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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On J.K. Rowling's Latest Statements

Wednesday, February 12th, 2020

“There are all kinds of courage," said Dumbledore, smiling. "It takes a great deal of bravery to stand up to our enemies, but just as much to stand up to our friends.”

-J.K. Rowling, Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone

I first read this quote when I was just a kid, and it's always stuck with me. A lot of things in Harry Potter have stuck with me, actually. The idea that love is the most powerful magic of all. The idea that no matter who you are or where you come from, you can do great things. And the idea that our actions, more than our words, are what truly make a difference in the world. I cheered when Harry stood up to Professor Umbridge, refusing to back down from his assertion that Voldemort had returned, even after she forced him to repeatedly write "I must not tell lies" with a quill that magically cut the words into his flesh. I have often wondered if I would have the same resolve to do what he was doing in order to stand up for what I knew was right.

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There's No Such Thing as "Boy" or "Girl" Books

Friday, February 28th, 2020


"I'm looking for a good book for a ten year old boy..."

Fantastic! There's nothing our booksellers like more than combing through our shelves to find a young reader his next favorite read.We'll ask a few questions -- does he prefer fantasy or realistic fiction? How does he feel about historical fiction? Are there any specific topics he loves or hobbies he has? -- and then we'll go ahead and start building our recommendations.

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Nothing to See Here

Friday, February 14th, 2020

It's been quiet here at Brilliant Books this week.  Too quiet.

With biting cold and snowy roads, we expect to have fewer visitors in-store.  But on days when the doorbell seldom rings, it's usually more than made up for by the phone, or the alert pings of email and social media notifications rolling in.  This week, the quiet was resounding.

More Bookish News

Go Set A Watchman - An Opinion Piece

To Fans of "To Kill A Mockingbird"

We at Brilliant Books want to be sure that our customers are aware that “Go Set A Watchman” is not a sequel or prequel to ‘To Kill A Mockingbird'. Neither is it a new book.  It is a first draft that was originally, and rightfully, rejected. The book, and some of the characters therein, are very much a product of this era in the South.

We suggest you view this work as an academic insight rather than as a nice summer novel. This situation is comparable to James Joyce's stunning work 'A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man', and his original draft 'Stephen Hero'. 'Hero' was initially rejected, and Joyce reworked it into the classic 'Portrait'. 'Hero' was eventually released as an academic piece for scholars and fans—not as a new 'Joyce novel'. We would have been delighted to see “Go Set A Watchman” receive a similar fate.

It is disappointing and frankly shameful to see our noble industry parade and celebrate this as “Harper Lee’s New Novel”.  This is pure exploitation of both literary fans and a beloved American classic (which we hope has not been irrevocably tainted.) We therefore encourage you to view “Go Set A Watchman” with intellectual curiosity and careful consideration; a rough beginning for a classic, but only that.