Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Harry Potter Party!

Many thanks to everyone who made our Harry Potter Party a success! Everyone received their books and went home happy, maybe a little sleepy. Police involvement was minimal.

The end of the Golden Snitch.

Brian was a wizard.

The Morris Dancers performed.

We were very busy that night.

An owl showed up.

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

The World Without Us by Alan Weisman

I plucked this book from the stack of Advanced Readers Copies that flood the store, read the first page, and then read the book straight through exclaiming to anyone who would tolerate me -- listen to this, and this, and this!!!!! This book is a thought experiment (what would the world be like if humans disappeared today, raptured up perhaps). A very simple premise that leads this marvelously straightforward, thoughtful, thorough author into parts of the world I hadn't known existed. As well, he deals with exactly what would go first and last in your house. How long it would take for Manhatten to collapse. On and on. It makes for obsessive reading. This is perhaps my favorite book this year. At once the most harrowing and, oddly, comforting book on the environment that I've read in many years. -- Louise

Monday, July 23, 2007

Reply to Replies and Thank You

Dear Book People --

Thank you for the answers -- I'm looking for that Nabokov and understanding you, inhaler. I am wondering if I've got enough brain cells left to memorize The Fall, a perfect book. Or perhaps The Aleph. My father is already memorizing all of Robert Service, and it isn't even 451 time. I am glad someone is taking on Sigrid Undset and Middlemarch. As for Rolo, I know him and I do believe that he'd kick me off the island for a book no matter how long he's had this (invented) crush on me. Still, as he is a terrific writer, I hope that blog readers find his book The Wonder Bull.

Did anybody come to our Harry Potter Party and enjoy it? We worked very hard on the Trivia questions! Did anybody get to Level Three? The whole time, I was in the confessional reading dreams. I was supposed to be Trelawney. When I walked out I was amazed and thrilled at the crowd, including the big snake and the rat. The Morris Dancers were as always phenomenal. The police even came. I am sorry, neighbor who made the nuisance call. We should have told you that several hundred people, including many children dressed as Owls and Death Eaters would be wandering up and down 21st street. It was a marvelous night, for me anyway. Thank you Kenwood Deli, and thank you everyone who came.


Sunday, July 8, 2007

Jugglers, Magicians, Potter!

A call to jugglers! A call to magicians!
Please come to our Harry Potter Party!
A spontaneous upwelling of grassroots eccentricity.
A hometown sort of kid pleasing party.
A celebration of the ancient and the fantastical and the new.
It is whatever you want it to be.
Add your art.
Add your presence!
July 20, 2007, at 9 pm.

Can't wait to see you at Birchbark Books!

Friday, July 6, 2007

It's Fahrenheit 451 --which book are you?

My first question to those of you who love books is this: which book are you? Say someone burns all of the books, including My Pet Goat, and we are faced with a famous situation. Each of us must memorize your favorite book. For the rest of your life you will painstakingly memorize and then BE this book. This book will exist through you. But your life will be devoted to muttering and remembering every word written between the covers. And also, this book must be important enough for you to die for it. For if during the memorization process this book is discovered in your possession you will be confined in a place known as LITMO. And although we are told over and over how great those confined there have it, people commit what their keepers call "hanging gestures." -- Louise

Staff Favorites, Friday Edition

Here's a selection of what our staff has been reading:

1. Eat, Pray, Love by Elizabeth Gilbert
2. The Pagan Nun by Kate Horsley
3. A Natural History of the Senses by Diane Ackerman
4. Comfortable with Uncertainty by Pema Chodron
5. To See Every Bird on Earth by Dan Koeppel
6. Grace (Eventually): Thoughts on Faith by Anne Lamott


1. The Golden Compass, by Phillip Pullman
2. March, by Geraldine Brooks
3. The Shadow Thieves, by Anne Ursu
4. The Sparrow, by Mary Doria Russell
5. Spinky Sulks, by William Steig
6. The Piano Tuner, by Daniel Mason


1. Will You Please Be Quiet, Please? by Raymond Carver
2. Winter in the Blood by James Welch
3. The Death of Jim Loney by James Welch
4. The Road by Cormac McCarthy
5. Old School by Tobias Wolff
6. Collected Works by Flannery O'Connor

Library of America Editions

BirchBarks Books is pleased to announce our recent acquisition of a number of brand-new Library of America editions of collected works by William Faulkner, Walt Whitman, Flannery O'Connor, F. Scott Fitzgerald, Willa Cather, and other literary luminaries. Not only are these editions comprehensive (complete works, novels, poems, short stories alongside letters, articles, reviews, etc.), they are simply elegant with their cloth covers, sewn bindings, and acid-free paper, making them excellent gifts and keepsakes.