(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

Friday, December 24, 2010

Department of Book Reports: Happy Holidays!

We've posted this here the past two years, and, of course, it holds up this year...and will again next year. Want and ignorance remain with us. There are so many people out of work, or just trying to make ends meet that their holiday isn't gonna be all that great. An Austerity Christmas for many, if any at all. And ignorance? Just look at the news.

The following is, of course, from the climax of Stave Three, as Dickens called it, when Scrooge is abandoned by the Spirit of Christmas Present. Among my English major friends, Charles Dickens is regarded as a rank sentimentalist, and, worse, a writer who achieved popularity with the reading public of his time. At the same time, I argue that he was also one of the most acute social critics of the 19th Century, and a critic that helped transform that world for the better.

The scene below contains one of the most powerful images in English Literature. And it still holds true today.

Happy Holidays from SeattleDan and Seattle Tammy!From the foldings of its robe, it brought two children; wretched, abject, frightful, hideous, miserable. They knelt down at its feet, and clung upon the outside of its garment. "Oh, Man, look here! Look, look, down here!" exclaimed the Ghost. They were a boy and a girl. Yellow, meagre, ragged, scowling, wolfish; but prostrate, too, in their humility. Where graceful youth should have filled their features out, and touched them with its freshest tints, a stale and shrivelled hand, like that of age, had pinched, and twisted them, and pulled them into shreds. Where angels might have sat enthroned, devils lurked, and glared out menacing. No change, no degradation, no perversion of humanity, in any grade, through all the mysteries of wonderful creation, has monsters half so horrible and dread. Scrooge started back, appalled. Having them shown to him in this way, he tried to say they were fine children, but the words choked themselves, rather than be parties to a lie of such enormous magnitude. "Spirit, are they yours?" Scrooge could say no more. "They are Man's," said the Spirit, looking down upon them. "And they cling to me, appealing from their fathers. This boy is Ignorance. This girl is Want. Beware them both, and all of their degree, but most of all beware this boy, for on his brow I see that written which is Doom, unless the writing be erased. Deny it!" cried the Spirit, stretching out its hand towards the city. "Slander those who tell it ye. Admit it for your factious purposes, and make it worse. And abide the end."
"Have they no refuge or resource?" cried Scrooge.
"Are there no prisons?" said the Spirit, turning on him for the last time with his own words. "Are there no workhouses?"
The bell struck twelve.

Les Standiford has a timely book out just now, The Man Who Invented Christmas: How Charles Dickens's A Christmas Carol Rescued His Career and Revived Our Holiday Spirits (Crown Publishing, $19.95) NPR has an excellent excerpt in their Indie Bookseller's Round-up.

As always, lovely books can be found at your favorite independent bookstore. Book orders can be placed 24 hours a day at Jackson Street Books.

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Department of Book Reports: End of the Year, Finally

It's been a crazy year for the ol' Book Reporters and with the Holiday rush upon us, we thought we'd point out a few of the outstanding books we've read.
SeattleDan loved the baseball book, The Bullpen Gospels, relief pitcher Dirk Hayhurst's account of his struggles in both pitching professionally in the minor leagues and dealing with a highly dysfunctional family. Told with great humor and perception, Hayhurst's book is one of the best baseball books written. SD also treasured Guernica, the story of a Basque family before, during and after the Spanish Civil War. The work is a fine saga, mixed with the pride, comedy and tragedy of a strong people amidst some of the most gruesome aspects of the past century. Jeffrey Kaye's Moving Millions: How Capitalism Fuels Global Immigration is a fine study of how coyote capitalism spurs worldwide immigration. The book is rich in both anecdote and interviews; for those wanting an overview of immigration today, this is the book. Finally Adrian Goldsworthy's How Rome Fell analyzes deeply both the root causes of Rome's collapse as well as the notion of Empire.

SeattleTammy's favorites included Boneshaker, Cherie Priest's delightful Steampunk novel set in turn of the century Seattle, which leaves no Swash un-Buckled. Boneshaker has won just about every major award out there since you read about it here. Will Grayson, Will Grayson is a touching gay YA novel, which would appeal to straight or gay kids, especially those in theater. Our Second Life friend, Lelani Carver introduced us to Keith Thomson's Once A Spy and helped arrange a Second Life Virtual Author Appearance in March. We enjoyed several author readings in SL, including Peter May's Virtually Dead which actually takes place in SL!

SeattleTammy was recently interviewed by Erin Underwood about the Virtual Bookstore at her blog Underwords. Sunday, Dec 19th (6 to 9 pm PST), we'll have a Holiday Open House at Lacamas Reading Hall. Come on over to see which of our favorite authors drop by.

We wish you all the very best of the season and into the upcoming New Year.

Friday, December 10, 2010

Department of Book Reports: Odds & Ends

One of the pleasures of re-opening a brick and mortar store is that customers bring us some of their books to trade-in. The customers, of course, get some credit and can add to their own libraries inexpensively, and we, the booksellers, get to replenish our inventory and get reminded of some good books and discover books that have flown under our radar since our storefront hiatus.

Among the books we have recently received includes David James Duncan's fine family saga, The Brothers K. Duncan, the author of the acclaimed The River Why, tells the story of these brothers, brought up on a farm, by a father who had hoped to have a baseball career, but was thwarted in his youth. Set during the fifties and sixties, the book has many fine moments and when I read it a few years ago, I couldn't put it down.

Stephanie Kallos is the author of the perennial book club favorite, Broken for You, and her new novel, published in 2009, Sing Them Home, absolutely slipped by us. Another family saga, set in Nebraska, she tell the story of the Jones siblings whose young lives are irrevocably changed by the strange disappearance of their mother during a tornado in 1978. They are brought back together by the sudden passing of their distant father decades later, leading to self-discovery and insight.

SeattleTammy is enjoying Lincoln Child's Deep Storm, which was published a couple of years ago. Child is probably best known for his collaborations with Douglas Preston, and are well-written thrillers. Deep Storm is about a scientist investigating the mental illnesses suffered by a crew that seems to have discovered links to the ancient world of Atlantis.

Douglas Brinkley's The Great Deluge: Hurricane Katrina, New Orleans and the Mississippi Gulf Coast, is the highly regarded inquiry into what happened on August 29th, 2005. At great length, Brinkley delves into the devastation and the human cost of the tragedy. He conducted many, many interviews with the survivors, providing a history written at the human level.

Finally, we have seen a copy of Arundhati Roy's The God of Small Things come into the store. Originally published in 1997 and winner of the Booker Prize. the book is yet another family portrait, focusing on the lives of two fraternal twins, raised in Kerala, India. The events of the novel take place between 1969 and 1993, and describe and limn the lives of these two as well as the lives they touch. Roy, herself, has become a great human rights activist. To date this is her only novel.

So, what are you reading? And what do you hope Santa will bring you to read this year?
And DemoCommie, we are still awaiting the advance copy of your cookbook.

If you're in the neighborhood today, stop by for a gingersnap.

These books are available at Jackson Street Books and other fine Independent bookstores.As always, books ordered here will have a freebie publishers Advance Reading Copy included as a thank you to our blogosphere friends.

Saturday, December 4, 2010

Department of Book Reports: Four Color Fear

I'm delighted to have Four Color Fear, by John Benson (Fantagraphics, $29.95) on our new release table now. This is a delightful collection of Entertaining Comics most gruesome and twisted tales. Fantagraphics has a flip-thru preview that gives a feeling for the content on youtube. 42 complete comic books are reprinted in all their lurid colors.

Those wonderful, terrible horror comics of the 1950s are still so embedded in our popular culture that it’s hard to realize that those who actually remember reading them when they came out are now in their late sixties or early seventies. That these old comics still seem contemporary is largely due to the Entertaining Comics (EC) titles Tales from the Crypt, Vault of Horror and Haunt of Fear, which have been made into several feature films and a popular HBO series, and have been in print continuously for over forty years in a variety of formats (they’ve even been adapted in text form for younger readers). Horror masters Stephen King and George Romero have readily acknowledged an indebtedness to EC comics, which alone would be enough to prove their relevance to current entertainment tastes, but many others have also been influenced, directly or indirectly.

Undeniably, EC created a whole new style of horror. Rather than relying on traditional supernatural elements, EC typically focused on events that could actually happen, such as someone being boiled in oil or hacked to pieces. Realistic situations would build to “trick” endings that might be better described as ingenious rather than truly imaginative. When there was a fantastic element, it was often in the form of traditional vampires and werewolves entering a modern real-world setting. A vital EC element was its three “GhouLunatics,” the hosts whose sardonic and often humorous patter was integral to the horrific proceedings, but EC’s most important component was publisher Bill Gaines, who co-plotted most of the stories, loved the material he published, and encouraged his artists to do their best. Gaines brought a rare consistency to EC, though that consistency came at the expense of an increasingly narrow range as the series progressed.
Rather than being grouped by artist, publisher, subject matter or chronologically, these stories have been arranged “aesthetically” to provide maximum variety and change of pace when the book is read straight through. So, relax, curl up in a cozy chair, set aside a block of time, and imagine yourself as a kid in the 1950s, reading these stories slowly to savor every chilling moment.
From the introduction by the author.

Four Color Fear is available at Jackson Street Books and other fine Independent bookstores.As always, books ordered here will have a freebie publishers Advance Reading Copy included as a thank you to our blogosphere friends.

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Department of Book Reports: Holiday Books

Today is Small Business Saturday. American Express will give a $25 credit to your account for shopping small box this weekend. The stores you shop at don't even need to accept AmEx, which is a good thing since most small businesses can't afford to honor their cards. The 3/50 org has more good reasons for you to shop local.

Of course, I recommend you shop at a bookstore. You can find your local bookstore at indybound, or for those of you in the Northwest, we now have Northwest Booklover'sthanks to the PNBA for this site. PNBA also brings us the Holiday Catalog (simple pdf), and here are a few of my favorites:
Something Fishy This Way Comes by Ray Troll (Sasquatch Boooks, $19.95) This best of Ray Troll's art will be sure to get chuckles from fishermen or lovers of bad puns.
Hiking Washington's History by Judy Bentley (University of Washington Press, $18.95) will give you more background than you'll get from the historical marker at trailshead or highway pull-outs. UW Press has sample chapters to peruse.
One of my favorite novels this year is now in paperback, The Financial Lives of the Poets by Jess Walter (HarperCollins, $14.99)

A Secret Gift: How One Man's Kindness--and a Trove of Letters--Revealed the Hidden History of the Great Depression by Ted Gup (Penguin Press, $25.95) This one really tugs at the heart, Ted Gup found a cache of letters in his grandfather's possessions that told the story of an anonymous donor who offered $5 to 150 people during the height of the depression. Check out this dedicated issue of Shelf Awareness, for pictures and an author interview.

And finally we come to the time of November you've all been looking forward to: this year's shortlist of titles nominated to The Bad Sex Award are covered in the Guardian. The winner will be announced November 29th at the In and Out Lounge in London.

These books are available at Jackson Street Books and other fine Independent bookstores. We're on FaceBook now.As always, books ordered here will have a freebie publishers Advance Reading Copy included as a thank you to our blogosphere friends.

Friday, November 19, 2010

Department of Book Reports: Guernica

In Guernica (Bloomsbury $15.00), Dave Boling has written a fine, sobering. and engrossing account of the lives of those people who live in or near one of the most revered places of the Basque people. The story is centered on the lives of the Ansotegui brothers, who are orphaned at an early age. Justo grows up to become the "strongest" man in Guernica, well-respected among the townsfolk; Josepe takes up fishing in the Bay of Biscay; and baby Xabier becomes Father Xabier.

In 1935 one Miguel Navarro, avoiding arrest after an encounter with the Guardia Civil, comes to Guernica, where he meets, courts and marries Justo's daughter, his only child, Miren, famed for her dancing. Together they begin a family. In the meantime, of course, the Spanish Civil War begins. The Basques, given some autonomy, and with an aversion to the Fascists, side with the Spanish Government. The characters try to lead normal lives, but the war moves closer. Food becomes scarce. And the Fascists move closer and closer, aiming to take the port of Bilbao. Guernica itself is of no military importance. But it does provide the Fascist's ally, the German Luftwaffe to indulge in what Winston Churchill called "..an experimental horror". On April 26th, 1937, Wolfram von Richtohofen's Condor Legion made its bombing raid over Guernica, devastating the town and immortalized in the famous mural of Pablo Picasso. The lives of Guernica's survivors are forever changed. And there seems to be little hope left.

Boling gives a splendid picture of the Basque people. Their lives may seem simple at a glance, but they live lives of great passion and with verve and nuance. The minor characters are well-imagined and provide a fine background to the story. The reader feels he knows this town and these people, and their tragedies give us the right amount of pity and terror. Guernica is one of the better novels I have read in a long while, and it is well worth your while to read it, especially if you like family sagas in historical settings.
Here's a video from one of those fine independent bookstores we always mention, Liberty Bay Books in Poulsbo. Catch their blog for pairings of books and appropriate beers, and follow them on twitter @LIBERTYBAYBOOKS.

Guernica is available at Jackson Street Books and other fine Independent bookstores.As always, books ordered here will have a freebie publishers Advance Reading Copy included as a thank you to our blogosphere friends.

On a side note, I wanted to point out the long-time Jesus' General commenter, Dave von Ebers, has begun a new blog, The Corner Tavern, which you can find here: davescornertavern.blogspot.com. There is already a lot of good stuff on it. Enjoy!

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Searching for Mark Twain's Illustrators

Alice asked if there was any notation of the artists in the Harper & Brothers editions of Mark Twain that I featured on FaceBook. The books, which are probably the equivalent to our modern mass-market editions have little documentation. However, researching the subject has been no end of amusement for me.
Barbara Schmidt notes the artists from the various volumes in her A History of and Guide to Uniform Editions of Mark Twain's Works. Most of the documentation here is for the earlier deluxe editions in red, Part One covers 1891-1920, Part Two has 1899-1920, while we have copies with cream boards with a small cameo of Twain embossed onto the front cover, which will be documented in Part Three, books after 1920.

In Life on the Mississippi, Harper & Brothers 1917, I discovered the photographer Napoleon Sarony, who photographed an estimated 20,000 celebrities of the day and perhaps 300,000 members of the general public, but it best known for his landmark 1883 lawsuit for photographers to claim original copyright of their photographs. The case was over a disputed photograph of Oscar Wilde, in which Burows-Giles Lithographic argued that Sarony had not invented Oscar Wilde and they should be able to use it in a department store ad. The courts agreed with Sarony's lawyers that the photographer was the author and inventor of the photograph.
In 1884, Sarony participated in a April Fool's prank on Twain inwhich 150 of Twain's friend wrote him requesting his autograph but neglecting to include a SASE for return. Sarony addressed his note to "My dear Clements".

Napoleon Sarony wore a Fez and "picturesque" clothing which must have been noticed even in New York city.
What is perhaps Sarony's best known photograph of Twain was most disliked by Twain. Writing in his own 1902 copy of a honorarium book presented by Harper & Brothers at his 67th birthday party,
of course they would frontispiece it with this damned old libel, which began as a libel when Sarony made it, in my fortieth year

The picture most likely was taken when Twain was 60. In 1905, he was still complaining about the photograph:
November 14, 1905.
Dear Mr. Row,

That alleged portrait has a private history. Sarony was as much of an enthusiast about wild animals as he was about photography; and when Du Chaillu brought the first Gorilla to this country in 1819 he came to me in a fever of excitement and asked me if my father was of record and authentic. I said he was; then Sarony, without any abatement of his excitement asked if my grandfather also was of record and authentic. I said he was. Then Sarony, with still rising excitement and with joy added to it, said he had found my great grandfather in the person of the gorilla and had recognized him at once by his resemblance to me. I was deeply hurt but did not reveal this, because I knew Sarony meant no offense for the gorilla had not done him any harm, and he was not a man who would say an unkind thing about a gorilla wantonly. I went with him to inspect the ancestor, and examined him from several points of view, without being able to detect anything more than a passing resemblance. "Wait," said Sarony with strong confidence, "let me show you." He borrowed my overcoat and put it on the gorilla. The result was surprising. I saw that the gorilla while not looking distinctly like me was exactly what my great grandfather would have looked like if I had had one. Sarony photographed the creature in that overcoat, and spread the picture about the world. It has remained spread about the world ever since. It turns up every week in some newspaper somewhere or other. It is not my favorite, but to my exasperation it is everybody else's. Do you think you could get it suppressed for me? I will pay the limit.

Sincerely yours, S. L. Clemens.

I'll continue my research tomorrow. I doubt I'll find the artists from these books, but I am sure I'll find something utterly fascinating.

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Department of Book Reports: Al Capone & Hellie Jondoe

I have some wonderful YA novels to talk about today. If you have a pre-teen or teen interested in history, these volumes feature great characters and fascinating stories.

Al Capone Shines My Shoes by Gennifer Choldenko ($17.99, Dial Books) Moose and his family live on Alcatraz Island, where his father is a guard. There are other families on the island, almost enough for pick-up baseball games, if the girls agree to play. The kids are not supposed to talk with the inmates, but it's too tempting to them to not try to sneak a peek of Al Capone or one of the other famous gangsters who are locked up and assigned tasks to keep the island running. When Moose's autistic sister get dropped from a special school in San Francisco, he sends a note in the pocket of his dirty shirt, asking Capone's help. When a return note comes back saying "Done." he realizes this favor could get his dad fired from the job they very much rely on. Then, a note arrives asking for a favor from Moose and he must figure out how to get yellow roses for Capone's girlfriend, May without the Warden finding out that Moose has been in touch with the convict. Set in a time when autism wasn't well known or spoken of, many people on the island urge the family to send the sister to an institution rather than keep her in the family. Moose has to negotiate the usual rivalries between his friends and the precarious hold his father has on his job.

Al Capone Shines My Shoes is the sequel to the Newberry Honor book Al Capone Does My Shirts ($6.99, Puffin Books), which is in paperback now. These books give a great history lesson in the lives of the people who called Alcatraz home.

Hellie Jondoe by Randall Platt ($16.95, Texas Tech University Press) Hellie (Helena Smith) is an orphan "street Arab" in New York City where she and her brother Harry pick pockets and find food in garbage cans to survive. Harry has signed Hellie to the Orphan Train, taking children to the West to find families. Hellie does not want to leave Harry, but it's getting more difficult to hide her female status from the gang they've pitched in with. When a gunfight leaves Harry apparently dead from a bullet wound, Hellie reluctantly embarks on the train. It's on this train trip she meets A.B.E. Collier, a woman (!) photographer, herself a former Orphan Train child who is documenting the journey to sell to Mr. Hearst. Hellie, half-blind Lizzie, and an infant with a club foot are finally adopted by the domineering Mrs. Gorence, to work on the Hidden Hills Ranch in far away Oregon. Assigned to live in the wash house, and not the home, they come to realize their true fate, they had been sold to the Orphan Train and indentured for 3 years. Harry has actually left the hospital with a new trade, selling the Morphine he was introduced to and now has enough money to try and rescue Hellie. His encounter with A.B.E. Collier exposes him to the Spanish Flu that is sweeping the country and he unwittingly carries it to Pendleton and the Hidden Hills. Nursing her brother, herself and the farm cook back to health, Hellie learns some truths about her birth family and her newly formed family.
Platt has used period slang to great effect here and provides a Glossary at the end.

These books are available at Jackson Street Books and other fine Independent bookstores.As always, books ordered here will have a freebie publishers Advance Reading Copy included as a thank you to our blogosphere friends.

Friday, November 5, 2010

Department of Book Reports: Pitchforks and Torches

In a week where we saw justice, light, right and might prevail in our land, it was only fitting that MSNBC suspended the ultra-liberal, Keith Olbermann from his show, Countdown, on Friday. Of course, the islamoliberalsphere is protesting by calling the MSNBC offices, and setting up Facebook pages in protest. What more could we expect. They want you to call MSNBC at (212) 664-4444 and urge them to bring Keith Olbermann back!

SEND faxes to MSNBC urging Keith's return here at: Fax: (212) 664-4426

You can e-mail Phil Griffin who suspended Keith at: phil.griffin@nbcuni.com.

It turns out, that the nattily-dressed one has just published a book, Pitchforks and Torches. Conveniently, the book is a Liberal's wet dream, full of invective and reason. As Seattle Tammy and I would never want to be accused of censoring, we are stocking that book, as well as others by this Olbermann fella.

If we have inadvertently made you look at these protests and caused you to join the brouhaha, we are deeply sorry. But the books are available at Jackson Street Books and other fine Independent bookstores.As always, books ordered here will have a freebie publishers Advance Reading Copy included as a thank you to our blogosphere friends.

Saturday, October 30, 2010

Department of Book Reports: Boarding Instructions

Boarding Instructions by Ray Vukcevich (Fairwood Press, $16.99) Today I get to tell you about a new book from a favorite author, Second Life's own Ookami Moonbeam. You may remember him from last December's report & SL Salon with the Interfictions 2 authors. Ookami, is in real life, Ray Vukcevich, a writer from Eugene, Oregon. His fiction isn't easily characterized into any one or two genres, and the definition of Interfiction suits nicely:
What is interstitial art? It is art made in the interstices between genres and categories. It is art that flourishes in the borderlands between different disciplines, mediums, and cultures. It is art that crosses borders, made by artists who refuse to be constrained by category labels.

This is a short story collection, so I can't really give you a plot outline here. For those of you who don't read short stories and prefer full length novels, have no fear, these short pieces will satisfy. I don't dream often, or at least I don't remember dreams in the waking hours, but the last two wisps of dreams I woke up with in the morning had elements and plot bits from Ray's fiction.

I can show you where to read a couple samples, Intercontinental Ballistic Missile Boy, or this delightful piece about weather in Miles and Miles of Broccoli. You can find other links on his website or sff.net.

I do recommend this book to ensure you never look at grocery lists or airline flights the same again. I'd also like to thank Fairwood Press for sending me an advance copy of a favorite author.

Boarding Instructions is debuting this weekend at this weekends World Fantasy Con, and we'll be able to ship out next week. Boarding Instructions and Interfictions 2 are books are available at Jackson Street Books and other fine Independent bookstores.As always, books ordered here will have a freebie publishers Advance Reading Copy included as a thank you to our blogosphere friends.

Friday, October 22, 2010

Department of Book Reports: The Fall Classic

Stepping outside on a crisp autumn day, the sun shines, and you know that the World Series is right around the corner. And there is nothing sweeter to a baseball fan. (For those of you who hate baseball, your long national nightmare will soon be over.) And despite the sour season that this humble book reporter's team, the lowly Seattle Mariners had, (and the equally sour one that friend Dave von E had with his beloved Chicago Cubs) it is a time of year that excites the mind and passion.

And with a hat tip to an old friend and bookseller, Marilyn, who recently blogged about great baseball books, I wanted to point out a few of my favorites. And where else to start but with Jim Bouton's classic account of his season with the Seattle Pilots (a team that played only one season before moving to Milwaukee) Ball Four. At the time his story was controversial. The book named names; it was not a fiction. That was Mickey Mantle with his fellow Yankee teammates atop the Shoreham Hotel, attempting to glimpse through the windows of young, nubile guests! Or his manager, Joe Schultz exclaiming, "Shitfuck! Pound that Budweiser and we'll get 'em tomorrow"! Still the best parts of the book are Bouton's own descriptions of attempting to comeback, throwing a knuckleball to get out Major League batters with a modicum of success, and his relationship with his fellow Pilots, as well as trying to juggle his profession and raising a young family. And recently, I talked about Dirk Hayhurst's chronicle of his minor league career in this book report of The Bullpen Gospels.

Roger Kahn's The Boys of Summer is also classic. In it, he describes his time covering the Brooklyn Dodgers team in the early '50's, followed by interviews with the players as they were in the early '70's. The Dodgers front office at the time hated the book, for reasons best known to themselves. Probably the best of the interview style books, though, is Lawrence Ritter's The Glory of Their Times. Ritter searched the country looking for ballplayers who had played in the early part of the 20th Century, and the interviews he had, which included Sam Crawford, Chief Myers (the Native American catcher and Dartmouth grad who caught Christy Mathewson), Lefty O'Doul among many others, and all of them fascinating. Not just about baseball, but about what life was like in America at that time. Another great inteview book, and broken down by season, is Danny Peary's They Played the Game, which features the baseball careers of 64 different players who played from 1946 to 1964. They played some tough baseball in the post-war era.

Books I haven't had a chance to read yet, but am looking forward to include Jane Leavy's The Last Boy: Mickey Mantle and the End of America's Childhood. If her previous book, Sandy Koufax: A Lefty's Legacy (a biography framed around the perfect game Koufax threw against the Giants in 1965), is any indication, this book should be great. I've also heard wonderful things about Doug Glanville's The Game Where I Stand: A Ballplayers Inside View. Glanville was a good Major League outfielder and I've been told that his writing style is both elegant and poetic.

And I would be remiss if I didn't mention the finest of magazine reporter's, Roger Angell who's articles for the New Yorker were collected in The Summer Game and Five Seasons. In the latter book, in his discussion of one of the greatest World Series ever played, between the Cincinnati Reds and the Boston Red Sox, he leaves us with the following quote about why some of us take this game seriously:
It is foolish and childish, on the face of it, to affiliate ourselves with anything so insignificant and patently contrived and commercially exploitive as a professional sports team, and the amused superiority and icy scorn that the non-fan directs at the sports nut (I know this look -- I know it by heart) is understandable and almost unanswerable. Almost. What is left out of this calculation, it seems to me, is the business of caring -- caring deeply and passionately, really caring -- which is a capacity or an emotion that has almost gone out of our lives. And so it seems possible that we have come to a time when it no longer matters so much what the caring is about, how frail or foolish is the object of that concern, as long as the feeling itself can be saved. Naivete -- the infantile and ignoble joy that sends a grown man or woman to dancing and shouting with joy in the middle of the night over the haphazardous flight of a distant ball -- seems a small price to pay for such a gift.

These baseball titles and many more are available from Jackson Street Books and other fine Independent bookstores.As always, books ordered here will have a freebie publishers Advance Reading Copy included as a thank you to our blogosphere friends.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Pictures from Today

I biked over to open the shop this morning. We're having a glorious week of Fall weather.
I brought in a new stack of used stock. Since I didn't have any visitors until late in the day, I allowed myself to get pulled into Modoc. What a lovely story! I had read about Modoc in Stewart O'Nan's Circus Fire. I knew she had lead people out of the burning big top, and returned to the flames to save one of her keepers. I didn't know the back story of her life, raised by Gunther, the son of a German elephant trainer, who was born on the same day as Modoc, they are cruelly separated a couple times throughout their lives, but reunited at a Hollywood animal reserve later in life. So many adventures are crammed between that. Shipwrecked far at sea, Modoc saves many of the sailors by keeping them afloat. She & Gunther make it to shore and live in India, at the palatial preserve of Malmout, a worshipped albino elephant. A war between tribal Afghan warlords. Their journey to America, and the many cruel betrayals there make their reunion even more of a tearjerker than those animal/human youtubes we all love.

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Department of Book Reports: Exley

I've been in a Brock Clarke reading binge lately, and I really recommend this author for his sly, lit-obsessive novels. If you like your dark comedy with lovable characters, this is your writer. An Arsonist's Guide to Writers' Homes in New England was chockablock with famous writers and odd factoids as we follow Sam Pulisfer in his quest to find out who is trying to burn down the writers' homes. Sure, he once burned down Emily Dickenson's house, but that was a teen-aged accident and he's sorry. Really, really sorry. Some one else begins burning writer's homes after he has re-built his life, is it the son of the couple burned alive while "in the saddle", or the Bond Traders he met in prison? He knows he isn't setting these fires, but he must figure out who is and convince the fire detective of his innocence. His search takes him through Book Clubs, Harry Potter appreciation classes for parents, and Oprah lit-land . Clarke has a way of looking at ordinary situations and putting in a dry, quirky slant that will have you snickering at each wry twist.

In his latest, Exley, he uses his love for the late novelist Frederick Exley to build his novel. Miller Le Ray overhead his father tell his mother "Maybe I should go to Iraq, too" eight months ago, and knows in his heart that is why he's only written one letter home in all that time. His mother is equally convinced that the Army would never have accepted her husband, and has taken Miller to a therapist, Dr Pahnee (who pompously corrects everyone, assuring them he is a mental health professional). Miller and the Dr. are our unreliable narrators here. Miller's dad has just arrived at the VA hospital and Miller is convinced he must find his fathers favorite author to help bring him out of the coma he's been in for two weeks.
Miller's dad has only read one book in the past 15 years. A Fan's Notes, a fictional memoir, Exley's cult novel from 1968. He's read it over and over, and has eight copies stashed in the window seat beside his desk. You don't have to have read a Fan's Notes to enjoy this book, but I'm sure you'll want to after you finish.

Millers quest takes him through the Watertown, NY he currently lives in, and through the Watertown in a Fans Notes. His obsession begins to consume his every thought, and he begins speaking as Exley did, referring to people by initials, and using ___s in his speech. Conveniently ignoring the fact that Exley died in 1992, he searches the dives and haunts from the book. Dr. Pahnee has fallen hopelessly in love with M.'s mother which clouds his judgement. Which reality is true here? Clarke keeps things spinning around until the end, and brings about a very tender place to leave his characters.

These books are available at Jackson Street Books and other fine Independent bookstores.As always, books ordered here will have a freebie publishers Advance Reading Copy included as a thank you to our blogosphere friends.

Saturday, October 9, 2010

Department of Book Reports

It's a rainy Saturday in Hoquiam, and what better way to spend the afternoon than in a warm bookstore?
The big news on this block are the new bricks installed in front of the 7th Street Theatre and the bookstore. This fundraiser has financed the neon candlestick style sign that will be done sometime next year.

Here's a walk through the new shop for our internet friends:

Nobel prize winner, Mario Vargas Llosa.

The fiction shelves.

Non-fiction & History.

350 display for Bill McKibben, and a chance to remind you to find an event near you for international 10-10-10 Day.

Of course we have Pirates!

Arts and entertainment.

Northwest and Local interest.


Our new address is 315 7th Street, so our name is changing a bit, to (Jackson Street) Books on 7th. The new phone number is 360-533-3157. Drop by and see us if you're in Hoquiam, or you can order any of the featured books at Jackson Street Books and other fine Independent bookstores.As always, books ordered here will have a freebie publishers Advance Reading Copy included as a thank you to our blogosphere friends.

Wednesday, September 29, 2010


Trying to haul over books! We keep thinking a box of books is a lot.. but then you see the skimpy shelf. There's a lot more room here than I thought.
Tower Books shelves get a new coat of paint. Hopefully they'll dry & can be stocked tomorrow.

Saturday, September 25, 2010

Department of Book Reports

We're going to take a small break today, so please use the comments to recommend your recent literary finds. I'm finally getting around to reading Brock Clarke (Arsonist's Guide to New England Writer's Homes) in anticipation of his upcoming novel Exley. I loved Exley's novels and it's a delight to find this quirky obsessive novelist will be tackling this one.

It's been a busy week, We've gotten some shelves moved to the bookstore and discovered we'll need a truck to move the ones that couldn't fit into the van. Next week promises to be even busier as we count down to a rapidly approaching Saturday. Keep your finger crossed, as I may have big news soon about a special musical guest at the opening party.
(image from The Daily World)
Finally, here's a newspaper article you might get a kick out of. Subscription is required to view the pictures (of yours truly) and read the whole text, but it's free for the time being.

More pictures are on Facebook, please be sure to "Like" us while you're there.

You can always browse our books at Jackson Street Books and other fine Independent bookstores.As always, books ordered here will have a freebie publishers Advance Reading Copy included as a thank you to our blogosphere friends.