Monday, June 25, 2012

David Maraniss at Agnes Scott Tomorrow

We just wanted to remind everyone that David Maraniss, author of Barack Obama: The Story, Tuesday, June 26th, will be at Agnes Scott College’s Presser Hall on Tuesday evening.  The event is free and will be done on a first come, first seated basis.  Doors open at 6pm, and Mr. Maraniss' presentation will begin at 7pm.  This is sponsored by Georgia Center for the Book.

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Scenes from a Book Festival Press Launch

The 2012
AJC Decatur Book Festival
presented by DeKalb Medical
was launched on Monday at Eddie's Attic.
I've blogged about this in Decatur Metro today, but thought this would be a good place to post a few photos of the event.

 Daren Wang, the festival's executive director,
talked about some of the exciting new things happening
at this year's festival.

 Programming Director Terra Elan McVoy
gave us a partial rundown of the great authors
that she has lined up.  Wow!

The 3-D version of Bookzilla was introduced by
Richard Lenz, CEO of Lenz Marketing.

Bookzilla announced that it is running for president.

This very cool poster was unveiled!  Go Bookzilla!

Daren introduced a new fundraiser for 2012, the auctioning of Little Free Libraries -- like this one.  There will be a dozen,
each painted by a different local artist.

 This one is by Elizabeth Dulemba, author and illustrator of children's books. It is strikingly gorgeous!

 James Dean's artistry elicited more than a few
"Ooooooh!"s from the crowd.

For a lot more information,

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Happy Birthday, Paul; Goodbye Victor

Paul McCartney celebrated his 70th birthday yesterday.
Happy Birthday to you.
(We're gonna have a good time!)

Paul performing earlier this month at the Queen's Diamond Jubilee

Victor Spinetti, just to the right of Paul
Victor Spinetti, a Welsh-born actor who starred in almost everything that The Beatles did on film, died this morning at the age of 82.  According to legend, George Harrison told him, "You've got to be in all our films. If you're not in them me mum won't come and see them – because she fancies you."  Spinetti is perhaps best remembered for playing the beleaguered television producer in the great "A Hard Day's Night," and also starred in "Help" and "Magical Mystery Tour." He was much more than the sum of his Beatles' films, and the New York Times wrote up a fine rememberance.

Saturday, June 16, 2012

Today is Bloomsday!

I love the story of Bloomsday.
As I also love Garrison Keillor, I'll let him tell it.

John Ryan (businessman, painter, and owner/editor of literary magazine Envoy), Anthony Cronin (poet and critic who turns 84 this year), Brian O'Nolan (author, playwright, and columnist), Patrick Kavanagh (novelist and poet), and Tom Joyce (dentist, and cousin of James)
"The first modern celebration of Bloomsday was in 1954, the 50th anniversary of the fictional events in Joyce's book, and about three decades after Joyce published his novel in 1922. Irish writers Flann O'Brien [O'Nolan's pen name] and Patrick Kavanagh got together with critic John Ryan and a dentist cousin of James Joyce, named Tom Joyce, to make a daylong pilgrimage around Dublin. They were to have stops at the Martello Tower (the opening scene of the novel), Davy Byrne's Pub (where Bloom eats a gorgonzola cheese sandwich) and 7 Eccles Street (where Bloom and his wife, Molly, lived). They role-played, acted out the dialogue, and rode in horse-drawn carriages like those described in the scene of Paddy Dignam's funeral. They were supposed to end up in the red-light section of Dublin, where the 15th chapter of Ulysses 'Nighttown' is set, but the literary pilgrims got a bit drunk and distracted at a pub about halfway through the route and lost their ambition to finish it."
-- Garrison Keillor, today on The Writer's Almanac

Bloomsday is celebrated in Dublin to this day.
In fact, it's grown to be a week-long event.

Enjoy the beverage of your choice today in honor of
Leopold Bloom.

Monday, June 11, 2012

What Girls Are Reading

Some people watch hip TV for the clothing and styles.  Some for the music.

 So I'm watching HBO's "Girls" and I notice what they're reading.  Of course, it isn't for long.  People on TV don't read.  We'd be bored watching people read.

Anyway, the show I was watching -- and I'm at least a week behind -- had Hannah (played by Lena Dunham) reading her boyfriend's copy of  Saul Bellow's Him With His Foot in His Mouth and Other Stories.

Hey, I'm not the only one who notices these things.  The New Yorker did (in a nice article) and someone on a Tumblr thingy.  Someone even posted the photo below in "Fictional Characters Reading Books."

Good for Hannah!  Bellow was a great writer -- maybe the best American of the 20th century.  A Nobel, a Pulitzer, and three National Book Awards.  Seize the Day, Henderson the Rain King, Humboldt's Gift.

Friday, June 8, 2012

Today is Read Like A Grownup Day!

We want to get the news out that we're growing our adult fiction and nonfiction sections.  To entice you into our shop, we're offering 25% off on ALL GROWNUP TITLES!!!  That's today only.  We're open until 9pm.

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Natasha Trethewey to be Named Poet Laureate!

Congratulations to Emory professor Natasha Trethewey, who will be named poet laureate tomorrow by the Library of Congress.

This is a big deal!

Monday, June 4, 2012

Justin is Drawing in the Patch

The Man
Justin, former Little Shopper, former leader of Comics Camp at Little Shop, former graphic novel expert at Little Shop, is now a guest graphic blogger over at the Decatur-Avondale Estates Patch.

Check out his latest comic here!

by Justin!
Justin will be our guest star bookseller this week at Little Shop, and will be featured here in a reoccurring role for the rest of the summer.  Woohoooo!

Sunday, June 3, 2012

The Fat Blog

In order to address issues of obesity, Mayor Michael Bloomberg of New York has proposed a ban on selling soda in containers that exceed 16 ounces. This would not extend to drinks sold in grocery or convenience stores (where 7-11 sells Super Big Gulps that are apparently 40-ounces and meant for immediate consumption by one consumer) or to diet sodas.

There is scientific evidence that if people are given larger portions, they tend to consumer more. Koert van Ittersum, a marketing professor at Georgia Tech, has conducted some very interesting research related to this topic.

Bloomberg has been ridiculed and vilified in the media by -- no surprise -- the soft drink industry and seemingly just about everyone else. (I'm not providing a link here. Simply Google "Bloomberg" and "soda" and you'll get about 34,800 hits -- almost all of which are negative.)

It got me to think about the changing conception of fat. Here's a look at rock 'n' roll.

  This is a picture of the late Carl Wilson of The Beach Boys circa 1966.  In terms of weight, he looks pretty normal. But that's by today's standards. Back then he was known as "husky," which was a polite male way of saying not real fat, but definitely overweight.

This is a picture of The Beach Boys from that same period. (Bruce Johnston, second from left, had replaced Brian Wilson during tours.)  Carl Wilson, on the far right, was about 20 years-old.  Compared to his cousin Mike Love (far left) or his brother Dennis (center), he was relatively heavy.

Second from left in this photo is Mark Volman of The Turtles, also about the age of 20.  Forty-five years ago, he was considered really, really fat.

Here are The Turtles performing live on the Ed Sullivan Show.  If you go to the 2:32 mark, it shows Volman pretty well.  Today we would probably refer to him as husky. (As is common for fat males, Volman's public persona was of that of a clownish guy.)

Which brings us to comedy.

John Belushi was considered fat in Animal House (1978)
Chris Farley was considered fat during SNL (1993)

All of which is to say that what we think is fat is relative.  And so, historically speaking, is the size of soda containers.


Carl Wilson typically sang harmonies for the Beach Boys, but sang lead on one of their greatest songs "God Only Knows" from "Pet Sounds."  He died of cancer in 1998 at the age of 51.

The Turtles were a popular group. Like The Byrds, they covered Dylan and also wrote their own stuff. Howard Kaylan was an excellent lead singer. Mark Volman sang lead and backing vocals, and had a very good voice as well. After The Turtles died, Volman and Kaylan formed Florescent Leech and Eddie (typically shortened to "Flo and Eddie"), joined Frank Zappa and the Mothers of Invention, and sang backup vocals on lots and lots of songs (including Bruce Springsteen's "Hungry Heart").

Today Volman teaches at the Mike Curb College of Entertainment and Music Business at Belmont University in Nashville.

The the best of my knowledge, Johan Hill is not Volman's illegitimate son.

Both John Belushi and Chris Farley died at the age of 33 from accidental drug overdoses.

Chris Farley's interview with Paul McCartney is, I thought, one of the greatest moments in the entire history of Saturday Night Live.  A transcript can be found here

I really have no idea why I wrote this blog.

Saturday, June 2, 2012

It's Good to be Pete!

Pete the Cat and His Four Groovy Buttons
for the 4th Consecutive Week

Pete the Cat: I Love My White Shoes
#3 on the New York Times Best Sellers List


a cool new You Tube video
of the book launch party at
Little Shop of Stories
May 5, 2012

James Dean, creator and illustrator of Pete the Cat
Eric Litwin, author of the Pete books
Michael Levine on guitar and bass

The Hunger Games is Going to Film in Atlanta!!!

Citing "a well-placed source with direct knowledge of the project," the AJC states that the sequel to The Hunger Games will be filmed in Atlanta!

The arena used in the second book, Catching Fire, is quite different than the wilderness that was used in the first book.  That movie was filmed in North Carolina.  The 75th Annual Hunger Games in Catching Fire takes place in a large, circular domed arena with (if I recall correctly) a different man made-induced natural catastrophe occurring each hour.

This would seem to call for a very large sound stage.  However, Atlanta would make for a great Capitol City!

Seeing as Little Shop has sold about 4 bazillion of these books, I'm sure our store could be included somehow.  Mmmmmm.

Friday, June 1, 2012

Apple Announces Details of iTV!

While Apple did not state the date that iTV will become available, CEO Tim Cook has provided details about the long-rumored device.

As with most Apple products, it will be self contained and incredibly simple to use.  Just plug it in.  The only peripheral to go with it will be a remote control unit that is expected to be ready in a couple of years.  There will be no need to connect to any other electronic box in your home.  There will be no need for a cable line running into your home or a satellite dish on your roof.  There will NO MONTHLY FEES!!!  The only downside is that it will initially only receive four stations, with the expectation that this will increase to about a dozen unique channels.

iTV prototype
A photo of the prototype has been leaked to the media.

"We're incredibly excited about this new product," stated Cook.  "The user interface is simple.  The product is wireless.  People will deal directly with the unit, actually touching the knobs.  It can be hand-held or placed on a table."