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.

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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.

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.

How do you walk to school?

how to walk to schoolWe’ve had How to Walk to School for a little over a week, and it’s been great to see the responses from people who come and purchase the book. The rehabilitation of the school is a great symbol of pride for our neighborhood and we can definitely see it in all those who look at the book.

Don’t know about Nettelhorst, here’s a bit from the press release:

“When two gutsy moms ventured inside Nettelhorst, the neighborhood’s underutilized and struggling public elementary school, the new principal asked what it would take for them to enroll their children. Stunned by her candor, they returned the next day armed with an extensive wish list. The principal read their list and said “Well, let’s get started, girls! It’s going to be a busy year…”

How to Walk to School is the story—from the highs to the lows—of motivated neighborhood parents galvanizing and then organizing an entire community to take a leap of faith, transforming a challenged urban school into one of Chicago’s best, virtually overnight. Susan Kurland, Nettelhorst’s entrepreneurial new principal, and Jacqueline Edelberg, the neighborhood mom, prove that the fate of public education is not beyond our control. How to Walk to School provides an accessible and honest blueprint for reclaiming the great public schools our children deserve.

Also for every book purchased through Unabridged we are donating 20% of the procedes (that’s 50% of the profits) to Nettelhorst school to make sure they continue their example of excelence.

Stop by and pick up a copy today!