Thursday, April 29, 2010

Introducing The Kids Book Review Club at The Bookstore

The Bookstore is proud to introduce its new children's program: The Kids Book Review Club: Book Reviews by Kids for Kids! We'll be launching the program in May, starting with the second graders from Lincoln School.

Any child who loves to read and write book reviews is eligible to join. We will keep your book reviews in a special Kids Book Review Club Binder at The Bookstore, and publish them from time to time on our blog. We have official membership cards for anyone who turns in a review to the store, whether in person or by e-mail to

The Lincoln School second grade book reviews will be featured in a rotating window and table display at The Bookstore from May 8th through May 22nd. Any student book reviewer who stops in The Bookstore during that time will receive a membership card and a small treat. Their family will receive 10% off all purchases during their visit. The book reviewers have also been invited to make an optional oral presentation on Thursday, May 13th and Thursday, May 20th between 4:00 and 6:30pm. Reviewers are asked to sign up for a specific one-half hour time slot by e-mail.

If there are any other classrooms that would like to participate in a similar program, please let us know! Children are also welcome to participate on an individual basis or in connection with their usual summer reading program. Who knows? Some day they could grow up to be a famous book reviewer! And then they can say it all started here. . . .

Here is a sample of some of our Kids Book Reviews:

Kids Book Reviews

Library Lion by Michelle Knudsen
Reviewer: Maddie
A lion comes to the library! What will happen to the people? Will they be eaten or no? Hope not! My favorite part was when the lion came to the library. The lion comes and everyone is scared. I like this part because I love lions. I recommend this book to people who like animals. It is a good book. It's a favorite!

The Cat in the Hat by Dr. Seuss
Reviewer: Zak
The Cat in the Hat is an interesting book by Dr. Seuss. He comes and plays with the kids that live there. It shows people how to have fun. My favorite part is the cat juggling stuff. I connected to this part when I tried to juggle.
I recommend this book to people who like Dr. Seuss because he has a lot of imagination from just doodling pictures. You should read this book because it's a good book.

And to Think I Saw it On Mulberry Street by Dr. Seuss
Reviewer: Rory
And to Think I Saw It On Mulberry Street is about this boy who only sees a donkey pulling a man in a wagon on the way to school and back. But he keeps imagining it bigger and bigger. And the author is . . . Dr. Seuss.
I imagined every day how cars would look like in the future. If wagons were real then and if they had any lakes. But the Awesomest part is when theirs a band on it a man sitting on Teeny tinny house and the President watching. I recommend this book to anyone who like crazy wiled stores. Dr. Seuss took me and might take you into this little guys imagination. So if you're looking for a crazy story you should read this book!

Escape by Paul Dowswell

Reviewer: Yusuf

Escape is by Paul Dowswell. It is a book about notorious people who escaped from all different jails. Some people had to travel by ship to get away. My favorite part is in Break Out of Alcatraz, chapter when they made a power drill out of . . . What you may ask read this book and find out. There trying to make a tool for digging so first they use a spoon and a couple of other stuff. Then they got a little chip and some advice. I like this part because they use the drill when other people play there instrument. So they are muted out. I recommend this book for anyone who has a spirit of adventure! Paul Dowswell takes us to and shows us all the famous escapes. You should read this book to find out about the great escapes.

Keep checking our blog for more Kids Book Reviews. All Lincoln School second graders' reviews will be published during the month of May.

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Author Kelly O'Connor McNees Pays a Visit

I love Twitter.

One day I'm tweeting about how much I enjoyed a new April release, and the next week the author comes to pay us a visit at The Bookstore. And that's how Twitter friends can become friends IRL.

Pictured here is Kelly O'Connor McNees signing copies of her debut novel, The Lost Summer of Lousia May Alcott (Amy Einhorn Books; IndieNext List Notable for April 2010). We had a great afternoon chatting about books - at one point she even got to play "Bookseller For A Day" and help us try to find a book for a customer who'd heard "something on NPR."

We have a few extra signed copies in stock if you hurry in. You'll see in the background of this photo that her book has already earned a blue "staff pick" card, as well as a Book Blogger Bookmark from @devourerofbooks, our favorite area book blogger. As I said on my staff pick card, this book is for "anyone who would rather read and write than do laundry." I can only hope that describes you.

The Lost Summer of Louisa May Alcott will make a fantastic book club discussion book - we even got started on a discussion of our own yesterday - about the sacrifices women make or refuse to make as they try to figure out how to balance work, love, family and laundry. I'd recommend it to fans of Little Women, those who enjoyed Geraldine Brooks' wonderful book March, as well as anyone who simply enjoys a smart, sweet love story. If that's you, I promise you'll love it.

I'd love to tell you more, but I've been putting off laundry all day. Ah yes, the balancing act.

The 1st Annual Downtown Glen Ellyn Bookfest

Featured Author Events
Downtown Glen Ellyn Bookfest
June 19, 2010

The Bookstore, along with the Glen Ellyn Public Library and the Downtown Glen Ellyn Alliance, is pleased to announce the following line-up of Featured Authors at the 1st Annual Downtown Glen Ellyn Bookfest. For questions, please call The Bookstore at (630) 469-2891.

In addition to this stellar list of Featured Authors, there are many other free programs and events planned for the Bookfest, including book signings, workshops, storytimes, a poetry slam and a 50 Hour Team Readathon in celebration of The Bookstore's 50th Anniversary in 2010. For a preliminary schedule, go to the Downtown Glen Ellyn Alliance website, which will continue to be updated. For additional updates, follow the Bookfest on or on Facebook.

New York Times Bestselling Author
Keynote Speaker
June 19, 2010 at 3pm
Glenbard West High School Auditorium
670 Crescent Blvd., Glen Ellyn
(Ticketed event, book signing to follow)

Tickets include a copy of her latest book, The Last Time I Saw You, a lovely book that follows five characters as they prepare for and attend their 45th high school reunion. Tickets are $25.00 and are available online or at The Bookstore, 475 N. Main St., Glen Ellyn, IL 60137. Online tickets may be redeemed at The Bookstore for a copy of the book any time after April 6th, otherwise it will be available for pick-up at the Auditorium on the date of the event. If you do not require a copy of the book, you may substitute a $25.00 gift certificate to The Bookstore. Questions? Please call The Bookstore at (630) 469-2891.

Charlene Ann Baumbich
Author, Speaker, Humorist
Author of Stray Affections and more
Introducing and Welcoming Elizabeth Berg
Featured Author & Humorist:
"Get Lit" Happy Hour
4-6pm, Tap House Grill, 411 N. Main St.
(Event open to the public, book signing)

Author of Claude and Camille: A Monet Novel, Marrying Mozart, and more
Featured Author Luncheon at Bistro Monet
June 19th, 11:30- 1pm (followed by book signing)
Bistro Monet, 462 N. Park Blvd.

This is a ticketed event at a charming local French Bistro, which includes a special price fixe menu (inspired by the Paris Bistros Monet himself frequented!) and a copy of Claude and Camille. Tickets are $50 and may be purchased at The Bookstore or online. If you choose to purchase your ticket online, you may pick up your book at The Bookstore at any time prior to the event, otherwise they will be available at Bistro Monet at the time of the luncheon. If you do not require a copy of the book, you may substitute a $25.00 gift certificate to The Bookstore.

Featured Author Discussion with Kelly O'Connor McNees:
"Risky Business: Writing About Literary Icons"
June 19th at 1:30pm
Glen Ellyn Public Library, 400 Duane Street
(Free event open to the public; book signing to follow)
Author of The Lost Summer of Louisa May Alcott
Featured Author Discussion with M. Benjamin:
"Risky Business: Writing About Literary Icons"
June 19th at 1:30pm
Glen Ellyn Public Library, 400 Duane Street
(Free event open to the public; book signing to follow)

"Bagels at The Bookstore"
June 19th, 10am-11:30am
The Bookstore, 475 N. Main St.
(Open to the public; free bagels & coffee)

Valerie Laken
Author of Dream House
Book Talk and Signing
Renaissance Art Studio
481 N. Main St.
Time to be announced
(Open and free to the public)

Author of numerous adults and children's books including The Underground Railroad In Illinois and An Apple for Harriet Tubman
Featured Author Talk: "Local Underground Railroad History"
10-11am, Glen Ellyn Public Library
400 Duane Street
(Open and free to the public, book signing)

Featured Author - Family Lunch and Art Workshop
June 19th, 11am-1pm
479 Pennsylvania Ave., Glen Ellyn
(Book signing available)

This is a ticketed event that includes a fixed-price menu and one copy of the book per family. Marianne Malone will discuss her inspiration for the book, which is about children who time travel through the Thorne Miniature Rooms at The Art Institute of Chicago. The event will include a special art project for all of the children, supplies and guidance provided. Tickets are not yet available, but will be sold at The Bookstore and on the Downtown Alliance website.

Featured Author -Family Dinner Event: "Baseball Books"
June 19th, 6-8pm
405 N. Main St.

This is a ticketed event, featuring a fixed price dinner at an old-fashioned independent family restaurant and soda shop. The theme is baseball for fans of all ages. Billy Lombardo will speak about his book, which is about a "Baseball Dad" and his son, who becomes an ambidextrous pitcher for the Chicago Cubs. Tickets include one copy of The Man With Two Arms per family. Tickets are not yet available, but will soon be sold on the Downtown Glen Ellyn Alliance website. Questions? Call The Bookstore at (630) 469-2891.

J.A. Konrath
Author and Writing Instructor, COD
Author of numerous novels featuring Lieutenant Jacqueline "Jack" Daniels, including: Whiskey Sour, Fuzzy Navel, Shot of Tequila and Cherry Bomb.
Featured Author at "Get Lit" Happy Hour
4-6pm, Tap House Grill, 411 N. Main St.
(Open to public, book signing available)

Featured Author: Italian Dinner Event
Details available soon

Artist and Author of numerous children's books:
Featured Author: "Kids Love Art Books!"
9:30-10:30am, Glen Ellyn Public Library
400 Duane Street, Glen Ellyn
(Open to the public; book signing available)

We hope you're as excited as we are about this outstanding list of Featured Authors who will be coming to Glen Ellyn for the 1st Annual Downtown Glen Ellyn Bookfest. Help make Glen Ellyn "A Village That Celebrates Books!"

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Elizabeth Berg: The Last Time I Saw You

We couldn't be more excited about the recent release of Elizabeth Berg's newest book, The Last Time I Saw You. Elizabeth Berg will be coming to Glen Ellyn this summer for an appearance at the 1st Annual Downtown Glen Ellyn Bookfest on June 19th.

Elizabeth Berg is the Keynote Speaker at the GE Bookfest and will be speaking at the Glenbard West High School Auditorium at 3:00pm, where she will be introduced by Glen Ellyn's own local author, Charlene Baumbich.

Tickets for Berg's appearance and book signing are available at the Downtown Glen Ellyn website, or are available in person at The Bookstore. The ticket price includes a copy of the book, which may be claimed at The Bookstore at any time prior to the event (bring your ticket). All remaining book orders will be distributed at check-in at the event. If you have any questions, just call The Bookstore at (630) 469-2891.

The Bookstore staff has already enjoyed an advance copy of the book, so we can tell you a little bit about it already. It's based on five different characters who are preparing to go to their 40th high school reunion. Anyone thinking about a reunion can relate to this book, whether you're getting ready for your 5th or your 50th. As is always the case with Elizabeth Berg's fiction, her characters are real and authentic. They have a way of giving you those familiar "me too" moments of self-recognition. One of my favorite scenes is between a mother and her 20-something daughter who is giving wardrobe advice for the reunion. I've been there, and Elizabeth Berg captures the daughter's tone perfectly (sweet or condescending? -- so hard to tell sometimes).

We heartily recommend this book to our customers, and think it will make a wonderful Mother's Day gift. (In fact, why not buy your mom a ticket to this and some of the other wonderful events at The Bookfest, and spend the day together? Fun coincidence: it's the same day as the Glen Ellyn Garden Walk.) Another great idea? Invite some of your old high school friends and share some good laughs about some of your own bad reunions!

Elizabeth was kind enough to answer a few of my questions about her book and her appearance at the GE Bookfest, and I'm happy to share the Q & A here:

Margie: I love the title of your new book: The Last Time I Saw You. It implies change, whether good or bad, and it's so open-ended. It invites us to think back to our own high school years and fill in the blank. If one of your former high school classmates said that to you now, how might they complete the sentence? Would it make you cringe or would it make you smile?

Elizabeth: Oh jeez. they'd probably say, "The last time I saw you, you were wearing cat-eye glasses and asking teachers questions like, "What is truth?" I'm embarrassed to say I actually did ask my poor history teacher that. We weren't even talking about anything like that. I just wanted him to say, "Well, what do you think it is?" and then I could answer by saying what I'd recently heard a very smart friend of mine say: "Truth is what you believe."

Margie: The book revolves around the characters' 40th High School reunion, but it will be the last reunion for this group so it feels like the stakes are raised. It's now or never. Do you think that's what motivated the characters to step up and connect? What does that say about our daily lives?

Elizabeth: There is something about last chances, isn't there? So yes, I do think it was a motivating force for all the characters to show up at their reunion. As for what it says about our daily lives, maybe it brings into focus the fact that we pass up a lot of opportunities until our backs are to the wall.

Margie: I absolutely loved the character Lester, who is an incredibly devoted veterinarian. He's the kind of doctor you dream of having, whether it's for our pets or our human family. At the same time, however, you can see that Lester's devotion comes at least in part from a sad and lonely place. It makes you wonder how often brilliant work really does spring from loss. Your thoughts?

Elizabeth: I think this is an astute observation. Lester would be a good vet because he is a kind and sensitive person and he's nuts about animals. But the degree of his devotion does indeed have to do with the fact that his work is substitute for another kind of love in his life. He's not quite sure he really wants. I think some people choose to have work be the love of their life. Or the work that they choose leaves no room for anything else and they don't have a problem with that. Most of us, of course, need the love and care of another individual, and we need to offer the same in return.

Margie: When you come to the Downtown Glen Ellyn Bookfest on June 19th, you'll be speaking at the Glenbard West High School Auditorium just a couple of weeks after the Class of 2010 graduates. I'm sure their 40th reunion in 2050 is unimaginable to them. What kind of graduation advice would some of the characters in The Last Time I Saw You offer them? (Dorothy the newly divorced one, Pete the heartthrob, Mary Alice the excluded one, Candy the beauty, or Lester the quiet vet?)


Dorothy: As much as you are able, drop the pretense. As early as you can, learn to be who you really are. Also: men are not all they're cranked up to be. Grandchildren are.

Pete: Always wear short shirts, even when you get old.

Mary Alice: The best things do not always come from obvious places. In fact, they hardly ever do. Life is capable of surprising you in the most unexpected of ways, no matter who you are or how old you are. Learn to trust the unknown and to always have hope in the future.

Candy: See and respect yourself first. Then you can love the whole world.

Lester: If you get a dog, get a big one. If you profess to love someone, make a habit of showing them that love every single day. Try to live your life looking forward not backward.

Margie: Thanks, Elizabeth!

I hope you're as excited as I am to welcome Elizabeth Berg to Glen Ellyn. See you at the Bookfest on June 19th! Any questions, just call us at (630) 469-2891 or e-mail us at