Friday, April 27, 2012

And now for a new edition of Mark Your Dang Calendar

Mark Your Dang Calendar, people:

My favorite book of the year so far, Shine, Shine, Shine by  Lydia Netzer, will be hitting bookshelves everywhere (including here and here) on TUESDAY, JULY 17TH. It's a few months from now, so trust me, just mark your calendar.

There is just so much to love in this impressive, unforgettable novel about Sunny Mann, a woman acting the way she thinks she's supposed to act in a family and a world that just won't allow it. Her husband, a Nobel Prize winning scientist, is in space on a mission to drop self-reproducing robots on the moon. Her son, quickly becoming a clone of his father, brilliant but without a social bone in his body, is a constant puzzle and disappointment to Sunny. (Though really she's just disappointed in herself for treating him like a problem that needs to be solved.) On top of that, she's bald and no one outside her family knows it, her mother is dying, and she's about to have another baby. She's a tea kettle about to boil.
The most impressive part of this book, besides the lovely, curious use of language (pondering and pushing in a style like Annie Dillard's), is the way the story is unfolded-- it grows steadily to an emotional pitch so profound and clear, with nothing spilled before its perfect moment, that you'll be shocked to hear this is Netzer's first novel. Totally first rate. 

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Too-Good Tuesday 4/24/12

It's Tuesday again and that means shiny new books. Well, actually, most days mean shiny new books when you work at a bookstore, but Tuesday's books are definitely the shiniest. 

Here are a few of the new books that are now sitting sparkling on our shelves:

Lots of Candles, Plenty of Cake by Anna Quindlen*

Farther Away: Essays by Jonathan Franzen*

The Elizabethans by A.N. Wilson*

Afterwards by Rosamund Lipton* 

The Right Hand Shore by Christopher Tilghman

Now in paperback:

Salvage the Bones by Jesmyn Ward

Nothing Daunted: The Unexpected Education of Two Society Girls in the West  by Dorothy Wickendon

Seal Team Six: Memoirs of an Elite Navy Seal Sniper by Howard E. Wasdin and Stephen Templin

The Paper Garden: An Artist Begins Her Life's Work at 72 by Molly Peacock

*One of our 20-20-20 membership books. Become a member and get 20% off this title and more every month.

Friday, April 20, 2012

Jennifer Miller answers our TOP FIVE.

Jennifer Miller is the Brooklyn-based author of the novel The Year of the Gadfly (which I totally loved, review TK), coming May 8th from Houghton Mifflin Harcourt. We'll be hosting her at the bookstore on Thursday, May 10th at 7pm.

1. What's on your nightstand right now?

The New York Times Sunday Style Magazine, New York Magazine, The Historian by Elizabeth Kostova, You Remind Me of Me by Dan Chaon, and Rosebud Lip Balm. There is also quite a bit of dust, because it is impossible to keep a New York apartment clean no matter how many times a week I swiffer.

2. How do you write?

I write full time and split my day between fiction and journalism. I try to get in about five hours of writing time a day, but if I'm in the middle of a revision I'll end up sitting at my desk until eight or nine pm. I often need to get out of the house in order to motivate, so I'll circulate through a handful of coffee shops in my neighborhood. Being around other people who are also working helps keep me focused. There are two pitfalls in working away from home. First: I generally eat my way through the day (also to keep myself motivated!) and coffee shops get expensive. Second: people don't seem to realize that a coffee shop is NOT an actual office and when they take extended business calls, I have to start giving them the stink eye.

3. Name the first time or moment you realized you were a writer.

Probably when I was in the third grade and I wrote a book of poetry with my best friend. One of our poems was about purple underwear. So, basically, I was a child writing prodigy.

4. What are you working on now?

I'm writing a second novel about a young woman who runs away from her fiance when he returns from Iraq with PTSD. She ends up on a cross-country motorcycle trip with her Vietnam Veteran father. The book was inspired by reporting I did for The New York Times on motorcycle-riding vets in 2005.

5. Favorite recent find?

I'd love to recommend the book Missing by Lindsay Harrison. It's a gripping memoir. Also, the Lincoln Memorial, and specifically, Lincoln's second inaugural address, (which is on the wall at the Memorial) and is one of the most moving and powerful pieces of writing I've ever encountered.