Our Winter 2014/15 Newsletter is done and back from the printers. It will take a little longer than usual to get it up on the website due to extenuating circumstance The PDF is there under “Past Newsletters”. Patience, please! (Amber was on jury duty and then there’s the holiday interuption!)
James Patterson is once again using his name and position for the good of books and reading. When are other Big Name Authors going to do their part?
Small Business Saturday:
With the holidays approaching, plan to be here for Small Business Saturday (Nov. 29th). We’re joining in with Pioneer Square to wheel and deal and have great things going on! Extra staff (as in local authors Urban Waite and Jeanne Matthews) will be here to help us sell books, along with Bernadette Pajer, who will be here signing her latest novel – The Edison Effect (Poisoned Pen Press, $14.95), the 4th in her historical series featuring Seattle ProfessorBenjamin Badshaw. The murder vicitm is found in the window of The Bon Marché, an electrician clutching of Edison’s newfangled color Christmas lights.
Also, for the next 4 Saturdays we are offering 10% off all used hardcovers, including collectables.
That’s Nov 29th, Dec 6th, and Dec 13th.
For future reference, our calendar of holidays and our hours as we head toward the end of the year:
Tues, Dec 16 – Chanukah Begins: Open
Sun, Dec 21 – Winter Solstice: Open
Wed, Dec 24 – Christmas Eve: Closing at 2pm
Thurs, Dec 25 – Christmas Day: Closed
Fri, Dec 26 – Boxing Day, Kwanza Begins: Open
Wed, Dec 31 – New Year’s Eve: Closing at 2pm
Thurs, Jan 1 – New Year’s Day: Closed
And the Post Office gives these dates for DOMESTIC Holiday shipping:
Dec 20 is the deadline for First Class to reach its destination by the 24th
Dec 20 is also the deadline for Priority mail to reach its destination by the 24th
Dec 23 is the deadline for Priority Mail Express to reach its destination by the 24th
So that means, if you want us to order something for you, speak now!
Rest In Peace:
James was born on Aug 3, 1920, in Oxford, England. As her father didn't believe in higher education for girls, she ended her schooling at 16 to follow him into civil service. After 3 years, she left that to work as an assistant stage manager for a small theatre. As the war raged, she married army doctor Ernest Connor Bantry White in 1941 and had two daughters before it ended. Her husband returned from the war with mental issues. He was hospitalized and died in 1964. To support them, James studied hospital administration and worked for a hospital board from '49-'68.
With her husband hospitalized and her daughters in boarding school, James had her evenings free. She claimed that she'd always intended to be a writer and spent the '50s honing her craft. In 1962, her first novel was bought by the first publisher to see it. Like many authors who aimed for 'serious literature', she began with detective fiction as an entry into publishing. She had no interest in dealing with her own life in her writing, and she'd always loved detective stories, so it was a perfect fit. She also appreciated the need for order in a mystery novel. “I like structured fiction, with a beginning, a middle, and an end,” she said. “I like a novel to have narrative drive, pace, resolution, which a detective novel has.”
Cover Her Face had as its main character the private and cerebral Adam Dalgliesh, Detective Chief-Inspector, published poet, widower, and a continuation of the British gentleman-detective form. As James' career grew, so did Dalgliesh's. By the time of his last appearance in 2008's The Private Patient, he'd gone from a Cooper Bristol to a Jaguar, and from DCI to the rank of Commander at the Yard, in charge of his own squad which handled sensitive cases. “I gave him the qualities I admire,” James explained in 2001, “because I hoped he might be an enduring character and that being so, I must actually like him.”
1980's Innocent Blood is the book that launched her not only into international fame and bestseller-dom, but also earned her enough money to retire from outside work to write full-time. Strangely enough, it is a stand-alone novel. By that time, she'd published 6 Dalgliesh books, as well as one of the first books with a female private eye, 1972's An Unsuitable Job for a Woman, featuring Cordelia Gray who inherits a ramshackle 'private enquiry' office. (By comparison, Marcia Muller's first Sharon McCone novel arrived in 1977, Sara Paretsky's first Warshashski and Sue Grafton's first Kinsey both in 1982). Some therefore make the case that she pioneered the modern woman private eye novel. There would be just two Gray novels.
James garnered walls full of awards. Mystery Writers of America Grand Master, International Crime Writing Hall of Fame, adaptations into TV series and movies and, in 1991, she was named Baroness James of Holland Park and sat in the House of Lords.
“James’s apprenticeship in crime fiction became a lifelong commitment, as she came to believe ‘it is perfectly possible to remain within the constraints and conventions of the genre and be a serious writer, saying something true about men and women and their relationships and the society in which they live’. To suggest that the formal constraints of crime fiction prevent its practitioners from producing good novels ‘is as foolish as to say that no sonnet can be great poetry since a sonnet is restricted to 14 lines’, she argued.
Speaking in 2001 at the launch of Death in Holy Orders, her 11th Dalgliesh novel, James explained that her success was founded on the belief that plot could never make up for poor writing and that authors should always focus on the reader.
‘At the end of a book, I want to feel, well that’s as good as I can do – not as good, perhaps, as other people can do – but it’s as good as I can do. There are thousands of people who do like, for their recreational reading, a classical detective story, and I think they are entitled to have one which is also a good novel and well written. Those are the people I write for. They don’t want me to adapt to what I think is the popular market. They want a good novel, honestly written and I think they are jolly well entitled to it.’”
This, of course, is a quick overview of P.D. James and her life and work.
The quotes in this were taken from her obituary in The Guardian. At this page, you’ll find links to much, much more – interviews, quotes, and a photo gallery. Of all of the authors we’ve been honored to host for signings or to meet in person, James was one who never graced our doorway. Our great loss.
P.D. James died peacefully at home on Thursday, November 27th.
They’re available in Whatever Denomination You Want; They Don’t Expire; You can Order Them by Phone, e-mail or through the Website, and we can Mail them directly to the Recipient if you’d like. Perfect for all sorts of occasions. And they make GREAT stocking stuffers!
Links of Interest:
“Spies Like Hers”: An Appreciation of Helen MacInnes’s books by Sarah Weinman
Piano from Casablanca Sold at Auction (guy who owned it once owned one of the Maltese Falcons, too!)
Letter that inspired On the Road up for Auction. Landmark letter from Cassidy thought lost by Kerouac.
News about the new James Bond movie – car chase to be filmed in Rome and the return of Blofeld?
While we specialize in mystery and crime books, we can order virtually any new book that you might want, no matter what its topic.
See the calendar of all currently-scheduled events on our website. The website calendar contains plot synopses. At the bottom of it is the updated, complete list of signed copies that we’ll be getting from other sources. Click Here.
Bernadette Pajer, Nov 29
Phillip Margolin, Dec 11
Waverly Curtis & Rachel Bukey, Dec 13
Jayne Ann Krentz, Jan 6
Tracy Weber & M.A. Lawson, Jan 10
Jeanne Matthews, Jan 14
Thomas Perry, Jan 16
Pamela Christie, Jan 17
Tessa Arlen, Jan 24
Yasmine Galenorn, Jan 31, drop-by, time uncertain
Burt Weissbourd, Jan 31 at 3:00pm
Cara Black, Mar 2
Glen Erik Hamilton, Mar 3
C.S. Harris, Mar 7
Leslie Budewitz, Mar 17
And there are always more on the way!
Remember, too, that while it is always fun to come in and meet the author in person, that isn’t always possible. So reserve a signed copy to be mailed to you or for you to pick up later. Those who reserve in advance get the copies in the best condition!
Our website has a Wish List capability. If folks want to know what you’d like for a given holiday or birthday, it is easy to point people to our website. Amber has put together a dandy blog post explaining it and how it works.
Word of the Week:
literature (n.) From the late 14th C., from Latin literatura/litteratura "learning, a writing, grammar," originally "writing formed with letters," from litera/littera "letter" (see letter (n.1)). Originally "book learning" (it replaced Old English boccræft), the meaning "literary production or work" is first attested 1779 in Johnson's "Lives of the English Poets" (he didn't include this definition in his dictionary, however); that of "body of writings from a period or people" is first recorded 1812. “Great literature is simply language charged with meaning to the utmost possible degree.” [Ezra Pound, "ABC of Reading"] Meaning "the whole of the writing on a particular subject" is from 1860; sense of "printed matter generally" is from 1895. The Latin word also is the source of Spanish literatura, Italian letteratura, German Literatur. (thanks to etymonline.com)
You can browse our collectable and hard-to-find books, as well as signed copies from earlier author events, on Biblio.com. You do not have to place an order through them, especially if you’re a long-time customer and we have your ordering info. Just email us to order.
What We’ve Been Reading:
Amber’s project for 2014: My 52 Weeks of Agatha Christie. Here’s her explanation.
This Week: Recycling & Axe Murderers
We have two Tumblr blogs, in addition to our regular shop blog:
Books and Decay, maintained by Amber – interesting photos with literary quotes to match
Hardboiled, maintained by JB – pulp covers, film noir and other images of crime and mystery, and
On This Date:
Nov 30 – wow, lots of birthdays: rifle manufacturer Oliver Winchester (1810, Boston), Samuel Clemens (1835, Florida, MO), Geoffrey Household (1900, Bristol), John Dickson Carr (1906 Uniontown, PA), Jacques Barzun (1907, Créteil, France), John Franklin Bardin (1916, Cincinnati), Efrem Zimbalist, Jr (1918, Solvang, CA), G. Gordon Liddy (1930, Brooklyn), Ridley Scott (1937, South Shields) and David Mamet (1947, Chicago, natch)
Nov 30, 2001- Gary Ridgeway was arrested for the Green River Killer murders
Dec 1, 1886 – Grand Master of Mystery Rex Stout was born in Noblesville, IN. His first Nero Wolfe, Fer-de-Lance, was published in 1934 when he was 48
Dec 1, 1919 - Douglas Clark was born in Lincolnshire
Dec 1 – the great character actor Malachi Throne (1928, NYC) and David Doyle (1929, Omaha), Bosley in “Charlie’s Angels”
Dec 1, 1949 – drug lord Pablo Escobar was born
Dec 2, 1914 – the great character actor Ray Walston was born in New Orleans
Dec 2, 1968 – one of the latest Angels and Dr. Joan Watson, Lucy Liu was born in Queens
Dec 3, 1857 – Polish writer Joseph Conrad was born
Dec 3, 1910 – modern neon lighting was demonstrated, leading to all of those colorful and lurid nights along the mean streets of film noir
Dec 3, 1926 – hit man writer Frank McAuliffe was born in NYC
Dec 3, 1926 – Agatha Christie vanished
Dec 3, 1960 – Julianne Moore was born in Fayetteville, NC
Dec 4, 1903 – the reclusive and, well, odd Cornell Woolrich was born in NYC
Dec 4, 1924 – photojournalist and novelist William Diehl was born in Queens
Dec 4, 1927 – Southern mystery writer and poet Anne George was born in Montgomery, AL
Dec 4, 1940 – future career criminal Gary Gilmore was born in McCarney, TX
Dec 4, 1949 – the multi-talented Jeff Bridges was born in LA
Dec 5 – two noted Hollywood directors were born: Fritz Lang (1890, Vienna) and Otto Preminger (1906, Wiznitz, Austria-Hungaria, which is now part of Ukraine)
Dec 5, 1936 – modern master James Lee Burke was born in Houston
Dec 5, 1914 – post-war German crime writer Hans Hellmut Kirst was born in Osterode, East Prussia. His The Night of the Generals would be published in 1963 (Peter O’Toole starred in the movie)
Dec 5, 19?? - local favorite author Stella Cameron was born in Weymouth, Britain – Early Happy Birthday!
Dec 5, 19XX – one of the greatest supporters of this shop was born – an early Happy Birthday to Diana M.!
Dec 5, 1963 – US premiere of Charade
And Have a Relaxing and Book-Filled Weekend!