Saturday, September 25, 2010

You Like Us! You Really Like Us!

Not sure how to say this without sounding cocky, but we here at Green Apple are used to winning "Best of" awards. We'd like to believe that we're not resting on our laurels, and that we continue working hard to make Green Apple the great bookstore it has been for 43 years now. But you have to admit, most stores who win a Bay Guardian Best of the Bay award (not to mention SF Weekly, San Francisco Magazine, and so on) would most likely, and with good reason, hang those awards up somewhere in the store and crow about it a bit.

But we recently came across a folder where we stash our awards, with the intention of someday doing just that: hanging them up in the store and polishing our buttons. It was fun to go through. There are awards in the file going all the way back to 1992. There are proclamations signed by the board of supervisors and 2 governors.

We write this not to brag, but to tell you that we sincerely appreciate all the love we felt coming our way when we looked through this pile of awards.

Yes, that is Gray Davis's signature there. And Gavin Newsom's signature is on that Board of Supervisors resolution.

Friday, September 24, 2010


I don't revisit comics from my childhood as often as I once did, but on the occasions that I do my eyes are typically drawn to images like the one above. It seems to me there was once a time in which 'cosmic peril' was the big fad in the comics world. DC's 1985 Crisis on Infinite Earths and Marvel's 1991 response to 'Crisis,' The Infinity Gauntlet, are prime examples of sagas ripe with images such as these. Images depicting unknowable drama amidst the stars, planets drawn way too close together, bizarre lighting effects, and some strange sense of horror vacui more commonly attributed to outsider artists like Adolph Wolfli or Louis Wain, which is funny because what are the cosmos but near emptiness?

The Infinity Gauntlet saga was collected and republished in full color last July (unlike so many great of the late great Jack Kirby series; who wants to read The Forever People in black and white?!?!), and I'm happy to say that copies have finally shown up at Green Apple. Atop that Brendan McCarthy's heavily Ditko inspired Spider-Man: Fever will be arriving shortly. These are both a couple of books that are guaranteed to keep your eyes busier than any new monotonous autobio comic (notable exception: Drinking at the Movies) or rehashed zombie story (notable exception: The Walking Dead). So drop by and check them out, and while you're at it have a look at a few other things as well. Here are some suggestions (or):

-Sergio Aragones: Five Decades of His Finest Work
-Prison Pit Volume II
-Set to Sea
-The Oddly Compelling Art of Denis Kitchen
-Fire & Water
-Strange Tales

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Movies for Locals Only

Green Apple is pleased to be offering two new DVDs that you won't find on Netflix. These are truly local stories.

First is the awe-inspiring story of several Lakota people's journey From the Badlands to Alcatraz. Local swimmer and pediatrician Nancy Iverson, inspired by the terrible public health on the Pine Ridge reservation in South Dakota, launched a program to help them reclaim their health and spiritual power by swimming from Alcatraz. They have a mere six days to train. One of them has never been in the water before. . . .

The movie is a well-done documentary, moving and inspirational. You will likely reconsider your limitations after seeing this film. $19.95 in-store only.

Next up is Remembering Playland at the Beach, the story of the Fun House (remember that slide?), Laffing Sal, the Diving Bell, and, of course, the Big Dipper. This film showed to packed houses at the Balboa Theater recently, and we sold out of our first shipment, but reinforcements should be here shortly. Take a trip to the foggy west end of yesteryear in San Francisco. $19.95 in-store only.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Signed Copies of our "Book of the Month" in stock!

Tom McCarthy whirlwinded by the store today to sign copies of his Man Booker Prize-shortlisted and, more prestigiously (ahem) Green Apple-selected "Book of the Month," C this afternoon. Come get yours before they're gone!

Calendars are here

It's officially fall.

While we're still organizing them and need to tidy up the rest of the mezzanine, we have about 1,000 2011 calendars for your perusal. It's annually the best selection in San Francisco. But the best calendars sell out first, so come while the pickin's are ripe!

Monday, September 20, 2010

Poem of the Week by Zbigniew Herbert

It's the last week of summer (and the fog has burned off on Clement Street); let's start the week off with a few prose poems from The Collected Poems of Zbigniew Herbert (Ecco Press, 2008).


It's completely black, but has an electric tail. When it sleeps in the sun it's the blackest thing you can possibly imagine. Even in its sleep it catches frightened little mice. You can tell by the claws that grow from its paws. It's terribly winsome and wicked. It swipes nestlings from the tree before they're ripe.


It has been raining all morning. The woman from across the street is to be buried. The seamstress. She dreamed of a wedding ring but died with a thimble on her finger. Everyone thinks this is funny. Respectable rain is darning the sky to the earth. But nothing will come of that either.


I don't understand how you can write poems about the moon. It's fat and slovenly. It picks the noses of chimneys. Its favorite thing to do is climb under the bed and sniff at your shoes.