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Green Apple Books and Music Newsletter
May 2011

Did we hook you with A-list stars? Well, it's no teaser. Green Apple is tickled pink to be hosting Steve Earle on May 21 (at the Rock-it Room a block from Green Apple) and John Sayles on May 22 (at the Tosca Cafe in North Beach).  Both authors will be reading from and signing their new books.  And if you buy the book from us now, we'll save you a seat in the first few rows: details here for Steve Earle and here for John Sayles.

In the nearer term, authors Lisa Catherine Harper and Katie Arnold-Ratliff are reading from their fine books here later this week.  Details below.

As always, if you can't make it to an event but want an inscribedmen's shirt copy, just call us (415-387-2272). 

In today's newsletter: our Book of the Month or any of the Ten New Books We Like below can be ordered online (for delivery OR in-store pick-up).  There's also an excellent new cookbook and two great new books for kids featured below.

Oh, and we have lovely new Green Apple t-shirts featuring art by local All Over Coffee artist Paul Madonna.  Represent!

And if you don't want to haul around an actual book made of paper and glue when your trusty iPad or Android device will do, we have fresh suggestions for your first Google eBook from Green Apple.  Now you can read digitally while shopping locally! Watch this short video to see just how easy it is (warning: there's a sock puppet involved).

Read on for details on all this good stuff.

And if you can't make it in soon, follow all things Green Apple on our blog, our Twitter feed, or our Facebook page. Oh, please "Like" us.  We like you!

Thanks for reading,

Pete et al
May's Book of the Month 

The Sisters Brothers by Patrick deWitt

Each month, Green Apple presents a book that we're just plain in love with. In fact, we guarantee the book 100% or your money back.


This month, we heartily recommend The Sisters Brothers by Patrick Dewitt.  Ashley explains why:


Sisters BrothersReviewers speak of the humor contained in this western. Allow me to elaborate.  


Two brothers are assassins, rogues--the mere mention of their names strikes fear in those unlucky enough to cross them.  The older brother is the trigger-happy lead man with bad manners and a weakness for brandy. He won't cross a hexed threshold to protect his own blood.  The younger brother prefers mint tooth powder to fennel, goes on a diet to (hopefully) win the affections of a lady, and is willing to risk a curse on his soul to protect a horse he isn't really fond of.  They bicker, argue, steal, fight, and kill their way to San Francisco (a chapter with the best description of the City I've ever read: both historical and ironically contemporary).   


This western will you leave you busting a gut  


Buy it from Green Apple here.  


P.S. Best dust jacket design ever? 

Upcoming Events

May 5: Lisa Catherine Harper's A Double Life: Discovering Motherhood   

Double LifeThere is no denying it: motherhood splits a woman's life forever, into a before and an after. To this doubled life, Lisa Catherine Harper brings a wealth of feeling and a wry sense of humor; a will to understand the emotional and biological transformations that motherhood entails; and a narrative gift that any reader will enjoy. Harper documents her own journey across this great divide as a seasoned explorer might: observing, researching, relating anecdotes and critical information. From late-night Lindy Hop dancing to crippling sciatica, morning sickness to indulgent meals, graduate seminars to sophisticated ultrasounds, Harper marries scientific details with intimate insights as she uncovers the fascinating strangeness of this remarkably familiar territory.


Join us in the Granny Smith Room of Green Apple on Thursday, May 5th at 7 PM for this FREE reading and signing. 


May 6: Katie Arnold-Ratliff's Bright Before Us  


Katie Arnold-Ratliff's debut novel, Bright Before Us, sets 25 year-old Francis Mason's bright before usquarter-life crisis against a backdrop of San Francisco. A redemptive tale of love and loss, Francis struggles to accept the wrenching truth about the past he's never been able to move beyond, a tumult prompted by his discovery of a dead body on a San Francisco beach.  


Karen Russell, author of Swamplandia! and St. Lucy's Home for Girls Raised By Wolves, says of Bright Before Us: "Katie Arnold-Ratliff writes sentences that have the luminous candor of X-rays, laser-traceries of the human heart. Young Francis is a fascinating and exquisitely drawn character, and the urgency of his story left me breathless."


Join us in the Granny Smith Room on Friday, May 6th at 7 PM for a FREE reading and signing from Katie Arnold-Ratliff, and check out an exciting new literary talent.  


May 21: Steve Earle's I'll Never Get Out of This World Alive 

steve earleHank Williams died on Jan. 1, 1953, in the back seat of a car, on the road to a New Year's Day gig in Canton, Ohio. That lonesome death, a result of drugs and alcohol, centers Steve Earle's first novel, which revolves around a character named Doc, a physician fallen into heroin addiction, who gave the singer his final injection. Ten years later, Doc is living in a San Antonio flophouse, performing back-alley abortions, haunted by his failures and his sins. But when Graciela, a young Mexican immigrant, appears in the neighborhood in search of Doc's services, miraculous things begin to happen. Graciela sustains a wound on her wrist that never heals, yet she heals others with the touch of her hand. Everyone she meets is transformed for the better, except, maybe, for Hank's angry ghost--who isn't at all pleased to see Doc doing well. I'll Never Get Out of This World Alive is a ballad of regret and redemption, and of the ways in which we remake ourselves and our world through the smallest of miracles.


We're thrilled to be hosting Steve Earle for a (21+) afternoon reading and book signing on Saturday, May 21st at 2 PM. This event will take place a block down the street from Green Apple at the Rockit Room. Don't miss it.  Order the book here and now and we'll save you a seat in the first two rows!  


(Please note that Mr. Earle will only be signing copies of I'll Never Get Out of This World Alive that were purchased at this event, so leave your Guitar Town LP at home, please.)

May 22: John Sayles's A Moment in the Sun (at Tosca) 


Green Apple Books returns to Tosca Cafe on Sunday, May 22nd from 6:30pm - 8:00pm, to offer you a rare opportunity to meet a living legend of both print and film: John Sayles.


Most mortals would feel complete after having directed nearly twenty feature films, moment in the sunacting in dozens of others, and writing seven books - John Sayles seems to be just getting started. Many immortals have never been shortlisted for the National Book Award, nor the Academy Award - John Sayles has been there, and then done that. Plenty of artists have enjoyed a taste of success and then rested on their laurels, but John Sayles is a driving force, a massive talent, and as his forthcoming novel A Moment in the Sun so epically shows us, the type of genius that can capture the whole of the world in whichever medium he chooses. Thankfully for readers of all stripes, Sayles has chosen the written word to tell the tale of A Moment in the Sun, his most recent modern classic.


Join Green Apple in welcoming John Sayles to San Francisco, and in celebrating the release of his awesome opus, A Moment in the Sun, published by McSweeney's. This FREE event is for those of legal drinking age only, please, and will feature reading, signing, questions, answers, and whatever else we all come up with.  


We do expect that space will fill up quickly, so if you pre-order a copy of the book, we'll also guarantee you a seat for the reading.  Here's a link to do so. 


(Please note that Mr. Sayles will only be signing copies of A Moment in the Sun that were purchased at this event, so leave your Lone Star poster at home, please.)

Ten new books we like
My New American Life by Francine Prose (Harper)My New American Life
Set in the aftermath of 9/11, My New American Life offers a vivid, darkly humorous, bitingly real portrait of a particular moment in history, when a nation's dreams and ideals gave way to a culture of cynicism, lies, and fear. Beneath its high comic surface, the novel is a more serious consideration of immigration, of what it was like to live through the Bush-Cheney years, and of what it means to be an American. [Google eBook available for $12.99 here--read digitally while shopping locally]
 Fire Sfire seasoneason by Philip Connors (Ecco)
I was 15 or 16 when I read Jack Kerouac's Desolation Angels and fell in love with the idea of spending months in solitude as a fire lookout deep in the wilderness.  That smoldering daydream has been rekindled by Philip Connors' fine new memoir/ecological history, Fire Season.  Spend a season with Connors in a remote corner of New Mexico to get a clear-eyed view of a rare breed of humanity. (Stephen) [Google eBook available for $11.99 here--read digitally while shopping locally!]

The Clockwork Universe: Isaac Newton, the Royal Society, and the clockwork universeBirth of the Modern Worldby Edward Dolnick (Harper)  

For two thousand years, if one wanted to know about the natural world and the stars above, one merely consulted Aristotle.  The development of the scientific method was a philosophical revolution.  Dolnick illuminates this change in quick, breezy, and eminently accessible chapters.  This is the summer beach read of science history books.  I never suspected physics and calculus could be discussed in such an engaging and entertaining manner. (Jeff M.) [Google eBook available for $14.99 here--read digitally while shopping locally!]


The Hohottest dishesttest Dishes of Tartar Cuisine by Alina Bronsky (Europa) 

Rosa is a dreadful mother.  Her ability to control everyone (her daughter, Sulfia, and granddaughter, Aminat, especially) is both nauseating and pretty astounding.  Ahead of her time in fashion, women's rights, and cuisine, Rosa will manipulate you, dear reader, into groveling at her feet. (Aeri)


 bayou trilogy 


The Bayou Trilogy by Daniel Woodrell (Mulholland)   

After I read Winter's Bone, I decided I had to read everything by Daniel Woodrell.  Unfortunately, I discovered that pretty much all of his books were out of print.  The Bayou Trilogy brings back into print three of his best.  The writing is incredible, and these titles are absolutely drenched in southern gothic noir.  This is one of my favorite books of the year. (Martin) [Google eBook available for $9.99 here--read digitally while shopping locally!]

small memoriesSmall Memories by Jose Saramago (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt) 

The epigraph to Jose Saramago's memoir comes from the Book of Exhortations (Deuteronomy): "Let yourself be led by the child you were."  This dictate leads Saramago back into a world still steeped in ancient customs, a world full of wonder and grace, where the weakest of the livestock are brought into bed to share human warmth.  As the title suggests, this is a quiet book, charming in its relation of minor incidents that molded the boy into the Nobel Prize-winning novelist.

magnetic north


The Magnetic North: Notes from the Arctic Circle by Sara Wheeler (Farrar, Straus & Giroux)

Sara Wheeler is the best guide you could ask for.  She gives her readers the history and culture of the areas she's visiting, and introduces them to the people she meets without becoming a personality in her own book.  Magnetic North is an invaluable survey of the Arctic, both where it has been and where it is heading.  [Google eBook available for $12.99 here--read digitally while shopping locally!]

creepy dollsCreepy-Ass Dolls by Stacey Leigh Brooks (Krause)

What else is there to say about a book with this title and that cover?  Most of the dolls in this book are "vintage," and it makes one wonder what children of yore thought of these creepy playthings. [Google eBook available for $12.99 here--read digitally while shopping locally!]



making home
Making Home from War: Stories of Japanese American Exile and Resettlement (Heyday)

Everyone knows what happened to Japanese nationals and Japanese-Americans living in the U.S. in the early days of World War II.  Less well known is what happened to these people when the war ended and they were allowed to go home.  Making Home From War collects the personal reminiscences of eight such families whose lives were upended by internment. 

drop of the hard stuff
A Drop of the Hard Stuff by Lawrence Block (Mulholland)

My favorite mystery of 2011 (albeit so far).  Not only has Block written a great, crisp, gritty mystery, hes done it around the 12 steps of Alcoholics Anonymous.  So this also a great book about the difficulties of early recovery.  (Martin) 
A New Cookbook We LOVE

Super Natural Every Day by Heidi Swanson

Heidi Swanson has a new book out, and I'm tempted to write a one-word review--YUM--but if you've made it to the bottom of another Green Apple update, you're clearly a voracious reader and deserve better.


The new book is called Super Natural Every Day: Well-Loved Recipes from My Natural Foods Kitchen, and it's a gorgeous, photo-filled bargain at only $23.00.  It includes about 100 recipes, all nutritionally packed and approachable for the home cook.  And more importantly, the results are scrumptious.


super natural every dayAs for "super natural," don't think transubstantiation.  Think whole foods, real ingredients, vegetarian recipes. Like Summer Squash Soup (smooth with green curry paste or chunky with red curry paste).  Or Broccoli Gribiche: as she says "think French-dressed egg salad meets potato salad, punctuated by plenty of broccoli."  It's simple and hearty.


The book is organized by meal: breakfast, lunch, snacks, dinner, drinks, treats, and accompaniments.  Within each section, you'll see healthy twists on the familiar (like crepes made with rye flour) and wholly original creations (like Honey and Rose Water Tapioca).  Whatever you settle on, the recipe will be clear and easy to follow, often with notes for those with food allergies.  Each recipe also includes a mouth-watering photo and a brief introduction.


Any home cook who cares about eating healthy food without too much fuss will appreciate Super Natural Every Day. 

Two New Books for Kids that we LOVE
Press Here by Herve Tullet (Chronicle)Press Here

This is a most creative and interactive book that's a big hit with my just-turned-five-year-olds.  The grown-up reads the simple prompts aloud and with each turn of the page, the sense of wonder and adventure grows.  You have to see it to believe it, and you should.  Or just trust a career bookseller/dad: buy it now and thank me later.

cloudetteCloudette by Tom Lichtenheld (Holt)

Cloudette is happy being small: it's easy to hide, she has sweet friends, and she always gets to see the fireworks.  But this little cloud wants to do big things. This sweet picture book--by the illustrator of Duck! Rabbit!--is ideal for the preschool set. Highly recommended.

Google eBooks are available at Green Apple
google ebooksNow you can read eBooks and support Green Apple!
Whether you're an avid eBook reader, a dabbler, or flirting with purchasing an eReader, Green Apple can help.  Ask us in-store, call us, or browse Google eBooks here.  Or see our basic "how to get started." Or watch a short video on how easy it is HERE.

Green Apple Books has partnered with Google to bring you the most flexible way to buy eBooks.

From New York Times bestsellers to old favorites, Green Apple now offers one of the largest eBook collections available. Shop for your next eBook and begin reading on just about any device. And our prices match the big competitors on 85% off all books! 

Thanks for reading!
Pete et al