July’s Book of the Month: OUR SOULS AT NIGHT by Kent Haruf

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Our Souls at Night is July’s Book of the Month

We’re super excited for July to get started already and we have the books to prove it! This month we’re featuring the late Kent Haruf’s final novel, OUR SOULS AT NIGHT.

Taking place, yet again, in Holt, Colorado (like all of Haruf’s work), the novel follows Addie Moore and Louis Water, neighbors whose spouses have passed away, leaving them alone in their spacious homes. They’ve lived next to each other for decades, but when Addie proposes that they spend their nights together, sleeping and talking side by side to stem their loneliness, they become the talk of their families and the gossip of their small town.

What follows is a touching, often playful story of their newfound relationship.

Lynn Rosen, of The Philadelphia Enquirer calls the book “A fitting close to a storied career, a beautiful rumination on aging, accommodation, and our need to connect.” She adds that, “As a meditation on life and forthcoming death, Haruf couldn’t have done any better. He has given us a powerful, pared-down story of two characters who refuse to go gentle into that good night.”

And our very own Bookseller, Shane, says that, “Emphasizing the basic human need for human companionship and intimacy, OUR SOULS AT NIGHT concerns what is considered ordinary, but it is these seemingly mundane and small things in life that Haruf exposes to be both meaningful and beautiful.”

The Book of the Month will be 10% off for the whole of July. Check it out today!

Happy Pride!

Ed Devereux opened Unabridged Bookstore in 1980 in the heart of the vibrant Boystown community. From the beginning, Ed has been dedicated to promoting LGBTQ authors and providing a safe and open space for ALL readers. Below are some of the staff’s favorite LGBTQ books from 36 years of uncompromising bookselling! For quotes and more information on these titles. check out our Instagram.

“You think your pain and your heartbreak are unprecedented in the history of the world, but then your read.” -James Baldwin

YoungEd
A young Ed Devereux in a young Unabridged Bookstore circa 1985

Unabridged Responds to Borders’ Bankruptcy Filing

As of today America’s third largest mega-book retailer, Borders, has filed for chapter 11 bankruptcy protection. They have marked all but one of Chicago’s stores for closure. While the loss of jobs to Chicago, and to the United States, is saddening, we feel this is a direct result of a book-retailer business model that just does not work.

We want to thank you, our loyal customers, patrons, and conversationalists for realizing there is an immense value in supporting a local independent bookstore.

Unabridged has been serving the community for 30 years and we are still going strong. We take great pride, and quite a lot of time, in running a business that is both successful and an important community resource. We are, in no uncertain terms, committed to the future of Lakeview, Chicago, and the printed word. Through our hand-selected new hardcovers, our amazing collection of children’s books, the value-priced remainders section, our always relevant LGBTQ room, our cutting edge fiction, the ever studious history, philosophy, and psychology sections, and so many more books to fill your shelves with knowledge, humor, drama, intelligence and wit, to stock what interests you.

We are always eager to hear ways that we can nuture the surrounding community. We encourage you to contact us via any matter of modern technology that you deem relevant.

Yours in book selling,

– Unabridged Bookstore

At Least He Was Writing Letters ….

If you’re going to be in New York City anytime between March 16 and April 11 you should, nay, NEED to stop by the Morgan Library & Museum and check out a recently declassified (there is no better word) cache of letters from famous authorial recluse, J.D. Salinger.

From the Morgan Museum:

Written to Michael Mitchell, who was commissioned by Salinger to create the dust jacket for The Catcher in the Rye, the letters cover a forty-year period and constitute an extraordinarily rare and revealing correspondence. They richly document a period of Salinger’s life that has remained obscure and provide hitherto unknown details about the daily habits and thought of this legendary author.

So, I’m guessing todo lists like:

“1) Go to Piggly Wiggly 2) Pick up brisket 3) See what this Facebook is all about 4) Tort Reform

NOPE.

More like (emphasis mine):

He wrote eloquently and poignantly about the challenges to creativity that come with middle age, and the self-doubt attendant upon his writing. But he confirmed what many of his devoted readers had long hoped: Salinger continued to adhere to a strict writing discipline and, by the mid-1960s, had completed at least two novels and continued to work on others.

Okay, Little Brown, no need for the Stephanie Meyer cash-cow any longer. “Cha-ching” I can hear in the background.

New Books of the Moment

Here are two excellent books that were just reviewed by us, the helpful staff at Unabridged.

Stefan had this to say about …  ABOUT A MOUNTAIN by John D’Agata

D’Agata crafts a stylish and circuitous investigation of the controversial government plan to store our nation’s nuclear waste inside of Yucca Mountain to illuminate the state of the modern metropolitan area. The prose whips by in a series of montages that affect a sublime, lucid quality that skilfully interweaves many desperate sources to tell the overarching story. There is a lot going on here, but D’Agata never lets the material consume the moment. Stefan loved, loved, loved! This book.

Shane read/loved/and recommends SHADOW TAG by Louise Erdrich. He said:

What initially attracted me to Erdrich’s novel was not the plot, but rather the format in which the book is written. Shadow Tag alternates between excerpts from two diaries (one fake and one real) and third-person narration. The idea of keeping a manipulative fake diary (that you know your spouse is secretly reading) fascinated and disturbed me. And Shadow Tag did fascinate and disturb me – from beginning to end. Ultimate, it is about the collapse of a marriage and family. but with powerful imagery and engaging prose, Shadow Tag is a highly original tale, leaving the reader with profound insights into sex, love, and power. Some readers may be put off by the unlikable characters and bleak subject matter, but it is worth the plunge. Intense, poetic, chilling, raw and fearless – I really cannot recommend this unforgettable novel enough!

They are, of course, available for your pleasure. Stop by today to chat about them or, you know, whatever. Just not about squirrels. We are not currently fans of squirrels.