Monday, December 7, 2009

"Reading without reflecting is like eating without digesting." Edmund Burke

Book Club updates:

Here are the selections for the entire entire year of 2010. Our meetings are held on the last Sunday of the month at 4:00, with a few date changes for holidays. The days and books are below:

January 31 - "Zeitoun" Dave Eggers
February 28 - "People of the Book" Geraldine Brooks
March 28 - "The Brief Wonderous Life of Oscar Wao" Junot Diaz
April 25 - "The Stone Diaries" Carol Shields
May 23 - "Kindred" Octavia Butler
June 27 - "Cold Mountain" Charles Frazier
July 25 - "The Haunting of Hill House" Shirley Jackson
August 29 "On The Road" Jack Kerouac
September 26 - The Awakening" Kate Chopin
October 25 - "Survivor" Chuck Palahniuk
November 21 - "Girl of Dreams" Donna Leon
No December meeting.

One change from this last year: now requesting that you kindly RSVP for the book club meetings. I will be working very hard to ensure that books are available for all months and need a little help in anticipating attendance.

"Reading without reflecting is like eating without digesting." Edmund Burke.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

All about the Fest!

Sunday's author signings set for Po-Boy Fest: Diane Grove's "Dot.Conned"; Tom Morgan's "Historic Photos of New Orleanss Jazz"; Susan Norris-Davis' "Living New Orleans 2010 Day Planner"; Karen Ocker "Ray Nagin Coloring Book"; Dean Shapiro's "Historic Photos of Steamboats on the Mississippi"; Melissa Lee Smith's "Historic Photos of New Orleans." Come support your local authors and get you Po-boy on!

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Feed the meters!

Our Oak Street renovations are complete with wide sidewalks, comfortable benches, beautiful trees, plenty of bike racks and a pothole free street. These are the good things. The bad things are green and money hungry: the meters. And I ain't talking 'bout the The Meters.

I watched 4 meter maids, park their city car (in a metered spot without paying, of course), divide up, and spread the tickets all around. And yes, I was 4 minutes past my allotted time and got a little present myself. They are doing this about three times a day and enjoying it.

So, please, feed the meters. Or park on the side streets. Or walk. Or take the streetcar. And if you came to see little 'ol me and paid to park, let me know, and I'll give you a little discount 'cause you shouldn't let those meters tell you what to do.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Things I'm Happy For Today

1. Being busy! I get weird(er) when I have too much time on my hands.
2. Oak Street Party today. I love shaking things up and am so impressed with the hard work of all the merchants in pulling Oak Street together. I definitely feel the love.
3. Kristen Fouquet's book signing for her new book "Twenty Stories" on Friday. Great little collection of short stories and sure to be a fun time.
4. Cleared out another four boxes of books from the back room. May actually get the renovations done on time, though probably not, and I'll just have to be alright with it all.
5. Ordered several new copies of "Where The Wild Things Are" because I think the movie is going to rock.

That's not too bad before noon.

Friday, September 4, 2009

BCB Update for September 1st

Greeting and Salutations! Check out what's new and happening at Blue Cypress Books!
~ Be our "FAN" on Facebook and follow us on Twitter for special online only discounts and updates.
~ The next Blue Cypress Books' book club meeting is September 27th at 4:00 where we will be discussing Cormac McCarthy's "The Road." New members are always welcome.
~ We are stocking even more Basin Street Records . Come on down and support your local musicians, like Kermit Ruffins, Jeremy Davenport and Teresa Anderson.
~ Get your books on sustainable agriculture, local gardening, whole foods cooking, and environmental stewardship at the Hollygrove Market and Farm. We have a bookcase there and a portion of sales go to supporting the market.
~And as always, we are committed to providing New Orleans with high quality, affordable used and rare books!

Friday, August 14, 2009

This Week's Updates.

Greetings and Salutations! Check out what's new and happening at Blue Cypress Books -
~ Be our "FAN" on Facebook and follow us on Twitter - we love to stay in touch and you can send your book thoughts thataway. Special online discounts!
~ Blue Cypress Books' book club will meet August 30th at 4:00 to discuss Italio Calvino's "The Baron In The Trees."
~ So very happy to be sponsoring the Youth Empowerment Program's book club. Currently looking for any used copies of "A Disobedient Girl" by Ru Freeman. Visit YEP's website for more information about this great organization.
~ While, we are all about the used books we've added quite a bit of NEW books all about New Orleans. Fiction, Art, Children's Books, Travel, and more.
~ A very special THANKS to all the dedicated teachers and educators who came by this summer committed to stocking their classrooms with books for the children of New Orleans. They are being the difference!
~And as always, we are here to provide New Orleans with high quality, affordable used and rare books!

Monday, August 10, 2009

Youth Empowerment Project Sponsorship

Blue Cypress Books is very proud to be a new supporter of New Orleans' Youth Empowerment Project. Any project that has this kind of success deserves our support.

BCB has committed to supporting YEP's Book Club for one year in addition to providing supplemental materials necessary for literacy and continuing education. This month's book club selection is A Disobedient Girl by Ru Freeman. (If anyone has a used copy they are no longer needing, please bring it down to the store and we will buy it from you.)

Saturday, June 27, 2009

Quick Book Review - The Moonstone by Wilkie Collins

What I liked: Intriguing, quick moving story. Witty, sardonic, interesting characters. Great layout in epistolary style.

What I didn't like: Typical detective novel in that I saw who-done-it but didn't see why-done-it as the withholding of critical information is integral to the story style. Also, not the novel's fault at all but this "Barnes and Noble Classics" publication is terribly cheaply constructed as the corners started to turn up almost upon my touch. Also, not the novel's fault, but a product of the time in which the author lived, but the romance between the first cousins is icky. Just icky.

So glad I picked up this Dickens' contemporary and creator of the entire detective novel genre and would definitely do so again.

Thursday, June 18, 2009

You never know who is going to call . . .

Actual conversation:

"Blue Cypress Books, can I help you?" "Yes, do you sell pets?" "Um, pet books?" "No, pets. Specifically, I'm looking for a reptile dealer." "*long pause* No, I don't sell pets." "Well, you are listed under in as selling pets." "Well, thanks for letting me know, have a good one!"

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Bargain Books Galore!

I posted this on Facebook a couple of days ago, but neglected to cross-post. Ugg. Here goes on the 'ol blog:

"Through a generous donation, I've gotten boxes upon boxes of books. Most are former library books, with creases and wear, but some are also great works of literature and some are fun summer reads. I don't have room for them so come grab a bag, fill it up and make whatever donation you'd like knowing ALL PROCEEDS will go to KIPP: Believe College Prep on Carrollton!"

Now, quit fussing 'bout the heat and come get the books. Nice air conditioning awaits . . .

Saturday, June 6, 2009

Local writers

I love when local writers come into the shop. The problem is I often recognize them as I often read the words but don't pay attention to their photos. Well, one of my favorite editorial Times-Picayune writers came into the shop today. This article is an example of why he is one of my favorite writers:

Thank goodness he paid with a credit card or his face would have gotten past me and I would have missed the opportunity to tell him how much I enjoyed his work. So authors, please don't use cash.

Friday, June 5, 2009

Where Y'At Magazine Writers' Picks Blue Cypress Books!

Thanks so much to Where Y'at Magazine writers for picking Blue Cypress Books as the "Best Place to Buy Used Books and Support a Small Local Business." Awesome!

Monday, May 18, 2009

REVIEW - The Condition by Jennifer Haigh

So, I picked this book up on the high praise of The Onion's AV Club, a website I spend entirely too much time on. Here's what I thought:

The Condition - Jennifer Haigh. This novel is revolves around a dysfunctional New England family. The story opens in 1976 with the timeworn ritual of the summer vacation on the Cape. The story purports to revolve around the daughter Gwen's "condition", a genetic, chromosomal abnormality that will keep her tiny her whole life. However, Turner's Syndrome seems to affect all members of the McKotch/Drew family seem to suffer not from a lack of physical development, but mental and emotional growth. The father is a cliched oversexed professor who studies his family from a scientifically. The mother is a passive/aggressive prude. The oldest son is a closeted homosexual. The daughter is not so much limited by her genetic condition as her mother and father issues and her frankly, dull outlook on life. The youngest son is a middle aged stoner whose job and family are a bad joke. In all, the book is filled with unlikeable people who frankly, need to grow up. This is a classic tragic-family-secret book, ironically beautifully written. However, the self-absorbed, dull characters and especially the neatly wrapped up ending culminating with a cheap shot of September 11, made this book an unsatisfying read. C-

Frankly, I should have relied less on the official AV Club review and more on the comments section: "It does sound like a Lifetime movie."

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Party On!

Jumping on the party bandwagon with Oak Street Cafe and Queen of the Ball Snoballs.

Party set for this Sunday evening, from 6-9 and will include music, food and drinks. Come on down and enjoy our new road, sidewalks, benches, and bike racks!

Thursday, May 7, 2009

What's Happening . . .

This is the group email that went out this week . . .

Greetings and Salutations! Check out what's new and happening at Blue Cypress Books -

~ Be our "FAN" on Facebook! We love to stay in touch and you can send your book thoughts thataway.

~ Blue Cypress Books' book club will meet May 31st at 4:00 to discuss Marjane Satrapi's "Persepolis."

~ Every day new books arrive. As always, they are in the gentlest used condition with exceptionally affordable prices. Fill up your "Frequent Reader" card for free books. Don't forget we both buy and trade books!

~And as most are aware, Oak Street is still undergoing serious renovation. Our deepest thanks to those that continue to support our business and the businesses of Oak Street. Rumor has it, we are still in for another four weeks of renovation so stay tuned!

And as always, we continue to being committed to providing New Orleans with high quality and affordable used and rare books.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Oak Street Renovations

Thanks so much to everyone who has checked in on me since Monday's Oak Street Renovation article:

What I'd like to know now, is who ran off with the cobblestone? The much ballyhooed cobblestone strip running up the middle of Oak Street was ripped out last week and hauled off. Where did it go and why? Also, why are holes that were dug up three weeks ago and then refilled being dug up again? Something is going wrong with this project and not a word from the Oak Street Association, Fleming Construction, or the City. I for one, would certainly like to know how long I can expect my business to flounder.

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Book Club Information

This month's book club meeting is today. We will be discussing F. Scott Fitzgerald's "The Curious Case of Benjamin Button." Super short story as we wanted to squeeze a meeting in before the chaos of Jazz Fest was upon us all!

Here is a list of the upcoming meeting dates and the books to be discussed:

Sunday, May 31st - Marjane Satrapi "Persepolis"
Sunday, June 30th - Richard Price "Lush Life"
Sunday, July 26th - Robert Olen Butler "A Good Scent From a Strange Mountain"
Sunday, August 30th - Italo Calvino "The Baron in the Trees"
Sunday, September 27th - Cormac McCarthy's "The Road"
Sunday, October 25th - Truman Capote "Other Voices/Other Rooms"

I'll be trying to gather copies of the above books. Just send an email or call if you'd like to reserve any copies.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

The Onion's Many Layers

I'm a huge fan of the The Onion's AV section, especially the film reviews. And while I check out the book reviews, I've sometimes found it lacking. Recently disappointing was the Best-Of-The-End-Of-The-Year selections. Not that the books weren't worthy, it's just there were so few of them. The selection of about 8 books to the about 20 Best-Of-Film showed a lack of effort to take books as seriously as film and music. Well, this is a great start to making up for the past:

Fellow Blue Cypress Book clubbers, please note the introductory selection . . .

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Vacuuming will set you free?

I'm giving Joyce Carol Oates work another try. I'd really disliked her past work, not the style or story, just the bleakness of it all. However, several of her recent works have appeared on my reading shelf, so not unlike Phillip Roth, I'm willing to give this author another shot.

Also, just checked out this interview which made me wonder: who would win a fistfight, Oates or Didion?

Thursday, April 9, 2009

NPR thoughts

This morning's NPR reports kept leading to book related thoughts. Surprise.

First there was segment regarding "brown fat", specifically on weight loss. Now, I don't give a flying Snickers about weight, as I've long accepted the extra padding my kids gifted me with. But what caught my interest was the reference to mitochondria. I fondly remembered the first time I'd heard of mitochondria - Madeline L'Engle's "A Wind in the Door", the book that followed her award-winning "A Wrinkle in Time." L'Engle's children's novels were awesome in that they never presumed to talk down to young adults. She made learning about science an adventure.

Also, NPR interviewed Sandra Cisnarios this morning on the 25th Anniversary of her novel "The House on Mango Street." I always felt this book was especially relevant on the idea of home versus the place one lives. I haven't read this one in so long, but feel I'm ready to pick it up again.

Friday, April 3, 2009

Favorite Find of the Day

Was able to crack open another box today (thanks road work for all the free time!) and was super pleased to find it filled with vintage children's books. Children's literature is a favorite of mine, thanks to a childhood filled with a lot of time on my hands and unfettered access to the public library.

I was most happy to pull out of the box, Astrid Lindgren's "Of Course Polly Can Ride A Bike." Most readers will recall Lindgren's unforgettable character Pippilotta Delicatessa Windowshade Mackrelmint Ephraimsdaughter Longstocking, otherwise known as Pippi Longstocking. I couldn't get enough of Pippi with her emotional and physical strength and her intelligence. She was mocking, scarcastic and often rude to those adults she was forced to interact with but was also, so much fun and truly a good friend. I was forever trying to make my own braids jut sideways from my head, but I was weird like that anyway.

Lindgren's personality shines on in "Of Course Polly Can Ride A Bike" as Polly channels Pippi's spunk to prove she can ride a bicycle like her older brother and sister. The illustrations are so bright and complete the story.

Thursday, April 2, 2009

Boxes upon boxes.

Some may know I'd been gathering books for years in order to get this place up and running. Two storage units later, I have my little bookstore with rapidly filling shelves. Unfortunately, the back store room is filled with precariously piled boxes threatening to engulf any who venture into the catacombs. Well I've stopped procrastinating (thanks massive construction!) and am finally cracking open these boxes, some containing books I haven't seen in years.
There are some really solid books in there (if I do say so myself) but I had a few favorites today. First, I found a copy of Dylan Thomas' Under Milk Wood, a play for "voice", later adapted for stage and film. While, I'm a fan of Thomas' work, I'm also a fan of Folio Society books. I just love the quality and the slipcases are a nice touch.
And, though I burn water, I was excited to find a stack of regional interest cookbooks, especially Tony Chachere's recipe for Wild Cherry Bounce, consisting of wild cherries, sugar, and bourbon. How could that combination be a bad thing?

Looking forward to tomorrow's finds . . .

Thursday, March 26, 2009

We'll eat you up, we love you so.

The first trailer for Where the Wild Things Are, based on Maurice Sendak's children's classic about the terribly naughty Max who creates his own wild world where he can be king. Oh boy, is this going to be either totally creepy in a magical, otherworldly way, or way to sad and dark for the audience Max was created for. Holding my breath that it's the first. Don't disappoint me Mr. Jonze.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Sunday, March 22, 2009

$7 Million Dollar Man?

The AP is reporting former president George W. Bush will write a book, tentatively called "Decision Points," to be published in 2010. Rather than writing an autobiography, Bush "will concentrate on about a dozen personal and presidential choices," such as his selection of Dick Cheney as vice president, sending troops to Iraq, and his response to Huricane Katrina. “I want people to understand the environment in which I was making decisions. I want people to get a sense of how decisions were made and I want people to understand the options that were placed before me,” he told AP. Rumor has it, the cost of Bush's insight on the failures over the last eight years is $7,000,000.

Friday, March 20, 2009

Uncle Tom's Cabin

March 20, 1852, Harriet Beecher Stowe's "Uncle Tom's Cabin" is published, provoking a wave of hatred against slavery, as well as the publication of 30 books defending the "peculiar institution." The novel becomes the first to sell a million copies and becomes the best selling book of the 19th Century. The power of the word.

Thursday, March 19, 2009

BCB Updates

Greetings and Salutations! Check out what's new and happening at Blue Cypress Books besides the massive Oak Street construction -

~Saturday, March 21 at 3:30, Louis Maistros will be signing his new book "The Sound of Building Coffins." Check out the great reviews, here and here. This will be much fun and all are welcome!

~ Sunday, March 29, 2009 at 4:00, Blue Cypress Books' book club will meet to discuss Katherine Dunn's "Geek Love." It's not too late to grab a copy and join an always insightful discussion group.

~ Every day new books arrive. As always, they are in the gentlest used condition with exceptionally affordable prices. Fill up your "Frequent Reader" card for free books!

~ And as many have noticed, Oak Street is undergoing serious renovation. Please know side street parking is still available, the sidewalks are free and clear, and all Oak Street businesses are open! And kids off all sizes love watching the work, so on that note, Children’s' Books are discounted 10% until further notice!

~ Need a recommendation? We love to make suggestions! Also, check out the front bookcase for Blue Cypress Books "Recommends."

~ We don't have it in right now? Leave your request and you will have first dibs when it arrives. Out-of-print or hard to find? Let us take a crack at it!

And as always, we continue to being committed to providing New Orleans with high quality and affordable used and rare books.

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Not as bad as it looks.

Okay, it's pretty bad. The City has finally begun the much talked about and little done Oak Street renovation. The good - parking is still available on the side streets and upon completion, Oak Street will look amazing. The bad - no parking on Oak for the first two blocks of Carrollton. The ugly - the six foot prison fencing blocking the sidewalks from the street and renovations aren't expected to be complete for two months.

I haven't decided what kind of discount to offer, but rest assured there will be a nice one should you brave the road construction. Remember, little kids love work trucks. That's it! A discount on all Children's Books starting right now!

Saturday, March 7, 2009

Window displays

My window displays may not always be the most creative, but they certainly shouldn't be offensive.

Today's events

Today, March 7th, Nyame Adama Selassie will be reading, discussing and signing her book "Moon Womb Lodge Offerings." The event will start here at 6. Come on down and join us for a conversation and wine.

Friday, February 27, 2009

Back to work!

Still have beads all over the house and work but I guess it's time to get back to work. Just updated the calendar (look over there, no, to the right) and have some great events scheduled!

Sunday, February 22, 2009

"Mardi Gras makes me tired."

One of the drawbacks to running your own business, is the conflict between needing to be at the shop versus anything but work. The little ones' faces when I told them no parades on Saturday was enough to make me delay opening the store until Tucks had stopped rolling.

Back on track today with regular hours thanks to Ms. B, but make no guarantees for the next three days, other than definitely closed on Mardi Gras. May stagger in on Lundi Gras afternoon depending on much I enjoy Bacchus. Ash Wednesday same as before only probably even later in the afternoon.

Sorry for the lack of professionalism but as my mister says "Everyone should get a pass during Carnival."

Give me a call at 352-0096 to see if I've stumbled in and a Happy Mardi Gras to all!

***Title courtesy of my 3 year old.

Friday, February 20, 2009

Funny Books

Abebooks just listed the Top 10 Funniest Books According to the British. Our little known New Orleans book made the list:

Right Ho, Jeeves by P.G. Wodehouse
Catch -22 by Joseph Heller
The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy by Douglas Adams
Three Men in a Boat by Jerome K Jerome
Wilt by Tom Sharpe
A Confederacy of Dunces by John Kennedy Toole
Lucky Jim by Kingsley Amis
The Code of the Woosters by P.G. Wodehouse
Bridget Jones's Diary by Helen Fielding
Adolf Hitler: My Part in His Downfall by Spike Milligan

People often ask me if they would "get" Toole's book if they don't live in New Orleans, well, clearly one doesn't have to even live in the country to find the humor of it all.

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Books for disaster times

I received a very kind email from a friend under the heading "Books for Bushfire Relief" from another booklover's blog regarding donations to the Australian bush fire victims.

I quote the blogger: ". . . a writer by the name of Tali Lavi is organising a project involving books being donated to victims of the Victorian bush fires. She is also asking writers to donate signed copies of their books. So if you are a published writer with spare copies to hand, or anyone with some spare books about the house, please think of donating." The writer Tali says "I've been wondering what I can do for those people who have been affected by the terrible fires that have raged through Victoria. There are so many stories of devastating loss and those fortunate to be left with their lives are lacking any possessions." Tali goes on to seek donations in order that "our stories and the stories of others will help them to see through the smoke and transport them to other, more beautiful, places than the ones they might occupy now."

Okay, here's my problem. Sending books to people in disaster areas is a mistake. The teeming towers swaying overhead in the flooded and gutted East New Orleans Regional library illuminated the futility and uselessness of STUFF in terrible times. In my humble opinion, the library would have been better served with a check rather than a box of paperback John Grishoms and the cost to ship same. Can use books when there are no floors, no walls, no shelves.

Australians would be better served by donating money to a recognized and respectible charity.

Friday, January 30, 2009

What I Read - January 2009

The following are the books that peaked my random interests this month . . .

~Curious Men by Frank Buckland. This arrived as part of McSweeney's Book Release Club. This book is part of the Collins Library, a series of newly edited and typeset editions of unusual out-of-print books. I'm really digging the Collins Library reprints (especially English As She Is Spoke, and To Ruhleben - And Back by Geoffrey Pike, and Banvard's Folly: Tales of Renowned Obscurity, Famous Anonymity, and Rotten Luck by Paul Collins). Curious Men is a series of 18 essays regarding the side show types of freaks that so obsessed large portions of Victorian Londoners. Buckland is at very matter-of-fact when describing the fossilized mermaid, guano mummy, and especially the man who walked upside down. Not every story is compelling but still a fascinating glimpse at a freakish past.

~Lolita by Vladimir Nabokov. There probably isn't much I could say about this book that hasn't been said before (and much has been said, here and here and here). I was unprepared for the total awesomeness of this novel. My youngest son has been determined to have me read my own books to him and Lolita was by far my favorite read-out-loud book. Stunning sentences, tripped off the tongue. My only regret is I didn't read this book sooner.

~The Book of Lost Things by Michael Connolly. I'd had this on my Shelfari wish list for sometime now based upon The Onion review. Well, the book finally arrived this month and only took two days to read. Connolly is known for his adult criminal thriller books, however, The Book of Lost Things, falls more on the side of young adult fiction. The story delves into that special time when childhood is left behind but adulthood is still far away. Twelve-year-old, David, who is thrust into a world where stories and fairy tales assume an often gruesome reality. David's childhood fell apart upon the death of his mother, the start of WWII, his father's remarriage, and his stepmother's pregnancy. As David withdraws into himself, a physical land of beasts and monsters opens to him. While the quest tale is familiar, paying homage to the great fairy tales and legends, Connolly makes this fantasy world something so much darker and frightening. I was mesmerized by David's tale, and passed this on to my teenager.

The New Kings of Nonfiction - Edited by Ira Glass. I'd read anything with Ira's name on it, see below blog for my somewhat creepy love of all things Ira. Thankfully the book was full totally great works of Nonfiction (hence the name, right?). While all the articles were great, I really enjoyed my first taste of Michael Pollen. His following a calf from birth to meat/consumption was so information and complete. I really appreciated his lack of shock, and just-the-facts ma'am style. Also, even more sorry for the death of David Foster Wallace. I didn't always enjoy his fiction, he was a great nonfiction writer and his complete analysis of the Talk-Radio world was something that I've cited at least three times this month. And while I didn't know most of what the poker guy was talking about, I certainly felt his passion and was rooting for him in the end. Thanks Ira, edit something else, I'm sure I'll love it.

The Year of Living Biblically (One Man's Humble Quest to Follow the Bible as Literally as Possible) by A. J. Jacobs. Appealing to those with a philosophical, historical, and religious bent in addition to being quite funny. This was a strange one in that I liked reading the book but I'm not really sure what I got out of it. I kinda got the feeling Jacobs wasn't sure what he got out of it either. Compare this one to The Know it All (One Man's Humble Quest to Become the Smartest Person in the World by A. J. Jacobs or Confederates in the Attic by Tony Horowitz.

Digging to America by Anne Tyler. I often look to Tyler for stability. I trust her books will take me into other lives, not necessarily so different from my own, and handle them with respect and care. She is simply, just a really nice writer and didn't disappoint me with this work. Read most anything else, although, The Accident Tourist, Back When We Were Grownups, Breathing Lessons and A Patchwork Planet are a few of my favorites.

The Sound of Building Coffins - Louis Maistros. I am SO lucky to have received this as my first official Blue Cypress Books Advanced Reading Copy. From the back: "It is 1891 in New Orleans, and a young Typhus Morningstar cycles under the light of the half-moon to fulfill his calling, rebirthing aborted fetuses in the fecund waters of the Mississippi River. He cannot know that nearby, events are unfolding that will change his life forever - events that were set in motion by a Vodou curse gone wrong, forty years before he was born." All the characters' lives are interwoven with each other, no one further away from another by more than one degree of separation, an all too real New Orleans phenomenon. This novel has so many elements, compelling story, music, love, hate, and true heartbreak. The story's greatest strength is the literal water rebirth and the redemption that hopes to follow, something intimately known by New Orleanians. With elements of Katrina indelibly on this book, I'd love to know if the author, a previously unpublished writer, had this book in mind before The Storm or if it only came into being post Storm. Maistros' book is this month's favorite read (okay, second but only to Lolita). So glad this one was sent my way. Look for the official release this month!

What's ahead: I swore that upon opening the store, I wouldn't make a pile, okay a HUGE pile, of books for myself. So far, so good. I put on my little shelf behind my desk the following: Indignation - Phillip Roth (signed!); A Mercy - Toni Morrison (signed!!); Villa Incognito - Tom Robbins; The Painted Bird - Jerzy Kosinski; Created in Darkness by Troubled Americans (The Best of McSweeney's Humor Category); Vernon God Little - DBC Pierre; The Monster of Florence - Douglas Preston w/Mario Spezi; Maus - Art Spiegleman; How to Lie With Statistics - Darrell Huff; Sway (The Irrestible Pull of Irrational Behavior); Principia Discordia; 1 Dead in Attic (Updated) - Chris Rose. Whew! Sure to get all that reading done next month, right? Stay tuned . . .

Thursday, January 29, 2009


Anyone who has known me for a few minutes, probably knows of my undying love for one Mr. Ira Glass. A little taste for the uninitiated (Babysitting). I even named a cat after him (R.I.P. dear dear Ira). Well, The Onion (another favorite) has a new article re: the release of the TV version of This American Life. I actually purchased the 1st season some time ago but have been way to busy to watch it so I will reserve comment for on the experimental radio/tv show idea. I'm leaning towards this being a good thing as I've been blessed enough to have seen Ira in person not once, but twice! Once in D.C. and another, when Ira did a live version of his show here in NOLA a few months before HK. Anyway, just wanted to reiterate my deep and abiding affection for Mr. Glass. *Sigh*

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Mississippi ahead on Katrina Cottages . . . and fraud?

Miss. Mayor Indicted on Katrina Fraud Charges

JACKSON, Miss. (AP) -- The mayor of a Mississippi city hit hard by Hurricane Katrina has been indicted after federal officials say he filed a false claim for disaster assistance. The indictment alleges Warr and his wife, Laura, sought a grant for a hurricane-damaged beachfront house they did not live in. Gulfport is on the coast about 80 miles east of New Orleans. The Warrs pleaded not guilty Wednesday. Charges include conspiring to defraud the federal government and filing a false claim for disaster assistance. Brent Warr is the highest-ranking municipal official indicted for Katrina fraud to date.

Now taking bets on how soon an NOLA official is indicted . . .

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

John Updike 1932-2009

Prolific, two-time Pulitzer Prize-winning novelist John Updike has died of lung cancer at the age of 76. Updike died at a hospice not far from his home in Beverly Farms, Mass. Several of his works wound up in Hollywood hands, The Witches of Eastwick. Updike's final work, My Father's Tears and Other Stories, his first collection of new short fiction since 2000, is scheduled for release on June 2.

Monday, January 26, 2009

National Book Critics Circle Finalists

The National Book Critics Circle announced the finalists for its 2008 awards. The winners will be announced on Thursday, March 12, 2009

The complete list can be found here:

Secretary of the Arts

From World Music Central:

Musicians, artists and numerous arts lovers are participating in a campaign to support the creation of a Secretary of the Arts in the United States. The United States is one of the few western democracies that does not have a higher cabinet level minister or secretary in charge of the arts or cultural affairs.

In a recent radio interview with John Schaefer on WNYC’s Soundcheck, renowned musician and producer Quincy Jones mentioned that he plans to request from president elect Barack Obama the creation of a Secretary of the Arts. Quincy Jones’ call for a U.S. secretary of the arts inspired an online petition. “The next conversation I have with President elect Barack Obama is to beg for a secretary of the arts,” he said.

An online petition was started by classical and jazz bassist Jaime Austria, inspired by Quincy Jones' interview. According to Quincy Jones' official website, during his travels Quincy Jones has observed that people in other countries seem to have greater appreciation for American music than Americans. He hopes the creation of a secretary of the arts in the U.S. will help preserve American music and other U.S. arts and ensure that they remain a vital part of American schools’ curriculum.

Sign the online petition here.

Thanks to Funky New Orleans for the email/link!

Saturday, January 24, 2009

Bookmark This

Welcoming this week the Blue Cypress Books Frequent Reader bookmark! Come on in, make a purchase, fill up the little boxes and receive a FREE book.

Also, it's a bookmark and totally does its job.

Thanks to Laredo Printing for helping with the design and for the super fast printing.

Friday, January 23, 2009

Decision of the Day

I'm driving the mister crazy every time I call him excited about some recent Obama Administration decision. So I've decided to just post my favorite Decision of the Day. I'll probably still call him anyway.
This morning, the House approved The Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act (H.R. 11) clarifying that every paycheck or compensation resulting from an earlier discriminatory pay decision constituted a violation under the Civil Rights Act. Workers are now required to file their charges within 180 days of a discriminatory paycheck. This Act is a clear legislative repudiation of the 2007 Supreme Court decision in Ledbetter v. Goodyear, which ruled employees who believe they've been paid less because of their race, sex, religion or national origin (my own note: where's protection for sexual orientation?) have 180 days after an employer makes a discriminatory pay decision to file a complaint with the EEOC.

The SCOTUS decision was impractical (and frankly out of touch with employee reality) considering an employee is rarely privy to the inner workings of the HR department. It often takes time and employee gossip to realize when you've been shafted.

Thanks Lilly for taking this case to court and sorry you didn't get the compensation you deserved. For legal reasons, fairness, and my own personal experience of work place pay discrimination based solely on my sex, this is my favorite Decision of the Day.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Wasn't working too hard yesterday.

Only took my eyes of the Live CNN feed long enough to pull out all the George Bush specific books and put them in the window. They are SERIOUSLY discounted, hell, ask me nice and I'll just give you one or two.

Friday, January 9, 2009

Book club acoming

Per requests, been tossing around time/date/titles for an upcoming book club. Lack of concrete information sound promising to you? Me too! Shoot me an email if you want to know the details as they formed.

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Happy Twelfth Night!

Happy Twelfth Night! Stinks about the rain as I was really looking forward to seeing the Phunny Phorty Phellows roll tonight. Unfortunately the kids don't take too kindly to cruddy weather.

So screw the diet, I want to know (seriously) what local bakery has the best King Cake?

David's House Event

Thanks to Avi for bringing in a flyer on this event. I'd read the article in The Times-Picayune and was moved by Willow's grief and the resulting beauty.

Saturday, January 3, 2009

BCB Updates

* Today is the last day to get 50% off Christmas, Hanukkah, and Yule books.

* We've had so many requests for a Book Club. If you are interested in joining a book club, let me know, and I'll be happy to help get this started.

* Congrats to John * on winning the 3nd drawing of a Blue Cypress Books gift certificate. Come on down to register!

* Need a recommendation? We would love to make suggestions! Check out the front bookcase for New & Notable in addition to Blue Cypress Books "Recommends."

* We don't have it in right now? Leave your request and you will have first dibs when it comes in. Can't wait for the newest thing? We are always glad to place special orders.

And as always, we continue to being committed to providing New Orleans with high quality and affordable secondhand books. Thank you so much for the continued support!

Music & Wine

Today is the day to come on down and hear Laurie McConnell play some beautiful tunes on her harp. Also, thanks to some generous gift giving, I have several bottles of wine to open (thanks to Ms. Kay at On The Other Hand for providing a wine opener as mine has somehow disappeared).

See you from 2-4!