Books

How many books slipped through my fingers today? Who can count them! For, as the writer of Ecclesiastes said, “Of making many books there is no end.” Surely this is true in our time as over 400,000 new books are published every year!

The first time I “touch” a book is usually when I read the review, hear about it from a customer, find it because of an interest that I have or see it in the media. The next time is when I type the book information into a purchase order and send it off to the distributors and/or publishers. I do this every weekday, ordering well over a hundred books a day. Early the next day, many of those books arrive at our counter and I often stop and pick them up. I look through them longingly, peruse a paragraph, admire their covers, read the jackets and sigh. The sighing is because I’ll never live long enough to read all the books I’d like to read.
The books then are shelved for awhile but soon they slide through my fingers one last time as I scan the barcode when a happy customer is purchasing them and pop them in a bag.
The excitement of unpacking a box of books has never grown tedious for me. There are some books that I will only see once, but other favorites will come back over and over, like old friends. Truly, every day is like Christmas morning. What a great business this is that allows me to fill my hands and heart with books!
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Published in: on February 29, 2008 at 5:17 am  Comments (4)  

Movie Review

I thought that I had seen a lot of movies this year, and maybe I have but most of them were not the movies that got a lot of attention at last night’s Academy Awards. I saw Enchanted with my daughter and granddaughter. It is a funny and romantic film that I predict will become a beloved classic for the whole family. I saw Michael Clayton, which was well-acted with a good plot. The Bourne Ultimatum was a satisfying film in the Bourne series, though that movie was pushing the envelope for me. I’m not a fan of chase scenes, crashes, blood or horror, so I ruled out many of the “winners” from the beginning. Though I like Johnny Depp as an actor, there is no way I would pay money to see Sweeney Todd, nor will I watch it when it is eventually on television. Even though several of the movies this year were adaptations of books, such as No Country for Old Men and The Golden Compass, I wasn’t really drawn to them for one reason or another. My taste in movies leans toward romantic comedy, drama, and documentaries. My taste for popcorn leans toward half the butter with a tiny bit of salt.

What were your favorite non-Oscar nominated movies this year. Reply to this blog and tell me what you liked and why.

Published in: on February 26, 2008 at 6:18 am  Comments (1)  

Poetry

I am alone in the house this Saturday morning. I’ve spent the time writing poetry. This isn’t something I usually do, but I had some words and phrases bumping around inside me and I just had to let them ooze out through my fingers. I’m not ready to share any of them here on my Blog, yet. I’m feeling a bit insecure about them, but maybe. Someday.

April is Poetry Month. I’m going to look for a new poetry book that I can savor this spring. Maybe something by Emily Dickinson. Here is one of her poems that I like.

If I can stop one Heart from breaking

by Emily Dickinson
If I can stop one Heart from breaking

I shall not live in vain.

If I can ease one Life the Aching

Or cool one Pain

Or help one fainting Robin Unto his Nest againI shall not live in Vain.

I like all kinds of poetry, serious and humorous. Here is another one I like:

The Frog by Anonymous

What a wonderful bird the frog are –
When he sit, he stand almost;
When he hop, he fly almost.
He ain’t got no sense hardly;
He ain’t got no tail hardly either.
When he sit, he sit on what he ain’t got – almost.

Published in: on February 23, 2008 at 9:14 pm  Leave a Comment  

Eclipse

Did you stand still and look up last night? On my way to meet with our daughter and her wedding coordinator, I got a glimpse of the misshapen moon. I was disappointed to miss it’s full glory, but excited to find that my seat at Red Robin gave me the best view of the event I could have asked for. Small blessings.

“We get so preoccupied with ourselves, the words we speak, the plans and projects we conceive that we become immune to the glory of creation. We barely notice the cloud passing over the moon or the dewdrops clinging to the rose leaves.The ice on the pond comes and goes. The wild blackberries ripen and wither.The blackbird nests outside our bedroom window. We don’t see her. We avoid the cold and the heat. We refrigerate ourselves in summer and entomb ourselves in plastic in winter. We rake up every leaf as fast as it falls.We are so accustomed to buying prepackaged meats and fish and fowl in supermarkets we never think and blink about the bounty of God’s creation.We grow complacent and lead practical lives.We miss the experience of awe, reverence, and wonder.”
Brennan Manning, Ragamuffin Gospel
Published in: on February 21, 2008 at 3:40 pm  Leave a Comment  

Book Review

I can’t believe it. I re-read a book. There are few books that I would take the time to read again, but I am still so excited about Leif Enger’s new book, So Brave, Young and Handsome, that I read it aloud to my husband as we drove about 450 miles this weekend. We almost finished by the time we returned home and now he plans to finish it on his own. The purpose of our trip was for him to attend a grant-writing seminar, so I had several hours to read another advance reading copy, actually the first novel I’ve read by Jodi Picoult, Change of Heart. I was absorbed and impressed as the story unfolded. The themes of capital punishment, forgiveness, and family will ensure that this emotionally-charged book soars to the top as many of Jodi’s other books have. Look for this new title in early March, 2008.
Published in: on February 18, 2008 at 4:55 pm  Comments (1)  

Caught My Eye

On a cross-country flight last week I saw the following books being read or toted about:

Eastbound:
Before I Say Goodbye by Mary Higgins Clark
How Starbucks Saved My Life (Salt Lake City)
Tahiti and Polynesia Travel Guide (I wanted to ask if I could go with him)
Westbound:
Templar Legacy by Steve Berry
Rising Tide – a Novel of World War II
An Innocent Man – John Grisham

Bumper Sticker: Buckle your seat belt. It makes it harder for the aliens to suck you out of the car!

Published in: on February 12, 2008 at 12:58 am  Comments (2)  

Profundities to Ponder


Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter.

-Dr. Martin Luther King Jr MLK Jr. January 21st, 2008

What are these things for me? The plight of the poor, the silent cry of the unborn, and my faith come to mind. Sometimes I just get tired and overwhelmed and my silence is an indicator of my fatigue, but I must be diligent to distinguish between weariness and apathy.

I saw this by Bodie Thoene this week: Apathy is the glove into which evil slips its hand.

Published in: on February 11, 2008 at 3:09 am  Leave a Comment  

Movie Review

The Bucket List Jack Nicholson, the actor I love to hate, and Morgan Freeman, whom I love to love whether he is Driving Miss Daisy or narrating for penguins, are a great team for this funny, yet touching movie. These two older men, unlikely roomates in the hospital through no choice of their own, find comfort and friendship in learning to accept their impending deaths. Carter (Morgan Freeman) has a Bucket List, a list of things that he wants to do before he kicks the bucket. Though Edward (Jack Nicholson) initially scoffs at Carter’s list ambitions, he comes to see the wisdom and hope embodied in Carter’s outlook and he begins a list of his own. As their treatment allows, they then set out to fulfill the dreams they have, from racing cars to reconciliations with loved ones. I’ll admit to a few tears and I must say that the movie has been on my mind for days as I think about my own Bucket List. My rating: 3 out of 5 stars.
Published in: on February 9, 2008 at 6:25 pm  Leave a Comment  

Book Review

Gardens of Water by Alan Drew

A devastating earthquake near Istanbul disrupts the lives of two families, one Muslim and one Christian American. Dealing with their losses very differently, the two families come to understand that though they are culturally different, it is possible to gain some understanding of each other when their lives intertwine in ways they never expected. The writing is emotionally stunning as the family members each look for and long for their version of a perfect Heaven. Reminiscent of Kite Runner and Thousand Splendid Suns – I love this book. Great for bookclubs.

This book is a Booksense Pick for February, 2008.

I’m still basking in the afterglow of Winter Institute. I love books and I love booksellers. What a generous, friendly bunch of people. I sent home two boxes of Advanced Reading Copies, so stay tuned for more reviews.

Movie

We are heading out to see The Bucket List. Feeling a little mid-lifish and mid-winterish, so perhaps it will be a shot in the arm. I’ll give you my rating next time I write.

Published in: on February 7, 2008 at 1:47 am  Leave a Comment  

“thinklings” are musings, observations, opinions or questions on books, culture, family, faith and life with some quirky things thrown in for good measure.

Just finished reading Leif Enger’s new book, So Brave, Young, and Handsome. Actually, the book won’t even be published until May, 2008. One of the advantages of being a bookseller, and there are many, is having access to books before they are born. Another advantage is that we often get to meet authors, as I met Leif last week in Louisville. I attended the American Booksellers Association Winter Institute (and believe me, it was WINTER in Louisville) where I was delighted to find that my favorite author finally had produced his second novel and he was in attendance, signing his book. I was delighted to meet him and report that our store had sold hundreds of his first book, Peace Like a River. That book, one of my most recommended for years, is referred to in the store as a “bun burner”. Lest you think it is somehow racy, let me assure you that it only means that one customer loved it so much that she let the buns burn! Leif’s new book reminds me of Huckleberry Finn, Oh, Brother Where Art Thou and The Fugitive all wonderfully rolled up together. I can’t think of anyone who would not enjoy this one.

Published in: on February 3, 2008 at 4:34 am  Leave a Comment