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Bookie Blog

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

17 Jul

Break from Summer Blockbusters with Mind Movies

Everyone loves a good movie but a really, really good movie starts with a great story. In the olden days, families gathered around a fire and listened to the clan story teller weave an epic tale of daring do to captivate listeners. Times changed with printing and even later radio became the new story teller, holding listeners in thrall. Radio stories are wonderful because they include sound effects and skilled actors to weave the tale. Eventually, all this gave way to cinema. It sometimes seems as if nothing can compare to the way films transport us, taking us to other worlds and other places. Unfortunately modern films often rely too much on special effects, drowning us with elaborate visuals but leaving us drenched in CGI. We crave the story that transports us by allowing us to use our imaginations.

Speedway Audio Books

16 Jul

Book Review: Carsick by John Waters

Review by Darcy Short

Cult trash film director John Waters hitchhiked from his home in Baltimore, Maryland to his apartment in San Francisco in 2012. This book details his journey. Carsick is made up of three parts; first he fantasizes about the best that could happen on his trip, then the worst, and finally what actually transpired. I found each part captivating.

Carsick by John Waters

07 Jul

Find Books On Pet Care at Bookmans

We love pets of all kinds at Bookmans; whether it is a loyal dog, a feisty cat or a slithery reptile friend, we support all animals! In July each year, we take the time to recognize our best non-human friends and focus on the animals that bring joy into our lives. We have many animal related events in each of our stores all year-around plus extra special events each July, which you can check out via our Events Calendar. We have other ways to help care for your pets — books!

Animal Shelves

30 Jun

Kids Read, Write and Repeat at Bookmans

Hey, Students! School’s out and you’re itching to have some fun. How does this sound; Bookmans will give you credit for your book reviews. It’s a sweet little program we call Read 10 and it’s super simple. Read 10 books, write 10 book reviews, bring them to your nearest Bookmans location and we will give you $10 off your next purchase. Cool, right?!

Read 10

12 Jun

Bookmans Employee Recommends Books

With so many titles in so many genres available, selecting your next good read can feel overwhelming. Adding to the pressure is the chance that the book you pick out will disappoint you. Even if you have stacks upon stacks of books that you haven’t read on every surface of your home, none of those may seem right. We understand how difficult this decision can be. The Bookmans team is always prepared with recommendations to guide you to your next favorite book. From mysteries to biographies, just ask because we’ve got you covered. If fiction is your addiction Pat, the Visual Merchandiser and book buyer for Bookmans Flagstaff swears by these two novels.

Employee Recommends

19 May

Bookmans Lord of the Rings Bookclub Says Goodbye

This past Sunday marked the end of an era. As our precious (Gollum voice) gathered for the last time — at least for the time being.

LOTR Book Club 1

14 May

Book Review: Emergency: This Book Will Save Your Life by Neil Strauss

Review by Darcy Short

Like most of us, Neil Strauss lived a sheltered life of convenience and modern comfort. But after the distressing events of the 2000s, the terrorists attacks of September 11, 2001 and the financial collapse of 2008, Strauss decided he couldn’t rely on society to take care of him if sh*t hit the fan. He must learn to take care of himself.

Neil Strauss Emergency

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