Wicked Wit: The New & Noteworthy Book Club Discusses Margaret Atwood’s The Stone Mattress

October’s book club pick. Demi and I are getting really good at our selections.

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Margaret Atwood writes, “Calling a piece of short fiction a ‘tale’ removes it at least slightly from the realm of mundane works and days, as it evokes the world of the folk tale, the wonder tale, and the long-ago teller of tales.” Tales, as we are familiar with them, also evoke the idea of youth, innocence, and darkness–rites of passage into adulthood. Atwood turns this on its head by writing about adults who are facing endings rather than beginnings.

This collection begins with three linked stories about a love triangle among bohemian artists in the 1960s, told from the present day. Each member of the triangle has gone on to pass the decades separately. In “Alphinland,” Constance (C.W.) Starr, a widowed author of an enormously famous fantasy series, navigates the mundane task of preparing her home for a snow storm, all the while listening to the disembodied voice of her…

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Viva la Webolution!

Another thing I wrote about online communities and enthusiasm

BookPeople

-This post comes from our inventory manager Jan

Online Creators and Their Communities Are Our People, Too

I’m in no way overstating when I say that here at BookPeople, we care about community. We love serving communities that are built from the ground-up. And the most visible ground-up communities these days are happening online.

The Internet is a big place. Really, really big. And, being designed by hippies, the web, of course, has no hierarchical structure. Everything is (somewhat) equal on this massive web that just keeps growing by the nanosecond (YouTube has over a billion unique users who generate over a billion views daily [source]). And yet, humans–being the amazing, social wizards that we are–have found ways to not only interact with one another, but connect.  These online communities consist of membership based on anything from identity to shared interest and are mediated on access to…

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We’re Still Here: 10 Years After Hurricane Katrina

I always try to put a little of myself into the displays on my sales floor. I out a lot of myself into this one.

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This post comes from Jan, our second floor inventory manager and a Louisiana native.

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For me, it’s hard to imagine that it’s been ten years since Hurricane Katrina battered the shores of Louisiana and nearby states. My hometown is in southern Louisiana; all my family and oldest friends still live there. Although I now reside in dryest, land-lockiest Austin, Texas, I can still recall the anxiety and uncertainty I felt for my loved ones when Hurricane Katrina made landfall. I can still call up those emotions quite easily. Memories of not being able to reach my parents, brother, and grandparents by phone. Even when I could reach them, I wasn’t able to speak to my dad for nearly a six weeks because he was doing 60-80 hour a week unpaid work for FEMA. Of course, it was still not enough.

Katrina was paradigm-shifting because she reminded us what disaster really…

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