come peruse our dollar carts and find a crazy bargain and awesome book. You can't go wrong for a $1 (you can't even buy a cup of coffee for that, and we're talking hours at least and years at most of entertainment!) OR, even if you're not a big reader, for like, $20 you can fill a bookshelf and impress house guests. Or you can buy a book so cheap to take on vacation that you won't have to worry about losing it. Stop on in!

Thursday, August 9, 2012

A Time and a Place

I'm going through a huge Michael Ondaatje phase right now. This happens to me every now and then, when there is something about a writers' work that makes me want to read nearly everything else they've written. Most recently I went through a James Salter phase after reading A Sport and a Pastime; before that, a huge Joan Didion phase, after reading The Year Of Magical Thinking. I loved Salter's sentences, his succinct but eloquent way of examining the fragility of male and female relationships. Joan Didion, who manages to write about the supremely personal while remaining universal. And can anyone balance cynicism and lyricism as well as her?

What triggered this Ondaatje phase was his memoir, Running In the Family. This book was assigned to me in an undergraduate class that I took seven years ago called Reading and Writing About Place, and then, for time reasons, it disappeared from the syllabus. Earlier this summer I found it on my parents' bookshelf and brought it back to Boston with me, curious. In this memoir Ondaatje goes back to his native Sri Lanka to find out more about his parents and especially his father, who was a notorious alcoholic and passed away before the two got to know each other. He weaves together poetry, memories, straight narrative and anecdotes told in the form of dialogue. I was impressed with his ability to pull off this hodge podge of form and genre, to manage to get the reader so close and intimate to each of the various characters in such a short space. But, true to my professor's extinct, what most appealed to me about his writing was how steeped it was in a sense of place.

Some of the short dreamlike chapters make you feel like you're in a fever heat. The train that snakes through the country, the jeep thrashing through the jungle to get to a party in the middle of nowhere, people dancing outside - this book is full of images of a particular lifestyle in Sri Lanka. The scene where he imagines his grandmother, Lalla, floating through her hometown during a flood is one that will haunt me forever. Since then, I've been pleased to find that nearly of all of his books are deeply rooted in different places all over the world. I read Divisadero, a novel in set northern California, then Lake Tahoe, then the countryside in France. The California chapters feel rural and wild; the Tahoe chapters, gritty; the France chapters, other-worldly. Now I'm reading In the Skin of a Lion, set in the 1920s in Toronto. Each of his books transport you to a life completely outside your own.
Running In the Family is my staff pick - you'll see it on the shelf with all the other staff picks in a few weeks. And you can always check out our past staff picks on our website.

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Travelin' Partner

A few weeks ago, I had a work dream. You know, the kind of dream with not quite enough monsters to qualify as a nightmare but which nevertheless extends your eight-hour work day into the wee hours of the morning. Luckily, I work in the travel department at Booksmith, so while some of my work dreams have me shelving for 12 hours straight, other times I get to slip off into an unknown land I glimpsed on the cover of a guide during the day.

On this night I dreamed I was sorting through some folded maps at Booksmith. But instead of dividing the White Mountain National Park maps from the Green National Park maps, as I had during the work day, in my dream I was sorting National Geographic's new line of "Maps to Marriage." The bride's maps were white, and the groom's--green.

This dream may not come as a surprise to those of you who know I eloped to Europe last month and returned to Booksmith a married woman....

Read more about the elopement on our blog at!                                                                                                                                                                                               

Saturday, August 4, 2012

"Marbles" by Ellen Forney

I've been moving out of my apartment for the past two weeks, so I haven't really been able to concentrate on much else. I even lost the book I was only 15 pages away from finishing, much to my chagrin, because I seldom finish books and this was going to be a great win for me. Recently, everything has been about packing, labeling, throwing away, donating, and manual labor the likes of which I don't know if I have ever known in my life. Sure, I've moved before, but I've never had to move out of a fourth floor walk up the last few weeks in July. Not only do I not recommend it, but, if you find yourself in a similar situation, I would suggest you reconsider moving or, perhaps, your feelings on your belongings, how close you are to them, and your views on arson.

I did manage to take a look at one graphic novel that floated my way, however. I grabbed this off of the book shelf we keep galleys on, and I read it in a couple of days. Ellen Forney's novel is about being diagnosed with bipolar disorder early in her life, and about what that meant for her career as a cartoonist and personal life. Ellen is caught in a period of manic activity when she goes to a therapist who diagnoses her as a bipolar. Of course, being caught in a manic period means that Ellen doesn't believe her, continues to feel amazing, (more than amazing, explosively amazing, dangerously amazing) need little sleep, and be unnervingly productive. It's only when her manic climb breaks, and she sags into a depression so violent she literally can't get off the sofa for several days, that Ellen returns to her doctor and admits that, yes, she might have a problem.

What follows is the next four years of Ellen Forney's life with bipolar 1, her skyrocketing highs and devastatingly lows. The different cocktails of medications that get prescribed to her, and then the meds that get prescribed to control the side effects of the initial prescription. Several different mixtures are tested, rejected, then occasionally brought back to work in tandem with other pills. "Marbles" is an honest and, at times, brutal exploration of Forney's experience as a woman with bipolar disorder. If nothing else, it's a quick, interesting read, and I certainly came away from it knowing far more about personality disorders and depression than I did going in. I devoured this novel, and when it is released in November, I suggest you definitely take a look at it."

Friday, August 3, 2012

Put me in your movie!


Used book buyer Natasha prices a pile of books. Awesomely.

Man, sure is sad when a filmmaker gives up on his dreams and sells a pile of film-making books. But I guess it's good that someone can get all these awesome, nice-condition books for half price and make some MOVIES.

Who are you talking to? There's nobody here.

To the Blog!

Natasha begins to type on the computer:

NATASHA (voice-over)
These four books we got in the UBC last week sure make it look cheap and easy to put together your very own cinematic masterpiece. Stop by and load up for few ducats and save the rest of your pocket change for lights, cameras and ACTION:

The Hollywood Standard by Christopher Riley (used price $10)
Awesomely designed book makes formatting your script properly a no-brainer.

How NOT to Write a Screenplay by Denny Martin Flinn (used price $9)
Your masterpiece will win Oscars and make Bergman's entombed corpse weep. This isn't amateur hour. Avoid clunky errors by reading this gem. 

The Shut Up and Shoot Documentary Guide by Anthony Artis (used price $18)
This book is truly impressive. Not very big, full color inside but it seriously goes from 0 (I've never held a camera before but I have a compelling idea for a documentary) to 60 (do I pay for Final Cut Pro or hire a pro movie editor?) on making a documentary. Comes with a disc full of extra goodies, too.

$30 Film School by Michael W. Dean (used price $15)
The titles is misleading because if you buy this book from us it's only a FIFTEEN dollar film school! Avoid higher education costs and learn everything in this handy-dandy, easy-to-read volume. It teaches you how to write, light, shoot, edit, distribute your own film and how to get it financed. Or how to finance it yourself. Super practical and very thorough. Also includes a DVD with extras and such.