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Sunday, October 6, 2019

Diary Of A Small Town Sensation: How The Wimpy Kid Author Built His Dream Bookshop, by Jeff Kinney, The Guardian

Our local bookstore went out of business a few years after it opened, and I’ll never forget the confusion and hurt I felt when I saw the darkened windows for the first time. It was my first experience of losing something that seemed so obviously good.

And so when I found myself in a position, many years later, to open a bookstore in my adopted hometown of Plainville, Massachusetts, I was eager to make it happen. It felt like a way of righting the wrong that I experienced as a kid, while at the same time fighting back against the creeping suffocation of a world that was changing a little too quickly. But long before we opened our doors, we needed to actually build the doors. And the walls, and the floors, and everything else that went into the construction of what we would come to call An Unlikely Story.

Mixopedia: The Origin Of The Bar Foot Rail, by Wayne Curtis, Imbibe Magazine

Foot rails in bars are noticeable mostly when they’re absent. You belly up to a bar, start pawing one foot in the air like a dog begging for a treat and find no firm platform upon which to land. You wonder: What kind of place is this?

Christmas Comes Early (And That's Just Fine) In 'Ten Blind Dates', by Alethea Kontis, NPR

Well, I hope you all enjoyed your Fall! If you blinked, you might have missed it. Yes, folks, the Hallmark Channel is primed and ready, the shelves at Michael's are fully stocked, and even in the publishing industry, the halls are decked for Christmas!

Okay. I know, I know. Before you roll your eyes so far back they fall out of your head, bear with me. We all understand that there is a limited release window for holiday-themed titles, and October is just the first wave of those. This way, book lovers have plenty of time to pick out the perfect stocking stuffer (or 12). And I am here to tell you right now that Ashley Elston's 10 Blind Dates should absolutely be on that gift list. In fact, buy an extra copy for yourself and read it as soon as comfortably possible. It is POSITIVELY DELIGHTFUL — all caps — from beginning to end.

Patience By Toby Litt Review – A Yearning To Connect, by Houman Barekat, The Guardian

The vibrancy of Litt’s narrative voice – at times heartbreakingly plaintive, but also clever, funny and suffused with tenderness – carries the persistence of hope in circumstances of deep despair. This is a very beautiful book, and deserves to be widely read.

Shelf Life By Livia Franchini Review – An Arresting, Lyrical Debut, by Sara Taylor, The Guardian

Writers are sometimes described as being so good that one would gladly read their shopping list. Livia Franchini is kind enough to provide the list.

So Real It Hurts, by Chris Brownsword, 3:AM Magazine

So Real It Hurts is anything but a cosy bedside read. It won’t make you sleep easy. But that’s the point. In self-lacerating spasms of undiluted fury, Lunch peels back her skin to reveal a grinning skull.