Notes From the Shire

The Best So Far

I had no trouble at all last year coming up with a list of my ten favorite books. With 2017 coiming to an end, alas, all I can come up with are four titles that have engraved themselves upon my memory (no small feat, I assure you). Here are some capsule reviews of my choices (in no particular order)...

InstaPoetry in Motion

It began as a game between my co-worker and I: who could be the first to snag a copy of Rupi Kaur’s milk & honey? Every day two books would come in, and immediately two books would be snapped up by customers. We asked ourselves, who was this new poet no one had heard of , with her books flying off the shelves? When was the last time a book of poetry had been a bestseller, even in the hayday of our greatest writers?  As of 9/8/17, milk & honey had more than 89K ratings on GoodReads and over 10,000 reviews, averaging to a 4.26 out of 5-start rating. The book surpassed one million sold copies only one year past its publication date.In January 2017, it reached #1 on the New York Times list, and remained on the trade paperback bestseller list for 41 consecutive weeks. Bustle called it "Essential Reading" echoing The Huffington Post's article titled "The Poet Every Woman Needs to Read".

The Scariest Children’s Book Ever

When I was a lad I went through a phase, as many children do, of enjoying ghost stories. I read many a volume of supernatural lore, some scary and some disappointingly tame. When pressed to name the scariest book of my childhood I don’t need to give it a thought. That honor goes to Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark by Alvin Schwartz.

Launch Party for Local Author Eric Rickstad

Launch Party for local author Eric Rickstad

The Names of Dead Girls Friday,

September 15th 6:00 pm

We don’t throw parties for every new book release but when a local author hand delivers an ARC (advanced readers copy) and our booksellers fight over it, we know it’s likely worth toasting to! Stop in and help us celebrate! We'll kick off the night at 6:00 pm with wine, soft drinks and small bites. At 7:00 enjoy an author presentation followed by Q&A and a book signing. Eric is a New York Times and USA Today bestselling author. The Names of Dead Girls is the much-anticipated sequel to The Silent Girls and it does NOT disappoint! The story once again features detectives Frank Rath and Sonja Test as they track a depraved killer through rural Vermont

 

Relax, Don't Worry, Brew Your Own

The early 2000s were an exciting time for beer drinkers. The microbrew movement was turning into a revolution. The variety and quantity of beer was on the rise, showing no sign of abetting. For several years this was pretty cool. Lots of good, if not great, beer at reasonable prices was the order of the day. Sadly, something changed. Beginning four or five years ago I started to notice a number of low-quality yet pricey offerings from small, recently established microbreweries. At the same time and at the other end of the spectrum several very expensive and hard-to-find  beers started to crop up. The quality was (and still is) good, but not good enough to warrant prices several times that of average micros. Given this new terrain on which we beer lovers find ourselves deployed, perhaps it’s time to consider homebrewing. Today there are many really great homebrew supply stores and online retailers, making it accessible to all. If you enjoy DIY and a variety of well-made beer, homebrewing is a viable alternative to buying the latest, greatest craft brew. With prices creeping up and the increasing number of low-quality offerings being made by small breweries, I’m ever so glad I became a home brewer.

The Complete Joy of Homebrewing Fourth Edition: Fully Revised and Updated Cover Image
$19.99
ISBN: 9780062215758
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: William Morrow Paperbacks - September 30th, 2014

Staff Pick Logo
How to Brew: Everything You Need to Know to Brew Beer Right the First Time Cover Image
$19.95
ISBN: 9780937381885
Availability: Hard to Find
Published: Brewers Publications - May 17th, 2006

Staff Pick Logo
Brewing Classic Styles: 80 Winning Recipes Anyone Can Brew Cover Image
$19.95
ISBN: 9780937381922
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Tradeselect - October 8th, 2007

What is Your Wish?

Good day, dear reader, I am your genie for the day. I will grant you three book-wishes. What book-related wish would you like me to grant? I do not mean endless supplies of books. Or books that never end. No, I mean wishes such as:

Would you like to time travel like some of the Outlander characters do? Or find a magical world where animals talk and White Queens keep the world in ice and snow as in Narnia? Perhaps you would like to know which road Robert Frost took that made all the difference? How about drive a flying car with English schoolchildren as Harry and his best friend, Ron, did? Or perhaps you would prefer to fight Apaches with men like L’Amour’s Hondo?

Dragons Love Tacos 2: The Sequel Cover Image
By Adam Rubin, Daniel Salmieri (Illustrator)
$18.99
ISBN: 9780525428886
Availability: Click Title for IN STOCK Location
Published: Dial Books - May 2nd, 2017

Staff Pick Logo
Pete the Cat and the Cool Cat Boogie Cover Image
By James Dean, James Dean (Illustrator), Kimberly Dean
$17.99
ISBN: 9780062404343
Availability: Click Title for IN STOCK Location
Published: HarperCollins - May 9th, 2017

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