Matthew Quick Puts on the “Mask of Fiction” Again

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Matthew Quick photo by Alicia Bessette

Matthew Quick creates characters to whom we might not expect to relate. Often marked as “crazy” by those around them, his oddball protagonists (think Pat Peoples in The Silver Linings Playbook) say out loud – and act upon – thoughts many of us have had, if perhaps kept inside.

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A Manager’s Work Is Never Done

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Opie: The Dog, The Legend

Hello. I’m Opie Brennan, manager of Parnassus Books. (Technically, I’m the dog of the manager of Parnassus Books; but let’s not dwell on semantics.) As a leader on the shop team, I play a very important role in daily operations. Here, you can see I’m organizing a batch of special orders for customers. I love helping someone hunt down a hard-to-find book. What else do I do all day? Here’s the rundown: Read the rest of this entry »

The Love List

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For February, our staff was given a theme — love — and invited to interpret it as loosely as they wished in making their recommendations. Boy, did they take that word and run with it… Behold a wild assortment of “love”-inspired picks. (Cynics, don’t let the picture fool you: This list goes way beyond just romance.) Read the rest of this entry »

What Makes a Good Book Trailer?

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Photo by Jennifer Rocholl

BJ Novak’s literary debut, One More Thing, launched this week; but the trailer has been making the rounds online, drumming up interest, for weeks now. Yes, the trailer. Video trailers for books are common these days, and for good reason: It can be easier to grab someone’s attention in a couple minutes of video than with a page-long press release that gets buried in an inbox. Read the rest of this entry »

Anna Quindlen on What She’s Reading (and What Drives Her Nuts on Downton Abbey)

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You might call Ann Quindlen a trendsetter.

Before countless bloggers started chronicling their lives online, she was keeping up a steady stream of writing about life, home, and family – blended with opinions on cultural and political trends – in “Public and Private,” her Pulitzer Prize-winning column in The New York Times. Long before Buzzfeed began feeding us daily listicles on every subject imaginable, Quindlen was publishing her own top-10s (such as “10 Mystery Novels I’d Most Like to Find in a Summer Rental”) in How Reading Changed My Life. And since before social media ever existed, she has made a habit of noticing how people stay connected (and don’t) in relationships. Read the rest of this entry »

Notes from Ann: The Smart Staff Grows Up

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Photo by Heidi Ross

(Photo by Heidi Ross – EveryOneNightStand.Tumblr.Com )

Read any of the countless (and oh, I do mean countless) interviews I’ve given about the bookstore and there you will find me talking about how smart our staff is, what great readers they are, and how much they love books. The smart staff, real live human beings as opposed to computer algorithms favored by some of the online booksellers, are what make the experience of independent bookstores so deeply satisfying. Read the rest of this entry »