Upcoming: An Evening with Jonathan Safran Foer

Here I Am - Foer

We’re super excited to be teaming with the Music Box Theatre for September’s evening with Jonathan Safran Foer, bestselling author of EVERYTHING IS ILLUMINATED and EXTREMELY LOUD AND INCREDIBLY CLOSE, and we hope you are too! You can order a ticket (and with that ticket, a copy of the book), right at this link.

In the meantime, here are some details! The Music Box has kindly provided their wonderful space for this event, which will be on Wednesday, September 21st, at 7:30pm. A ticket will also get you a copy of a book, for $32.00 (plus a $2.75 fee). He will be reading from and discussing his new book, HERE I AM, with the extraordinary Rebecca Makkai (author of MUSIC FOR WARTIME and THE HUNDRED-YEAR HOUSE).

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A book signing will follow the program! HERE I AM comes out on September 6th, where you can pick up your copy at the store, or you can pick up your copy at The Music Box the night of the event!

About HERE I AM

In the book of Genesis, when God calls out, “Abraham!” to order him to sacrifice his son Isaac, Abraham responds, “Here I am.” Later, when Isaac calls out, “My father!” to ask him why there is no animal to slaughter, Abraham responds, “Here I am.”

How do we fulfill our conflicting duties as father, husband, and son; wife and mother; child and adult? Jew and American? How can we claim our own identities when our lives are linked so closely to others’? These are the questions at the heart of Jonathan Safran Foer’s first novel in eleven years–a work of extraordinary scope and heartbreaking intimacy.

Unfolding over four tumultuous weeks, in present-day Washington, D.C., Here I Am is the story of a fracturing family in a moment of crisis. As Jacob and Julia and their three sons are forced to confront the distances between the lives they think they want and the lives they are living, a catastrophic earthquake sets in motion a quickly escalating conflict in the Middle East. At stake is the very meaning of home–and the fundamental question of how much life one can bear.

There are more details of the event at this link! We hope to see you there!

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#WhatToReadNext: After H is for Hawk

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10% off in August!

Say you’ve just finished Helen Macdonald’s stunning memoir, H IS FOR HAWK, and now you’re struggling to find something to fill that nature writing/memoir-sized hole in your heart. We’ve all been there, friend. But have no fear!

Consider, perhaps, Fredrik Sjöberg’s THE FLY TRAP, which has just come out in paperback and just happens to be one of our books of the month for August (and also happens to be 10% off for the remainder of the month). While Helen’s book masterly details both her overwhelming grief over her father’s death and her training of the enigmatic goshawk, THE FLY TRAP is a thoughtful consideration of solitude, peaceful summer nights, limitations, and, believe it or not, the *almost* universally reviled fly.

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Picture of Actual Fly

He also explores the art and obsession of collecting, and examines some of the life of the mostly forgotten naturalist, René Edmond Malaise (similarly to how Macdonald breathes more insight to the tortured life of T.H. White).

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Picture of Actual Malaise

Don’t want to take our word for it? Our owner, Ed, also loved and highly recommends the book! He says, “THE FLY TRAP is my pick for the most thoroughly enjoyable book you’ll read all year – so enjoyable, so pleasurable, so charming, so thoughtfully informative, so filled with an infectious liveliness it had me repeatedly returning to Wikipedia to learn more!” He adds (with great enthusiasm), that “reading THE FLY TRAP is a bit like having dinner with a witty European intellectual – it is a celebration of discovery as it entertains and instructs, making us appreciate the small wonders of a boundless nature.”

We’re sure Fredrik Sjöberg’s THE FLY TRAP is just one of many titles that would be a great followup to Helen Macdonald’s H IS FOR HAWK. Do you have your own pick? Let us know!

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

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A young Ed Devereux in a young Unabridged Bookstore circa 1985

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.

Unfortunately its not just Boutiques

big-box swindleFinally The Trib starts to do something worthwhile. Sorry if I missed this a few days ago. This is a great article about the larger issue facing some small independent businesses. Ahem.

And (soft segue) if you didn’t see john Grisham’s appearance on THE TODAY SHOW this morning here are the quotables about the DISCOUNTING price wars:  “A disaster” “short-term” “short-sighted” “a book is WORTH $24 – this devalues the book.”

Further reading: CHEAP: The High Cost of Discount Culture by Ellen Ruppel Shell

and

BIG-BOX SWINDLE: The True Cost of Mega-Retailers and the Fight for America’s Independent Businesses by Stacy Mitchell

We, of course, have both in stock.