Wednesday, April 16, 2008

It's that time again...

...time to select new titles to read and discuss.

In the next Readers Roundtable meeting on Saturday May 3, we'll be selecting the titles we'd like to read for our September, October and November meetings.

Please bring your book ideas to the meeting, or email me with your suggestions and I'll add them to my list. Remember, the books must to available in paperback two to three months before we read them.

So many books, so little time!

SF Chronicle: Bookstores bracing for the next chapter

In the 1970's my parents investigated opening a neighborhood bookstore, but they reluctantly gave up this pipe dream when they saw how unlikely it was that they'd ever break even, let alone make a profit.

If anything, the economics are worse today, yet independent bookstores still manage to hang on. I can't help but wonder how...but I'm so grateful they do. Browsing the shelves in my neighborhood bookstore is one of my favorite past times.

In his latest column, SF Chronicle columnist John King examines the strategies some local independents are using to keep the lights on and the shelves stocked.
Bookstores bracing for the next chapter
Only a few years ago, bookstores helped define neighborhoods. They were physical and cultural markers on the landscape - showcases of what mattered, there and then.
Now, instead of perking up when I step through the doors of a good bookstore, I wonder morosely how long it will last.

"It's an antiquarian business model in a changing world," admits Melissa Mytinger, manager of Cody's Books in Berkeley. (Link to article.)

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

18 Sexy Trips to the Stacks

Entertainment Weekly pays tribute to sexy (& not so sexy) movie scenes that occur in libraries.,,20190897,00.html

Saturday, April 12, 2008

Whatever happended to...

...the Whitbread awards?

Linda, longtime RRTable member, sent me an email saying that they had "morphed" into the Costa Awards. In Britain, the Whitbreads were second only to the Booker award in terms of prestige. They were founded in 1971 and sponsored by Whitbread Breweries and administered by the Booksellers Association of Great Britain and Ireland. They were renamed Costa, after its new sponsor (a coffee company), in 2006.

There are five Costa/Whitbread genre prizes each year--best novel, best first novel, best biography, best book of poems, and best children's book--from which one is chosen as book of the year. Authors who have lived in Great Britain or Ireland for over three years are eligible. Category winners receive £5000; the overall winner, for Book of the Year, receives an additional £25,000, one of the richest of all literary awards.

Here's a link to the winners:

Wednesday, April 2, 2008

Reminder: Book Discussion Sat., April 5

This Saturday, April 5 at 2pm, the Readers Roundtable book group will discuss Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie’s novel Half of a Yellow Sun. We're scheduled to meet in the Trustee's Room on the first floor, but check the meeting room monitor in the lobby just in case they switch us.

There's a good website on this book and author that you may want to check out before coming to the meeting,

There's also a website listing discussion questions:

Finally, please note that there are two other events happening this Saturday.
  1. The Friends of the San Leandro Library spring booksale opens it's doors to members at 9 a.m. and to the general public at 11 a.m. There's a terrific selection of books at terrific prices, so you may want to build in some shopping time before or after our book discussion. (Hopefully, you won't get so engrossed in the sale, that you forget to come to the book discussion.)
  2. If you're signed up for Baby Boomer Focus Group, you'll be meeting at 12:30 in rooms B & C.

NYTimes: It's not you. It's your books.

Forget about money or looks. According to this New York Times essay, us literary types judge our romantic partners by the books they read.
Some years ago, I was awakened early one morning by a phone call from a friend. She had just broken up with a boyfriend she still loved and was desperate to justify her decision. “Can you believe it!” she shouted into the phone. “He hadn’t even heard of Pushkin!”

We’ve all been there. Or some of us have. Anyone who cares about books has at some point confronted the Pushkin problem: when a missed — or misguided — literary reference makes it chillingly clear that a romance is going nowhere fast. At least since Dante’s Paolo and Francesca fell in love over tales of Lancelot, literary taste has been a good shorthand for gauging compatibility. Link to article.