Caitlin

What's in a [Pen] Name?

Thursday, January 21st, 2021

I don't usually write under a pen name.  To be fair, I haven't had much opportunity—I've got several tiny publishing credits to my name, two of which are in scientific journals and another for a story in Teen Ink Magazine I submitted when I was in high school.  But when I was in college, I published a poem in the college's monthly literary magazine under the name "David Andrews."

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A Slippery Situation

Tuesday, January 19th, 2021

Well folks, we've made it this far.  There's a light at the end of the tunnel thanks to the vaccine, though there's no telling how much tunnel we actually have left.  As a business, we're doing all right for now, but it's a cautious sort of all right—like when you're not actively slipping on an icy patch of sidewalk, but you know that at any minute the footing could get unexpectedly treacherous.

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What's in a Genre?

Tuesday, January 12th, 2021

When you walk into a bookstore, chances are the shelves are marked with signs denoting genres.  But what happens when a book isn't so easy to categorize?  Caitlin explores the pros and cons of this particular system of classification.

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Exploring High Fantasy

Friday, August 14th, 2020

 

High fantasy (or epic fantasy) as a subgenre tends to deal with matters of grand scale.  Think saving the world from the power of the One Ring, to use Tolkien as an example.  But of course, everyone's familiar with high fantasy like The Lord of the Rings, George R. R. Martin's A Song of Ice and Fire series, and Patrick Rothfuss' acclaimed Kingkiller Chronicle.  Here are some less well known (or well known, but older!) examples of high fantasy that you might have missed.

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Take Five: Caitlin's Picks

Friday, July 24th, 2020

As booksellers, we have a tendency to only talk about the books we love, but not every book works for every reader.  A book we didn't enjoy would still be perfect for someone else, so we want to make sure they get some airtime, too!  That's why we're starting a new series featuring the last five books each bookseller has read, including both the ones they loved, and those that would be better for another reader.  Our latest list includes Caitlin's recent reads.

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Finding Different Joys

Tuesday, July 14, 2020

We're living in "unprecedented times."  How often have we heard that phrase recently?  Or perhaps its close cousin "difficult times."  Both have started to feel pretty meaningless, a pretty platitude that glosses over the truth:

None of us signed up for this.

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A Few Unexpected Favorites

Like most readers, I've got a niche.  Or more accurately, several niches.  Usually, I like character-driven classical fantasy (think Robin Hobb, Patricia McKillip), sci-fi with a realistic bent (The Martian, The Expanse series), psychological thrillers with supernatural flair, and outright horror.

These don't fit those categories very well, but they're still books that I quite enjoy.  What do you read that's outside your usual comfort zone?

Inked!

Tuesday, April 28th, 2020

As a fountain pen afficionado, one of my favorite things about them is playing with different kinds of inks.  I'm fascinated by old documents and the way different pigments were made and how they change over time, like the burnt tinge of iron gall ink and the glorious, meticulous artistry of illuminated manuscripts.  I even saw a fascinating piece recently about a blue ink used in illumination, the recipe for which had been lost to history...until a rather helpful contemporary manuscript was discovered that detailed precisely how it was made.

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Short Stories for Troubled Times

Thursday, April 16th, 2020

These days, it's tough to step away from current events long enough to really get engrossed in a good story.  At least, that's been the case for me.  I've found myself re-listening to favorite audiobooks just to have another voice in the house, but I'm too distractable to really enjoy new books.  Overall, what I've found myself returning to are short story collections.

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