Greetings Dear Readers, The big news this week is the Longfellow Books Semi-Annual Used Book Sale! Empty out your shopping bags and come stock up on

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Greetings Dear Readers,

The big news this week is the Longfellow Books Semi-Annual Used Book Sale! Empty out your shopping bags and come stock up on books for summer vacations or days at the beach! All week, every used book in the store is 25% off and we have an extra used book clearance section as well. We're bringing out all our used book jewels for you this week, readers, but things are moving fast so get on in here!

There's lots of great stuff going on in this week's e-mail so peruse carefully and take notes. As always, we have some exciting new releases for the week plus a couple of extra shout outs of love to our publishing friends at McSweeney's and MoonPie Press. Check out some reads from both of these groups and let us know your thoughts.

In addition to the Meet the Author events mentioned below, there is also a meeting of the Box of Chocolates Book Club Wednesday at 7:00pm to discuss Pulphead. Don't forget, this club is now officially sponsored by Flatbread Pizza and you know what that means - free pizza with your illuminating literary discussion! Before you head out on the town Saturday night, stop by SPACE Gallery at 7:00pm for The Roundhouse: An Experiment in Idea Exchange with authors Alex Irvine, Hannah Holmes and Michael Erard.


Coming Up at Longfellow Books...

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The Mindful Carnivore: A Vegetarian's Hunt for Sustenance by Tovar Cerulli
Thursday, April 12th, 7:00pm at Longfellow Books

A vegan turned hunter reignites the connection between humans and our food sources and continues the dialogue begun by Michael Pollan and Barbara Kingsolver. Cerulli’s tale brings nuance to conversations often dominated by black-and-white thinking. He sets contemporary debates in context by looking back over centuries of history, delving into our changing natural and cultural landscapes, and examining the shifting meanings of vegetarianism and hunting. In place of moral certainties, he offers questions.

Click here to watch Tovar talk about his book in this video trailer. and join us Thursday for an evening of fascinating discussion and delectable treats!

A Family Farm in Tuscany by Sarah Fioroni
Thursay, April 19th, 7:00pm at Longfellow Books

In A Family Farm in Tuscany, Sarah Fioroni, chef, cooking instructor, sommelier, and manager of her family's organic farm near historic San Gimignano, shares stories of family traditions and daily life at Fattoria Poggio Alloro. Join us next week to hear about life on the Italian farm, share recipes and taste amazing wines from the family's vineyard!

New Releases...


City of Bohane by Kevin Barry (Graywolf, $25.00)
Shortlisted for the 2011 Costa First Novel Award

Forty or so years in the future, the once-great city of Bohane on the west coast of Ireland is on its knees, infested by vice and split along tribal lines. There are the posh parts of town, but it is in the slums and backstreets of Smoketown, the tower blocks of the North Rises, and the eerie bogs of the Big Nothin’ that the city really lives ... A blazingly original, wildly stylish, and pulpy debut novel.

"City of Bohane, the extraordinary first novel by the Irish writer Kevin Barry, is full of marvels…marvels of language, invention, surprise. Savage brutality is here, but so is laughter. And humanity. And the abiding ache of tragedy…In prose that is both dense and flowing, Barry takes us on a roaring journey, among human beings who are trapped in life its own damned self. Nostalgia grips many of them, even when they slash angrily at sentimentality. None of it is real, yet all of it feels true. This powerful, exuberant fiction is as true as the Macondo of Gabriel García Márquez, the Yoknapatawpha County of William Faulkner and, in a different way, even the Broadway of Damon Runyon. Those places were not real. The stories remain true." -Pete Hamill, The New York Times Book Review

Click here to order now...


Religion for Atheists: A Non-believer's Guide to the Uses of Religion by Alain de Botton (Pantheon, $26.95)

What if religions are neither all true nor all nonsense? Religion for Atheists suggests that rather than mocking religion, agnostics and atheists should instead steal from it—because the world’s religions are packed with good ideas on how we might live and arrange our societies. Blending deep respect with total impiety, de Botton (a non-believer himself) proposes that we look to religion for insights into how to, among other concerns, build a sense of community, make our relationships last, overcome feelings of envy and inadequacy, inspire travel, and reconnect with the natural world.

“De Botton writes at his best when he confronts our abiding human frailty…I can't help but wholeheartedly recommend de Botton's new book. It provokes thought…what continuously separates de Botton apart is his genuine attempt to alleviate loneliness and sadness in a harsh world. If only all writers wrote with such unabashedly kind intentions.” -Huffington Post

Click here to order now...

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Dreaming in French: The Paris Years of Jacqueline Bouvier Kennedy, Susan Sontag, and Angela Davis by Alice Kaplan (University of Chicago Press, $26.00)

A year in Paris . . . since World War II, countless American students have been lured by that vision—and been transformed by their sojourn in the City of Light. Dreaming in French tells three stories of that experience, and how it changed the lives of three extraordinary American women. All three women would go on to become icons, key figures in American cultural, intellectual, and political life, but when they embarked for France, they were young, little-known, uncertain about their future, and drawn to the culture, sophistication, and drama that only Paris could offer.

"The much-admired Kaplan (French Lessons: A Memoir) focuses sharply on three women of successive generations, providing a keen feminist-cultural picture of Paris’s enduring, if varied, impact." -Publishers Weekly

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Calico Joe by John Grisham (Doubleday, $24.95)

A surprising and moving novel of fathers and sons, forgiveness and redemption, set in the world of Major League Baseball. In John Grisham’s new novel the baseball is thrilling, but it’s what happens off the field that makes Calico Joe a classic.

"John Grisham's legal thrillers are dense and hefty, full of twists and turns and tension. His latest novel, Calico Joe, is not like that at all. It's a sweet, simple story, a fable really. And like all fables, it has a moral: Good can come out of evil; it's never too late to confess your sins and seek forgiveness…if you believe in redemption—and who doesn't—you won't be disappointed. Grisham knows baseball as well as he knows crime." -Steven V. Roberts, The Washington Post

Listen to John Grisham talk about Calico Joe with NPR's Scott Simon

Click here to order now...


The Maid and the Queen: The Secret History of Joan of Arc by Nancy Goldstone (Viking, $26.95)

The untold story of an extraordinary Sicilian queen, Yolande, one of the most powerful women of the Middle Ages, who championed Joan of Arc. Now, on the six hundredth anniversary of the birth of Joan of Arc, this fascinating book explores the relationship between these two remarkable women, and deepens our understanding of this dramatic period in history. Was it only the hand of God that moved Joan of Arc or was it also Yolande of Aragon?

“Goldstone adds an enlightening new chapter to a legendary saga and rescues another unjustly neglected woman from the dust pile of conventional history.” -Booklist

Click here to order now...

Out in Paper...


2030: The Real Story of What Happens in America by Albert Brooks (St. Martin's, $14.99)

Is this what the future holds? In 2030, the author’s all-too-believable imagining of where today’s challenges could lead us tomorrow makes gripping and thought-provoking reading.

"Comedian and filmmaker Brooks welcomes the reader to the year 2030 in his smart and surprisingly serious debut. Cancer has been cured, global warming is an acknowledged reality, people have robot companions, and the president is a Jew—and oy vey does he have his hands full with an earthquake-leveled Los Angeles and a growing movement by the young to exterminate the elderly. Brooks's mordant vision encompasses the future of politics, medicine, entertainment, and daily living, resulting in a novel as entertaining as it is thought provoking, like something from the imagination of a borscht belt H.G. Wells." -Publishers Weekly

Watch Jon Stewart's interview with Albert Brooks on The Daily Show

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The Pale King by David Foster Wallace (Back Bay Books, $16.99)

The Pale King remained unfinished at the time of David Foster Wallace's death, but it is a deeply compelling and satisfying novel, hilarious and fearless and as original as anything Wallace ever undertook. It grapples directly with ultimate questions—questions of life's meaning and of the value of work and society—through characters imagined with the interior force and generosity that were Wallace's unique gifts. Along the way it suggests a new idea of heroism and commands infinite respect for one of the most daring writers of our time.

"A thrilling read, replete with the author's humor, which is oftentimes bawdy and always bitingly smart ... The notion that this book is 'unfinished' should not be given too much weight. The Pale King is, in many ways, quite complete: its core characters are fully drawn, each with a defining tic, trait, or backstory ... Moreover, the book is far from incomplete in its handling of a host of themes, most of them the same major issues, applicable to all of us, with which Wallace also grappled in Infinite Jest: unconquerable boredom, the quest for satisfaction in work, the challenge of really knowing other people, and the weight of sadness ... The experience to be had from reading The Pale King feels far more weighty and affecting than a nicely wrapped story. Its reach is broad, and its characters stay with you." -Daniel Roberts, NPR

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Fifty Shades of Grey: Book One by E L James (Vintage, $15.95)

Yes, this is that book you keep hearing people talk about. The erotic novel, dubbed "mommy porn" by many in the US media, is the first of a trilogy, which shot to the #1 bestselling New York Times ebook list and Universal Pictures recently bought the movie rights to the book. For those of you who have missed the buzz, here's what you'll find in Fifty Shades of Grey...

When literature student Anastasia Steele goes to interview young entrepreneur Christian Grey, she encounters a man who is beautiful, brilliant, and intimidating. The unworldly, innocent Ana is startled to realize she wants this man and, despite his enigmatic reserve, finds she is desperate to get close to him. Unable to resist Ana’s quiet beauty, wit, and independent spirit, Grey admits he wants her, too—but on his own terms. Erotic, amusing, and deeply moving, the Fifty Shades Trilogy is a tale that will obsess you, possess you, and stay with you forever.

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McSweeney's Moment...

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Grantland Issue 2 edited by Bill Simmons (McSweeney's, $25.00)

Grantland Quarterly is a collaboration between McSweeney's and Grantland, the popular website founded and edited by Bill Simmons. The book features the best long-form sports and culture writing from the site as well as new print exclusives and a dust jacket that unfolds to reveal a double-sided poster with an intricate, gorgeous piece of original art on one side, and, on the reverse, a reprint of the rare 1970s poster of George "The Ice Man" Gervin from Nike.

Also included in Issue 2 is Bill Simmons writing about the career of Eddie Murphy, an interview with Don DeLillo about Underworld on the 60th anniversary of the Shot Heard 'Round the World, Chad Harbach on his experience at the Milwaukee Brewers' last game of the 2011 season, Charles P. Pierce and Michael Weinreb addressing the abuse scandal at Penn State, and Michael Schur (co-creator of Parks and Recreation) on the dismal collapse of the 2011 Red Sox

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Magic Hours: Essays on Creators and Creation by Tom Bissell (McSweeney's, $14.00)

In Magic Hours, award-winning essayist Tom Bissell explores the highs and lows of the creative process. Originally published in magazines such as The Believer, The New Yorker, and Harper's, these essays represent ten years of Bissell's best writing on every aspect of creation—be it Iraq War documentaries or video-game character voices—and will provoke as much thought as they do laughter.

What are sitcoms for exactly? Can art be both bad and genius? Why do some books survive and others vanish? Bissell's exploration of these questions makes for gripping, unforgettable reading.

"A whip-smart, occasionally pugnacious collection of essays on culture from a wide-ranging critic ... Stellar cultural writing - Bissell has the knowledge and wit to earn his provocations." -Kirkus

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Poetry from Moon Pie Press...


Moon Pie Press is a small Maine poetry press based in Westbrook that has published an astounding 65 books since 2003 representing 32 Maine poets and 10 "from away." The press has issued 6 anthologies and Moon Pie Press poems have appeared on NPR's The Writer's Almanac 25 times. The latest release from Moon Pie Press is The Common Law by James McKenna of Hallowell.

Visit the Moon Pie Press website to learn more about this Maine publisher of quality poetry and browse the collection here at Longfellow Books!

For Our Young Readers...

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A Bus Called Heaven by Bob Graham (Candlewick, $16.99)
Ages 3 and up

"A city neighborhood takes shape around an abandoned school bus as Jell-O takes to a mold, in Graham's tickling, gladdening tale. A bus gets abandoned on a downtown street. At first it is just a curiosity piece, but a little girl senses some greater potential. Neighbors push and pull it into a side yard. They clean it out. Graffiti artists give it a coat of paint. The bus becomes a hub, a village green, a community center, a sanctuary enlivened by Graham's multicultural throng: Sikh, Hasidim, sitar players, line dancers--we were all strangers once, so howdy, stranger. There comes the inevitable threat, which is neutralized by the wiles of youth. It is the lovely communality of the story--an ever-presence that is elegantly, softly presented--that will grab young readers, simply because the school bus is just so cool. It's got birds nesting in the engine block, a Foosball table, music, all sorts of things going on and the usual joyful noise of people up to whatever it is they enjoy being up to. Aiding the mood of merriment are Graham's illustrations, with their sinewy black line work, delicate, peaches-and-cream colors and loving depiction of all kinds of people. The destination sign on the bus reads 'Heaven,' and just so, a little piece here on Earth." -Kirkus Reviews

"Chris sent a copy of A Bus Called Heaven home with us last week and not a day has gone by that we haven't read it at least once. The combination of Graham's engaging illustrations and just-sweet-enough story creates a book that leaves a smile on the reader's face every time." -Julia, Sasha (7) and Marisa (5)

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The Extraordinary Education of Nicholas Benedict by Trenton Lee Stewart (Little Brown, $17.99)
Ages 8 and up

Before there was a Mysterious Benedict Society, there was simply a boy named Nicholas Benedict. Meet the boy who started it all ... Nine-year-old Nicholas Benedict is being sent to a new orphanage, where he will encounter vicious bullies, selfish adults, strange circumstances and a mystery that could change his life forever. Luckily, he has one important thing in his favor: He's a genius. On his quest to solve the mystery, Nicholas finds enemies around every corner, but also friends in unexpected places -- and discovers along the way that the greatest puzzle of all is himself.

"Gives readers a reason to fall in love with the series all over again ... [with] adventures, danger, cleverness, dry wit, and good-hearted characters at the center of the action." -Booklist

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Bill's Book Notes...


The Book of Drugs: A Memoir by Mike Doughty (Da Capo, $16.00)

"During the mid to late '90's, the band 'Soul Coughing' occupied a niche all their own in pop culture. Equal parts funk, jazz, hip hop, samples, electronica, and spoken word poetry,the band achieved modest commercial success and critical raves despite not fitting into any particular musical genre. Described by their frontman and creator, Mike Doughty, as 'deep slacker jazz,' the band became a cult favorite before Doughty disbanded the quartet. And now we have a fascinating memoir, The Book of Drugs, written by Doughty and chronicling the band's rise and demise along with the parallel story of the bandleader's rise and fall as an unrepentant druggie who eventually overcomes his addictions, gets clean and remakes himself as a solo artist.

The Book of Drugs resembles the band in the way that it similarly defies categorization. It is captivating sometimes despite itself. Much of the book's middle section is taken up with Doughty's screed against the band's other members (he never even tells us their names, referring instead to the sampler player, the bass player and the drummer) and his protestations that he never received the credit he deserved for the band's artistic and creative success. We get lengthy recounting of Doughty's sexual conquests and drug consumption and self-absorption. Yet as a reader one develops a fondness for this strange, self-lacerating and tortured artist. And when Doughty finally wakes up and gets sober, the story becomes one of redemption, but always a story that retains its own unique nature, and one well worth reading." -Bill

Click here to learn more and order now...

In Books We Trust,
Chris & Co.

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