August 2014 Author Readings, Biographies, and More

Constant Contact
In This Issue:
First Friday
Author Readings
Indie Bookseller Picks
New Biographies
New Computer System

First Friday

August 1 is First Friday!


During these dog days of summer, spend a cool First Friday in an air-conditioned bookstore!


We'll be serving wine and giving away great prizes for our  drawing. Drop by Annie Bloom's anytime after 6:00 on Friday night and register to win! 


This month, our adult prize is:

Underwater Dogs 

by Seth Casteel 


For the kids, we're giving away a copy: Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Dog Days 

by Jeff Kinney 

Join Our Mailing List

August 2014 Author Readings, Biographies, and More

Read all about our upcoming author events. Take a peak at our new computer system! Plus, find out which new books indie booksellers across the country are loving. Discover what's new in Biographies. And drop by and see us on First Friday! 
Upcoming Readings
Upcoming Readings at Annie Blooms:

Debra Gordon Zaslow
Bringing Bubbe Home
TONIGHT! Thursday, July 31, 7pm

Debra Zaslow was humming along on baby-boomer autopilot, immersed in her life as a professional storyteller, wife of a Rabbi, and mother of two teenagers when she felt compelled to bring her 103-year-old grandmother, Bubbe, who was dying alone in a nursing facility, home to live and die with her family. Zaslow had no idea if she would have the emotional stamina to midwife Bubbe to the other side. When Bubbe finally dies, something in Debra is born: the possibility to move into the future without the chains of the past.

Dan Berne & John Jared Smith
Portland Novelists
Thursday, August 7, 7pm

In Dan Berne's novel The Gods of Second Chances, family means everything to Alaskan fisherman Ray Bancroft, raising his granddaughter while battling storms, invasive species, and lawsuit-happy tourists. Set against a backdrop of ice and mud and loss, Berne's gripping debut novel explores the unpredictable fissures of memory, and how families can break apart even in the midst of healing. Jared John Smith's Rabbit is about J, a male American folklorist, aged twenty-seven, collecting ghost stories across states for freelance pieces. Along the halfway point of a 4,000 mile road trip through humid forestry and dry canyons, J meets with his homeless, mentally-ill father for the first time since age five. There are musings on sizes of stars and fragile creatures, the deaths of rabbits; mostly, it is a frantic hunt for family and its definition.

Dana Haynes
Gun Metal Heart
Thursday, August 21, 7pm

Daria Gibron, a freelance operative with a long and deadly history, has been slowly recovering from the injuries sustained from her last case (in Ice Cold Kill). Hiding out in a town in rural Italy, she has been staying as far off the map as she can--until she's tracked down by an old colleague. Diego had been a bodyguard in Florence, protecting an engineer and her invention, when they were attacked by a highly trained paramilitary group. At the same time, a small group of disgraced CIA agents have been waiting for their chance to exact revenge on the person they blame for their discharge--Daria Gibron. When they learn she's in contact with Diego, they get the okay from their former bosses to take her out.

Elizabeth Murray
Living Life in Full Bloom
Monday, August 25, 7pm

Living life in full bloom means living with hope and purpose, with imagination and vision--in a way that honors the Earth, the spirit, and one another. Elizabeth Murray encourages and nurtures each person to explore four personality attributes (Gardener, Artist, Lover, and Spirit Weaver), or pathways, that create a framework for practicing mindfulness, unleashing potential, and reviving communities. As Gardeners, readers will learn to observe and grow; as Artists, they'll discover creativity and new possibilities; as Lovers, they'll lead with the heart and commit to things they're passionate about; and as Spirit Weavers, they'll create rituals and express gratitude.
August Indie Next List 
Every month, the coalition of independent bookstores puts together a list of titles recommended by booksellers across the country. Come in to browse all the picks for August. Here are a few of the selected titles (click on a cover or title to read more on our website): 

Lucky Us
by Amy Bloom

Carol at Schuler Books in Okemos, MI, writes: "Vivid and satisfying, Lucky Us is the story of two motherless half-sisters thrown together by fate and determined to make their way in a world where the cards are stacked against them. Bloom gives us lively, unforgettable characters who are so warm, human, and irrepressible that they transcend even the darkest events of their lives."

The Mockingbird Next Door: Life with Harper Lee
by Marja Mills

Ellen at Dragonwings Bookstore in Waupaca, WI, writes: "At long last the reculsive author Harper Lee and her spirited sister, Alice, decided to share the story of their lives. Mills has a gift for listening with respect and retelling with careful observation. Immensely satisfying!"

The Book of Life
by Deborah Harkness

Marika at Northshire Bookstore in Saratoga Springs, NY, writes: "Surprising twists and turns make this a delightful conclusion to the All Souls trilogy. With history, genetics, and morality all playing out, this is the very best in escapist fantasy for all readers!"

Life Drawing
by Robin Black

Sheila at Barrett Bookstore in Darien, CT, writes, "In their late 40s and childless, Owen and Augusta move to an isolated farm house to pursue their art. When Alison, a divorcée escaping her own demons, unexpectedly moves in next door, the fault lines in all of their lives threaten to break open. An extraordinary novel."

Also, check out these former IndieNext picks, now out in paperback:

The Valley of Amazement
by Amy Tan

Recommended in hardcover by Carol at The Bookshelf in Truckee, CA

by Pierre LaMaitre

Recommended in hardcover by Fran at Hickory Stick Bookshop in Washington Depot, CT 

New Biographies 

Here are some of the best new biographies and memoirs:

My Salinger Year
by Joanna Rakoff
Poignant, keenly observed, and irresistibly funny: a memoir about literary New York in the late nineties, a pre-digital world on the cusp of vanishing, where a young woman finds herself entangled with one of the last great figures of the century. Rakoff paints a vibrant portrait of a bright, hungry young woman navigating a heady and longed-for world, trying to square romantic aspirations with burgeoning self-awareness, the idea of a life with life itself. Charming and deeply moving, filled with electrifying glimpses of an American literary icon, My Salinger Year is the coming-of-age story of a talented writer. Above all, it is a testament to the universal power of books to shape our lives and awaken our true selves.

The Nixon Tapes: 1971-1972
transcribed and annotated by Douglas Brinkley & Luke Nichter
President Nixon's voice-activated taping system captured every word spoken in the Oval Office, Cabinet Room, and other key locations in the White House, and at Camp David--3,700 hours of recordings between 1971 and 1973. The Nixon Tapes offers a selection of fascinating scenes from the year Nixon opened relations with China, negotiated the SALT I arms agreement with the Soviet Union, and won a landslide reelection victory. All the while, the growing shadow of Watergate and Nixon's political downfall crept ever closer. The Nixon Tapes provides a unique glimpse into a flawed president's hubris, paranoia, and political genius.

Sally Ride
by Lynn Sherr
Sally Ride made history as the first American woman in space. A member of the first astronaut class to include women, she broke through a quarter-century of white male fighter jocks when NASA chose her for the seventh shuttle mission, cracking the celestial ceiling and inspiring several generations of women. This is a rich biography of a fascinating woman whose life intersected with revolutionary social and scientific changes in America. Sherr's revealing portrait is warm and admiring but unsparing. It makes this extraordinarily talented and bold woman, an inspiration to millions, come alive.

New Technology at Annie Bloom's?! 

Thanks to a generous grant from James Patterson, we've upgraded our ancient point-of-sales machines to a spiffy Windows system.

Gone are the sepia-toned monitors and the clunky software. Once we get used to the new system, we hope to offer better and speedier customer service than ever before. In the meantime, if we can't figure out how to ring up a greeting card, please bare with us. We'll be up to speed in no time.