Thanks to everyone who came for our celebration!  We had a great time reading to children, and hope that they took something precious out of their time in the bookstore!

Bookstores hold a place in the hearts and times of our community. They are places to discover an author, a story, a life. Nothing affords the conversation and interaction among books and book lovers that a bookstore does. In the future, whether you download your story or pluck a volume off a shelf, a bookstore will be able to accommodate. But in order for bookstores to flourish and thrive, we must expose future generations to the unique pleasures they offer. On December 4th, 2010, take the child in your life to a bookstore. Watch his face light up as you give him free access, not just to a new book, but to tomorrow.

Please join us in this celebration!  We will be offering a fantastic 20% discount off all of our children’s books, and will be featuring two book readings Saturday afternoon – Robn Desandres reading for ages 8 – 12 from 3 – 4 PM, and Phyliss Becker reading for ages 2 – 7 from 4 – 5 PM.  It should be a wonderful event!

Hello, everyone!  Long time no see!  I’m picking the blog back up for the holiday season, and will try to be more vigilant about its upkeep for the remainder of the month!  Hopefully everyone had a wonderful Thanksgiving – I know I did!  And this last weekend was a great one for the store from what I hear!  Keep an eye on us here for what’s going on with us this Christmas!

The store will not open until after sundown in observance of the Bahai holy day. We will be open by 7pm for our author appearance. Mary Volmer, author of Crown of Dust will be here tomorrow night, Friday, November 12th. Come hear!

JOIN US:

On Friday, November 12th and 7pm

Grass Valley native, Mary Volmer will be at the store to read from her first novel “Crown of Dust.”

Set in the California Gold Rush, this compelling and well-researched story tells of a young girl who successfully hides as a boy until she is the first to discover gold.

Hope to see you all there!

 

Occassionally I’ll pull from texts outside of dramatic scripts, like the subject of this month, the classic horror novel Frankenstein.  Happy Halloween!

THE CREATURE: I expected this reception. All men hate the wretched. How, then, must I be hated, who am miserable beyond all living things! Yet you, my creator, detest and spurn me, thy creature, to whom thou art bound by ties only dissoluble by the annihilation of one of us. You purpose to kill me. How dare you sport thus with life? Do your duty toward me, and I will do mine toward you and the rest of mankind. If you will comply with my conditions, I will leave them and you at peace, but if you refuse I will glut the maw of death, until it be satiated with the blood of your remaining friends. Have I not suffered enough that you seek to increase my misery? Life, although it may only be an accumulation of anguish, is dear to me, and I will defend it. Remember, thou hast made me more powerful than thyself. My height is superior to thine, my joints more supple. But I will not be tempted to set myself in opposition to thee. I am thy creature and I will be even mild and docile to my natural lord and king, if thou wilt also perform thy part, the which thou owest me. Oh, Frankenstein, be not equitable to every other and trample upon me alone, to whom thy justice, and even thy clemency and affection, is most due. Remember that I am thy creature, I ought to by thy Adam, but I am rather the fallen angel whom thou drivest from joy for no misdeed. Everywhere I see bliss from which I alone am irrevocably excluded. The desert mountains and dreary glaciers are my refuge. I have wandered here many days. The caves of ice, which I only do not fear, are a dwelling to me, and the only one which man does not grudge. These bleak skies I hail, for they are kinder to me than your fellow beings. If the multitude of mankind knew of my existence, they would do as you do and arm themselves for my destruction. Shall I not then hate them who abhor me? I will keep no terms with my enemies. I am miserable and they shall share my wretchedness. Yet it is in your power to recompense me, and deliver them from an evil which it only remains for you to make so great that not only you and your family, but thousands of others, shall be swallowed up in the whirlwinds of its rage. Let your compassion be moved and do not disdain me. I was benevolent and good. Misery made me a fiend. Make me happy and I shall again be virtuous. I have wandered through these mountains, I have ranged through their immense recesses, consumed by a burning passion which you alone can gratify. We may not part until you have promised to comply with my request. I am alone and miserable. Man will not associate with me, but one as deformed and horrible as myself would not deny herself to me. My companion must be of the same species and have the same defects. A female. This being you must create.

With Halloween mere days away, I think it’s a fine time to post up what could be considered the finest poem that relates to the holiday – Poe’s tense “The Raven.”  I did post Poe earlier this month, but I believe this particular case is worth posting so soon after the first one.  It’s a long tale, but well worth reading!  Enjoy!

Once upon a midnight dreary, while I pondered, weak and weary,
Over many a quaint and curious volume of forgotten lore—
While I nodded, nearly napping, suddenly there came a tapping,
As of some one gently rapping, rapping at my chamber door.
” ‘Tis some visiter,” I muttered, “tapping at my chamber door—
                              Only this and nothing more.”

Ah, distinctly I remember it was in the bleak December,
And each separate dying ember wrought its ghost upon the floor.
Eagerly I wished the morrow;—vainly I had sought to borrow
From my books surcease of sorrow—sorrow for the lost Lenore—
For the rare and radiant maiden whom the angels name Lenore—
                              Nameless here for evermore.

And the silken sad uncertain rustling of each purple curtain
Thrilled me—filled me with fantastic terrors never felt before;
So that now, to still the beating of my heart, I stood repeating
” ‘Tis some visiter entreating entrance at my chamber door—
Some late visiter entreating entrance at my chamber door;
                              This it is and nothing more.”

Presently my soul grew stronger; hesitating then no longer,
“Sir,” said I, “or Madam, truly your forgiveness I implore;
But the fact is I was napping, and so gently you came rapping,
And so faintly you came tapping, tapping at my chamber door,
That I scarce was sure I heard you”—here I opened wide the door;—
                              Darkness there and nothing more.

Deep into that darkness peering, long I stood there wondering, fearing,
Doubting, dreaming dreams no mortals ever dared to dream before;
But the silence was unbroken, and the darkness gave no token,
And the only word there spoken was the whispered word, “Lenore!”
This I whispered, and an echo murmured back the word, “Lenore!”—
                              Merely this, and nothing more.

Back into the chamber turning, all my soul within me burning,
Soon I heard again a tapping somewhat louder than before.
“Surely,” said I, “surely that is something at my window lattice;
Let me see, then, what thereat is, and this mystery explore—
Let my heart be still a moment and this mystery explore;—
                              “Tis the wind and nothing more!”

Open here I flung the shutter, when, with many a flirt and flutter,
In there stepped a stately Raven of the saintly days of yore;
Not the least obeisance made he; not an instant stopped or stayed he;
But, with mien of lord or lady, perched above my chamber door—
Perched upon a bust of Pallas just above my chamber door—
                              Perched, and sat, and nothing more.

Then this ebony bird beguiling my sad fancy into smiling,
By the grave and stern decorum of the countenance it wore,
“Though thy crest be shorn and shaven, thou,” I said, “art sure no craven,
Ghastly grim and ancient raven wandering from the Nightly shore—
Tell me what thy lordly name is on the Night’s Plutonian shore!”
                              Quoth the Raven “Nevermore.”

Much I marvelled this ungainly fowl to hear discourse so plainly,
Though its answer little meaning—little relevancy bore;
For we cannot help agreeing that no living human being
Ever yet was blessed with seeing bird above his chamber door—
Bird or beast upon the sculptured bust above his chamber door,
                              With such name as “Nevermore.”

But the Raven, sitting lonely on the placid bust, spoke only
That one word, as if his soul in that one word he did outpour.
Nothing farther then he uttered—not a feather then he fluttered—
Till I scarcely more than muttered “Other friends have flown before—
On the morrow he will leave me, as my hopes have flown before.”
                              Then the bird said “Nevermore.”

Startled at the stillness broken by reply so aptly spoken,
“Doubtless,” said I, “what it utters is its only stock and store
Caught from some unhappy master whom unmerciful Disaster
Followed fast and followed faster till his songs one burden bore—
Till the dirges of his Hope that melancholy burden bore
                              Of “Never—nevermore.”

But the raven still beguiling all my sad soul into smiling,
Straight I wheeled a cushioned seat in front of bird, and bust and door;
Then, upon the velvet sinking, I betook myself to linking
Fancy unto fancy, thinking what this ominous bird of yore—
What this grim, ungainly, ghastly, gaunt and ominous bird of yore
                              Meant in croaking “Nevermore.”

This I sat engaged in guessing, but no syllable expressing
To the fowl whose fiery eyes now burned into my bosom’s core;
This and more I sat divining, with my head at ease reclining
On the cushion’s velvet lining that the lamplght gloated o’er,
But whose velvet violet lining with the lamplight gloating o’er,
                              She shall press, ah, nevermore!

Then, methought, the air grew denser, perfumed from an unseen censer
Swung by Angels whose faint foot-falls tinkled on the tufted floor.
“Wretch,” I cried, “thy God hath lent thee—by these angels he hath sent thee
Respite—respite and nepenthe from thy memories of Lenore;
Quaff, oh quaff this kind nepenthe and forget this lost Lenore!”
                              Quoth the Raven, “Nevermore.”

“Prophet!” said I, “thing of evil!—prophet still, if bird or devil!—
Whether Tempter sent, or whether tempest tossed thee here ashore,
Desolate yet all undaunted, on this desert land enchanted—
On this home by Horror haunted—tell me truly, I implore—
Is there—is there balm in Gilead?—tell me—tell me, I implore!”
                              Quoth the Raven, “Nevermore.”

“Prophet!” said I, “thing of evil—prophet still, if bird or devil!
By that Heaven that bends above us—by that God we both adore—
Tell this soul with sorrow laden if, within the distant Aidenn,
It shall clasp a sainted maiden whom the angels name Lenore—
Clasp a rare and radiant maiden whom the angels name Lenore.”
                              Quoth the Raven, “Nevermore.”

“Be that word our sign of parting, bird or fiend!” I shrieked, upstarting—
“Get thee back into the tempest and the Night’s Plutonian shore!
Leave no black plume as a token of that lie thy soul hath spoken!
Leave my loneliness unbroken!—quit the bust above my door!
Take thy beak from out my heart, and take thy form from off my door!”
                              Quoth the Raven, “Nevermore.”

And the Raven, never flitting, still is sitting, still is sitting
On the pallid bust of Pallas just above my chamber door;
And his eyes have all the seeming of a demon’s that is dreaming,
And the lamp-light o’er him streaming throws his shadow on the floor;
And my soul from out that shadow that lies floating on the floor
                              Shall be lifted—nevermore!

Our children’s books received a massive surplus of titles by Candlewick Press, including these highlights:

The Magician’s Elephant by Kate DiCamillo (H/C, $16.99)
The Night Fairy by Laura Amy Schlitz (H/C, $16.99)
Emily Windsnap and the Siren’s Secret by Liz Kessler (H/C, $15.99)
Noah’s Garden by Mo Johnson and Annabelle Josse (H/C, $15.99)
The Circus Ship by Chris Van Dusen (H/C, $16.99)
Pinocchio by Carlo Collodi, trans. by Emma Rose, illust. by Sara Fanelli (Trade, $12.99)
Gulliver by Jonathan Swift, retold by Martin Jenkins, illust. by Chris Riddell (Trade, $12.99)
Mythology by Lady Hestia Evans (H/C, $19.99)
Vampirology by Archibald Brooks (H/C, $19.99)

A modern legend, Robert Frost’s poetic voice is one of my favorites.  Enjoy his vivid lines of this Halloween-themed poem.

Ghost House

I dwell in a lonely house I know
That vanished many a summer ago,
   And left no trace but the cellar walls,
   And a cellar in which the daylight falls,
And the purple-stemmed wild raspberries grow.

O’er ruined fences the grape-vines shield
The woods come back to the mowing field;
   The orchard tree has grown one copse
   Of new wood and old where the woodpecker chops;
The footpath down to the well is healed.

I dwell with a strangely aching heart
In that vanished abode there far apart
   On that disused and forgotten road
   That has no dust-bath now for the toad.
Night comes; the black bats tumble and dart;

The whippoorwill is coming to shout
And hush and cluck and flutter about:
   I hear him begin far enough away
   Full many a time to say his say
Before he arrives to say it out.

It is under the small, dim, summer star.
I know not who these mute folk are
   Who share the unlit place with me—
   Those stones out under the low-limbed tree
Doubtless bear names that the mosses mar.

They are tireless folk, but slow and sad,
Though two, close-keeping, are lass and lad,—
   With none among them that ever sings,
   And yet, in view of how many things,
As sweet companions as might be had.

Here’s what’s new at our shop this week!

The Itteh Bitteh Book of Kittehs by Professor Happycat (Trade, Humor, $12.00)
The Graveyard Book by Neil Gaiman (Trade, Young Adult, $7.99)
The Lost Symbol by Dan Brown (Mass Market, Mystery, $9.99)
Earth by Jon Stewart and The Daily Show (H/C, Humor, $27.99)
Eating Animals by Jonathan Safran Foer (Trade, Social Science/Food, $14.99)
Djibouti by Elmore Leonard (H/C, Mystery, $26.99)

Sorry for the absence – I’ll try to post these up a little more regularly.

You’ve heard me gush about the Heritage Press before – this particular book is one of theirs!  It’s The Way of All Flesh by Samuel Butler.  This is a very old printing of the book, from 1936, and it’s in fairly good shape considering.  It does have a little sunning and some pencil markings on the binding, but the interior is relatively clean and crisp.  Illustrated by Robert Ward Johnson and featuring an introduction by Theodore Dreiser, this is a great way of picking up this classic.  It’s only $7.00 plus tax.