I have received several suggestions to visit and review BookBuyers; its customers love it! I’m so glad my girlfriend, Frances McClellan, visited and reported back:
Entering the spacious store from Castro Street in down town Mountain View, California one can quickly get lost sifting through the first rack one encounters on the right which is full of music CD’s. Yes, music in an antiquarian bookstore.
BookBuyers Used Books and Media is not only an antiquarian bookseller and used bookstore, but also a deep catalogue music store as well. This is the place I travel too when I’m looking for a certain music title or paperback travel book at a reasonable price. The travel section not only has titles by recognized authors such as Bill Bryson and Tim Cahill, but also books written by the famous Jan Morris. I personally enjoy the full bookcase of travel guides where I can pick up a DK Guide to most any destination on Earth for a reasonable price.
Known for their broad Sci-fi and fantasy book collection, this store is frequented by many well-read and therefore well-entertained engineers in Silicon Valley. In addition to having readily available works by Douglas Adams of “Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy” fame they can always locate that hard to find title one may be desperate to reread.
What can make you Mother of the Year? A pair of tickets to the premiere of and after party for the movie “Eclipse.” Kelsey had the night of her life last night and I got to share it with her. What an atmosphere to see the movie in! As each of the major stars appeared on the screen, thousands of people screamed. A kiss between Bella and anyone, more screams. Let’s just say, I did my part.
At the after party, the talk everywhere was “Loved “Eclipse,” this one is better than the first two!” Now, regardless of the quality of the movie, that is what everyone would say at the after party, it’s only polite since the producers are plying us with fabulous food and drink while we mill among the celebrities. However, I’m here to tell you that this time it’s true, and here’s why.
These Vampires are Scary
The Twilight saga sugar coats the vampire violence. We hear about the back story of some of the vampires, and it isn’t pretty, but it feels distant because the vampire is telling Bella a story. Rosalie describes how she wrecked vengeance on her fiancee by hunting him down, she tells us that he is petrified, but the reader doesn’t live it. In the flashback scene, we felt his terror. In the book Eclipse we learn about the vampire army in Seattle when Bella hears about deaths from her father, or in conversations with the Cullens, or by overhearing a news broadcast. Meyer tells the reader about the vampire army; the movie (i.e., the screenwriter, Melissa Rosenberg) shows the view how the vampire army is formed and fed.
The opening scene sets a whole new tone. Victoria’s lieutenant, Riley, is attacked leaving a gallery. It wasn’t Dr. Cullen saving Edward or Rosalie to become vegetarian vampires, it was a violent attack and I was watching it through my fingers. There are two scenes of the vampire army attacking ordinary people, like me. These scenes added credibility to Jacob’s assertions that vampires are evil. They supported Edward’s insistence that Bella remain human. They gave the Cullens worthy opponents rather than cardboard ones. The entire story felt fuller.
I’m thrilled Rosenberg is the screenwriter for ‘Breaking Dawn.’
Don’t Worry, the Romance is Still There
While the violence creates a less girly film (one producer noted that this film is easier for teenage boys to enjoy, since the smart ones know that the place to find the cute teenage girls will be at “Eclipse”), there are still several steamy Read the rest of this entry »
Bookstores serve another, more subtle purpose: they tell us what our fellow human beings are currently interested in or concerned about. Bookstores are a billboard of our preoccupations. Consequently, I make it a point to read the bestsellers lists to identify the zeitgeist of our times. And it is often alarming to consider what people are spending their time reading about.
I just checked the list of nominations for best adapted screenplay for 2010 and have to admit I haven’t read a single source material. (I don’t think they’re all based on books, but of course Precious is). So my pre-Oscar post isn’t directly relevant to this year’s list but I like to think that makes it ageless.
All my life, I’ve loved to read and I’ve eagerly looked forward to seeing movie versions of books I’ve loved, an experience not unlike coming home from a trip alone with your spouse when you walk into your house thinking, “I can’t wait to see my kids! I love them so much!” and the first few minutes of reunion are, indeed, wonderful . . . and then someone starts whining, someone starts demanding, someone throws up–in short, reality sets in. So it is with going to see movies based on your favorite books. The opening titles throw you into a frenzy of delight and anticipation. And then the movie starts. And you’re like, “Wait, that’s not what he should look like . . . She never said that in the book! . . . They were supposed to go to Italy before getting married . . . Oh, come on, everyone knows she would never do anything like that . . . Wait, what happened to that whole scene in the park? . . . Her mother shouldn’t look that old . . .” And so on.
The National Book Foundation announced this year’s winner last Wednesday night. I’ve always been interested in the award winners, but the announcement grew ever more suspenseful watching it on Twitter. Waiting to pick up my daughter from a New Moon screening, I read each announcement from people attending the event, and then the reaction from the book community. Prior to the fiction announcement several tweets hoped McCann would win (even people who admitted they hadn’t read the book), and then a cyberspace celebration began. This years winners:
Fiction: Let the Great World Spinby Colum McCann
Nonfiction: The First Tycoon: The Epic Life of Cornelius Vanderbilt by T. J. Stiles
Young people’s literature: Claudette Colvin: Twice Toward Justiceby Phillip Hoose
Poetry: Transcendental Studies: A Trilogyby Keith Waldrop
The Foundation honored Gore Vidal with the Distinguished Contribution to American Letters and Dave Eggers with the 2009 Literarian Award for Outstanding Service to the American Literary Community. Several of the recipients were previously published in The New Yorker magazine.
Over 10,000 people voted in the Best of National Book Awards Fiction and The Complete Stories of Flannery O’Connor won. I was surprised, I thought Ralph Ellison would win, though I voted for John Cheever. Flannery O’Connor certainly deserves the award, especially after she lost the year she published A Good Man is Hard to Find.
And Now to the Heart: New Moon
Through a school charity event, I was able to purchase a ticket for my daughter to see a screening of New Moon last Wednesday. The deal we made: she could go to the teen screening as long as she agreed to see the movie with me this weekend. A girlfriend e-mailed me last night asking to tag along, we both need Kelsey to provide cover for our attendance.
I picked up four girls from the screening and listened to surprisingly well reasoned arguments for Team Jacob and Team Edward. My daughter won a Team Jacob t-shirt, her new favorite item of clothing. I thought about telling them who won the National Book Awards (that I just learned on Twitter), but realized that would mortify my daughter.
The Washington Post article nailed the attraction of the Twilight series for adult women, it isn’t about the writing or the story, but about being a teenager:
It’s a time capsule to the breathless period when the world could literally end depending on whether your lab partner touched your hand, when every conversation was so agonizing and so thrilling (and the border between the two emotions was so thin), and your heart was bigger and more delicate than it is now, and everything was just so much more.
It’s fun to watch my daughter experience that time of life and to re-visit it, just for a couple of hours, myself.