Sunday, May 30, 2010

Books that wander

Hello.  Shellie here.  I hope that everyone is having a glorious weekend.  It sure is pretty outside! Although, I have so much yardwork waiting for me tomorrow...well, let's just say I'm glad that I get a quiet day indoors today. 

Have any of you ever noticed that when you call the bookstore to ask about a particular book, we will typically ask you to hold on while we physically find the book and hold it in our hands?  Are we eccentric?  Well, sure.   But we're practical, as well.

You see, the books around here, they wander off.  Wally has likened them to socks in the dryer.  It's happened to us on more than one occasion.  A book will be pop up in our inventory as being "in-store" and then upon investigation--no book! 

Where do they go?  Do they have a favorite hiding place?  It's a mystery.  I like to imagine that perhaps they enjoy getting lost and found...a little like hide-and-seek.

Speaking of socks in the dryer, all of this reminds me of a wonderful picture book that we have called Smitten by: David Gordon.  It's the wonderful love story of a sock and a mitten.  Hope you love it as much as we do!

Sunday, May 23, 2010

The weekly conversation

Hello everybody.  It's Shellie and it's time for my Sunday blog.  I heard through the grapevine that I actually have people reading this.  This is so exciting for me!  I thought I was just whistling in the dark every Sunday.  But let's get down to business, shall we?

In our house, usually around 5:30pm but sometimes as late as 6:00pm, there is a conversation that regularly occurs between me and my husband.  It goes thusly:

Me (with a heavy sigh):  What sounds good for dinner?

Husband (with an equally heavy sigh):  I don't know, what sounds good to you?

Me:  Well, what do we have?

Husband:  I don't know.  Check the pantry.

At this point, our children start circling us like hungry wolves howling their chorus of: "Mom, I'm hungry!  What can we eat? How long until dinner?"

Enter the book that I am absolutely fascinated with this week:  SOS! The Six O'Clock Scramble to the Rescue: Earth-Friendly, Kid-Pleasing Dinners for Busy Families By Aviva Goldfarb.

There is a lot to love about this book.  First of all, the recipes are both reasonably quick to make and healthy. 

I love that the recipes are separated by season!  This makes them both economical (it's cheaper to buy in-season) and earth friendly (you are more likely to find your fruit and veggies at a local farmer's market).

Lastly, this book has a wide assortment for vegetarians (like yours truly) and non-vegetarians alike.  I love the fact that the recipes are delicious and have a touches of global cuisine, for example:  Greek Pasta Salad, Tandoori Chicken and Huevos Rancheros.  But they are still simple enough for the beginnner.

I think this would make a wonderful present for the harried mom (or dad) you know and love.  Who knows?  They may be so grateful, they may even cook for you!  Have a great week!

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Brontë Sisters Power Dolls

Sunday, May 9, 2010


Hello there everyone!  It's Shellie and it's time for my Sunday blog. 

Lately, I've been trying to transition our two older boys from our usual picture book stories to beginner chapter books.  I've found that the best "transition chapter books" are a good combination of pictures and text.  It gives our boys a break from just reading and gives them something to look at.  If you have a child in your life who is on the verge of making the leap from picture books to chapter books, here are some good ones we have at the store.

Mercy Watson to the Rescue by Kate DiCamillo

Who is Mercy Watson?  A pig, of course!  She has all sorts of fun adventures in her stories.  The chapters are short and the pictures are darling.  Kids just love these!

Ivy and Bean by Annie Barrows and Sophie Blackall

This series is all about two little girls who are best friends.  They have a lot of fun trying to break world records and ghost hunting.  The chapters are a little bit longer than the Mercy Watson series, but not so much as to overwhelm young readers.  Plenty of pictures, too!

A Nest for Celeste by Henry Cole

This a sweet little book about a mouse who loves to weave baskets...but she has to watch out for the sneaky cat of her house.  Beautiful illustrations, my kindergartener loves this one!

Sunday, May 2, 2010

The wheat from the chaff

Hello everyone,

It's Shellie here posting today.  If I haven't met you yet, I'm the bookshop's newest bookseller.  I'm writing to tell you today about how dilligently we try to pick out the best possible new titles for the store.  I think it's safe to say that we are all voracious readers here and we happily attack our stack of ARCs (Advanced Reader Copies) that we get from publishers on a regular basis.  It has been my delight to discover an author's debut novel and get it into the store for our customers to enjoy--specifically, The Wives of Henry Oades by Johanna Moran.  This book was wonderful!

But let me tell you, folks.  It's not always a walk in the park.  I recently read an ARC that was so poorly written.  It was only because I am an absolute sucker for Tudor-era England that I stuck through to the end.  What was the major issue, you ask?  It was the narrator's constant battle with her own stomach acids!  At every turn, the protagonist was either "feeling the bile come up into her throat", "combatting waves of nausea", or "swallowing the sickness that rose up inside her". 

As Wally aptly said:  "Somebody get that woman an antacid!". 

Now, I understand that during Henry VIII's reign many perfectly disgusting things were done that would certainly make a modern person cringe.  But to read--page after page--of this character's urpy exploits...Well, it was a little much for me.

But you know, it's all part of the job.  We separate the wheat from the chaff--always keeping our beloved customers in mind and thinking of what you will like best.  Happy reading!