Wednesday, December 14, 2016

On the Shelf at Paragraphs - "Razor Girl"

The novels by Carl Hiassen are favorites with our customers. As a columnist for the Miami Herald, Hiaasen has a subject: Florida. For years he has written stories that highlight the most bizarre antics and colorful episodes of life in our third largest state. Hiaasen grew up in Florida during the 1950s and has lived and worked there his entire life, watching it morph from a rural backwater with abundant natural beauty and resources to one struggling with the effects of development and tourism. Hiassen’s books are first and foremost fast-paced thrillers combining equal parts of humor and suspense. However, he handles serious issues with a satiric wit that never feels pedantic. Each of Hiaasen's novels is set in a different part of the state and is full of colorful characters in outlandish situations.

“Razor Girl” Carl Hiaasen 
Alfred A Knopf 
September 6, 2016 in Hardcover
352 pages
His latest, “Razor Girl”, is a classic Hiassen setup. The dialogue somehow sounds believable even at its most deadpan hilarious, and the multi-pronged satire--of Florida, corrupt cops, bumbling criminals and, most exquisitely, the entertainment industry--is gentle but merciless. While it is nearly impossible to describe the plot of a Hiassen novel, this one begins when Merry Mansfield, the razor girl of the title, has teamed up with a thug named Zeto to rear-end shady Key West land developer Martin Trebeaux. But when Merry hits the wrong car things begin to spiral crazily out of control while unleashing some of the wildest characters Hiaasen has ever set loose on the page.

There’s Trebeaux, the owner of Sedimental Journeys–a company that steals sand from one beach to restore erosion on another, Dominick “Big Noogie” Aeola, a NYC mafia capo with a taste for tropic-wear, Buck Nance, a Wisconsin accordionist who has rebranded himself as the star of a redneck reality show called Bayou Brethren, a street psycho known as Blister who’s more Buck Nance than Buck could ever be, Brock Richardson, a Miami product-liability lawyer who’s getting dangerously–and deformingly–hooked on the very E.D. product he’s litigating against, and Andrew Yancy–formerly Detective Yancy, busted down to the Key West roach patrol after accosting his then-lover’s husband with a Dust Buster. Yancy believes that if he can singlehandedly solve a high-profile murder, he’ll get his detective badge back. That the Razor Girl may be the key to Yancy’s future will be as surprising as anything else he encounters along the way–including the giant Gambian rats that are livening up his restaurant inspections.

““Razor Girl” is vintage Hiaasen, in the very best way: darkly funny, unapologetically crazy, and more Florida than a flamingo eating a Cuban sandwich while singing a Jimmy Buffett song. (The odds of that flamingo ending up as a character in a forthcoming Hiaasen book, by the way, are actually pretty good.) It might even inspire you to head to the Sunshine State. Just make sure you watch out for the Gambian pouched rats.” (NPR Book Review)

Hiaasen is also the author of several popular novels for young readers: “Hoot”, which won a Newbery Honor, “Flush”, “Scat” and, most recently, “Skink – No Surrender”, which introduces one of the wildest characters in his adult books to a teen audience.

Monday, December 12, 2016

On the Shelf at Paragraphs - "Atlas Obscura"

At Paragraphs we believe a book is the perfect gift. Selecting a book for a friend or family member is a way of sharing an experience that will be remembered long after the wrapping paper has been torn off and thrown away. I still have books that I was given as a child and they are cherished memories from family members who are no longer alive.

Everyone has that one person, on their list, who has everything and poses a unique challenge when trying to find a meaningful gift that will be treasured beyond the holiday season. “Atlas Obscura – An Explorer’s Guide to the World’s Hidden Wonders” is the type of book that will appeal to just about anyone who is interested in discovering something new about the world we live in.

The new book “Atlas Obscura” introduces the reader to over 700 of the strangest and most curious places in the world and will inspire equal parts of wonder and wanderlust. Created by Joshua Foer, Dylan Thuras and Ella Morton, “Atlas Obscura” revels in the weird, the unexpected, the overlooked, the hidden and the mysterious. The book covers the entire world: split into sections by each continent and then country, each country gets a handful of entries. Every page expands our sense of how strange and marvelous the world really is. And with its compelling descriptions, hundreds of photographs, surprising charts, maps for every region of the world, it is a book to enter anywhere, and will be as appealing to the armchair traveler as the die-hard adventurer.

In 2009, Foer and Thuras, founded the website Atlas Obscura to celebrate a different way of looking at the world in an age where everything seems to have been explored and there is nothing new to be found. The online collaborative project depends on a far-flung community of explorers to discover amazing, hidden spots, and share them with the world.

Foer and Thuras identify the basic beliefs behind the website and book:
  1. There is something new under the sun, every day, all over the world.
  2. Around the corner is something that will surprise the hell out of you.
  3. Atlas Obscura is for people who still believe in discovery.
This is not your traditional travel guide. It is a book that steps off the well-traveled path, and actively encourages its readers to explore the world. As with any book published with material originating online, the content is limited by the number of pages you can reasonably bind together. The website has a considerable amount of additional information on it, and if the book arouses the readers curiosity she can follow-up by becoming a part of the online community or to do some additional research while flipping through the pages.

This is just one of the many titles included in our 2016-2017 Winter Catalog and Holiday Gift Guide. Stop by Paragraphs and pick up a free copy to discover more great gift ideas that have been specially selected by members of the Mountain and Plains Independent Booksellers Association.

"Atlas Obscura – An Explorer’s Guide to the World’s Hidden Wonders”
By Joshua Foer, Dylan Thuras and Ella Morton
Published by Workman Press on September 20, 2016
ISBN: 9780761169086
Hardcover, 480 pages

Wednesday, November 23, 2016

December Author Offerings

Please note that we are doubling up on December 3rd with two authors at two different times. For a detailed description of each book please go to the calendar page. These should be the last of 2016 signings. We hosted over 35 authors this year. Thank you for being part of the Paragraphs family!

Meet the Author Series at Paragraphs

"How to Raise Respectful Parents"
Discussion and Book signing with author, Laura Lyles Reagan
Saturday, December 3rd 2016
11 AM - 1 PM

“Moses A Work In Progress”
Discussion and Book signing with author, Dr. Shay Shelton Hoffman
Saturday December 3rd 2016
2-4 PM

“True Families”
Discussion and Book signing with author, Barbara Lamar 

Saturday December 10th 2016
1-3 PM

Friday, October 14, 2016

Upcoming Meet the Author Events

Check our calendar for details of these author events! We have quite a lineup and more yet to come.

Meet the Authors at Paragraphs

“Rio Grande Valley ABC”
Rickey E. Pittman, storyteller, author, and folksinger
Saturday, October 15th
 1 to 3 PM

"Strength in My Storm: Faith and Breast Cancer"
Discussion and Book signing reception with author, Michelle Perzan
Saturday, October 22nd 2016
 11 AM - 1 PM

"An Afternoon of Romance at the Bookstore"
Book signings and discussion with 7 San Antonio Romance authors
Saturday October 22th 2016 2-5 PM

“Road Kill: Texas Horror by Texas Authors”
 Book signing with the authors, David Robledo, Carmen Gray and Bret McCormick
Saturday October 29th 2016 1-3 PM

“Dealing From The Top”
Discussion and Book signing with author, Jerry Deal
Friday November 4th 2016 1-3 PM

"Occupied Berlin Series"
Book signing and discussion with author, David Guerra
Saturday November 12th 2016 1-3 PM

Sunday, October 9, 2016

A contest from our friends at El Paseo Art Foundation

October 18 and 19, 2016 @ 7:30 p.m.
  South Padre Island Convention Center
     Presented by
           Check out the show here!
Date Night Giveaway for 2!
Please forward to a friend!
You choose which show you want to attend, October 18 or 19, 2016, and we will provide you with 2 tickets to the show, a free hotel room for 2 at the Hilton Garden Inn on South Padre Island including a $20 food voucher toward breakfast, and a free dinner for 2 at PadreRitaGrill!  All you need to do is click the link below and submit your answers to these 3 questions along with your name, phone number and email address to be entered into the giveaway. 
1. The best way to get a man to open up to you is
a) ask him personal questions
b) tell him personal things
c) get him a beer
2. Most lifelong marriages are like
a) fine wines; they improve with age
b) old milk; they sour with time
c) old shoes; too comfortable to change
3. The best way to a man’s heart is through his:
a) stomach
b) brain
c) pants
Good luck!  Here is all the fine print:  Contest closes at 11:59 PM on Thursday, October 13.  One entry per email address. You must be 18 to participate. Two separate couple winners will be drawn from all entries on Friday, October 14, 2016 and will be notified to claim their prize and name the date of their choice.  El Paseo Arts Foundation is collecting your information, not Facebook or any other entity that may forward contest information.  EPAF will not sell your information to anyone; but you agree to let EPAF and the Hilton Garden Inn use your information.  EPAF may also publish the winner’s names on Facebook or our website soon after.  You agree for us to use your name only on our website if you are the winner. If you have trouble entering your information into the linked website, you can email the info and answers to
at Paragraphs or
We will reimburse you if you happen to be the winner J

Saturday, October 1, 2016

Meet the Author - Rickey Pittman

“Rio Grande Valley ABC”
Rickey E. Pittman, storyteller, author, and folksinger
Saturday, October 15th    1 to 3 PM

Along the banks of the mighty Rio Grande River lies the heart of Southern Texas—the Rio Grande Valley. Steeped in tradition at the crossroads between the United States and Mexico, the Valley’s residents have established a unique way of life, honoring their past and reaching for their future.
Brought to life through rhyming text and vivid illustrations, the sights and sounds of the Rio Grande Valley fill every page, from the flight of the aplomado falcon to the ride of Antonio Zapata and everything in between.

In addition to the shared history of Mexican and Texas battles and triumphs, author Rickey Pittman details daily life in the Magic Valley, displaying the delight of a daughter’s quinceaƱera and the spirit of mariachi music. Illustrator Julie Dupre Buckner captures the hues of Valley life, from the bright butterflies gracing the grasslands to the clear night sky shining with stars.

The history and the heart of the Valley and its inhabitants, both human and animal, fill every page of this informative and essential book.

Pittman strives to find and share the forgotten and neglected stories and people of history and legend and bring them to life before his audiences. Whether you seek a song to touch your heart, a book to instruct your children, or a motivating and entertaining program, this bard of the South has good things to share.

Rickey E. Pittman, often called “The Bard of the South”, is an award-winning storyteller, author, and folksinger. The author of more than a dozen books and four CDs, Pittman earned a BA in New Testament Greek and an MA in English Literature from Abilene Christian University. He currently teaches college level freshman composition and literature. Pittman is a tireless performer, constantly conducting appearances at schools, libraries, festivals, conventions, and workshops, including many in the Rio Grande Valley. A certified secondary gifted English teacher, originally from Dallas, Texas, he claims the Rio Grande Valley as his second home. Pittman loves and appreciates the Rio Grande Valley, its history, its culture and its people.

This event is free and open to the public.
Paragraphs On Padre Boulevard
5505 Padre Blvd. South Padre Island, TX For information call us at 956-433-5057