Wednesday, September 30, 2009

First Thursday - Book Signing

We will be having our inaugural

"First Thursday--An Evening with the Author"

tomorrow, October 1, 2009, beginning at 6:00p.m.

Dr. Regesh will be on hand to discuss and sign his provocative book:

Saint Paul, The First Antichrist-- Deception and Dogma

The book that changes everything.

Dr. John Ben Regesh shares a fascinating revelation of his own as he closely examines ancient scripture to expose what he sees to be the fraudulent teachings of one of the most influential ‘Christians’ in history.

By laying out the writings of Saint Paul and comparing relevant passages with the teachings of Jesus Christ, Dr. Regesh reveals where he sees the error of Paul’s teachings without conjecture, theory, or supposition.

Using passages from the Bible, Regesh's indictment against Paul is constructed before your very eyes. The truth of this book stands against any attack and promises to cause a whirlwind of controversy and consternation throughout Christianity.

You will also be introduced to concepts like the eighth day of creation, moving from darkness to light and death to life, the Creation Continuum, and how John 21 is actually the demotion of Peter from leader of the Church. Finally, the true reason that Christmas is on the 25th of December.

About the Author:

Growing up in a strict Roman Catholic family, Dr. John Ben Regesh, J.D., spent most of his life studying theology and scripture, including successfully translating the New Testament from Latin. Dr. Regesh has practiced law since 1977 and preached the last ten years to a small but active congregation. He is the Archbishop of The Christian Church in Texas and is currently working on his next book that explains the true teachings of Jesus Christ and the Law.

I found his presentation to be well-reasoned and logical although I cannot say that I am convinced of the premise which Dr. Regesh spells out in the pages of this book. But, in honor of Banned Books Week, I found myself returning to my tattered old Catholic Study Bible and rereading the often difficult letters of Paul. The wonderful thing about being presented with ideas that challenge our way of thinking is we are forced to reevaluate and utilize our critical and analytical skills, which is a habit often neglected in favor of the quick sound bite or comfortable opinion.

Hopefully, we will see some of you tomorrow night. Stop by to meet this fascinating local author, enjoy a glass of wine and some interesting conversation.

Banned Books Week


To you zealots and bigots and false
patriots who live in fear of discourse.
You screamers and banners and burners
who would force books
off shelves in your brand name
of greater good.

You say you’re afraid for children,
innocents ripe for corruption
by perversion or sorcery on the page.
But sticks and stones do break
bones, and ignorance is no armor.
You do not speak for me,
and will not deny my kids magic
in favor of miracles.

You say you’re afraid for America,
the red, white and blue corroded
by terrorists, socialists, the sexually
confused. But we are a vast quilt
of patchwork cultures and multi-gendered
identities. You cannot speak for those
whose ancestors braved
different seas.

You say you’re afraid for God,
the living word eroded by Muhammed
and Darwin and Magdalene.
But the omnipotent sculptor of heaven
and earth designed intelligence.
Surely you dare not speak
for the father, who opens
his arms to all.

A word to the unwise.
Torch every book.
Char every page.
Burn every word to ash.
Ideas are incombustible.
And therein lies your real fear.

— Ellen Hopkins,
bestselling author of Crank and newly published Tricks

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Booker Award Shortlist

I really don't know where the time goes to most days. There is a well-known thing that happens to those of us lucky enough to end up on this little sandbar -- the days seem to melt into one another and time ceases to have as much meaning as it does on the mainland. And, so, here I am, over a week after the fact, finally posting the titles on the short list for the 2009 Booker Prize. These six books were chosen from the long list which was announced on July 29.

A S Byatt The Children's Book (Random House, Chatto and Windus)

J M Coetzee Summertime (Random House, Harvill Secker)

Adam Foulds The Quickening Maze (Random House, Jonathan Cape)

Hilary Mantel Wolf Hall (HarperCollins, Fourth Estate)

Simon Mawer The Glass Room (Little, Brown)

Sarah Waters The Little Stranger (Little, Brown, Virago)

Chair James Naughtie, comments:

"We're thrilled to be able to announce such a strong shortlist, so enticing that it will certainly give us a headache when we come to select the winner. The choice will be a difficult one. There is thundering narrative, great inventiveness, poetry and sharp human insight in abundance.

"These are six writers on the top of their form. They've given us great enjoyment already, and it's a measure of our confidence in their books that all of us are looking forward to reading them yet again before we decide on the prizewinner. What more could we ask?"

The winner of the 2009 Man Booker Prize for Fiction will be revealed on Tuesday 6 October 2009 at a dinner at London's Guildhall and will be broadcast on BBC News across television, radio and online. The winning author will receive £50,000 and can look forward to greatly increased sales and worldwide recognition. Each of the six shortlisted authors, including the winner, receives £2,500 and a designer bound edition of their own book

Friday, September 18, 2009

Win an ARC at the SPI Seafood and Music Festival

This weekend South Padre Island is hosting the Landshark Seafood and Music Festival and everyone is excited about this eagerly anticipated event. Local businesses and restaurants will be on hand with a sampling of what the Island has to offer. So, if you plan to be in the area, make sure you take the time to stop by and see what all the fuss is about - and if you are interested, our mass transit system, The Wave, will be running until 2:30a.m. so you can leave the car at home or back at the hotel.

In support of the music festival the newly formed Business Alliance is sponsoring a booth to highlight our local independent stores and to help to get the word out about this little sandbar we call home.

Paragraphs is happy to take part and we are offering an advanced readers copy of one of the books described below to the lucky winner of an hourly drawing.

“The Strain" begins with a newly landed plane stopping dead on the runway. When the rescue crews arrive, they discover that all the passengers and crew are dead in their seats, with their necks cut and their bodies devoid of blood. This utterly original novel is absolutely fantastic and like no vampire novel I've read. You will love it!”
-- Jon Tobin, Saturn Booksellers, Gaylord, MI

“The Magicians" is a darker, more adult take on the idea of a secret academy that trains would-be wizards. Lev Grossman explores the realms of magic, alternate realities, and wish fulfillment as visited by less-than-heroic characters. Raising the question of what would you do if you could do whatever you wanted, The Magicians is thrilling and deliciously disturbing.”
-- Lisa Wright, Oblong Books And Music,LLC., Millerton, NY

"The Little Stranger" follows the strange adventures of Dr. Faraday, the son of a maid who has built a life of quiet respectability as a country doctor. One dusty postwar summer in his home of rural Warwickshire, he is called to a patient at Hundreds Hall. Home to the Ayres family for more than two centuries, the Georgian house, once grand and handsome, is now in declineaits masonry crumbling, its gardens choked with weeds, the clock in its stable yard permanently fixed at twenty to nine. But are the Ayreses haunted by something more ominous than a dying way of life? Little does Dr. Faraday know how closely, and how terrifyingly, their story is about to become entwined with his.

Hailed by the "Chicago Tribune" as a tremendous talent, Nguyen infuses her first novel with humor, compassion, and insight, as she explores the story of estranged sisters and the cultural and family history that binds them.

Colson Whitehead's Sag Harbor, a coming-of-age novel set in small community of African-American professionals in the Hamptons, is a masterpiece. Is Whitehead the greatest writer of his generation? He bids fair.”
-- Sarah McNally, McNally Jackson Books, New York, NY

Chronicling world-changing events that have never been so intimately observed in fiction and brimming with unmistakable warmth and humor, "The Wish Maker" is the powerful account of a family and an era, a story that shows how, even in the most rapidly shifting circumstances, there are bonds that survive the tugs of convention, time, and history.

The peace of Three Pines is shattered when a stranger is found murdered in the village bistro and antiques store. Once again, Chief Inspector Gamache and his team are called in to strip back layers of lies, exposing long-buried secrets.

Written by a direct descendant of Bram Stoker and a well-known Dracula historian, "Dracula: The Un-Dead" is a bone-chilling sequel based on Bram Stoker's own handwritten notes for characters and plot threads excised from the original edition.

And best of all, from Quirk Books publisher of the New York Times Best Seller Pride and Prejudice and Zombies comes a new tale of romance, heartbreak, and tentacled mayhem!

Sense and Sensibility and Sea Monsters expands the original text of the beloved Jane Austen novel with all-new scenes of giant lobsters, rampaging octopi, two-headed sea serpents, and other biological monstrosities. As our story opens, the Dashwood sisters are evicted from their childhood home and sent to live on a mysterious island full of savage creatures and dark secrets. While sensible Elinor falls in love with Edward Ferrars, her romantic sister Marianne is courted by both the handsome Willoughby and the hideous man-monster Colonel Brandon.

Can the Dashwood sisters triumph over meddlesome matriarchs and unscrupulous rogues to find true love? Or will they fall prey to the tentacles that are forever snapping at their heels? This masterful portrait of Regency England blends Jane Austen’s biting social commentary with ultraviolent depictions of sea monsters biting. It’s survival of the fittest-and only the swiftest swimmers will find true love!

Have fun at the South Padre Island Seafood and Music Festival
and thanks for attending.

Saturday, September 12, 2009

What is a Classic?

I generally will read anything from the back of the cereal box to "War and Peace" but generally I must confess that I have a soft spot in my heart for the classics. I like the way good literature wraps a story or timeless idea with layers of meaning that allow me to experience a deeper truth which I would normally overlook in my daily life. Sainte-Beuve, the French essayist and critic, describes the classic author as one who:
has enriched the human mind, increased its treasure, and caused it to advance a step; who has discovered some moral and not equivocal truth, or revealed some eternal passion in that heart where all seemed known and discovered; who has expressed his thought, observation, or invention in no matter what form, only provided it be broad and great, refined and sensible, sane and beautiful in itself; who has spoken to all in his own peculiar style, a style which is found to be also that of the whole world, a style new without neologism, new and old, easily contemporary with all time.
As a bookseller, I want to seek out and share those authors and works that meet the standards as discussed by Sainte-Beuve. The wonderful thing is there is a vast body of work out there to choose from and a plethora of styles so it is possible for anyone to find an author he will enjoy reading and still be able to participate in the great conversation which has been going on throughout all ages and distances; the great conversation of ideas that are timeless and universal.