Monthly Archives: November 2017

Nuts for Nonfiction

Meghan Dietsche Goel - November 10, 2017

A robust list of new and exciting nonfiction is crucial for the holidays. Fiction can be hard to choose for picky readers or kids that the gift buyer simply doesn’t know very well. But great nonfiction can win almost anyone over. Here are some of the books I’m excited to recommend this year. What about you?

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The 2017 Early Bird Report

Kenny Brechner - November 9, 2017

At this point I’ve  seen a lot of Holiday seasons come and go. Maybe not as many as a mature oak tree, but still, quite a few. There are many traditional retail elements to the season that become as helpful to a gnarled bookseller from a preparation point of view as a first frost is to our arboreal friends. One of my favorites is Downtown Farmington’s Early Bird Sale.
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Learning the Script

Cynthia Compton - November 8, 2017

It’s time for our store’s annual “IT’S 4TH QUARTER, LET’S PANIC!” staff meeting, a Sunday night pizza-and-pop extravaganza when we review all the events scheduled in the next two months (and I do some mea culpas for booking the dog rescue AND the ninja event on the same weekend WITH the offsite author festival AND the reindeer visit….), unveil all the new wrapping paper, and do some staff training for new and returning holiday help. We vote on our staff Top 10 book choices in the picture book, middle grade, and YA categories, debate the dress code for Plaid Friday, and engage in some wheeling-and-dealing over shift coverage to accommodate everyone’s holiday obligations. Somewhere between the breadsticks and the Cranberry Sprite, slip in some staff training on customer service. Specifically, I want to give our folks some helpful words and phrases to use in conversation with customers, and some “red hot lava” sentences to avoid. Just in case you’re in staff training mode, too, I’ll share my list of “please, never say this”:
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Your Desert Island Children’s Books — With a Grand Prize

Elizabeth Bluemle - November 7, 2017

We’ve all played the desert island game, haven’t we? The game where you name three books (or movies, or foods, etc.) that you would bring to a desert island if that’s all you had for the rest of your life. When the category is books, I always try to cheat and count my Riverside Shakespeare as one book, even though it’s a two-volume boxed set and isn’t fair because it contains ALL OF SHAKESPEARE. Sometimes, I get away with it, but now that I’m the judge, and there’s a big prize, that won’t fly. Want to know what you’ll win? Autographed first editions of three fabulous 2017 titles: Katherine Paterson’s My Brigadista Year, M.T. Anderson’s Landscape with Invisible Hand, and Alison McGhee’s Pablo and Birdy.
Here are the rules:
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Busy Busy Books

lhawkins - November 6, 2017

This week I thought I’d take a look at some favorites from this year’s crop of interactive books for babies and preschoolers. First up, It’s the Troll: Lift-The-Flap Book by Sally Grindley (Hachette, Nov.). This follow-up to Shhh! is based on The Three Billy Goats Gruff. Lift the flaps and peep through the holes as the goats try to get over the bridge to the fields of fresh green grass. This tale combines physical manipulation of the book’s elements with reader participation reminiscent of the Pigeon books by Mo Willems for a truly interactive experience.

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Anyone Want to Build a Fort?         

Meghan Dietsche Goel - November 3, 2017

Our store always seems to overflow with boxes this time of year, but one day out from our new job as bookselling partners for the Texas Book Festival, the piles of boxes have merged throughout our office space to form a perilous maze-like obstacle course designed to catch bookseller toes and knees around every corner.
This is a challenge any bookstore faces when prepping and running multiple, simultaneous large conferences and offsites and festivals out in the community, because bookstores aren’t generally known for our expansive storage space. Store design typically maximizes selling and display space, and although at our store we’re lucky enough to have an entire floor of dedicated office, storage, and receiving space, it gets tight pretty quickly at the time of year. Luckily our bookfair inventory has recently been moved out of the way into a new warehouse, and the bulk of the festival books will actually be delivered via 16-wheeler straight to the tent. Otherwise, the building might actually burst at the seams.  Continue reading

Patrick Rothfuss’ Kingkiller Three – A New Update!

Kenny Brechner - November 2, 2017

Over six months ago I was able to determine The Real Reason Rothfuss’ Kingkiller 3 Is Not Here Yet by interviewing Bast, an unsettling character from the book itself. I am now in possession of a terrifying update on the status of Book Three, a disclosure that has left me badly shaken. For background you should know that here in central Maine we were hit by a powerful storm earlier in the week and my wife and I have been out of power for three days now. Yesterday morning I got up in the pitch dark and powered up our generator. When I came back into the house and turned on a light I was startled to find Bast himself sitting at our kitchen table.
Kenny: Bast!
Bast:: Hello there. I will not say good morning, as I will leave you to ponder whether it is a good morning or not after I leave you.
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Things That Go Bump in the Night

Cynthia Compton - November 1, 2017

In honor of the morning after All Hallows Eve, I present to you the list things that scare this indie bookseller as we venture bravely (flashlights in hand) into the holiday season. (Also, I ate waaaay too many fun size Butterfinger bars this Halloween season. Let’s just get that confession out of the way right now, and I’ll leave the results of my next dentist appointment AND the fact that I’m wearing my fat jeans today right off the list.)
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