Say As I Do: Kate Christensen

Say As I Do: Kate Christensen

I recently spoke with Kate Christensen about her new release–The Last Cruise–for KMUW’s Marginalia podcast. I thought I knew how to pronounce her name. Wow, was I ever wrong!

Here she is:
 

The Struggle is Real

Here’s a cute little video from Penguin Random House titled, “The Struggles of Reading in an Apartment.” Whether it’s reading in an apartment, a house, an office, or a coffee shop–I think we can agree that sometimes the struggle is real.

If you’d like to share the video with your readers, you can find it here: https://youtu.be/wpt1J6I3NZU

Mid-Year Goal Audit

How is it already July?

Okay, I’m going to halt the direction I was initially heading and take my own advice. Instead of adopting a “glass half empty” attitude, I’m going to say to myself, “I still have 6 months to accomplish my 2018 goals.”

What’s on your list of goals for the year that you want to tackle? The beginning of the fiscal year, for some, is a good time to look at financial goals, but this mid-year check-in could also audit marketing goals, reading goals, goals for your own personal health, and so much more.

Mid-year is a great time to schedule employee performance reviews, especially if you ask for a list of goals at the beginning of the year.

And this is a great time to reach out to customers through the store newsletter or social media to check on their reading goals. Ask for feedback on any challenges in which they might be participating. Offer category suggestions. Ask about a favorite read so far this year. And perhaps offer a look at the books you’re anticipating the most for the second half of the year. If this last idea seems daunting, spread the wealth a bit and solicit ideas from your staff. That way you’ll get a variety of reading preferences to better mesh with customer preferences.

With a goal list check-in, it’s easy to focus on what remains on the list. But it’s also beneficial to look back at everything you have accomplished. How many events did you put on? How many newsletters did you write? How many recommendation cards did you display?

We have six more months of 2018! Promising, isn’t it?

Say As I Do: Rebecca Makkai

Say As I Do: Rebecca Makkai

Rebecca Makkai’s The Great Believers will be hitting shelves today. I recently spoke with Makkai for KMUW’s Marginalia podcast. If you’ve ever wondered how she pronounces her name, here she is:

 

Preview: ‘Our Homesick Songs’

Does anyone remember Emma Hooper’s Etta and Otto and Russell and James? Oh, I loved it. I was so thrilled to see her new novel – out mid-August – that I moved it clear to the top of my stack.

Our Homesick Songs reminded me of The Rathbones and also a little bit of The Light Between Oceans. It’s set in a small fishing village called Big Running that once was flooded with fish but has now run dry. The fish shortage has sent all of the town’s inhabitants away to find work; the town has slowly dwindled down to only 6 occupied houses among the dozens of deserted ones. In one home lives the Connor family – Martha and Aidan and their children Cora and Finn. In alternating chapters we get the story of Martha and Aidan’s courtship and the story of their present.

The Connors are all cheats; it’s widely known throughout the village and even to young Aidan himself. He vows never to fall in love. Sequestering himself out at sea, he sings to the fish all night long. His voice travels far over the water, to the other shore, where young Martha Murphy finds it and believes it to be the voice of a mermaid. She listens night after night and when she finally meets him, she knows he is the one just as she knows that all Connors are cheats. Fast-forward 20 years, the members of the Connor family are each struggling in their own ways to come to terms with the dissolution of their town, their family, their lives.

What I love about Emma Hooper are the little details that make her stories magic – Cora, sneaking into abandoned houses and redecorating them according to different nationalities (an Italian house, a Mexican house, etc.); Finn, trying his best to lure the fish back according to any old folklore he comes across; Martha with her finely knotted fishing nets. This is a slow novel, but a beautiful one.


Our Homesick Songs by Emma Hooper (Simon & Schuster | 9781501124488 | August 14, 2018)