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Bookie Blog

23 Jan

Banned Book Club: The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian

Because Sherman Alexie writes about sexual awareness and awakening in The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian, one could understand why parents, librarians, school administrators and even some students deem the book as inappropriate. To suggest the book for a more mature audience might seem reasonable enough. The reality is that the main character, Arnold, is a freshman in high school and speaks in a relatable voice for young adults. The situations in the book correlate to real world experiences of high school aged people. As Alexie says, “I write books for teenagers because I vividly remember what it felt like to be teen facing everyday and epic dangers. I don’t write to protect them. It’s far too late for that.” This is why we chose to read this title as January’s Banned Book Club selection.

sherman alexie

20 Jan

New Year, New You, New House

With the year off to a new start, many of us are full steam ahead with our resolutions. Get healthy, eat right, exercise more, spend more time with family and friends — working on all of them. Let’s consider for a moment WHERE we will do these things. Your home is your castle, so along with your fresh start think about a fresh start for your house. Move forward with a new year, new you, new house.

new year, new you, new house

15 Jan

Sci-Fi Sub Genres

Bookmans Speedway knows our Sci-Fi up, down, sideways and underneath. The depth and diversity of sci-fi led John O. to create brochures with suggestions and explanations to highlight unusual Sci-Fi sub genres.

Sci-Fi sub genres

06 Jan

YOU Like What YOU Like: Romance Novels

Bookmans supports you in whatever changes or improvements you want to make in 2015. We’ve got countless self help, exercise and overall health related literature to aid any number of resolutions. We are all about what makes you feel like the best version of you. We’re also all about those quirks that complete the profile that you keep in the shadows. This includes the movie, music and lit genres deemed “guilty pleasures” that have you geeking out. As part of our Jan-YOU-ary campaign we celebrate the the silly shows you watch, the chart topping pop music you can’t help but dance to and novels you never take out in public — genres that have difficulty even getting reviews. You like what you like and we think that’s great.

romance novels

05 Jan

Make Wellness a Jan-YOU-ary Resolution

Bookmans declares January 2015, “Jan-YOU-ary” — a time to start fresh! It’s a new year and a new you is possible, though the old you is wonderful too. Bookmans is up to the challenge with tons of tomes to get you started, show you how, walk you through it and keep you on track. Several of our departments are dedicated to helping you be your best, whether it is physical, mental or spiritual, we can help you expand, explore or start again. Check out our Diet/Health, Natural Healing, Exercise or Fashion and Beauty sections to find the perfect plan for you.


Doctors Bradley J. Wilcox, D. Craig Wilcox and Makuto Suzuki collaborate on The Okinawa Program. These experts base their work on the landmark, scientifically documented, 25-year Okinawa Centenarian Study, a Japanese Ministry of health sponsored study. Okinawans are the healthiest and longest-lived population in the world and this 4-week turnaround plan can help you recreate their winning habits.

Tucson loves Dr. Andrew Weil and Bookmans Speedway has all of his popular titles like his national bestseller Healthy Aging. This practical and uplifting work combines traditional and nontraditional approaches to health and well-being. Other titles include SuperFoods HealthStyle by Steven G. Pratt and Kathy Matthews, which offers simple changes to get the most out of life for the rest of your life.

Want to look great while getting healthy? Our Beauty/Fashion section can help you make the most of a healthy new you. Grab BBC’s What not to Wear, an accompaniment to the popular television show. This humorous and informative work gives you tips and tricks to help you be confident in any situation. For a behind the scenes look at the those who help you look your best read, Emma Forrest’s Damage Control, a look at women and the therapists, beauticians and trainers who navigate their bodies.

From exercise to diet, recipes to skin care, fashion to natural healing, Bookmans has hundreds of titles to help you succeed this year. If you want to enhance this book learning IRL (in real life), Bookmans Speedway hosts our annual Wellness Fair, Jan-YOU-ary 2015 from 1 to 3 p.m. on Saturday, January 17. Local health and wellness practitioners will be pamper and guide you.

30 Dec

Bookmans Recommends: Top Reads of 2014

As we say goodbye to 2014 and all it had to offer, we reflect on the amazing books we’ve enjoyed. From fiction to nonfiction and all the genres in between, 2014 was full of great literary works that we have to gush over. The staff of Bookmans Flagstaff debated what we would dub our favorite reads of 2014. These aren’t books published within the past year, but what we call “new to us” texts. Some of these books have been around and we are just now reading and some may be the latest best seller. No matter how we selected them from our orange shelves, these are the books we couldn’t put down. These are our Top Reads of 2014. To celebrate another awesome year of awesome books, we asked members of our bookish team to name two of the best books they read this past year.

Top Reads of 2014

29 Dec

Bookmans Recommends: The Trial of Jean Grey

By Jeremy N. Fisher, Administrative Assistant at Bookmans Mesa

Comics are great. I love comics. I’ve grown fond of independent comics, stuff from Image or Dark Horse, maybe Vertigo. I’m not as enamored with the superhero genre as I once was. When I do get a hankering for some good ol’ fashioned capes and cowls, make mine Marvel! I gravitate to their characters and storytelling more so than DC, but lately both companies have muddied the waters with massive crossovers, reboots and character franchising. It’s hard to get a simple, well-written, engaging story these days without having to check several Wikipedia pages to get the full back story on all the characters to make sure your continuity is up to date. It can be exhausting. Or just plain confusing. With this in mind, I picked up The Trial of Jean Grey.

trial of jean grey

17 Dec

‘Tis the Season for Holiday Reads

While the holidays are a great time to snuggle on the couch and watch your favorite seasonal films (see Bookmans Recommends: Christmas Movies to Get You Into the Holiday Spirit or Have Yourself a Vintage Television Holiday), we at Bookmans Ina tend towards cozying up with a great holiday book. It’s easy to forget the seasonal classics when movies like Elf are on, but what about a yearly read of A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens? Remember ‘Twas the Nigh before Christmas, Rudolf the Red Nosed Reindeer or Frosty the Snowman? All of these stories are available in book form and are classics no child or (let’s be honest) adult should go without reading this season. We also encourage you to go beyond the expected holiday reads.

Holiday Reads

16 Dec

A Brief Gift Guide for Classic Books

Bookmans has an ever-changing selection of classic books. They tell stories of love, tragedy, heartbreak and redemption that have a way of never getting old. These books are classic because no matter when they were written, they maintain relevancy. While many lists cite the “Top 100 Classics” or “The 100 Greatest Novels of All Time”, it can still be difficult to find the right one for you and even harder to find the right one for a gift. That is why we came up with a go-to gift guide to help you navigate that expansive journey that is our fiction section.

Classic Books Gift Ideas

07 Nov

Sedaris Seeks Amoxicillin but Delivers for Devotees

David Sedaris might have a sinus infection or a tooth ache and possibly needs a root canal. Pre-cancer is a contender as well. But none-the-less, the hysterically funny satirist takes the stage at NAU’s Ardrey Auditorium on November 4 and is welcomed by an adoring audience. With a number of New York Times bestsellers under his belt and popular contributions to NPR and BBC radio, David Sedaris’ dedicated following fills seats.

David Sedaris 2014

24 Oct

Book Review: Song of Kali by Dan Simmons

Review by Darcy Short

October is the best time of year for spooky reads and you can’t find one much better than Song of Kali by Dan Simmons. While this is not your typical horror novel, the chills it gives the reader are all the fashion this season.

Song of Kali by Dan Simmons

15 Oct

Nerdy Reads: Official Selections of Bookmans and PBS

Our friends in nerdery at Eight, Arizona PBS surveyed participants on their favorite books over the last three years of the PBS Nerd Walk. Together, we compiled the most popular choices into an official list of what nerds read. It is quite an extensive list. After all, nerds like to read. We narrowed it down to the top fifteen. Take a look to see which you have read and which you need to pick up. Then stop in at Bookmans Phoenix to check out the hip-to-be-square display of best nerdy reads in town.

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25 Sep

Top Five Dumbest Attempts to Ban a Book

Now we know what you’re thinking and you are correct — all book banning is dumb. Bookmans is on it, fighting for your freedom to read ‘em. We remain the pro free speech advocate and all around rebel that you know and love. The reasons people give for challenging books sound like a broken record to us. This one is pornographic; that one celebrates witchcraft; the other encourages civil disobedience. All too often a novel is banned without much reasoning at all. Sometimes it’s a case of how the book is interpreted or who wrote it. Every year The American Library Association publishes a list of the 100 Most Banned Books from the past year. Some books or authors are list veterans. Acclaimed author Judy Blume has five novels that have cracked the countdown. Best Sellers like The Hunger Games or Harry Potter have also made the list. As we welcome back Banned Books Week, what better way to bring attention to the absurd practice of book banning than to highlight those egregious cases when a novel was removed from shelves for reasoning that is so far-fetched, so misguided reasons that will just leave you screaming, “Did you even read the book?” Ladies and gentlemen we give you the top five dumbest attempts to ban a book.

Bookmans Flagstaff Banned Books Display

18 Sep

Girl Power: Leading Ladies of Banned Books

In honor of Banned Books Week, September 21-27, 2014, we count down our top five heroines in banned or challenged fiction. These loveable yet powerful characters play an important role in challenging the minds of countless readers and that is in itself a timeless story. Not only do these characters represent life, love and coming of age, they show the world through the eyes of a young lady. How is it possible to so accurately capture the essence and adventure of growing up as a girl? These protagonists are written by some of the most ground-breaking authors of all time, who are also women.

Fight Censorship 2014

15 Sep

Exploring Graphic Censorship

One of the issues nearest and dearest to the heart of Bookmans is free speech, that is why we devoted the month of September to the discussion and exploration of censorship. Many of us have heard that famous novels like Alice in Wonderland and Animal Farm were subjected to censors and considered inappropriate. Hearing that today makes many of us scratch our heads and wonder what people were thinking. Novels are not the only literature to be challenged in court. Comics and graphic novels have also been subjected to scrutiny. One might think that the works being looked at for inappropriateness would include foul language, sexuality or excessively graphic violence, but think again. Let’s take a look at some of the comics and graphic novels facing censorship and the reasons why.

Censored Graphic Novels at Bookmans Speedway

05 Sep

Tattoos of Bookmans Speedway: Part 2, Bethanny

Given that every employee at Bookmans Speedway works in a bookstore, it might seem obvious that we would have literary tattoos. For those of us who have tattoos (not all of us do) it is true that literary tattoos are prominently featured, but never as true as with Bethanny. Bethanny has worked for Bookmans for over 3 years in our Book Department specializing in children’s literature. Her love for and knowledge about books runs deep. Bethanny received a bachelor’s degree from the University of Arizona in English Literature.

To Kill a Mocking Bird Tattoo

29 Aug

Join Bookmans for Fight Censorship Month

Bookmans fights censorship every month, but in September we intensify our focus on the freedom to read, watch, play and listen to whatever media we want. In conjunction with Banned Books Week, we highlight ways to speak up and speak out. The right to discovery, knowledge and enlightenment is never a crime — and we want to keep it that way.

Fight Censorship 2014

28 Aug

Book Review: Hyperbole and a Half by Allie Brosh

By Molly Mitchell

More than one friend of mine recommended Allie Brosh’s Hyperbole and a Half since she began the blog in 2009. These recommendations are usually followed by, “You have the same sense of humor.” For whatever reason, I’m turned off by that statement. I actively avoided reading anything Brosh wrote until recently. It was after I heard her interview with Terry Gross on NPR that I became intrigued. She was smart, funny and familiar with depression. That’s my kind of gal.

hyperbole and a half

26 Aug

Book Review: California by Edan Lepucki

Reviewed by Darcy Short

Unlike most post-apocalyptic novels, the world doesn’t end with one big disaster in Edan Lepucki’s new novel California, it ends with many. A poor economy, numerous natural disasters, weak government and poor resource management collide to crumble society as we know it. Desperate to escape an increasingly dangerous and desolate Los Angeles, Cal and Frida retreat to the woods, eking out a meager and comfortless existence. Despite their isolation and difficult existence, they find relative happiness. This foundation is shaken when Frida discovers that she is pregnant. Faced with impending parenthood, the couple seeks civilization to facilitate raising their child.

California by Edan Lepucki

30 Jul

Book Review: Empty Mansions by Bill Dedman and Paul Clark Newell, Jr.

Reviewed by Darcy Short

Empty Mansions by Bill Dedman and Paul Clark Newell, Jr. is the true story of Huguette Clark, daughter of copper baron and corrupt Senator W.A. Clark. At the time she died, Clark was one of the richest women in the world. She owned hundreds of millions of dollars in property including mansions in Connecticut and California, as well as apartments in one of the most exclusive buildings in New York. Yet she spent the last 20 years of her life confined to a hospital room, perfectly healthy but unwilling to leave.

Empty Mansions

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