Saturday, September 29, 2012


Dear Fans,
If you follow us on Facebook you know we like to post quotes from our favorite reads, authors, philosophers etc. Quotes hold a special power, they are a patch from a larger piece of fabric, a larger idea, a larger story. I personally, Rebecca, love quotes.

I love their power, all alone, to make me pause and read them thoroughly. In essence I take the time to eat those words, working them slowly in my mouth, tasting their meaning and power.

Quotes inspire me daily; whether online, in a book I am reading or something I remember they are always in the back of my mind pushing me forward. They are intellectual energy that has lasted in my brain while other ideas have drifted on elsewhere. They are blood for my mind to keep pumping, keep living, keep doing.

I love the power that they have, whether I or anyone else can read a quote and fall madly in love with an author, an artist, a person from the past . I have met many new and creative minds this way and have read many great books because of this.

So that is the story behind quotes, if I share something I love, I hope someone else will fall in love. It is a way of sharing ideas, hope, inspiration and conspiring to make things better. The world can always use something better, even if it is just a quote.


Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Why You Should be Excited for October

October is a month of so many good things in the world of books. I've been looking forward to it since July, I kid you not. Here's why:

1- Mark Z. Danielewski releases his third book, The Fifty Year Sword-- October 16th
Some of you may have seen the pictures Justin and I posted on Facebook when our ARCs of this book arrived in the store. While we may have gotten our hands on a copy before October, we're still excited because we're giving YOU the chance to win your copy of T50YS for FREE!!! All you have to do is pre-order your book with us, it's that easy, and we'll enter your name in a drawing for a free copy. And trust me, even if you're paying, this book will be one you want to own. Much like his previous masterpiece, House of Leaves, Danielewski toys with the format of a traditional story, this time experimenting with the style of a campfire ghost story told by five narrators. T50YS features the same unsettling and unnameable chill found in House of Leaves, along with beautiful and intricate pictures on half the pages. And although T50YS is only a novella, you'll want to own your copy so you can read it again and again, picking up new secrets along the way.

2- Sequel to The Passage by Justin Cronin is released!-- October 16th
The second reason I'm excited for October is the release of Justin Cronin's The Twelve, sequel to The Passage, for which I've been waiting for more than two years. Although I suppose this one isn't quite excitement for me, since I've already read it, but I'm excited for you because this book is incredible. I won't repeat my review since you can just follow that link to read it, but know that this book is about vampires, but they don't sparkle. In fact, they're awesome and terrifying and everything a good vampire should be. If you haven't read The Passage yet, start that now and you'll be right on time.

3- Mr. Penumbra's 24-Hour Bookstore by Robin Sloan-- October 2nd
This book comes out in early October, so if you read quickly you can get this one in before The Fifty Year Sword and The Twelve come out. If you like books about magic with modern twists, this one is for you. This is also the only book on this list that will have an even sort of happy ending, so there's that. The book's hero, Clay, begins our adventure by accepting a job at the mysterious and titular 24-Hour Bookstore and quickly finds that the store doesn't seem to make any money, but rather support a small cult of dearly devoted readers of strange and cryptic books. Read more here and stop by to reserve your copy today!

4- Another sequel! This Book is Full of Spiders-- Seriously, Dude, Don't Touch It by David Wong-- October 2nd
Another sequel! And another book for October 2nd! Not until writing this did I realize that my big 4 book releases for 10/12 all occur on the same two days. Those will be awesome days. This Book is Full of Spiders is the long-awaited sequel to John Dies at the End, a novel of love, magic, horrible monsters, and terrible drugs by the hilarious and talented David Wong. This book is highly recommended to anyone with a dark sense of humor. Never before have I been so terrified and laughed so hard at the same time, especially while reading a book.

5- Hilary Jordan, author of When She Woke and Mudbound, is coming!!!- October 9th
This event is going to be so much fun. The book Jordan will be speaking about at length, When She Woke, is a fantastic dysptopian novel. Imagine The Scarlet Letter in a sci-fi world. Again, this is another book I've already blogged about so I don't feel the need to repeat everything here. This event should be loads of fun, though, especially since I'm pretty sure we're getting some beer.

So, to re-cap: Danielewski campfire stories, non-sparkly vampires, magical bookstores, hilarious horror novel, and awesome author event. And it all goes down at your very own Old Firehouse Books starting next week!

Monday, September 10, 2012

Bradbury's The Scarlet Letter featuring Margaret Atwood

Take one part The Scarlet Letter, two parts A Handmaid's Tale, and one part Ray Bradbury and you get When She Woke by the imaginative and talented Hillary Jordan.

When She Woke opens in the not-too-distant future where fundamentalist conservatism is the final word in government. This isn't particularly good news for anyone, but especially not for women. Unlike Margaret Atwood's feminist dystopia, the government has not yet become a completely fascist Evangelical regime, but is rather more similar to our government today (making it all the more chilling!) There is still a separation between church and state... but it's blurry at best and most government decisions are based heavily on religious opinion. They have also instated a new form of penal enforcement called "chroming" where the perpetrator's skin is dyed to reflect the nature of the crimes. Hannah, our heroine, begins the book by waking up with her skin dyed red, reflecting her charge of murdering her unborn child.

The book is excellent. Well paced, it only took me three days to read the whole thing I was so wrapped up in the story-- interesting, the world Jordan creates has enough similarities to our own to keep me thinking while constantly changing attitudes to keep me surprised-- human, the characters are all beautifully crafted to inspire, horrify, and bind themselves to you-- challenging, I was pleasantly surprised to find an author not afraid to confront taboo issues such as abortion. Abortion is probably the most heated debate in the United States today, yet the A-word is rarely even mentioned in pop culture. I applaud Hillary Jordan for tackling this issue with imagination, grace, and full strength of conviction.

The especially good news in this situation is not only that we have copies of When She Woke on sale now, but that YOU can meet the author on October 9th in our store! I'll be there getting my signed copy, and even if you don't get a chance to pick up the book between now and then you should definitely stop by.

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

The Eighty-Dollar Champion Book Review

A great story to work with here.  Sometimes we all need to read something that just feels a little good.  In all honesty, you could just look at the cover on this--The Eighty-Dollar Champion: Snowman, The Horse That Inspired a Nation--and have a good gist of what is in store for you.  However, I enjoyed going deeper into the history.  There is a lot of heart, determination, and communication that goes into a sport like horse jumping, so it is nice to read about those times when a rider and a horse can just use these simple tools to take a championship without having to tack them to a checkbook (horse pun!). 

The writing is really nothing to speak of.  Repetitive, predictable, and all very matter of fact.  Not that author, Elizabeth Letts, really has anything she needs to be doing other than making it readable, but compared to other non-fiction I've encountered with this type of format there is no real style.  I'm also a little baffled on the heights of all the jumps.  At Grand Prix events these days you aren't going to find horses doing clean rounds over several 6ft. oxers, but maybe they just threw horses over them back in the 1950s with no real regard to the safety of anyone or anything. 

I'd recommend this if you're looking for a nice easy read, if you have a horse, if you have any interest in horses, or if you happen to have a significant other that rides horses.  I also imagine that if you have any literate horses in your present company then he/she would enjoy this one too.  At the very least it is a book that can really help you out with learning some horse knowledge and lingo.