Friday, July 2, 2010

Thank You, Thank You, Thank You!!!

And if it's not too redundant, "thank you" SFGate readers for voting Green Apple Books as the Best Bookstore in the Bay Area, as announced last week in the Best of the BayList Awards.

Topping this list becomes much sweeter when we realized that over 70,000 votes were tabulated in the Best Bookstore category alone, and that bookstores from all over the Bay were nominated!

Not to mention how wonderful the other bookstores in the Top 5 are; indeed, these are some of my favorites, and each one would have been a well-deserving winner. So congratulations also to Moe's (#2), Book Passage (#3), Builders Booksource (#4) and Dark Carnival (#5)

O.K. - maybe it is redundant at this point, but a big THANK YOU from all of us at Green Apple - we love this stuff!

Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Robert Byrd is Dead

Robert Byrd is dead. That made me think of one of my favorite gems hidden in the depths of our store, the tag "white" on one of our shelves zoned for books on famous Americans. Not totally true, I mean, Obama has some books in there, but whatever. I think it's pretty funny.

Robert Byrd is dead. I didn't catch an article on his death in the paper, although I'm not sure I read the paper on Tuesday. I can't remember. I know that I checked my Yahoo email account, and that the headline on their page said something-perfect summer barbecue, blah, blah, and as one of my personal heroes Sam McPheeters pointed out on his blog (where I gleaned this information in the first place, sadly), that the news was a mere footnote even on Weird, right?

Robert Byrd is dead. Before he went though, he managed to have a biography written about him, as well as a penning a couple of texts of his own, the most recent of which was published in 2008 and entitled Letter to the New President: Commonsense Lessons for Our Next Leader. Sound curious? The guy saw from The Great Depression to the Dot Com Boom, a couple of World Wars and the Summer of Love. I'd imagine that it'd be full of fantastic suggestions- "A filibuster against Civil Rights may sully your rep a bit," for example. Or maybe, "Avoid spending nine years in the KKK, 'cause y'know what? That legacy is gonna' hang around your neck like a big dead seabird." Well, my interest is piqued. Another reason to peruse the American History section. Boy, what a crazy ride it's been!

Gay Sex? In The Great Gatsby?

Since June is LGBT Pride month, I thought I would call out one of the great overlooked sex scenes in the western canon. Whenever I ask people if they remember that gay sex scene in The Great Gatsby, they look at me with wonder. But here it is, I'll let you be the judge. This event takes place on page 42 of my edition, at the very end of chapter 2, when Nick has gone on a drunken bender in New York City with Tom and Daisy:

...Then Mr. McKee turned and continued on out the door. Taking my {Nick's} hat from the chandelier I followed.
"Come to lunch some day," he suggested as we groaned down in the elevator.
"Keep your hands off the lever," snapped the elevator boy.
"I beg your pardon," said Mr. McKee with dignity. "I didn't know I was touching it."
"All right," I agreed, "I'll be glad to."
... I was standing beside his bed and he was sitting up between the sheets, clad in his underwear, with a great portfolio in his hands.
...Then I was lying half asleep in the cold lower level of the Pennsylvania Station, staring at the morning "Tribune" and waiting for the four o'clock train.

I like that part about keeping his hands off the elevator boy's "lever." Now I've never done any research into critical analysis of this little scene, but it is curious. What is it? A story line the Fitzgerald dropped?

Monday, June 28, 2010

Poem of the Week by Norma Cole

Happy Monday. Today's poem is by Norma Cole, from her book Natural Light (Libellum, 2009). Enjoy.

The Vision

fixed syntax
in our lifetime

as if they never heard of
such a thing

the figure in the strait
stirring occasionally

all the fragments
the rights of can-openers

any mystery