(Jackson Street) Books on 7th is around the corner and on the internet tubes. We strive to be your full-service new and used bookstore, emphasizing good literature, progressive politics, and, of course, books about baseball. Opened in Hoquiam October 1, 2010

Monday, July 9, 2012

Meet author Crystal Marcos

Kitsap Peninsula author, Crystal Marcos will read and sign her two children's books, BELLYACHE and HEADACHE
at Books On 7th

Saturday, July 14, 3 to 5 pm.

BELLYACHE: A Delicious Tale nominated for the 2010 CYBILS Awards, appeared in South Sound Magazine, and appeared in the first ever Publisher's Weekly PW Select. In the vein of Roald Dahl’s best-loved adventures, Marcos offers a mystical, character driven escapade that intertwines strands of reality with a larger-than-life fantasy world. When Peter Fischer sets out to help his grandfather at Papa’s Sweet Shop, he will quickly learn that sneaking sweets and covering up his sugar-dusted tracks will have major consequences. The magical adventure continues in the spine-tingling fantasy-adventure, HEADACHE: The Hair-Raising Sequel to BELLYACHE! Crystal Marcos delivers another whimsically entertaining escapade for ages seven and up. Readers will delight in more sit-on-the-edge-of-your-seat, non-stop action adventures of Peter and his best friend, Lina.
Books On 7th is located at 315 7th Street, in the 7th Street Theatre building in Hoquiam. 360-533-3157 bookson7th@gmail.com

Saturday, June 23, 2012

Calling in sick

I had planned on telling you about Beautiful Ruins by Jess Walter, but I've been felled by the nasty cold Dan had all last week. I'll write more on this wonderful book which NPR called "a literary miracle"

 Be well. What are you reading this week?

Saturday, June 16, 2012


Alpha by Greg Rucka (Mulholland Books, $24.99) Alpha is the first of a projected trilogy by the incredibly talented Greg Rucka. Here we meet Jad Bell, retired Delta Force operator, Master Sergeant now returned from the Middle East and divorced, has taken a high level security job at the world's largest theme park, WilsonVille. A Russian sleeper agent has taken a job at the park and his team has released a deadly botulinum toxin into the park and threaten their hostages with a dirty bomb. Of course, in a world crafted by Greg, there will be more, much more.

This past week Greg wrote about his research and sets the record straight about 10 amusement park disasters at HuffPo.

Rucka's novels are always dense and tightly packed with action. If you like a fast paced thriller these are just the books for you. If you prefer strong characters and believable plot lines, you won't be disappointed.

One thing I heard at each and every autographing was
Q: How do you write such strong/well-realized/positively portrayed women? 
A: I don’t. I write characters. Some of those characters are women.
~as he explains to io9.

 I first found Greg's books when I worked at the Mystery Shop, someone had traded in the first 2 books and I needed something to read at lunch. I started Keeper and at the end of my lunch came out and grabbed the copy of Finder, and said these are mine, I want them both! I was immediately hooked.

Keeper is set in Portland OR, at a Women's Health Clinic which has been bombed. After having read some other authors use the issue of abortion as an exploitation to justify violence and male privilege, I was stunned at the depth and perception of a male writer speaking to women's issues with such compassion. Here at last was a guy who got it, the threats, the soul searching decisions and most importantly, the choice.

 The Atticus & Brigit series are highly recommended as are all of Greg's work. I'd really compare his work to Dennis Lehane for gripping storylines and fully realized characters.

When I first brought home these novels, my son saw the author and said "oh, yeah, Rucka. I like his comics." Huh?? Turns out, he's a pretty big deal in the Comic Universe too.

 Alpha is available at (Jackson Street) Books On 7th and fine independent bookstores everywhere.

Friday, May 25, 2012

Butterfly in the Typewriter

Butterfly in the Typewriter The Tragic Life of John Kennedy Toole and the Remarkable Story of A Confederacy of Dunces by Cory MacLauchlin ($26.00, Da Capo) Yesterday I was catching up on the latest publishing news when I saw an article about the possibility of a movie finally being produced from the book, A Confederacy of Dunces, by John Kennedy Toole. I have to admit, I only read COD this past winter, and became an instant fan. The report referenced from Shelf Awareness, mentions James Bobin (Flight of the Conchords, The Muppets), producer Scott Rudin and Paramount Pictures, and that Zach Galifianakis will have the role of Ignatius Reilly. What caught my eye, however was this comment:
"Well--considering the history I think they are aware of the pitfalls in this project and how passionate COD fans are. If you are interested in the true story behind the novel, the real-life characters behind Ignatius Reilly, Myrna Minkoff, Irene Reilly, etc--my book just came out....Butterfly in the Typewriter: The Tragic Life of John Kennedy Toole and the Remarkable Story of A Confederacy of Dunces (Da Capo Press)."
Of course, it didn't take long for the self-appointed spam police to show up, but I had the author's name and soon had the title included in my wholesaler order for the weekend. I haven't had time to explore it yet, but the parts I've sampled are a delight.

I don't know much about the back story here, but I think it'll be a real treat to get to know Thelma Toole. MacLauchlin's research and devotion to his subject shine through.
He was the biographer of this documentary John Kennedy Toole: the omega point

The moral of this story is sometimes reading comments has it's rewards, and the spam is tasty!

Butterfly in the Typewriter and A Confederacy of Dunces are available at Jackson Street Books and fine independent Bookstores everywhere.

Friday, May 11, 2012

The Gaze of the Gazelle

The Gaze of the Gazelle: The Story of a Generation By Arash Hejazi (Seagull Books, $21.95)
امروز، سی خرداد، ساعت 7 بعد از ظهر این دختر جوان توسط لباس شخصی ها کشته شد 
 Basij shots to death a young woman in Tehran's Saturday June 20th protests
At 19:05 June 20thPlace: Karekar Ave., at the corner crossing Khosravi St. and Salehi st.
A young woman who was standing aside with her father watching the protests was shot by a basij member hiding on the rooftop of a civilian house. He had clear shot at the girl and could not miss her. However, he aimed straight her heart. I am a doctor, so I rushed to try to save her. But the impact of the gunshot was so fierce that the bullet had blasted inside the victim's chest, and she died in less than 2 minutes.The protests were going on about 1 kilometers away in the main street and some of the protesting crowd were running from tear gass used among them, towards Salehi St.The film is shot by my friend who was standing beside me.

I saw this message on Twitter. I don't know if it was Saturday for us, or Sunday, but I was riveted. I found and followed people on the ground in Iran. People who have disappeared, and I've not seen them again. I had been reading about the protests, so far away as to be unreal, over there.

And then, I saw the video and I was complicit in this, this insurgence? this revolution? I couldn't know what it was, but this young woman had just died for it and I really should know why. I read as widely as I could on the internet, and we were able to have international discussions in Second Life, but this book is what has opened up the history leading up to Neda's death to me.

Arash Hejazi was the doctor who rushed to Neda's side and tried to stop her life from seeping away onto the street. Here he gives us his family story, interlaced with Iran's history. Originally studying to become a doctor, Hejazi self-published his own novel and then went on to found a publishing company that would ask Paulo Coelho for reprint rights in Iran, which was unheard of for a country under sanctions and embargoes. Coelho accepted and toured Iran, leading to more scrutiny of Hejazi and his bookselling. Their friendship is both a blessing and a danger.

The bravery of the author is the moment he hits send. His co-worker has filmed Neda's death and last breath. His face is clearly seen. They have no battery left on the cell phone to blur his face. They can only send to a couple friends as the internet connections jam and stall.

He types "Please let the world know." and hits send.

This is the book I've been wanting to read since I saw that light slip away from Neda's eyes.

The Gaze of the Gazelle is available at Jackson Street Books and fine independent bookstores everywhere.

I do want to take a moment & talk about the publisher, Seagull Books. I don't know when I have held such fine volumes.
The signatures are stitched(!) stitched! and gathered into fine editions. Our beloved Sales Rep also sent us their catalog. I didn't know that's what it was, and I put off taking it out of it's hermetically sealed baggie. This Silk cloth covered hard cover had pristine Gold Leaf all around. The book is an exuberance from the art department and booksellers, authors and lovers of fine printed matter. I delighted in finding local bookseller's essays included.
When so many others chose to put their flimsy glossy catalogs online, here is a publisher that proudly prints vital books, about astounding topics, on paper. And makes it look better than it ever did. I look forward to more from them.

Friday, May 4, 2012

Inside the Secret World of Librarians: Truth Like The Sun

Last week, Dan and I were invited to sell books at the annual day-long conference for the Friends of Timberland Library, and the Board of directors.

Jim Lynch was to be their keynote speaker, and we were delighted to get to hear him again.
We've been fans since his first book, The Highest Tide, a YA novel that won the NW Bookseller's Award. A quirky coming of age story, set here along Mud Bay of Puget Sound, it magically captures the flora and fauna of the Sound.

Border Songs won both the Bookseller's Award and the Washington State Book Award. I told you about Border Songs back in a January book report.
Here's the bookseller's perspective.
After reading a few selections and taking about the writing of Truth Like The Sun, Jim stayed and signed copies for the librarians. They were avid fans, and scooped up multiple copies at times with inscriptions for their intended gifts. All of Jim's titles are like that: once you read them you want to press them upon everyone you know.
Truth Like The Sun, by Jim Lynch (Knopf $25.95) The book opens on the night before the opening of Seattle's World's Fair, in April of 1962. The young civic genius, Roger Morgan who had sketched this iconic design on a cocktail napkin is toasting the crowd:
“Can I get a moment of silence here?” As the room settles, he takes everything in—the strange gleaming faces and lopsided chandeliers, the counterclockwise drift of the lights below, the bright-lipped brunette seemingly modeling ringless fingers for him. He waits a few more beats. “We are simultaneously at the end of something challenging and magnificent and at the beginning of something challenging and magnificent. So let’s commit this moment to memory, okay? Look around. Remember what our city looked like on this night from up here. Remember how young we all were.” He leans back to milk the laughter. “Remember this moment,” he insists, “before the eyes of the world take a good long look at us.”
(read the rest of the chapter here.)

Alternating chapters show the young Morgan and his 70 year old self in 2001, now running for mayor. His glad-handing style is effortless, and he manages to charm everyone in the early primaries. Helen Gulanos is a tough reporter, newly hired by the ailing Post Intelligencer, who is determined to make her name by digging up the dirt on this candidate.

The Seattle caught on these pages is pitch perfect. The boom of the early 60s contrasts with the bust of the 2000s dot-coms. I was very much reminded of Fred Moody's Seattle & the Demons of Ambition, so it made me smile to see that quote at the start of the book. This is a great read you'll enjoy spending time in. 

As to the title? You'll just have to wait to page 148 for that. I'll just say "Elvis". It becomes a fitting metaphor for what each of these characters would rather not have exposed.

Jim Lynch's books are available at Jackson Street Books (signed!) and fine booksellers everywhere.

One final picture, the signing was held at Ocasta High School in Westport, and while I'm sure their mascot is simply bundled up to protect from winter damage, I had the get a picture of the Masked Wildcat.

Friday, April 27, 2012

Like Any Normal Day

Like Any Normal Day by Mark Kram, Jr. (St. Martin's $25.95) While this is Mark Kram's first book, he has been an award-winning author at the Philadelphia Daily News and has been included in The Best American Sports Writing Anthology 6 times. Here he brings us the story of a family whose lives are completely changed in 1973, when their son and brother was paralyzed in a football scrimmage. 

Buddy Miley was the star quarterback for William Tennent high school when he was tackled and left a paraplegic. Buddy's younger brother becomes even more devoted to him, and his mother tirelessly takes care of him. Jimmy cheers him up, assists him on getting around and even taking him to Lourdes, in hopes of a cure. Later, Jimmy will take Buddy on quite another trip. Jimmy postpones following his own promising baseball career to stay with his brother, turning down two major league drafts and finally dropping out of his third chance after 6 months. 

 From the very beginning the much loved football star is helped by their community, with high school bake sales and local construction companies donating the materials and labor to add an accessible addition to the family home. 

 The is an amazing story of family love, written with a great honesty and tenderness. The reader is told at the beginning of Buddy and Jimmy's final trip together, to visit Dr. Kevorkian when Buddy decides to end his life. It is a story that will make you examine your own feeling about assisted suicide, but you won't regret reading the story of the Miley family. 

 Mark was given great access to the family to tell this story, he had written about Buddy in 1993, having read a letter Buddy's mom had written to Sports Illustrated. He stayed in touch with them over the years. Kram even interviewed Dr. Kevorkian just before his death. Here's a recent radio interview with Kram and Jimmy Miley. 

I would like to thank Anne Johnson, my friend from The Gods Are Bored, for pointing out her dear hubby's publication. Congratulations, Mark! and Thank You for telling this story. 

 Like Any Normal Day is available at Jackson Street Books, and fine booksellers everywhere.