Long-time readers will know that we are big fans of the non-profit kids’ writing centers 826, which were founded by Dave Eggers. My daughter Meghan (who you may know from our Booktime with Meg posts) and I were talking about the various 826 centers and their cool “fronts” like 826 Brooklyn’s Super Hero Supply store. She thinks that an 826 is just what Atlanta needs, so she wrote a letter to the organization stating her case and her ideas. In return, 826 sent her a wonderful reply letter. While there is no 826ATL on the immediate horizon, they gave her some ideas to act on. They also posted her letter on their web site and included a link in their latest newsletter. We’re all very excited around here.
(Note: If you’re wondering, the link between her idea for an “uncivilized” store and the Cyclorama in her city is that the cyclorama is a huge painting of the Battle of Atlanta in the Civil War. See what she did there?)
Today’s round includes three books about the Iraq war reviewed by a combat veteran. It doesn’t play out the way you would think, but the only book of the three that I read advances to the tourney. Huzzah!
Don’t let this poorly taken Instagram photo fool you. The Joseph Fox Booskshop in the Rittenhosue Square area of downtown Philadelphia is an outstanding indie bookstore. (Rittenhosue Square is between the Rocky steps and the Liberty Bell – more or less.) It’s small, but they make the most of their book space. I was chagrined to see that the David Byrne book that I lugged along to read on my trip was available in signed editions at Joseph Fox. Dammit!
I could have spent hours scanning the shelves, but the proprietor had let me in after even though I arrived after closing time. I guess she felt sorry for me when she saw the look of disappointment on my face. I didn’t want to push my luck. I made a purchase and hit the road.
The store comes with two cute and very small dogs. Be sure to visit them when you are in Phialdelphia.
While visiting my 90 year old grandma outside Denver, I decided to take her on a day trip to Boulder. When my uncle told me that only weird people live there (people who don’t like cigarette smoke and like to ride bicycles) – I figured I’d feel right at home. And I did. While wheeling my grandma up the historic Pearl Street Mall in her wheelchair, we came across Boulder Bookstore, the largest independent bookstore in Boulder (and also one of Tim’s favorites).
We went right in, wheelchair and all.
This store was packed with excellent titles of used and new books, I could have spent a few hours here. We manged to pick up a couple copies of All My Friends are Still Dead by Jory John and Avery Monsen and a brand-new-looking-previously-owned copy of The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins for my daughter. I also found the staff to be very helpful, and the local customers I chatted to be very friendly and memorable.
Between driving the wheelchair and keeping track of my eight year old, I didn’t get any of my own photos, but check them out if you happen to be in Boulder with all the “weird people.”
This is very cool – “The Moby-Dick Big Read: an online version of Melville’s magisterial tome: each of its 135 chapters read out aloud, by a mixture of the celebrated and the unknown, to be broadcast online in a sequence of 135 downloads, publicly and freely accessible.”
I was a student at the Sorbonne in Paris in the 1980′s – back when we only had books made out of paper. Surely you remember? I was really hoping that in this age of “electronic everything”, I would still find the book stores along the Boulevard St. Michel with their rolling carts of books lining the sidewalk. I wasn’t disappointed.
For the first time, I noticed all of the “Livres Anciens” (rare books) stores around the city. Unfortunately for me, but fortunately for my family, I was only able to peer into the windows at these rare antiques. Every store was closed as we passed, so I was only able to take a couple photos. Next time.
Bars on the window of a book store?!
And just because it’s cool - check out the life size chess board in a park in Geneva, Switzerland! (Lucky for me, there was a similar sized checkers game nearby too.)
By now, it should be a given that Denver’s Tattered Cover is one of our favorite indie bookstores – hands down. I’ve mentioned it here, here, and here. Anne gave it a shoutout here. I was happy to have a chance to visit it – repeatedly – over the last week. When you’re in Tattered Cover, it is clear that you are book shopping in the American West.
My travels also led me to a new discovery. Boulder Bookstore in Boulder, Colorado’s Pearl Street Pedestrian Mall is pretty spectacular. It is smaller than the sprawling Tattered Cover, but they make excellent use of their space by only stocking excellent books. We were able to visit twice during out trip, and I’ll definitely make sure to pop in next time my travels take me out that way.
Last week, we welcomed old friend Ben Tanzer to the blog to talk about his short story collection,New York Stories. The collection comes in an amazing edition with fantastic illustrations. Today we welcome new friend Laura Szumowski the illustrator of New York Stories to the blog.
In New York Stories, Szumowski’s illustrations (like the one below) are clean and hip. They are the perfect accompanyment to Tanzer’s stories.
In The New York Stories, I came up with 40 illustrations to go along with Ben Tanzer’s collection of short stories. Each of the 17 stories has an illustrated chapter head plus one additional illustration, both inspired by the content and subject matter of the story. I also added six full-color illustrations throughout the book to highlight particularly vivid images from the text, and to convey the overarching themes of the book.
When Jason, the owner of Chicago Center for Literature and Photography, approached me about the project, I loved the idea. I’ve been writing and illustrating my own books for several years, but hadn’t had the opportunity to illustrate other work. It was a wonderful experience, and I hope to do more!
The illustrator also sent along this sweet illustration to jump start our 4th of July celebration: