Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Fall to Grace: A Revolution of God, Self and Society, By Jay Bakker

I admire Jay and enjoyed his earlier book, Son of a Preacher Man, which I recommend to anyone who wants to see how a young man can find the love of God in the crazy TV world that raised Jay Bakker.

However, in Fall to Grace Jay takes his Grace trip to the next level. Part spiritual memoir like his first book, part bible study, Jay takes us on a tour of perhaps the most liberty-affirming book in the Bible, Paul's letter to the Galatians. Meanwhile he shares with us vignettes from life that show God's mercy and power in the unlikeliest of places.

From the mad world of PTL Ministries in Charlotte, North Carolina to Pete's Candy Store in Brooklyn, New York, Jay has discovered an outrageous grace -- the infinite love of an infinite Abba.

Monday, May 23, 2011

Honorable Mention

Special shout out and thank you to author Paul Malmont for mentioning us in a blog post on April 22, "Borders Booksellers Won't Go Down Without Fight." Evidently his google search picked up on Madmohawk's review of his book, and he shared this sweet sentiment:

Sometimes, in our big-box-store era, you forget that sometimes the people who work there actually care about what they’re doing. My Google alert found this post about my first book on a site called Booksellers in Exile, described as a blog started by former Borders employees meant to be a home for people who love books, music and movies.

I appreciate that anyone is still taking the time to talk about my book, and Borders has always been very good to me. But it’s more important to point out that booksellers, be it at a chain, or at your local independent, really do care about books. They’re passionate enough about them to keep trying to help you decide what to read even after their store has disappeared around them. Take advantage of that commitment—before they’re extinct.

Thanks again Paul. We appreciate your appreciation!

Friday, May 20, 2011

The Tiger's Wife: A Novel by Téa Obreht

This is a wonder of a novel! I was looking forward to it after reading two stories by Téa Obreht in The New Yorker, one of which turns out to have been an excerpt from this book. The stories were remarkable for their beautifully crafted language and sheer storytelling power and raised my expectations for the novel. I could not have been more richly rewarded.

Natalia, a young doctor in an unnamed Balkan country still suffering from the effects of a war that has torn the country apart, travels across a new border to vaccinate orphans. Learning that her beloved grandfather, also a doctor, has died far from home, and under pressure from her grandmother to find out the circumstances of his death, she makes a detour to the town where he died.

On this frame, Obreht builds layer upon layer of stories, stories told to Natalia through the years by her grandfather, stories that explain everything about his life and, she comes to believe, about his death. The first story takes place during an earlier war, when Natalia's grandfather was a young boy, and a tiger, freed from the city zoo by German bombs, makes his way to her grandfather's village. The second story is about an immortal man who meets Natalia's grandfather three times over many years, appearing where there is illness and war to gather souls.

Obreht tells these stories bit by bit, with vivid imagery and fully developed characters, interweaving them seamlessly with Natalia's journey. Ultimately, they help her understand her grandfather's life and death while they illuminate a people's dreams, fears and superstitions. At 25, Téa Obreht writes with self-assurance well beyond her years. This is a dazzling debut.

Friday, May 6, 2011

World of Warcraft: Rise of the Horde by Christie Golden

Every once in awhile a book comes along that changes everything for you. World of Warcraft: Rise of the Horde is not that book, but it's a fun read.

Set in the universe of World of Warcraft, this book serves as one of the several prequels to the insanely popular MMO and gives some interesting background information of one of the two major factions, the Horde. Players of the game will enjoy something akin to a "Santa Clause is Coming to Town" experience as we meet legendary characters from Orc history and follow them through the dark choices made and the terrible results - which of course sets up the situation that players enjoy every day in game.

What's fun is, even if one knows nothing of WoW and it's many plots and subplots, it's an interesting story of how fear and war can corrupt a people.

Again, if you want a book that'll change everything, I'd say try Atlas Shrugged, perhaps The Stranger, maybe even Little Heroes by Norman Spinrad, but if you want a fun little book that will take you away and enrich your WoW experience, World of Warcraft: Rise of the Horde by Christie Golden is the right book.

For the Horde!

Book Trailer - The Girl in the Steel Corset by Kady Cross.

Great looking trailer for first book in the new Young Adult novel series -- The Steampunk Chronicles.

Girl in the Steel Corset - publish date May 24, 2011