Saturday, March 14, 2009


We get famous people in the store from time to time: movie stars, musicians, writers, of course. Everybody on the staff tries to keep it low-key. But I just heard the story of this star-sighting from last October, and I thought it was funny enough to break the rule that says you have to pretend not to recognize celebrities. This is from Scott, our music buyer:

“The day after Robert Plant and Alison Krauss played at the Hardly Strictly Bluegrass festival last year, they stopped by Green Apple. Like anyone else I get a little star struck, but I generally refrain from disturbing famous people while they are trying to go about their business. This time was slightly different though. An album that was in heavy rotation at the time features an interesting cover of 'Stairway to Heaven,' so I decided to put it on to see what would happen.

"A couple minutes into the song, Robert Plant walks up to the counter that I'm standing behind. He's wearing bright Bermuda shorts and sandals and he’s giving me the same look that my dad gave me when I was being a smart-ass teenager. I decide to keep a straight face and do so for long enough that Mr. Plant's expression changes as he starts to wonder if it is possible that I don't know who he is. Could it be a coincidence that this song is playing? I finally crack a smile and his smirk comes back. Robert Plant says in his upright British accent, 'Who is butchering this song?' I tell him that the version is by the Mexican flamenco duo, Rodrigo y Gabriella. I ask if he really doesn't like it and he confirms. I decide not to tell him that lately I‘ve been enjoying it more than the original, a concept that would have amounted to heresy in the eyes of my 12 year old self. I just tell him that I like it and ask if the rain affected his performance the day before, which I had missed. It was a surreal interaction, this comfortable banter with someone who was a god to me in my pre-adolescence. It felt like I was chatting with one of our regulars or maybe an uncle I hadn’t seen in a while.”

Friday, March 13, 2009

Chris Cleave! Again!

More love for Green Apple Books! Author Chris Cleave stopped by today after his whirlwind national tour to check out the store, sign some books, and praise our awesome booksellin' establishment! It definitely left us feeling pretty stoked...

And did we mention he totally loves our commercials? And that according to Mr. Cleave, publishers are saying that with these videos, Green Apple Books is on the cutting-edge of advertising?? Go, Green Apple, go!!!

So we gots a limited supply of SIGNED copies of Little Bee... get 'em while they're hot!

Love Your Independent Bookstore (month)

WOW! It's not enough that author Joe Hill delivered one of my favorite horror novels in recent memory with his unique ghost story Heart-Shaped Box, but that his heart has stayed in the right place makes him one of my favorite authors ever. Now dig this:

Even though Heart-Shaped Box was a massive, national bestseller, and probably sold more copies through just a handful of the chains or big box stores than all the independent bookstores sold combined, Joe realizes that it's the smaller, independent bookstores that have the kind of attentive staff that reads the advance galleys, and hand-sells books that they are passionate about, that create the buzz that builds to bestsellerdom. So Joe is giving back by declaring March, "Love Your Indie Bookstore Month." But that's not all - there's even a contest.

Send (or fax or email) Joe a copy of your receipt from any independent bookstore and you will be enetered in a contest to win a signed, limited edition of his forthcoming title, Gunpowder. Which, by the way, is already sold-out. But there are also other gems being awarded, like limited editions of Neil Gaiman or Dan Simmons titles, and more will be added during the month. Full details and contest rules are available HERE. (I especially enjoy the 'what happens if you cheat' area). Thanks Joe - You Da Man!

Monday, March 9, 2009

Why I Read by Susan Choi

About three years ago, we launched an occasional feature in our monthly e-mail newsletter called "Why I Read." We asked authors, mostly local, to answer that seemingly simple question. The replies were as varied as the question allowed: from the quirky (Dave Eggers) to the earnest (Joyce Maynard), from the episodic (T.C. Boyle) to the hilarious (Kim Wong Keltner). It seems as good a time and forum as any to release these brief essays to the larger world, i.e. the vaunted blogosphere.

Today's "essayette" is by New York author Susan Choi. Her latest novel--A Person of Interest--which was our February 2008 Book of the Month, is just out in paperback.

"I read because when I don’t, I grow inarticulate and and I walk into doorframes. It’s like when I don’t drink black tea in the morning, and in fact, if I down lots of tea I can somewhat combat the impairments, but unless I also read, pretty soon I’m right back where I started. Or else I get a headache, and tightness in the chest, like the feeling of not enough carbs, and again, if I eat some spaghetti the symptoms abate, but if I don’t also get to a book, the relief is short-lived. I read because if I don’t I’m short-tempered, short on imagination and the sense of delight. I’ll feel the way I do when sleep-deprived, so much so that an unbroken night’s sleep – even more rare than an unbroken hour to read – can go some way toward blunting my longing to read, but can’t cure it; no substitute can. Ever since having children, my existence has seemed winnowed down to my physical needs: the need to sleep, the need to eat, the needs for caffeine and aspirin, the need to lie on the couch with a book. I’m not metaphorizing: the last is as physical as all the others. No minute during which I might read can go unutilized. At lunch I’m always roving the house, loaded plate in my hand, trying to relocate my book while my meal goes cold. If I come by a few minutes’ peace – in the post-office line, on the subway – and don’t have a book, I can get so annoyed that I cry! I read because I can’t manage not to – and because it’s the one bare necessity that is also a gorgeous indulgence. It’s the food that’s a banquet, the rest that’s a pageant of dreams." --Susan Choi