A Bookshop 'Gets You Oot the Hoose'
"A bookshop gives you somewhere to go. It gets you oot the hoose. It offers one of life's joys--serendipity--in what you might find."
"A bookshop gives you somewhere to go. It gets you oot the hoose. It offers one of life's joys--serendipity--in what you might find."
Enchanted Chapters, a children's and YA bookstore with a focus on accessibility for people on the autism spectrum or with other disabilities, celebrated its grand opening last Saturday in Phoenix, Ariz., AZCentral reported.
Owner Andrea Montepagano hopes the store will serve as a meeting place and hub for the community, and has planned storytime sessions as well as biweekly meetups for parents of children on the autism spectrum. She's made sure that there are separate spaces for sensory breaks and storytimes, and she has decorated the store with plenty of color and nearly two dozen plants.
Montepagano--the parent of two children on the autism spectrum--told AZCentral, "I kind of took all the memories and inspiration I'd found [at autism-friendly places] when we were traveling and put it into this place to create a space that was magical, where kids could come in and they're excited and where there's something more than just a sterile line of books."
Montepagano has organized both traditional and sensory-friendly storytimes, with the latter taking place before the store opens to the public to avoid distraction and overstimulation. For those events, she also keeps the lights dimmed and turns off any music.
Enchanted Chapters came to be after Montepagano combined her desire for more autism-friendly places in the Phoenix area with her love of books. While she was preparing to open the store, Montepagano enlisted her childhood friend Jennifer Pettit to be the store's full-time general manager.
"It will be how much people in the community love it and feel included and if they get something out of it," said Petit, on the subject of how they'll measure the store's success. "It's nice when it becomes more than a store and is more engaging and provides a solace for people, especially children who have special needs."
Loyalty Bookstores will officially open its second location, in downtown Silver Spring, Md., this weekend. Founder Hannah Oliver Depp and her team will host an opening celebration on Saturday. The store will be at 823 Ellsworth Drive through the holiday season, and a longer-term deal is in the works to stay in the heart of Silver Spring.
Like the original location in D.C.'s Petworth neighborhood, the Silver Spring store will have an inventory focused on diverse literature and a selection encompassing bestsellers, children's books, gift items and more. Loyalty Silver Spring will also host free children's storytime sessions every Thursday and Saturday, in addition to a full suite of author readings and book talks.
Depp has been working toward opening a location in Silver Spring since she ran a successful pop-up shop there during the 2018 holiday season. Throughout 2019, Loyalty was also a regular presence at the Silver Springs farmer's market. She founded the original Loyalty Bookstore in February of this year, after purchasing Upshur Street Books from the store's original owner. This spring, publisher Gene Taft joined Depp as her business partner.
Elliott Bay Book Company in Seattle, Wash., has opened a bookstore in Sea-Tac Airport in association with the Hudson Group. The store is located in Concourse C and features staff picks, bestsellers and plenty of books by writers from Seattle and the greater Pacific Northwest.
The Hudson Group has launched similar airport ventures with other indie bookstores, including Vroman's in Pasadena, Calif., Tattered Cover Book Store in Denver, Colo., and Parnassus Books in Nashville, Tenn. Hudson has locations in more than 80 airports and transportation hubs around the U.S.
|Hearthside's current store|
The move will happen toward the end of the month, and Hearthside owner Brenda Weaver says she expects to be closed around October 23-24 in order to set up phone and Internet connections at the new space. The Merchant's Wharf location will be around the same size as the downtown space, except without having a "kiddie loft," and the new space also features more parking and generally better foot traffic.
"It's just an opportunity that came up," Weaver told the Empire. "It does save some overhead. We weighed the pros and cons of moving."
Debbie Reifenstein and Susan Hickey, the store's original owners, opened Hearthside Books in the Merchant's Wharf some 45 years ago, but quickly moved to a downtown space. They sold the business to Weaver in 2014. There is also a Hearthside Books location in the Nugget Mall.
Weaver and her team said farewell to the store last Friday, as part of Juneau's First Friday event series. The new space should be up and running in time for November's First Friday event, and author events at the Wharf space have already been planned.
Gerald L. Holmes, the artist "who drew the illustrations for 74 Hank the Cowdog books and put faces on Hank, Drover, Sally May, Slim and all the other characters," died September 23. He was 74.
The announcement was made on the official blog for the series by his collaborator, author John R. Erickson, who wrote: "Gerald began illustrating my magazine articles in 1978 when he worked in a feedlot and I was working on a ranch. We had no money but had talent, energy, and big dreams, and we set out to do things that hadn't been done before. We worked together for 41 years. I didn't tell him what to draw and he didn't tell me what to write. We never quarreled and he never missed a deadline.
"Gerald took his art into homes and schools and hospitals, to cow camps and deer blinds and drilling rigs. He did with art what I hoped to do with the written word: deliver the blessing of innocent laughter. And he did it so well! He illuminated the imaginations of millions of children and there is no way to calculate how many of them drew their first picture, imitating Gerald's Hank or Drover. We mourn the loss of this gentle, humble man and celebrate the joy he brought into the world."
Texas Hill Country wrote: "For legions of fans, he helped craft a beloved part of their childhood.... Over the 41 years that Erickson and Holmes worked together, the drawings that were produced have created some strong memories for children, as well as parents, and his body of work will live on, well after he’s passed."
Posted on Facebook by Talk Story Bookstore, Hanapepe, Hawaii: "Dear All Bookstore Cats: If I 'Meow' ten times while my servant is dealing with our customers, I get carried to the back room to have my lunch. It always works. I don't even need to walk there anymore. Try it--trust me, it works."
Canadian bookseller NovelTea Bookstore Café in Truro, N.S., is launching a "new 'Travel Mug Library!' We are asking our customers to bring us a few of the many travel mugs that so many of us have stored in our cupboards. Our NovelTea team will then inspect, wash & sanitize them, and then the various travel mugs will be available for our customers to borrow as needed, and hopefully return--so that each mug can be used again and again!
"This new initiative is in addition to: dine-in option with washable cups, plates and cutlery; 5% discount for bringing your own reusable travel mug with you; encouraging customers to bring their own reusable take-out containers; offering compostable cutlery, take-out containers and trays; offering a great selection of reusable straws, and cups for purchase #ReduceSingleUseOctober."
Elaine Katzenberger, publisher and executive director of City Lights Booksellers & Publishers, reflected on the company's past, present and future in a q&a with David L. Ulin for Alta. Among our favorite exchanges:
Lawrence Ferlinghetti recently turned 100. That's quite a milestone.
We had a big celebration for Lawrence. So many people flooded North Beach. The joy and love--and, of course, that Lawrence would be alive, and everybody would get to share that and be thankful for it, how much better this was than a memorial. But if it was a celebration of Lawrence, it was also a celebration of City Lights and the fact that people are genuinely invested in its continued existence--and the whole project of it, not just the bookstore but the publishing house.
How has that project evolved over the years?
The raw material of this place is still hugely potent. In part, that has to do with our legacy. Sometimes it means publishing something new about the Beat era or resurrecting a writer--an example would be Lew Welch. But there are also plenty of contemporary voices that need air and space, and that's what we have to offer here.
What's the biggest challenge City Lights is facing?
I hate to say the A word--Amazon--but the landscape of how people buy books only gets more challenging all the time. That has a huge impact on our ability to keep going. The other thing, the obvious thing, is that publishing is still a New York business. There's a lot of clubbiness we're not part of. That can be freeing, but it also determines what gets attention. I'm not playing around here--the books I'm doing, I really believe in them. I want my authors to benefit. I want them to win those prizes and get those reviews and all the attention that should be theirs.
The Envious Siblings: And Other Morbid Nursery Rhymes by Landis Blair (Norton), narrated by Caitlin Doughty.
NPR's Here & Now: William Richards, editor and contributor to Fantastic Fungi: How Mushrooms Can Heal, Shift Consciousness, and Save the Planet (Earth Aware Editions, $35, 9781683837046).
Daily Show: Rand Paul, author of The Case Against Socialism (Broadside, $28.99, 9780062954862).
Tonight Show: Questlove, author of Mixtape Potluck Cookbook: A Dinner Party for Friends, Their Recipes, and the Songs They Inspire (Abrams Image, $29.99, 9781419738135).
Late Late Show with James Corden: Neil deGrasse Tyson, author of Letters from an Astrophysicist (Norton, $19.95, 9781324003311).
The Booksellers is a documentary showing "that independent bookstores are more vital than ever in the digital age," Hyperallergic reported, noting that it "is surely one of the coziest, most nostalgia-inducing titles at this year's New York Film Festival." The Booksellers was directed by D.W. Young and explores the insular world of rare book dealers in New York City.
"The most compelling figures are Adina Cohen, Naomi Hample, and Judith Lowry, three sisters who own the Argosy Book Store, a Midtown shop that's been in their family since 1925," Hyperallergic wrote. "Argosy is a vital remnant of a rapidly vanishing New York, and the sisters' dynamic is fascinating. With their intellect, grit, and quirky style, they're quintessential Manhattan figures."
Executive produced by Parker Posey, the doc gives a tour of New York's book world, past and present, from the Park Avenue Armory's annual Antiquarian Book Fair to the Strand. Special guests include Susan Orlean, Gay Talese and Fran Lebowitz, who says, "You know what they used to call indie bookstores? Bookstores."
The National Book Foundation announced the finalists for this year's National Book Awards. Winners will be named November 20 at a benefit dinner and ceremony, hosted by LeVar Burton, in New York City.
Among the five categories, there are four writers who have been previously honored by the National Book Awards: Akwaeke Emezi, a 5 Under 35 Honoree in 2018; Toi Derricotte, a Literarian Award recipient in 2016; Jason Reynolds, a 2016 YPL Finalist and 2017 YPL Longlister; and Laura Ruby, a 2015 YPL Finalist. Four of the 25 finalists are debuts. This year's shortlisted titles are:
Trust Exercise by Susan Choi (Holt)
Sabrina & Corina: Stories by Kali Fajardo-Anstine (One World/PRH)
Black Leopard, Red Wolf by Marlon James (Riverhead)
The Other Americans by Laila Lalami (Pantheon)
Disappearing Earth by Julia Phillips (Knopf)
The Yellow House by Sarah M. Broom (Grove Press)
Thick: And Other Essays by Tressie McMillan Cottom (The New Press)
What You Have Heard Is True: A Memoir of Witness and Resistance by Carolyn Forché (Penguin)
The Heartbeat of Wounded Knee: Native America from 1890 to the Present by David Treuer (Riverhead)
Solitary by Albert Woodfox, with Leslie George (Grove Press)
The Tradition by Jericho Brown (Copper Canyon)
"I": New and Selected Poems by Toi Derricotte (University of Pittsburgh Press)
Deaf Republic by Ilya Kaminsky (Graywolf)
Be Recorder by Carmen Giménez Smith (Graywolf)
Sight Lines by Arthur Sze (Copper Canyon)
Death Is Hard Work by Khaled Khalifa, translated from the Arabic by Leri Price (FSG)
Baron Wenckheim's Homecoming by László Krasznahorkai, translated from the Hungarian by Ottilie Mulzet (New Directions)
The Barefoot Woman by Scholastique Mukasonga, translated from the French by Jordan Stump (Archipelago Books)
The Memory Police by Yoko Ogawa, translated from the Japanese by Stephen Snyder (Pantheon)
Crossing by Pajtim Statovci, translated from the Finnish by David Hackston (Pantheon)
Young People's Literature
Pet by Akwaeke Emezi (Make Me a World/PRH)
Look Both Ways: A Tale Told in Ten Blocks by Jason Reynolds (Atheneum/Caitlyn Dlouhy Books/S&S)
Patron Saints of Nothing by Randy Ribay (Kokila/PRH)
Thirteen Doorways, Wolves Behind Them All by Laura Ruby (Balzer + Bray/HarperCollins)
1919 The Year That Changed America by Martin W. Sandler (Bloomsbury Children's Books)
|photo: Laura Flanders|
Mab Segrest writes, organizes and teaches from Durham, N.C., and is Fuller-Maathai Professor Emeritus at Connecticut College. The New Press just released a 25th-anniversary edition of her classic text on antiracist organizing, Memoir of a Race Traitor, which narrates her work fighting the far right in North Carolina in the 1980s. Her study of Georgia's state mental hospital, Administrations of Lunacy: Racism and American Psychiatry at the Milledgeville Hospital, will be published in February 2020.
On your nightstand now:
Just finished: Jacquelyn Dowd Hall's Sisters and Rebels: A Struggle for the Soul of America and Joy Harjo's An American Sunrise Poems (so glad she is Poet Laureate). Long overdue to read: Octavia Butler, Parable of the Sower. And, as always, the latest of Jacqueline Winspear's Maisie Dobbs mysteries.
Favorite book when you were a child:
My favorite books as a child were the ones that my mother would read to my brother and me every night before we went to bed, all lying there on the bed in a row with her in the middle. For a while, we read them every year, until we laughed together far before the punch lines. My favorite, as best as I can remember, was titled The Indians and the Okee, and I haven't found it since.
Your top five authors:
Very top is Toni Morrison, for the brilliance with which she transformed our understanding of storytelling and of U.S. history. I've always loved the duo of Carson McCullers and Tennessee Williams and revisit them periodically to "renew my sense of horror." Having recently moved back to Durham, N.C., I am reading through Pauli Murray, the local (Episcopal) saint: The Firebrand and the First Lady by Patricia Bell-Scott.
Book you've faked reading:
Too many to name.
Book you're an evangelist for:
Patricia Bell-Scott's new edition of Pauli Murray's Song in a Weary Throat.
Book you hid from your parents:
To Kill a Mockingbird--when my mother found me reading it, she felt she had to explain both sexual intercourse and rape, both of which by then I had already figured out.
Book that changed your life:
The Collected Poetry of W.B. Yeats
Favorite line from a book:
"I have always depended upon the kindness of strangers." Blanche DuBois, in Tennessee Williams's A Streetcar Named Desire, says as she misrecognizes the doctor in the white coat come to take her to the state asylum. Having just finished a book on southern state hospitals, I am particularly sensitive to such strangers.
Five books you'll never part with:
William Faulkner, Absalom, Absalom!
Carl Jung, Memories, Dreams, Reflections
Carson McCullers, The Member of the Wedding
Ann Patchett, Bel Canto
William Blake, Songs of Innocence and Experience
Book you most want to read again for the first time:
Toni Morrison, Beloved
Song of the Crimson Flower by Julie C. Dao (Philomel, $18.99 hardcover, 288p., ages 12-up, 9781524738358, November 5, 2019)
When romantic Tam plays his bamboo flute beneath her window, Lan feels "like a princess in the ancient ballads her father love[s]." But rather than falling for someone "far beneath" her like the girls in "those tales," Tam is "of a family equal to Lan's" and their match is "as close to their approving parents' hearts" as it is to her own. If only Tam would get over the shyness that brings him courting her solely "in moonlit visits," her life would be perfect.
Bao, "an orphan of no family," strives through "hard work and relentless study" to earn his place as apprentice to Tam's father, Master Huynh. The retired court physician is kind, but Tam and his mother treat Bao like "a stray dog." Bao perseveres by dreaming of the person he cares for most, though she doesn't yet "know of his love." Although he has "no hope of winning her," he vows that the time has finally come for him to tell Lan his truth.
Bao confesses his deep feelings to Lan, explaining that he is actually the flute player and Tam wants no part of the arranged marriage; humiliated, Lan cruelly rejects the young "peasant" as unworthy. Deeply hurt, Bao flees downriver in his boat, hoping to find a legendary river witch who could "clear his mind" of Lan. When he finds the witch, she recognizes him and angrily claims to be his aunt. Betrayed by her sister and eager to get revenge, she reveals to him that his mother is alive in the distant Gray City. She then binds Bao to his flute with a curse that will be broken only if the person he loves declares she loves him in return before the next full moon. The witch sends Bao back "from whence [he] came," and he finds himself on Lan's riverbank again. A now "desperately sorry" Lan insists on accompanying him to find his mother, who will surely be the one to break the curse. Bao and Lan race to the Gray City, determined to arrive before the spell becomes permanent and Bao loses his body forever.
Julie C. Dao weaves her Vietnamese-inspired folklore and imagery into a fresh, captivating fantasy that is a companion to her Forest of a Thousand Lanterns duology. Her heroes wrestle with family, class and uncontrolled power while finding ways to muster the strength it takes to do the right thing. At its heart, Song of the Crimson Flower is a magical love story. Bao hopes to prove worthy of "the girl he love[s]" and Lan longs somehow to redeem herself in the eyes of the real "handsome young man who wove his love for her into the melody of a flute beneath the moon." --Lynn Becker, blogger and host of Book Talk, a monthly online discussion of children's books for SCBWI
Shelf Talker: Julie C. Dao crafts an enchanting stand-alone Vietnamese-inspired fantasy that is a companion to her two other YA books set in the same world.