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Bookie Blog

20 Jul

History’s/ies Greatest Bad Spellers

When I was in elementary school I was held back. I can’t remember what exactly took place in class to cause my teacher to suggest I wasn’t ready for a third grade education but I remember there was a spelling test, and on that test I had spelled “dog” with two g’s. I’m still convinced I was making a Snoop reference, but whatever. The next day my parents sat me down and explained that I would be repeating the second grade. They softened the blow by reminding me that I would be in the same class as my younger, smarter sister. This was the beginning of my life in the bad spellers group. I spent the rest of my school days a year older than my classmates and repeating the second grade did nothing to improve my spelling skills. I constantly misspell even the most elementary words of the English language. Common contractions like there’re and they’re mix me up. I have to visually imagine the “They” and “Are” and how I remove one letter, a space and then smash them together with an apostrophe as an accessory.

I grew up with every resource my mom could get her hands on to improve my comprehension skills. Leap Frog, Hooked on Phonics and various computer programs gared towards getting your child ready for whatever the next grade level was. But nothing stuck. As I got older it became obvious that my intelligence and my spelling and grammatical faux pas (not making this up I just googled faux pa) were not one in the same.

Bad spellers

 

I am not alone in this. Many struggle with spelling though they’ve long surpassed their days in grade school. A director of marketing at a company could be notorious for her emails containing countless errors. An environmental lawyer who graduated with honors can struggle daily with whether or not “sentence” has an “a” in it. A well known poetic genius who has cemented themselves as one of the greatest voices of 20th century literature could spell “feel”, feal. Spelling and grammar, though important, are not a direct result of one’s IQ. You can be an avid reader who consumes a book a day and still misspell your friend’s names constantly. To prove my point here are just a few creative geniuses who like me can’t get a handle on the whole I before E except after C thing.

15 Jul

Bookmans Recommends: The Dog Stars by Peter Heller

In the midst of our famous Tucson summer it’s typical for us to want to read a light hearted, mind occupying novel that allows us to escape those ferocious rays of heat. What you might not expect is to find a post-apocalyptic story to do just that. There isn’t a lot about a barren landscape with bleak promises of the future that take our minds off our desert home, however, The Dog Stars by Peter Heller was the perfect book to keep us glued to our air conditioned couches and avoiding all calls to go swimming.

The Dog Stars

After a flu-like pandemic wipes out nearly all of the words population including his wife and friends, Hig is left with his dog Jasper and a gun totting war vet named Bangley. As they defend an old hangar complete with functioning air craft, their days consist of gardening, scouting the surrounding area via plane and fishing in the river for what few fish have survived the warming waters. Hig is bored and miserable until he hears a voice come over the radio while out scanning for any possible intruders. What follows is the story of Hig as he sets off to discover what magic might still be left in the world. Told in the first person narrative we hear Higs story in his own voice. While many critics have ventured to say this was the biggest turn off, we disagree! It takes some getting used to. The punctuation is off, the voice a little casual and there are absolutely no quotation marks to distinguish the dialogue, and that can be tricky. We encourage you to trudge through these set backs and accept this story for the rare gem that it is.

12 Jul

Life is Funny – Humor Books

Bookmans is renowned for having a wide and varied stock. Our customers never know what they will find when they walk through our doors. The Entertainment Exchanges alone can fulfill just about any request, even if it’s just for a laugh. Bookmans stores have fantastic Humor sections that are a prime place to discover the unexpected. Our Humor sections include a wide range of titles. Everything from memoirs, comic strips, essays, how-to guides, photo essays, relationship guides and coffee table books make up our acclaimed Humor Books section. With some of the quirkiest and most unusual titles that are wildly entertaining but might not fit into any specific genre. Let’s have a laugh and take a look at some of the funniest and often most honest, titles in our Humor departments.

Humor Books

07 Jul

Bookmans Recommends: Everworld by K.A Applegate

The love of a fantasy novel stems from that first time you pick up a book in that genre. It takes you places that you never even dreamed of, never dared to think up and sucks you in so deep that some part of you lives in that world forever. That was Everworld for me. This magical new place that I had never known existed had been around since 1999 and was written by Animorphs author, K.A. Applegate. It was a tween’s dream. A coming of age story about the first signs of love, magic, other realms and of course out of this world creatures. The best part about this series is that each book is only about 200 pages long. A nice little #SnackRead (let’s make that a thing!) for the fantasy lover, no matter what gender or age they are.

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29 Jun

History Of Tucson And Arizona’s Wild West

Tucson and the surrounding areas have a rich and unexpected history. In fact, the OK Corral marked what some claim as the taming of the American West. The tales of our state are legendary and surprisingly widely read by the world. Arizona is something of a renegade, with those who claim it as home proudly holding the mantel of freedom and the feel of wide open spaces. Many times those of us who grow up in this dusty paradise know the least about its actual history, wile migrants are fascinated by it. Possibly it is a situation where natives should stand back for a moment, look up – look around. Arizona is a rare gem indeed, home to species of plants and animals unknown in any other place. It is a sacred place. For those natives who have traveled elsewhere they find themselves unavoidably drawn back to the desert. In fact, it is an inside joke among many natives when we are faced with an indignant resident who claims to be thoroughly unenchanted by Arizona, claiming to leave at the first opportunity. We simply glance at one another and state “They’ll be back” – and they are. There is after all a reason why one of the longest running and most successful magazines in US history is Arizona Highways. So let’s take a look at the history of the region and the rough and ready folks who braved it long before Circle K and Walmart.

Arizona Wild West History

24 Jun

Making A Splash With Moon Mermaid!

There are many legends about mermaids and even a few dozen historical claims of supposedly “real” mermaid sightings. Hundreds of years ago, sailors and residents in coastal towns around the world told of their encounters with sea-maidens. One particular story dating back to the early 1600s, claimed that a mermaid had entered Holland through a dike. Injured in the process, she was taken to a nearby lake and was soon nursed back to health. Some researchers believe that sightings of human-size ocean animals such as Manatees and Dugongs might have inspired many merfolk legends. These animals have a flat tail and two flippers that resemble stubby arms — traits that may make them resemble merfolk. They don’t look exactly like typical mermaids or mermen of course, but many sightings were from quite a distance away and since they were mostly submerged in water only parts of their bodies were visible. A glimpse of a head, arm or tail just before it dives under the waves might have spawned at least some mermaid reports. Hollywood has their own take on Mermaid lore with such finery as “Splash” and “Mako Mermaids” However, we can assure you, real they are.

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23 Jun

Geeking Out With Ready Player One

There’s one book that currently has every Bookmans employee geeking their socks off. It’s everything we love about the 80’s, science fiction and the thrill of a great competition. Earnest Cline’s first novel, Ready Player One has quickly gained top spot on the Bookmans Recommends list. Wade Watts, an overweight loner who’s only escape from the crumbling reality around him is plugging into a virtual reality game known as OASIS. Imagine the internet 10x and also on steroids and you’ve got the game that all of humanity is itching to play. When the multi-billion dollar genius behind the creation of OASIS dies and leaves the sum of his inheritance to the winner of a competition of his own making, all of the world plugs in. A grand hunt soon takes place as many, including Wade search for clues picked personally by OASIS creator James Donovan Halliday.

ready player one

20 Jun

Joe Coleman: Artistic Madman or Genius

The Book of Joe about the contemporary Artist Joe Coleman made its way to the trade counter of Bookmans Flag. Two hundred and twenty three pages of Coleman’s macabre and brilliantly detailed paintings are sure to either delight some art fans and nauseate others. Coleman’s paintings are the work of a talented madman who has a singular vision and doesn’t care what art critics think of him. He creates bizarre compositions with damaged characters, historical figures and some thoroughly disturbing images that can shock even the most open-minded viewer.

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Self-portrait of Joe Coleman

13 Jun

Meeting Brandon Sanderson at Phx Comicon

With blistering, above average 110+ degree weather and thousands-I mean thousands-of cosplayers lining the Phoenix Convention Center floor, Phoenix Comicon was an absolute success. We had duck duck goose with Spidermans, Deadpools and Cher. There were meet and greets and panels with some of pop culture’s finest. Hands down, Phoenix Comicon 2016 went above and beyond my expectations. Aside from the fun to be had inside the Bookmans Youth Room and the awe-inspiring geekery that took over downtown Phoenix for three whole days, I was able to meet the one and only Brandon Sanderson.admin-ajax

 

09 Jun

Fun for Father’s Day

With Father’s Day coming up on June 19th, Bookmans is the perfect place to not only get out of the heat and have some fun but also to find the perfect gift for Dad! No matter what Pops interest, you are sure to find something unexpected and perfect for dear ol’ dad. From fave films of the past to cool grill guides, Bookmans is your one stop shop for unique gifts for the dad or dads in your life.

Father's Day Gifts

06 Jun

Graphic Novels With Girl Power

If you haven’t heard by now we’re here to tell you graphic novels are all the rage. Marvel, DC, Image, Top Shelf, Dark Horse and their characters are only the tip of the paneled iceberg. There are more graphic novel distributors, stories and film adaptations than we know what to do with. An important nugget of information to keep in mind about these illustrated little gems is, girls read them too! Crazy, right? What’s not quite so well known are the slew of amazing titles  with awesome female characters that totally kick bad guy ass. Hearing about Batman, Ironman and Superman is getting a little old. Where’s all the girl power? We’ve compiled a list of a few incredible graphic novels full of noteworthy women.

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02 Jun

B. Bookington: A Books Life At Bookmans

So you’ve just traded in some of your beloved books to one of our six Bookmans stores. And as you start to walk away carrying your new haul of sweet finds you purchased with trade credit, your mind can’t help but wonder. Where are they now? Do they have new homes? Are they loved and well looked after? Have you ever wanted to know what a book’s opinion might be about our buy-sell-trade business model? You’re in luck! Recently we caught up an insider source and heard all about a books life at Bookmans. From when it lands on the Bookmans trade counter to the moment it’s clutched by a new happy owner. We’re going behind the shelves to give you an all access, cover to cover exclusive on the life of a typical book. From our shelves to yours.

 

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27 May

Rogues: Unlawful but Still Likable, Lovable Even

Villain, miscreant, trickster, wretch, rascal–however you choose to describe such characters, they all fall under the term “rogue”. Show of hands, how many of us likes rogue characters? We’re certain everyone raised your hand. The only reasons one would not are because they are unfamiliar with the term or they are sleeping. Rogues cause trouble in a playful way; they have the eternal essence of the bad boy/girl/person. They creep into your heart and have you secretly rooting for them to succeed.

Rogues: Unlawful but Still Likable, Lovable Even

13 May

Hip Hip YA: A Look at Young Adult Literature

What is the first thing that comes to mind when you think about Young Adult literature? A typical response from someone who hasn’t delved into this newer movement might include something about sparkling vampires. The true YA fan knows that there is so much more hidden among the rows beyond rows of books that glisten figuratively on our orange shelves. Although Twilight remains a staple, other plots rise above the realm of vampires to capture hearts of all ages. Today, we brandish our copies of teen fiction with pride.

Hip Hip YA: A Look at Young Adult Literature

11 May

Bookmans Recommends: Books About Books

Every reader at Bookmans has a favorite genre, although most of us read books from multiple genres. Why choose one when you can have them all? And books about books–any book nerd understands the appeal of reading a book about books! These works express our overwhelming love for books and for reading. If this describes you, try one of these four books (fiction and nonfiction) about books (fiction and nonfiction).

Bookmans Recommends: Books About Books

03 May

Convenient Textbook Buyback

By Kaitlin Hooker, Bookmans Editorial Assistant Intern

May–arguably the best month for those of us fortunate enough to live in Arizona. The weather is not yet too hot, the trees are still pleasingly yellow budded and, for some of us, SCHOOL IS OUT. Gone are the days, nights and weekends spent in a musty library. Gone are the assignments, exams and stressors of academic life. Well, almost gone. One stressor remains: what to do with those heavy, unwanted textbooks cluttering your room and life. The answer? Bring them to Bookmans and experience the wonder of our convenient textbook buyback!

Convenient Textbook Buyback

27 Apr

Stories of UFOs and Strange Phenomena

Bookmans has excellent UFO and strange phenomena sections many of you peruse those titles. We have books by famed authors like Whitley Streiber, Zecharia Sitchin and Erick Von Dankin on topics ranging from alien contact, abductions by aliens and historical encounters with extraterrestrials (ETs).

Stories of UFOs and Strange Phenomena: Communion

20 Apr

Bookmans Recommends: Mistborn by Brandon Sanderson

Long ago, in the center of the Central Dominance, was a land called Luthadel. It was here, almost a thousand years ago, where the city’s prophesied hero from myth and legend rose to slay a great and terrifying evil. He lost. The powerful Lord Ruler took over and controls the lands where ash pours from the sky and thick mists cover the lands every night. How do you come back from such a loss? Assemble the best heist this world has ever seen and take the power back! How? That’s where Mistborn by Brandon Sanderson gets good.

Bookmans Recommends: Mistborn by Brandon Sanderson

19 Apr

The Bogus and Real Celestial Views of Tucson

Humans have long had the urge to ply the skies and that desire continues unabated. Tucson has amazing celestial views. The University of Arizona has a stellar (heh) astronomy department and Kitt Peak and Flandrau Observatories add to our interplanetary dreams. Bookmans stretches our love for Earth to include all the planets and everything surrounding us. Amazing astronomical events occur in the vista above us and brilliant scientists continue to go even farther with our discoveries. Sometimes we see bogus events touted along with the real celestial views in Tucson.

The Bogus and Real Celestial Views of Tucson

12 Apr

Steampunk 101

Tucson has a large and enthusiastic Steampunk community who hosts or attends multiple events throughout the year. Even if you are not a member of this thriving group, you likely know someone who is. We suggest you attend at least one of these events or go all out and join their ranks because these folks bring the fun. Steampunks are creative, talented, intelligent and entertaining friends. That is why Bookmans asked the Tucson Steampunk Society to return for a 2nd Annual Steampunk Invasion of Bookmans Speedway. We thought this might be a good opportunity to go over a few basics with a Steampunk 101, or at least try. The greatest thing about the Steampunk movement is that it’s inclusive. The next greatest thing is that, while some activities are common to most Steampunk events, the party is an ever-changing, highly-personalized vision of a future past. It’s not exactly “anything goes” but it is close.

Steampunk 101

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