Saturday, November 7, 2009

Not Free, but Cheap

My colleague Clark wrote back in October about some finds that he'd made in our free box, including a fine-looking copy of Gimpel the Fool which I guess he read and liked so much he has decided to put it on the Staff Favorites display. Well, I'm going to climb a rung higher on the price ladder today. Recently I was standing in the entryway of the store waiting for a ride, and my eyes fell to the lower shelves of the bins. Mostly these are dollar books (priced at $.92 to come out to a dollar with tax), but some are as much as $2.98. Here is a random photo taken of the books I'm talking about.
If you happened to be the kind of person who came to Green Apple not with a specific book or topic in mind, but open to whatever book might strike your fancy, you could probably enjoy a long and satisfying reading life without actually ever entering the store (except to pay for your books, of course). There are that many good, interesting books in our bins. There's Patrick O'Brian and Pam Houston. There's Ross King's fascinating book on Michelangelo painting the Sistine Chapel. We've got Simon Winchester's history of the volcanic eruption at Krakatoa, we've got David Hajdu's book on Dylan and company in the Greenwich Village days. And what is The Carny Kid? you ask. Here's your answer. I'm not saying you shouldn't come into the store anymore, just that in these tough economic times, Green Apple has you covered.

Geeks to gather at Green Apple on Tuesday!

Dust off your ol' D20 and roll on down to Green Apple Books for an amazing event with Ethan Gilsdorf and his new book, Fantasy Freaks and Gaming Geeks.

In an enthralling blend of travelogue, pop culture analysis, and memoir, forty-year-old former D&D addict Ethan Gilsdorf crisscrosses America, the world, and other worlds—from Boston toWisconsin, France to New Zealand, and Planet Earth to the realm of Aggramar. On a quest that begins in his own geeky teenage past and ends in our online gaming future, he asks gaming and fantasy geeks how they balance their escapist urges with the kingdom of adulthood.

You can ask Mr. Gilsdorf about his hit point count and choice of warrior class on Tuesday, November 10th at 7 pm. No mead allowed.

Ethan Gilsdorf at Green Apple Books
Tuesday November 10th 7-8pm
506 Clement Street at 6th Avenue
SF CA 94118

Friday, November 6, 2009

Signed and on Sale: Eating Animals by Jonathan Safran Foer

We have signed copies of Jonathan Safran Foer's latest, Eating Animals, now on sale for 20% off! We have a limited stock, so if you're an early holiday shopper.. this is one ideal gift. Don't sleep on this, son! Cop this now!

Green Appler Jenn has this to report from Mr. Foer's event at the Jewish Community Center last night: "He signed until we got kicked out of the building, and even bought a copy for a vegan lady!"

What a nice fella!

Tuesday, November 3, 2009


Knut Hamsun. Oh man. What can I say about Knut "Th'Newt" Hamsun? Closing in on nearly sixty years postmortem and he's probably still one of the most mind-pretzeling figures in literature to date. Hamsun walked a fine line between two strange worlds. On one hand he is hailed as a brilliant and beautiful author who believed in the mystical connection between man and nature, and understood the severe impact of industrialization on the human spirit. On the other he is an adulterer, a career racist, and Nazi sympathizer who once cited Hitler as "a warrior for mankind, and a prophet of the gospel of justice for all nations."

Ingar Sletten Kolloen's new biography of Hamsun, released early last month, explores the complex an convoluted career of this intriguing figure of a man. Who was hailed for his brilliance by Isaac Bashevis Singer as one of the major stems of twentieth century literature (ironic, no?). Who was declared a war criminal in his native Norway. Whose literary manifesto was largely drawn upon by Franz Kafka. Who was a scathing critic of American society, attacking the US as an uncultured bastion of ignorance (though maybe my penchant for, er, 'low humor,' i.e. referring him to him as "Th'Newt" isn't helping boost that reputation). Who made statements that offended nations, and who died in rags, unrepentant.

Knut Hamsun - Dreamer and Dissenter comes with the highest of Green Apple recommendations. Furthermore his novels Hunger and Pan have been faced out on both our 'staff picks' and literature shelves respectively for some time now. I also cannot fail to note that Pan specifically contains the most beautiful passage concerning the love between a man and a large boulder that I have ever read.

Hitler & Th'Newt - Berghof 1943

Enough about books, let's talk sandwiches

Yeah, yeah. E-books are taking over the world, price wars on books are killing indies, and Sarah Palin's "book" is still two weeks away. Sometimes I want to talk about other things.

from here (and not reviewed below, alas)

Like good sandwiches on Clement Street. 16 years into my tenure here, things have changed (boy do I miss the 6th Avenue Cheese Shop). And ignoring the scores of other lunch options on the street, here are my favorite sandwiches right now.Link
Let's start at my default: Blue Danube. The BLAT (bacon, lettuce, avocado, tomato) is nearly the perfect sandwich: warm salty bacon with smooth, creamy avocado; just yin-yang loveliness. And their salami-provolone is well balanced. I'm relatively carnivorous (sorry Jonathan Safran Foer), but their veggie avocado pleases even folks like me. Comes with free side salad.

Toy Boat Dessert Cafe has a great chicken-Gorgonzola wrap, and I usually think wraps are pretty silly. The sharp cheese, the smooth ranch dressing, the one-hand-ability of the whole package. Yum. With free chips, potato salad, or pickle.

For cheap, salty goodness, Little Vietnam's BBQ pork sandwich is good: $4, even if the meat is of questionable provenance.

One can't reasonably talk Clement Street sandwiches without mention of the falafel from Haig's Delicacies. It's not that new Mission-hipster, burrito-style falafel. It's a simple pita-based thing with plenty of tahini. Their other sandwiches don't do it for me, but the falafel is part of my regular rotation.

Anyone out there who can help break out of my (pleasant) sandwich route with a suggestion or two?

Sunday, November 1, 2009

One more book to add to your list...

A short time ago I talked about reading The Implacable Order of Things on my recent remainder-buying trip to Pittsburgh (sort of) & Boston (not really). On my trip to McKeesport, PA & Fall River, MA I read not only this Saramago Award winning book but one other, Jerusalem & our Book-of-the-Month, Running Away.

(See the new Green Apple Commercial HERE)

Now that you watched that & read about two of the books I was fortunate enough to choose to read on my trip here is the third...

Jerusalem by Gonçalo M. Tavares is another new & exciting book put out by Dalkey Archive. Jerusalem is another Saramago Prize winning book. When presenting the Prize to Tavares Saramago said of both author & book, "
Jerusalém is a great book, and truly deserves a place among the great works of Western literature. Gonçalo M. Tavares has no right to be writing so well at the age of 35. One feels like punching him!"

More recently Saramago said, "
Gonçalo M. Tavares burst onto the Portuguese literary scene armed with an utterly original imagination that broke through all the traditional imaginative boundaries. This, combined with a language entirely his own...I've predicted that in thirty years' time, if not before, he will win the Nobel Prize and I am sure my prediction will come true. My only regret is that I won't be there to give him a congratulatory hug."

All that being said I will only tell you that I don't want to tell you anything about this book. I want you to be as surprised & taken by this book as I was.

So there you have it, three books all under $15.00.