By now many of you know of Amazon’s latest bullying incident, delaying shipment of certain titles published by Hachette by as much as three weeks or longer, some say in order to force Hachette to concede more profit to Amazon. Hachette, the French company that bought the Time Warner Book Group in 2006, includes a number of American imprints, including Little Brown and Hyperion, and authors such as Malcolm Gladwell, Kate Atkinson, James Patterson, and George Pelecanos.
Amazon is larger than the next dozen largest online businesses combined, controls well over a third of the American book trade, and has flexed its monopoly muscle in similar ways numerous times. By creating obstacles to buying books from certain “uncooperative” publishers, Amazon also prompts customers – and this may be the ulterior motive here -- toward the option in which they are vastly more dominant, the e-book format.
If you’re in a hurry for your Hachette title, try Square Books, or any other independent bookseller. We don’t have robots snoop around to create your “profile” based on what you read or buy. If we do not have it in stock, most titles we can get in two days, and we will special order immediately any book from any publisher for anyone, any time. -- R.H.
Our friends at Algonquin did the book world a favor last year by returning to print Lewis Nordan’s classic novel based on the murder of Emmett Till, Wolf Whistle (paperback, 13.95), which Randall Kenan once compared to Zora Neale Hurston, Calderon, Shakespeare, and Eudora Welty. Now they have done one better, reissuing Nordan’s breakout classic, the novel-in-stories Music of the Swamp (paperback, 14.95). In its first few pages you are introduced to singing mice, a bare-breasted mermaid (perhaps), the voice of Elvis Presley that boyhood-hero Sugar Mecklin is hearing for the first time on the family’s Philco radio, and finding that, “Today was a Sunday, this was a whole summer, in fact, in which magic might prove once and for all to be true.”
Lewis Nordan lived in Pennsylvania, where he taught at the
University of Pittsburgh, but he was born and raised in Itta Bena, Mississippi. Buddy, as he was known, visited here a
number of times, each one memorable but none more than his first visit to
Square Books with Music of the Swamp. This new edition includes an
essay by the author, “The Invention of Sugar: An Essay about Life in Fiction –
or Vice Versa.” Whenever I
am asked for the best books by Mississippi writers, the remarkable Music of the Swamp is among the first
few I clutch. R.H.
We are thrilled to participate in the 95th celebration of Children’s Book Week this year (May 12th-18th).
Children's Book Week is the annual celebration of books for young people and the joy of reading.
Established in 1919, Children's Book Week is the longest-running national literacy initiative in the country. Every year, commemorative events are held nationwide at schools, libraries, bookstores, homes -- wherever young readers and books connect!
Children's Book Week is a truly national celebration, with events taking place from coast to coast.
Square Books Jr. will participate by hosting:
Laurie Fisher with Where Do the Go on Game Day? May 14 at 10 a.m.
Indie's First Storytime with Curious George and Ace Atkins May 17 at 10 a.m.
Live mannequin readings in the Square Books Jr. window all day Saturday May 17.
Volunteer mannequins can sign up in the store for twenty minute shifts.
THE LITTLE BOOK OF MARY (Chronicle, $19.95) Stories of the Virgin Mary with pictures from prayer cards and missals, this is a lovely gift for any mother with a special devotion to Mary.
THE GIRLS OF ATOMIC CITY (Simon & Schuster, hd. $27.00, pb. $16.00) Denise Kiernan has brought to light a remarkable forgotten chapter of American history of the thousands of women who worked in Oak Ridge, Tennessee during WWII.
UNDER MAGNOLIA: A MEMOIR (Crown, $26.00) Frances Mayes, who brought us UNDER THE TUSCAN SUN, has revisited her childhood growing up in the South with a chaotic, loving family and the importance of place.
THE B.T.C. OLD-FASHIONED GROCERY COOKBOOK (Potter, $29.99) With text and recipes from Alexe Van Beuren and Dixie Grimes, this is a celebration of food and community with lots of love from right down the road in Water Valley.
COOKED (Penguin, $17.00) Get Michael Pollan's latest, now in paperback, and you'll receive two free tickets to see him speak on May 21st. One for you, one for Mother.
EVERYTHING I NEED TO KNOW I LEARNED FROM A LITTLE GOLDEN BOOK (Golden, $9.99) I know your mother knows everything. This is where she learned it.
DEAR MOM ACTIVITY BOOK (Knock Knock, $9.99) A directed book for kids to show how their mom is the coolest.
NATCHEZ BURNING (Morrow, $27.99) After five years, Greg Iles' latest Penn Cage novel is finally here. Stephen King says "fiendishly suspenseful." Signed copies available.
Joanne Wilkinson with books for the inmates at the Lafayette County Detention Center, Oxford MS.
Connie Ramsey and her daughter hand out copies of Bridge to Terabithia at the Pontotoc Library.
Adam Brady handed out Mrs. Darcy Falls in Love at Azalea Gardens.
Thank you to all 2014 World Book Night participants. For information on World Book Night please click here.