Friday, April 30, 2010

Books and Movies

Here's some new info on books that are being made into movies, from Shelfawareness:
Movies: Life of Pi; The Hobbit; The Help
Ang Lee is the latest name to be mentioned as a possible director for the film version of Yann Martel's Life of Pi. Thompson on Hollywood chronicled the lineup changes since the novel was acquired seven years ago by Fox 2000’s Elizabeth Gabler: "M. Night Shyamalan fell out. So did Alfonso Cuaron and Jean-Pierre Jeunet. Finally, it may get made thanks to Ang Lee--and 3-D."


The on-again, off-again tale of a film version of Tolkien's The Hobbit is on. Warner Bros. has scheduled Peter Jackson and Guillermo del Toro’s two-part adaptation for December 2012 and December 2013 releases, according to the Hollywood Reporter's Heat Vision blog, which noted that a "2013 is two years later than the 2011 release date that New Line and MGM targeted for the first installment when the two companies originally announced the movies in December 2007. However, 2011 proved not to be a realistic date and instead served more as a guideline, according to insiders, because when it was first announced, no scripts were written, nor schedules or budgets drawn up."


Bryce Dallas Howard (The Village, Lady in the Water) has been added to a cast that includes Emma Stone and Viola Davis in the film adaptation of The Help by Kathryn Stockett. Shooting is scheduled to begin this July in Mississippi, Entertainment Weekly reported.

I'm not so sure on how Life of Pi will translate into a movie if you've already read the book, but I've been waiting for The Hobbit for what seems like forever. Two movies, though? Hope it doesn't feel bloated. The Help should make a great movie.

What books do you think would make great movies? Have made great movies?

Thursday, April 29, 2010

May Events at Old Firehouse Books!!

As if having C.J. Box visit our store--the very first day of May--isn't enough, we're bringing you yet another delectable smorgasbord of events spanning the entire month! It's okay, you don't have to tell us how great we are, haha. Just come check out the store sometime, or maybe even drop in for some of our goings-on! Without further adieu, we give you the info. See you soon!

Event: C.J. Box Signing
When: May 1, 1pm
Where: Old Firehouse Books
Contact Information: 970-484-7898,

We are very excited to have this award-winning mystery author visit our store for a signing. C.J. Box will appear to talk about and sign his new Joe Pickett mystery,Nowhere to Run. This fast-paced novel features the beautiful Wyoming wilderness and sinister elements that it may conceal. C. J. Box is a master of thrillers that pit man against the wilderness as much as against human killers. This event is a treat that is not to be missed!

Event:  Open Book Club
When:  May 2, 1pm
Where:  Old Firehouse Books
Contact Information:  970-484-7898,

Get ready for a rollicking good time with our discussion of Guards! Guards! by Terry Pratchett.  If you’ve read any of the Discworld novels, you know that they don’t come any funnier than Terry Pratchett, whose sense of the wry and the ridiculous will keep you laughing out loud.  If you haven’t tried Terry Pratchett yet, here’s the perfect place to start!

Event: Untitled Book Club
When: May 10, 6:30pm
Where:  Old Firehouse Books
Contact Information:  970-484-7898,

This month, we’re reading one of Italy’s hottest young writers.  Jack Frusciante has Left the Band was written by Enrico Brizzi when he was eighteen years old.  The novel went on to sell over one million copies and have a film based on it.  The themes, about “growing up” or being true to yourself, rock and roll, and love, are universal. We think you’ll enjoy Jack’s journey.

Event:  Strange Worlds Science Fiction Book Club
When: May 13, 6pm
Where:  Old Firehouse Books
Contact Information:  970-484-7898,

How about a combination of steampunk, vampires, and alternate history?  That’s what you’ve got for our selection this month, New Amsterdam by Elizabeth Bear.  This collection of short stories works itself into a novel featuring a female British agent of the crown and an amateur detective who happens to be a vampire.  And there are dirigibles. 

Event:  Traps and Trenchcoats Mystery Book Club
When: May 17, 6pm
Where:  Old Firehouse Books
Contact Information:  970-484-7898,

Join us this month for a discussion of The Manual of Detection by Jedediah Berry.  Follow us down the rabbit hole as a novice detective tries to find out what has become of his predecessor, only to find that nothing is as it seems and that dreams may hold the key to a mystery of the waking world.

Event: Young Adult Author Signing with Ted Rechlin and Phyllis Perry
When: May 29, 12pm
Where: Old Firehouse Books
Contact Information:  970-484-7898,

Join us for a signing with young adult authors Ted Rechlin and Phyllis Perry! Take a striking visual journey through time with Yellowstone National Park's wildife, from brontosaurus to bears, in Ted Rechlin's book Changing of the Guard: The Yellowstone Chronicles.  Then follow Liling and Tengfei, two pandas from the Wolong Panda Preserve in China, as they attempt to find home after a large earthquake in Phyllis Perry's Panda's Earthquake Escape.  Animal and nature lovers of all ages are sure to enjoy this event.

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Updated: The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo

You've read the book. Now, meet Lisbeth Salander at the movies!

The movie based on Stieg Larsson's bestselling novel, The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, is coming to The Lyric Cinema Cafe on April 23rd!

And we are giving away two special passes to see it at the Lyric for free (*each pass is good for two people, but you can only use it Monday-Thursday while the movie is playing)!

To enter, just leave us a comment below telling us how excited you are to see the movie (make sure and include an email address)! We will choose a winner at random on Friday (the 23rd) and get you the pass later that day. Good luck!

Read more about the film below:

"This DYNAMITE THRILLER shivers with SUSPENSE. In a word, WOW!" - Peter Travers, Rolling Stone

Stieg Larsson's bestselling thriller is now a mesmerizing new film! Lisbeth Salander and Mikael Blomkvist are vividly brought to life in this intelligent and suspenseful adaptation, directed by Niels Arden Oplev.

Swedish star Michael Nyqvist plays disgraced financial journalist Mikael Blomkvist, hired by Henrik Vanger to solve the murder of his niece, teen heiress Harriet Vanger. Harriet disappeared without a trace forty years ago, and Henrik is convinced she was murdered by a member of the family. Teaming up with Blomkvist to solve the murder is the pierced and tattooed Lisbeth Salander, a ruthless punk-rock super-hacker portrayed by up-and-coming actress Noomi Rapace in an amazing performance. As the pair link Harriet's disappearance to a number of grotesque murders, they begin to unravel a dark and appalling family history, as Blomkvist and Salander discover just how far the Vanger family will go to protect their secrets...

The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo won Sweden's Oscar, the Guldbagge, for Best Picture, Best Actress and Audience Award!

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

The Lost Summer of Louisa May Alcott by Kelly O’Connor McNees

Kathleen has provided us with another wonderful review - this time for The Lost Summer of Louisa May Alcott by Kelly O'Connor McNees:

In The Lost Summer of Louisa May Alcott, Kelly O’Connor McNees provides fans of Louisa May Alcott a plausible, and eminently readable, glimpse into what her family life may have been like. One can see developments in her character, and family dynamics that fit with what we know of her life, her work and her recorded history. In this book we see the humanity of Louisa’s parents, unlike their portrayal in Little Women where they are nearly saints. McNees shows how the trials Mrs. Alcott endures as wife to an idealist, as well as the benefits she receives being married to a person she truly loves may have influenced Louisa in her life choices. We also see how the implacable strictures of her father’s idealism might have led to some of the personal demons that Louisa wrestled with in her life, as well as giving her the base for her ability to ignore common social conventions and write novels. Though the proposed romantic relationship central to this novel is also plausible, it does not add as much food for thought about Louisa as one might first think. It does make her more approachable for a modern reader since thinking of her without any romance makes her seem a bit monkish, and by all accounts Louisa was full of life. Our mistake in this would be failing to realize that one does not have to experience sexual romance in order to live life fully – but that is a discussion for another venue. The quotes sprinkled throughout the text from Alcott’s Little Women and other writing are well placed and remind us of the telling pithiness of her prose. As one of them reminds us, “When women set their hearts on anything it is a known fact that they seldom fail to accomplish it.” Mrs. McNees has certainly accomplished adding to a readers understanding of the dynamic and admirable Louisa May Alcott.


Do you have any reviews you would like to share with us? Send them to!

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Trading books!

Today, here at the bookstore we are moving our trade desk...which means there is no possibility of trading books today. This got me to thinking of customers who might not be thrilled if they are turned away from bringing books in to trade today and I wonder if our customers know what it takes for us to trade books. Let me walk you through how our trade system works for us and why on a day like today we can't take any used books.

Our trade desk works separately from our sales desk, it requires a label printer and other hardware that we don't keep up front. When you bring a book in a staff member has to scan it into the system, check our inventory reports for it; we look for frequency of sales, number in current inventory, and publishing dates, assess the book for condition and quality and then label it, and organize it to be shelved. Then, we re-shelve everything according to section, genre and author's name. It's a bit of a process.

But it's a process that we love. Used books are what keep this bookstore awesome and in business. We love seeing trade coming into the store it's just sometimes we don't have enough staff to handle it! That's the reasoning behind our different trade hours and our limit of two boxes or two bags per day. It's also the reasoning that on a day like today with most of our staff taken up by a big move (tell ya about it in a minute!) that we have halted any trade, it's not that we don't want your books, we do! Just bring them in tomorrow!

Now, about our move. We have expanded yet again!!! Yay for a growing and thriving bookstore in Old Town Ft. Collins! The bookstore has acquired another room to the back of the store and are shifting our offices back into it. We will also have a beautiful area set up for book clubs, signings and other events to be thrown back there! It's going to be great. Along with moving our offices, we are shifting the trade desk to the third room (our "novel" room). This move makes so much sense if you consider our "loading and unloading" zone that is in the back- it will make bringing books in much easier for people, that back door leads right to it! It also helps create more shelf room (for more books!). We are really looking forward to the re-organization of the trade desk and the areas we are setting up. Yes, it does mean we have shifted things around a bit and we have a lot of regulars who think we must have a compulsive habit because we move things around so often but we do it to accommodate the growth of certain sections and to keep inventory accurate- not because we love it! :) Please bare with us today with the shifting of furniture and the inability to take your trade, we promise it will be back to normal tomorrow and we will always be around to help you navigate your way through the newly organized sections- just ask!

Thanks for making this a great last year, we wouldn't be growing without you. And we look forward to seeing you and your trade tomorrow (sales will continue as normal throughout today though-come on in!). Happy Anniversary (and moving day) to us!

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Genre Fiction

Wikipedia: Genre fiction, also known as popular fiction, is a term for fictional works (novels, short stories) written with the intent of fitting into a specific literary genre in order to appeal to readers and fans already familiar with that genre.

It's also how we categorize our store. And most of the time it's how someone chooses which book to read next. So what are the implications of genre fiction, of writing and publishing books purely with the intent to fit into a specific category? Is there enough room to digress from the key components that make a work one specific genre or another?

As a child I roamed the library searching the aisles for the books with the blue sticker that had a line drawing of a unicorn reared up. Fantasy. Fantasy still remains my favorite genre, other than classics (is that a genre?)

I recently read Joust by Mercedes Lackey. As a book about dragons I was highly pleased. But the publisher didn't take enough time to make sure the book was properly edited. And the cover gives the entire plot away.
People who like genre fiction aren't stupid, as much as the literary snobs (aka me) would like to sometimes pretend. Murder Mysteries, Westerns, Fantasy, Science Fiction, Paranormal Romance - they all get shoved in this part of my brain that is separate. So why?

1. The books are cheaper. Mass market. 7.99 instead of 15.99. They're fatter, their text is less spread out and they usually have lower paper quality.

2. The editors seem to slack off a lot. Are there even editors? It seems there's more leeway for what gets published.

So what do you do when something really good comes along? Or if an author knows she can write a sub-par novel that hits on a few key points like dragons or being a cowboy, why should she try any harder than she needs to? The public seems to consume genre fiction at a rapid rate. Do we think they're "easier" to read? They're oftentimes longer than what we have in our literature section. It's not like their character development or plot is any less complex than any "real" literature. The vocabulary isn't outrageously dulled down. The only difference I can imagine is the time spent writing the book. When more time is taken with each sentence it can produce more meaning with fewer words. In this sense I suppose I'm making the claim that our Literature section is more poetic than most of the genre fiction.

I think truly great stories are not written to fit into a single category. If they have a murder or a dragon or a rancher, they should be allowed without being characterized into a pre-packaged consumable item. But familiar packaging and familiar content sells.
And that's what we're trying to do right?

So even if you don't agree with the segregation of books based on content, give a genre you haven't tried a chance and buy more books!

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Review of Winspear Book

Here's a review of the newest installation of a great mystery series, by our astute and aesthetically gifted Kathleen Ivy.

Jacqueline Winspear may have produced her best novel yet in The Mapping of Love and Death. Fans already devoted to Maisie Dobbs and her indispensible Billy will find her character further illuminated and refined in “Mapping”. Following clues peppered through unearthed letters and a journal Maisie explores the parameters of loyalty to family, to country, to friends, and to one’s self.
At one point Maisie muses that, “wounds of the past could always be camouflaged” but a reader wonders – can they really? Later she confesses that, “an aroma in the air, or the way the wind is blowing” can take her back “to the midst of it all.” For anyone who has experienced the ghastliness of a world gone mad and grey with violence this resonates and feels authentic.
But love also enriches the story – as always – more poignant when coupled with war. A snippet of verse, “Love, when, so, you’re loved again” haunts the pages and reminds us that love truly is stronger – though only just barely.

Thursday, April 1, 2010

National Poetry Month

While I'm sure we all have our share of opinions regarding the movies based on books (and other variations), I feel that the subject has been sufficiently covered so instead I'm here to say that April is good month.  

And this is why.

Not everyone is a fan of reading poetry, I know, but there is something to be said for being able to say so many things in so few words.

Here are a few of my favorite books of poetry...

What are some of yours?

Don't have any favorites yet? Why not check our Poetry section and find a few?

All new books in our Poetry section are 15% off through April!