We thought tickets to our Neil Patrick Harris book signing sold out a few days ago, but excellent news! We are putting 200 extra tickets on sale today! Tickets are available to purchase on our website or by calling our store at 617-566-6660. Get them before they run out! Unfortunately, we are no longer able to provide signed copies for those unable to attend the event; all ticket holders must be present to get their books signed. Join us on Friday, October 17 from 7-9pm for this incredible evening with Doogie, I mean Hedwig, I mean Neil Patrick Harris!

Bookstores in general and our friends over at Porter Square Books in particular received a ringing endorsement from author Celeste Ng in a recent interview. "I hope my son sees that a bookstore is different from a hardware store or a grocery store, where you run in because you need a screwdriver or a gallon of milk, then leave. I hope he's learning that a bookstore--whatever the size or location--is a place where you explore and encounter new ideas." Here's the full quote, via Shelf Awareness.

Here's one brand new idea in kids books: B.J. Novak's first book for children, The Book with No Pictures. It is absolutely brilliant, and will make even the most boring parent in the world into a comedy genius, provided that they don't mind making an absolute fool of themselves.
"Here is how books work: Everything the words say, the person reading the book has to say."
Here's B.J. Novak giving a crash course in reading to kids.

Wednesday, October 1 at 7:00 PM
Jeffrey Condran in conversation with Steve Yarbrough
Prague Summer

In his debut novel Jeffrey Condran tells the story of Stephanie and Henry, an American married couple living comfortably in Prague. Their world is turned upside down by the arrival from the States of Stephanie's old friend, Selma Al-Khateeb whose husband has been mysteriously arrested and indefinitely imprisoned. At first it appears that Selma has come to escape her problems, but soon her reasons for coming to Prague grow sinister and murky. Stephanie and Henry’s placid existence is turned upside down in ways they couldn’t have imagined. Jeffrey Condran will be in conversation with author and Emerson professor Steve Yarbrough (The Realm of Last Chances)

   
Thursday, October 2 at 7:00 PM
At the Wilbur Theatre
Lena Dunham in Conversation with Mary Karr
Not That Kind of Girl


SOLD OUT

From the creator of HBO's “Girls” comes Not That Kind of Girl, a collection of personal essays that David Sedaris calls "subversive" and Judy Blume hails as "always funny." In the words of Lena Dunham herself: "No, I am not a sexpert, a psychologist, or a dietician. I am not a mother of three or the owner of a successful hosiery franchise. But I am a girl with a keen interest in having it all, and what follows are hopeful dispatches from the frontlines of that struggle." Lena will be in conversation with Mary Karr (The Liars' Club, Lit).
   
Friday, October 3rd at 3:00 PM
At the Public Library of Brookline Main Branch
Raina Telgemeier

Sisters

The companion volume to 2010’s beloved Smile is Sisters, the true story of Raina and her sister Amara. They don’t get along very well, which makes going on a family vacation across the country the teeniest bit difficult. In its starred review Booklist says, "Telgemeier’s art complements her writing to great effect, offering a cheerful, vivid cartoon simplicity that allows readers to instantly engage even as it leaves room for deeper truths to take hold."
   
Monday, October 6th at 7:00 PM
Richard Blanco
The Prince of Los Cocuyos: A Miami Childhood

From the first Latino and openly gay inaugural poet is this poignant and hilarious coming-of-age memoir. The child of Cuban immigrants, Blanco grew up exploring imaginary worlds: an idealized America and the nostalgic Cuba his parents would tell him about. Navigating his cultural identity, his artistry, and his own sexuality, this beautiful memoir tips its hat to these stories, and ultimately the understanding of what it means to be American.
   
Tuesday, October 7th at 7:00 PM
Hank Phillippi Ryan
Truth Be Told

Booksmith favorite Hank Phillippi Ryan returns for the launch party of her latest Jane Ryland and Jake Brogan mystery Truth Be Told. While digging up the facts on a heartbreaking foreclosure, reporter Jane Ryland learns the truth behind a big-bucks scheme and the surprising players who will stop at nothing, including murder, to keep it a secret. John Lescroart calls her “one of the most adept masters of plot on the planet” and this latest entry in her Agatha and Mary Higgins Clark Award-winning series will show you why.
   
Wednesday, October 8 at 6pm
At the Coolidge Corner Theatre
John Darnielle in conversation with Tim Horvath
Wolf in White Van

A stunning debut from John Darnielle of The Mountain Goats, Wolf in White Van tells the story of Sean Phillips, creator of Trace Italian, a text-based role-playing game played through the mail. As the story unfolds in reverse, Sean’s life trajectory becomes clearer. Tied in are the fates of Lance and Carrie, high school students taking their play out into the real world with disastrous consequences. Joseph Fink describes the book as “a testament to the ways in which all of us use imagination to survive,” and John Hodgman calls the book “utterly magnificent.” John Darnielle will be in conversation with author Tim Horvath (Understories).

Tickets are $5 each or free with the purchase of Wolf in White Van from Brookline Booksmith. On sale at brooklinebooksmith.com/tickets.
The Sense of Style: The Thinking Person's Guide to Writing in the 21st Century

Steven Pinker
HC, $27.95
The News Sorority

Sheila Weller
HC, $29.95
The Lagoon: How Aristotle Invented Science

Armand Marie Leroi
HC, $29.95
Rebel Yell: The Violence, Passion, and Redemption of Stonewall Jackson

S.C. Gwynne
HC, $35
The Meaning of Human Existence

Edward Osborne Wilson HC, $23.95

The Zone of Interest
Martin Amis
Knopf
Hardcover, $26.95

 

In The Zone of Interest Amis leads readers back to the Kat Zet, the Auschwitz camp he first explored in his superb life-in-reverse novel Time's Arrow. This novel, along with Time's Arrow, his biography of Stalin Koba the Dread, and his gulag novel The House of Meetings each seek to penetrate through the horrors of the human soul at its very worst to find out why? But as Amis points out in the enlightening afterword, as he relates his decades-long journey of searching for that answer in the literature of the Holocaust, "there is no why here." The concentration camp is likened to a mirror, in which our three narrators - Angelus Thomsen, nephew of Martin Bormann, Paul Doll, the Commandant (and source the novel's blackest humor), and Smzulek Zachariasz, a Jew who is forced to fill, operate and empty the grim machinery of the camp - are forced to see themselves. Can love survive after we see our true selves in that mirror? Here is an insightful review from Joyce Carol Oates, and a piece that explores reactions to the novel and examines its place in Holocaust humor and growing anti-Semitism.

 

Mr. Bones: Twenty Stories
Paul Theroux
Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
Hardcover, $27

 

In this new collection of short stories, acclaimed author Paul Theroux explores the tenuous leadership of the elite and the revenge of the overlooked. He shows us humanity possessed, consumed by its own desire and compulsion, always with his carefully honed eye for detail and the subtle idiosyncrasies that bring his characters to life. Searing, dark, and sure to unsettle. Here is Theroux in a recent radio interview with Scott Simon.
 

A Sudden Light
Garth Stein
Simon & Schuster
Hardcover, $26.95

 

From the author of the bestselling The Art of Racing in the Rain comes a spellbinding and atmospheric novel about devastating family secrets exposed by one young teen in the summer of 1990. Fourteen-year-old Trevor Riddell gets his first glimpse of Riddell House. Built from the spoils of a massive timber fortune, the legendary family mansion is constructed of giant whole trees and is set on a huge estate overlooking Seattle’s Puget Sound. In the midst of his parent's messy separation, Trevor has joined his family at the ancestral home to divide the family estate. But there is more to be reckoned with than money and heirlooms - there is a ghost in those walls, and deeply hidden secrets that threaten the entire family.

 

Dork Diaries 8: Tales from a Not-So-Happily Ever After
Rachel Renee Russell
Aladdin Paperbacks
Hardcover, $13.99
Ages 9-13

Nikki Maxwell's favorite fairy tales get dork-tastic twists in this entry in the bestselling series. After a bump on the head in gym class on April Fool's Day, Nikki dreams that she, her BFFs Chloe and Zoey, her crush Brandon, and mean girl Mackenzie are all familiar classic fairy tale characters.
That's the publisher's description of the book.
All you need to know is what I found out during  our visit from the students at Roxbury Prep:
Every kid
wants the Dork Diaries. At one point (this is true) I just sat at the top of the ladder in the kids section, tossing copies of the books down from the overstock. "I want the green one!" "Can I have the silver one, I don't have the silver one!"


A Good Home for Max
Junzo Terada
Chronicle Books
Hardcover, $16.99
Ages 2-5

 

I don't know how else to describe Junzo Terada's new book: this is how a children's book should feel. From the color palette to the screen printing style, to the feel-good little world that he creates, Terada has made magic with A Good Home For Max.Tabi is a little mouse in a little shop in a little town, and each night after the doors are locked, he sweeps up, restocks merchandise, and plays with his animal friends. But when his best friend Max can't find a new home, Tabi realizes that now he has bigger responsibilities.

Belzhar
Meg Wolitzer
Dutton Juvenile
Hardcover, $17.99
Ages 14 & up
 
From beloved author Meg Wolitzer comes a story about Jam Gallahue, a disgruntled girl who is packed off to a special boarding school in rural Vermont (which sounds like heaven, what's the problem?) where the curriculum is entirely devoted to the works of Sylvia Plath. Weird? Yes. As weird as what happens next? Nope. A journal-writing assignment opens up a mysterious parallel world where the past resurfaces and second chances seem to be offered. How much is Jam willing to give to live in a dream?
 
 
 
Sing No Evil
Jussi-Pekka Ahonen, Kalle-Pekka Alare, JP Ahonen
Abrams Comicarts
Paperback, $15.95
 
Natasha came in on Tuesday morning, found this new arrival, grabbed her own copy of the original Finnish version, and threw her devil horns in the air. And they haven't come down since. Here's the one and only Natasha:
"TERVEISIÄ! This book. TÄMÄ KIRJA! It's like it was written for me. A Finnish metal band. A bear drummer. Harnessing the vibrations of the universe through music to hit transcendental states. Beer. Love triangles. TOSI HYVÄÄÄ! (SO GOOOD). When I was in Finland this summer I shelled out €30 (almost $40) for the Finnish edition (entitled Perkeros, the name of the band) but now it is translated and only $16 for you to enjoy as much as me! And now I can understand all the Finnish slang that made no sense in the Finnish edition! JOIN THE BAND, READERS. JOIN PERKEROS."
 
 

The Courage of Turtles
Edward Hoagland
Lyons & Burford, 1993
Used Paperback, $8

 

The courage of turtles is undeniable. Some eighty bazillion years ago, this reptilian master of defense reached its evolutionary apex and just stayed put. "Let all other creatures keep searching", the turtle declared, quietly, so that no one would hear him. "I need nothing more than these four legs, a shell and my beak." Edward Hoagland uses the story of the courageous terrapin as a springboard into fifteen personal essays about county fairs, being a writer, tug-boats, bear-hunting, and the courage (doubtful) of non-turtle animals.

 


Egon Schiele: Love and Death
Hatje Cantz, 2005
Used Hardcover, $20

 
The pieces reproduced in this exquisite monograph represent the generous loan of some 90+ delicate artworks on paper from the Albertina museum in Vienna to the Van Gogh Museum in Amsterdam in 2005. Schiele's astonishing virtuosity is perhaps best expressed when he worked on paper, in watercolor, guache and charcoal. His fabled nudes are in here, but also some cruelly simple sketches and line drawings, masterpieces, that make me despair of ever amounting to anything at all as a painter.
 


Jane's Historic Military Aircraft Recognition Guide
Tony Holmes
Harper Collins, 1998
Used Paperback, $12

 

Jane is unstuck in time. Doomed to wake up every morning at the controls of a different airplane engaged in the heat of battle from every aerial campaign of the 20th century, she long ago began to keep a visual journal of her experiences. For her fellow air/space/time travelers, this pocket guide has proved to be invaluable. Never again will you be confused by situations like the one that greeted Jane on her first trip into the great blue yonder. Autopilot switched on, lulled to sleep by the soft glow of her Heads Up Display, she was awoken by raking wind and the thunder of her propeller, as her open-cockpit biplane screamed to earth in a vertical nosedive. With this facsimile of Jane's journal, you too can learn to quickly identify your craft and adapt yourself in in a split second to steering technologies from every decade and conflict.

 
Always Looking: Essays on Art
John Updike
Knopf, Hardcover
Orig. $45, Sale $14.99
 

One of the keenest observers of his time, John Updike would have been the most desirable of dates for an afternoon at the gallery. In this posthumous collection of his art writing, a companion to his acclaimed books Just Looking and Still Looking, you can stand alongside Updike before the works of Copley, Homer, Eakins, Rockwell, Church, Monet and Degas, and see art through those keen eyes.

 

Murder, New England: A Historical Collection of Killer True-Crime Tales
M. William Phelps
Lyons Press, Paperback
Orig. $16.95, Sale$ 4.99
 
Bestselling true-crime author M. William Phelps takes readers to his own backyard in eight bloodcurdling murder cases. In Murder, New England, Phelps explores different motives, themes, and community reactions to horrific crimes, from Narragansset Bay, RI, Woodstock, CT and close to home in Somerville, MA. Not my cup of tea, thank you very much, but if you like your murder mysteries as real as can be, Phelps has what your looking for.
 


Why We Build
Rowan Moore
Picador, Hardcover
Orig. $30

 
Rowan Moore's Why We Build searches for the deeper truths in architecture - about how it embodies primal facets of human nature, and how it influences and is influenced by the lives of the inhabitants. Hope, power, money, sex, and security are all driving forces in designing the buildings we live and work in. Alongside some of humanity's most iconic structures, Moore examines lesser-known and more modern examples as well as the architects behind their creation. The reader, whether architect or no, will find inspiration and provocation as they are taken around the world and back in time on a most unique architectural survey.
 
 

I can't believe those two scuba divers didn't find the cross first.
 
Decorate your home from this collection of handmade wall art from salvaged tobacco lath, 100 year old wood with a rich history from former tobacco farmers in Wisconsin.
 
   

Next book club meeting
October 13th @7:30pm

Snow Hunters
by Paul Yoon

No need to sign up, just show up!

 

Science in the News is a Graduate Student Group at the Harvard Graduate School of the Arts and Sciences focused on communicating science to the general public. The group hosts interactive lectures which are open to audience members of any age, as well as Science by the Pint at The Burren in Davis Square, which is not open to all ages.You can check them out on facebook or the SITN website, and get your brain engaged!

On Thursday, Oct. 9 at 7pm at the Brookline Public Library, local author and musician Terry Kitchen hosts an evening honoring Brookline's legendary Tam O'Shanter nightclub, featuring music by Bill Coover of the Memphis Rockabilly Band and Jay Feinstein of Push Push. Kitchen will also perform and read from his new novel Next Big Thing, set in the 1980s Boston music scene.

 


Indie Bookstores Aren't Dead -- They're Making A Comeback as seen in the Huffington Post. While reading this, it occurred to me that it might be almost forgotten that there was a long stretch of time, around fifteen years, when a big chain bookstore had set up shop just a few hundred feet from the Booksmith. Not only did your local independent not roll over and get blown away by the prevailing wind of "bigger is better," we went the extra mile and became possibly the first independent bookstore in the country to drive a predatory chain store out of its neighborhood. Let me amend that: the community of Brookline became possibly the first in the country to drive to drive a predatory chain store out.
Thanks for never doubting us, Brookline!

Thanks for reading,
Paul

currently reading Sidewalks by Valeria Luiselli.
Currently listening to Wildlight.

email me, if you'd like to make this a conversation.



 


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brookline booksmith
279 Harvard St.
Coolidge Corner, Brookline
an easy block from the Coolidge Corner T-stop on the C line
617.566.6660
thestore@brooklinebooksmith.com
Dana Brigham, Co-owner and Store Manager

Open 7 days a week:
Monday - Thursday: 8.30 am - 10 pm
Friday: 8:30 am - 11 pm
Saturday: 9 am - 11 pm
Sunday: 9 am - 9 pm

Open 24/7 at www.brooklinebooksmith.com