Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Jan Berenstain

July 26, 1923 - February 24, 2012

Along with her late husband, Stan -- who died in 2005 -- Jan Berenstain had an incredible career in children's publishing as the creators of the Berenstain Bears series of books.  The couple was later joined by one of their sons, Michael.  Here is a link to a wonderful interview that NPR did with Mike yesterday.

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

The Starboard Sea Featured by The New York Times

I'm not the only one praising this book.  I blogged about The Starboard Sea this morning.  Now The New York Times has posted its review this evening.

Actually, I recommend that you not read past the introduction of the Times' review and the paragraph reproduced below -- at least until after you have read the book.  The Starboard Sea is not a plot driven novel, but what does unfold is best left for the author to divulge at her leisure rather than have the reader come into the book with knowledge of events before they occur.

Praise from The New York Times:
By the time the [main characters] have been fully introduced, “The Starboard Sea” has permanently parted ways with the predictable. This is not a strictly prep school story. Its secrets are not tacked on or contrived. It is a rich, quietly artful novel that is bound for deep water, with questions of beauty, power and spiritual navigation as its main concerns. The title refers not to the right side of a boat but to the right course through life, and the immense difficulty of finding and following it. 

Congratulations to Amber Dermont on the extraordinary reception her first novel is receiving.  All Scotties should feel justly proud.

- Dave

Think Local! Win a T-Shirt and Dinner!

From The Decatur Minute blog:

There’s “Keep Austin Weird,” “Love Asheville,” “Think Local Umpqua,” “Homegrown El Paso,” and so many more “buy local” campaigns around the country. How about Decatur? What slogan would sum up our city’s local love of independent businesses? How do you capture Decatur’s community spirit in just a few words? We want to hear from you! Send in a go local Decatur slogan to us, we’ll pick the best three, and put them up for a public vote online. Get creative!

Send your submission to by March 16. The winning submission will be used in an ongoing marketing campaign for the City of Decatur. The winner will receive two free shirts with his/her slogan and a giftcard to a local restaurant.

The folks over at the Decatur - Avondale Estates Patch reminds us of slogans some of our neighbors have put forth over the years.  I'm thinking we can do a little better than these!

The Starboard Sea Comes Out Today!

Today is the official release date of The Starboard Sea, a novel by Amber Dermont.  The narrator, 18-year-old Jason Prosper, has transferred to a new prep school for his senior year following the suicide of his best friend and sailing partner at his former school.  This is, however, a thoroughly adult novel in that Jason has a mature, introspective voice.  (On the other hand, there is little that is inappropriate in the novel for the YA reader.)

Ms. Dermont, a professor of English at Agnes Scott College, has written a stunning debut novel.  I rarely afford myself the luxury of reading adult fiction cover to cover, but was drawn into an unfamiliar setting by a compellingly complex and conflicted character.

This is highly recommended reading.

Autographed copies are available at Little Shop.

- Dave