Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Fup R.I.P.

We at University Book Store are sad to hear about the passing of Fup, store cat at our good neighbor to the south, Powell's books.

Friday, October 26, 2007

Local Writer/Redhead/Coffee Enthusiast has dilemma

Miss Mead thinks she has it tough? At least she gets a choice. Your ol' pal The Shelver will be handed a pile of books and pointed in one direction or the other basically at random.

Thursday, October 25, 2007

Former President Bill Clinton

Hi. Here's a vague update. We apologize for the lack of specific details at this time.

Yes, Clinton will be in store to sign copies of his book, Giving on November 1. Yes, just a signing.

No, we haven't verified all the details yet, but will be able to in the next couple of days.

Please be patient with us. This opportunity fell into our laps with very little warning.


So, here are all the signing guidelines, from the Events team:

Former President Bill Clinton will visit University Book Store as part of his national book tour for Giving. He will be signing copies of his new book for readers beginning at 8pm. Giving: How Each of Us Can Change the World is an inspiring look at how individual endeavors can save lives and solve problems, and it offers compelling examples of citizen activism at work in the world today. A portion of President Clinton's proceeds from the book will be donated to charities and nonprofits that are doing their part to change the world. When you come to University Book Store to purchase a copy of Giving, you will receive a voucher. Hang on to it and when you arrive at the signing, you will be given a wristband to stand in the signing line. Your book will be available then. It is important to arrive early, as there will be a limited number of wristbands. Having a signing ticket is NOT a guarantee of getting a book signed. President Clinton’s time will be limited, and only customers with wristbands will have the opportunity to get a signed book.

Signing Guidelines:

* NO items will be permitted in line past bag check. (No cameras, pens, photos, other books, gifts, phones, etc.)
* One wristband equals one signing.
* All items/bags must be checked. We are not responsible for lost or stolen items.
* Only copies of Giving will be signed.
* Signing guidelines are subject to change.

Please Note:

Giving book vouchers are available only at the U District store. To receive a voucher, you must purchase the book in person. Phone orders and web orders are NOT eligible for the voucher, and we cannot place vouchers on hold. Vouchers are limited to one per customer.

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

I'd rather be reading...

I'd always rather be reading, but today more than usual. One of the undisputed masters of the short story form, the one and only William Trevor, has a new book called Cheating at Canasta.

What's to say, really. It's William Trevor. Of all living writers, he's the most direct descendant to the Anton Chekhov, the father of the short story. My opinion, anyway.

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

I'd rather be reading...

Pictures above, three books. Three wondrous, beautiful books. I walked through the stacks today, and sort of grabbed at whatever caught my eye.

I'd rather be reading any one of them.

First is The Principles of Uncertainty by Maira Kalman, she who recently illustrated the Strunk and White quite fetchingly. PoU is a lovely little year in the life of Maira Kalman's thought processes. It's all whimsical pictures and words in her inimitable style, a journey into her brain as it associates and creates.

Next is Shalom Auslander's memoir, Foreskin's Lament. It seems that Auslander has been everywhere recently. (Or, in the New York Times a lot, anyway.) I'll just say, I really loved Beware of God. I look forward to this one, too.

That colorful little book is Maggots, a graphic novel by Lightning Bolt drummer Brian Chippendale. He's a bit odd. So is his work.

Three things, calling me from the shelves. Asking me to sit down and read. And not shelve. But I shelve. I am the Shelver.

Thursday, October 18, 2007

Space Dogs of the Week

(photo from the NASA archives and in the public domain)

We didn't have any visiting dogs this week, so instead we're going old school. Meet Belka and Strelka, two of the at least 57 dogs the Soviet Union shot into space for orbital flights.

Unlike their much more famous predecessor, Laika, Belka and Strelka made it back to Earth. Later, one of Strelka's puppies was given to John Kennedy's daughter Caroline. So they did their level best to put cracks in the Iron Curtain.

And so, here's to all the Soviet space dogs.

The scientist who trained Laika said:

"Work with animals is a source of suffering to all of us. We treat them like babies who cannot speak. The more time passes, the more I’m sorry about it. We shouldn’t have done it. We did not learn enough from the mission to justify the death of the dog."

Laika was the subject of a story by John Haskell. Follow this link to listen to it.

Also, we had a really interesting Space Race-related event a couple of weeks back. If you're curious about the subject, you might pick up a copy of Red Moon Rising: Sputnik and the Hidden Rivalries That Ignited the Space Age.

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

We'll miss ya, John

If you are a regular at University Book Store, you probably recognize the gentleman above. That's John. He worked at the store for 36 years.

John retired on Tuesday. All of us will miss him quite a bit.

Somewhere in Seattle, John is sitting in a chair reading Our Mutual Friend. It is our fondest wish that the chair is very comfortable and the book is engaging.

Anyone with a John story is encouraged to share it in the comments field.

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Email Cleanup Campaign

Hey, if you received an email from University Book Store asking you to click through and tell us if you'd like to remain on our mailing list, offering a coupon and a chance to win an iPod, we wanted to assure you that it's legitimate.

We've received a few responses from people trying to find out whether it's real, or someone phishing. It's us.

That said, if you receive an email that leads you to a page with an address that isn't from one of the following addresses:


that isn't us. And we just want you to verify your email and tell us what stuff you'd like us to tell you about (Husky gear sales, upcoming events, etc.). We won't ask for any info that might compromise your identity.

Monday, October 15, 2007

Looking ahead to 2008...

We're not precisely sure what the date will be, but sometime in early February of 2008, we will be holding a Proust get-together. A number of the booksellers at our U District store decided that January would be a good month to dip into In Search of Lost Time/Remembrance of Things Past, and we'd love it if our regular event goers an customers would join in.

If you're up for it, watch this blog and our website for updates. Pick up a copy of Swann's Way (whichever translation looks good to you), read it, and come out ready to talk about one of the 20th century's most important and ambitious literary achievements. Bonus points to anyone who comes having read all seven volumes!

Thursday, October 11, 2007

Dog of the Week

This is Jeb. He's a hound dog. He doesn't care for modeling.

I took thirteen pictures of Jeb. A lot of them are just blurry shots of body parts. But here are three that are in focus. I think that you can make a mental composite of Jeb by combining the three.

Hound dogs always make me think of William Faulkner. Maybe I'll read some Faulkner tonight...

Tuesday, October 02, 2007

I'd rather be reading...

I think if I had the time to be reading right now, I'd be checking out the new collection of stories by Jim Shepard, Like You'd Understand, Anyway.

Can we all agree that Jim Shepard is one of the five best short story writers in America?

No? Yes? Maybe?

Well, I like him a whole lot, anyway.

tell all your friends!