Read a book to someone you love.

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Louise Penny

We had Rapid Reviews at Bear Pond Books last night [having openly swiped the idea from the library, thank you very much] and one of the more enjoyable things about it - besides getting to listen to the other people that were there - was getting to rave about Louise Penny. Woo-hoo! Louise Penny: Canadian. Author of three novels so far in the Three Pines mystery series [Still Life, A Fatal Grace, The Cruelest Month]. A superb writer. A clever and subtle [without being mechanical - you never hear story joints creaking] plotter. Creator of Chief Inspector Armand Gamache of the Surete. Creator also of Three Pines, a small Quebec village, and the inhabitants thereof - inhabitants among whom I - and you, I bet - would actually want to live. AND she apparently knows her hockey. Louise Penny: maybe the first great crossover Canadian mystery author. I'm a fan. Jump on the bandwagon now.

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Yankee Paperback's closing

So, you've probably heard: Yankee Paperback Exchange [aka 'The Yankee'] is closing. Saturday, June 21 will be its last day. I'm feeling kind of melancholy about this. On the one hand, Bob & Toni [Forrend] have kept the store going for over 30 years; they richly deserve their retirement. On the OTHER hand - I'm really gonna miss 'em. They're terrific people. I was in the store last Saturday watching them herd their granddaughter around while she & her small friend put up books and remembered their daughter doing much the same thing [25?] years ago. It's a great success story.
And the books: any number of writers who have become popular here in hardcover showed up first at the Yankee in paperback. Donna Leon? She showed up at the Yankee in paperbacks from Canada before she was ever published in the States. Charlaine Harris? I found both the Aurora Teagarden & Sookie Stackhouse series there one fine day. And this is not even to mention the romance section. Name a romance writer, Toni could give you a rundown on her [or his, pseudonymically] output. And she's a pretty fair guesser-from-vague-descriptions too.
They started a paranormal romance/suspense section a year or so ago, too. [Well, where else would you put Sookie?] In that section, about a month ago, I found my new favorite writer. Her name is Patricia Briggs. She's published science fiction and fantasy novels before and is now three novels in to the Mercy Thompson series [Moon Called, Blood Bound, & Iron Kissed] about an auto mechanic who can also shapeshift to coyote form. As it happens, this comes in handy. I think Briggs will be the Next Big Thing - her first hardcover, fourth in the Thompson series, will come out next year and I'm sure the library will get it - but without Yankee Paperback I'd never have heard of her, much less have zipped through most of her books. The Yankee's the best. Send Bob & Toni your good thoughts, or just stop in to wish them well. Me, I'll be stopping by Thursday. And maybe Friday.