Looking Forward, Looking Back

December 1, 2008

It’s December 1 — can that really be right? With the holiday craziness in full swing and New Year’s right around the corner, December is the month that (on the few days I’m not working the floor) I take stock of the past 11 months and start planning for the next 12. And the next 12 are, by all indications, going to be amazing!

We’ve already secured exciting authors, both renowned and new, for events in the coming year:

and a couple more that are still in the works, so I really can’t announce anything yet, but keep your fingers crossed!

And, of course, in the next two days we’ve got a bevvy of great local authors in the store signing:

I went back into my records and poked around for a while, and realized that we had 80 authors from January to November 2008 — not counting December or authorless events. 80 authors! I’d like to say something pithy here, but I’m still kind of reeling from that discovery. I can’t even begin to assemble a highlights reel for you. Maybe later this week I will come out of it and have something interesting to say, but, for now, the resounding word is “wow.”

Rapunzel Roundup Pictures

August 28, 2008


Rapunzel Roundup | Jessica Day George and Dragon Flight

August 21, 2008

Jessica Day George will be signing at the Rapunzel Roundup, August 23rd, 1 p.m. at the Foothill Library, 1135 South 2100 East, Salt Lake City

Dragon Flight continues the adventures of the quick-witted peasant girl, Creel Carlbrun, who in Dragon Slippers talks her way out of a dragon’s clutches. With an unusual pair of slippers given her by the dragon, she begins a quest to seek her fortune, walking across a country that is teetering on the brink of war.

A year passes; the Dragon Wars have ended. As Dragon Flight opens Creel, now 17, is back to working as a seamstress–and she’s bored. But not for long. When she learns that a bordering country has been breeding dragons in preparation for an invasion, she embarks on another adventure. This one will test her mettle against new and evil enemies (some with wings) and reunite her with her dragon friend Shardas and her human friend Prince Luka.

Mea Culpa (plus Reflections on Dogs)

May 14, 2008

May is just TOO MUCH! Starting out the month with a bang — Sarah Burningham, Jessica Day George, Stephanie Pearl-McPhee at the Library, Storytime Extravaganza with Rick Walton, Sharlee Glenn, and Kristyn Crow all before May 4 — and then continuing right on from there with Ed Lueders at First Unitarian, Ted Kerasote and now the UCCR (coming to you live from the SLCC Miller Conference Center!) has left so little time for other things, which sadly include blogging.

In the midst of all this, things manage to converge — they usually do, somehow — in a rather odd way. Ted Kerasote, who wrote the amazing, thought-provoking, and tear-jerking Merle’s Door and who I highly recommend meeting in person if you have the chance, came to the store on Monday night and gave an incredible reading. His theory is that, instead of having to completely dominate our relationship with our dogs, we should give them a little more freedom and be alpha-pairs. He had the good fortune to be living in a tiny Wyoming town with lots of dog-friendly open space, of course, so this is easy for him to say. But when I asked him what us city-folk could do to help our dogs have more freedom in our world of fenced yards and leash laws, he gave a simple answer: Get yourselves to open space as much as you can, where dogs can be off leash and investigate the world on their own terms.

This seems to me to be great advice on so many different levels. Dog parks, city parks, hiking trails, et al are great places for dogs because of all the interesting smells, sights, and sounds. They’re also great places for us; dog parks, because of all the fun social time with other dog owners, hiking trails because (let’s face it) who of us couldn’t use a good hike now and then, and there’s nothing better in my mind than a good excuse to be outside, whether or not it involves exercise.

Then, while the UCCR folks were in their sessions yesterday, I picked up Cesar Millan’s Be the Pack Leader to skim through. End of the conference came around, and to my shock I had finished it! It was a fascinating read. While the focus is on dealing with “problem” dogs, Cesar’s tips on “calm-assertiveness”, emotional cues, and energy management are applicable to pretty much anything you can think of — personal relationships, work relationships, pet relationships, you name it.

While Millan focuses more on the alpha role of humans in dogs’ lives, put his tips next to Kerasote’s and there’s not much of a difference. Both advocate lots (LOTS!) of stimulation, not just physical but mental as well, for dogs and their people; I know that in my dog-owning past (currently on hold for renting reasons) I often forgot about that bit. And both advocate taking dogs seriously, instead of succumbing to the knee-jerk “Oh my god! This dog is so cute!” reaction that is so very hard for us to suppress.

So, as I head off to a week on the East Coast (vacation! wedding! plane travel!), a little bit mournful that I will be missing out on all the event fun (Mameve Medwed! Stephenie Meyer! Peg Hevel! Jack Todd!), what am I thinking about? Missing work? Vacation plans? BEA? Next month’s ever-lengthening To Do List? Nope: Dogs.

Author Update | Jessica Day George

January 16, 2008

Last Friday, January 11th, we welcomed Jessica Day George and her new novel, Sun and Moon, Ice and Snow.

Jessica has been a favorite of ours since the publication of her first book, Dragon Slippers, a quirky look at the special relationship between dragons and heroines. We’re glad that she came to BYU from Idaho and decided to stay here in Salt Lake and be one of our local authors, not least because this means that in May, when the sequel to Dragon Slippers arrives, she’ll come and launch that here as well!

Sun and Moon, Ice and Snow is a beautiful retelling of a Norwegian folk tale, bringing together fairy tale creatures from many traditions, a strong sense of family, and an epic quest with humor, heroics, and a lot of heart. I fell in love with Lass, the main character, and followed with bated breath her journey from being the unregarded nameless youngest daughter of a poor family to the brave young woman who, in the name of friendship and love, dedicates herself to stopping a terrifying evil troll princess.

Jessica told us in detail about her long fascination with Norway and with the folk tale East of the Sun, West of the Moon. She’s an excellent reader, and the passage she read is one of my personal favorites, detailing the Lass’s struggle to get to the troll princess’s palace and her experiences riding the different Winds.

Signed copies of both Dragon Slippers and Sun and Moon, Ice and Snow are in abundance here. Dragon Slippers is a great read for anyone who likes Patricia Wrede, Tamora Pierce, and Robin McKinley, and Sun and Moon, Ice and Snow will appeal to readers of Shannon Hale.

The Line-Up

December 18, 2007

Next year is going to be, in the words of one of my favorite tv shows, “freakin’ sweet!” We’ve got incredible authors coming, and then some more incredible ones we’re waiting to have confirmed. For example, in January you’ll get to see:

And then in February, we’ve got

  • Sara Zarr
  • Shannon Hale
  • Chris Bohjalian

And that’s just the first two months of 2008!