I probably look silly for making this post, but on Tuesday night I was in a really foul mood, due partly to the horrible cold I have that will not go away, due partly to this seemingly unending winter. I needed a new book to read, but I wanted something that I knew would whisk me away. So I climbed into bed with Harry Potter VII, and it was the perfect choice. Snape was leering, Malfoy was snivelling, Hedwig was smoldering, and Bill and Fleur were getting married. In moments I was gone.
When I was younger I used to read my favorite novels several times, but these days I have about 150 books in my to-read pile, so it seems counterproductive to re-read. I had forgotten what a great feeling it is to come back to a favorite book and discover that it's still great.read more
I love New York City. Ever since I went there to see my first musical when I was a kid (Carousel in Lincoln Center), I've fallen in love with the bustling city, filled with the most fascinating people, plenty of pigeons, street vendors selling sausages and pretzels, the famous and the very not-so-famous walking the same streets, giant billboards, and so much more to fill a book, or lots of books. Colson Whitehead wrote a well-known love-letter to his city, called The Colossus of New York. It's one of the best books I've ever seen that honestly captures all the euphoria and craziness of the Big Apple. The miracle of it all is the book is slim. He's economical in his ode to the city, and yet he says more with a few words than many authors do with paragraphs and pages of description.
I'll be thinking of Whitehead as I visit New York tomorrow and Friday to meet with publicists about summer and fall author tours.read more
I'm looking forward to Ulrich Boser's appearance at the store this Wednesday, the 25th, at 7pm. I love books about art, and art theft is always fascinating. It seems strange that galleries have millions of dollars worth of paintings on display, but generally poor security systems and underpaid and under trained gaurds.
Twenty years later, there is still no solid lead on where the paintings are. Although Boser has made some headway in determining who might have committed the crime, those people certainly no longer have the paintings.
So somewhere out there is a Vermeer, a Manet, two Rembrandts, and several other paintings worth an estimated 600 million dollars. The largest unsolved art crime of all time.read more
I can't contain my excitement over our brand spankin' new literary series that we're launching this week. Martini bars and writers go together very well, and that's why we've partnered up with The Red Door in downtown Portsmouth. We'll be hosting a bunch of innovative, talented contemporary authors at The Red Door on an ongoing basis, and we're kicking it off on Tuesday, February 24th at 7pm with comic novelist G. Xavier Robillard. He'll be reading from Captain Freedom, a novel that is praised by RiverRun staff favorite Christopher Moore as ""a truly funny and energetic romp of a social satire, a terrific send up of not only of superheroes, but the cult of personality in general."read more
This is a good time of year to pick up a book about a far away land. Or, a nice big think novel that you can really get lost in (and use for kindling if the electricity goes out again). One of my favorites from last year that fits in both categories is called Sacred Games by Vikram Chandra. It's about 900 pages, and is all about modern day India. Almost all of the Indian novels I'd read to date were set sometime in the past, often around 1947 when the country became independent (Midnight's Children is a phenomenal example of this). Sacred Games takes place now, and it is a crazy swirl of religion, crime, pop music, history, terrorism, and romance. The plots are meandering and only twine together far into the novel, but that's half the fun.read more
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