Saturday, November 28, 2009

Back to the Free Box

As discussed in a few previous posts, like this one, the Green Apple free box is a place of unending discovery. The other day I was walking by and the above pictured book, Representative Men, caught my attention. I snatched it up. The book is a series of photos of old-timey looking gents with one-page biographical sketches. There is no publishing date or anything that describes what the book's purpose might be. My guess is that it is a sort of yearbook of salesmen (or drummers, as they would have been known). They mostly hail from Massachusetts (Springfield, Chicopee), and the most recent date that I can see mentioned is 1906.

This is Charles Hall, who died during production of the volume. He spent time in California in the 1850s, and got burned out of Chicago in the great fire of 1871.

Adolphus R. Martin was born in Woonsocket Falls, R.I., and spent two years at the front "in the War of the Rebellion."

This is George Walter Vincent Smith, and that man knows how to wear a beard.

Friday, November 27, 2009

Black Friday?

It seems pretty sunny to me right now! In fact, the sales floor is swarming with fans of Green Apple and I really should get back down there and help folks find all the gift-worthy tomes they can carry. Which brings me to the reason for this (hasty) post:
On Wednesday, December 2nd I'll be joining the usual gang on The KFOG Morning Show for my annual Holiday Book Extravaganza!!! That's right, from 7am - 8am (yes, an extended show for a full hour) I'll be loaded down with highlights from the past year, as well as a carefully selected batch of current releases that will please many on your "nice" lists. But you're on your own with the "naughty" ones in your life...

So tune-in early and plan on listening late next Wednesday. You can listen on-line here, or twist that dial to 104.5FM (or 97.7FM in the South Bay) from 7-8 in the morning.

If it's not too redundant by now, Thanks Everyone!!!

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Happy Thanksgiving!

Today, we're going to refer you to this post over at local blog SFist:

We know. Money is tight. Very tight. But people are starving in San Francisco. Not just the homeless, but people you might even know. People close to you. Your friends and family and neighbors. Seriously.

Which is why, even though we stuck this plea in yesterday's Day Around the Bay, we're going to bring this up again today: SF Food Bank has a great dollar-for-dollar (up to $10,000!) deal going on right now. But you have to give today. Why? Because the dollar--for-dollar deal ends tomorrow.
[This was posted yesterday, so it ends today, Wednesday 11/25.]

Please visit SF Food Bank for more information, to send them a donation, or whatever. Can't afford to give? No problem. You can share this link on your Facebook page, spam it to your pals with disposable incomes, or Retweet it. Just do it today, please.

SF Food Bank, for those of you who don't know, provides nutritious food to low-income families in San Francisco "to ensure that no one goes hungry this holiday season or any time during the year."And in this seemingly endless recession, they're hurting. Bad. Help them out, won't you?

You can donate via credit card (minimum 2 dollars). I sure did. Please donate today before this offer ends!

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

So, you don't want to read Twilight...

Despite the large number of Twilight fans throughout the country and the world, there are many who don't want to read about teenage vampire romances; I am one of those. There are also parents who probably don't want their kids reading about "sexy vampires" either. There are also those who are simply tired of reading the same ol' thing.

Pete came across this post which listed ten excellent novels for young adults, specifically young women. I can't disagree with the list, as Ender's Game, The Secret Garden and Matilda (whose antics I continue to envy) were and still are three favorites of mine. So, without further ado, here are 5 books which any young reader, girl or boy, will love.

The Sisters Grimm by Michael Buckley

I know you've all heard of the Brothers Grimm, but these two sisters are far more daring than their famous ancestors! Upon the realization of their famous relatives, the girls take on the responsibility of being fairy-tale detectives. There are seven books in the series, with an eighth coming next year, so the adventures with Sabrina and Daphne will continue for many reads to come.

After reading this book, I started to give tomato sandwiches another try just to be a little more like Harriet. From her, we learn that even the cleverest of spies can find difficulty fitting in and keeping friends. A sleuth story, with a twist.

Theo spends a lot of her time in the museum where her parents display all of the artifacts they've unearthed. But what her parents can't see, are all of the old spirits still attached to the ancient things. And when her mom brings back an amulet which contains the evilest of spells, Theodosia is the only one who can help save not only her family and the museum, but the entire British Empire as well!

Against the Odds by Marjolin Hof

Originally written in Dutch, Against the Odds is a comical tale about a girl, her dog and her missing father. Kiki is so worried about not ever seeing her father again, that she takes matters into her own hands in an attempt to change the odds. Her mother tries to explain that it's quite unlikely that her father's dead, because how many of her friends' dads have died? The odds are very good that it won't happen. And what better way to increase the chances of her father's return, by attempting to kill her dog? After all, what are the odds of having a dead father AND a dead pet? A funny, poignant tale which deals with very real things and feelings.

The Wolves of Willoughby Chase by Joan Aiken

I just recently read this for the first time, and I truly wish I had read it when I was younger. When Bonnie's parents leave for a trip, evil Miss Slighcarp is put in charge of her and her cousin, Sylvia. Before the girls know it, Miss Slighcarp has turned all of Willoughby Chase into a palace of her own; she even sends the girls off to a prison-like orphanage! With the help of their friend Simon and his flock of geese, the girls manage to escape, but how will they get their home back? Full of adventure as well as an abundance of unique words, The Wolves of Willoughby Chase is a story which won't be forgotten. Also, Edward Gorey provides the detailed cover of the book.

Monday, November 23, 2009

No More Shaves

Last year, in an attempt to solve some personal problems, I decided to grow a beard. I won't get into all the sordid details, but the long and short of it is that everything worked out fine. Of course no plan of action is without its residual side effects. How was I to know that my scraggly winter beard would capture the imagination of John, manager and music buyer for Green Apple's Annex? The next thing I knew he'd recruited the majority of the male staff to grow beards right along with me and, when Christmas Eve wandered around the corner, in celebration of the holiday the beards were trimmed to moustaches and we, uh... looked good for our families...? Well, we had a party anyway.

Now it looks like that time of year is rolling around once more and, not to my complete surprise, the bearded winter festivities are beginning again. A tradition has sprung up perhaps? I don't know. But on Christmas Eve this year, if you really want to see a bunch of cool facial patterns during a last minute shopping spree, you know where to be-


The title for this post was lifted from David Greenberger's fantastic book No More Shaves, part of his series The Duplex Planet. Just FYI. Fascinating stuff. I promise.