July 27, 2007

Some new books came my way today, Stranger. It was no surprise to me. I ordered them, after all. A synopsis, or what passes for one, follows. First, I'd like to introduce you to Kate Schatz. You may already know her if you're from Providence and if you were a student at Brown's Fine Arts program and if you were a devotee of the Providence Kickball League. She has published a short novel, part of the the 33 1/3 series put out by Continuum (go to their website, www.continuumbooks.com, for informations and explanations), called Rid Of Me. If you recognize that as the title of a P. J. Harvey album, well kudos to you, Stranger! You've done it again. Also of local import, Mary Cappello (occasional customer of Ada Books) has recently published Awkward: A Detour. It is, as I understand it, a sturdy of. A study off. A study of awkwardness. Or, as Sarah Waters blurbs (on the book's cover), it is "A wonderful, multi-layered piece of writing, with all the insight of great cultural criticism and all the emotional pull of memoir." Now, for those of you who prefer their stories told in a series of illustrations, I also have some new graphic novels, including: Aya, by Marguerite Abouet and Clement Oubrerie; Exit Wounds, by Rutu Modan; The Three Paradoxes, by Paul Hornschemeier; and others by Chris Ware, Charles Burns, Yoshihiro Tatsumi, Joe Matt, Ivan Brunetti and more! Okay, maybe only two or three more, but I'd like to leave some things to your imagination, Stranger. Like what I'm wearing, for instance. And whether or not I shaved this morning. And do I still refuse to wear cologne? These things can only be discovered in person, at Ada Books, within range of a hand-shake.

July 22, 2007

I encourage you, Stranger (and even the not-so strange), to visit inkape.com(you'll find the link at your right). It's a swell site put up by a customer and acquaintance of Ada Books, Alec Thibodeau. Not only is Alec a nice guy but he's a brilliant artist and musician. His posters are brief histories of imaginary worlds (worlds that I sometimes wish were really real). If you live in Providence then you are probably already familiar with his work -- it's been on the walls and in the windows of many worthwhile coffee shops, record huts, bars, restaurants and even the occasional bookstore. Hell, if you live in Providence, you might even know the guy, you might have one of his posters on your living room wall, above your television (and making you feel guilty for not doing something more important with your time than watching television). So have a look. You won't be wasting your time. Your time, in fact, will become more valuable. And your eyes will thank you. That of course is just one bookmonger's opinion. You, Stranger, should decide for yourself.

July 21, 2007

Ada Books will be closing at three-thirty this afternoon so that I, the illustrious proprietor, can have a little light-headed fun. What is it that draws me away from my duties? What is it that upends my sense of priority? I'm not sure what it is, Stranger, but I know it can be found on the business end of a kickball. (Stop by tomorrow and ask me about my old, inflexible muscles and how they ache!)

July 20, 2007

Last night, Ada Books received its first-ever award for excellence in anything: Best Bookshop for Literati. The award was granted by Rhode Island Monthly, a slick but only slightly garish magazine whose motto seems to be, "It's swell to live in the nation's smallest state!" Notice came via mail almost a month ago that I had won and that there would be a party and wouldn't I like to come? I threw this notice away along with the pounds of junk I get in my mailbox every week. (Who knows how many other worthy awards I might have thrown away?) By phone, a week or so ago, I was asked why I hadn't RSVPed. There'll be a party; wouldn't I like to come? I told the phone that I thought it might be a scam of some kind or even worse, a joke. But this was no joke, I was told. This was for charity. The complimentary tickets came a few days later. So, my wife and I clipped on our black ties (Well, my wife doesn't actually wear a tie. She believes a naked throat better suits her burgundy cumberbund.), fixed our dos (which were then ruined by an early evening rain storm) and walked over to the Providence Performing Arts Center. Inside, we (along with everybody else) were met by flashbulbs, as if we were important or something. Farther inside, we were met by free booze and food and a few congratulatory speeches, including one from the mayor of Providence (the Tom Thumb of modern American mayors). And after we indulged with our friends and fellow award winners (and after I over-indulged with cheese and beer) we were given a framed testimony to the bestiness of Ada Books along with a copy of this month's Rhode Island Monthly (published today) with this little item on page fifty-eight: No chains, no massive inventory, no glossy facade. Ada Books is a good old-fashioned shop-around-the-corner. Its alcove-like interior may not have a coffeeshop, but it's got sky-high shelves of novels and poetry, just the thing for a lazy afternoon or browsing in anticipation of a long trip. If a great book is a world unto itself, this small oasis in the midst of mainstream commercialism is a micro-cosm of just that. Poetry readings add to the allure. Did you hear that, Stranger? Somebody out there thinks that Ada Books has allure!

July 13, 2007

I guess I should have mentioned, in yesterday's blog, that Ada Books will be closed on Saturday. And furthermore, it will closed on Sunday, then again on Monday, dark on Tuesday, shut on Wednesday. On Thursday, it will be business as usual or with luck, better than usual. On Friday, we'll have some poetry. Matthew Henriksen and Thibault Raoult will read from their work. Here's what Kate Schapira (our humble organizer) has to say about them: Matthew Henriksen co-edits Typo and Cannibal
and curates The Burning Chair Readings in Brooklyn. He has a chapbook, Is Holy, from horse less press. Recent poems appear in MiPoesias, Absent Magazine, Agriculture Reader, Wildlife, Lit, Third Coast, Redivider and Forklift, Ohio. Born in Pithiviers, France, yet raised in Rochester, NY, Thibault Raoult now lives in Providence, RI, often refusing to vacate Brown
U.'s Literary Arts Program's Lounge. Fortunately, he parts the program. With work in Octopus 4 (nominated for a Pushcart Prize) and typo 8, Thibault will soon have 'some' book appear in the Cannibal Series, likely entitled √Čl P.E. (physical education of the elevated
train) featuring "Pro(m)bois(e)"—for serious. A former Dolin Scholar at the University of Chicago, he generates—at 6'6"—the dreams [of the
congregation of details, a tricoastal rock ensemble.
It will start around 6pm and there will be wine and snacks and air-conditioned air. Won't you join us, Stranger?

July 12, 2007

Stranger, this Saturday -- before or after your precious beach time -- you ought to go downtown, on Empire Street to be precise (between Washington and Weybosset, for those that like their precision extra acute), and there you will find Foo Fest. What is Foo Fest? And why is it called Foo Fest? And just what in hell is a Foo anyway? Truth is, I have no idea. And what's more, I think you should quit pestering me, go to the AS220 link (at the right side of the screen) and do your own Foo-search, all right? They're putting on this Foo Fest, not me. I'll just have a booth there, for your convenience. If you catch me near noon, I'll be happy to glad-hand and schmooze and chat and kiss-on-the-cheek and even make reading suggestions, if necessary. Later in the day, I may be hot or tired and I'll definitely be a little drunk and possibly asleep, so perhaps my lovely wife will help you out. Either way, we'd love to see you. It's been a long time.

July 11, 2007

I've got some new art on my walls. New to me, that is. The artists -- Nick Cope and Cassidy Reihwaldt -- have seen them lots of times already, I'm sure. Probably tired of having their stuff kick around the studio. Wanted, perhaps, to give them some air. And so they sent them to Ada Books. They are hanging behind me even now, staring at the back of my head. I won't bother with a critique. I'm hardly qualified for that. I will tell you what Nick Cope would tell you were you (and he) here (or if you were to read the bio-paragraph he left behind): that he is . . . interested in consumption and synchronicity . . . and that these two disparate topics come together when one refuses to 'buy' into the model of hierachical capitalist distribution and keeps the heart open to receive working materials from arbitrary sources. Cassaidy has kept mum about what inspires her. But you can make up your own mind, Stranger, about both of these artist's work, by coming down to the shop and gazing at the walls awhile.

July 10, 2007

When you get a chance, Stranger, please check out my new Biz page. It's not drastically different than the old Biz page, but I have had my web-man implement a few changes. Most noticeably, you'll find (if you care to look) a spiffy new request form. You can use this form for requests. Hence it's ever-so practical name. I like taking them; requests, I mean. Even if they turn out to be impossible or outlandish or simply silly. So don't be shy. Ask away. I'm always listening.

July 3, 2007

Ada Books will be closed for Independence Day, Stranger. I, like you, have too many beers and barbecues to attend to and I can't be bothered to open for business when more important business will preoccupy us all. I'll be here on the Fifth of July, hangover proudly on display.