10. Maggie Vaults Over the Moon by Grant Overstake
Watermark News & Notes - February 9, 2012
February 9, 2012
In this issue:
News and Notes Worthy: Alex George tonight!; Algonquin's Lucky 7; Theatre on Consignment; Sale.
Book of the Week.
"Ready Player One" by Ernest Cline, review by Melissa Fox.
What do "The Help" by Kathryn Stockett, "The Postmistress" by Sarah Blake, and "The Weird Sisters" by Eleanor Brown have in common? They were all published by Amy Einhorn Books. And not only did another Amy Einhorn book hit the shelves this week, but we get to host the author as well.
"A Good American" by Alex George is the number-one Indie Pick of February 2012. Stop by the store tonight at 7:00 to hear a conversation between Alex and our own Sarah Bagby!
Ahh, February, the month of love!
What better way to commemorate Valentine’s Day than by spreading the love of reading? Algonquin asked seven of their authors to choose their favorite Algonquin title ever—a book they have an undeniable, passionate crush on. Their answers, ranging from early classics to more recent works, are sure to make you fall in love, too. From February 13 to February 19, you can purchase any of their selections as e-books for only $1.99 each. Now that’s a sweetheart of a deal!
Our own Rebekah Rine is the president of Theatre on Consignment, a venue for plays that are experimental, cutting edge or infrequently produced. They are committed to showcasing exciting local acting talent, technicians and playwrights interested in ensemble collaboration. Their goal as an arts organization is to expose an untapped audience to alternative theatrical experiences in the Wichita community.
They open their 2012 Season this weekend with "The Penetration Play" by Winter Miller, Directed by Cherice Henderson. Show dates are Feb. 9-11 & 16-18. Be sure to make your reservations today at 941-9436.
We still have stacks of great books from our History, Biography & Current Events sections to put on sale through Saturday, February 11. Look for the sale tables, and select books will be marked 45% off!
February 9. 7:00 p.m. - Alex George book talk and signing for "A Good American" - the #1 Pick on the February IndieNext List!
"A Good American" is a novel about being an outsider – in your country, in your hometown, and sometimes even in your own family. It is a universal story about our search for home. Beginning in 1904 with an improbable love affair ignited by the power of song, the story follows an unconventional young couple, Frederick and Jette Meisenheimer, as they flee from Germany in search of a new life together, and find themselves settling down – with little means and without a word of English – in the town Beatrice, Missouri. Serenaded by the lush sounds of opera, ragtime, jazz, barbershop song, and rock and roll, three generations of the Meisenheimer family are swept forward along with the great events of their time: World War I, Prohibition, the Great Depression, World War II, the assassination of JFK and beyond. As each generation confronts its own challenges – mournful tragedies and transcendent joys, passions unrequited and fulfilled, missed opportunities and stunning secrets, whether to fight in a war or protest one – the Meisenheimers must redefine anew what it means to be a good American.
For event information, or to order a copy of "A Good American," click here: http://www.watermarkbooks.com/event/alex-george
February 15. 7:00 p.m. – Jonathan Evison reading and signing for "West of Here."
At the foot of the Elwha River, the muddy outpost of Port Bonita is about to boom, fueled by a ragtag band of dizzyingly disparate men and women unified only in their visions of a more prosperous future. A failed accountant by the name of Ethan Thornburgh has just arrived in Port Bonita to reclaim the woman he loves and start a family. Ethan’s obsession with a brighter future impels the damming of the mighty Elwha to harness its power and put Port Bonita on the map. More than a century later, his great-great grandson, a middle manager at a failing fish- packing plant, is destined to oversee the undoing of that vision, as the great Thornburgh dam is marked for demolition, having blocked the very lifeline that could have sustained the town. West of Here is a grand and playful odyssey, a multilayered saga of destiny and greed, adventure and passion, that chronicles the life of one small town, turning America’s history into myth, and myth into a nation’s shared experience. - Jonathan Evison is the author of "All About Lulu," which won the Washington State Book Award. In 2009, he was the recipient of a Richard Buckley Fellowship from the Christopher Isherwood Foundation. He lives on an island in Western Washington.
For event information, or to order a copy of "West of Here," click here: http://www.watermarkbooks.com/event/jonathan-evison
February 16. 7:00 p.m. - Rachel Simon reading and signing for "The Story of Beautiful Girl."
It is 1968. Lynnie, a young white woman with a developmental disability, and Homan, an African American deaf man, are locked away in an institution, the School for the Incurable and Feebleminded, and have been left to languish, forgotten. Deeply in love, they escape, and find refuge in the farmhouse of Martha, a retired schoolteacher and widow. But the couple is not alone-Lynnie has just given birth to a baby girl. When the authorities catch up to them that same night, Homan escapes into the darkness, and Lynnie is caught. But before she is forced back into the institution, she whispers two words to Martha: "Hide her." And so begins the 40-year epic journey of Lynnie, Homan, Martha, and baby Julia-lives divided by seemingly insurmountable obstacles, yet drawn together by a secret pact and extraordinary love.
For event information, or to order a copy of "The Story of Beautiful Girl," click here: http://www.watermarkbooks.com/event/rachel-simon
February 17. 6:00 p.m. - Lois Ruby will be here for a book signing for "Steal Away Home."
Lois will be in Wichita in conjunction with the African American Catholic Council conference (held at Newman University on February 18th) titled: "Weaving a Fabric of Faith: Our Common Thread."
February 25, 26 & 27. Watermark Books & Café will be closed for inventory.
March 12. 7:00 p.m. - T.C. Boyle reading and signing for "When the Killing’s Done." (Event 3 of the Penguin Author Series) Principally set on the wild Channel Islands off the coast of California, T.C. Boyle's new novel is a gripping adventure with a timely theme. Alma Boyd Takesue is a National Park Service biologist spearheading the efforts to save the islands' native creatures from invasive species. Her antagonist, Dave LaJoy, is a local businessman who is fiercely opposed to the killing of any animals whatsoever and will go to any lengths to subvert her plans. As their confrontation plays out in a series of scenes escalating in violence, drama, and danger, "When the Killing's Done" relates a richly humane tale about the dominion we attempt to exert, for better or worse, over the natural world.
For information about the T.C. Boyle event or the entire Penguin Author Series, click here: http://www.watermarkbooks.com/penguin-author-series
March 16. 7:00 p.m. - Joanne Fluke reading and signing of "Cinnamon Roll Murder."
When Hannah learns that the Cinnamon Roll Six jazz band will be playing in Lake Eden, Minnesota, she bakes up a supply of their namesake confections to welcome them. But tragedy strikes when their tour bus overturns on its way into town. But minor injuries for the keyboard player turn deadly when someone plunges surgical scissors into his chest. Joanne Fluke is the New York Times bestselling author of the Hannah Swensen mysteries, which include "Apple Turnover Murder," "Cream Puff Murder," "Carrot Cake Murder," and the book that started it all, "Chocolate Chip Cookie Murder." Like Hannah Swensen, Joanne Fluke was born and raised in a small town in rural Minnesota, but now lives in Southern California. Visit her website at www.MurderSheBaked.com for more information.
For event information, or to order a copy of "Cinnamon Roll Murder," click here: http://www.watermarkbooks.com/event/joanne-fluke
March 23. 7:00 p.m. - Joe Cobb and Leigh Anne Taylor reading and book signing for "Our Family Outing: A Memoir of Coming Out and Coming Through".
"Our Family Outing: A Memoir of Coming Out and Coming Through" is the story of a gay man, a straight woman and their journey through marriage, children, coming out, divorce, healing, reconciliation - and creating a new way of being a family. This unique love story, presented in two narrative voices, is the story of...
* hope for families who are dealing with the coming out of a gay family member,
* love that is stronger than the death of a marriage,
* healing for families of faith who are hurting as someone they love acknowledges their true sexual orientation,
* forgiveness for self and others,
* peace, as a man and a woman whose vow to "speak and act in loving ways toward one another and about one another" for the sake of their children, paves the way for peace in family life,
* responsibility, as a man and a woman resist the temptation to assign blame but rather take responsibility for themselves, theirs choices, their past, present and future,
* release of prejudice, discrimination, rejection, pride, guilt, and childhood wounds,
* acceptance of mystery and unanswerable questions,
* memory as a pathway to coming out and healing from guilt and shame,
* determination to live with love as the bottom line, no matter what,
* joy in the unfolding of what family life can be.
March 24. 2:00 p.m. - Ally Carter reading and signing for "Out of Sight, Out of Time."
With more than a million Gallagher Girls books sold, a legion of fans have fallen in love with the New York Times best-selling spy-girl series, and the fifth book delivers the most nerve-wracking, high-stakes adventure yet. The last thing Cammie Morgan remembers is leaving the Gallagher Academy to protect her friends and family from the Circle of Cavan--an ancient terrorist organization that has been hunting her for over a year. But when Cammie wakes up in an alpine convent and discovers months have passed, she must face the fact that her memory is now a black hole. The only traces left of Cammie’s summer vacation are the bruises on her body and the dirt under her nails, and all she wants is to go home. Once she returns to school, however, Cammie realizes that even the Gallagher Academy now holds more questions than answers. Cammie, her friends, and mysterious spy-guy Zach must face their most difficult challenge yet as they travel to the other side of the world, hoping to piece together the clues that Cammie left behind. It’s a race against time. The Circle is hot on their trail and willing stop at nothing to prevent Cammie from remembering what she did last summer.
For event information, or to order a copy of "Out of Sight, Out of Time," click here: http://www.watermarkbooks.com/event/ally-carter
April 26. 7:00 p.m. - Thomas Shane book talk and signing for "Crisis Pastoral Care: A Police Chaplain's Perspective." (This event was originally scheduled for February 2.) Thomas Shane is a 30-year-veteran police chaplain. He worked in Oklahoma City after the bombing, and at Ground Zero after September 11st. Shane tells dozens of stories of what it's like to provide crisis pastoral care to those caught in the grim and shocking realities of life. His book brings a balanced, compassionate, spirituality-based perspective to the dead center of heart-breaking human experiences--violent crimes, natural disasters, car accidents, suicides, child abuse, terrorism, and more. While many good books reveal the theory of pastoral care and the dynamics of grief work, Crisis Pastoral Care borders on a memoir of life in the midst of disaster. Anyone who deals on a regular basis with the victims of crime and disaster will find this book an invaluable resource.
For event information, or to order a copy of "Crisis Pastoral Care," click here: http://www.watermarkbooks.com/event/thomas-shane
May 17. 7:00 p.m. - Geraldine Brooks reading and signing for "Caleb’s Crossing." (Final Event in the Penguin Author Series) In 1665, a young man from Martha's Vineyard became the first Native American to graduate from Harvard College. Upon this slender factual scaffold, Brooks has created a luminous tale of love and faith, magic and adventure. The narrator of "Caleb's Crossing" is Bethia Mayfield, growing up in the tiny settlement of Great Harbor amid a small band of pioneers and Puritans. Restless and curious, she yearns after an education that is closed to her by her sex. As often as she can, she slips away to explore the island's glistening beaches and observe its native Wampanoag inhabitants. At twelve, she encounters Caleb, the young son of a chieftain, and the two forge a tentative secret friendship that draws each into the alien world of the other. Bethia's minister father tries to convert the Wampanoag, awakening the wrath of the tribe's shaman, against whose magic he must test his own beliefs. One of his projects becomes the education of Caleb, and a year later, Caleb is in Cambridge, studying Latin and Greek among the colonial elite. There, Bethia finds herself reluctantly indentured as a housekeeper and can closely observe Caleb's crossing of cultures.
For information about the Geraldine Brooks event or the entire Penguin Author Series, click here: http://www.watermarkbooks.com/penguin-author-series
May 31. 7:00 p.m. - Dorothy Wickenden reading and signing for "Nothing Daunted: The Unexpected Education of Two Society Girls in the West"
Dorothy Woodruff and Rosamond Underwood attended grade school and Smith College together, spent nine months on a grand tour of Europe in 1910, and then, bored with society luncheons and chaperoned balls and not yet ready for marriage, they went off to teach the children of homesteaders in a remote schoolhouse on the Western Slope of Colorado. They traveled on the new railroad over the Continental Divide and by wagon to Elkhead, a tiny settlement far from the nearest town. Their students came to school from miles away in tattered clothes and shoes tied together with string.
Dorothy Woodruff was the grandmother of New Yorker executive editor Dorothy Wickenden. Nearly one hundred years later, Wickenden found the buoyant, detailed, colorful letters the two women wrote to their families. Through them, she has chronicled their trials in the classroom, the cowboys and pioneering women they met, and the violent kidnapping of a close friend. Central to their narrative is Ferry Carpenter, the witty, idealistic, and occasionally outrageous young lawyer and cattle rancher who hired them, in part because he thought they would make attractive and cultivated brides. None of them imagined the transforming effect the year would have—on the children, the families, and the teachers.
Wickenden set out on her own journey to discover what two intrepid Eastern women found when they went West, and what America was like at that uncertain moment, with the country poised for the First World War, but going through its own period of self-discovery.
Drawing upon the letters, interviews with descendants, research about these vanished communities, and trips to the region, Wickenden creates a compelling, original saga about the two intrepid young women and the “settling up” of the West.
Watermark's Book of the Week is "Micro: A Novel" by Michael Crichton and Richard Preston (Harper; ISBN 9780060873028; originally $28.99)
Three men are found dead in the locked second-floor office of a Honolulu building, with no sign of struggle except for the ultrafine, razor-sharp cuts covering their bodies. The only clue left behind is a tiny bladed robot, nearly invisible to the human eye.
In the lush forests of Oahu, groundbreaking technology has ushered in a revolutionary era of biological prospecting. Trillions of microorganisms, tens of thousands of bacteria species, are being discovered; they are feeding a search for priceless drugs and applications on a scale beyond anything previously imagined.
In Cambridge, Massachusetts, seven graduate students at the forefront of their fields are recruited by a pioneering microbiology start-up. Nanigen MicroTechnologies dispatches the group to a mysterious lab in Hawaii, where they are promised access to tools that will open a whole new scientific frontier.
But once in the Oahu rain forest, the scientists are thrust into a hostile wilderness that reveals profound and surprising dangers at every turn. Armed only with their knowledge of the natural world, they find themselves prey to a technology of radical and unbridled power. To survive, they must harness the inherent forces of nature itself.
An instant classic, Micro pits nature against technology in vintage Crichton fashion. Completed by visionary science writer Richard Preston, this boundary-pushing thriller melds scientific fact with pulse-pounding fiction to create yet another masterpiece of sophisticated, cutting-edge entertainment.
Shop online or in the store, this week "Micro" is 30% off.
This week's winner of a free lunch from Watermark Café is Janice Kating of Wichita. Thanks for signing up for News & Notes.
"Russian midgets are the tallest and Russian watches are the fastest, went the joke, and my watch--a Sputnik, which I had bought in Moscow after my recital at the National Conservatory--lived up to its reputation. On average it gained about two extra hours a week, which, considering my incurable habit of arriving late for every class or meeting, was quite helpful."
... from "Wunderkind" by Nikolai Grozni (Free Press; ISBN 9781451616910; $24.00)
1. "The Ex-Nun Poems" by Jeanine Hathaway 2. "Radiating Like a Stone" edited by Myrne Roe 3. "The Story of Beautiful Girl" by Rachel Simon 4. "Steal Away Home" by Lois Ruby 5. "Moon Over Manifest" by Clare Vanderpool 6. "Pinches & Dashes" by the Junior League of Wichita 7. "Emily, Alone" by Stewart O'Nan 8. "Everyday People" by Albert Goldbarth 9. "The Fault in Our Stars" by John Green 10. "Little Ike" by Roy Bird
"Ready Player One" by Ernest Cline (Crown; ISBN 9780307887436; $24.00)
It's 2044, and as a result of the energy crisis, the world has basically gone to pot. That's okay, though, because most people spend their lives in OASIS, a virtual utopia where you can be whomever and whatever you want. Five years before, the creator of OASIS died and as his dying act set up a contest: be the first one to find the Halliday "Easter Egg" hidden within OASIS and you will inherit Halliday's fortune of billions of dollars. Wade is a "gunter," one of those obsessed with the contest, and with Halliday, which means he's into all of Halliday's interests: the games, movies, TV shows, and music of the 1980s. Wade is the first one to find the first key, setting him on a path of fame and fortune, unimaginable for a kid from the stacks (cities of mobile homes piled on top of each other). But, as he delves deeper into the contest, he finds friends and allies and makes enemies who will go so far as to kill him in real life in order to get to the prize.
Unlike most books, there is a litmus test for whether or not you'll like this one. Read the following paragraph:
"I made my big entrance when I arrived in my flying DeLorean, which I'd obtained by completing a Back to the Future quest on the planet Zemeckis. The DeLorean came outfitted with a (nonfuctioning) flux capacitor, but I'd made several additions to its equipment and appearance. First, I'd installed an artificially intelligent onboard computer named KITT (purchased in an online auction) into the dashboard, along with a matching red Knight Rider scanner just above the DeLorean's grill. Then I'd outfitted the car with an oscillation overthruster, a device that allowed it to travel through solid matter. Finally, to complete my '80s super-vehicle theme, I'd slapped a Ghostbusters logo on each of the DeLorean's gull-wing doors, then added personalized plates that read ECTO-88."
If you get (and smile/grin/laugh at) more than half the references in it, Cline will have you -- like he had me -- eating out of the palm of his hand. It's one part Dungeons and Dragons adventure, one part morality tale (but not until the very end, so it doesn't get in the way) and three parts homage to the pop culture of the 1980s.
And after you finish, we'll pour some Pan-Galactic Gargle Blasters, cue up a John Hughes movie and reminisce.