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

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Soap carving...?

Another oddity from my scavenging -- a book about the fine art of soap carving, circa 1939.  The book was written by Lester Gaba, and published in cooperation with the National Soap Sculpture Committee.  No, I didn't know such a thing existed either.

The book is certainly one of the more interesting ones I found over the weekend, not only because of the photo illustrations of examples of the art, but also because of Gaba's narrative, which in addition to providing practical instruction, also introduces the novice soap sculptor to the philosophical, aesthetic and social controversies that he or she will be beleaguered by.
To anyone unfamiliar with soap carving, it would sound pompous to call it anything but good clean fun. In any case, it is certainly difficult to find a pigeonhole for it in the categories of art. It is easy enough for me to see the fun in it, surrounded as I am with soap chips and shavings every day from nine to five, but there are many people who find the classification mysterious.

They frequently ask, "Why do you use soap?" in that humorously patronizing way they have of showing interest in everything quaint. One lady hurriedly announced before I could answer the usual question, "I once had a cook who could make the loveliest decorations in butter, and you should have seen the flowers he carved out of radishes!"

While I do not pretend that soap carving will live through the centuries, I do feel that it is several steps beyond mere novelty. I no longer try very strenuously to establish its aesthetic status. If I say that soap sculpture is like painting in a third dimension, I am accused of vagueness...

Friday, April 2, 2010

TONIGHT: Opening for The Landscape Revisited

WHEN: Friday, April 2, 2010 from 5:00pm - 8:00pm
WHERE: 661 Congress Street, Portland ME

A series of new work by Marion Francis which impels viewers to look twice at what at first seems to be American vernacular landscape painting.

Perhaps you've felt like you saw something out of the corner of your eye as you drove past Alton Bog, or while you sat around a rosy campfire deep in the woods. It may well be that you should start looking more closely at the Maine landscape to find what is lurking there... and meanwhile, you can also ask yourself what would have happened if famed painter Bob Ross had struck up a friendship with H.P. Lovecraft.  This exhibit will be on display through the month of April 2010.

About the Artist…

I am a native of Maine and reside in the Greater Portland area. Married with three daughters and two grandsons, my husband and I enjoy traveling and displaying our antique automobiles at car shows and cruise-ins. Artwork is my means of relaxation and an outlet for my creativity.

I stepped into the realm of painting sci-fi and the paranormal as the result of a comment made about a painting I had done. With the possibility of an addition to the scene which would appeal to a new audience, I began to research the subject matter. Although the paranormal, ghosts, psychic awareness and reincarnation have been a fascination for me for many years, this has been a different process for me. Searching for ways in which to express my belief in the spiritual energy found in the dimensions of time and space, perhaps at another vibrational rate, are still ongoing. Branching out in this new area has been a challenging and amusing pastime. Special thanks go to Christian and Sarah Matzke for their knowledge of the subject and their encouragement in this endeavor.

I have had a love of painting all of my life. I work in mediums of oil, watercolor and acrylics on canvas, paper, wood and metal. Inspired by Maine’s natural beauty, I concentrate my oil and watercolor work in landscapes and seascapes. Using acrylics I enjoy creating folk art, tole and still life paintings on a wide variety of backgrounds. I especially enjoy painting Santas, with a collection of over two dozen displayed at Christmas and I gift my extended family with hand painted ornaments each year.

I would be pleased to discuss paintings on consignment if interest is shown in a particular subject or variation of my work.

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Tricycle of Death

Most of us who watch horror movies are well aware of the tricycle as a harbinger of death. This book makes it the entire story!!!
How about this for a teaser?

"Little Simon hated them. Just like he hated the new teacher. Handsome, brilliant, blind Christopher. He'd better leave Mommy alone. Or he would have to be punished. Punished in a sightless nightmare. Punished by a vengeful demon.

"Punished by the last sound his dying brain would know -- the squeak, squeak, squeak of a TRICYCLE."

[insert evil laugh and squeaking here]