Friday, April 27, 2012

A Gift for a Girl

A woman came up to me in the aisle of the bookstore holding a copy of CATCHING FIREicon. She had bobbed, dyed brown hair, and was wearing a brown sweater.


"I'm getting this as a gift," she told me. Her voice got quieter as she leaned in toward me, "It's for a girl who just became a woman today. I wanted to get her something to mark the day. A book is good, right?"

"Sure," I said, "I think it's a great idea. And I really like Katniss who is the heroine in the Hunger Games series. She's strong and tough. A nice change from some other, more passive main characters. I think it's great that you're getting her a gift for this day."

"Well, I just wanted to do something for her. I know she read the first one in the series. This seemed like a good choice."

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Tuesday, April 24, 2012

World Book Night and St. George's Day

Okay, I missed the boat on this one. World Book Night is tonight.
(Read my blog entry about this here:

I missed the deadline for signing up to distribute books. The bookstore where I work is participating in World Book Night, providing books for people to distribute. We had boxes of books come into the store, and over the last week or so, people have come in to pick up the books they will distribute. They are free! What a wonderful event!

(I need to be more proactive next year and sign up earlier.)

In addition to World Book Night, today is also St. George's Day! In an earlier blog post, I describe this as my new favorite holiday
(You can read that blog post here:

I do love the idea of a holiday for giving a book to my beloved, not just any gift, but a BOOK.

This year I chose OLIVE KITTERIDGEicon. (And the reason I am writing this on St. George's Day but posting it after April 23 is so that a certain someone doesn't read about her St. George's Day present before she receives it!) I have not read it, and it's been selling steadily since it won the Pulitzer Prize in 2009. Since no book was awarded the Pulitzer Prize for fiction this year, it seemed fitting to choose a Pulitzer Prize winning book as my St. George's Day gift.


I've also heard that it's kind of dark. And maybe even depressing. But really well written. My certain someone does tend to like books that explore the darker aspects of humanity and life, so I'm hoping that this will be a good choice for her.

Did any of you receive a St. George's Day book? Or did you give one?

You can tell us about your St. George's Day right here on the blog by leaving a comment. You can also send email to us: 2of3Rs(AT)gmail(DOT)com. Thanks for stopping by the blog!

Friday, April 20, 2012

A Little Morning Time

This morning I sat down at the computer with a little time to work on the blog.

Over the last couple of months I've had less time (and less energy) to focus on the blog. My partner, Therapist, has had some schedule changes at her work. I've had schedule changes at my work. Family health concerns have taken time (and energy!). Add all that to the daily chores, dog walking, food prep for work lunches, cleaning, and so on and...well, the blog has taken a bit of a backseat and I have been exhausted.

So I was eager (if still tired) to sit down at the computer today. I worked on a blog post about authors and publishers posting on our facebook page (this post coming soon!), another one on World Book Night (also coming soon!), and made brief start on another blog post about a Mother's Day question at work. I felt a little scattered, as none of the posts felt ready enough for me to post them today (this is the "author" part of the "blauthor" in me). I didn't quite have enough time to finish any of them.

I also wanted to email some friends to whom I owe a response, but did not, as I didn't have that much time. And I looked at notes I'd scrawled late last night about possible future blog posts. And just now I saw a note I'd written from a customer interaction that I want to write about (which dealt with CATCHING FIRE as a gift for a young girl...). I also want to write about what I'm reading (Anne Lamott's newest about her son having a son)...augh! Feeling a little scattered. And unfocused.

So I got no blog posts finished (except this one), and lots of ideas percolating in my mind. I have to be satisfied that this morning was a step in the right direction.

Thanks for stopping by the blog! You can send us email: 2of3Rs(AT)gmail.(DOT)com. Happy reading!

Monday, April 16, 2012

Guidebook? Or a Novel?

A woman stopped me in the aisle at the bookstore. Her eyes were heavily lined with eyeliner, she had red lipstick on, and her frosted hair was long and tied up on top of her head.

"I need a book about sailing. About sailing in the San Juan islands. Do you have anything like that?"

We have books about sailing. And we have books about the San Juans. We might have something that is about sailing in the San Juans," I said. "Let's look over here." I walked with her over to the travel section.

"I need a gift for some friends. They are getting a sailboat and are going to the San Juans, so I'm thinking a guidebook of the area would be good. And if it can be on sailing too, that would be great."

I started looking in the Pacific Northwest/Outdoors section. She saw where I was looking and said, "But the San Juans aren't in the Northwest." She paused. "Are they?"

"Well, actually they are," I said. "I have cousins who live there. The San Juan islands are in Washington in Puget Sound, out of Seattle."

"Oh. Oh, okay. Well, I know my friends have done lots of research about this already. They might have read these guidebooks already. They are the type to do lots of research. But a book is good, right? I mean, it's the thought that counts, right?"

"Well, sure," I said. "You can see what we have and see if anything might work." I handed her one book... "Here's a book that is about sailing in the San Juans, AFOOT AND AFLOAT IN THE SAN JUAN ISLANDSicon"


"Oh, this is great!" she said. I showed her the other books about the San Juans that weren't necessarily about sailing too. "I think I'll take this one," she said, holding onto the one I first handed her. "But I know they've done so much research already. They probably already read this. But they can return it, right?"

"Sure," I said. "If you get a gift receipt with it, they can return it." I paused. "There's another book I'm thinking of that might work as a gift for them," I said. "It's a novel, but it's set in Puget Sound, so it would kind of fit the theme. Let me see if we have it." I left her to go get the book. I brought it back to her. "It's THE HIGHEST TIDEicon, and it's set in the same area where your friends will be going. I loved it. The writing is really wonderful. A novel might just be a different direction to go than a guidebook. Or maybe you could get both of them for your friends," I said.

"Oh, wow," she said, looking at the cover. "This might be really great."


"I really loved the book. It might be fun to give them a novel. Just another option to consider," I said.

She looked at both of the books. "I think I will get both of them. Thank you so much, you've been so helpful!"

Thanks for stopping by the blog! You can send us email, 2of3Rs(AT)gmail(DOT)com. You can also "like" us on our facebook page, NOT the New York Times Book Review. Clicking on the book cover takes you to Amazon's web page for that book. Clicking on the underlined book title takes you to Barnes and Noble's web page for that book.

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Notes on Some Books

LOSING CLEMENTINEicon by Ashley Ream
Clementine decides that she has 30 days to live. She is going to end it all at the end of the 30 days. She thinks that the world will be well rid of her. In this novel, she chronicles these last days of her life with biting sarcasm, humor and insight.

MAN SEEKS GODicon by Eric Weiner
Author of the GEOGRAPHY OF BLISS, which I also enjoyed, Weiner chronicles his quest to find his God, by exploring faiths and people of a variety of beliefs and faiths around the world. Fascinating and enjoyable.

DEFENDING JACOBicon by William Landay
Narrated by Adam, a lawyer, who discovers that his son, Jacob, is a suspect in the death of one of his classmates. This kept me turning pages till the very end.

THE FAULT IN OUR STARSicon by John Green
What a stunning book. Lev Grossman's review in Time magazine said that this book will (or should) join the canon of important teen books, joining the likes of ARE YOU THERE GOD, IT'S ME MARGARET and CATCHER IN THE RYE. Yes, it's the story of a girl who has cancer who meets a boy who has cancer...but it is not a "cancer book" (many of which, at a certain time in my life, I read like crazy). This is lovely.

What an interesting book. It is one of the most appealing books to look at and page through, certainly in the trade paperback format. The story is interspersed with drawings related to the story (and the word "drawings" really doesn't do these artistic manifestations justice). I found myself losing interest in the story, but skipping ahead to find out how the story related to the next drawing.

PRIMACYicon by J.E. Fishman
A thriller, PRIMACY takes us into the world of animal testing. Liane Vinson works for Pentalon, a huge animal testing lab. She discovers that two of the apes in the lab have an ability heretofore unknown in the animal world. She risks her life to save the apes and what they stand for. There was one plot point in the middle of the book that I did not buy as a reader. Once I got past that, the story kept me going and I enjoyed it.

This year Multnomah County chose this book as its Everybody Reads selection. Set in Portland, a young girl comes to live with her grandmother. Half Danish and half African-American, Rachel tries to figure out who she is after the trauma that she lived through as well as her racial heritage.

THE HOURSicon by Michael Cunningham
Yes, I finally read this. I saw the movie when it first came out, but had never read the book. Now I have. What lovely and amazing writing. I am looking forward to reading more by Cunningham.

THE MIRAGEicon by Matt Ruff
A satirical alternate reality novel in which the two Arabian towers are blown up on November 9, 2001 (get it? 11/9?) by Christian fundamentalists. The U.A.S. (United Arab States) is a superpower trying to defeat terrorism headquartered in the Rocky Mountains. North America is made up of fractured warring entities. Is this reality? Not really meant to be commentary on terrorism or international relations, it's a good bit of fun.

In this book, Jacobs, of THE YEAR OF LIVING BIBLICALLY, turns his attention to trying to be the healthiest man alive. He changes the way he eats, how he works, how he exercises (okay, he starts exercising), how he breathes. Since he is (admittedly) fairly compulsive, becoming more healthy was a good, if sometimes challenging focus for him. Fun!

IN ONE PERSONicon by John Irving
John Irving has been hot and cold for me. Some of his books I couldn't get into or didn't like (Garp), and others (PRAYER FOR OWEN MEANY, CIDER HOUSE RULES) are some of my favorite books of all time. I'm in the middle of this one now. The main character and narrator, Billy, is a bisexual, coming of age in the 50's and 60's, trying to find his place in the world and with people. A bit meander-y, I like the character and am drawn into his world by Irving's capable hand. (will be released May 8, 2012)

Anna Quindlen reflects on life...motherhood, aging, women in society, and marriage. Using her own life as backdrop for her reflections, this felt a little essay-y. Her deft hand captures many fairly universal feelings and experiences.


Clicking on the underlined book title takes you to Barnes and Noble's web page for the book. Clicking on the book cover takes you to Amazon's page for the book. Purchasing through these links helps support the blog. Thanks for stopping by!

What have you been reading? You can let us know in a comment here or on our facebook page, NOT the New York Times Book Review.

Thursday, April 5, 2012

The Curious Garden


What a wonderful book!

THE CURIOUS GARDENicon starts out with pictures of a city with almost no greenery or plant life anywhere. Then a little boy named Liam discovers a small patch of earth with a wilty flower or two in it. He decides to help the plants grow. He makes the patch bigger. He adds more flowers. He finds another place to continue his gardening. And another. And another. Until...well, you'll really have to take a look at it. It's worth it. The illustrations are magical, and the story left me with a sense of hope and beauty.

Thanks for stopping by the blog! Clicking on the book cover will take you to Amazon's web page for the book. Clicking on the underlined title will take you to Barnes and Noble's page for the book. Purchasing through these links helps support the blog. You can also "like" us on our facebook page, NOT the New York Times Book Review.