Good news: Flintridge Bookstore & Coffeehouse, La Cañada Flintridge, Calif., is opening on Monday in its new, larger location in "a modern custom literary emporium" that has replaced "a drab former gas station," according to La Cañada Online. The store is increasing its inventory and is "offering a dedicated readings and special-events area independent from the din of the store's coffee and pastry counter." It will also have an Espresso Book Machine.
Owners Peter and Lenora Wannier, who opened the store in 2007, had intended to move into the site from the beginning--they had purchased the land in 2005. But the new building, costing at least $1 million, took much longer than anticipated to construct. New utility lines had to be installed. Soil contaminated by the gas station needed to be replaced. And the store had to install an elevator to allow disabled customers to enter the store from its below-ground parking area.
The Wanniers also had to contend with a runaway truck that plowed into and wrecked their store nearly two years ago (Shelf Awareness, May 5, 2009).
A last-minute rescue saved a Whittier, Calif., bookstore from closure this week. The Daily News
reported that Diane Cox purchased the Little Old Bookshop, previously
owned by Brett Brezniak, and will run it with her family under the name
Half Off Books.
"We're excited for the chance to build on what
Brett did," said Hilary, Diane's daughter. "There aren't any other huge
bookstores around to compete with. We think you can make it if you have a
product that can't be beat."
The latest subject of the Algonquin blog's Booksellers Rock!
series is Stan Hynds of Northshire Bookstore, Manchester Center, Vt.
Our favorite of his many great answers was in response to a question
about the books that changed his life:
know the titles and the authors that are supposed to appear in this
space. I haven't read any of them. I'll answer the question like this. I
wasn't much of a reader from the time I was a teenager right through
college and into my mid-twenties. I was living in Colorado in 1987 when a
friend, for no apparent reason, sent me three paperbacks--Shoeless Joe by W. P. Kinsella, A Short History of a Small Place by T. R. Pearson and Fair and Tender Ladies by Lee Smith. That gift of those three books turned me into a reader."
On Boing Boing,
Cory Doctorow chronicled the odyssey of Diane Duane's crowdfunded
publishing experiment, which began six years ago when she "started to
ask her readers if they'd be willing to subsidize her next book through
subscriptions as she wrote it. Things went great for a while, and then
they didn't. Diane's health, circumstances, and life went through a
long, bumpy patch and her book went off the rails."
expressed sympathy for Duane, who has now finished the novel and
apologized for the delay to fans who backed her, but he also pointed out
"an important--and underreported--problem with 'micropatronage' and
'street performer protocol'-style artistic experiments. Writers are
often late with their books. Sometimes they're so late that the books
are given up for dead.... We're going to see a lot of this in the
future, as more writers try this kind of experiment. Off the rails is
the normal state for most books, and readers rarely get to hang around
the sausage factory watching the ugly production cycle."
For NPR's ThreeBooks series, Rick Baker, author of Vice: One Cop's Story of Patrolling America's Most Dangerous City, recommended "Three Eyewitness Books About Crime Fighting," including Memoirs of Vidocq: Master of Crime by Eugene Francois Vidocq, L.A. Rex by Will Beall and The Overlook by Michael Connelly.
To celebrate the upcoming release of Quirk Classics' The Meowmorphosis by Franz Kafka and Cook Coleridge, a "classic tale with a Lolcat friendly kitten instead of the original insect," Flavorwire matched "Famous Authors and Their Animal Counterparts."
Paul Bailey, author of Chapman's Odyssey, selected his top 10 stories of old age for the Guardian,
noting that old age "is a fact of life and should not be isolated from
it. More sentimental rubbish has been written about the 'plight of the
elderly' than I can bear to contemplate. There are hundreds of novels in
which elderly characters feature--in the great works of Dickens,
Dostoevsky and Balzac, for example. They function in the narrative but
don't occupy centre stage. Here are some titles in which the old take
Book trailer of the day: Pat the Zombie: A Cruel (Adult) Spoof by Aaron Ximm, illustrated by Kaveh Soofi (Ten Speed), which goes on sale April 26.
Congratulations to Nan Graham, one of our favorite editors, who has been named senior v-p, editor-in-chief of Scribner. In 16 years at the house, she has worked with Frank McCourt, Stephen King, Laura Bush, Hillary Clinton, Andrew Solomon, Don DeLillo, Annie Proulx, Colm Toíbín, Ann Beattie, Amy Hempel, Jeannette Walls and many others.
Susan Moldow, executive v-p and publisher, commented: "If any of our contemporaries can be said to fill the shoes of Charles Scribner's Sons' celebrated editor Maxwell Perkins, there can be no better candidate than Nan, for she is truly creating the backlist of the future, whatever form it takes."