So, our first title, selected for the month of August 2011, is a debut novel called Rules of Civility, written by Amor Towles. If you've ever set foot inside Warwick's, you know that we pride ourselves on having a very well-read staff who are skilled in the timeless art of book recommendation. We'd never knowingly steer you wrong - what would be the point of that? That said, our booksellers Julie, Adrian, Seth, Janet, Emily, and Barbara have all read and truly loved Rules of Civility. As if that weren't enough of an endorsement, our Penguin Putnam sales rep, Tom Benton (a one-time Publisher's Weekly Rep of the Year) has offered his plug as well. Tom is the bookseller's bookseller, essentially, and he always knows if a certain title will work for one of our booksellers. (Personally, Tom was very persistant in getting me to read Ron Carlson's Five Skies back in 2007, sending me multiple copies with hand-written notes. The book ultimately turned out to be one of the best books I've ever read in my life & Carlson is now one of my favorite living writers. I have never doubted Tom again.) Tom wrote the following little piece about the book for us:
First, let me introduce myself. I sell the hardcover books for the Penguin Group, and it is a great honor to be able to introduce Rules of Civility. My favorite part of the job is the discovery of a talented new writer. When a debut novel blows me away, so accomplished that I can't believe it is a first novel, there is nothing more exciting than telling everyone I know about the book - booksellers around my territory, my wife, even the parents at my kids' school. When I love a book, I want to get it into as many hands as possible. If I'm lucky, I have this feeling once or twice a year. I knew as soon as I began reading Rules of Civility that it would be one of those books.
The opening pages set the scene as Katey, our main character, comes across a portrait of Tinker Gray, an old friend, in the Museum of Modern Art. It's 1966 and the sight of Tinker transports her back 30 years to New Year's Eve 1937. Amor Towles does a masterful job recreating the Manhattan of that period. Seeing this world of high society through her eyes is completely captivating - the music, the nightlife, even the bygone world of magazine and book publishing. If readers are anything like me, they crave books that take them into another world, another time, and Rules of Civility does this beautifully. It is smart, witty and a pure pleasure to read - the perfect summer book. I rarely underline memorable lines in books, but I found myself doing it repeatedly throughout this book.
So I hope Rules transports you as it did me. I envy you the discovery. I can't wait to hear what Warwick's customers think - feel free to let me know at firstname.lastname@example.org. I write this with great pride and excitement, knowing that Warwick's has chosen Rules of Civility as the book to inaugurate the store's new Signed First Editions Club. As much as I love this first selection, I can't wait to see what Warwick's chooses next! I know that I - and you - won't be disappointed.We hope you won't be disappointed either! September's selection is The Language of Flowers by Vanessa Diffenbaugh and October's is Lost Memory of Skin by Russell Banks. Sign up today!