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Funny Things About the Holidays at Square Books

This time of year people like to buy gifts that are fun, and often consider a book that is funny a go-to item for the person they may not know so well, or, perhaps, the person they do -- like a brother or sister. Humor books also make good stocking stuffers.   

   This year we seem to have a better selection than usual. Two have been tickling our bestseller list for weeks now -- Everything I Need to Know I Learned from a Little Golden Book (9.95), which uses art from your old favorite Golden Books and is a bona fide Golden Book (it has the little gold band on the spine); the other is actually a sort of useful, modern-day etiquette book that has a funny title, How Not to be a Dick (16.99), with Dick-and-Jane-ish drawings.

Married folks will find something to laugh about for sure in The Married Kama Sutra: The World's Least Erotic Sex Manual (16.00, illustrated) by Simon Rich and Farley Katch. "When the man is loading the dishwasher and the woman must come over because he is loading it wrong, it is called 'the dishwasher position'." And, after Christmas dinner, families can sit around laughing over Awkward Family Holiday Photos (15.00).

"Trattoria Amazonia" and "The Royal and Ancient Galapogolf" are just two of the illustrated chapters by David Letterman and Bruce McCall in This Land Was Made for You and Me (But Mostly Me) (25.95), who poke fun at how the planet is the playground of the filthy rich, an excellent gift for anyone who isn't, though no one will laugh louder than those who are. We just received "the autobiography every true American has been waiting for: a shockingly candid and raw confessional from a national treasure" -- by Ron Burgundy, entitled Let Me Off at the Top! My Classy Life and Other Musings (22.00). Ron's book jacket carries his own blurb: "I wrote a hell of a book!" with a large picture of his handsome, mustachioed face and anchorman smirk.

Finally, for those who take humor seriously, there's the new fifth edition of the Oxford Dictionary of Humorous Quotations (35.00). "A difference of taste in jokes is a great strain on the affections" -- George Eliot.  RH  

29 Days of Grinchmas

25 Days of Grinchmas will spread good deeds throughout the community, building a sense of togetherness and holiday spirit while supporting local retail shops during the holiday season.

Stop by Square Books, Jr. from November 16 through December 14 to pick up a Grinchmas bingo card. Mark off good deeds done at home, in the community, and at 1 of 28 participating stores around the Square. After you've bingoed, take the card back to Square Books, Jr. and you will receive a "grow your heart three sizes button."

Another way to do good deeds is to purchase a book at 20% discount for Leapfrog and place a heart ornament on the Grinchmas tree. We will have a special storytime on Saturday, December 14th to celebrate all the good deeds done and the Grinch himself will be in attendance.

Late November Events at Square Books

Square Books prepares to close out a record year of author events as we approach Thanksgiving and the holidays.  Mississippian Snowden Wright is here Wednesday, November 20, with Play Pretty Blues (Engine Books, 14.95); Jayne Anne Phillips returns to Square Books on Thacker Mountain Thursday, November 21 to read from her brilliant new novel, Quiet Dell (Scribner, 28.00); and on Friday, November 22, Wright Thompson (who has just appeared in Best American Sports Stories 2013 for an unprecedented eighth consecutive years) will interview Nicholas Dawidoff, sportswriter nonpareil, with his just-released Collision Low Crossers (Little Brown, 28.00), an inside look at the NFL that readers already are comparing to Paper Lion, and saying that it is the best book ever written on professional football.

We will finish November celebrating Small Business Saturday and featuring four guest authors -- who will be booksellers! Sarah Frances Hardy at Jr, and Beth Ann Fennelly, Deborah Johnson, and Ace Atkins will be helping us help you -- and they might sign a book or two of their own. While we always tell publishers we do not do events in December, we will break our rule for Ann Patchett, Joshilyn Jackson, Melissa Townsend, Ken Wooten, and -- how could we resist -- The Grinch. More on that in a later post.  -- R.H.

The Book of Manning DVD

After the ESPN airing of The Book of Manning -- the story of legendary Mississippians Archie and Olivia Manning and their sons, Cooper, Peyton, and Eli, who together became the first family of American football -- we received scores of inquiries for "the book" of The Book of Manning. There is no such book, though we think it would be a good idea if there were, but there is, or will be by October 29, a 77-minute DVD ($14.95), for which we are now taking orders. 

Narrated by John Goodman, The Book of Manning features revealing interviews with family members, friends, former teammates and coaches as well as photos and home movie footage of Archie and his sons. Through it all, director Rory Karpf explores how a tragedy shaped the course of not only Archie's life, but his family's as well.      

Ole Miss fans may want to consider adding to your order the following recent publications:

The Education of a Lifetime (24.95), the memoir by former Chancellor Robert Khayat (signed copies) which John Grisham called "engaging and unflinching" 
Are You Ready? 100 Years of Family, Friends, and Food (35.00), from the Department of Nutrition and Hospitality Management, University of Mississippi, featuring recipes, photos, and anecdotes
Ole Miss: A Photographic Essay (42.00), the new book with photographs by Kevin Bain, Robert Jordan, and Nathan Latil, with an introduction by Chancellor Dan Jones and Foreword by Jeff McManus, Director of Landscape Services, featuring the most beautiful college campus in America
For The Love of Oxford (14.00), the 2014 calendar with illustrations by Janie Davis
Where Do They Go on Game Day: The Story of the Squirrels Who Live in the Grove (14.95), the charming new children's book by Laurie G. Fisher

Sycamore Row by John Grisham (28.95), the new suspense novel out October 22 Signed Copies

The Tilted World (25.99), by Tom Franklin and Beth Ann Fennelly, the husband-wife University of Mississippi faculty members, whose novel set during the 1927 Mississippi flood is drawing rave reviews. Signed copies
Pickles, Pigs & Whiskey, (40.00), the great new cookbook by James Beard Award-winning chef and restauranteur John Currence, of City Grocery, Big Bad Breakfast, Boure, and Snack Bar fame. Rich with interesting, fun anecdotes and food lore, with about 130 recipes. Signed copies

shipping: $3 for The Book of Manning, $8 for two or more items. Please refer to your order as Rebel Special.



No one who was in Fulton Chapel for the 1995 Oxford Conference for the Book will ever forget the appearance on stage of Pat Conroy, and lined up beside him, his editor, his agent, his publicist, his high school English teacher, and his father, Donald Conroy, the model of LtCol Bull Meechum, or "The Great Santini." The unforgettable moment that caused the audience to gasp, audibly, occured when Pat Conroy mentioned he had an announcement to make, news that made him "very happy," then saying he had just learned that his father -- standing nearby -- was terminally ill with cancer.

Seventeen-plus years later, in conjunction with a brief tour on behalf of his new book, The Death of Santini, Pat Conroy will return to Fulton Chapel on the campus November 1, 2013. Throughout Conroy's distinguished and dynamic writing career -- The Water Is Wide, The Lords of Discipline, My Reading Life, South of Broad, Beach Music, The Prince of Tides, and My Losing Season, among others -- he has often circled back to the love and the demons of his family, where "the ties of blood can both strangle and offer succor." In writing and publishing The Death of Santini, Pat Conroy has said that he "must examine the wreckage one last time."