Thursday, February 28, 2008

Dog of the Week

Quick one, here. This is Sophie. She's awesome.

Monday, February 25, 2008

A brand new video from Booker

Go to our New and Used Books page to see Booker T. Owl's most ambitious video yet. We're awfully proud of it.

Friday, February 22, 2008

And the Oscar Goes To....

One of our youngest booksellers couldn't contain his excitement about Sunday night's Oscar celebration (note the drool-bedewed trophy in his hand)! Blix's money is on Juno.

A Bunch of Literary Links

Black Hole, a graphic novel by local favorite Charles Burns (reading at the store on February 26, will be made into a film by David Fincher.

John Updike on The Complete Novels of Flann O'Brien, which includes At Swim-Two-Birds, one of my favorite novels.

The 2008 Tournament of Books begins soon. I'm rooting for the Junot Diaz (my favorite book of 2007), but am really happy to see Jeff Parker's novel Ovenman in the list. The Tournament of Books is styled on the NCAA Basketball Tournament, and Parker's book's inclusion reminds me of my early college days, spent at a small school that (at the time) often found itself in swept up in March Madness.

Douglas Wolk on the graphic novels of Eric Shanower.

• The Stranger on David Shields' fantastic new book.

Thursday, February 21, 2008

Dog of the Week

Up above is Nila, a mere pup. Cute as a button, that one.

She's a wee black lab. Much like the narrator of the new book The Labrador Pact.

Ah, a book narrated by the family dog! There's a popular conceit. Here's a game: make a list of books with dog narrators. Go!

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Charles Baxter

Tomorrow night, our U District store will be hosting an event by Charles Baxter.

His new book, The Soul Thief is a really fine piece of work: a novel about the nature of one's biography and who owns whose story. Loved it.

Come out and see him.


Here's a review of Baxter's new novel by James Marcus.

And here's another from our own Seattle Times.

Friday, February 15, 2008

Dog of the Week

Valentine's Day knocked Dog of the Week to Friday, but he's here. This is Deuce. Pretty fella, isn't he? Kind of looks like he has plans and schemes hatching behind those eyes.

Makes you want to read some books about the brain, doesn't. Well, by gum, we've got some. And we've got some on sale, too!

Here are three titles from our Neuroscience section that are (at least as of today, February 15, 2008) on sale:

This Is Your Brain on Music by Daniel Levitin: usually $15, on sale for $12

Musicophilia by Oliver Sacks: usually $26, on sale for $20.80

Proust was a Neuroscientist by Jonah Lehrer: usually $24, on sale for $19.20

The sale price are NOT permanent, though, so order by phone or online, or stop by the store today.

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Valentine's Day

Thinking about the bookstore's staff, it occurred to one of our booksellers that we've managed—as a company—to bring together a number of couples. If you survey the staff, you'll find quite a few relationships that started when eyes met in the book stacks. (The Valentine of The Shelver, your humble narrator, was met right here in the store,
for example.) Heck, a few of us have even tied knots and had kids with fellow booksellers.

We would like to suggest that you consider—if you find yourself single on this couple-y sort of holiday—University Book Store a place to look for love as well as literature.

Think about it: the place is awash in romance. Every shelf teems with it. Here's a list of some of the staff's favorite literary romances:

Pride and Prejudice (Of course.)

Northanger Abbey


Oscar and Lucinda

The Time Traveler's Wife

Venus in Furs (Ummm...okeedokee. Why not!)

George and Martha

The History of Love

Who Do You Love

Lucky You

Gaudy Night

Bel Canto

Four Letters of Love

Norwegian Wood

Kafka on the Shore

Jane Eyre

Tadpole's Promise

Swann's Way

Love in the Time of Cholera


And that just barely scratches the surface. Here's a suggestion: if you're on your own tonight, and feeling a little blue, stop by University Book Store, grab a book from the list above, or ask a staff member for their most romantic recommendation, do a little browsing with said book in hand, and look around for someone else doing the same thing. Maybe you'll meet a fellow single who is also a fellow reader.

Wednesday, February 13, 2008


The new issue of Bookforum includes an article by James Walcott on the influence of and upcoming publications by the late, great Donald Barthelme.

I'm particularly fond of Not-Knowing and really happy to see it back in print.

This is Timothy Hutton reading a little Barthelme. (Remember these MTV bumpers? Lou Reed read a bit of MacBeth in one, I seem to recall. And someone else reading Kafka's The Metamorphosis.)

Here are two of my favorite Barthelme stories:


"Me and Miss Madible"

And here's a really good essay on Barthelme's Syllabus by Kevin Moffett.


One more. Here's the amazing Donald Antrim reading "I Bought a Little City."

Monday, February 11, 2008

Annoucing the 2008 UBIE Award!

Here's an announcement from our Kids Department:

Not to be left behind in this busy awards season, University Book Store is proud to announce the 2008 recipients of our very own Ubie Awards, which we give to our favorite picture book and children's/young adult novel of the year!

This year’s picture book winner is How to Paint the Portrait of a Bird by Jacques PrĂ©vert and illustrated by Mordicai Gerstein. PrĂ©vert’s well-known poem is brought to life in Gerstein’s glorious illustrations, which positively burst with creative energy. Both poem and pictures work together perfectly to capture and celebrate the joy of artistic expression. This is a book that sings!

This year’s winner in the novel category, The Invention of Hugo Cabret by Brian Selznick, is another book in which the text and illustrations work together harmoniously. (It justly garnered this year’s Caldecott Medal.) Hugo Cabret is a unique, masterful, and utterly absorbing blend of words and pictures that tells the suspenseful story of a young orphan living behind the walls of a Paris train station who gets caught up in a mystery involving the early days of filmmaking.

Because it is so difficult to choose just ONE picture book and ONE novel from the many wonderful books produced each year, we’ve decided to share the other choices on our Ubie shortlist with you, too. Here are the other books we fell in love with last year!

Picture Books:

Cowboy and Octopus by Jon Scieszka and illustrated by Lane Smith
The Incredible Book Eating Boy by Oliver Jeffers
The Surprise by Sylvia van Ommen


The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian by Sherman Alexie (National Book Award Winner for Young People’s Literature—yay, Sherman!)
The Arrival by Shaun Tan
Book of a Thousand Days by Shannon Hale

Friday, February 08, 2008

Happy Birthday, You Little Dickens!

Last night, our used book buyer, Brad, did dramatic readings of Charles Dickens for an appreciative audience. Did you miss it?

If the answer is yes, then you are in luck. Here's a bit of it for you. It's the scene in which Nancy is murdered from Oliver Twist:

Enjoy it? Wish you would have been there? Bookmark our Events Calendar and check it regularly. We do stuff like this all the time.

Thursday, February 07, 2008

The Sum(mary) of All Things

If you had to write your autobiography in 6 words what would it say? The estimable Carl Lennertz posted a few, funny and famous, at his blog Publishing Insider.

Because of my insatiable appetite, mine is "Books and food--my two loves." What about you?

Dog of the Week

Hey there book/dog fans. The Shelver is finally back from an extended vacation, and with him comes a brand new dog of the week.*

This is Cody:

He's young, and refuses to stop moving long enough for his picture to be taken, so instead, I made a little movie of him chewing on my shoe. And shoelace.

Good boy, Cody.

* And, apparently, a need to speak in the third person.**

** Speaking of odd choices for a narrator's voice, have any of you readers had a chance to check out Joshua Ferris's novel, Then We Came To the End. I'm a little late getting to it, I know, what with it being on quite a few top ten lists and getting the National Book Award nomination and all. Sorry. My reading list finally opened up a space.

I mention it, though, because it is in first person plural. We did this. We did that. An interesting strategy, usually. A difficult one to pull off, too, because it tends to imply that the story being told carries a lot of weight, as if the first person singular narrator wants to spread around the blame.

In this case, it seems to work pretty well.

tell all your friends!