Staff Musings

November 27, 2007

Store News

Filed under: Store News and Events,Uncategorized — carricee @ 9:57 pm

Lots of store news to share this week – first of all, Don’s Books won 1st Place in the Gingerbread House competition in the Local Landmark Category at the Howard County Historical Society! Woohoo! We KNOW we are the best local landmark! We got a ribbon and everything! If you didn’t get a chance to check out the house at the lighting ceremony at the Seiberling, stop in and see it. We’ve got it on display.

Another big piece of news – we are having a t-shirt sale. All of our t-shirts can now be purchased for only $5. I know you are saying to yourselves, Why, what great holiday gifts those will make! Lark even made a beautiful display so that you get to see them immediately upon walking in the door. What does the display look like? I’m not going to tell you! You’ll have to come in and see for yourself.

More news: Don’t forget that Tuesday, December 4th at 6 p.m. will be the next installment of our book discussion group; we’ll be talking about A Room of One’s Own, by Virginia Woolf. If you’ve never read Woolf, you are in for a serious treat. She weaves common sense logic with stunning prose, and she does it so well that even people who disagree with her view (that a woman must have money and a room of her own if she is to write fiction) don’t feel particularly offended by it. Some people say that this work is no longer relevant;, personally I believe people who say that haven’t been paying attention. Ooooh! Look, already disagreement and dissension! It’ll be a lively talk on Tuesday, that’s for sure.

What else is going on? The comic book and graphic novel discussion group will be reading The Watchmen by Alan Moore for their December discussion. The Watchmen is the classic graphic novel. It is the graphic novel that made it possible for graphic novels to be considered literature. It was listed by Time magazine as one of the best books of the 20th century. So yes, it’s that good. Come hear what everyone has to say about it on Tuesday, December 11th at 6 p.m.

November 10, 2007

Superman, Virginia Woolf, and Paint Fumes

It’s been quite awhile since we’ve blogged about what’s going on here at the store, not because there’s nothing going on, mainly just because we’re more interested in talking about books than about ourselves! But we’ve had a great couple of months.

If you haven’t attended the book discussion groups the first Tuesday of every month, think about giving them a go. The readers who make regular appearances are outgoing, fun, and up for lively discussion. Moderator John Rudy helps keep them from getting too rowdy. Just kidding! He’s the rowdiest. The next book to be discussed, on Tuesday, December 4th, is Virginia Woolf’s A Room of One’s Own, an essay that first found form as a lecture given at a women’s college. She talks about what a woman needs if she is to be a writer, and what would have happened to a fictional sister she invents for Shakespeare had she tried to write. The debate on this will be unrestrained wildness, I’m sure. Woolf is a brilliant writer, and no one denies that, but I’ve already had people tell me they think her work is irrelevant in the light of modern society. I gnash my teeth and respond politely (because I’m in retail) but if I manage to get the evening of the discussion off, so go the gloves.

We’ve been doing a lot of painting and shifting around books at the store lately in preparation for the upcoming holiday season – we want to make it all pretty so you will want to come here even more! Christian fiction is getting more room, and mystery is getting a make-over. We are switching around self-help and health a little bit too, though they will be in the same general area. Stop in and let us know what you think.

This coming Tuesday is our first comic book discussion group, and they’ll be talking about The Death of Superman. There has been a lot of interest in the group and we’re excited to see how it turns out. The fun and fascinating Joe Klemann will be leading the discussion. The Death of Superman¬† is the best-selling graphic novel of all time, not just because of the demise of the world’s most beloved superhero, but for the years and years of back story that went into the plot. The collaborative and serial nature of graphic novels and comic books make them a perfect avenue for discussions of this sort, and we couldn’t be more pleased to be hosting it here. That’s this Tuesday, November 13th.

October 19, 2007

SHAZAM!

Filed under: Comics & Graphic Novels,Store News and Events — carricee @ 2:21 pm

Great, exciting news! We were recently approached by a group of guys who would like their discussion group on comics to start meeting here at Don’s Books. They will be meeting the second Tuesday of every month, beginning November 13th, from 6-8, and new people with an interest in comics are welcome.

Questions about the group can be sent to the famous world-traveler comic book aficionado Weston Strickler at westonelliot@gmail.com. I’ve known a couple of the guys in the group for a long time, and trust me, the group will be fun and laid back. If you’ve ever felt like you had no one to talk about your comic book obsession, if you’re just getting started reading them and need some help, or if you have an interest in comics and graphic novels as a literary medium, come and check out the group.

October 18, 2007

Space / Time Continuum Errors

Filed under: Sci Fi & Fantasy,Store News and Events,Uncategorized — carricee @ 3:09 pm

Wow, I could have sworn we were still blogging all this time. Gee whiz, has it really been since July? I think that it’s not my fault, there must have been something going on with that darn space/time continuum doodad again.

Regardless, it’s been a great couple of months at Don’s Books. We have successfully started our monthly book discussion group, led by former IU Kokomo professor Dr. John Rudy. In November we’ll be discussing Zen Mind, Beginner’s Mind by Shunryu Suzuki. Make sure to come early, we’ve been running out of chairs! Surely it’s not due to the striking resemblance our discussion leader bears to Brad Pitt?

I personally spent some time down at GenCon in August, which, for those of you unfamiliar, is a convention for role-playing gamers. The geeky ones with pencils and paper and funny shaped dice. It was huge and actually quite overwhelming. The BEST part was meeting one of my favorite new writers, Patrick Rothfuss. Rothfuss is writing one of the most compelling and beautifully written epic fantasy series out there. The initial title, The Name of the Wind, is just out in hardcover right now, so we don’t generally carry it, but we are more than happy to order it. The paperback (and the next volume in the series) is coming out in April of next year. Not only is it a great book, it was written by a GNOME.

Carri and Patrick Rothfuss, Name of the Wind author, at Gencon

Now, I honestly can’t say enough about the quality of this book. Especially as a first novel, it makes the fantasy epic seem brand-new. If you have EVER enjoyed reading fantasy, pick it up. If you are disappointed you can blame me, but I can’t imagine how you could be, and I would probably question your taste and perhaps your character. Rothfuss won the Quill award for best Science Fiction / Fantasy novel this year, and you can watch him accept the award on NBC Saturday, October 27th. I’m sure he’ll say something delightful and witty, because he’s just that kind of guy.

July 7, 2007

Scalzi and Buckell Signing

Filed under: Store News and Events — carricee @ 3:50 pm

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Look! Here’s local author, guitar player, and Official Don’s Books Bodyguard Scott Boota Carpenter getting his Scalzi signed. Even tough guys love their science fiction.

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Wow! Look at the crazy wild rush! I think the author’s fingers are starting to bleed.

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Fans came from far and wide to meet their heroes. Look! That kid came all the way from the 60s!

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Tobias had such a nice smile and quiet, easy-going attitude. Scalzi was nice enough to make up for this by talking loudly and a lot. What a great couple of guys!

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Here we have the triumvirate of fandom. Guy on the left wore a cooler t-shirt last year, something about grammar – this year he wore nothing interesting. I was a little disappointed in him, honestly. Boota is holding back the crowds with his intimidating facial hair.

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Cheri is not intimidated by facial hair, in fact, she seems not even to notice it! What is her superpower?

June 30, 2007

Signing MADNESS!

Filed under: Sci Fi & Fantasy,Store News and Events — carricee @ 10:43 pm

Today the store was pretty calm. Buckell tap-danced through the shelves and Scalzi followed him around, taping bacon to all the books he approved of. Meanwhile, thousands of screaming fans hurled themselves at the windows in a desperate attempt to gain entry to the sold-out event. We just pushed them back with our mighty mighty dust mop, no biggie.

Really though, it was a lot of fun. Lots of fans came to see the guys; both of them stayed late to chat. I got to talk to Buckell about how he turned me on to Nalo Hopkinson, another amazing Caribbean speculative fiction author, and I got to tell Scalzi how much I’d like to see him write a book similar to his Rough Guide to Science Fiction Movies, but about literature. He was very gracious and said it was something to think about, even though I’m sure that all kinds of people annoyingly say to him “You should write something like this!” all the time.

All in all, a great time. And even though I was bursting with energy while they were there, running around like a madwoman and talking loudly and saying awkward things, now I’m beat. I think I used up all my energy for the day in those hours. Tomorrow, I’m coming in bright and early and we’re going to do some painting!

Scalzi and Buckell!

Filed under: Sci Fi & Fantasy,Store News and Events — carricee @ 3:44 am

Hey Everyone,

I am wiped out. We worked pretty hard at the bookstore today, both in our ongoing store renovation and getting ready for…

JOHN SCALZI AND TOBIAS BUCKELL!!!

Both of them have written about their upcoming appearances on their blogs, so check them out. Scalzi is some kind of blog superstar, so even though it was the first post just a couple of hours ago it’s now several posts down. Wacky blogging goodness.

So, after closing today, I wanted to work some on the science fiction section to make it presentable for the multitude of fans who will descend on the store tomorrow to meet these guys. I thought, hmm…what will make it look better than anything else I can do in a couple of hours?

So I ripped out all the carpet. All that old, icky carpet that has been there since long before we got the store is GONE. Parts of it were duct-taped to the floor, and underneath, as carpet padding, were cut up pieces of mattress covers. Not kidding at all. It’s something that’s been on our minds to do for a long time, but it’s also one of those things that, unfortunately, you kind of get used to when you see it everyday. One of our staff is going to take the old carpet to use in her garden for…something. Gardeny.

Anyway, enough about me working. What am I reading, you ask? I am reading Ragamuffin by Tobias Buckell, whom you may have heard of. It’s really good so far, and starts out a lot differently from Crystal Rain. I meant to read it before they got here but I got a new computer game accidentally, which severely cuts into my reading time. It seems to be creating a lot of parallels with current technology and political and corporate control of said technology, in a lot of interesting ways. Read it! When could I find the time to get it, you ask? Oh, I don’t know. Maybe TOMORROW. When he’s at the store. Which is Don’s Books, in Kokomo. We’ll make coffee. See you then!

June 23, 2007

Jade Lee Was Here!

Filed under: Romance,Store News and Events — carricee @ 11:46 pm

Well, Jade Lee stopped by today, and we were all so happy to meet her and have her sign her exotic erotic novels. She has one of the most infectious and genuine laughs I’ve ever heard, and it was a pleasure just to have her in the store, for us as well as our customers!

We’ll post pictures shortly, and if you missed her today, don’t fret! She’s already expressed an interest in coming back sometime with her friend and a friend of Don’s Books, Marjorie M. Liu.

June 22, 2007

Jade Lee at Don’s!

Filed under: Romance,Store News and Events — carricee @ 10:31 pm

Jade Lee is coming tomorrow! Jade Lee is coming tomorrow!

I should have blogged about this earlier in the week but I am a huge slacker. Jade Lee writes steamy romances of all sorts, but she’s best known for her Tigress series. Set in the Orient, these novels please me because they let so many people use the words exotic and erotic in the same sentence, which is gobs of fun.

Seriously though, come and see her. It’ll be a great time! She’s here from 1-3 on Saturday and will be signing copies of all her books, including her new one Tempted Tigress.

June 16, 2007

Freedom and Bacon

Filed under: Store News and Events — carricee @ 7:47 pm

Robert is on a bike trip with various family members this weekend, so that means the staff have the store all to themselves! What crazy things will we do? Drastically rearrange the reference section? Play inappropriate music? Tape bacon to a cat? Give DISCOUNTS?

Haha, just kidding. We don’t give discounts. And we probably won’t do the cat thing, since it’s been done. But in a couple of weeks (June 30th from 1-3) we’ll be lucky enough to have someone who has in residence, John Scalzi, since he’ll be signing copies of his latest book, The Last Colony. Tobias Buckell, whose hobbies involving bacon are, at this point, unknown, is going to be here as well, signing Ragamuffin. If you haven’t read them yet, this week would be a great time to pick them up.

And make sure to stop by June 30th, if only to ask Buckell what he does with his bacon.

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