Thursday, May 28, 2009

My Sister's Keeper- book review!

I just finished reading My Sister's Keeper by Jodi Picoult, you may have seen recent previews for the movie that is coming out shortly. I always prefer to read books before they are made into movies so I made sure to pick this up in time. I also was interested in this book since one of the local biology teachers here had it on their reading list for high schoolers. I thought it was an interesting pick for a high school biology class and I wanted to know why it was picked.

The story is about a 13 year old girl who was genetically conceived as a perfect donor for her older sister with leukemia and how she is filing for medical emancipation from her parents. She has been a donor for her sister her whole life and has been asked (told) she needs to donate a kidney now that her sister is in renal failure. The story is told from the view points of all the major characters, the 13 year old girl, her mother, father, brother, sister (who is dying), and her lawyer. It is full of really hard topics. When a child is created to be a perfect match at what point do you ask their opinion of everything? Very interesting, insightful and emotional. Jodi Picoult does a fantastic job presenting both sides and really getting your heart involved in the outcome. You don't know how you want the story to end at all.

I think it was a great choice as a high school reading book, it's an easy read but also a thinker, and I am super excited to see the movie and see if it's as good as the book! Feel free to come in to the shop, ask me about this book or pick up a copy for yourself and see what you think!

Look Who Visited The Store Recently!

Old Firehouse Books had the opportunity to host two spectacular author signings this last week!

On Tuesday, Lisa Jones read from and discussed her new book Broken: A Love Story. Her book explores her friendship with Stanford Addison, a Northern Arapaho Indian who lives on the Wind River Indian Reservation.

And this past Saturday, Laura Resau discussed and read from her book Red Glass and gave those who attended a preview of her upcoming book, The Indigo Notebook. Resau's book is the companion to this year's Fort Collins Reads selection, The Tortilla Curtain by T.C. Boyle.

If you missed these great events, don't worry, we have even more planned for June! 

Check out our website for event information!

Monday, May 18, 2009

Decoding Our Bookshelf Part 2

Painter Victoria Reichelt channels Kelsey in her consideration of what our bookshelves say about us:

Click below for more:

Sunday, May 17, 2009

Decoding Your Book Shelf

One of my favorite things about working in a book store (besides the employee discount, of course) is seeing the books customers choose to buy. This can range from the obvious, like Captain Underpants for any young boy, to the more bizarre choices I would never have selected for the customer myself. I think of this as a more in-depth version of people watching. I like to set myself up on a corner somewhere in Old Town or in the middle of a park and simply enjoy the unusual and usual people who come by. In a bookstore, however, I not only get to watch the people come and go, but a get a little glimpse into their personal life as well. One book I am always interested in is Mark Kurlansky's Salt. This book, found in our history section, seems so oddly specific that I couldn't imagine who I might recommend it to, yet at the same time I can completely understand why someone would pick it up. The history of something so seemingly trivial is often more influential than one might imagine.

What a person chooses to read says a lot about them. You can see this on staff pick shelves, as well. I try to include a few different genres on my shelf, but it's impossible to keep myself from being partially revealed within my choices. Even I wasn't aware of my passion for science fiction until I started working here and realized that without even intending so, six of my eight choices were sci-fi of some kind.

Books can be revealing. I suggest, if you're reading this at home, you take a look at your own shelf and see what it says about you. You might be surprised at what you find.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Wild Rumpus

Like many of my co-workers, I have a love not only for books but also independent book stores wherever they may be.  Every local bookstore is different with its’ own selection of books, people and unique atmosphere.  I recently came back form a trip to the Twin Cities and visited one local bookstore that is sure to make an impression on anyone.  The Wild Rumpus is a children’s bookstore located on a quiet street near some homes and other small stores. 

From the moment I walked in (children have the option of using the smaller purple door) I could tell why kids love this store.  Pimento, the chicken calmly preened herself in the window next to one of the three cats that lounge around the store.  As I walked around I continued to discover other animals housed in cages tucked in corners or on shelves.  A tarantula, lizards, doves, cockatiels, chinchillas and ferrets along with the staff and children running about secure the store’s place as a wild rumpus. 

Then of course, there are the books.  There are so many and such a variety of children’s and young adult books that a kid cannot avoid finding a book that captures their interest.  The entire store invites kids to be inquisitive and explore which is what reading is all about.  Encouraging children to read is vital, and this store does this beautifully within a controlled chaos that is amazing. 

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

New stuff on the sale tables!

We have new books on all of our sale tables!!!! We have some great cooking books (I've already bought a couple), a lot of fun kids books- even some really cool mother daughter book club sets, dictionaries, birding books, finger puppets and lots more!!! Come in to check them out!

Thursday, May 7, 2009

Birds and Books

Twitter. We're trying it out. 

Click below to hop on over and see what's going on.

If you prefer Facebook, we're there too.

"The times they are a-changin'..."

Sunday, May 3, 2009

Book Jokes

Hello friends, co-workers, book lovers, Mom, and whoever else might be so inclined to read this blog. It's been a while since my last post since school is nearing it's end and things are starting to heat up. My post today is about a book recently lent to me called The McSweeney's Joke Book of Book Jokes. In the introduction John Hodgman says it all: "Extremely bookish, verging on terminally nerdy, literary humor." That's right. Finally, our joke book has come.

The book is a compilation of lists, short stories, mock letters, etc. that any book nerd would find hilarious. Topics covered include the college recruitment of Harry Potter, notes from Homer's writing group, the origin of the Berenstain Bears, Thom Yorke's Bedtime Stories, and "Dateline: To Catch a Predator: Humbert Humbert." This book gets me.

Just to give you all a little sampling, here is one of my favorites found in the collection.

"Alternate Endings to Famous Literary Works as Written by a Fifteen-Year-Old With a Grudge"
by Paul Krumholz

"Rip Van Winkle" by Washington Irving
After retreating to the woods on a hunting trip, Rip Van Winkle drinks a myseterious potion and falls asleep for twenty years, during which the American Revolution passes him by. When he awakens, he finds that his friend Dan, who can be a real asshole sometimes, has written "Balls" on his forehead. Then Dan tells everyone at school about it.

The Odyssey by Homer
This is the tale of a Greek warrior, Odysseus, and his journey from Troy back to his homeland of Ithaca, where he left his wife and family during the ten-year expedition. Except, when Odysseus arrives back, he finds that one of his friends (ha!-- more like one of his ex-friends, Dan!) made out with his wife, Stacey McLellan, at a party over the weekend, even though his friend knew how much Odysseus really liked her.

The Invisible Man by H.G. Wells
A mysterious scientist named Griffin discovers a chemical formula to turn the human body invisible, but is dismayed to find that he is permanently stuck in his invisible state. He then goes over to the high school and just sits in the girls' locker room for, like, five hours and probably sees Dan's older sister showering.

Oedipus Rex by Sophocles
Oedipus, after being cast out of his hometown of Thebes in ancient Greece due to a fateful prophecy proclaiming that he would kill his father and marry his mother-- the king and queen of Thebes-- is adopted by the king and queen of Corinth, whom he assumes to be his true parents. However, after hearing the prophecy, Oedipus leaves Corinth and the king and queen, whom he believes the prophecy is about, in order to protect them. On his expedition, though, he does unknowingly encounter and murder his true father, and later he marries his mother, who bears his children. Upon realizing his real parents' identities, Oedipus stabs himself in the eyes with needles to blind himself forevermore from his sins, proclaiming, "Why couldn't it have been my friend Dan's mom? She's such a MILF!" Yeah, I went there, Dan.

So, hope you enjoyed that as much as I did. Also, welcome back to the staff, Bonner!

Friday, May 1, 2009

Today is Buy Indie Day!

If you've been looking for an excuse to check out your independent bookstore, this is it.
Buy Indie Day is a great way to support any of your local businesses. If you page down through this link, you'll see why supporting independent business is good for your local community. Besides, we're cool, quirky, and much more fun to shop at than some of the big boys! You never know what you'll find to read, and our staff can always help you find what you're looking for, even if you don't know exactly what that may be. Isn't the best book find the one you didn't know you were looking for?