Book Habit

Posts tagged Avid Reader

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What’s Happening in the Bookshop - We Have Launched Our New Website

We are so excited to announce the launch of our new website.  It took a little bit and we are grateful for your patience. This means we will no longer be posting to Tumblr so if you follow us here please join us on our new site at www.WellingtonSquareBooks.com.

We decided to create a new site so that we could consolidate everything in one place and make is much easier for you all to navigate.  Now we have everything in one place:

  • Who we are and what we are about
  • What is happening each month in the bookshop
  • Sam’s Avid Reader interviews for each month and a link to listen to past interviews
  • Our AWESOME blog!
  • The ability to buy new books from us online (although we much prefer to see you in the shop so we can visit)
  • Coming soon…the ability to buy from our collection of eclectic and rare books

We hope you like it!

Filed under new website Wellington Square Books Avid Reader

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Interview with Carol Anshaw author of “Carry The One”

Today at 5:00pm on WCHE 1520am, Sam interviews Carol Anshaw author ofCarry The One.

Carry the One begins in the hours following Carmen’s wedding reception, when a car filled with stoned, drunk, and sleepy guests accidentally hits and kills a girl on a dark, country road. For the next twenty-five years, those involved, including Carmen and her brother and sister, connect and disconnect and reconnect with each other and their victim. As one character says, “When you add us up, you always have to carry the one.”

Through friendships and love affairs; marriage and divorce; parenthood, holidays, and the modest tragedies and joys of ordinary days, Carry the One shows how one life affects another and how those who thrive and those who self-destruct are closer to each other than we’d expect. Deceptively short and simple in its premise, this novel derives its power and appeal from the author’s beautifully precise use of language; her sympathy for her very recognizable, flawed characters; and her persuasive belief in the transforming forces of time and love.

A brilliant feat of storytelling … one of the most intensely vibrant novels I’ve ever read… . This book is that kind of pearl. ”—Susan Straight, The Boston Globe

“Beautifully observed…a resonate ‘Big Chill’-like look at how time affects relationships.” --Michiko Kakutani, The New York Times

Carol is the author of the novels Carry the One, Lucky in the Corner, Seven Moves, Aquamarine. She has won the Carl Sandburg, Society of Midland Authors, and Ferro-Grumley awards for fiction.

Her short fiction has been anthologized, and published in various periodicals including VLS, New Ohio Review, and Tin House. Her stories, “Hammam” and “Elvis Has Left the Building” were chosen for inclusion in Best American Short Stories of 1994 and 1998 respectively. Her latest story, “The Last Speaker of the Language,” will be included in the series’ 2012 publication.

Anshaw is a past fellow of the Illinois Arts Council and the National Endowment for the Arts. She teaches in the MFA in Writing program at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago.

She is also a painter.She lives in Chicago and in Amsterdam with her partner, the filmmaker Jessie Ewing, alsotheir dog Tom.

Listen to Sam’s interview with Carol on Podomatic or you can download the podcast on iTunes.

Filed under carol anshaw carry the one interview avid reader radio show wche 1520

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Today on the Avid Reader - Sam’s Hour

We would first like to thank everyone for giving Jerry Spinelli such a warm welcome here at the Wellington Square Bookshop. 

Today on the Avid Reader at 5:00pm (WCHE 1520am), Sam pontificates about current events in the publishing world as well as anything else that comes across his mind.

In a bit of a diversion from his usual author interviews Sam will be a one-man-show today.  He will be discussing bookstores, a dying breed, as well as politics and why you should vote.  Basically anything that pops into his mind.  It should be pretty exciting!

Filed under vote spinelli avid reader talk show

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Interview with Justin Torres author of “We The Animals”

Today at 5:00pm on WCHE 1520am, Sam interviews Justin Torres,  author of We The Animals.

Three brothers tear their way through childhood – smashing tomatoes all over each other, building kites from trash, hiding out when their parents do battle, tiptoeing around the house as their mother sleeps off her graveyard shift. Paps and Ma are from Brooklyn – he’s Puerto Rican, she’s white – and their love is a serious, dangerous thing that makes and unmakes a family many times.

Life in this family is fierce and absorbing, full of chaos and heartbreak and the euphoria of belonging completely to one another. From the intense familial unity felt by a child to the profound alienation he endures as he begins to see the world, this beautiful novel reinvents the coming-of-age story in a way that is sly and punch-in-the-stomach powerful.

Written in magical language with unforgettable images, this is a stunning exploration of the viscerally charged landscape of growing up, how deeply we are formed by our earliest bonds, and how we are ultimately propelled at escape velocity toward our futures.

We the Animals [is] the kind of sensitive, carefully wrought autobiographical first novel that may soon be extinct from the mainstream publishing world…An affecting story of love, loss and the irreversible trauma that a single event can bring to a family. ~The New York Times

A novel so honest, poetic, and tough that it makes you reexamine what it means to love and to hurt.~O, The Oprah Magazine

Justin Torres grew up in upstate New York. His work has appeared in The New Yorker, Granta, Tin House, Glimmer Train, and other publications. A graduate of the Iowa Writers’ Workshop, he is a recipient of the Rolón United States Artist Fellowship in Literature, and is now a Wallace Stegner Fellow at Stanford. He has worked as a farmhand, a dog-walker, a creative writing teacher, and a bookseller.

Listen to Sam’s interview with Justin on Podomatic or you can download the podcast on iTunes.

Filed under We The Animals Justin Torres Book Review Interview Avid Reader

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Interview with Don Lee, author of “The Collective”

In 1988, Eric Cho, an aspiring writer, arrives at Macalester College. On his first day he meets a beautiful fledgling painter, Jessica Tsai, and another would-be novelist, the larger-than-life Joshua Yoon. Brilliant, bawdy, generous, and manipulative, Joshua alters the course of their lives, rallying them together when they face an adolescent act of racism. As adults in Cambridge, Massachusetts, the three friends reunite as the 3AC, the Asian American Artists Collective together negotiating the demands of art, love, commerce, and idealism until another racially tinged controversy hits the headlines, this time with far greater consequences. Long after the 3AC has disbanded, Eric reflects on these events as he tries to make sense of Joshua ‘s recent suicide. With wit, humor, and compassion, The Collective explores the dream of becoming an artist, and questions whether the reality is worth the sacrifice.

"Heartbreaking, sexy, and frequently funny."
—Stephan Lee, Entertainment Weekly

Don Lee is the author most recently of the novel The Collective. He is also the author of the novel Wrack and Ruin, which was a finalist for the Thurber Prize; the novel Country of Origin, which won an American Book Award, the Edgar Award for Best First Novel, and a Mixed Media Watch Image Award for Outstanding Fiction; and the story collection Yellow, which won the Sue Kaufman Prize for First Fiction from the American Academy of Arts and Letters and the Members Choice Award from the Asian American Writers’ Workshop. All of his books have been published by W. W. Norton.

He is a third-generation Korean American. The son of a career State Department officer, he spent the majority of his childhood in Tokyo and Seoul. In Tokyo, he attended ASIJ—the American School in Japan. He received his B.A. in English literature from UCLA and his M.F.A. in creative writing and literature from Emerson College. After graduating, he taught fiction writing workshops at Emerson for four years as an adjunct instructor, then began working full-time at Ploughshares. He was an occasional writer-in-residence in Emerson’s M.F.A. program and a visiting writer at other colleges and universities.

Listen to Sam’s interview with Don on Podomatic or you can download the podcast on iTunes.

Filed under don lee the collective interview book review avid reader

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Interview with Karen Thompson Walker, author of “The Age of Miracles”

Today at 5:00pm on WCHE 1520am, Sam interviews Karen Thompson Walker, author of “The Age of Miracles”.

On a seemingly ordinary Saturday in a California suburb, Julia and her family awake to discover, along with the rest of the world, that the rotation of the earth has suddenly begun to slow. The days and nights grow longer and longer, gravity is affected, the environment is thrown into disarray. Yet as she struggles to navigate an ever-shifting landscape, Julia is also coping with the normal disasters of everyday life—the fissures in her parents’ marriage, the loss of old friends, the hopeful anguish of first love, the bizarre behavior of her grandfather who, convinced of a government conspiracy, spends his days obsessively cataloging his possessions. As Julia adjusts to the new normal, the slowing inexorably continues.

“[A] gripping debut … . A triumph of vision, language, and terrifying momentum, the story also feels eerily plausible, as if the problems we’ve been worrying about all along pale in comparison to what might actually bring our end.”
Publishers Weekly

“Beautiful and frightening … Karen Thompson Walker takes a fantastic premise and makes it feel thrillingly real.”
—Karen Russell, author of Swamplandia!

Karen Thompson Walker was born and raised in San Diego, California, where The Age of Miracles is set. She studied English and creative writing at UCLA, where she wrote for the UCLA Daily Bruin. After college, she worked as a newspaper reporter in the San Diego area before moving to New York City to attend the Columbia University MFA program.

A former book editor at Simon & Schuster, she wrote The Age of Miracles in the mornings before work—sometimes while riding the subway.

She is the recipient of the 2011 Sirenland Fellowship as well as a Bomb Magazine fiction prize. She lives in Brooklyn with her husband.

If you miss an interview you can always catch it at Wellington Square Books or on the Avid Reader at iTunes.

Filed under Karen Thompson Walker Age of Miracles Book Review Author Interview Avid Reader

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This Week in the Bookshop - The First Edition Club

Did you know that we have a number of first and limited edition club books?  Once a month the members of the First Editions Book Club receive a signed first edition of a new work of fiction by an emerging author who shows exceptional talent and promise.  June’s signed first edition is Jess Walter’s Beautiful Ruins.

Sam recently interviewed Jess Walter for his weekly radio broadcast, The Avid Reader.  You can listen to the podcast of his interview on iTunes.

Here is what Sam has to say about the book:

Beautiful Ruins, by Jess Walter, is literally one of those few books that you can’t put down.  It is April of 1962.  The catastrophic set of “Cleopatra” sets the opening of this novel.  A dying American actress, an extra in the film, arrives in a town so small that it exists primarily as a rumor.  Dee Moray, one of the book’s numerous protagonists, a beautiful blond, enters Porto Vergona and immediately smites young Pasquale Tursi, the  proprietor of the adequately named “Hotel Adequate View”.  A shared moment between the two creates the link that unites them and the book itself, together for a lifetime.  Reminiscent of Gabriel Garcia Marquez’s “Love in the Time of Cholera”, the book’s magical narrative leads us deeper and deeper into the realization that the moments of our life, combine, or stand alone, to shape our very existence, our personalities and our fates.
 
Suffice it to say that this book enthralled me, and will you.  Listen to my interview with Jess Walter and hear him explain the nuances of his work and the muse that led him to write this, which, along with A Visit From the Goon Squad are my picks as the two best books of the year.

Filed under Beautiful Ruins Jess Walter Avid Reader Signed First Edition Book Club Book review

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Interview with Chris Cleave author of “Gold”

Today at 5:00pm on WCHE 1520am, Sam interviews Chris Cleave, author of Gold.

What would you sacrifice for the people you love?

KATE AND ZOE met at nineteen when they both made the cut for the national training program in track cycling—a sport that demands intense focus, blinding exertion, and unwavering commitment. They are built to exploit the barest physical and psychological edge over equally skilled rivals, all of whom are fighting for the last one tenth of a second that separates triumph from despair.

Now at thirty-two, the women are facing their last and biggest race: the 2012 Olympics. Each wants desperately to win gold, and each has more than a medal to lose.

“Cleave goes for the gold and brings it home in his thrillingly written and emotionally rewarding novel about the world of professional cycling … Cleave expertly cycles through the characters’ tangled past and present, charting their ever-shifting dynamic as ultra-competitive Zoe and Kate are forced to decide whether winning means more to them than friendship … Cleave likewise pulls out all the stops getting inside the hearts and minds of his engagingly complex characters. The race scenes have true visceral intensity, leaving the reader feeling breathless … From start to finish, this is a truly Olympic-level literary achievement.” – PUBLISHERS WEEKLY

Chris Cleave is 38. He lives in London with his wife and three children.

His debut novel Incendiary won a 2006 Somerset Maugham Award, was shortlisted for the 2006 Commonwealth Writers Prize, and won the United States Book-of-the-Month Club’s First Fiction award 2005.

His second novel is titled Little Bee in Canada and the US, where it is a New York Times #1 bestseller. It is titled The Other Hand in the UK, where it is a Sunday Times bestseller. It was shortlisted for the Costa Novel Award.

Gold is his third novel.

Chris Cleave has been a barman, a long-distance sailor and teacher of marine navigation, an internet pioneer and a journalist.

Filed under Chris Cleave Gold Olympics Track Cycling Inteview Avid Reader

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Interview with Alice LaPlante author of “Turn of Mind”

Today at 5:00pm on WCHE 1520am, Sam interviews Alice LaPlante author ofTurn of Mind.

Is the perfect murder the one you can’t forget or the one you can’t remember?

Dr. Jennifer White, a brilliant former surgeon in the early grips of Alzheimer’s, is suspected of murdering her best friend, Amanda. Amanda’s body was found brutally disfigured — with four of her fingers cut off in a precise, surgical manner. As the police pursue their investigation and Jennifer searches her own mind for fractured clues to Amanda’s death, a portrait emerges of a complex relationship between two uncompromising, unsentimental women, lifelong friends who were at times each other’s most formidable adversaries.

Alice LaPlante is an award-winning fiction writer and university creative
writing instructor. She was a Wallace Stegner Fellow and a Jones Lecturer at Stanford University, and teaches creative writing at both Stanford and San Francisco State University. The author of five books (and counting), Alice includes among her publications a writing textbook, Method and Madness: The Making of a Story, published by W.W. Norton in 2009; Playing For Profit: How Digital Entertainment is Making Big Business Out of Child’s Play (Wiley, 2000); and Passion to Profits: Business for Non-Business Majors (The Planning Shop, 2008).
Her novel, Turn of Mind (Grove Atlantic, July 2011) became a New York Times, NPR, and American Independent Booksellers Association bestseller within a month of release. Turn of Mind was also designated a New York Times Editors’ Choice, an NPR, O Magazine, Vogue, and Globe and Mail Summer Reading Pick, and is featured in Barnes and Noble 2011 Discover Great New Writers program. Turn of Mind was also the first work of fiction to win the Welcome Prize.
Alice also has more than 25 years experience as an award-winning journalist, corporate editorial consultant, writing coach, and university-level writing instructor. She has written for Forbes ASAP, BusinessWeek, ComputerWorld, InformationWeek, Discover, and a host of other national publications. Her corporate clients include some of the best-known brands in the technology industry, including IBM, Microsoft, Oracle, Symantec, Deloitte, and HP.

If you miss an interview you can always catch it at Wellington Square Books or on the Avid Reader at iTunes.

Filed under alice LaPlante Turn of Mind Avid Reader Book Review Interview

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Interview with Lionel Shriver author of “The New Republic”

Today at 5:00pm on WCHE 1520am, Sam interviews Lionel Shriver author of The New Republic

Ostracized as a kid, Edgar Kellogg has always yearned to be popular. A disgruntled New York corporate lawyer, he’s more than ready to leave his lucrative career for the excitement and uncertainty of journalism. When he’s offered the post of foreign correspondent in a Portuguese backwater that has sprouted a homegrown terrorist movement, Edgar recognizes the disappeared larger-than-life reporter he’s been sent to replace, Barrington Saddler, as exactly the outsize character he longs to emulate. Infuriatingly, all his fellow journalists cannot stop talking about their beloved “Bear,” who is no longer lighting up their work lives.

Yet all is not as it appears. Os Soldados Ousados de Barba—”The Daring Soldiers of Barba”—have been blowing up the rest of the world for years in order to win independence for a province so dismal, backward, and windblown that you couldn’t give the rat hole away. So why, with Barrington vanished, do terrorist incidents claimed by the “SOB” suddenly dry up?

A droll, playful novel, The New Republic addresses weighty issues like terrorism with the deft, tongue-in-cheek touch that is vintage Shriver. It also presses the more intimate question: What makes particular people so magnetic, while the rest of us inspire a shrug? What’s their secret? And in the end, who has the better life—the admired, or the admirer?

Lionel Shriver is a novelist whose previous books include Orange Prize–winner We Need to Talk About Kevin, The Post-Birthday World, A Perfectly Good Family, Game Control, Double Fault, The Female of the Species, Checker and the Derailleurs, and Ordinary Decent Criminals. She is widely published as a journalist, writing features, columns, op-eds, and book reviews for the Guardian, the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal, the Financial Times, the Economist, Marie Claire, and many other publications. She is frequently interviewed on television, radio, and in print media. She lives in London and Brooklyn, NY.

Filed under Lionel Shriver The New Republic Avid Reader WCHE Book review Interview Reading