Thursday, March 31, 2016

Storefront Saturday in Decatur!

This event will be held on April 23rd from noon to 5 p.m.

We'll update this post as more information becomes available.

Who's participating?

Bleu Hanger
Boutique Karma
Furry Tails
Little Shop of Stories
Natural Body
Splash of Olive
Squash Blossom
The Great Frame Up
Treehouse Kid and Craft
Tres Jolie
Trinity Mercantile & Design
Wild Oats & Billy Goats
Worthmore Jewelers

Friday, March 18, 2016

Welcoming Marcus Zusak

Marcus Zusak, author of The Book Thief, spoke in Atlanta last night at the William Bremen Jewish Heritage Museum as part of his tour celebrating the tenth anniversary of his acclaimed novel. He was introduced by Little Shop bookseller Krista Gilliam. Her remarks are included below.

Good evening! I’m Krista Gilliam, a bookseller at Little Shop of Stories, an independent bookstore located in downtown Decatur.  It’s my great pleasure to welcome you to the William Breman Jewish Heritage Museum to celebrate the 10th anniversary of The Book Thief by Markus Zusak. I’d like to thank the Breman Museum for partnering with us on this event and for providing this beautiful venue.

At Little Shop of Stories, we feature hundreds of events a year, and host countless authors promoting their recent books. We love being able to introduce our customers to new books and connect them with authors. But there is something extra special about tonight, because we aren’t here to learn about a new book, or to meet the author of a book that’s just recently appeared on The New York Times bestseller list.

The Book Thief was published ten years ago. And somehow this room is still packed with people who have been impacted by this beautiful, haunting story. We are gathering tonight because this is a book that has changed us, inspired us, touched us. It’s a book we’ve handed to our brothers or teachers or students or friends and said. This book. You have to read this book. We are here, ten years later, because it has stayed with us. It isn’t just a story; it’s become our story.

The Book Thief is a book that breaks us. Despite all of Death’s warnings and foreshadowing throughout the pages, when the bombs hit Himmel Street, it is as if they are falling on our own hearts. I found myself completely broken when I reached the end of this book. I felt raw and overwhelmed and hyper-aware of the world and my tiny place in it. And I would bet that we all had a similar response to this story. This is a book that opens us up to the suffering of others. It forces us to look directly at terrible tragedy and to sit with pain. It teaches us empathy, and makes us feel, two things that are crucial to the human experience.

This is also a book that gives us hope for the future. It is about the ability to overcome brutality, and about the power of humanity, and about ordinary people doing extraordinary things. My husband and I were reminded of the hope of this book as we brainstormed names for our baby girl. We thought of all the characteristics we wanted our daughter to have--we wanted her to be brave and kind and tough and compassionate. We wanted her to be able to see beauty even in the midst of suffering. We wanted her to love books. And we remembered the girl from The Book Thief.

Today, my daughter Liesel is one and half years old, and one day when she’s old enough, I will hand her a copy The Book Thief to read herself. In the book, Max and Liesel literally write their own stories, and The Book Thief reminds us of the blank pages of life ahead of us, and the chance we all have to fill them with stories of beauty and hope and purpose.

I heard a quote recently by Frederick Buechner that I think sums up The Book Thief perfectly:

“Here is the world. Beautiful and terrible things will happen. Don’t be afraid.”

Thank you, Markus Zusak, for showing us the beauty and tragedy of the world, for sharing Liesel and Max and Rudy and Hans with us, for helping us not to be afraid, for inspiring us and changing us. We are here tonight because we love your book. Here’s to another ten years of The Book Thief.

Monday, March 7, 2016

Poetry & Wine Book Group

I appreciate poetry whenever I'm exposed. It just doesn't happen often enough. (I have had more exposure to wine.)

Thus is the impetus for Little Shop of Stories' newest book group, Poetry & Wine.

My hope is that the Poetry & Wine Book Group will attract a diversity of poetry lovers and the curious. I will be particularly happy if this appeals to wide variety of ages.

The first meeting will occur smack dab in the middle of National Poetry Month -- Friday, April 15th, at 7 p.m. -- and will continue to meet the third Friday evening of each month.

The first book of poetry will be The Best American Poetry 2015, edited by Sherman Alexie. (All book group books are available at Little Shop of Stories at a 15% discount for folks who plan on attending.) To state the obvious: this is a collection of contemporary American poetry. Alexie is one of my favorite writers across genres (young adult, poetry, fiction, short stories; he even has a picture book coming out in May) and he clearly made an effort to bring in a diverse group of poets. This seems to be a perfect book with which to launch a poetry group and to be able to get a feel for its direction.

As for beverages, Little Shop of Stories will start this off. Bottles of red. Bottles of white. Bottles of water. Snacks. Nothing fancy, but definitely serviceable.

For the first meeting people will be invited to discuss their favorite poem from the collection. They may feel free to read that poem as well.