Saturday, June 28, 2008

Long breaks in posting


The irony of loving books (and reading) is how reading, and all things literary, cut into my blogging time. This week's long break was due to my monthly dose of The Believer. Have I ever mentioned how much I love this magazine (and all things McSweeney's)? Well, let me again profess my love. I love the book reviews of books I've never heard of, and more likely than not will never make it into my store. Sedaratives never fail to amuse and I couldn't put down the Zadie Smith article. Thanks McSweeney's for once again giving me an excuse to stay away from the computer.

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

International Book Club - Star of the Sea


Tomorrow's meeting of the New Orleans International Book Club, finds me actually having had completed this month's selection. Hurrah! My brief thoughts on "Star of the Sea":
There are few events in history more compelling than the Irish Potato Famine, or The Great Hunger, or The Starvation, depending on where your politics fall. The author makes it clear with his persuasive language, that his heart and sympathies lay with the starving Irish. That said, the story itself is choppy with significant changes in the narration. The ending was unsatisfying, but may have been purposefully left so as real life rarely wraps up neatly. This book was clearly well researched and it is a truly moving story. Historical fiction at its best.

Good travels my friends.

Yesterday, some very dear friends departed New Orleans, headed for new adventures in Portland, Oregon. They will be terribly missed.

However, when I go to visit, don't doubt that I'll stop by this quaint bookstore.

Monday, June 16, 2008

Censorship or parental guidance?

The Golden Compass author Philip Pullman is leading a campaign to block publishers' plans to introduce age guidance limits on books - insisting the proposals would be "damaging" to young readers. Pullman is at the forefront of a group of authors and illustrators who are all unhappy about the plans. The new guidelines would see children's books stamped with age limits, in a similar way to the guidance ratings given to movies. Pullman has started an online petition to try and stop the new rules being introduced by publishers, insisting the proposals are "ill-conceived and damaging to the interests of young readers".

I've had one customer take issue with Pullman's books for religious reasons and for "protecting the children." Please. The classics are full of frightful child endangerment, dead or absentee parents (oh, the authors loved a dead mother and an absent or clueless father). If you don't agree with a book, don't buy it. Leave the rest of us alone.

Friday, June 13, 2008

Can't . . . Fight . . . Oprah . . .

So after four inquiries this week regarding whether or not I carried a particular "Oprah's Book Club Book", I am forced to give the Overlord her due.

I searched Ms. Winfrey's website twice seeking immediate customer information a but snuck back later on my own. I'm not agreeing completely with some who contend Oprah's choices are too mainstream (i.e. made for the shopping ladies) but where is the rhyme or reason to her book choices? I looked over the last few months and saw diet books, sleep books, sex books (in a nice heterosexual marriage kinda way), memoirs from journalists to sports stars to Mormon's trapped in arranged marriages, some fiction, and ironically from a Empire that publishes a monthly magazine on stuff to buy, a book about the dangers of consumerism.

A quick glance of Blue Cypress Books startled me in that I had many "Oprah" books on the shelves and several of them were quite good. Does Oprah need her own shelf in my little store? Must . . . resist . . .

Sunday, June 8, 2008

Oak Street BBQ Festival

Busy day on Oak Street. BBQ Festival brought highest concentration of people yet to Blue Cypress Books.

Check out the other upcoming events at http://www.onlyonoak.com/events.htm.