Friday, March 8, 2013

Buyers Corner: Spring 2013

Recently booksellers from all over the country descended upon Kansas City, MO for Winter Institute 8, our annual trade show that focuses on education, community and industry best practices. Despite the travel challenges presented by the winter storms that hit the Midwest, attending booksellers were focused, energetic and optimistic. We spent 3 days in educational sessions that covered a wide-range of topics, were inspired by keynote speakers, Daniel Pink and Malcolm Gladwell and had the opportunity to meet 61 attending authors (and one adorable coonhound named Maddie) at the Saturday evening author reception.

These industry gatherings remind me of the fact that booksellers are resilient, passionate and generous in their sharing of ideas and business practices.

As we prepare to turn our clocks forward I’m also reminded that spring is just around the corner and with it comes a lovely bumper crop of new books. Here are some favorites from the season. Happy Reading!

GOOD READS…

Ghostman by Roger Hobbs (Available now)
A “ghostman” is an expert at disappearing and helping others disappear. Jack Delton is one of the best, but even the best make mistakes. When a former “employer” asks for a favor, it’s a request that he can’t refuse. His task is a to find a bundle of cash that disappeared during a botched casino heist. Unfortunately the bundle is a federal payload containing a packet of indelible ink set to explode in 48 hours…so the clock is ticking! Even Jack’s considerable skills are put to the test in this addictive, electrifying thriller. The sensation of the Frankfurt Book Fair in 2011, this debut marks the beginning of what I hope is a great new series!

The Andalucian Friend by Alexander Soderberg (Available 3/12/13)
When nurse and single mom, Sophie Brinkmann meets patient, Hector Guzman, she has no idea how this chance encounter will forever alter her peaceful life. Ruthless international crime rings and the cops who will do anything to bring them to justice makes it hard to distinguish the good guys from the bad! Compulsively readable…reminiscent of early Ludlum and Forsyth.

Criminal Enterprise by Owen Laukkanen (Availble 3/21/13)
Carter Tomlin appears to have the perfect life…great job, pretty wife, two kids and a big house. Unfortunately he’s never told his wife that he’s lost his job! As the unpaid bills begin piling up, out of desperation, he robs a bank. When no one comes to arrest him he robs another and quickly becomes addicted to the adrenaline rush as well as the easy cash. MN state investigator, Kirk Stevens and FBI Special Agent Carla Windermere (they first appeared in The Professionals) team up again and are soon hot on his trail. This suspenseful thriller will keep you reading right up to the action-packed end.

Life After Life by Jill McCorkle (Available 3/26/13)
It’s been 17 long years since Jill McCorkle’s last novel! Her new novel, set against the backdrop of the Pine Haven Retirement Center, is a beautiful exploration of life and death, that “charts the precarious line…the split moment when the reader is aware of both places at once…that brief spark of connection and recognition before the paths continue in different directions.” Her characters are endearing, authentic and entertaining. I loved, loved, loved this book!

LIFE STORIES, WELL TOLD…

The Still Point of the Turning World by Emily Rapp (Available 3/7/13)
Emily Rapp’s son, Ronan, is 9 months old when he is diagnosed with Tay-Sachs disease, a fatal degenerative disorder with no cure and a life expectancy of 3-4 years. She shares her journey--through the devastating diagnosis and the ultimate loss of her son--in this brave, honest, and beautifully written memoir.

Her by Christa Parravani (Available now)
 “Studies of twins have shown that when an identical twin dies, regardless of the cause, the surviving twin’s life is immediately at risk.” When Christa loses her twin sister, Cara, she finds herself “wrestling with a powerful desire to become her sister. Beautifully written, mesmerizingly rich and true, Christa’s account of being left one half of a whole and of her desperate struggle for survival is informative and unforgettable.” This would be a great book group selection.

After Visiting Friends: a Son’s Story by Michael Hainey (Available now)
Michael Hainey is only 6 years old when his family receives the tragic news that his journalist father, Bob Hainey, has been found dead in the night, alone on a dark Chicago street. Cause of death is listed as a heart attack and the obituary states that Bob died, “after visiting friends” and Michael grows up without ever hearing any specific details. Years later he decides to employ his own investigative reporting skills to answer the questions that have haunting him throughout his childhood. This engaging, powerful memoir about family secrets and one man’s search to uncover the truth surrounding his father’s death will stay with you for a long time.

ANIMAL MAGNETISM…

Once Upon a Flock: Life With My Soulful Chickens by Lauren Scheuer (Available 3/19/13)
Based on her popular blog, Scratch and Peck, Lauren’s whimsical book about her feathered flock is pure fun! Her backyard chickens have BIG personalities (the term “pecking order” takes on a whole new significance!) and are endlessly entertaining as well as productive. Charming illustrations and lots of candid shots reinforce the cute factor. Chickens just may be the next great family pet!

Maddie On Things by Theron Humphrey (Available 5/1/13)
 When Theron set out on a roadtrip to cover all 50 states in 365 days he had no idea where that journey would take him or the significant impact it would have on his life and future. In the grand tradition of Steinbeck’s Travels with Charley, his rescued coonhound, Maddie, goes along for the ride and somewhere early on he decides to photograph her standing on things as a way to document the trip. Maddie is irresistibly photogenic, and loves posing for the camera. This delightful collection will make you smile! (We’re excited to be hosting Maddie and her human on Wednesday, 8/28 at 7:30pm! Information on the event will soon be posted on www.warwicks.com.)

IN THE KITCHEN… 

Nigellissima: Easy Italian-Inspired Recipes by Nigella Lawson (Available now)
Culinary goddess, Nigella Lawson, indulges her personal passion for all things Italian in her newest cookbook. Filled with lush photographs and entertaining personal notes, Nigellissima is beautiful to look at, fun to read and should serve as the springboard for many delicious meals.

The Little Paris Kitchen by Rachel Khoo (Available now)
Khoo moved to Paris to study patisserie and fell in love with city and it’s fabled cuisine. Her belief that you don’t need a lot of space or fancy equipment to cook delicious food and entertain friends (as amply demonstrated on her TV show) is carried through in this beautifully produced cookbook. Reading these recipes will inspire you to create a taste of Paris in your home…without breaking the bank!

LOOKING FORWARD…

The Art of Simple Food II by Alice Waters (Available 4/2/13)
Visionary chef and owner of Chez Panisse creates recipes that showcase flavor, and inspiration from the new kitchen garden.

It’s All Good by Gwyneth Paltrow (Available 4/2/13)
Award-winning actress and author of the bestselling cookbook, My Father’s Daughter “returns with recipes for the foods she eats when she wants to lose weight, look good, and feel more energetic.”

A Tale for the Time Being by Ruth Ozeki (Available 3/12/13)
“Ruth is a writer living in a remote corner of the Pacific coast of British Columbia who is currently thwarted by writer's block as she attempts to compose a memoir. One day she finds a collection of materials contained in a lunchbox that has washed up on the beach. The life she has stumbled into is that of a Japanese teenager, who, believing suicide is the only relief for her teenage angst, nevertheless is determined, before she commits that final act, to write down the story of her great-grandmother, a Buddhist nun.” (This is our April Signed First Editions Club Pick!)

Life After Life by Kate Atkinson (Available 4/2/13)
“If you could travel back in time and kill Hitler, would you?” This question is at the heart of Atkinson’s latest venture into alternate realities. She is a master storyteller!

The Famous and the Dead by T. Jefferson Parker (Available 4/18/13)
“Edgar-winner Parker's complex, sixth and final Charlie Hood novel (after 2012's The Jaguar) finds the affable, tireless deputy in the Los Angeles County Sheriff's office working undercover for the Federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms. Posing as an arms dealer named Charlie Hooper, Hood is trying to stop the flow of guns between Southern California and Mexico and locate the elusive Mike Finnegan, a mixture of Professor Moriarty and Doctor Faustus who featured prominently in The Jaguar.” (We’re pleased to be hosting an event with Jeff Parker on Thursday, 4/18 at 7:30pm! Click here for more details.)

A Constellation of Vital Phenomena by Anthony Marra (Available 5/7/13)
“Marra's sobering, complex debut intertwines the stories of a handful of characters at the end of the second war in bleak, apocalyptic Chechnya.” His beautiful prose helps to ease the toughness of the topic.

The Son by Philipp Meyer (Available 5/28/13)
From the author of American Rust comes a multi-generational saga of power, blood in the Lone Star State. For readers of Cormac McCarthy and Lonesome Dove.

Looking For Me by Beth Hoffman (Available 5/28/13)
Looking for Me brilliantly melds together themes of family, hope, loss, and a mature once-in-a-lifetime kind of love.” Much love in house for this new novel by the author of Saving CeeCee Honeycutt.

Adrian is the Head Book Buyer at Warwick's

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