Tuesday, March 17, 2015

"Epitaph" Reviewed in "The Washington Post", Mel's "Jam on the Vine" Review in "Lambda Literary", and Our "How to Be a Heroine Display" is a Work in Progress.

I don't usually sit around waiting for a review, particularly after an event has happened, but I've been on pins and needles to see if The Washington Post would review Mary Doria Russell's Epitaph, particularly since Ron Charles practically begged for a sequel. And while Russell has really only written one direct sequel, she does write her books in thematic pairs. So yes, a really great review finally came out, but it wasn't done by Charles. Instead Steve Donoghue, another enthusiastic fan of Russell's work at the Washington Post, rode in to her rescue.

Donoghue writes: "The Gunfight at the O.K. Corral has been dramatized in numerous books, on stage, on screen, and in one particularly far-fetched episode of Star Trek .” In Epitaph, Mary Doria Russell revisits the iconic shootout, delving into its dramatic back story and aftermath. With vast amounts of research and a poetic prose line, she puts the hard kernel of the gunfight’s violence at the center of a setting as wide and complicated as the young United States itself. It's a remarkable accomplishment..." and there's nothing but rave from there on out. We've still got a number of signed first editions available.

We haven't had too many Boswellians reviewing for other publications, but Mel Morrow recently had a review published in Lambda Literary for Jam on the Vine. If you've chatted with Mel in store, you know how much she loves this book, and that enthusiasm is redoubled here. She starts: "Recall your first reading of a favorite book: pulse quickening with resonance, your fascination with this new, yet familiar, world fueled by desire to forfeit reality for another moment with characters who feel like old friends. That expansive, lingering ache when life calls you to set the book aside, and the heady rush of picking up where you left off in the pages. This is how I felt the first time I followed Janie through Zora Neale Hurston’s Their Eyes Were Watching God, the intensity and depth of that adventure a singular event until recently when I met Miss Ivoe Williams in the pages of LaShonda Katrice Barnett’s breathtaking debut novel, Jam on the Vine."

And this should grab you: "Jam on the Vine will resonate with many kinds of readers in myriad ways. Not only is it a well-researched and historically accurate account of southern African American survival, northern migration, and identity formation, it is an arresting real-world allegory." If I didn't have ten upcoming event books I had to read in the next week, I'd drop everything and read this right now. And yes, we ran out of books today. But we're back in stock on another Grove Atlantic winner, H is for Hawk.

 Speaking of books that a Boswellian is crazy about, we're working on our display for How to Be a Heroine: Or, What I've Learned from Reading Too Much, by Samantha Willis. Jane and Jen came to me and asked to do a display, and it has several moving parts to it, so it's taking a while to put together. First of all, booksellers are going to pick their favorite heroines, and we'll have bookmarks (made yesterday) explaining our choices. Then we'll have a drawing (I hope that will be done today) where customers can tell us their favorite literary heroine and enter a drawing for a copy of How to be a Heroine. We'll put the choices on Twitter (thank you) and add the best ones to our display.

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