Bill Loehfelm visited Square Books on Wednesday to read from and answer questions about The Devil She Knows, his new girtty crime thriller that features Staten Island barmaid Maureen Coughlin, who is causing a bit of a sensation in the book world. Loehfelm, who is from Brooklyn but now lives in New Orleans, said The Devil She Knows became more about the character than the plot -- he chose Maureen after seeing a young woman dressed in a tuxedo, smoking a cigarette while waiting at a bus stop in New York -- and thought she deserved a story. We expect to hear from this gutsy Irish lass again in his next book, to be set in New Orleans -- but you'll want to meet her now in The Devil She Knows! We hope to see Bill in Oxford again. SLM
Bill has an excellent blog that you can read here
Order signed copies of The Devil She Knows here

John Grisham just stopped by to sign copies of his new young adult book, Theodore Boone: The Abduction. Call or click or come by to get one.

The newest pick for the SBJ Book Society is The Emerald Atlas by John Stephens.  The book is 10% off for all SBJ Book Society members. The meeting to discuss the book will be the second Friday of every month from 6 - 7 p.m.

About the Author: JOHN STEPHENS spent ten years in television, and was executive producer of Gossip Girls and a writer for Gilmore Girls and The O.C.  He holds an MFA from the University of Virginia and was inspired to write novels for children after reading Philip Pullman's His Dark Materials trilogy.

About the book: Kate, Michael, and Emma have been in one orphanage after another for the last ten years, passed along like lost baggage.

Yet these unwanted children are more remarkable than they could possibly imagine. Ripped from their parents as babies, they are being protected from a horrible evil of devastating power, an evil they know nothing about.

Until now.

Before long, Kate, Michael, and Emma are on a journey to dangerous and secret corners of the world...a journey of allies and enemies, of magic and mayhem.  And—if an ancient prophesy is correct—what they do can change history, and it is up to them to set things right.

The Emerald Atlas brims with humor and action as it charts Kate, Michael, and Emma's extraordinary adventures through an unforgettable, enchanted world.


Starred Review, School Library Journal, June 2011:
"Unfolding magic and secrets deepen the story and build excitement as it reaches its complex and time-bending climax....Echoes of other popular fantasy series, from “Harry Potter” to the “Narnia” books, are easily found, but debut author Stephens has created a new and appealing read that will leave readers looking forward to the next volumes in this projected trilogy."

Don't worry about staying in the lines.  We're up for anything.  The contest is for ages 16 and under. The shirts are available now at Square Books, Jr. and include one white t-shirt with the Square Books, Jr. logo, 5 assorted fabric markers, and directions for the coloring process.  To enter the contest you must purchase a shirt and then post a photo of your finished design on the Square Books, Jr. Facebook page. Three winners will be selected to receive prizes based on their shirt designs.  One lucky winner may have the chance for their design to be printed as a limited edition shirt for Square Books, Jr.  Judging will occur throughout the summer and the three finalists will be selected at the Square Books, Jr. Back to School Party on Friday, August 5.

YOU CAN VOTE ON THE WINNER TOO! Just go to the Square Books, Jr. Facebook page and "like" your favorite design. The design with the most "likes" at the end of the summer will receive an extra vote in the final selection process.

So don't miss out. Go by Square Books, Jr. today and get your shirt and start coloring.  


1st place: $25 Square Books gift card.

2nd place: $15 Square Books gift card.

3rd place: $10 Square Books gift card.

Finding a good graduation present can be a chore, so we have made a brief annotated list of suggestions -- some are standards and others are new; six are by or about Mississippians; several offer a sort of commencement guidance; and a couple are just for laughs.   We have made a special effort to identify reasonably priced and very nice books.

Saturday dawned gray and gloomy, but that did not deter Oxford visitors from seeing baseball, softball, Ole Miss graduation -- and Kate DiCamillo!  Over one hundred-fifty of Square Books Jr.'s favorite readers and their parents gathered at Off Square Books to hear Kate DiCamillo read from and talk about her award-winning books for children.  

Ms. DiCamillo, or Kate, as anyone who has met her will feel comfortable calling her, began by reading from the Josette Frank Award winner and Newbery Honor book BECAUSE OF WINN DIXIE.  As fond as we are of that book and the movie made from it, hearing Kate read the first chapter was a thrill and seemed even funnier than we remember.

Taking questions from the audience, Kate paraphrased Ray Bradbury in saying that writing a novel is like "...jumping off a cliff and building your wings on the way down."  She added that in writing one of her most recent books, THE MAGICIAN'S ELEPHANT, she learned that one could also, by writing, " your own ladder out of the pit."

Her advice to aspiring writers?   "Read, read, read."   What she would say to all young people?   "Read, read, read."    Where she got her ideas and how she started?   "Reading."    She indulged her enthusiastic audience by reading from her Newbery Award winner, THE TALE OF DESPERAUX, and TIGER RISING when asked.  

Kate patiently signed books for everyone who asked, and returned after lunch (she was thrilled to dine at City Grocery) to sign orders for those who could not be there and for Jr. stock.  All  went away happy, hoping she will return to Oxford with her next book, and, more importantly, hoping that she will keep writing her magical stories.  Thank you Kate DiCamillo, and thank you Jennifer Roberts, from Candlewick, for coming, too!

Filmmaker and author John Sayles read from and discussed his new book, A Moment in the Sun, published by McSweeney's, yesterday at Off Square Books.  The crowd, eager to discuss Sayles' resume of both films and books, listened to the author read two chapters from his new epic novel about the turn-of-the-century, American way of life.  The two chapters Sayles read were just a glimpse into the world he's created in A Moment in the Sun by borrowing from history and extensive amounts of research, which he claimed is what he likes most when writing historical fiction.

After the reading, John Sayles was brief, articulate, and brilliant in talking about why he wrote the book and fielding a host of questions from the audience about the novel and about his many films.  Regarding the inspiration for his film "Passion Fish," he said that Ingmar Bergman's film "Persona" combined with his time working as an orderly in a hospital both served as catalysts. He discussed the Southern setting for his film "Matewan," which seemed to be a crowd favorite, and talked about his book on the making of that film, Thinking in Pictures: The Making of the Movie Matewan.  Before wrapping up the evening and signing everyone's books, Sayles discussed his method of writing versus his method of filmmaking, pointing out their distinct differences. Filmmaking, to paraphrase, is about everything that is revealed and shown to the audience while writing is everything that isn't. A Moment in the Sun is an excellent book and Publisher's Weekly says it "will stand among the finest work on [Sayles'] impressive resume."  Call today for signed copies. DS

John Grisham is back with Theodore Boone: The Abduction, the follow-up to Theodore Boone: Kid Lawyer. Just when it seems like life for Theo is back to the status quo, a new legal mystery comes to town--and Theo is the only one who can crack the case. 

"Not since Nancy Drew has a nosy, crime-obsessed kid been so hard to resist." -The New York Times