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29 Mar

Bookmans Recommends: Okkervil River Band

Okkervil River, formed in Austin, TX, was founded by frontman and songwriter Will Sheff in 1998.  The band has produced 8 Studio albums and has toured with other popular folk/indie artists like The Decemberists, The National, and The New Pornographers. Their sound, like any other band, has of course evolved over time, so I’ve laid out the highlights so that you can experience the full spectrum that is Okkervil River.

Okkervil River

1.  Don’t Fall In Love With Everyone You See

Don’t Fall In Love With Everyone You See, the Band’s premiere album, is titled aptly. The majority of the songs deal with heartbreak, self-destructive relationships, and the ubiquitous human need for reciprocal love. The album features a spectrum of instruments ranging from Banjo to Trumpet and Harmonica to Organ (the Banjos and Guitars are a given). The southern roots of the album can easily be heard in songs like “Kansas City” and “Lady Liberty”, while “Westfall” takes a more narrative approach (an approach that later the band would become known for), narrating the dialogue of a psychopath who realizes he is about to brought to justice. Must Hear: “Westfall”

Okkervil River

2.  Black Sheep Boy

Black Sheep Boy, the band’s third album, is widely considered to be their best. A concept album following the titular character “Black Sheep Boy”, the album opens with a cover of Tim Hardin’s song of the same name. From their the album follows the Black Sheep Boy, alone and searching for his place in the world. Black Sheep Boy has a grungier and darker tone than Okkervil’s previous two albums, in many cases abandoning acoustic guitars for their electric counterparts, though horns are still prominent throughout. Must Hear: “So Come Back, I Am Waiting”

Okkervil River

3.  The Stand Ins

Though some may prefer The Stage Names be included in it’s place, I find that sister-album The Stand Ins does a better job of speaking for the band circa 2008. If Black Sheep Boy is the band in it’s angsty teenage years, still coming to terms with the hard facts of life, the The Stand Ins is the confident college senior, ready to conquer the world. The Stand Ins really showcases the story-telling style of Will Sheff’s songwriting, each song telling it’s own story. Many of the songs on the album deal with the inability to cope with fame or having loved and lost someone famous. I may be biased, as this is the first Okkervil River album I heard, but The Stand Ins remains my favorite to this day. If you only give one of these albums a listen, let it be The Stand Ins. Must Hear: “On Tour With Zykos”

Okkervil River

4.  Away

This brings us to Away, Okkervil River’s most recent studio release. I haven’t had the chance to spend as much time with this album as the others, but it definitely signals a change in the band’s direction moving forward. As a whole the album seems to be something of a dirge for the band itself.  The opening song of the album is entitled “Okkervil River R.I.P.” and tells the story of a man struggling with the loss of an elderly loved one. It’s worth noting that this album was written by Sheff shortly after his grandfather passed away and several band members moved on to pursue other things. Must Hear: “Okkervil River R.I.P”

If you gave the songs above a listen and like what you heard, I’d encourage you to swing on in and pick up a few of their albums. Bookmans sells music on both CD and Vinyl, so no matter which way you like to Jam out we’ve got you covered. Already a fan of Okkervil River? Share your favorite song with us below in the comments!

28 Mar

Why Art Is Important To Us | Bookmans

Art in some way has existed just about as long as the world itself. Art has become to be a huge part of our lives; appearing in cultures all across the world. Art is such an important element because it delivers a wider perception of: self, each other, emotions, awareness, history and more. Art is created and appreciated by many different people for countless reasons. Here is why art is important to us…

Often our lives are caught living in the fast lane, while we are piled up with responsibilities, rapid decisions and scattered thoughts. Creating art provides the opportunity to hit the brakes and really transform what we think, feel and are. Observing art can help explore the feeling, thought and experience that the particular artist is portraying. Art is a tool that can help you as an individual as well as the world as a whole: grow and improve while still expressing thoughts, emotions and beliefs.

art

15 Mar

Robert talks Thrash Metal: Liege Lords Review | Bookmans

What does one think of when asked about Stamford, Connecticut? Did you answer “Thrash Metal?” Of course you did! That was a hot bed of metal in the mid 80’s…oh, wait. That was Los Angeles. Well, regardless, out of this lovely, coast-side town, a metal band that has been forgotten in the annals of Metal history, was born. That band is none other than Liege Lords.

metal

11 Mar

Part 4 Finale- TFOB’s Young Author Competition Winners | Bookmans

Enjoy the final, Part 4 of our Young Author Competiton Winner’s stories:

For most, the Tucson Festival of Books is an opportunity to rub elbows with some of the literary elite. Or at the very least, stare at them from afar working up the courage to have your tattered copy of a beloved novel signed. While we wait patiently for pages to be graced with an authors John Hancock, we rejoice in celebration of the art of literature and the written word with fellow bibliophiles. We stuff Bookmans’ totes with festival author novels and new non-fic finds. We emerge ourselves in panels and discussions on the writing process. But aside from all of that sweet bookish goodness is an array of community engagement and celebrations or art, science and learning. No TFOB event embodies this more than the Young Author Competition. Sponsored by Altrusa International of Tucson in collaboration with Tucson Festival of Books, the Young Author Competition encourages young would be Pulitzer Prize winners to create. Whether it be through poetry, short story or essay, any child from pre-k to pre-college in invited to put pen to paper and try their hand at prose.

young author

Bookmans is once again involved in the Young Authors Competition and couldn’t be more thrilled to do so. In addition to offering prizes to winners in the form of some Bookmans gift certs we also invited a few to be featured here on Bookmans.com. Over the next few days we will be posting one entry each day leading up to Tucson Festival of Books.

Please enjoy today’s feature A Change of Heart by 5th grader Daphne Graham.

10 Mar

Part 3 – TFOB’s Young Author Competition Winners | Bookmans

Here’s Part 3 of the Young Author Competiton Winner’s stories:

For most, the Tucson Festival of Books is an opportunity to rub elbows with some of the literary elite. Or at the very least, stare at them from afar working up the courage to have your tattered copy of a beloved novel signed. While we wait patiently for pages to be graced with an authors John Hancock, we rejoice in celebration of the art of literature and the written word with fellow bibliophiles. We stuff Bookmans’ totes with festival author novels and new non-fic finds. We emerge ourselves in panels and discussions on the writing process. But aside from all of that sweet bookish goodness is an array of community engagement and celebrations or art, science and learning. No TFOB event embodies this more than the Young Author Competition. Sponsored by Altrusa International of Tucson in collaboration with Tucson Festival of Books, the Young Author Competition encourages young would be Pulitzer Prize winners to create. Whether it be through poetry, short story or essay, any child from pre-k to pre-college in invited to put pen to paper and try their hand at prose.

young author

Bookmans is once again involved in the Young Authors Competition and couldn’t be more thrilled to do so. In addition to offering prizes to winners in the form of some Bookmans gift certs we also invited a few to be featured here on Bookmans.com. Over the next few days we will be posting one entry each day leading up to Tucson Festival of Books.

Please enjoy today’s feature The Bombings of Nagasaki by 5th grader Aurora Fontaine.

09 Mar

Part 2 – TFOB’s Young Author Competition Winners | Bookmans

Part 2 of the Young Author Competiton Winner’s stories below:

For most, the Tucson Festival of Books is an opportunity to rub elbows with some of the literary elite. Or at the very least, stare at them from afar working up the courage to have your tattered copy of a beloved novel signed. While we wait patiently for pages to be graced with an authors John Hancock, we rejoice in celebration of the art of literature and the written word with fellow bibliophiles. We stuff Bookmans’ totes with festival author novels and new non-fic finds. We emerge ourselves in panels and discussions on the writing process. But aside from all of that sweet bookish goodness is an array of community engagement and celebrations or art, science and learning. No TFOB event embodies this more than the Young Author Competition. Sponsored by Altrusa International of Tucson in collaboration with Tucson Festival of Books, the Young Author Competition encourages young would be Pulitzer Prize winners to create. Whether it be through poetry, short story or essay, any child from pre-k to pre-college in invited to put pen to paper and try their hand at prose.

young author

Bookmans is once again involved in the Young Authors Competition and couldn’t be more thrilled to do so. In addition to offering prizes to winners in the form of some Bookmans gift certs we also invited a few to be featured here on Bookmans.com. Over the next few days we will be posting one entry each day leading up to Tucson Festival of Books.

Please enjoy today’s feature Why Black Widows Eat Their Husbands by 4th grader Thomas Benson.

08 Mar

Series: TFOB’s Young Author Competition Winners | Bookmans

For most, the Tucson Festival of Books is an opportunity to rub elbows with some of the literary elite. Or at the very least, stare at them from afar working up the courage to have your tattered copy of a beloved novel signed. While we wait patiently for pages to be graced with an authors John Hancock, we rejoice in celebration of the art of literature and the written word with fellow bibliophiles. We stuff Bookmans’ totes with festival author novels and new non-fic finds. We emerge ourselves in panels and discussions on the writing process. But aside from all of that sweet bookish goodness is an array of community engagement and celebrations or art, science and learning. No TFOB event embodies this more than the Young Author Competition. Sponsored by Altrusa International of Tucson in collaboration with Tucson Festival of Books, the Young Author Competition encourages young would be Pulitzer Prize winners to create. Whether it be through poetry, short story or essay, any child from pre-k to pre-college in invited to put pen to paper and try their hand at prose.

young author

Bookmans is once again involved in the Young Authors Competition and couldn’t be more thrilled to do so. In addition to offering prizes to winners in the form of some Bookmans gift certs we also invited a few to be featured here on Bookmans.com. Over the next few days we will be posting one entry each day leading up to Tucson Festival of Books. Please enjoy today’s feature Will You Survive? by 6th grader Filomena Fontaine.

28 Feb

Ticket Tuesday Giveaway: Winneth Tickets to Arizona Ren Fest | Bookmans

***Contest Closed***

**Heareth ye, heareth ye all bookmans fans beholdeth! A contest liketh nay oth’r we presenteth f’r thee. Looking f’r an uplifting valorous timeth? It’s easy! Taketh a trippeth backeth in timeth to the wildly popular and ent’rtaining Arizona Renaissance Festival. Ent’r the w’rld of kings, queens, knights and mermaids.. Locat’d at 12601 e. Us highway 60 gold canyon az 85118. The annual faire begins at 10 am ev’ry Saturday, Sunday, and on Presidents’ Day Monday, from February 11th thru April 2nd.

ticket tuesday

22 Feb

Zombi Review

You know, I’ve talked about punk rock for most of my blog posts. I can’t help it. It’s my passion. It’s something that drives me to wake up in the morning. It’s strange to think a genre of music could completely engulf someone’s entire essence in a single drum fill or angular guitar chord. Sometimes I do get a little burnt out on my passion. I’ve had to switch it up occasionally just so I don’t become pigeon holed into one of those mindless drones that plague any sort of musical subculture. So I’m going to talk about one of my passions, my love for synth-driven music.

There are a few groups that come to mind when it comes to synth music. A few groups come to mind instantly, but I’m not going to talk about Tangerine Dream, Klaus Schulze, or New Order. About a year ago, I was delving into the depths of the internet. Something I do from time to time, especially when it comes to finding something new and riveting in the musical realm. I stumbled onto this group, Zombi, which is promptly named after the Italian release of George A. Romero’s Dawn of the Dead.

zombi

17 Feb

Midtown Opens at 3330 E Speedway; Grant Relocates | Bookmans

The day has come that we have said our final farewell to our tried and true Bookmans Grant on the corner of Campbell and Grant. Moving into this weekend, Bookmans Midtown opens its doors at 9am on February 18th and we are beyond excited. It’s new, fresh (clean), fun, and an awesome Bookmans if we’ve ever seen one!

Bookmans Grant is officially closed as of February 17th, with the new Midtown doors opening bright and early at 9am. Midtown will have the usual bookie hours, from 9am – 10pm for all your literary loving needs.

midtown

“Finally! The reincarnation of Bookmans Grant is nearly done at its new location at Bookmans Midtown 3330 E. Speedway Blvd after 35 years at the corner of Campbell and Grant. The road widening has prompted us to move to a better location and we are ecstatic” says Bob Bookman when he graced us with his quirkiness and blue beard last week.

As always, the new location will be home to Bookmans beloved events (read: free) and trade philosophy.  While we want you to come hang out with us all day, we do ask that you pardon our dust as we continue the process. Some inventory is still making it’s way onto shelves and we hope that you’ll be patient as we decide where it all goes and pull it from the cardboard for you.

“We are better because of the support that Tucson gives us. You should come by and check out the newest version of your Bookmans. Tucson gave us our start and we are thrilled to be doubling down on being Tucson’s community bookstore.” said Bob just before he took a farewell picture, put it on snapchat and peaced out. ✌️

The entire Bookmans team is feeling the burn, as we have all been diligently unpacking to make the new Midtown location at Speedway and Country Club a success. The Grant Road widening project was an inevitable challenge for the previous store, one that had been a local favorite for years (35!), but Bookmans is excited to bring Tucson a fresh take with Midtown conveniently located near UA’s bike path. Now there’s no excuses as to why you can’t come in. Gotcha.

We want to thank Tucson, our visitors, our fans, our customers and our friends and family for sticking with us through the process. From start to finish we’ve been eager and excited and truly couldn’t have made it though without the support of our community. From our shelves to your hearts, we thank you!

16 Feb

A Netflix Original Series (of Unfortunate Events) | Bookmans

A Series of Unfortunate Events, the classic series of children’s books, written by Daniel Handler (under the pseudonym “Lemony Snicket), is finally making it’s way back onto our TV screens. After Jim Carrey’s box office outing with the series received mixed reviews it was regarded as unlikely that the protagonist Baudelaire children would be making a return to the silver screen. Now, thirteen years later, hopes are high once more as the Baudelaires have made their cinematic return. This time not on the silver screen, but as a Netflix original series.

Series of Unfortunate Events

08 Feb

Bookmans Has Everything You Need for a Valentine’s Day for 1

Not down with all this mushy gushy lovey dovey Valentine’s Day stuff? Fine. We support all forms of holiday celebration including not celebrating at all. It can be a pain in the tookus for those of us without a special someone to spend it with to find the motivation to not get on social media and watch our High School companions get engaged. Luckily, Bookmans doesn’t believe in guilty pleasures (we’re proud of what we like!) and we have everything you need to have an awesome day on your own..so read on and be inspired to #bealone. (Sidenote: we thank our former Content Coordinator Rebecca for contributing some of this content. Kisses.)

valentine's day

30 Jan

For The #LoveOfReading! this February at Bookmans

You’re so hunky, you must be hiding a rapidly aging portrait somewhere in your attic. It’s happened friends. It’s officially hunting season for bow and arrow wielding cherubs. Their target? You, of course. Whether you have a sweetheart or are digging the single life no one is safe from these lovey dovey ultimate peer pressureres. They’ll sweet talk you. Describing their impressive…Library. Maybe they’ll share with you in detail how The Sound and the Fury wasn’t named after Macbeth — it was inspired by a night with them. Perhaps they will whisper sweet nothings like “I’d love you in all the times, including* the Time of Cholera. (*but not limited to).” And your poor treacherous heart won’t be able to help but go pitter patter and the thought of a Bookish beau. Honestly we don’t blame you in the slightest because there is one undeniable fact we all know to be true: a bibliophile may be a Jane Eyre in public but you can bet your cute butt they are total Bertha in the bedroom or attic. #LoveOfReading

In the spirit of candy hearts and declarations of L O V E we’ve got a slew of perfect date nights for you and yours. From cosplay parties for the nerdy lovers to our infamous Blind Date With A Book displays, Bookmans has got you covered on fun and creative ways to spend the day with Mr. Right. Or if it’s more your style – Mr. Right Now. No judgement, you do you boo boo.

#LoveOfReading

26 Jan

Top 5 Hunkiest Romance Novel Covers | Bookmans

The old adage to “never judge a book by it’s cover” is indeed a wise one. My only problem with the phrase is that it was coined before the advent of the modern romance novel. There are a lot of romance novels. A whole lot. And let’s be honest, if you’re not judging them by the strapping man on the cover then you’re just plain doing it wrong. But today is your lucky day! I’ve done the legwork for you! I’ve scoured our shelves to find the hottest stud-muffins to ever grace the cover of a literary work and compiled them here for your benefit. So, without further ado, here’s our Top 5 Hunkiest Romance Novel Covers. You’re welcome. 

romance

1. Light My Fire, G. A. Aiken

If beefcakes with swords is your thing, then look no further. Light My Fire is sure to light yours. It’s a story about some kind of hybrid dragon-man who must keep protect his queen by keeping her assassin alive… I’m not sure if that entirely makes sense, but none of that’s really important anyway. I mean look at this guy…he’s like Highlander if the Highlander was actually hot. Can he even take that armband off? Did I mention he’s also a dragon?

16 Jan

R.L. Stine meets Marvel, with Man Thing | Bookmans

R.L. Stine is back again and as per usual, doing the thing just as good as he ever has. Bookmans is a die-hard R.L. Stine fan, and rightfully so. Goosebumps was too cool for school and his other works makes us fall into dreamy states of book obsession, and you’d be hard pressed to resist those feels with this new addition.

Do you remember the comic book character the Man Thing? The Man-Thing is/was a large, slow, swamp monster that arose in Marvel Comics in the early 70’s. With the help of the R.L. Stine, The Man-Thing will now be getting his own comic book mini series! R.L. Stine is the famous author of the 90’s children series Goosebumps and a few other horror series. Prior to then, Stine was already a fruitful creator of joke books, making me think he will do a trilling job at comic writing. Stine may have written stories that haunted us, but now they might be making our dreams come true.

r.l. stine

06 Jan

Bookmans Game Night – Catan

Need a new game to play? Itching to find the perfect thing to do this weekend? Search no more! Bookmans recommends Catan to obsess over this weekend. Plans made: check.

Klaus Teuber’s Settlers of Catan was originally produced in 1995. Catan (as it is called in recent years) was quick to find a fond place in the hearts of game enthusiasts and casual players alike. The game has won many awards since it’s debut and has been often acknowledged in popular culture, including TV shows like South Park. 

catan

Catan is won by scoring Victory points, which can be earned by building settlements and cities around the map. Players receive resources each turn and core gameplay centers around managing those resources in a way that will allow you to further expand your empire. Unlike many other strategy board games focused on colonization (e.g. Risk), Catan is pacifist friendly, meaning there are no combat mechanics in the game. One might be inclined to think that a lack of combat would make for a conquest game with few ways players unable to meaningfully interact, but with Catan this couldn’t be farther from the truth.

30 Dec

New Year’s Eve DIY Masks: A Tutorial | Bookmans

It’s basically 2017, but that mean New Year’s Eve is TOMORROW and we couldn’t be more excited to ring in the new year with open arms. We’re sure your plans are full of bubbly and poppers but we wanted to give you a last minute craft idea to make tomorrow festive, fun and over the top. We bring you: DIY masks! Whether it’s for a masquerade or you just want to be the coolest one at Congress – here’s a simple way to make New years Eve a blast.

You can make your mask from things you probably already have around the house with only a few items easily purchased at your local dollar store. Not only will you save money putting your New Year’s Eve mask together but you can turn this into family fun time for the little ones not going out to celebrate. You’ll all have a great time as you look back on the memories of 2016 and get ready to be part of a new year and a new you!

New Year's Eve

28 Dec

Long live XO, Welcome “Starboy” (The Weeknd) | Bookmans

Abel Makkonen Tesfaye (known as The Weeknd) returns to deliver his third album. Prior to the release he knew that the legends of electronic dance and Daft Punk he would be featuring had minds spinning. Luckily The Weeknd didn’t disappoint and left us shook up and unable to get enough. Cue binge listening. This is The Weeknd that I have been anticipating and it’s more interesting that with each record his music keeps evolving. An album packed with drippy gooey disco-ish vibes and mysterious vocals made way to the ears of many and right straight into our reviews (obviously).

22 Dec

Didn’t get what you want? Trade it in at Bookmans!

We’re past the hall decking, and we’re maxed out on Elf references – but we’re still full of reasons to celebrate the season: number one being a fantastic opportunity to trade in your unwanted gifts at Bookmans! Bring us the weird, awful, kind-of-creepy gifts and trade them in for our infamous trade credit (or cash)! You get what you want (i.e. books, movies, fun stuff, lovely stuff, neat stuff, nerdy stuff, useful stuff) and we get a store full of funky things because that’s what we do best. After all Bookmans does the weird, funky and amazing prrreeettttyyyy preeetttyyyy pretty well. (Name that movie!)

You came in as shoppers looking for those wild, quirky, fun and fantastical gifts for others and now you can come back as traders – using the system efficiently and making up for how bad some of the things you got really are.

buy

15 Dec

The Unstoppable Pop! Figures by Funko | Sold at Bookmans

You may have seen them selling like hot cakes in one of our stores in Arizona and it seems like there’s no stopping the Pop! figures made by the superstar company Funko. Most of the figures have a specific height of 3.75 inches, black eyes and a bulbous head attached to a small body. Funko has licenses from over 180 companies and there’s a plethora of figures for every taste and obsession. Collectors abound all over the world and snap them up as their ranks seem to swell by the day. What a perfect gift idea for the collector on your gift list.

pop!

I was trying to avoid getting into the Pop! revolution but I found out that one of my heroes, Lemmy Kilmister from Motorhead was being made into a Pop! Hero. As an avid fan, I of course had to pre-order Lemmy just in case the millions of other rabid Motorhead fans bought them all. The Lemmy figure was my gateway into starting to collect these catchy Pop!s. Next I found Batman and Joker from the Dark Knight Returns and Pinhead from the Hellraiser movies. I NEVER thought that there would be a cute version of Pinhead but somehow Funko got it right.

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