Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Long time, no write! It has been a busy summer at Liberty Bay Books and we have clearly been neglecting our blog. We are, however, going to start doing a monthly post of what books have sold the best for us during the past month! We shall start this endeavor with the beautiful month of August. For the kids, anything "Frozen" has been flying off of our shelves while the adults have been more into non-fiction. Check out the list below!

ADULTS:
1. Everything I Need to Know I Learned from a Little Golden Book by Diane Muldrow

2. The Boys in the Boat: Nine Americans and Their Epic Quest for Gold at the 1936 Berlin Olympics by Daniel James Brown

3. Unbroken: A World War II Story of Survival, Resilience and Redemption by Laura Hillenbrand

4. The Rosie Project by Graeme Simsion

5. Pacific Northwest's Best Trips: 37 Amazing Road Trips by Lonely Planet

6. Poulsbo (Images of America) by Judy Driscoll and Sherry White

7. Day Hike: Olympic Peninsula 3rd Edition: The Best Trails You Can Hike in a Day by Seabury Blair Jr.

8. Where'd You Go, Bernadette by Maria Semple

9. The Valley of Amazement by Amy Tan

10. And the Mountains Echoed by Khaled Hosseini

11. Outlander by Diana Gabaldon

12. 20 Ways to Draw a Cat and 44 Other Awesome Animals by Julia Kuo

13. One Zentangle a Day: A 6-Week Course in Creative Drawing for Relaxation, Inspiration and Fun by Beckah Krahula

14. The Irresistible Blueberry Bakeshop and Cafe by Mary Simses

15. Loyalty by Ingrid Thoft


KIDS:













14. Sasquatch Folding Field Guide by Paradise Cay




Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Play Ball

The Art of Fielding by Chad Harbach ($11.99, Little, Brown, and Co.) - Yes, it's baseball season again: our glorious past-time consisting of hot dogs and hot beer, strikes and balls, chewing tobacco and waiting for something miraculous to happen. And so if you're tired of reading about the astronomical contract the Mariners have given Robinson Cano, it's also time to revisit one of the best baseball books of recent memory: Chad Harbach's The Art of Fielding. If you haven't read it, or haven't heard of it, Chad Harbach's 2011 novel is the real deal -- the stinky cheese, the big nasty, the dirty dirt, if we're talking baseball terms. And we are. What distinguishes Harbach's novel from so many other memorable baseball books is that Harbach gets downright poetic about the game's nuances. In his hands, chewing tobacco and waiting around come off as Shakespearean mega-tragedies; a well fielded ball carries the metaphysical weight of something by Nietzche; and an error (god forbid) seems well deserving of any Old Testament wrath-of-god. And it truly is brilliant to read. Even for those of us who don't care much about baseball, Harbach does fine work to turn us into believers. By the book's end, we praise the majesty of a 4-6-3 double play. We cherish patient hitting and understand that swinging on the first pitch isn't poor play, it's a character flaw of the highest degree.

In an nutshell, the book is about a young man named Henry Skrimshander. As a freshman at Westish College, Henry is good at baseball. Henry, in fact, is great. He watches hours of tape, deciphers countless koans by baseball's fictional shaman, Aparicio Rodriguez, and he works out so hard that he sweats protein powder. But this, we know, may not last. While Skrimshander is no doubt the book's hero, other juicy plotlines involving the college's President, Guert Affenlight; his daughter; Skrimshander's self-appointed life-coach, Mike Schwartz; and Henry's roommate, Owen Dunne; capture our attention when Skrimshander isn't fielding grounders.  Even if you don't much care for the game, get yourself into swing of the season by picking up a truly enlightening book. 


Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Fishing, A River Runs Through It, and Montana Sawdust Piles

Whether you're at your local creek, floating the Yakima Canyon on a multi-day trip, or cruising the beaches of Liberty Bay for the Sea-Run Cutthroats that clogged our waters some 75 years ago, there are few times like Summer to break out the old fly rod and "wet your line." The goal, as ever, is 1) netting some sea-borne monster to show off to your friends and, 2) enjoying the outdoors. While we're late in the season, across nearly all of land West of the Mississippi (and probably some areas East of it, though who cares about them), late summer and early fall still comprise a glorious time of year for flyfishermen and flyfisherwomen to get outside and chase the dream. And here's a book to stoke the fires.

Norman Maclean's A River Runs Through It (U. Chicago Press, 2001, $9.60) is one of those books that every flyfisher-person has read, heard too much about, or at the very worst, purposefully neglected with the mind that it's 'too mainstream'. In my estimation, it is a book that everyone should read (and maybe even especially those that have never heard of flyfishing, gearchucking, or the great outdoors). Made up of three short stories, "A River Runs Through It," "Logging and Pimping and 'Your pal, Jim," and "USFS 1919: The Ranger, the Cook, and a Hole in the Sky," the book is unerringly hilarious. The stories' titles convey that much, I think. In it, plaintive--and even beatific--descriptions of nature, fishing, Montana, etc. are regularly interrupted by crude sex jokes, cartoonish elaborations of early Montanans' drinking habits, and simmering jabs at Maclean's own Scottish Presbyterian church. One story captures this delightful mix of naturalism and humor particularly well: after nearly 60 pages of high drama in a Montana logging camp, the story degenerates into a joke about sex. Beautiful and tense throughout, we think this story has been schooling us in the ways of masculinity, the woods, and the mountains. In reality it's the distractingly long-winded build up of a joke about fat women. The irony is masterful and miraculous, as it is throughout the stories. And it serves to remind us that it's not Thoreau or Hemingway that we're reading; it's something completely new and completely different: a haunting book of jokes written by a Pulitzer prize winning University of Chicago professor who grew up drinking whiskey in Montana sawdust piles. It may or may not rekindle your passion to fish. But it will make you laugh. And it will definitely remind you of everything you're missing when you're inside watching reruns of How I Met Your Mother.





Thursday, July 18, 2013

The Childhood of Jesus

The Childhood of Jesus by J.M. Coetzee (Viking, $26.95, September 2013) -- Nobel-prize winner J.M. Coetzee's latest novel reads like that middle-school riddle that you never quite grabbed ahold of. Told largely through dialogue, the story is anything but straightforward. Large portions of the book are assigned to dialogues seemingly lifted right out of Plato ("Ideas are everywhere," he writes towards the beginning of the book. "The universe is instinct with them. Without them there would be no universe, for there would be no being.") Other sections wander almost heroically into the dreamy hinterlands (i.e. Purgatory) we visited in that other Coetzee masterpiece, Elizabeth Costello, before Coetzee's authorial restraint pulls them back. But this novel is even stranger. Why? Because this novel exists nowhere.

Let me explain. It begins with the arrival of a man (Simon) and a boy (David) to an unknown Spanish speaking country from some sort of refugee camp called Belstar. We do not know where they are, where they are from, or why they've been forced into this new world. Descriptors leak out of conversations slowly, revealing little more than the strange relationship between David and Simon and the inhumanly austere (and hyper-logical) character of those living in our heroes new land. (It turns out David is not Simon's son but a self-appointed guardian who feels bound to find the boy's mother, despite never having seen her or knowing her name. They boy doesn't recall her either.) As something resembling a story ensues, we find that everything in Coetzee's novel out of balance. Never can we be sure what universe this story is occurring in, just as we can never be sure of its time frame or the parameters of its (at least partially) intended allegory of Jesus's childhood. Everything is just beyond us. But don't get me wrong: this doesn't make The Childhood of Jesus infuriating or unreadable. These are the qualities that have always illuminated Coetzee's work: the tug between restraint of his prose and the philosophical, moral, metafictional, and even physical waywardness his stories invoke. Like the majority of his novels, this one is also worth reading. It will leave you with fragments and strands that point towards truths but come nowhere near explaining them outright; in Coetzee's hands this is always a good thing.

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Liquid Sunshine Reads
What we're reading while waiting for the sun to come out again!

Suzanne just read:
Yes, an older book but a favorite read of mine. Told first person by Quothe, a wizard/hero of his adventures/mis deeds. I enjoyed it so much it's hard to pick up another book. So looking forward to reading Wise Man's Fear (book 2).

Madison just read:
This is a great new series by Alyson Noel that is based around Native American folklore in the town of Enchantment, NM. People are disappearing and the environment is dying. Daire discovers her heritage and is fated to walk the path of a Seeker, a person who fights for the light to keep the dark at bay. Great, exciting reads with book three coming out later this spring!

Kathryn just read:
A chilling and remarkable story of survival. The main character, Grace Winter, is one of the few survivors when the ocean liner she and her new husband are traveling on explodes. She is faced with tough choices and is on trial for her life. A real page turner!

Emily just read:
This collection converted me from a novel only reader to a lover of the short story format. Some of the stories are only a few short pages long but pack as power a punch as a 300 page novel. Set primarily in and around the authors home town of Spokane, these stories are populated by losers, junkies and vagrants. Walter's down and out characters try, and often fail, to set things right and make sense of their broken lives and they will bring you along for the heartbreaking ride.






Monday, January 7, 2013

Pacific Northwest Book Awards 2013

The Pacific Northwest Booksellers Assocation has selected their winners for the 2013 Pacific Northwest Book Awards! A volunteer committee of independent booksellers chose these six books from more than 250 titles published in 2012. We've read most of these books and have loved them. Here are the winners!

Blasphemy by Sherman Alexie - Always a favorite author here at LBB!

       

********************************

A store bestseller in 2012 set here in Poulsbo, Washington


********************************

Snow Child by Eowyn Ivey - Kathryn's favorite hand sell. 

  

********************************



  

********************************

Wild by Cheryl Strayed - Enjoyed by all who have read it!

 

********************************

Alif the Unseen by G. Willow Wilson


___________________________________________________________________________

ALSO! Please remember to sign up for World Book Night 2013! You have until January 23rd to sign up at www.us.worldbooknight.org. Everyone who participated last year had a great time spreading the love of reading around our community and we hope you'll consider joining us this year! Also, when you visit the website, take a look at the scrolling pictures at the top of the main page...Participants from last years event at Liberty Bay Books are prominently featured right on the top as well as the boxes of books with name tags created by Madison at LBB! This is a national website, so its pretty cool to be the only store represented in the pictures. Hope to see you all at this fun, free event PLUS a free t-shirt when you participate!




Monday, December 31, 2012

LBB's Best-Loved Books of 2012


Liberty Bay Books
Bestsellers of 2012!

1.  The Hunger Games (Book 1) – Suzanne Collins
2.  Fifty Shades of Grey (Book 1) – E.L. James
3.  Catching Fire (Book 2) – Suzanne Collins
4.  Home Front – Kristin Hannah  **local author!!**
5.  I Could Pee On This – Francesco Marciuliano
6.  Mockingjay (Book 3) – Suzanne Collins
7.  Learning to Swim – Sara Henry
8.  Because of Katie – Karen Gerstenberger **local author!!**
9.  Cinder – Marissa Meyer **local author!!**
10.  The Dog Stars – Peter Heller
11.  Fifty Shades Darker (Book 2) – E.L. James
12.  Divergent – Veronica Roth
13.  Fifty Shades Freed (Book 3) – E.L. James
14.  Remember I Can’t Remember – E & H Anderson**local authors!!**
15.  The Night Circus – Erin Morgenstern
16.   Darth Vader & Son – Jeffrey Brown
17.   Where’d You Go, Bernadette – Maria Semple **local author!!**
18.  Plenty – Yotam Ottolenghi
19.  The Alchemyst (Book 1) – Michael Scott

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Madison here, writing a post for Jordan because this one is about MY favorite Young Adult reads, so I figured I could probably write it myself instead of making Jordan do all the work. If you're looking for some great new reads for the Young (or Not-So-Young) Adults in your life here are my favorites of the year!

#1
 
This book is the closet thing to the Hunger Games that I've read...but was still different enough to be equally as exciting. Another dystopian novel, where everything is highly controlled those who are in power. However in this series, people are separated into factions. Each faction represents a different trait (courage, loyalty, selflessness...) Once the children are old enough they can choose to remain with the same faction they were raised in, or pick a new one which would mean leaving their family behind. When Beatrice comes of age she is faced with a hard decision that ultimately alters her life and the lives of everyone else in the world she inhabits. 
Divergent is out in paperback now,  Insurgent (book two) is out in hardback and book three will be out next fall.

#2
A great spin on the idea of super heroes. Juliette has never been able to touch another person - her touch can kill. Even her parents have abandoned her. She doesn't know why or how she has this power and doesn't want to be the monster everyone sees her as...until she finds Adam who helps her see that her powers could be used for good.
Shatter Me is out in paperback, with a mini novela eBook called Destroy Me out now, and Book 2 
Unravel Me out on February 5th! Pre-order now and receive 25% off!

#3
Stepping away from the post-apocalyptic/dystopian type books, Revolution is a fabulous historical fiction. Andi, in the modern day, finds the diary of Alexandrine, a girl who lived during the French Revolution. Andi sees herself in the words written by Alexandrine and finds herself transported back in time. Jennifer Donnelly always does such a fabulous job with historical fiction. LOVED this book and even learned some things about the French Revolution! Out in paperback now, no book 2.

#4
A group of boys lives in a place called "The Glade" with no recollection on how they came to be in "the box" that dropped them there or their lives before. Everyday a group of the boys runs into the maze that is just beyond the Glade trying to find a way out, but there are dangerous things in the maze and they must make it back before sunset or the doors will close and they'll be stuck in the Maze all night with all the monsters that come alive at night. Thomas wakes up in the box with no memory of how he got there with a note telling the other Gladers that he will be the last person to arrive. Time is running out and one day everything stops, the "sun" never rises and the doors to the maze remain open, letting in the monsters of the maze with a message that one Glader will be killed each night until none remain. Thomas and the other Gladers must work together to save themselves. This is a great read for all ages, but I think it would be great for reluctant readers, namely middle school/high school boys. 
The Maze Runner (book one) and The Scorch Trials (book two) are both out in paperback. The Death Cure (book three) is out in hardback along with The Kill Order (the first book in the Prequel series).

Stay tuned next week for more of my favorite YA reads! 

Friday, October 5, 2012

West Sound Reads welcomes Elizabeth George

Pacific Northwest author Elizabeth George is coming to Kitsap County to talk about her new Teen novel, The Edge of Nowhere. This event is a West Sound Reads event in partnership with the Kitsap Regional Library and all IndieBound Bookstores here in Kitsap County. Please join us October 17th at 6:30pm at the Bainbridge Island Museum of Art, 100 Ravine Lane. This is a FREE community event.

Sunday, July 29, 2012

The Dog Stars

Yea, yea, yea -- it's been an age since somebody wrote an honest to god book review on this fine page, but I'm happy to say that
        1. I'm back
        2. I've got a book to talk about
        3. It's one of finest books I've read all summer
        4. It's called The Dog Stars and it's by Peter Heller (Knopf, $19.96, hardcover)
Before we get started, I want you to sit back for a minute. Take cold sip, a deep breath. Now recall as much as you can about Cormac McCarthy's The Road. Post apocalyptic. Violent. Lonely. Take another breath. Now recall Norman Maclean's A River Runs Through It. Montana. Fishing. Family. One more second. Seeing it? Poet-pilot-fisherman fighting post-apocalyptic wanderers (yea, a tongue twister)...love...hurt...wide open country...

Yea. You're there. You've stepped right into it. Peter Heller's newest novel. Written with a naturalist's eye, a fisherman's soul, and social perspective of a taoist hermit, Heller's work takes us back to the poetry of the countryside while reminding us of that dark fate that looms every time a pig or a bird catches the flu and sends it our way.  The prose is spare, poignant--and often hilarious--yet Heller not gloss over the darkness of post-apocalyptic life in any way. In fact, the book's attention to detail is stunning.

The story is this: A pilot (Hig) lives with a heavily armed survivalist in rural Colorado. A blood-sickness has ravaged the human population leaving few survivors. Hig and his partner live off of their land, eating what they grow, shoot, and catch. Hig flies his small plane daily, assessing their plot's perimeter and any activity in the surrounding areas.  Plot ensues...

And you won't want to miss it!