Friday, December 31, 2010

Interview by Penny Dreadful

Penny Dreadful, diabolical hostess of the wonderful Shilling Shockers horror host show (seen here in Portland and elsewhere on public access television stations), was kind enough to interview me about the bookshop back in October. I thought I'd posted it when she put it online, but apparently not!

It's available via her LiveJournal blog at, or you can read on here, for those of you who haven't read it yet elsewhere:
Interview with Michelle Souliere of The Green Hand Bookshop
Oct. 14th, 2010 at 6:17 PM

When the crisp Autumn wind rattles my attic windows, I like nothing more than to light a candle and curl up by the cauldron with an ancient grimoire or tale of terror. Outside of a black cat, a book is a witch's best friend. Inside of a black cat, it's too dark to read.

The printed word can whisk us away into worlds of wonder, and The Green Hand Bookshop in Portland, Maine is a place of many wonders indeed. I recently spoke with The Green Hand's proprietor, Michelle Souliere.

Michelle, could you tell us what inspired you to open a book store?

I have long been a booklover, and tried my hand for many years at bookscouting for local dealers and selling on my own via eBay and At one point I tried to avoid getting involved to the point of having a shop -- it seemed like more of a burden than I was ready for. However, over the last few years, it became apparent that was all I really wanted to do. I enjoyed working at the Portland Public Library but the large machinery of the institution seemed to trod upon so much of the vitality in the staff as it went about its work. I found myself thinking more and more in terms of "Wouldn't it be nice if..." I set tentative goals for sometime in the future, say 5 or 10 years down the road. Then the economy freaked out, and I moved to another job to save myself from debt, only to have that yanked out from under me as the university rearranged its departments due to budget cuts and other changes in focus. It became apparent that maybe I'd be better off taking a chance on my own now, since even the old tried-and-true jobs seemed to be increasingly unstable, and the money I'd saved in a 401(a) account during a 15-year stint as an office worker certainly wasn't multiplying on its own.

When did you first open for business? How has the response been from the community?

I first opened for business on First Friday, November 6, 2009. The response from the community has been terrific. A lot of the local neighbors seemed very relieved to have a legitimate business with the appearance of real stability opening up on this corner. There has also been a lot of curiosity as to what is going on here.

As an enthusiast of dark literature and forgotten lore, I must say I am pleased to hear that you have a "killer horror section." Could you tell us a little bit about your literary interests?

*laugh* My interests are very broad. I tend to have a smorgasbord of in-process books nearby, and dip into various volumes depending on my mood. However, I tend to have at least one good supernatural, horror, or other fantastic fiction book around, as this is my favorite genre. The best of the bunch? My top ones include M.R. James, Arthur Machen, H.P. Lovecraft, Manly Wade Wellman, Stephen King, John Gordon, Dan Simmons, Mark LaFlamme, and more. I'm always adding to the list. I also love mysteries, and favorites in that field include Arthur Conan Doyle, Agatha Christie, Dorothy Sayers, John Dunning, and John Connolly. However, there are dark times of the year when one must move to lighter fare or risk forever losing oneself in the shadows, and on those occasions I get a kick out of Stella Gibbons' "Cold Comfort Farm," Tove Jansson's Moomintroll books, Mark Helprin, John Crowley, and more. Magical realism is another favorite genre (Helprin and Crowley certainly have works in that field), and of course Ray Bradbury remains one of my icons, how could I ever forget the first time I read "Dandelion Wine" or "Something Wicked This Way Comes"?

This is not to say that I veer away from non-fiction. I read heavily in fringe non-fiction (cryptozoology, paranormal, occult, mythology, folklore, and the like), and historic non-fiction, especially New England related. I also have a penchant for travelogues and biographies, and enjoy science and math related reading, such as "The Radioactive Boy Scout" and "The Mystery of the Aleph."

For an idea of my staple books, you can stroll through my account on LibraryThing, which gives an excellent slice of around 170 favorite parts of my library:

You have listed many of my favorites as well Michelle! Now, could you explain the origin of store's name: "the green hand?"

A few years ago, when I left my office job, I felt like it was time that I try to put my art degree to work, and one of my goals was to create a branding umbrella to encompass all my creative pursuits. One of the themes/logos that came up was the green hand. The two things I find myself drawn to over and over again are eyes and hands. The original green hand has an eye in the center of its palm. The art track fizzled, though I maintain a sporadic studio practice and do not intend to give up making my work, ever.

I stumbled across the green hand when I was casting about for a name and logo for the shop. Somehow, it just insinuated itself into place as the only option!! So far it has been ideal. It suggests something mysterious, which in turn generates curiosity (I hope!), and at the same time the green alludes to growth (five times the power of a mere green thumb!). On a more literary level, it pertains to the pulp magazine imagery of a green hand reaching out to some hapless victim, or an alien hand, perhaps... alluring dread!

What can visitors expect when they cross the threshold to The Green Hand Bookshop?

They can expect a wide variety of subject matter in the shop's inventory, which I take great pains to keep well-organized and carefully curated. The shop, very atypically for a used bookshop (at least from what I can tell from people's reactions), is spacious and bright. I won't spoil the surprise of the first thing you see coming through the door! But there are old-fashioned streetlamps, and a bench for perching on, and some old wooden chairs, and thousands of delicious books to browse through for as long as you like. :)

You share your storefront space with a fascinating museum. Could you talk a little about that?

The International Cryptozoology Museum shares space with the Green Hand in a wonderfully symbiotic relationship. To enter the museum, you approach the gate at the back of the bookshop, and therein lie many marvelous things, some naturally occurring, some man-made. Loren Coleman, the museum's owner and a well-known cryptozoologist in his own right, is there to give you your tour personally more often than not, which is handy if you have some of his books that you'd like him to sign while you're visiting. Fans of Bigfoot, the yeti, the Mothman, chupacabras, and many other mysterious and rare creatures will be in seventh heaven when they walk through the door.

You are also the creator of the fantastic Strange Maine blog. How did that come about?

I found it baffling that no one had formed a single site online that collected resources about Maine's intriguing elements. Add to that my unfortunate propensity for doing things instead of waiting for someone else to do them, and.... well you get the picture.

Your husband Tristan also runs a marvelous business right across the street from The Green Hand. What can visitors expect to find there?

The Fun Box Monster Emporium is a throwback to the toy emporiums of old and at the same time practically a museum of homage to the pop culture of the 1980s. Good stuff! Not only does he carry a ridiculous variety of action figures and other collectibles of the '80s, he also has vintage video games up the wazoo, not to mention the actual working pinball and arcade machines he keeps the shop popping with. In other words, it's fun.

Any exciting future plans or upcoming events at The Green Hand?

We're psyched to have Dan Blakeslee, a.k.a. Doctor Gasp, playing deliriously eerie Halloween tunes here on the night of October 13th, and Lynne Cullen telling wicked spooky stories the night before Halloween. We are also happy to be hosting meetings of the Speakeasy Society, which is made up of folks who are keen on the Jazz Age world of silent films and their stars. Who knows what we'll do next?!

Thank you for taking the time to answer my questions Michelle.

The Green Hand Bookshop is located at:

661 Congress Street
Portland, ME 04101

REVIEW: "The Painted Darkness"

"The Painted Darkness" by Brian James Freeman is a quick, captivating read. The novella, published by small horror press veteran Cemetery Dance, sets the reader into the mind of Henry as he spends his time sunk into working on his paintings. The pieces are of a fantasy/horror bent, featuring monsters and blood, and he paints them as though in a trance, motivated by a mantra whose genesis is buried deep in his childhood – “I paint against the darkness.” He sets his brush to canvas with his father’s advice to him as a child ringing in his ears: “Just start at the beginning and the rest will take care of itself.” As he begins to work, his mind empties. Hours later he emerges from a fog after placing the latest piece carefully down with its face to the wall. It is not until much later that he inspects the latest series of work, flipping them over one after another, to see just what horrors he has painted this time.

His involvement in his work to the exclusion of all else has his wife Sarah worried. They’ve just had a fight over the amount of time he’s been spending in his attic studio, high up in the remote old stone farmhouse they recently bought. The fight caught Henry off guard as he was hurrying back upstairs to finish the latest piece. He hadn’t realized how upset Sarah was. After he went back upstairs, she left, driving off in the minivan with their three year old son Dillon to visit her parents.

Now Henry is in the old house, all alone. Alone except for the presence of his fears, a blank canvas, an approaching blizzard, a cranky and potentially dangerous old boiler in the basement, and… something else. Something so terrifying and unknown that he hasn’t seen the likes of it since that time when he was five years old.

Since he doesn’t really remember that event so well, he has no idea what he’s up against. He just knows it is very, very bad.

* * *

The novella is a tricky form. Too long to be a short story, yet not quite long enough to be a novel, its very easy to make it feel like it’s either a short story that’s been padded out or that it’s an embryonic novel not fully fleshed out. “The Painted Darkness” is one of those novellas that makes one want more, which is the better end of the spectrum to land on, as far as this reviewer is concerned.

The suspense is effective, caught as the reader is between the multiple threats of unmanageable ready-to-explode boilers, blizzards, lonely madness, upset wife, and unspeakable Other Horrors. The best ingredient, however, is the memory of child-Harry. The glimpses into his five-year-old mind’s experiences are like wandering into a snow globe crafted by my favorite kind of horror master – one who can drop tiny bits of what-was-that into the real world, creating a magic both terrifying and alluring at the same time.

All in all, a good read to curl up with by the fire on a cold winter night.

Friday, December 10, 2010

Free Videoport offer if you Buy Local!

Wow, just when you thought ol' Father Christmas couldn't think up anything else, the elves at Videoport came up with a great idea. For every $10+ purchase you make at a Buy Local business (which includes the Green Hand Bookshop) between now and December 18th, you can get a free video rental at Videoport to watch while you're wrapping your gifts! No kidding!

For a full list of vendors, see the IndieBiz directory at

Be sure to get your receipt at the register and hang onto it for reimbursement at good ol' Videoport!

Saturday, December 4, 2010

REVIEW: "The Little Stranger" and others

After a spate recent recommendations from friends, I picked up "The Little Stranger" for a try, and in this way had the uneasy pleasure of finally reading my first Sarah Waters book.

This story starts with golden, hazy recollections by village practitioner Dr. Faraday of his sole encounter as a youth with a fabled local manor estate, Hundreds Hall. Unfortunately, the reality of the present day is not so rosy. By chance, and later by habit and fascination, Faraday finds himself bit by bit becoming entwined in the everyday life of the Ayres family.

They still retain their position as longtime gentry of the countryside, but over the years the estate has been eaten away until its footprint encompasses only the grounds of the house itself, an adjoining park, and their struggling farm nearby. Mrs. Ayres remains as lovely and gracious as ever, but her two children, now grown, show the signs of their post-war struggles to maintain the property in spite of the times.  The labor of keeping up appearances has reduced them to the point where their personal appearances hint at a certain eccentricity, as niceties are replaced by necessities.

I found it very easy to get pulled into the strange vortex of the world of The Little Stranger's characters. As the book starts, the reader settles into post-WWII Britain, where everyone lives with the ghosts of not only the war, but also of the way England lived before the war. The tension between then, now, and in-between is palpable, and the pain it causes the Ayres family and Dr. Faraday is at times raw, pushing everyone's to their breaking point as they attempt to maintain the "proper" British facade at all costs.

It takes a while for the really eerie part of the story, the title's haunting, to kick in. By that time, you're sailing along thinking you're safe in these staid, British seas. Well, keep brewing that hot tea and stocking up on biscuits, because you won't want to put the book down once the story kicks into gear. I won't give any spoilers here.

For me, this book aligns itself with others I've read in the last couple of years that harbor an obsession, mild on the surface but running deep, with lost family property and the feel of the land and its old houses. Those who enjoy The Little Stranger, and like a story with an undercurrent of the supernatural, will likely enjoy these too. Both books I am thinking of are by author John Harwood.

His debut novel, The Ghost Writer, shares with The Little Stranger a lingering sense of the post-war years in Britain. It is fundamentally intriguing and the ending ... well, perhaps you should just read it for yourself. The text is set up so that it is interspersed with short ghost stories written by the narrator's lost Victorian ancestor, a real treat for someone like myself that has a soft spot for supernatural fiction tidbits tied in with an intriguing, overarching storyline.

Harwood's second novel is the one I read first -- The Seance. It was the first Victorian pastiche I've read in a long time that felt real and sincere -- in other words, truly seemed like something written long ago, with more solid underpinnings than modern make-believe. Tremendously haunting, and full of deeply-felt gothic undertones, the book is also rich with compelling mysteries and characters that will keep you turning the pages long after dark.

There is an excellent discussion by Shade Point, with links leading to others, of The Little Stranger's narrative and the controversy that has been swirling around Waters' storytelling methods that I highly recommend to the curious and to those who have read the book already:

Friday, November 19, 2010

EVENT: First Friday Artwalk "Flights of Fantasy" opening

We are very, very excited for the holiday-riffic Artwalk coming up in a couple of weeks! Besides debuting some truly magical artwork by David Stoddard, we're also happy to spread the rumor that The Watchers will be playing, and KittyWitch Perfumery will be plying their essential intoxicating wares for those hunting for perfectly delectable stocking stuffers.

The whimsical artwork of Portland artist David Stoddard features Wizards, Faeries, and Dragons, as well as Robots, Vampires, and Mad Scientists. Throw in a healthy dose of steampunk and there's something for everyone. David works in a variety of mediums, including Watercolor, Acrylic, and colored pencil. The "Flights of Fantasy" show will be up throught the months of December 2010 and January 2011 for your viewing pleasure.

Additional super-fun December First Friday BONUS:
Those of you who had the chance to swing through November's First Friday may remember hearing the mysterious surf stylings of The Watchers. Rumor is, they will be setting up and swinging again during part of the evening!!! Santa hats and some sort of Christmas madness may be involved.

PLUS: KittyWitch Perfumery will be on hand with their delicious handcrafted essential oil scents in case you are looking for an irresistible stocking stuffer for yourself or someone special! You can preview some of their goodies here:

Michael Connor, of Coelacanthus zine, is also going to be selling his wonderiffic small drawings at our mini craft fair.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

EVENT: Gleefully grim ghost tales!

Join storyteller Lynne Cullen amid the shelves of old books at the Green Hand Bookshop as she shares her darkest folktales in the shadow of the Crookston Bigfoot.

WHAT: Stories from the Dark
WHEN: Saturday, October 30th, 2010 @ 7:00pm
WHERE: The Green Hand Bookshop, 661 Congress Street, Portland ME
COST: Free (although donations will be gladly accepted by the artist).

The only hint that Lynne will give about the tales she will tell, is this; "If people ask, you might want to tell them that the stories aren't for small children, encompassing as they do: gore, mother murder, father murder, walling people up, fire breathing black goats, dead babies, and the like. I know that kids 12 and up have probably seen it all, so they're probably OK. I'm just sayin'."

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Sacred and Profane festival 2010!

This year Sacred and Profane is on Saturday, October 23rd, leaving Portland on the 2:15pm Peaks Island ferry boat! The Green Hand is pleased to be one of the ticket purchase points this year. Tickets are now available!

Every year Peaks Island hosts this festival around the time of a full moon during harvest season. Artists are gathered months ahead to prepare for a transformation of the abandoned Battery Steele, which sits at the center of the island.

On arrival at the island, visitors approach the event in a procession, encountering costumed performers and other unknowns along the way. No electricity is available, so participants wander through the different rooms of the complex by provided candlelight. Site specific works are many and varied, and the experience is apt to product a mystified, euphoric mood in participants as they wander through, never knowing what they'll encounter next. It's its own kind of spooky. :)

At the tail end of the festival, delicious hot food is provided to visitors before they depart back to the mainland.

Visitors are responsible for buying their ferry tickets at the Casco Bay Lines terminal. Festival tickets are sold separately and are $10 each. The number of tickets is limited due to capacity, so advance purchase is encouraged. Tickets are available at Strange Maine (the shop, at 578 Congress Street, Portland, ME 207-771-9997, and at the Green Hand Bookshop (661 Congress Street, Portland 207-450-6695

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Dear Mr. Poe

Today is the 161st anniversary of Poe's death. If you have a chance, pick up Peter Ackroyd's brief biography of him which focuses on his last days, called Poe: A Life Cut Short. A quick, heavily intriguing read.

Here's to you, Mr. Poe, and your writing, which to this day is still right up there among the American literary pantheon. Good job in spite of all the rest.

Illustration (c)2006 Michelle Souliere.

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

EVENT: A house visit from spooky Dr. Gasp!

As I cast about looking for the perfect spooky Halloween treats to have at my shop, wondering what fun events could be added to the calendar for all you fine folks out there, little did I realize that one of my favorite annual Halloween events would fall right into my lap!

WHAT: Halloween Music with Dan Blakeslee, a.k.a. Doctor Gasp
WHEN: October 13, 2010 @ 8:00pm
WHERE: The Green Hand Bookshop, 661 Congress St, Portland ME
COST: $5 suggested donation gladly accepted.
FMI: (207)450-6695 or email me at michelle.souliere[at]
You can RSVP if you'd like at the event page on Facebook

Doctor Gasp is paying a house visit at the Green Hand Bookshop! Doors open at 7:00, and Dan Blakeslee will tune up and be ready to shake his chains at you by 8:00! Who knows what disguise the doctor will be wearing this year? Family friendly spooktakular rompings!!!

This event is free, although donations will be appreciated. The Green Hand Bookshop is located at 661 Congress Street, near Longfellow Square in Portland, next to Joe's Smoke Shop.

Can't wait for the lucky 13th? Just click below to see the fantastic little video for one of my favorite Halloween songs by Dan, "Vampire Fish"!!!

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Dr. Rabbit's Foundling - Tiny Toad amuck!

Occasionally I run across a kids' book that defies previously established levels of cuteness. Cyndy Szekere's work often fits that category. Who can forget her illustrations of fuzzy critters and their adventures for books like Pippa Mouse and The Clumpets Go Sailing, and her own Tiny Paw Library and The Mouse That Jack Built (among many others)?

At the shop, I just put out a copy of Doctor Rabbit's Foundling, by Jan Wahl. It was a great chance to dip into one of her books I hadn't yet had the pleasure of meeting. In this story, Dr. Rabbit comes across a little bamboo bucket and a note from a sad mother. To his surprise, the tiny bucket has a tadpole in it. The weeks pass, and the tadpole grows into Tiny Toad, and boy, doesn't Tiny Toad give the doctor a run for his money! I can't recommend this sweet book highly enough. :)

I've scanned a few pages for you to look at and get an idea of how irresistible the book really is for yourselves! Click on the images to see larger versions.

There is a terrific autobiographical article about Cyndy here:

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Stickers! We've got 'em!

Well, it has finally come to pass that we have some super-dandy Green Hand stickers for sale at the shop now! Hooray! Now I have to figure out places to stick 'em. :)

Saturday, September 4, 2010

The exotic representative of the Alhambra

Is his smile shy, or coy, or.... ?
Every now and then I come across intriguing cover image choices, and this is definitely the oddest one I've ever seen on a classic Washington Irving book!
Found on an old, petite hardcover edition of Irving's Alhambra originating in Granada, Spain, as published by Editorial Padre Suarez. The cover art is captioned on the front flap as "G. Morcillo: The Prince Ahmed." The book sold for 95 pesetas.

Saturday, August 28, 2010

FMR: most beautiful magazine

Back in the early 1990s, in my many hours spent browsing at Yes Books here in Portland, I encountered a fabulous magazine, lushly printed like no other, and full of a fascinating array of articles. Every issue seemed to be hand-picked to reflect my interests! That magazine was FMR. Recently, I came across a stack of back issues at a rummage sale, which are now out on the shelf in the shop. It's been so nice to revisit them!

Topics are many and varied, from antique androids to colonial era gravestone art to ... well, you name it!

To quote, since they seem to have summed it up so nicely,
The magazine bears Francomaria Ricci's initials as its title 'FMR'. Pronounced in French, the title appears to read 'ephémère'. First and foremost 'FMR' is an object. 'The most beautiful magazine in the world' acts as a model for perfection, presenting noteworthy iconological
and art historical studies without being pedantic.

Magnificent, large photographs, and exquisite drawings are faithfully reproduced on a black background, the pictures and the clear bodonian type stand out brightly -- isolated shapes in their chromatic relief and in their volumes in order to help the eye to contemplate attentively.

(Be sure to visit their site, as it is striking and full of delicious design goodies.)

Sunday, August 22, 2010

EVENT: First Friday Artwalk "Relics" opening

The Green Hand is very pleased to present "Relics," a series of digital and traditional photographs depicting industrial decay, anachronism, and forgotten places around Portland and Southern Maine, as captured by the intrepid Eric Pomorski.
WHAT: First Friday Artwalk opening of "Relics" by Eric Pomorski
WHEN: Friday, September 3rd, 2010 from 5:00-8:00pm
WHERE: The Green Hand Bookshop, 661 Congress Street, Portland, ME
FMI: (207)450-6695 or see the Facebook event page

Fans of urban exploration, abandoned mill buildings, and other remnants of Maine's past will be especially interested in this show. A wide range of Eric's work is posted on Flickr here:

We are very excited to have his work on display throughout the month of September!

Wednesday, July 21, 2010


Well, nothing ever stands still here in the shop. The other week we started work on expanding the sci-fi/fantasy section, and today we kicked off another chain reaction.

A few of the changes:
-- The literary biographies (authors and poets) have their own little bookcase now.
-- There is now an "Adventure and Intrigue" fiction section, with everything from spy novels to Civil War novels to nautical adventure, etc.
-- The "Exploration" and "Arctic" sections have been moved out of History into the section that also houses the shipbuilding/sailing books. It seemed like a natural fit!
-- There is a new Art section bookcase right at the front of the store as you come in, housing some of the oversized books, some art history, photography, and Collectible guides (including autos/airplanes).

On the agenda as we move more stuff around:
-- Adding a pair of double-sided cases near the counter, where the "New Arrivals" table is now, one of which will house the weird non-fiction.
--Expanding the horror section into the tall bookcase which previously housed the weird non-fiction books.

Hot diggity! There's no sitting-on-hands going on here. :) More to come, too... stay tuned!

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Tom Swift mysteries

I'm about to put out a stack of the old creamtone hardcovers of the Tom Swift books (which will complement the shop's collection of later editions nicely). Leafing through Tom Swift in the Land of Wonders a section caught my eye, in Chapter XI: The Vampires... enjoy!
Tom laughed quietly.
"A shadow!" he exclaimed. "Since when were you afraid of shadows, Ned?"
"I'm not afraid of ordinary shadows," answered Ned, and in his voice there was an uncertain tone. "I'm not afraid of my shadow or yours, Tom, or anybody's that I can see. But this wasn't any human shadow. It was as if a great big blob of wet darkness had been waved over your head."
"That's a queer explanation," Tom said in a low voice. "A great big blob of wet darkness!"
"But that just describes it," went on Ned, looking up and around. "It was just as if you were in a dark room, and some one waved a wet velvet cloak over your head -- spooky like!"

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

T. H. White waxes ordinary

Another delectable morsel from a book world gone by -- from a 1936 hardcover of T. H. White's "England Have My Bones" comes this charming introductory explanation of the contents:
This book cannot pretend to be written by a naturalist, and it is not for naturalists. It is a book about things, for people who have lost them; because it has given me pleasure to rediscover my things, and I should like to shew them to other people who might be pleased as well.

It has turned into a book about the tangible side of country life. People, I felt, ought to pay more attention to the temperature of their baths, and the way they fill their pipes, and the birds who are squandering their song for a chance audience, and the spectacles of nature that give food for the pleasures of rumination, and the construction of fires, and the time to drink sherry, and the season at which a hot water bottle improves upon the comfort of warming one's own bed. In fact, it is an empirical book, an effort to return to the various world. Sport is a good way of doing that.

At the same time, I am sorry to feel that it must be a book which requires apology, or at least explanation. Fishermen will be maddened by the flying, aviators by the snakes, zoologists by the instructions for playing darts. It may seem a fair criticism to say that too many things are done, and none of them expertly.

Thursday, June 24, 2010

EVENT: New Philadelphia Poets LIVE! Saturday

On this Saturday evening, June 26th, members of the poetry collective New Philadelphia Poets will be reading at the Green Hand Bookshop. Additionally guitarist Jeff Brennan will be performing songs. The event is free!

WHAT: New Philadelphia Poets live poetry reading!
WHEN: Saturday, June 26, 5:30pm
WHERE: The Green Hand Bookshop, 661 Congress Street, Portland ME 04101
COST: Free!
FMI: Call the shop at (207)450-6695

You can RSVP online at the Facebook event page:

The New Philadelphia Poets ( is currently composed of nine members: Debrah Morkun, Patrick Lucy, Sarah Heady, Angel Hogan, Matthew Landis, Carlos Soto Roman, Marion Bell, Jamie Townsend, and Gregory Bem. Based throughout the city of Philadelphia, the group is always rearranging its perspectives and fluctuating in its activities.

NPP’s primary focus is on arranging events that encourage the poetic culture of Philadelphia and welcome the influx of traveling writers and artists in a diverse spectrum of venues. Recent events have included Reckoning the Decade at the Bowery Poetry Club in New York, where NPP presented a retrospective on the first decade of the 21st century, and Invisible Keepsakes, an alchemical carnival put on in Isaiah Zagar’s Magic Gardens on South Street in Philadelphia during the 2009 Philly Fringe Festival.
Individual Performer Information:
Jeff Brennan comes from many places and has many homes, but currently lives in the Northern Liberties neighborhood of Philadelphia. He went to Roger Williams University where he experienced an existential decapitation via the academic scythe, and then moved to New York and suffered harsh employment conditions in every borough. Now in the City of Brotherly Love, he works with the estranged staff of the Philadelphia International Airport. He maintains his sanity in this madness by selling books about dysfunctional families, writing short fiction on the desert, dogs, and mothers, and by composing albums that comment on the destructive force of escalator life and pharmaceutical determinism.

Sarah Heady grew up in New York's Hudson Valley and moved to Philadelphia in 2007, after graduating from Oberlin College with degrees in art history and creative writing. She has been writing and producing events with the New Philadelphia Poets ever since, including the recently-birthed Jubilant Thicket series in South Philly she has started with Debrah Morkun, which features poets of all types and wine from the Philadelphia region. She is currently working on a poetic project centered around abandoned American spaces, Ohio and Bruce Springsteen. Sarah's day job consists of doing incredibly boring tasks for an incredibly cool organization, the City of Philadelphia Mural Arts Program. She likes to bike around the city and lose herself in nostalgia for American artifacts tossed aside by others. Ask her about the theme park.

Gregory Bem was born in Illinois, grew up in Gorham, Maine, lived in Rhode Island for a minute, and now finds his home in an ex-teddy bear factory in central Philadelphia. The screams of faux bear birth are loud and uncomfortable. Four days a week he works as an academic support aide at Olney High School West in North Philadelphia, which has the worst attendance and strongest academic failure in the city. The other three days are spent performing community service projects throughout the city, and working at Reading Terminal Market, the country’s largest covered urban market, as a gourmet grocery clerk. He’s an advocate for exploring urban decay, believes in the happiness of baking, runs Lone Byte Presson and off line, and with the New Philadelphia Poets hosts events and initiatives all over Philadelphia.

Debrah Morkun is one of the founding members of the New Philadelphia Poets. After hopscotching across the country in search of nameless wonders in places like San Francisco and New York City, Debrah aligned herself with the stars over Philadelphia. She currently lives in the Fishtown neighborhood with all the old ghosts and poets, and teaches college courses at a variety of local colleges and universities, but can be seen in many realms seeking out memory tapes, exploring structures of abandonment, and trying to find the historical heart and soul of American fortune, misfortune, and tradition. Her first full-length book of poems, Projection Machine, was released by BlazeVox Books in April 2010. She currently curates series and events with a community of others and is collecting inspiration for her current project, Hera Calf (working title). Says Debrah, “For this project I have a palette of influences, including The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, National Geographic Guide to American Railroads, abandoned Detroit, Cleveland, Frick's Lock, Chippewa Lake Park, etc. Early Rock 'N Roll, auctioneers, train schedules, Detroit Techno, POP! art, amusement parks, Arthur Miller's The Price, nostalgia. Tall Tales, John Chapman, Brother Jonathan, Old Nick, Samuel Wilson, John Henry. Motown. Memory Tapes. Documentary folklore.”

Review: A Dark Matter

“No more than a dark shimmer in the air.” --Howard “Hootie” Bly

A Dark Matter is Peter Straub’s latest novel. Don’t let the fact that his work is classified as horror scare you away. This categorization glosses over the fact that in reality Straub writes speculative fiction of a highly literate nature, with a special focus on the shadows, which is true in this case and in past novels such as Shadowland.

As A Dark Matter opens, Lee Harwell is in search of his past. More correctly, he is in search of the past of his wife and friends, who experienced something one night in 1966 that they never explained to him, never let him in on, and never shared, though it shaped their lives and his from that night on.

In the mid 1960s, the ripples of world change were striding across the American landscape. There were those who adroitly gauged the effects of the growing social unrest and seized upon that wave. One of these was Spencer Mallon, a young adventurer guru, who swept into Madison, Wisconsin, and wowed his way into the hearts, minds, pantries and bedrooms of a series of young students.

All that talk of heady epiphanies ended on a night in mid-October, leaving behind Lee’s friends, forever altered, and another student’s mangled body in a field. There had been a transformation, as Mallon promised, but it wasn’t what any of them had expected.

Four decades later, Lee tries to put the pieces back together again, one person at a time.

Peter Straub’s books hold for me a certain type of enchantment, an allure that makes it difficult to nail down in my own words an accurate impression of his work. It has to do with mystery. It has to do with fleeting impressions and momentary glimpses that make you wonder. What was that about? Where did it come from? Did I really see that? Did I really hear that? Would a “yes” in answer to those last two questions really be a good thing?

Perhaps this quote from Lewis Carroll’s Through the Looking Glass will make matters a little clearer:
`The name of the song is called "Haddocks' Eyes."'
`Oh, that's the name of the song, is it?' Alice said, trying to feel interested.
`No, you don't understand,' the Knight said, looking a little vexed. `That's what the name is called. The name really is "The Aged Aged Man."'
`Then I ought to have said "That's what the song is called"?' Alice corrected herself.
`No, you oughtn't: that's quite another thing! The song is called "Ways and Means": but that's only what it's called, you know!'
`Well, what is the song, then?' said Alice, who was by this time completely bewildered.
`I was coming to that,' the Knight said. `The song really is "A-sitting On A Gate": and the tune's my own invention.'
You see?

I’m pretty sure I need to sit down and read the book again, because I want to. It’s been a few months now since I finished reading it for this review. It’s taken me that long to try to really process how the book captured me (and I still can’t quite do it). A lot of other reviewers have complained about the lack of oomph in the ending. I can see that – I think I myself felt a little let down, after the highs of the story itself. But if Straub really was doing an experiment with this book, in which time and perception weave their layers as bizarrely as they do in real life and its memories, why does the story really need an ending?

“You’ll see. Everything stops when you open the door.” --Spencer Mallon

Thursday, June 17, 2010

New Arrivals - 6/17/10

Lots of P.G. Wodehouse, a bunch of mysteries from Soho's excellent authors, a couple of Agatha Christie hardcovers, and some tasty cookbooks!

Heart Of A Goof by P.G. Wodehouse
King Of The Golden River by John Ruskin, illustrated by Iassen Ghiuselev (Victorian fairy tale)
Legend Of Sigurd and Gudrun by J.R.R. Tolkien
Meet Mr Mulliner by P.G. Wodehouse
Mr. American by George MacDonald Fraser
Mulliner Nights by P.G. Wodehouse
Very Good, Jeeves by P.G. Wodehouse Young Men In Spats by P.G. Wodehouse

Alive In Necropolis by Doug Dorst
Chorister At The Abbey (Norbridge Chronicles Murder Mysteries) by Lis Howell Curse Of The Pogo Stick by Colin Cotterill (Soho)
Deep Night by Caroline Petit
A Grave In Gaza (Omar Yussef Mysteries) by Matt Rees (Soho)
Headhunters: An Inspector Hen Mallin Investigation by Peter Lovesey (Soho)
Hurting Distance by Sophie Hannah
Murder At The Vicarage by Agatha Christie
Murder Of Roger Ackroyd by Agatha Christie
No More Dying by David Roberts
Siren Of The Waters (Commander Jana Matinova Investigation) by Michael Genelin (Soho)
State Counsellor: Further Adventures of Fandorin (Erast Fandorin 6) by B. Akunin
Year Of The Dog: A Detective Jack Yu Investigation by Henry Chang (Soho)

Baker's Odyssey: Celebrating Time-Honored Recipes from America's Rich Immigrant Heritage by Greg Patent, Dave McLean, and Kelly Gorham (cookbook)
Good Spirits: Recipes, Revelations, Refreshments, and Romance, Shaken and Served with a Twist by A. J. Rathbun (cocktail recipes)
Luscious Creamy Desserts by Lori Longbotham (cookbook)

Enigma Of The Knights Templar: Their History and Mystical Connections by Marilyn Hopkins (pictorial history)
Far Out: 101 Strange Tales From Science's Outer Edge by Mark Pilkington
Kali by Sarah Caldwell
The Last Fish Tale by Mark Kulansky (Gloucester MA history)
Monster Of Florence by Douglas Preston and Mario Spezi (true crime)
Spellbound By Beauty: Alfred Hitchcock and His Leading Ladies by Donald Spoto

Monday, June 14, 2010

EVENT: Hidden History of Maine author!

WHAT: Author appearance
WHEN: Saturday, June 19, 2010 at 12:00 noon
WHERE: The Green Hand Bookshop, 661 Congress Street, Portland, ME
FMI: call (207)450-6695 or email michelle.souliere[at]

Come to the Green Hand Bookshop for a reading and signing of the Hidden History of Maine by Harry Gratwick!

The history of the Pine Tree State would be bare but for the contributions of hardy and impassioned individuals—generals, governors, settlers and activists whose lives of leadership make up the story of Maine’s “hidden history.”

Author Harry Gratwick creates intimate and detailed portraits of these Mainers, from the controversial missionary of Sebastien Rale to Woolwich native William Phips, whose seafaring attacks against French Canada earned him the first governorship of the Massachusetts Bay Colony.

Gratwick also profiles inventors who “challenged the assumptions of [their] time and place,” such as Robert Benjamin Lewis, an African American from Gardiner who patented a hair growth product in the 1830’s, and Margaret Knight, a York native who defied nineteenth-century sexism to earn the nickname “the female Edison.”

Discover over four hundred years of Maine’s history through the tales of its unique residents, from soprano Lillian Nordica, who left Farmington to become the most glamorous American opera singer of her day, to slugger George “Piano Legs” Gore, the only Mainer to have ever won a Major League batting championship.

Harry Gratwick is a lifelong summer resident of Vinalhaven Island in Penobscot Bay. He is an active member of the Vinalhaven Historical Society and has written extensively on maritime history for two Island Institute publications, the Working Waterfront and the Island Journal. Harry and his wife, Tita, spend the winter months in Philadelphia. Hidden History of Maine is his second book.

Friday, June 11, 2010

Marguerite Henry's horse books

When I was a kid, I went on a tear through the series of horse books that Marguerite Henry wrote. Between the stellar illustrations inside and out, and the remarkably clear descriptions of horse life and human drama within their pages, these books captivated me. Beyond her books and the horse classics, like Black Beauty and the Black Stallion books, I never felt inclined to read any other horse books. And in all honesty, her books seized me far more than the other equine classics did.

To this day, I still remember story elements from them.

We have a stack of the nice vintage oversized editions of a number of her books now in stock at the shop, and hopefully they will go on to delight a new generation of readers from here!

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Review: Arcadia Falls

I was pleasantly surprised to find that Carol Goodman’s latest book, Arcadia Falls, is an excellent page-turner. It opens by introducing us to Meg Rosenthal and her daughter Sally, as they leave behind a life that ended abruptly with the premature death of Jude, Sally's father and Meg's husband. Used to the affluent and high-profile environment that his financial trading job had demanded, they had been blissfully unaware of the debts he had incurred to maintain their lifestyle, and of Jude’s treacherous survivalist maneuvers which included cashing out Sally's college fund to cover the failing hedge fund investments of his clients.

Faced with these facts after his death, they had to sell everything, from their Great Neck house to almost the last stick of furniture they owned. Meg is forced to jumpstart her academic career, which had been suspended in order to start their family. This brings them to Arcadia Falls, a small upstate New York town that is home to the Arcadia School, once a breakaway artist colony, now a boarding school that challenges youngsters to explore their talents and develop their minds away from the crush of the urban world. Meg is to begin teaching a class in folklore to the students, and Sally is allowed to enroll and continue her schooling in the midst of a strange environment and a new set of peers.

However, it was not these elementary plot lines that drew me into the story. The allure for me is in the thread of darkly beautiful folklore and fairy tales woven into and around the school, its history, and its current day events. The tales, told within the storyline of the Rosenthals’ encounter with the school, are exquisite and challenging. Published by the school’s founders, Lily Eberhardt and Vera Beecher, in order to help fund the shift from artist colony to academy, the tales are magic, pure and simple. When retold on the school’s grounds, where apple orchards lift their gnarled arms to the sky in imitation of the storyteller’s sentient woods, and rumors of a white-gowned ghost that haunts a treacherous gorge recall other tales, they become all the more real.

Author Carol Goodman creates Arcadia Falls so well that it truly exists, a living symbiosis of trees, rocks, old barn studios and school classrooms, peopled by the students and teachers of today and their inescapable ties to the artists of the past. As Meg explores this world, so do we. From secret panels in the old school cottage she lives in, to luminous allegorical paintings, to collections of old letters and school documents, and chance conversations with artists who are now residents in the small town nearby, bit by bit the story comes to light.

What is made abundantly clear is that nothing is simple, or simply explained, when humans are involved. Our need to create stories, and to bind or sever our ties with the past, overrides common sense, overrides what others might see as the truth, and rewrites history with every breath.

This book will appeal to mystery-lovers, fans of folklore and fairy tales, those curious about the fabled havens of artists, and students of the human condition in general. It also reminded me of certain enchanting elements that attracted me to the book Garden Spells, by Sarah Addison Allen, an atypically fluffy read for me. While this is the first of Goodman's books I've read, it is likely that I'll finally pick up some of her other books to read now that I've had such luck with this one. She is best known for The Lake of Dead Languages and The Night Villa.

Saturday, June 5, 2010

Insel Bucherei treasure trove

The other weekend I picked up a stack of slim, intriguing volumes in German.
Printed in Leipzig by Insel Verlag under their Insel Bucherei (Island Library) imprint in the early part of the 20th century, this series of books went on to inspire the well-known and highly collectible series of similarly designed King Penguin book series.

Insel Verlag began by exclusively printing exquisitely crafted high-cost books. However, with the start of the Insel Bucherei series in 1912, they recognized the need to produce affordable and attractive editions designed to appeal to customers with more modest financial means.
Book lovers still rejoice over these attractive volumes, which focused on shorter works by well-known authors. Subject matter ranges from fiction, to poetry, to art, to scholarly and philosophical texts. Some have quite lovely illustrations, and many are graced with the heavy script of old-fashioned German text.
For those curious about the equally delightful King Penguin books, there is a terrific gallery at Stella and Rose's Books here:

The stack I acquired shows a wide range of wear. A common issue with these volumes is the loss of the spine. Chipping, yellowing, and soiling are evident in many cases as well. However, a small number of the books in this particular lot are remarkably free of wear.

The Green Hand, as of this morning, has the following titles in stock. Please, please, please -- forgive my very hack German translations! Titles with an asterisk next to the volume number are in excellent condition. With the exception of the first listing, all texts are in German, many of them in old blackletter type.

#9 Vittoria Accoramboni: Les Cenci (in French, Insel Bucherei's Pandora No. 9) by Frederic de Stendhal

#67 Dialog vom Marsyas by Hermann Bahr (a philosophical discussion of art)

#74 Portugiesische Briefe: Die Briefe der Marianna Alcoforado (Portugese Letters) by Rainer Maria Rilke

#76* Herodias by Gustave Flaubert

#81 Von Gottes: und Liebfrauenminne: Lieder aus Deutscher Mystik (Of God and Love of Our Lady: Songs from German Mysticism, translated into modern German) by H. A. Grimm

#88 Dantons Tod (Danton's Death: A Drama) by Georg Buchner

#113 Gottfried Keller by Ricarda Huch

#210* Das Gericht des Meeres: Erzahlung (The Court of the Sea) by Gertrud von le Fort

#220 Die Ballade vom Zuchthaus zu Reading (The Ballad of Reading Gaol) by Oscar Wilde

#221* Bilder des Todes (Images of Death) by Hans Holbein (illustrated)

#222 Die Vierundzwanzig Sonette der Louize Labe (The 24 Sonnets of Louize Labe) by Rainer Maria Rilke

#224 Aus dem Leben eines Taugenichts: mit Doppeltitel von Emil Preetorius (The Life of a Scoundrel) by Joseph von Eichendorff

#241 Beethovens Personliche Aufzeichnungen (Beethoven's Letters and Personal Records) collected and explained by Albert Leitzmann

#250 Die Kleine Passion (The Little Passion) by Albrecht Durer (illustrated)

#251 Das Evangelium und die Briefe S. Johannis: In der letzten Fassung der Lutherschen Ubertragung (The Gospel and Letters of St. John, Low Lutheran translation)

#252 Sonette aus dem Portugiesischen: Ubertragen von Rainer Maria Rilke (Sonnets from the Portugese) by Elizabeth Barret-Browning

#257 Fragmente (Fragments) by Novalis

#257* Gedichte und Gedanken (Poems and Thoughts) by Novalis

#260* Aus dem Irrgarten der Liebe: Verliebte, launenhafte, moralische und andere Lieder und Gedichte (From the Labyrinth of Love) by Otto Julius Bierbaum

#263* Malerei und Zeichnung: Mit einer Federzeichnung Klingers (Painting and Drawing with a Pen) by Max Klinger

#269 Uber die Aufgaben des Geschichtschreibers (On the Task of the Historian) by Wilhelm von Humboldt

#287* Ehegeschichten (Getting Married: short stories) by August Strindberg

#295* Lucinde (Lucinde: A Romance) by Friedrich Schlegel

#300 Einfuhrung in Die Phanomenologie des Giestes (Introduction to the Phenomenology of Spirit) by Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel

#312* Die Betenntnisse des Hochstaplers Felix Krull (The Confession of Felix Krull) by Thomas Mann

#315 Von dem Fischer un Syner Fru (The Fisherman and His Wife: A Fairy Tale) by Philipp Otto Runge with 7 illustrations by Marcus Behmer

#452* Das Hausbuch: Bilder aus dem deutschen Mittelalter (The House Book: Images from the German Middle Ages) by an Unknown Master (illustrated)

#454* Vom Baum des Lebens: Ausgewahlte Gedichte (From the Tree of Life: Selected Poems) by Hermann Hesse

#457* Die Schellenkappe: Alte Deutsche Schwanke aus den Sammlungen des 16 Jahrhunderts (The Cap and Bells: Old German Tales in Verse [farces?] from the collections of the 16th Century) selected by Severin Ruttgers

#464* Schiller und Seine Welt (Schiller and His World) by Eugen Kuhnemann

#469 Quellen des Lebens (Source of Life: Outlines of a World View) by Richarda Huch (this volume is the only paperback in the lot)

#477* Deutsches Handwerk im Mittelalter: bilder aus dem hausbuch der Mendelschen Zwolfbruderstiftung in Nurnberg (German Craftsmanship in the Middle Ages: images from the house book of the Mendelschen Zwolfbruderstiftung in Nurnberg) with a foreword by Frederich Bod [NOTE: the Mendelsche Zwolfbruderstiftung was a home to old, feeble, or sick craftsmen]

#478* Schein und Sein: Gedichte (Illusion and Reality: Poems) by Wilhelm Busch

#482* Goethes Spruchweisheit: Spruche in Prosa (Goethe's Proverbial Wisdom: Proverbs in Prose)

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

EVENT: Strange Maine book release party!

It's finally here! "Strange Maine: True Tales from the Pine Tree State" by Michelle Souliere is available and for sale at The Green Hand and other fine local bookshops. Join us on the evening of May 27th for a release party and book signing!

WHAT: Book release party
WHEN: Thursday, May 27 from 6:00-9:00
WHERE: The Green Hand Bookshop @ 661 Congress Street, Portland ME

I'll do a short reading at the start, and sign books following that. We'll have refreshments, and Curtis Clark will be playing some music live, so it should be fun!!!

On Facebook, you can view the event page here:

If you are interested in reading a review of the book, the folks over at the Talk Stephen King blog have posted a great one, the first one out so far, here:

Saturday, May 22, 2010

Limited Aleister Crowley editions

Just arrived -- 15 different Aleister Crowley books, all limited printings put out by Gordon Press in the 1970s (printed by them in a hardbound edition of 200 volumes each).  Tastefully bound in red with gilt foil lettering on their covers and spines.  A great addition to your esoteric library!

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Stephen King red leather library!

Now hitting the shelves -- a whole row of Stephen King Library faux red leatherette hardcovers with gold foil stamped titles, etc.  Some of these are quite coveted by collectors.  Prices range from $10 to $30, quite reasonable for these limited release items.  Tasty!

We also have a recent Cemetery Dance release, if anyone is interested -- Maine author Rick Hautala's Occasional Demons in a limited signed hardcover edition for $40.  This is a great item for Maine horror fans, since not only is it a Hautala book to add to the shelf, but also it features another Maine horror star, Glenn Chadbourne, who executed a fabulous series of black and white illustrations for the volume.  You may also have noticed that we have a copy of the complete Dark Tower Concordance, as released by Cemetery Dance, up on the shelf to the left of the red leatherette volumes.

Friday, May 14, 2010

Bit of an update

Hello everyone!

Well, here at the Green Hand, things are proceeding apace. Books arrive on an almost daily basis, and the shelves are mostly filled to capacity. Joy! So many tasty tomes. Of late we've had an influx which includes lots of William Gibson, Jonathan Lethem, Bret Easton Ellis, Jack Kerouac, Robert Jordan, and many, many more.

Meanwhile, the star new arrival is my book, Strange Maine: True Tales from the Pine Tree State, published by the History Press, which is now available in shop. We're having a celebratory book launch and signing on Thursday, May 27, from 6:00-9:00pm here at the Green Hand, 661 Congress Street in Portland, Maine. Do come in for some fun!

June promises to be an exciting month as well, and we'll kick it off with a new artshow, Steampunk Chronicles, featuring the work of members of the Maine Illustrators Collective, a stellar bunch of artists if there ever was one! Just look at their member roster, a menu of purveyors of a veritable buffet of visual delights.

Any closet steampunk who wishes to come to our First Friday opening, June 4, 2010, from 5:00-8:00, is welcome, indeed invited, to arrive in their own steampunk garb and costumery. It should be a fun evening, and we're all looking forward to it.  Image shown below is an early look at a piece being done by Joel Rivers for the steampunk show.

Hope you're all enjoying this as much as we are! :)

Thursday, May 6, 2010

EVENT: May's First Friday -- in space!

Space Oddity returns after its debut at Sanctuary Tattoo with a simultaneous sequel being held at The Green Hand Bookshop! Embark with us on a journey into the darkest depths of the cosmic wilderness in search of mad Space Art!!!

Join us for an evening of art, food, ambient music by Jacob LiBrizzi, and round out the evening after we close at 7:00 by joining us at the Port City Music Hall for Sanctuary Tattoo's 10th Anniversary Bash!

WHEN: Friday, May 7, 2010 from 5:00-7:00
WHERE: The Green Hand, 661 Congress Street
WHAT: Space Oddity II - The Sequel

Space. The final frontier. Space. It is all these things and more: rockets, planets, moons, asteroids, cosmic debris, stars, comets, aliens, UFOs, supernovas. Join the Portland Art Horde in their quest for mad cosmic art. The signal is emerging from Orbit Control headquarters (a.k.a. Sanctuary Tattoo)! All systems are go!!!

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

New Arrivals - 4/21/10

Here are a few more miscellaneous new arrivals for your perusal!

Aikido and the Harmony Of Nature by Mitsugi Saotome
Strategy In Japanese Swordsmanship by Nicklaus Suino
Edmund and Rosemary Go To Hell: A Story We All Really Need Now More Than Ever by Bruce Eric Kaplan (comic)
Fabian Escapes by Peter McCarty (children's)
Green Wilma, Frog In Space by Tedd Arnold (children's)
Hank Finds Inspiration by Craig Frazier (children's)
Food Of A Younger Land: A portrait of American food before the national highway system, before chain restaurants, and before frozen food, when the nation's food was seasonal, by Mark Kurlansky (non-fiction)
Lion Among Men: Volume Three in the Wicked Years by Gregory Maguire (fiction)
Our Story Begins: New and Selected Stories by Tobias Wolff (fiction)
Protest T-Shirts: Designs from the Cult Independents by Korero Books (art)

Monday, April 19, 2010

Heaps of thank yous!

Well, by now you may have read the news in the Portland Phoenix. The Green Hand was voted Best Used Bookshop in Portland for 2010. I've only been open for 5 1/2 months now, so I wasn't expecting anything of the sort. This means that it is you, the readers who voted, who made that happen. This is so exciting!

Their writeup, including a great photo of the shop, is here:

So thank you, thank you, thank you for the vote of confidence and the appreciation that this award indicates. I'll do my best to live up to the title, here at 661 Congress Street, wading about up to my knees in books. :)


To see all the Best of 2010 results:

Friday, April 16, 2010

A funny thing from the back of the book...

I was processing a stack of art books that just came in, and found this fellow staring at me from the back of a book about Boris Vallejo's fantasy painting techniques.

Saturday, April 10, 2010

New Arrivals - 4/9/10

-- Big Night In: More Than 100 Wonderful Recipes for Feeding Family and Friends Italian-Style by Domenica Marchetti

-- Children Of The Gilded Era: Portraits of Sargent, Renoir, Cassatt and Their Contemporaries by Barbara Dayer Gallati

-- Classic Illustrated Animal Stories by Cooper Edens

-- Cowboy Stories by Barry Moser and Peter Glassman

-- Crusades by Michael Paine (Pocket Essentials)

-- Cupcake Heaven by Susannah Blake and Martin Brigdale

-- Eating India: Exploring the Food and Culture of the Land of Spices by Chitrita Banerji

-- Florist's Daughter by Patricia Hampl

-- Good Spirits: Good Spirits: Recipes, Revelations, Refreshments, and Romance, Shaken and Served with a Twist by A. J. Rathbun and Photographs by Melissa Punch (huge compendium of cocktails!)

-- In Praise Of The Needlewoman: Embroiderers, Knitters, Lacemakers and Weavers in Art by Gail Carolyn Sirna and Shay Pendray

-- Jean Renoir: The Complete Films by Jean Renoir, Christopher Faulkner, and Paul Duncan

-- Lizard Man Of Crabtree County by Lucy A. Nolan and Jill Kastner (children's)

-- Official Nancy Drew Handbook

-- Paper: Handmade Style by Jeanette Bakker et al

-- Rabbit Who Couldn't Find His Daddy by Lilian Edvall, Sara Gimbergsson, and Elisabeth Kallick Dyssegaard (children's)

-- Rabbit Who Didn't Want To Sleep by Lilian Edvall, Sara Gimbergsson, and Elisabeth Kallick Dyssegaard (children's)

-- Sleepyhead by Karma Wilson, illus. by John Segal (children's)

-- Stuff On My Cat Presents: A To Z (board book)

Summer Of Hummingbirds: Love, Art, and Scandal in the Intersecting Worlds of Emily Dickinson, Mark Twain, Harriet Beecher Stowe, and Martin Johnson Heade by Christopher E. G. Benfey

-- Super Quick Colorful Quilts by Rosemary Wilkinson

-- William Morris: Redesigning the World by John Burdick