Saturday, December 30, 2006

A short vacation

I'll be away from my shelving duties for the next few weeks. If, readers, you are amenable, though, I would be happy to regale you with book/writing-related tales from the road, as I will be attending a residency at Warren Wilson College, where I am, in between shelving, pursuing an MFA in creative writing.

That's right. I'm on my way to Fiction Summer (or, in this case, Winter) Camp!

Saturday, December 23, 2006

Friday, December 22, 2006

A potpourri of books

KBooks, originally uploaded by ubs_blogger.

Here's a list from Kathy who buys for Gardening, Humor, Sports, and the Stuff on Cats sections of the stores:

When War Played Through: Golf During World War II by John Strege.

Four More Wars by Mike Luckovich.

Panda Cam: A Nation Watches Tai Shan the Panda Cub Grow by The Friends of the National Zoo.

Ask Ciscoe: Oh, La, La! Your Gardening Questions Answered by Ciscoe Morris.

The Heart of the Game: Life Lessons On and Off the Court by Bill Resler.

And, of course:

Stuff On My Cat: The Book by Mario Garza.

Books for the kids...

It can be hard finding the right book for the youngest people on your shopping list. Lucky for you, our Kids' department has booksellers passionate about books, and eager to help you find the perfect gift. Here's the list they compiled for the blog. Think of it as the point from which to jump into the sea of worthwhile classic and contemporary children's books:

An Egg Is Quiet by Dianna Aston.

Hattie Big Sky by Kirby Larson.

Millions by Frank Boyce Cottrell.

A Northern Light by Jennifer Donnelly.

Owen & Mzee by Isabella Hatkoff.

Three Tales of My Father's Dragon by Ruth Stiles Gannett.

And here's a left-field sort of pick:

Baby-gami: Baby Wrapping for Beginners by Andrea Sarvady.

Some fiction picks

Blind Willow, Sleeping Woman by Haruki Murakami.

Gallatin Canyon by Tom McGuane.

The Other Side of the Bridge by Mary Lawson.

The Lost Art of Keeping Secrets by Eva Rice.

Black Swan Green by David Mitchell.

And some Mysteries:

What Came Before He Shot Her by Elizabeth George.

Ten Second Staircase by Christopher Fowler.

Dead Hour by Denise Mina.

Some more suggestions

This list was put together by Stuart, our art buyer.

(Felt donuts also make great gifts, by the bye.)

Ellis Island: Ghosts of Freedom by Stephen Wilkes. Photos of Ellis Island, for your history buff friends. Or for your tired. Your poor. Your huddled masses. Those folks.

Geek Logik: 50 Foolproof Equations for Everyday Life by Garth Sundem. Finally, a book that gives you the right equation to solve when asking yourself questions like: "Should I call in sick?"

U2 by U2. Not included in this definitive history of the band U2 by the band U2? This.

Modest Mouse: A Pretty Good Read by Alan Goldsher. A good book for people who love bad books.

Hand Puppets by Paul Klee.

The Little Book of Hindu Deities: From The Goddess Of Wealth To The Sacred Cow by Sanjay Patel. Because before you know it, Makar Sankranti will be here! Get your kites now!

Last minute

Not much time left, shoppingwise. Tonight is the last night of Hanukkah. Christmas arrives soon. Boxing Day. And you've long since missed St. Nicholas Day. Maybe you're putting all the shopping off because you still—still!—don't know what to get for friends and family.

That's okay. The expert booksellers at University Book Store can help. I asked a few of them to come up with lists of great books to give as gifts. I'll be posting the lists throughout the day.

First up, Jay, our lead book buyer.

Destination Art by Amy Dempsey. This beautiful book collects the 200 greatest public and environmental art sites from around the world. It even briefly mentions The Garden of Eden in Lucas, Kansas, a place I've been many times.

The Lost Thoughts of Soldiers by Delia Falconer, a brief but beautiful Civil War novel.

Blood and Thunder by Hampton Sides.

The Dark Side of the Moon: The Magnificent Madness of the American Lunar Quest by Gerard J. DeGroot. Contrary to popular belief, when you read this book and The Wizard of Oz at the same time, they don't sync up.

Swithering by Robin Robertson. Of this book of poetry, John Banville said: "Robertson's genius for exact and gorgeous imagery, his dazzling metaphorical gift, and the knottiness of his thinking ... runs through the syntax of the verse like a bead of Metaphysical quicksilver."

More soon...

Thursday, December 07, 2006

Nick's December Pick

paintedveil, originally uploaded by ubs_blogger.

Every month, our own Nick DiMartino chooses his favorite recent title and crafts a more indepth review than our regular staff favorites.

His December pick? The Painted Veil by W. Somerset Maugham .

Here's what Nick says about it:

"Kitty doesn’t know how to love. She’s about to learn the hard way.

"Beautiful, wealthy, spoiled Kitty Garstin doesn’t love the young doctor, Walter Fane, but he’s a chance to get married before her younger sister, a chance to get away to Hong Kong.

"There she meets handsome Charlie Townsend and is swept into a passionate affair.

"Now Kitty has a choice – either get a divorce and ruin Charlie’s marriage and career, or accompany her husband to the remote Chinese province of Mei-tan-fu, in the deadly grips of an outbreak of cholera.

"The new film stars Naomi Watts and Edward Norton. Let’s read the book, see the movie, and discuss them both."

Wednesday • December 27 • 7pm
Conference Room
University Book Store

Tuesday, December 05, 2006

The YWCA Giving Trees

In the spirit of the holiday season, University Book Store is proud to host YWCA Giving Trees at three of our locations. On each, you will find ornaments with requests for gifts from locals in need.

Please consider stopping by our U District, Mill Creek, or Bellevue stores and purchasing something for our communities homeless, victims of domestic abuse, or at-risk youth. The YWCA of Seattle • King County • Snohomish County has asked for warm clothes, art supplies, and new books for adults or kids, which they will distribute this year here in the Puget Sound.

Here's how it works.

• Pick and ornament from the tree.

• Find the product it requests. If you need help, feel free to ask a staff member.

• Bring it to any register for purchase, and University Book Store will take care of the rest.

Your generosity will be appreciated. Thank you.

And Happy Holidays from University Book Store and the YWCA.

For more information, please contact University Book Store at 206.634.3400 or the YWCA of Seattle • King County • Snohomish County on the web at or via phone at 206.461.4451.

Friday, December 01, 2006

Kevins, Literary terms, and my messy, messy hair

I can't help but notice that if you take my hair, and put it on Portland author and bookseller Kevin Sampsell (who has a really funny new Book Pusher that you should read), you get "I'd rather be reading" author Kevin Moffett. Observe:

Hair+Samps=Moff, originally uploaded by ubs_blogger.

I'd rather be reading.

Moffett, originally uploaded by ubs_blogger.

Given my druthers, I'd be reading right now. And if I was reading, I'd be reading Permanent Visitors by shaggy author Kevin Moffett.

I'd be reading it for two reasons. One is that is won the John Simmons Short Fiction Award from University of Iowa Press, and I am a Hawkeye through and through. The other is that the book is blurbed by one of my favorite writers, Padgett Powell. Here's what he says:

"Mr. Moffett writes with a precision when things get somber that suggests old John Fogerty's bad moon rising. It's the power of true things said truly, and I think this power will grow."

tell all your friends!