Saturday, November 21, 2009

Video: Book Covers with Chip Kidd

Graphic designer Chip Kidd explains what goes into making an awesome book cover:

Spotted at The Book Design Review.

Also, I was delighted to hear this exchange in the store between a mother and her little nerd-to-be:

Mom: Would you like this book I found on 101 Dalmatians? Or do you want that book you got about wizards...?
Mom: Are you sure? The dalmatian one looks more interesting...

He'll be wearing a cloak in no time.

Friday, November 20, 2009

Discoveries Abound!

The last time I wrote for the Green Apple Core, Dan Brown had just renewed his heroic quest to save publishing (I guess the fact that I'm still employed means he succeeded?), the Phillies still had a chance to win the World Series (sure, so did the Giants), Glenn Beck hadn't yet "immortalized" his Nazi fetish on a book cover, and we were all assured Oprah's talk show would go on forever... Ah, the halcyon days of mid-September. Or "harvest time" as they call it here in the heartland.

I return today in my role as shill for Dalkey Archive Press to tout, proclaim, trumpet, and ballyhoo the first installment of an annual anthology, the Best European Fiction 2010.*

Most readers are familiar with the long-running Best American series (Best American Short Stories, Mysteries, etc.) but remarkably, the European fiction anthology is the first of its kind - being, as the title implies, a collection of stories offering a "window onto the cultural and intellectual landscape of Europe today." If grandiose rhetoric about culture isn't your thing, you can take the book as being simply an entertaining collection of stories by authors you've likely not yet had the pleasure to read.

Edited by novelist Aleksandar Hemon and prefaced by Zadie Smith, the anthology includes thirty-five stories arranged alphabetically by country, opening with the supremely crush-worthy Ornela Vorpsi (Albania), and then crisscrossing the continent in a variety of styles, genres, and voices. From the deliriously perplexing Austrian Antonio Fian ("I was looking for a present for our seven-year-old daughter in the toy store when I happened to notice a Barbie playset called Barbie Kneels Naked in Front of Her Altar and Reads from the Bible...") to Green Apple favorite Jean-Philippe Toussaint (whose story, "Zidane's Melancholy" is anthologized for the first time), to the great and sadly underappreciated Alasdair Gray (Scotland), Best European Fiction 2010 is as varied and diverse as Europe itself.

While most of these names are unfamiliar (Kafka wasn't always a household name, after all) and all those vowels (Giedra Radviaciviute, from Lithuania) may twist your tongue into knots, there is no better place to cover this much literary ground... Plus, for $15.95, it's like a Grand Tour on a really, really affordable budget.

* Of course, any reader of this blog knows that I would be touting, proclaiming, ballyhooing, etc. Dalkey's books even without an affiliation with the publisher.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Go Listen to Some Music!

By day: book sellers, book buyers, book slingers.

By night: volunteers, students, poets, artists and musicians.

Green Apple is full of people who enjoy other activities other than books. And while the list of said activities could go on endlessly, there are two upcoming events you should know about...

Want to listen to some music tonight? Head over to the Revolution Cafe (22nd Street between Bartlett and Mission) at 9pm to listen to the sounds of the Mission Three. While he's not doing the truck run for the store, Cree Rider lends his voice and guitar skills this trio.

And what are you doing on Friday evening? You should be going to Slim's to see former (but always in our hearts) Green Apple employee, Aaron, play bass in the band Cryptacize, who are playing, along with the Fiery Furnaces. Dent May opens, show at 9pm.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

New Moon T-Shirt Giveaway

To promote the newest installment of The Twilight Saga film series, the studio has sent us some New Moon t-shirts to give away. Now, sometimes free swag is free for a reason. But these t-shirts are actually pretty nice. We have 3 designs, in adult sizes Medium to XL (apologies to our more diminutive Stephanie Meyer fans out there). As you can see from these pictures, they're stylin'.

How can you get one? By entering our store and whispering the code word "Volturi" to the Green Appler at the front counter. Don't even try calling and having us mail one to you. And as our lawyer would want us to say, supplies are limited, first come first served, one per customer, Green Apple is an equal opportunity dispenser of movie studio swag, all rights reserved.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Green Apple Going Rogue

With all due to respect to the Republicans who were as overjoyed as I was (for different reasons, of course) by Sarah Palin's nomination to the McCain ticket last year, Green Apple is donating 100% of the profits from sales of Sarah Palin's Going Rogue: An American Life to the Alaska Wildlife Alliance.

For a respectful and professional review of the book, instead of our touchy-feely knee-jerk urban liberalism, see Michiko Kakutani's review in the New York Times.

Monday, November 16, 2009


I don't know about you, but I am a Thanksgiving fan, man! Yeah sure, Christmas is pretty awesome (I love jingle-jams), and May Day is probably just about as important as holidays get (all hail) , but Thanksgiving, yeah, I'm pretty in to it. It's kind of like the overlooked little brother to Christmas, which honestly I think is pretty unfair to a holiday with such a long and complex history. Here's what former President George W. Bush had to say on the subject in his 2007 Thanksgiving address at the Berkeley Plantation, originally known as the Virginia Colony (y'know, a stripe on the flag, dude)- "In the four centuries since the founders of Berkeley first knelt on these grounds, our nation has changed in many ways. Our people have prospered, our nation has grown, our Thanksgiving traditions have evolved -- after all, they didn't have football back then. Yet the source of all our blessings remains the same: We give thanks to the Author of Life who granted our forefathers safe passage to this land, who gives every man, woman, and child on the face of the Earth the gift of freedom, and who watches over our nation every day."

No football indeed, ha ha! We sure didn't George! But even without modern conveniences like The NFL or Safeway I'll bet the early colonizers could still glaze a turkey so shiny you could see yourself in it. If you don't know how to do that already Green Apple has a wall near collapsing with the weight of its cookbooks that can help. Don't eat meat? No problem. The vegetarian section here is slammin'. Heck, we've even got a pretty solid raw food section if you're not in to the whole oven (check out books from the Ani's Raw Food Kitchen series, she's a babe!). Best of all the Food Not Bombs cookbook'll teach you how to prepare anything you want in bulk for the entire neighborhood, and from what I've gleaned from my six years and seven apartments in this city, there are a couple of districts in this city that could use some reasons to be thankful.

Now there's a little less than two weeks till the fateful Thursday. I really do hope everyone's gonna' have a good one with family, friends, or even just peace and quite if you prefer. I myself will be enjoying they way the city empties out over the holiday, chilling out and cooking up something weird with my rad Mom. I've even picked out a semi Thanksgiving related nonfiction title to read, Ward Churchill's From a Native Son. I'm looking forward to it!

A woodcut of early Thanksgiving festivities, circa 1622.

Sunday, November 15, 2009

The Halfway Cafe...

One thing we love about the Richmond District is the food. As Pete mentioned before in his "Enough about books, let's talk sandwiches" post, there are a number of great places to get a quality sandwich on Clement Street.

I now have a new favorite...

The Halfway Cafe on 6th Ave, near California (200 6th Ave. to be exact).

The Halfway has been open for about a month now, and while they are testing out their hours, they have assured me they will be open Monday through Friday from 8(ish) in the morning to 4(ish) in the afternoon, 9 to 4 on Saturday, and 10 to 4 on Sundays. . .at least until they can gauge how busy they will be.

The Halfway is run and owned by the rad East Coast transplants and best friends of sixteen years, Megan Boreman and Erin Reffsin. After living and traveling the world, owning two restaurants, and having a combined thirty-plus years in the restaurant industry, Megan and Erin decided to open a sandwich shop and cafe in San Francisco. They were looking at the Financial District until they stumbled on the small shop at the corner of 6th and California. They fell in love with the neighborhood and are serving up great food.

They serve all organic, fresh ingredients and Pierce Bros. Coffee which is 100% Organic, 100% Fair Trade, and Air Roasted for a smooth taste.

Here are some of the highlights on the menu...

The Kamil Shill breakfast burrito is awesome. It's egg, sweet potato hash, black beans, tomato and cheese for $6.50.

The D.R. sandwich: turkey with greens, onion, tomato and a cranberry aioli. . .like all the sandwiches, you get a choice of potato or pasta salad.

Vegetarian? There's the Nancy (hummus, greens, tomato, onion and carrots) or the Killa K (tomato and mozzarella with a pesto aioli).

So check out the Halfway, tell them Green Apple Books sent you, and welcome them to the neighborhood.