Sunday, August 30, 2009

Recommended for Humor Fans and Customers/Retail Workers Alike

The Customer Is Always Wrong: The Retail Chronicles by Jeff Martin

If you've worked in the retail industry, you'll be able to relate to the tales in this book. If you've never worked in retail, you should probably read this book anyway. You might learn something. No, really, you might. Collected here are horror stories, hilarious tales, and head-shaking moments of dealing with wacky customers, tough managers, and backroom issues. It's a smorgasbord of laughs, some with life lessons, and others just letting the world know what the world of retail is truly like.

Notes from the playlist: "Wonderful World" by Sam Cooke

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Recommended for Culture Buffs and Human Interest

PostSecret by Frank Warren

I remember everyone asking for this book at one point in time and I never understood why - until I finally looked at it. This compilation of letters, postcards, and other mailings is the result of a social experiment by Frank Warren. Within these pages are people's secrets. Their dark ones, their light ones, secrets they've hidden from the entire world, and yet here, are freeing them for the entire world to see. It's all anonymous so you'll never know who sent what, but you still may find yourself able to connect with some of them. Not the only one of it's kind, PostSecret has 3 other sister books as well as a website. Truly fascinating, I plowed through all four books in a matter of days - the only reason it took longer than it did was because I had to wait for the books to be in stock.

I look forward to the October 2009 book: PostSecret: Confessions on Life, Death, and God

Read the Epinions review here!

Notes from the playlist: "Second Chance" by Shinedown

Saturday, August 22, 2009

Recommended for Fantasy/Romance Lovers

Poison Study by Maria V. Snyder

A fantasy novel (that happens to be located in the romance section - but don't let that fool you) that is full of intrique, action, and of course, poison. You never know what will be coming around the next corner for poor Yelena, and when the chapters end, you won't want to stop. I often found myself thinking, "Just one more chapter........Just one more chapter" until finally I'd realize it was 2 in the morning and I should probably get some sleep. Yelena is a strong character that readers will cheer for and Valek, well, he's a whole other matter.

I sent this book off to my sister with high recommendations, and I'm happy to say that she was pleased as punch to have read it.

Notes from the playlist: "The Heart of the Matter" by India.Arie

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Recommended for the Crafty or Bored

Wreck This Journal by Keri Smith

I poured over this book when I first saw it, fascinated by the prospect of butchering it in the ways it demanded. Yes, this book (in case the title didn't tell you) requests that you wreck it. Destroy it. Scribble all over it in crayon. Poke holes in the pages. Compost a page. Take it into the shower with you. Drag it all over town on a string. Throw it. Set it on fire. Lick it. Sew it. Do whatever the pages ask, and more. For me, a person to whom books are somewhat sacred (I can't stand a broken spine on my shelf), this was a little odd and yet a bit liberating. It is indeed fun. I made a little paper chain out of one of the pages and now it's hanging on my doorknob. This isn't the only fun and crafty book made by Keri Smith. If you can't bring yourself to crack a spine and put carmel inside of a book, then check out some of her other goodies - they may appeal more to your tastes. As long as you're creative and having fun in some way, all is well.

Read the Epinions review here!

Notes from the playlist: "What Do You Think About That" by Montgomery Gentry

Friday, August 14, 2009

Recommended for Kids

Ivan the Terrier by Peter Catalanotto

I love this book. I am a 25-year-old woman, yet I was in the children's section laughing myself silly (or at least trying to be quiet about it) over this book. It's just so cute! The narrator of the book is trying to tell stories to children, but every time Ivan, a little terrier dog, barges into the tale, yapping his little head off. So he scares away the three bears and the billy goats gruff and everything else, all while the owner tries to get him to sit, stay, or just be quiet. When parents get into the book, I don't doubt that kids will get all giggly, loving the image of this little dog jumping around going, "Arf, arf, arf!" So much fun.

Read the Epinions review here!

Notes from the playlist: "Redwing" by Hem

Monday, August 10, 2009

Recommended for Writers

A Writer's Space by Eric Maisel

It's a quaint book, small in size, and perfect to carry around with you if you're so inclined. Ideal for writers seeking new ways to find that perfect writing space, whether that space is mentally or physically. That's really all there is to it, but who knows? It may just remind you of that perfect spot that you used to have and since forgotten about. I used to write all the time the moment I woke up, right in bed. My bed was one of my prime writing spots and for some reason, I forgot about it. Upon reading this book, I rediscovered the glory of writing while tucked into my sheets, a lapdesk supporting my notebook and a pencil in my hand. It's hard to go wrong when the book is written by a man who swims in creativity and its processes - and when he encourages eating brownies.

Notes from the playlist: "Into the Night" by Santana [featuring Chad Kroeger]

Thursday, August 6, 2009

Recommended for College Goers and NOT the Faint of Heart

I Hope They Serve Beer In Hell by Tucker Max

I know. I've just gone from beginning with highly intelligent to completely ridiculous. Tucker Max is the infamous rich kid who screws around with his life, friends, women, and tempts fate, booze, and the limits of, well, just about everything. Women decry Tucker Max as a chauvinist pig, a cheating manwhore who doesn't deserve anyone's praise. Yes, he is. In fact, he acknowledges this and frequently reminds the reader of how much of a jerk he really is. With or without the book, Tucker Max doesn't need the money, but this book is just so damn funny, you quit caring about the tiny percentage he gets when you purchase it.

Frankly, I believe that Tucker Max is proof that karma exists in the world. No one, and I mean NO ONE will ever have some of the negative things happen to them the way they happen to Tucker Max. It just wouldn't. Trust me. In short; it's vulgar, crass, sickening, includes sex, drunkeness, insults, and a lot of messed up stuff, but if you don't have a problem with any of that, read this. Trust me, you won't be sorry.

Read the Epinions review here!

Notes from the playlist: "You're the One" by Rev Theory

Saturday, August 1, 2009


Welcome one and all to the new reading blog. Looking for a good book for friends? Family? Kids? Then come here or bring them yourself. Spread the word and bring me some traffic.

I read in a whole range of genres from science fiction and fantasy to crafting and children's books.

The point of this blog is to just put the word out concerning good books. As a bookseller for Barnes & Noble, we get to recommend books to our customers, often ending with happy readers. People are always looking for good things to read, and word of mouth is one of the most powerful marketing tools, sometimes making or breaking a book. So I'm just doing here what I do at work; getting the word out on good books for people to enjoy.

I've gone back in my brain to remember as many books that I've recommended as I can. I surprised myself with the list I managed to put together. From fiction to science to teens, it's a fun list that should have something for everyone in it. I'll start posting these and then as I read more, should end up with more on the list. Every couple of days you can expect to see a book posting, occasionally with a more in-depth Epinions review (by moi) attached. Likewise, since I'm a music junkie, I'll include a little tiny note about what I currently have playing in my playlist (and don't worry, my music tastes range just as widely as my book lust).

From time to time, the recommendations will be punctuated by what I'm currently reading or perhaps what I've just finished (as I often read books in a few days or a single day if they're truly awesome and short enough to gobble up) and a few thoughts on the book (such as how it's going thusfar), giving you even more insight into what a bookseller reads.

So sit back, grab a cup of coffee and pluck out a book you'd like to read, because today begins my ever-lasting love affair with books.

Caraval by Stephanie Garber

Whoops! I completely forgot to mention this. Last month I reviewed Stephanie Garber's amazing book Caraval for the web blog I curre...