Sunday, December 11, 2011

A Few Items of Interest, and The Cold Minds by Kristin Landon

I agree with Mr Salardino 100 percent, a book is a great gift, and one that I am giving this year to my mom and dad and stepdad, as well as to myself, from local bookstores Island Books and Baker Street Books.

"Technology is ruining the holidays. A download is a dud gift
(dudload?). When you give a 'real world' book to someone you are saying,
'I am totally in love with this book and think you will be too,' or 'The
sentiment in this book reminded me of you,' or 'Here, this is a journey
you will never forget.' A book is a personal gift--something uniquely
picked out, inscribed, and physically presented to another person. It
has emotional and actual weight. I am not saying there are not other
good gifts out there (a ukulele comes to mind), but with a book you
don't have to: mortgage the home, guess bra size, learn to sing, or find
out too late that they are allergic to nuts. That is why I think the
book is the best gift you can give. It is economical, beautiful, hours
of entertainment, thoughtful, and can last (both physically and in the
mind) a lifetime."

--Steven Salardino, manager of Skylight Books, Los Angeles, Calif., from the
bookstore's latest e-newsletter

This is an inspiring list of quotes from Flavorwire, via Shelf Awareness:

This is a reaction to, which is encouraging people to go into their local bookstore, find a book that they like and then buy it from off the computer, while they give you $5 off. I think that is an un-called for blow to Independent Bookstores, most of whom are an important of the community. Good for Garth for his response:

Author Garth Stein (The Art of Racing in the Rain), who is appearing at
Third Place tonight with Robert Goolrich (A Reliable Wife), tweeted his
own strategy "I like
to do the Reverse Amazon: hear about a book, read about it on Amazon,
then go buy it at my local bookstore! It's fun! #ReadLocal."

In a blog post headlined " 'This is the Part Where Amazon Jumps the
Shark' or 'Go Forth and Destroy Your Community Sayeth Amazon,' " Jarek
Steele co-owner of Left Bank Books, St. Louis, Mo.,
observed: "Meanwhile, I can offer this--if you shop at my bookstore, I
will not pay you five dollars to spy on my competitors. In fact, I'll
probably recommend them if we can't get what you need. I won't degrade
your favorite author by giving away a lifetime of her work so that I can
sell electronics. I will not make you feel bad for reading traditional
books, nor will I mock you for choosing an e-reader, e-book or anything
else I offer even if I don't personally like it. After all, customers
are people, not pawns. We still like to shop with people who respect

On Facebook, Occupy Amazon: Shop Local
offered a personal challenge from Kim Gavin of Powell's Books, Portland, Ore.:
"Physical retail establishments are not merely showrooms for products. Your local indie
store offers you knowledgeable employees that don't adhere to a
mathematical formula to provide recommendations, physical products to
peruse at your leisure, and a place to meet with members of your
community.... I personally challenge everyone to buy local this Saturday
(and every day thereafter). It's worth $5 to keep our local businesses

On Friday, Sen. Olympia Snowe
(R.-Maine) called for Amazon to cancel its price check plans and
described the online retailer's promotion as "an attack on Main Street
businesses that employ workers in our communities. Small businesses are
fighting every day to compete with giant retailers, such as Amazon, and
incentivizing consumers to spy on local shops is a bridge too far....
During the busiest shopping season of the year, we should remember that
our local restaurants, bookshops, and hardware stores are the economic
engines in our communities."

I've always been a fan of the wonderous claymation of Aardman Animations, since their first "Creature Comforts" video came out, followed by the first Wallace and Gromit adventure to the moon ("We'll go somewhere where there's cheese, Gromit!") so I was delighted to see this trailer for a claymation pirate looks like loads of fun, and it has my favorite Dr Who, David Tennant, as one of the voices!

Sony Pictures Animation and the U.K.'s Aardman Animations (Wallace &
Gromit) have released a trailer for the stop-motion 3D movie The
Pirates! Band of Misfits,
which is directed by Peter Lord (co-directed by Jeff Newitt) and based
on the books by Gideon Defoe. The voice cast includes Hugh Grant, Salma
Hayek, Jeremy Piven, Imelda Staunton and David Tennant. The Pirates!
opens March 30, 2012.

Finally, I happened upon a mass market paperback book in Baker Street Books called "The Cold Minds" and noticed, once I took it from the shelves, that there was a blurb on the cover from Linnea Sinclair, my favorite science fiction/romance hybrid author, and that the main character's name was also Linnea, so the book was sold just from that. Once I brought it home and began to read it, I found it to read like a combination of Sinclairs works and Ann Aguirres, with a heroine who was fiesty and smart, but also honorable and in this books mileau, dealing with a lot of sexism by the spaceship pilots fraternity. Though it's not a long book, it is engrossing, and I was able to spend a bit of time away from Terry Goodkind's "Legend of the Seeker" universe that has become somewhat consuming, as I begin reading book 3, "Blood of the Fold." I've just ordered the third book of Kristin Landon's series, "The Dark Reaches" from Barnes and Noble.

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