Saturday, May 22, 2010

Happy Day of Special Significance

Yes, today would have been Harvey Milk's 80th birthday, and the state of California is honoring the man's memory with a "Day of Special Significance." What is that? Sounds vaguely Communist, like something they might celebrate in North Korea to honor The Dear Leader. I saw in the paper where the Traditional Values Coalition objected to the proclamation because Milk hadn't done enough to deserve the honor. Ummm, maybe that's because someone shot him (?). Anyway, we at Green Apple salute you, Harvey. We know you would have been a loyal customer.

And as long as we're offering salutations, I would like to send out some mad props to Green Apple's corps of sign-makers. We do all of our signage at the store by hand, and being blessed with a creative and multi-talented staff, some of them turn out some pretty cool signs. Maybe you've walked by some of them without noticing, seeing as we are a working bookstore and not an art gallery. But I wanted to take a second and feature some of the more artistic signs that have appeared around the store of late.

Not a sign, but still pretty darn awesome.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Happy Books II (Positive Mental Attitude)

KPR wrote a short post on 'happy books' a couple of weeks back, leaving me with a kind of challenge, that being just to name a couple. Being an avid reader of tales mostly involving poverty, woe, and soul rending existential disquiet, it's tough to track down something upbeat outside of maybe a Henry Miller book in my personal library, and his mode of happiness is a little more insane than what I think falls in the realm of just plain old normal 'happy.'

So here's the best I could do:

Schertenleib's A Happy Man, published in Melville House's immediately recognizable New Novella series is, quite possibly the happiest books I've read in my life. Not in a cheesy life affirming my-name-is-Sark-and-I-love-to-nap kind of way, the lyrical prose is warm and charming as the book details the life of a man named 'This' and his deep affection for the world around him, despite being surrounded by a literal world of discontent. I recommend the book not only based on the hope that it might inspire a sort of good feeling inside some sad reader out there, but just the idea that there exists a compelling story of a person who cannot seem to recognize sadness as an option is a point of curiosity as well. PMA.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Daniel Handler is a finalist. . . .

for perhaps the least rewarding (for him) but most exciting (for us) award a writer can win.

Here's the story: Melville House--a wonderful, smallish publisher who produces a lot of literature in translation that we really like (among other good books)--is running a contest to recognize the best (and worst) video trailers for books: the 2010 Moby Awards.

Someone was smart enough to nominate local author Daniel Handler (aka Lemony Snicket) for his appearance in The Book vs. the Kindle, Round 10: a Seriously Unfortunate Event. And it has been chosen as one of five finalists.

So how could we not re-broadcast that hilarious two minutes and one second? Good luck with the award, Mr Handler. We'll update the blog Friday with the (inevitable?) results. Oh, and here are all the finalists.

Monday, May 17, 2010

Poem of the Week by Aram Saroyan

As Lord Polonius put it so well in Hamlet, "brevity is the soul of wit." So here's this week's poem, from Complete Minimal Poems by Aram Saroyan (Ugly Duckling Presse, 2007).

Two Sentences

1. I'm trying to write a poem.

2. The broom is in the corner.