Notes From Ann: Home

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Since last I wrote I have seen America, one bookstore at a time. Book tour is hard to explain. People want to believe it’s glamorous. They ask me what my favorite city was, or what the most surprising question was, but the cities and the questions all blur together, along with the airports and the hotel rooms. There isn’t enough time to tell Portland from St. Louis. Book tour makes me feel like I’m Dorothy up inside the tornado – everyone I love spinning past me, waving and then shooting off again. Read the rest of this entry »

“OK, You, Just Talk” — How Sue Monk Kidd Brings Characters To Life

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Sue Monk Kidd

Bestselling author Sue Monk Kidd’s new novel, The Invention of Wings, begins in Charleston, South Carolina, with a gift. For Sarah Grimké’s 11th birthday in 1803, she receives a slave, and her story first intersects with that of Hetty (known as “Handful” to her mother, a slave in the same household). Read the rest of this entry »

Starting Anew: What We’re Reading Now

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Staff Picks

New year, new additions to the must-read stack. Here are the books that have captured our booksellers’ attention at the beginning of 2014. (Note that many of them have been around quite some time. But if you’ve never read it, it might as well be new, right?)

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A Day in the Life of an Independent Bookstore

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On a Thursday morning a couple of weeks ago, I strolled into Parnassus Books with a cup of coffee and my laptop, ready to meet with Niki Castle, the marketing director, about this site. I figured midmorning on a weekday would be a slow time, perfect for sitting around a computer.

Not so much. Read the rest of this entry »

How To Behave In a Bookstore: A Shop Dog’s Guide

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Hi. I’m Sparky, Ann’s dog. I work at Parnassus Books, where I have a variety of important responsibilities. (You’ve probably seen me around. People say I look like Rocket in How Rocket Learned to Read. This is not true. Rocket looks like me.) I won’t lie to you — the lifestyle of a shop dog is pretty swanky, and the perks are sweet. Read the rest of this entry »

Notes From Ann: On a Low Limb — Heading Out on a Book Tour

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photo by Heidi Ross

Okay, friends, I’ll admit it, I’m on a low limb. (“On a low limb,” a fabulous colloquialism cribbed from my Mississippi mother-in-law, Jo VanDevender). Today is pub day for my new book This Is the Story of a Happy Marriage, and while you might think that publishing a new book would be cause for joyous celebration, the whole business makes me queasy. Read the rest of this entry »

Notes From Ann: Here Come the Big Fall Books

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After my last book report in which I recommended a ridiculous number of books, I had a great idea – I would post a book report in which I only recommended one book.  Wouldn’t that have been genius? Read the rest of this entry »