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Bookselling

2015-07-11 11-05-54 -0700“To write books is easy, it requires only pen and ink and the ever-patient paper.

To print books is a little more difficult, because genius so often rejoices in illegible handwriting.

To read books is more difficult still, because of a tendency to go to sleep.

But the most difficult task of all that a mortal man can embark on is to sell a book.”

― Stanley Unwin, British publisher, 19 December 1884 – 13 October 1968

Love & Death – On Alan Moore’s Swamp Thing

I’m always shocked to the point of anger whenever I read any list of the greatest comics ever written and find Alan Moore’s jaw droppingly beautiful 44 issue run on Saga of the Swamp Thing sitting anywhere but comfortably near the top. Now, I know what you’re thinking. Swamp Thing? Really? That cheesy green monster? Are you &*%$ing kidding me? The answer is no, and not only do those that haven’t read it have absolutely no idea what they’ve been missing out on, I’m truly envious of that experience of reading it for the first time which is just sitting out there on store shelves, waiting for anyone willing to give it a shot.

Taking the reigns with #20, an issue that to my knowledge has never been included in a collection (thus definitely making it worth the effort to seek out), Moore immediately ties up loose ends left by the previous creative team and sets himself up to write what is arguably one of the most influential single issues ever written. “The Anatomy Lesson” is a story that signals not only a completely unashamed and triumphant return to an EC horror comic style (albeit, with a far more sophisticated approach) but also features a truly shocking re-interpretation of the the character that is impossible to forget.

I can’t lie. It’s actually a little difficult to write about Swamp Thing as I can’t bring myself to give too much away. It’s an experience that is truly something to be cherished. This is the first mainstream title to toss aside the comics code. This is the book that gave birth to the Vertigo imprint (paving the way for titles like Sandman, Preacher, and Fables). This is the comic that introduced the world to John Constantine, and for those willing to give it a shot, you will be treated to an impossibly epic tale that will take you to haunted houses, introduce you to were-women and aquatic vampires, pull you deep into the Earth itself, drag you through Hell and back, and then shoot you through the stars and across an entire universe.

Yet, the simple truth is that for all of it’s monsters, death and demons, this is a book about love and loyalty, pure and simple.

Yes, comic books can give you nightmares. Yes, comic books can make you cry. Yes, comic books can achieve a certain type of profound beauty that is simply impossible for any other medium to duplicate. Alan Moore’s Saga of the Swamp Thing achieves all of those things easily.

This One Will Kill You.

Director Christopher Nolan’s vision of everyone’s favorite caped crusader not only made The Dark Knight the biggest film of the summer of 2008, but also launched it into a top spot on the list of all time domestic box office receipts. It even went on to snag a posthumous supporting acting Oscar for Heath Ledger’s already iconic portrayal of the Joker as well as become the gold standard for comic to film adaptations.
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Comic Books Based on Nintendo Games. Any Questions?

Today was another in a long line of regular reminders of why I love working at a used bookstore. Aside from being surrounded by co-workers that I’m constantly learning from and having fun with, there’s that glaringly obvious perk of being in a position to nab first dibs on cool stuff that comes through each day. Now I yap on and on about comics over at my other blog all the time (and video games based on them have been a staple of the industry forever), so when I come across a book that’s filled with strips based on a bunch of Nintendo characters, yeah…it nerds me out pretty hard.

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The Prince of Mist – Carlos Ruiz Zafón

I got really excited about Carlos Ruiz Zafón’s young-adult fiction because he is just the sort of writer I would have loved to read when I was growing up. I craved dark, mysterious tales of the unexplained, which of course exist in abundance — but I wanted them to take place in this one particular antique era, in this one particular faraway land. I had to wait until I was in my 20s to discover Zafón, chronicler of the imaginary happenings of wartime Spain (and official conquerer, after the fact, of my adventure-craving adolescent heart).

Its White and Turbid Wake: Happy Birthday Moby-Dick!

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On October 18th, raise your “long, barbed steel goblets” and whet your harpoons, for Herman Melville’s Moby-Dick is another year older. Live the literature: have a whale steak, embark upon some sort of fiery hunt after a beast with an inscrutable malice sinewing it, philosophize in the crow’s nest, pilot your ship downward to Davy Jones, etc. Or just do some quality quaffing. “Death to Moby Dick! God hunt us all, if we do not hunt Moby Dick to his death!”

New T-Shirts!

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New t-shirts have finally arrived! V-neck and spaghetti strap women’s shirts, black only.

Woman’s shirt sizes run small, but larger sizes are on their way! Also available are our classic men’s t-shirts, sweatshirts with the original Logos logo, and mugs with the original Logos logo.

Come check them out, or buy them online!

News This Week (8/16-22)

Every week Logos employees collect the most interesting news bits from the book and music world

Nobel Laureate and author of Lord of the Flies Sir William Golding’s reveals his monstrous side.

David Eggers talks about his upcoming novel based on Maurice Sendak’s Where the Wild Things Are.

Oprah stalks Michelle Obama and lists every book she’s been seen with.

Archie’s proposal upsets fans. A lot.

The Onion takes on The Brothers Karamazov.

The 1902 novel by George Barr McCutcheon, Brewster’s Millions, will be made into a film, again.

Patricia Highsmith’s Deep Water is being adapted for film by Joe Penhall.

Jeanette Winterson writes a children’s thriller for the BBC.

A giant knitted poem is being made.

Pitchfork begins their Top 500 tracks countdown.

The rumors end, it really is a Radiohead song. And it’s free!

Eugenia Bone, author of Well Preserved, talks to the New York Times about brandied peaches and drunken pears.

Founder of Raritan: A Quarterly Review, Richard Poirier, dies at 83.

Alain de Botton becomes Heathrow’s writer in residence.

Frank Portman (Dr. Frank of Mr. T Experience) releases theme song for his main character in his new book Andromeda Klein.

Helena Bonham Carter will play English author Enid Blyton in a BBC biopic.

Margaret Atwood starts a blog. goes green, and takes the stage.

Google’s book deal faces growing opposition.

A book thief shows up to court in a horse drawn carriage.

Tin Tin au Congo is hidden away in the New York Public Library.

Even paper goes digital.

A collection of letters from members of the Bloomsbury Group could be very expensive.

Wuthering Heights jumps on the Twilight bandwagon.

People won’t stop talking about bedbugs.

News This Week (8/9-15)

Every week Logos employees collect the most interesting news bits from the book and music world.

Nick Cave’s new novel The Death of Bunny Monroe is released early, enhanced, and singing.

John Updike’s novel The Witches of Eastwick will be a T.V. series this fall.

Australian author Justine Larbalestier wins the battle to feature a black girl on the cover of her new children’s book.

Neil Gaiman wins the Hugo Award for The Graveyard Book.

Thomas Pynchon makes a playlist for his new novel Inherent Vice, and is identified as the narrator of his book trailer.

Allan Moore is collaborating with hip-hop artists Doseone and Andrew Broder.

Alice in Wonderland hits the sexy little screen before the big screen.

More on the Google Books Settlement.

Disney buys Ann Frank for  the silver screen, David Mamet writes it.

There is seemingly no end to the Radiohead rumor mill.

Who is Arthur Ransome?

Les Paul dies at 94.

A bargain Ulysses will be released.

A graphic novel version of Phillip K. Dick’s Do Andriods Dream of Electric Sheep is being published.

Images of Muhammad are banned in a new book from Yale press.

What Bill Clinton is reading.

Julia Child’s kitchen.

Sub Pop will reissue Nirvana’s album Bleach.

Beck interviews Will Farrell.

David Byrne auctions off a folding bicycle to promote his new book, Bicycle Diaries.

We are all excited about Tom Waits and The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus.

The Shadow: The Man Who Murdered Time

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This week for Books In Motion we bring you an episode of the old time radio show The Shadow: The Man Who Murdered Time.   The Shadow was a serialized radio drama starting in 1930 and continuing on into the 40s.  Since then, The Shadow has been featured in a wide variety of media, including comic books, comic strips, T.V. and film.   These stories, written by Walter B. Gibson under the pen-name Maxwell Grant, were originally published in Detective Story Magazine during the time of the serialization.  Gibson wrote 282 of the 325 stories over twenty years, including two novel length stories a month.  With an  occasional guest writer like Lester Dent, author of the Doc Savage series, and fantastic radio personalities like Orson Wells as a narrator, The Shadow quickly became one of the most popular pulp heroes of the 20th century.

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The Man Who Murdered Time was originally broadcast on January 1st 1939, read by Bill Johnstone

You can find the popular Maxwell Grant books of The Shadow at Logos for $6.98 while supplies last. Titles include:

The Shadow: The Murder Master and the Hydra

The Shadow: The Fate Joss and the Golden Pagoda

The Shadow: City of Crime plus Shadow Over Alcatraz

The Shadow: The Shadow Unmasks plus The Yellow Band

The Shadow: The Unseen Killer and The Golden Masks

Special thanks to the Old Time Radio archive for the recording.

News This Week (8/2-8)

Every week Logos employees collect the most interesting news bits from the book and music world.

Sherman Alexie writes for the New Yorker.

President of Venezuela, Hugo Chavez, uses his influence to promote reading.

Twicon, the Twilight convention, sells out with 3,000 guests.

Bubbles, Michael Jackson’s pet chimp, will publish his memoirs.

Neil Gaiman predicts the end of our current vampire wave.

Modest Mouse releases their video directed by Heath Ledger (and it’s pretty gory, consider yourself warned).

Twilight books break the best seller records previously held by Harry Potter.

The Diary of a Wimpy Kid books by Jeff Kinney will become a film staring Steve Zahn.

Screen writer Budd Schulberg dies at 95.

Philippa Gregory, author of The Other Boylan Girl, plans to release a condensed version of her new novel with Twitter.

Two beautiful facsimiles of Edward Lear books are being published this week.

Salman Rushdie did not answer the call of the siren after all.

Stephenie Meyer is accused of plagiarism, Little Brown has dismissed the charge as “frivolous”.

Harper Collins launches a short story competition.

Terry Pratchett, who suffers from Alzheimer’s disease, defends his right to take his own life, saying “I live in hope I can jump before I am pushed”.

Tim Burton defends fairy tales.

Rumors fly about the voice in Thomas Pynchon’s book trailer for his new book Inherent Vice.

A new Tennyson museum opened this week to mark the bicentenary of his birth.

School vetting rules in the UK are still be debated after the author outcry.

Bob Dylan is recording a Christmas album.

Director John Hughes dies at 59.

Beastie Boy Adam Yauch is home after having a cancerous tumor removed.

Israeli writer Amos Kenan dies at 82.

Michael Pollan writes on Julie and Julia and the state of American home cooking.

The Master and Margarita, Animated

This week’s Books in Motion: Every week Logos employees search for interesting interviews or performances from authors and books.

A short Russian animated film called Margarita, based on Mikhail Bulgakov’s novel The Master and Margarita. From Argus International, Argus Film School.

You can find more of their films on Rambler Vision.

Available Now at Logos
The Master and Margarita
by Mikhail Bulgakov, Translated by Richard Pevear and Larissa Volokhonsky
$14.00

Weekly Picks (8/3)

Every week Logos employees come together to pick the books generating the most interest from their departments.

From the New Book Department

1. Twilight by Stephanie Meyer

2. The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society by Mary Ann Shaffer

3. Olive Kitteridge by Elizabeth Strout

4. Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Do-It-Yourself by Jeff Kinney

5. Breakfast of Champions by Kurt Vonnegut

6. Phobia: An Art Decco Graphic Masterpiece by John Vassos

7. All That the Rain Promises and More by David Aurora

8. Carrots Love Tomatoes: Secrets of Companion Planting by Louise Riotte

9. The Zombie Survival Guide by Max Brooks

10. 101 Things I Learned in Architecture School by Mathew Frederick

Check back next week for lists from the Used Book  and Music Departments!

News This Week (7/26-8/1)

Every week Logos employees collect the most interesting news bits from the book and music world.

The conflict rages on over Amazon’s Orwellian move.

Bestselling author of novels dealing with personal and sexual identity in black men, E. Lynn Harris, died last week at age 54.

Hanif Kureishi will adapt Aravind Adiga’s The White Tiger for film.

David Cronenberg will begin filming for Don Dellio’s Cosmopolis next year.

Random House will reprint Michael Jackson’s autobiography, Moonwalk.

Shakespeare Santa Cruz performances of A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Julius Caesar, and Shipwrecked! An Entertainment, The Amazing Adventures of Louis de Rougemont (as told by himself) started last week.

Scribner and Stephen King defend the book as object.

Does Hogwarts have a drinking problem?

Roald Dahl’s Fantastic Mr. Fox is animated as a new Wes Anderson film.

Houghton Mifflin will publish the new José Saramago novel The Elephant’s Journey.

Prince of Theives by Chuck Hogan will become a film, The Town, with Ben Affleck, Jon Hamm, and Rebbecca Hall.

Control of Kerouac’s estate is called into question.

Dan Brown is taken advantage ofor is he?

Author Stanley Middleton dies at the age of 89.

Green Apple Books in San Francisco takes on the Kindle.

A battle rages between two Civil War histories on the State of Jones.

A fictional character gives out real scholarships.

91-year-old Louise Brown has borrowed 25,000 books from her local Scotland library.

Library fans scream for ice cream.

Merge Records turned 20 last week.

Rafael Sabatini’s classic novel Captain Blood soars into space!

Ron Howard and David Self take Robert Ludlum’s The Parsifal Mosaic to the big screen.

Pocket books buys a Beatles zombie mashup– this time Paul is dead.

A Roald Dahl biography is put on hold in light of 300 newly discovered letters.

News this Week

Every week Logos employees collect the most interesting news bits from the book and music world.

Author and teacher Frank McCourt dies at 78.

Amazon reaches into Kindle bookshelves to erase purchased copies of 1984.

Game of Thrones will become an HBO show.

Indiebound updates their iPhone application.

Twitter book clubs begin.

Charlize Theron pushes negotiations to see Atlas Shrugged as a T.V. mini series, maybe.

Stolen Angels: The Kidnapped Girls of Uganda by Kathy Cook becomes Girl Soldier with Uma Thurman.

Eat, Pray, Love becomes a movie, and Gilbert’s ex plans to tell his side of the story.

English author Gordon Burn dies at 61.

Opium’s Literary Death Match begins in London (catch it in SF August 14th).

The New Yorker mentions two creative possibilities for e-readers.

Following the Justice Department’s lead, the European Commission begins to investigate the Google settlement for orphaned books.

Twilight will become a graphic novel.

The Guardian UK discusses the one that got away…

An interview with Children’s Laureate Michael Rosen.

Salman Rushdie recalls a dinner with Thomas Pynchon.

Zachary Gordon will star in the film adaptation of best selling childrens book Diary of a Wimpy Kid.

Leonard Cohen announces another tour.

EMI and iTunes celebrate the 40th anniversary of David Bowie’s Space Oddity.

Justin Vernon of Bon Iver and Chris Rosenau will perform a live score for Charlie Chaplin’s The Gold Rush.

Adam Yauch announces he has cancer, the Beastie Boys cancel their tour during his treatment.

Jeff Mangum, Yo La Tengo, Will Oldham will participate in a Chris Knox covers album.

The trailer for Tim Burton’s Alice in Wonderland has been released.

As a student, Walter Cronkite interviewed Gertrude Stein.

Author of 23 books of Greek and Latin literature maritime history, Lionel Casson, dies at 94.

British High Court rules that Google is not a publisher.

USA Today best seller lists will now include Kindle sales.