Ask Rick Riordan what he is REALLY thinking!

October 12, 2010

How would you like to be able to ask Rick Riordan what he is REALLY thinking? Pose your question today and ten of you will get to hear Rick answer it in person. One lucky person will even get a free signed copy of The Lost Hero. You can ask more than one question and winner need not be present to win. CLICK HERE TO ENTER YOUR QUESTION!

The Heroes of Olympus: The Lost Hero goes on sale TODAY and the one and only Rick Riordan is coming to Salt Lake!

Meet Rick for yourself on Monday, October 18, 7 p.m. at Judge Memorial High School Monday, October 18, 7 p.m. and come in and get your copy of The Lost Hero today! Click HERE for full event details.

Fans of “Percy Jackson & the Olympians” and the new “Kane Chronicles” will be thrilled to learn that Riordan is taking us back to Camp Half-Blood with his new series, “The Heroes of Olympus.” In book one, The Lost Hero, we meet a new generation of demi-gods beset with their own evil beings to conquer, including Dylan, a ventus or storm spirit disguised as a fellow classmate.

This is a ticketed event. Tickets are free with the purchase of The Lost Hero. Additional tickets may be purchased for $5. Because he wants everyone to have a chance to say hello, Rick will only be able to sign a single copy of one of his books for each customer. Feel free to take photos as you are waiting; however, we won’t be able to stop the line for posed photos. 

You’ll be more than merely charmed.

April 20, 2010

Kathleen Cahill, who has an MFA in Musical Theater and Opera writing from NYU, has written numerous plays, libretti, and screen plays, has won many awards and is also a writer and editor for Masterpiece Theater. The world premiere of her play, Charm will be presented by Salt Lake Acting Company April 14-May 9. A panel discussion of Margaret Fuller’s life and the position of women will be held at 5:00 p.m., after the Sunday Matinee on April 25.

Free as the famous Transcendentalists may have been in their passion for natural feeling, they were hideabound concerning their feelings for independent women—or so Kathleen Cahill would have it in her play about the iconic–if obscure—Margaret Fuller. Fuller was not just a journalist but the first female foreign correspondent for the New York Tribune under the legendary Horace Greeley—and was a war correspondent at that. She was a book reviewer, as well, and she authored the seminal book Women in the Nineteenth Century. She was also a reformer who fought not only for women’s rights but for abolition and prison reform. She was the first editor of the Transcendental publication The Dial, and was the friend and associate of such formidable—and famous— writers as Thoreau, Emerson, and Hawthorne.

How could such a woman have sunk into obscurity so instantly and completely upon her death? Why is it that only scholars of feminism or transcendentalism know her name? And who was this intense and intensely intelligent writer and thinker who braved custom and criticism alike in the name of freedom of thought and action.

These are questions that rise to the surface in SLAC’s latest play, Charm. Dramatist Cahill presents Fuller as a plain woman who preferred honesty to subterfuge, outspokenness to charm, yet who managed to charm nearly all of the famous thinkers of her day and served as muse to one. In alternating scenes, Fuller trades barbs and philosophy, with Emerson, fans the flames of jealousy in the bosom of Emerson’s wife, flirts with and arouses sexual self-knowledge in the breast of Thoreau, while her attempts at seduction serve as inspiration to the repressed Hawthorn and she becomes his unwitting muse. To further describe the plays action would be to spoil it. Suffice it to say that Fuller’s life is the very stuff of theater, providing a heady mix of the comic, the dramatic, the ironic, that alternately dazzles, pains and amuses us, leaving us breathless in the process. Which is precisely what occurs in the able hands of Kathleen Cahill and SLAC.

Don’t miss Charm. You’ll be more than merely charmed, that I guarantee.

Betsy Burton

2009 Holiday Book Show on RadioWest

December 4, 2009

In this season of thanks and gift-giving…Whether it’s a $12 no-frills paperback or a lavishly illustrated $200 hardcover,
a book is, dollar for dollar, the best possible present for people of all ages and stages of life. Why? Because there is one
particular book that is perfect for practically everyone.

This was the topic on RadioWest yesterday. Our own Betsy Burton, along with Catherine Weller and Ken Sanders, joined Doug Fabrizio for the annual holiday book show on KUER. To see the books they recommended, or listen to the show, go to KUER:

Better still, go to our website, and download the 2009 Holiday Edition of The Inkslinger. You can scroll through a cast of characters—bibliophiles, naturalists, or outliers, for example—we’ve come to know and love until you spot your own friends and family members. You’ll find the perfect book(s) to match their passions listed by category. We also have printed copies available in the store, 12 pages crammed with fabulous books. This season is exceptionally rich in good books. Come pick up a copy!

Through the Eyes of Others: an Interview with Alan Furst

May 27, 2009

I’m no historian, and like many who have read about WWII, my point of view was pretty much American and Western European—until I read Dark Star. I not only became an immediate and impassioned convert to the books of Alan Furst, but also to the notion of viewing WWII through communist eyes, through the eyes of Europe’s dying aristocracy, through Eastern European eyes, and of seeing how the differences between their perspectives and ours played into the currents and cross currents washing over the world in the 1930s and ‘40s. That interest has pulled me from one of Alan Furst’s books to another and in each he’s tilted the axis a little and given his readers yet another angle on war, on spying, on history. He’s also given us one compelling character after another, each conceived in understated but dazzling prose; plots that while often labyrinthine are always believable; narrative that is as addictive as it is brilliant. Each new novel by Alan Furst is an event at The King’s English, none more so than The Spies of Warsaw; we are eagerly awaiting Furst’s June visit to TKE on June 18, 7 p.m. – Betsy Burton

BETSY BURTON: The Spies of Warsaw, your latest novel, is set in Poland in the years leading up to the war, but the protagonist, Mercier, is French. This fact lends a dual perspective to the story you tell—and to the history behind it—that makes the novel doubly fascinating. I was wondering whether your obvious interest in regarding the war from different points of view, whether Eastern or Western European, is occasioned by something in your own background or whether it springs out of some journalistic or literary curiosity.

Read the rest of this entry »

Interview | Terrell Dougan

December 29, 2008

Local author Terrell Dougan will be signing at The King’s English Bookshop on Thursday, January 8, at 7 p.m., with her memoir That Went Well.

BETSY BURTON: You recreate your childhood so evocatively—the funny moments, the guilty ones, the heartbreaking ones. And all those poignant details allow you to reflect your growing awareness of your sister’s reality without wallowing in self-pity—on your behalf or hers. Since I know you’re a professional columnist I wonder, was this your usual breezy journalistic style or was it intentional—a way of making the reader see Irene as human, not just a bundle of need? Or both?

TERRELL DOUGAN: Both, I imagine, if I understand what you mean.  I’ve read this question five times now, and I am pretty clear that my attitude – and in fact, the attitudes we all adopt – come from our parents.  Irene and I had parents who treated us as individuals, and they really respected our needs.  Here’s an example: my mother learned early on not to have Irene’s clothes monogrammed.  I myself thought a shirt with my initials on it was first class.  Irene took her first monogrammed shirt and threw it on the floor, saying, “I hate nitials!”  So she never had to wear ‘nitials!  Looking back on it, I realize how amazing it was that they tried to respect what it was Irene wanted in life, just as they did with me.  As to breezy attitude, you know, when you live with someone who is “not normal” in most people’s eyes, it becomes totally normal in your eyes.  I would be bopping along in life and happy as could be, and now and then someone would say, “Oh, your sister is mentally retarded!  I had no idea! How very tragic for you!”  So I would then drop my head and shoulders and say, “Oh yes…” and try to look tragic for them, sort of in support of their compassion, and I would say thank you, but the truth was, it was always a complete surprise to me that anyone thought our lives were tragic.  My parents certainly didn’t.

BB: Despite your busy life, you have been involved in every program and legal maneuver in support of people with special needs from ARC to the Columbus Community Center to Project Turn. Yet, ironically, every one of those efforts was anathema to Irene. You’ve listened to the social workers at times, and to your own instincts as often. Can you talk about the process by which you finally came to realize that it was Irene to whom you needed to listen?

TD: Dad and I did what we could to get these programs in place, thinking they’d be good for everyone with a developmental disability.  Once again, everyone has individual needs, and not everyone fits a program. Irene actually spent over 18 years at Columbus, and a few years in the other sheltered workshops around town as well.  While there, she spent more than a little time alone in the time-out room because her tantrums were so out of control.  Part of this is due to her brain damage, part to wanting her own way at all times, as three-year-olds do.  This was in the days before the miracle drugs that even these folks out.  Nowadays, professionals are coming to believe even more in smaller facilities, with few or no time-outs, and if they are time-outs, they should be of short duration.  I just returned from the Arc of the United States’ convention, and a whole plenary session was devoted to the ways we who mean well still abuse the human rights of individuals, even in community programs, by treating them in ways that diminish them.  I came back realizing that fairly often I discuss Irene’s program with her staff as if she isn’t sitting right there in the room, and we don’t include her.  That’s going to stop. So there’s a national consciousness being raised about this that’s wonderful.

BB: Irene has a magnet on her door that says, “Normal People Worry Me.” Has your sister given you a new way of judging what’s “normal?

TD: Yup.  We have a new magnet I found that we both like better, and it’s above the old one. It says, “The only normal people are the ones you don’t know too well.”

BB: Your book is in some ways a chronicle of homes you created for Irene—but also of homes you created for yourself. Despite your devotion to your sister, the work you put into creating a good life for her, you managed to create what sounds like a wonderful life for yourself. Did Irene in fact help to make that possible? And was one of the reasons for writing this book a desire to make people understand the complexity, the good and the bad, of life with a so-called special needs person?

TD: I have had a magical, fairy tale life, and have no idea what I did in the last life to deserve it. A lot of it is due to my husband, a maddeningly mentally healthy human being who has boundaries, never holds grudges, has not a pessimistic bone in his body, and insists on our own life together.  I love to think the worst will happen, I adore holding grudges and nursing them along, and I am an impulsive, loose cannon who hardly ever thinks before acting.  This man, I now realize after 49 years, has centered me and kept me sane, and is my Rock of Gibraltar. Irene has made me half compassionate and responsible (Lord, I have to be if I run her program), and half crazed and loony. The reason for writing this book was to get a lot of it off my chest and also, in some immortal words of this year, give a little shout-out and a wink to all those who have this in their family.  The shout-out is, oh honey, I’m so sorry.  The wink is, but ain’t it been kinda fun in a lotta ways that outsiders won’t understand?

Congratulations, Betsy!

January 2, 2008

For those of you who don’t get our InkLinks newsletter, let me be the first to share the good news: Betsy Burton, our inimitable owner and the reason we all have jobs, has been declared one of Utah’s top cultural power brokers by the Salt Lake Tribune!

The Trib declares: “Our methodology was hardly scientific: The list is the product of shoutdowns in conference rooms by an overly opinionated staff. . . . Consider this list a conversation starter about what really matters in Utah’s art and entertainment universe and who’s making it happen.”

Betsy was selected for the following reasons: “With 30 years of experience, the owner of The King’s English Bookshop has become nationally respected and arguably the state’s leading literary tastemaker. In 2007, her influence even helped get a customer published.”

One of these days I hope to convince Betsy to write an acceptance speech (er, post); but until then, we’ll just say that we’re all very proud of Betsy, and would also like to point out that we knew how great she was first.

Congratulations are due as well to the other 24 of Utah’s finest! Click here for the article, and here for a neat PDF of everyone with pictures.