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The man who wanted magic

“He went into the taboos of the heart and let us know that we don’t have to carve out of our souls the things that society wants us to amputate.” -- Elizabeth Ashley

While Tennessee Williams’ professional life could reasonably be divided into two major periods that might be called the pre and the post Iguana phases, his personal life enjoyed no glorious archs at all. His father, whom everyone called CC, was always distant and verbally abusive and his vocal disapproval of his gentle-natured younger son did not diminish as Tom (who had renamed himself Tennessee) assumed his rightful place among the giants of the American theater. His mother, the formidably frigid Edwina, although armored in inch-thick plates of self righteousness, chose to cast herself as a fragile magnolia blossom withering under life’s scorching sun. CC and Edwina may have provided their three offspring with arid, miserable childhoods, but they also unknowingly gifted Tom with a first-hand access to a veritable wellspring of destructive and dysfunctional behavior that he liberally drew from during his long writing career. (READ MORE)

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Tennessee Williams: Mad Pilgrimage of the Flesh Cover Image
$39.95
ISBN: 9780393021240
Availability: Hard to Find
Published: W. W. Norton & Company - September 22nd, 2014

Town of many secrets

Everyone has secrets, although the frequency of occurrences or the degrees of darkness may differ from person to person. Even the shimmering California sunshine can’t cast a flattering light on the secrets harbored by the various participants in Tinseltown, William J. Mann’s new book about one of Hollywood’s most intriguing officially unsolved murders. The shooting of any prominent person causes an exorbitant amount of publicity, most of it as unproductive as it is unwanted, but the death of director William Desmond Taylor in his upscale Los Angeles apartment on February 1, 1922 was particularly notable for its bad timing. (READ MORE)

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Tinseltown: Murder, Morphine, and Madness at the Dawn of Hollywood Cover Image
$27.99
ISBN: 9780062242167
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Harper - October 14th, 2014

Tricks, Treats and (not so) Scary Surprises

Trick or Treat! And today's treats are all some of my new favorite Halloween Tales. We have a brave monster. A little ghost looking for a haunt. A Llama ready to have some fun. A favorite spooky poet of mine. A special black cat (and witch) and one crazy little seed!

Not Very Scary by Carol Brendler (illustrated by Greg Pizzoli): Melly is a brave monster. Afraid of nothing. However, the bumps in the night cause her a little concern as she goes to her cousins house for a big surprise! The season of Halloween comes alive as Melly proves she isn't scared...well...maybe a little bit....(READ MORE)

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Not Very Scary Cover Image
By Carol Brendler, Greg Pizzoli (Illustrator)
$12.99
ISBN: 9780374355470
Availability: Special Order
Published: Farrar Straus Giroux - August 12th, 2014

Hibernation and Stock Piles

It is that time of year when I need to do a little stock piling of books. Hibernation is upon us! Therefore, I look around and I read the recommends of my fellow booksellers. I have found four new titles this way that will be on my nightstand of Hibernation reads.  I admit, not only do they all have fun and/or lovely and/or intriguing covers, their stories sound just deliciously readable!

First we will start with Anatomy of a Misfit by Andrea Portes. When Whitney told me "She was killing me" with her humorous text, I knew that I had to say, "Yes please! I wanna read!"  The publisher review has it called a mix of "Mean Girls" and "The Perks of Being a Wallflower"  This "other side" of the high school hierarchy and tragedy is a "triumphant debut" novel. (READ MORE)

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Anatomy of a Misfit Cover Image
$17.99
ISBN: 9780062313645
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Harper Teen - September 2nd, 2014

The eternal allure of sex, gaslight, and fog

For all the impressive research that bolsters author Russell Edwards’ conclusion that Jack the Ripper was Aaron Kosminski, a 23-year-old, mentally unstable hairdresser long suspected of being the infamous serial killer, I remain unconvinced. The inevitable book is called Naming Jack the Ripper. Mr. Edwards’ insistence that he has finally identified the murderer who terrorized London during the fall of 1888 makes Patricia Cornwell’s conviction that the killer was artist Walter Sickert seem quite passive in contrast, no small accomplishment in itself.

The author’s fascination with the bloody work of the Ripper dates back to the 2001 movie, From Hell, an atmospheric recreation of the crimes (filmed in Poland) that incorporated mysticism, Freemasonry, royalty, and Johnny Depp. It was a unique bundle of cinematic kindling that nevertheless ignited the flame of an obsession. The Ripper does have a way of insinuating himself into peoples’ lives, even at this far-removed point in history. (READ MORE)

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Naming Jack the Ripper Cover Image
$25.95
ISBN: 9781493011902
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Lyons Press - September 9th, 2014

Between the church and the motel

Tavis Smiley, who hosts a commentary program on PBS, has written a book about the last year of Martin Luther King’s life. Death of a King will be published by Little Brown in September.

Dr. King’s presence during the 1960s had glowed like a candle beckoning all Americans forward to a kinder, safer place. But, it was a long and stormy night and, as the decade progressed, the steady flame began to waver. The man who placed nonviolence above all other instruments of social protest began to have doubts that his philosophy was going to prevail.

At his lowest moments, Dr. King must have wondered if the hatred just too ingrained to be dispelled without violence. The same country that, just two decades earlier, had defeated a megalomaniac’s quest to establish a dominant super race, was now tearing itself apart over what was, essentially, a carefully crouched reiteration of the same quest. Americans had fought a bloody civil war to eradicate slavery, but the insidious, corrosive effect of racism -- both the overt and officially-cloaked variety -- was still alive and fully operational. (READ MORE)

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Death of a King: The Real Story of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.'s Final Year Cover Image
$27.00
ISBN: 9780316332767
Availability: Hard to Find
Published: Little Brown and Company - September 9th, 2014

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