Wednesday, March 28, 2007

We have a cover, Potter fans!

Check it that a key around his neck?

Thanks to Tonyia for the release of the cover and noticing the thing around his neck.

Tuesday, March 27, 2007

Favorite Quote from Recent Literature

Here's a fun exercise I found through Maud Newton's blog.

How about you? Favorite quote from recent literature? Leave it as a comment.


Listen to Seattle favorite Jonathan Raban here. (Thanks to Bookslut for the link.)

Thursday, March 22, 2007

One more mention

Still not convinced you should go see Tom Bissell tonight? Listen to some of his work here.

Tuesday, March 20, 2007

Tom Bissell countdown

Hey, two days left! Bissell, briefly noted.

The Best Way to Make an Afternoon Disappear

Listen here.

Kate Walbert

I really enjoyed the novel Our Kind, Kate Walbert's National Book Award-nominated "novel in stories". Her Cheever-esque, first-person plural narrated book deserved the nomination, even if it was, you know, short and full of white space.

Kate Walbert has a story in this week's New Yorker. Enjoy.

Monday, March 12, 2007

Finals Study Night

Hey, UW students:

Looking for a place to study tomorrow night? Grab your UW ID and head up to University Book Store. We're setting up both quiet and group study areas for you to use from 8:30 - Midnight.

We'll have drip coffee to give away, some snacks...even a prize drawing at 10pm. (Prizes are an iPod shuffle and a $200 University Book Store gift card...and maybe a few others, too.)

UW IDs required. Don't forget 'em.

See you here.

Thursday, March 08, 2007

March 22 • 7pm • Finn McCool's • The Father of All Things

Next Thursday, University Book Store welcomes writer Tom Bissell. We've had a lot of events over the years, but I've never been as excited as I am about this one.

Tom is from Escanaba, Michigan, a town in the Upper Peninsula just about nine miles South of my hometown, Gladstone, Michigan. A few years ago, my mother got a job working for his father. She spoke to Tom on the phone a few times, and once mentioned to him that her son was "sort of a writer, too." Tom was kind enough to humor my dear, wonderful mother, and even said I should drop him a line some time.

I did. Heck, I even sent him a story. Tom took some time with it, made some suggestions—but, most of all, he took the whole thing seriously.

A couple of months later, Tom's first book arrived in stores, and I got a chance to see what he could do with a long piece of prose. (Up to that point, I'd read a couple of short stories and some articles for Harper's.) And...

Well, I've been deeply embarrassed by the fact that I forced him to endure my amateurish scribblings ever since.

Tom is a phenomenal writer, and, as my experience suggests, an incredibly generous person. His work is deeply ambitious, insightful, smart, and damn funny when the opportunity allows. And he's not just an amazing travel writer. His fiction is impressive as well.

We've partnering with Counterbalance Arts to host Tom at Finn MacCool's in the U District, and you won't find a better way to spend a Thursday night.


Check out this very positive Seattle Times review of Tom's book for a less personally invested perspective.

Or this one from the New York Times.

Fremont ad MOHAI gets a nod

I'm linking to this so as to link to the blog of one of my favorite publishers. If you don't know the New York Review Books, go out to their website and take a look at a heck of a good lineup.

Here are five of my favorites:

In the Freud Archive by Janet Malcolm

Witch Grass by Raymond Queneau

Morte D'Urban by J.F. Powers

A Way of Life, Like Any Other by Darcy O'Brien

Selected Stories of Robert Walser

Remember, if you see one we don't carry, we'd be happy to order it for you. Give us a call at 206.634.3400, or 1.800.335.READ from outside the Seattle area, and we'll get a copy for you.

Monday, March 05, 2007

Kiley on Theodore Roethke

A nice story by Brendan Kiley from The Stranger.

Books I am looking forward to shelving

Everybody has their favorites. Me, I like the short story collection. Some really exciting collections are dropping soon, and I can't wait to get my hands on them.

In early April, you'll be able to buy Ben Greenman's new book A Circle Is a Balloon and Compass Both.

McAdam Cage is also publishing a collection by the very funny Jack Pendarvis. It's called Your Body Is Changing.

And as much as I'm looking forward to those books, at least I have other books by both Greenman and Pendarvis to tide me over. McAdam Cage has a third title, a first book by a writer I've been reading online and in journals for a few years now, and I can't tell you how much I look forward to a book filled with nothing but the words of Pia Z. Ehrhardt. Must I wait until June for Famous Fathers? I mean, I will. But, really.

Thank goodness I have Stacey Richter's Twin Study arriving any day now.

Friday, March 02, 2007

I'd rather be reading...

I've been looking forward to this arrival: Nick Mamatas has a new, short novel called Under My Roof, and if I wasn't out in the stacks shelving, I'd be hiding in the stacks reading.

Here's a description:

Under My Roof, based on Archanians by Aristophanes, is the story of telepathic tween Herbert Weinberg, whose father Daniel decides to strike a blow for freedom by building a nuclear device, planting it in the lawn jockey in his front yard, and declaring independence from the United States.

The Long Island household is predictably turned upside down. Mother is out, a local weatherman is in, and he becomes both a hostage and Minister of Information. Though troops surround the belligerent ranch house-state, the appeal of independence becomes too much for many. A daring raid to kidnap Herb and bring him back to his mother snatches the boy prince from his ancestral home. Meanwhile, the house is filling up with former American refuseniks. Can the refrigerator hold out?

However, the seed has already been planted. All over America, people are declaring their independence, and simply by traveling from lawn to lawn across "the country", Herbert is able to reunite with his father and defeat American imperialism with a final burst of his telepathic powers.

Viva Soft Skull Press!

(Ahem. Please buy the book from us. Not from any one of the other links on that SSP page.)

Speaking of Daniel Alarcón

He's one of the Best Young American Novelists.

Daniel Olivas left a link to a review of Lost City Radio in our comments section, which reminded me that I had intended to add a link to an interview Olivas conducted with Alarcón for The Elegant Variation.

(And here's a page of links to some fine short fiction by Mr. Olivas.)

The list includes a few other writers I really like: Kevin Brockmeier (who I interviewed here), Judy Budnitz, Yiyun Li (who was fantastic when she read here), Maile Meloy (ditto), ZZ Packer, Karen Russell, and Gary Shteyngart.

tell all your friends!