Green Apple Books of San Francisco, one of the best-loved independents in the Bay Area, is creating an atmosphere all its own with videos to promote its Book-of-the-Month recommendations. These decidedly low-budget videos feature scruffy-looking but enthusiastic staff members hamming it up in testimonials, “dramatizations,” and “reenactments” related to the featured book... the videos have some infectious appeal, and they’re getting more sophisticated...
Thanks for the mention, but... who you callin' scruffy-looking???
Watch the mentioned ad (if you haven't already) here:
The incredible Chris Ware recently teamed up with the incredible animator John Kuramoto and the incredible multi-instrumentalist Andrew Bird to make this animated short of Ware's famed Quimby the Mouse. Enjoy!
Sure looks good, doesn't it? And the best part about it (aside from the alcohol...er, olive) is that it can be yours! How? It's simple, educational, and fun. And free!!! Here's the deal, but pay attention because it's a two-parter, pardner:
Drop by Green Apple Books on Saturday, July 18th from 1:00pm - 2:00pm and enjoy a unique opportunity to meet Doug "Bix" Beiderbecke, owner of Bix Restaurant, and co-author of the fantastic compendium to the good-life, Bixology. And as if that's not enough...
Purchase a copy of Bixology at Green Apple anytime before Tuesday, July 21st, (on-line sales are OK) and you will be entered in a drawing which may enable you to become one of the lucky few who will enjoy a private, behind the scenes tour of Bix on Wed. July 22nd at 5:00pm,led by Doug, and culminating with a Martini reception and various mini-bites at the bar. Chance of a lifetime? Maybe. The best thing to do in San Francisco on Wednesday July 22nd? Certainly!
So grab a copy (or three) of Bixology, either in-store or on-line, and cross your fingers. Drop by the store on Saturday the 18th from 1-2 and ask Doug how he gets those Martinis so consistently perfect. Win a spot on our Martini tour. Life is grand!
Remember last week, when I mentioned the new radio show from Peter Finch of KFOG fame? As promised then, new details have emerged. It's called Beat of the Bay, and the segment that includes me will be aired this Saturday the 18th at the enjoyable time of 5:45AM. Not a typo, but 5:45 in the morning. Good news however, as the show will be archived on-line, and can be enjoyed again and again here (after the Saturday broadcast). Tune In, Turn On, Buy Books!
Okay, okay, deep breath. I'm not sure I'm fully ready to admit this publicly admit this yet but here goes... 1, 2, 3, ...yes, I do indeed care a bit about fashion.
Now I'm not talking about a runway aesthetic that you'd find in some sort of Atlas of Fashion Designers. That world is far too confusing and complex for me to ever even dream of entering. I have to admit however, sometimes while shelving in our beauty & fashion section I find myself taking a look at things like What I Wore Today (I know it's for girls but c'mon, girls come up with some awesome ideas that just take a little imagination to alter), or maybe our ever popular remainder, (un)Fashion (an empty metal can strapped on as a codpiece?! It's not just an 'only in San Francisco' kind of thing anymore!).
Now I fully believe a good look can come from the most unexpected of places, but since city dwellers tend not not leave a certain radius around their homes, and smaller towns can tend to be a bit (ahem) uniform, then the best way to keep from being too redundant find a local place that contains a boggling archive of media and educate. There are ideas to gather from materials ranging from classic texts, to famous photographs, to comics and even children's books. Following are a few of what I think are my best suggestions: - Getting a tattoo? Well first off I'm reminded of a kid who based all his tattoo designs on photos from the Prisons issue of COLORS magazine. Since it's a back issue it's not something you'd find at our store, but the designs in it aren't too far off from some of the things you'd see in a volume of Russian Criminal Tattoo Encyclopedia. Maybe not the look you really want if you're not an actual Russian criminal, but heck anyone could have a cause to look totally scary sometimes...
- ...But wait! Oh man, you got a job interview tomorrow and now you have to cover that tattoo up don't you? Well you're not the first person to have that problem, believe me. Now there's a million long sleeved shirts out there, but if you want to hide something without looking like you're the kind of person who actually has something to hide, then I suggest a sort of gentlemanly globetrotting adventurer look. Something along the lines of Herge's famous Tintin. Throughout his career he's probably covered just every all corner of global style. You can't really mess with that.
- Or, if you're more interested in a ladylike kind of get up, get this: A good friend of mine has been sporting Madeline inspired threads for the better part of a year now, and I don't think anyone has ever opened their mouth to say a negative thing about it. I mean, how could they? Adorable!
Take my ideas lightly of course, after a quick re-read of what I just typed up I realize that con meets Madeline might not be all the rage next fall, but I hope you can see what I'm getting at. This concept can pretty much go all over the place. Take a look at your favorite author's portrait or reacquaint yourself with an old comic strip. A literary inspired outfit is hard to mess up and the venues for inspiration are nearly endless. Just don't watch a bunch of TV or you'll end up like one of these.
In the continuing Art of the Shelf-talker series I wanted to share some shelf-talkers that just sell a lot of copies for books left off the best-seller lists but which have a good home at Green Apple. As we all know some books get overlooked, some do OK, & others, well, they take off. Among the best selling books over the last year there were a few that sold despite being written by someone other than Chabon or Obama or a book not in the Twilight series, in large part due to the shelf-talker.
2. The Tenant by Roland Topor, another staff favorite that we didn't even stock & the inspiration for the Roman Polanski film. 3. This is one of my favorites, Apathy & Other Small Victories by Paul Neilan, now one of our local Richmond District authors. We have sold 491 copies of the paperback alone since it came out 2 years ago. 4. One of our new book buyers allegedly said that he would eat his shoe if we sold more than 7 copies of The Gangsta Rap Coloring Book. After this shelf-talker helped to sell 50 more than that this year, he said it was just a rumor.
5. Weather of the San Francisco Bay Region by Harold Gilliam: This is just a classic case of taking an everyday field guide but wording why you should read the book. "...few regions in the U.S. even require," "...why the weather here is so zany," "(it's also fun)".
What are some of your favorite shelf-talkers? Which one's have helped you find that book you loved. (Two of mine that shelf-talkers in this store helped me findare now two of my favorite books, The History of Love & The End of Vandalism, I will recommend those books for the rest of my life.)
3. It's a couple of weeks old already, but this piece on Salon about Alice Hoffman's immediately infamous Twitter attack on a critic is too good to pass up. See also: Gawker.
4. Also a bit old, but not to be missed: this year's Bulwer-Lytton Fiction Contest (a.k.a. the Bad Writing Contest) has a winner. The culprit: David McKenzie, whose awful, awful losing winning sentence reads:
"Folks say that if you listen real close at the height of the full moon, when the wind is blowin' off Nantucket Sound from the nor' east and the dogs are howlin' for no earthly reason, you can hear the awful screams of the crew of the "Ellie May," a sturdy whaler Captained by John McTavish; for it was on just such a night when the rum was flowin' and, Davey Jones be damned, big John brought his men on deck for the first of several screaming contests."
(In McKenzie's defense, the sentence is a parody.)
6. From the Significant Objects Project (explained here), comes an experiment in the power of literary persuasion. Would you bid on someone's "Significant Object"?
7. Have an iPhone? Want to shop indie? (Of course you do.) Check out IndieBound's iPhone App. You'll get customized recommendations delivered right to your pocket. It's the next best thing to having a bookseller delivered to your pocket. And less bulky.