Wednesday, June 24, 2009

July Events

We're all a little wacky with excitement, because our July events are the tops! There aren't too many, but they're all terrific authors with terrific books, and even a few canine friends in search of a home. I hope to see you there. And remember, in these times, you can't beat free fun, and our events are always free.

Thursday, July 9th, Inked books: the Graphic Novel Book Club discusses Arkham Asylum, by Grant Morrison.
This is Batman on the cutting edge, as he faces not only his most dangerous foes but his own inner demons as well. The inmates of Arkham Asylum have taken over Gotham's detention center for the criminally insane, and demand Batman in exchange for their prisoners. Accepting their demented challenge, Batman is forced to live and endure the personal hells of the Joker, Scarecrow, and many others of his sworn enemies in order to save the innocent and retake the prison. During his run through this absurd gauntlet, the Darknight Detective's own sanity is in jeopardy. And the art is phenomenal! Inked books is a drop-in discussion group focused on the Graphic Novel. Starts at 4:00 PM

Tuesday, July 15th, our soon-to-be-named Middle Reader book club discusses The Looking Glass War by Frank Beddor.
The Looking Glass war is the real story of Alice In Wonderland! The Truth in Wonderland is real. Alyss Heart is the heir to the crown, until her murderous aunt Redd steals it, and kills Alyss' parents. Alyss and her bodyguard, Hatter Madigan, flee to our world through the Pool of Tears, only to become separated. Lost and alone in Victorian London, Alyss is befriended by an aspiring author to whom she tells the violent, heartbreaking story of her young life. Yet he gets the story all wrong. Madigan knows the truth only too well, and he is searching every corner of our world to find the lost princess. Join Colleen for thought-provoking chit chat, fun, and prizes. Starts at 6:00 PM

Thursday, July 16th, we welcome William C. Pack for a reading and discussion of his novel The Bottom of the Sky, an aching rags-to-riches family saga that spans smalltown Montana to Wall Street and the Silicon Valley. Pack takes us inside the aftermath and consequences of child abuse for a sister and a brother. One succumbs to addiction and degradation, while the other escapes, wielding a fragile and uncanny genius, to strike it rich. This is a riveting, thunderous tale of disparate worlds joined by one man in his search for redemption.

We're teaming up with CORA on this event. They provides free and confidential services to victims and survivors of domestic and dating violence and abuse, including child and teen witnesses, in San Mateo County. Their services include a 24-hour hot line, support groups, legal services, emergency and transitional housing, and more. 15% of the book sales will be donated to them. Starts at 7:00 PM

Wednesday, July 22nd, we'll celebrate the release of Maud Markson's latest novel, Looking After Pigeon.
This is one of my top picks for summer, a book that I absolutely loved. It's the story of a girl named Pigeon, and the summer of her fifth year. That's the year her father takes off, and her mother moves her and her brother and sister from New York to the Jersey Shore. The characters in this book are priceless, and horrifying. And for anyone whose childhood was less than ideal, this is the book for you. We'll start at 7:00 PM, and there will be light hors d'oeuvres and drinks served.

Saturday, July 25, Pets in Need animal adoption and fundraiser
We're all a little dog crazy in the store (some of us certifiably so), so this event is going to be a fantastic way to close out the month. Located in Redwood City, Pets in Need's mission is to bring a loving, healthy home within paw's reach of every adoptable dog and cat in our community. From 12:00 to 3:00 stop by the store and meet a few of these homeless fellows. And when you make a purchase, we'll donate 15% of it to Pets in Need.

Tuesday, July 28th, The Forth Tuesday Book Club on special assignment . . .

And lastly, don't forget every Saturday morning at 11:00am Picture Book Pals takes over the kids' section with stories, fun, and sometimes treats! Kids under 5 are welcome, and parents too.

Take Care

Sunday, June 14, 2009

A Night at the Movies!

Since most of us die hard book fanatics are also big movie goers, I'd like to recommend two of my favorite classic picture books that will soon be translated up on the big screen!

Coming to local theaters in September 2009, is the quirky cult classic, Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs by Judi & Ron Barrett

If food dropped like rain from the sky, wouldn't it be marvelous! Or would it? It could, after all, be messy. And you'd have no choice. What if you didn't like what fell? Or what if too much came? Have you ever thought of what it might be like to be squashed flat by a pancake?

This is the scrumptious tale of the little town whose food was larger than life & the trouble that came because of it!

Want to read something equally as engaging while you're eagerly awaiting the movie release? Check out this whimsical favorite of mine, Tuesday by David Wiesner!

With very little text & gorgeous, larger than life illustrations, this is the very unusual story of what happens to a boring town's neighborhood on a very peculiar Tuesday morning!

A Caldecott Award Winner!

Also coming to theaters this September is the wildly imaginative & much anticipated film release of Where The Wild Things Are by Maurice Sendak

In the forty years since Max first cried "Let the wild rumpus start," Maurice Sendak's classic picture book has become one of the most highly acclaimed and best-loved children's books of all time. Now, in celebration of this special anniversary, introduce a new generation t o Max's imaginative journey to where the wild things are.

Will he ever make it back home?

A cherished Caldecott Award Winner!

Want to try out another wild picture book adventure, guaranteed to bring out the animal within? Escape into the fantastic realm of A Growling Place by Thomas Aquinas Maguire!

With a missing teddy bear, a brave little girl & a cave bursting with terrible bears, you'll never look at your favorite childhood play toy in the same way again!

Be brave, be adventurous & have a jolly good time at the movies! I'll see you there!


Friday, June 12, 2009

Thanks for Giving to Pennies for Peace

Back in January, we put out a collection box for Pennies for Peace at the register. So far we've raised over $12o.oo! We're about to mail the check (the first of many, hopefully), and it occurs to me that now is a wonderful time to give you the scoop on what it's all about, if you don't already know.

Pennies for peace is a program of the Central Asia Institute (CAI), started by Greg Mortenson, after his experience in Pakistan after a climbing K2, the worlds tallest mountain, back in 1992. You can get the whole story in his bestselling 3 Cups of Tea.

He learned from the Balti tribes in the mountains there that sustainable and sucessful development can only come when initiated and managed by the local community. CAI's mission, since 1996, is to promote community based education, especially for girls, in Pakistan and Afganistan. As of 2008, they've successfully established 78 schools in Pakistan and Afghanistan, providing education to over 28,000 students.

Here at home, Pennies for Peace educates children, and adults for that matter, about the world beyond their experience, and shows them that they can make a positive impact on a global scale, one penny at a time.

The folks at Pennies for Peace contend that, "Our best hope for a peaceful and prosperous world lies in the education of all the world’s children. Through cross-cultural understanding and a solution-oriented approach, Pennies for Peace encourages children, ultimately our future leaders, to be active participants in the creation of global peace." Pretty cool right!

You may be wondering: why just a penny? Well, the penny, 1% of a dollar, is symbolic of the '1% of Gross Domestic Product' goal set by the United Nations. The goal was for wealthy countries to give foreign aid to impoverished nations each year. One penny will buy a child in Afganistan or Pakistan one pencil, opening the way for literacy.

The collection box is still on the register, so next time your in, drop off your spare pennies, and help to make the world a better place. If you'd like to start your own collection, you can find out how here.


Saturday, June 6, 2009

Great video from the author of Coop

Have you heard about Coop: a Year of Poultry, Pigs, and Parenting by Michael Perry? Maybe you've heard of Truck, A Love Story? That was his first book. Here at the store, Linda is a big fan! And she knows her books.

I came across this video on You Tube, and I thought it was just perfect. He's so down home!

Check it out.


Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Our DOG-TASTIC photo winners!

Our 1st Place Photo Winner, Sidney!

One of our store's regular dog customers, Sidney is a 6 year old coon hound we have all come to LOVE and adore! Sidney & her mom Luci come jogging by the store frequently & always make a beeline into the store to say hello to the morning crew. With 22 customer votes, this lovable hound stole both the show & our hearts! Congratulations Sidney!

Our 2nd Place Photo Winner, Jake!

Beep Beep! Look out for that cute little dog in his groovy red car! With 21 customer votes, this adorable Bichon Frise was a customer favorite from the very start. Both his owner & her daughter were VERY excited about our store's first dog related photo contest! Congratulations Jake!

Our 3rd Place Photo Winner, Ranger!

With 17 customer votes, Ranger is our store's FAVORITE German Shepherd! Ranger's trainer Robin runs a new training & adoption agency named Cirrus Ranch, which has become a very popular in-store training experience for all of his beloved dog rescues. Ranger has been prancing through the store since we first moved to our new location in 2008 & has become a beloved figurehead to us & our customers. Thank you Ranger for always putting a smile on our faces! Congratulations!

We will have all 3 of our canine photo winners on display at our store for the next week so please stop in to take a peek!

On behalf of the entire staff, I would like to offer my congratulations to all 10 of our participating dog contestants! Our store is a more wonderful place because of you all!

P.S. Stay tuned for further information about a possible Cat Photo Contest!


Monday, June 1, 2009

Percy Jackson fans! Need something else to read?

Newbery Medal-winner Cynthia Rylant retells her favorite stories from Greek mythology, breathing fresh life into the tales of Pandora, Persephone, Orpheus, Pygmalion, Narcissus, and Psyche. The writing is lyrical and understated--a perfect tone for stories that introduce young readers to themes of love and loss, pride and forgiveness. Carson Ellis's elegant black-and-white illustrations lend an aura of beauty and mystery.

* Recommended reading for all ages!

THE ONE EYED GIANT by Mary Pope Osbourne
When Odysseus must leave his home to fight the Trojan War, he never imagines that he'll be away from his family for so many years. Now, at long last, he is leading his men home across the seas. But many dangers await them - and none is more terrifying than Polyphemus, the one-eyed giant.

*Recommended reading for Middle Readers

NOBODY'S PRINCESS by Esther Friesner
She is beautiful, she is a princess, and Aphrodite is her favorite goddess, but something in Helen of Sparta just itches for more out of life. Not one to count on the gods—or her looks—to take care of her, Helen sets out to get what she wants with steely determination and a sassy attitude. That same attitude makes Helen a few enemies—such as the self-proclaimed "son of Zeus" Theseus—but it also intrigues, charms, and amuses those who become her friends, from the famed huntress Atalanta to the young priestess who is the Oracle of Delphi.

In Nobody's Princess, author Esther Friesner deftly weaves together history and myth as she takes a new look at the girl who will become Helen of Troy. The resulting story offers up adventure, humor, and a fresh and engaging heroine you cannot help but root for.

*Recommended reading for Young Adult

Persephone lives in the most gorgeous place in the world. But her mother's a goddess, as overprotective as she is powerful. Paradise has become a trap. Just when Persephone feels there's no chance of escaping the life that's been planned for her, a mysterious stranger arrives. A stranger who promises something more—something dangerous and exciting—something that spurs Persephone to make a daring choice. A choice that could destroy all she's come to love, even the earth itself.

In a land where a singing river can make you forget your very name, Persephone is forced to discover who—and what—she really is.

*Recommended reading for Young Adult

QUICKSILVER by Stephanie Spinner
Hermes--also known as Mercury, Wayfinder, and Prince of Thieves--has many talents. Wearing his famed winged sandals, he does the bidding of his father Zeus, leads the dead down to Hades, and practices his favorite arts of trickery and theft. He also sees the future, travels invisibly, loves jokes, and abhors violence. And he's an entertaining and ideal narrator on a fast-paced journey through ancient Greek mythology--from Medusa's cave to Trojan War battlefields to the mysterious Underworld.

* Recommended reading for Young Adult

QUIVER by Stephanie Spinner
Greek gods and mortals spring to life in this riveting retelling of the myth of Atalanta, the fleet-footed girl warrior who could outrun any man in ancient Greece. Cast off and abandoned at birth, Atalanta- saved by a she-bear and raised by hunters-proves herself to be a superior archer and the fastest runner in the land. But her skills and independence anger many, including her father, the Arcadian King, who suddenly reclaims her and demands that she produce an heir to the throne. Atalanta has pledged herself to Artemis, goddess of the hunt, who has forbidden her to marry. Unwilling to break her promise, Atalanta suggests a grim compromise: she will marry the first man to beat her in a race, but everyone she defeats must die. All the while, Artemis, Apollo, Aphrodite, Eros, and Zeus himself watch-and interfere-from on high.

*Recommended reading for Young Adults