Bookish News

Happy Birthday, Alice Walker!

Friday, February 9th, 2018

Happy 74th birthday to award-winning writer Alice Walker, best known for her novel The Color Purple.

Alice Walker grew up in a large family (she was the youngest of eight children) in Georgia.  Her parents were sharecroppers, and with Jim Crow laws still prevalent, education for black children like Walker and her siblings was discouraged.  Her mother, however, was adamant that her daughter would continue her studies.  By the time she was four, Walker had already been enrolled in...

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Ursula K. Le Guin (1929-2018)

Wednesday, January 24th, 2018

Courtesy Flickr user K. Kendall ( science fiction and fantasy author Ursula K. Le Guin has died.

Born Ursula Kroeber in Berkeley, California, Le Guin loved fantasy and sci-fi as a child, though the latter fell out of her favor when she began to find the frequent themes of militaristic conquest overly repetitive and distasteful. 

Her studies in graduate school at Columbia University centered on Romance Literature of the Middle Ages and Renaissance, and her own (never published) first attempts at novel writing were set in a more realistic world.

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Happy Birthday, Haruki Murakami!

Friday, January 12th, 2018

Happy birthday to international bestselling author Haruki Murakami, known for such works as The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle, Kafka on the Shore, and, most recently, Men Without Women.

Born in Kyoto, Japan, in 1949, Murakami initially had no aspirations to become a writer.  He studied drama at Waseda University in Tokyo, but after graduation, he and his wife opened a successful coffee house and jazz bar, and, as he told interviewer John Wesley Harding in an interview for BOMB magazine, "I didn’t write anything. I was just one of those ordinary people. I was running a jazz club, and I didn’t create anything at all."

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Happy Birthday, J. R. R. Tolkien!

Wednesday, January 3rd, 2018

Today marks the 126th anniversary of the birth of John Ronald Reuel Tolkien, the author of The Lord of the Rings, The Hobbit, and other high-fantasy epics.

Tolkien didn't set out with the intention of becoming a fantasy author.  He was, first and foremost, an expert in words and languages.  He experimented with constructed languages, including Esperanto, as a teenager, and the fascination never left him.  After the first World War, Tolkien returned to civilian life with a job at the Oxford English Dictionary, where he wrote...

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Congratulations, Jodie!


Our Brilliant booksellers are what really set us apart as a bookstore, so we like to take the opportunity to celebrate their accomplishments whenever we can.  This has been an especially big week for Jodie, one of our long-standing booksellers.  Not only is he now a published writer, but he's also the recipient of a Christmas Bonus from James Patterson!

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Happy Birthday, Neil Gaiman!

Friday, November 10th, 2017Happy birthday Neil Gaiman!

Neil Gaiman is one of our favorite authors, and we’re definitely not alone in that opinion.  From comic books and television to short stories and novels, he’s been astounding audiences and readers for decades.  He won early acclaim with his groundbreaking DC Comics series, Sandman, which, in 1991, was the first comic ever to win a World Fantasy Award.  He’s also written more than twenty books, including titles for both children and adults.  His latest, Norse Mythology, was released in 2016. 

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Happy Birthday, John Le Carré!

Thursday, October 19th, 2017

David Cornwell, better known by his pen name John Le Carré, is the British author of masterful spy thrillers, including A Perfect Spy and The Spy Who Came in From the Cold.

Born October 19th, 1931 in Poole, Dorset, Le Carré spent much of his childhood in boarding schools.  As a teenager studying abroad in Switzerland, he gained the attention of a British intelligence agent working in the area, and was asked to join MI6, the British intelligence agency.  He continued to work in intelligence during his university years at Oxford, where he received a degree in modern languages, and began drawing on his experiences to craft his first novel. 

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Happy Birthday, Anne Rice!

Wednesday, October 4th, 2017

Anne Rice, best known for her Vampire Chronicles series, might be just the author to liven up your spooky October reading list.

Born October 4th, 1941, Rice was raised in New Orleans.  Despite later moving to California, she continues to draws frequently upon the New Orlean's history, architecture, and culture in creating her atmospheric novels.  Becoming a writer was a goal throughout her early life, though she initially struggled to find a publisher for Interview with a Vampire

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Happy Birthday, Roald Dahl!

Wednesday, September 13th, 2017

"So Matilda’s strong young mind continued to grow, nurtured by the voices of all those authors who had sent their books out into the world like ships on the sea. These books gave Matilda a hopeful and comforting message: You are not alone."
 Roald Dahl, Matilda

Born on this day in 1916, Roald Dahl has been called "one of the greatest storytellers for children of the 20th century.

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