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Not Your Mother's Book Club Blog

Books Inc., the West’s oldest independent bookstore, started Not Your Mother’s Book Club with one big idea: to bring the best writers in the world to the best readers in the world. And we're not REALLY a club. That's just our name, and really, what's in a name? We're actually just an inclusive bunch of PASSIONATE readers who get to hang out with the coolest authors on the scene!
We throw parties, eat snacks and read, read, read, read, read...
 We also have a lot of fun ... and we invite you to join us.  
Yay books!

NYMBC's blog

Viewing Directions: Turn Your Head Sideways.

Don't worry, you look awesome, or quizzical (maybe?) with your head all sideways like that. But documented here is Susane's first taste of a Kara's cupcake. And no big deal, but we were right: Kara's is LEGIT. Susane made the excellent point that she hasn't had the Sprinkles carrot cake cupcake lately. So once she's done being on tour, she's going to have to do some follow-up taste-testing and let us know once and for all: Kara's or Sprinkles?

Susane Colasanti Takes Cupcakes SUPER SERIOUSLY

It's true. Susane takes cupcakes so seriously, in fact, that when one of her guests was spotted holding a Kara's Cupcakes box she immediately needed to know: is Kara's BETTER than Sprinkles? Being that Susane is from New York (the other Cupcake Capital of the U.S.) and that she missed the launch of the new Sprinkles cupcake shop in her home town, she was thrilled to find that there was a Sprinkles right by our Palo Alto store. But being that we here at Not Your Mother's Bookclub ALSO take cupcakes super seriously, and often provide Kara's Cupcakes at our events (or Susie Cakes, both deeeelicious) we felt the need to host our first EVER field trip for our first ever CUPCAKE THROW-DOWN OF DEATH. (fine, there was no death, but there was cake, and given the choice between cake or death, we here at NYMBC always choose cake. Obviously.)

Blog We Love: A Girl With Books

So ok, we're probably pretty biased because the proprieter of A Girl With Books is one of OUR girls... Her name is Connie and she works at our Opera Plaza store in San Francisco. Connie's an avid reader (hello, she works in a bookstore) and now that she's graduated SFSU (CONGRATULATIONS, CONNIE!) she's going to have ever more time to spend on her awesome blog. Below, is the review she wrote of The Mockingbirds by local author (and NYMBC guest) Daisy Whitney.

The Mockingbirds opens with Alex waking up in an unknown person's bed with no memory of the night before. She had sex, but she never remembers consenting. As fragments of the night comes back, Alex realizes that she been raped. What follows is an exceptional debut book about a young girl's stand for justice. Complex and authentic, Whitney weaves a story that's part courtroom drama and part emotional journey as Alex struggles to find her self and her voice in the aftermath of her rape.

I really love this book. It was one of my favorite debut novels of 2010. The characters and plot were so skillfully crafted that this is an impressive story that I would advocate every teen and their parent read this book. Alex's characterization felt very spot-on and realistic as she struggles with her feelings of doubt, guilt, shame, etc. as she attempts to feel 'normal' again. Her vulnerability and strength as she confronts her demons and her rapist definitely got me rooting for her. I also enjoyed the strong secondary female characters Whitney writes. Maia, Amy, T.S., etc. were all incredible characters as they help support Alex through her healing process. My internal feminist was definitely jumping up and down as these characters appeared on the page. Additionally, Whitney does not fall into the trap of characterizing all the boys as one-dimensional stereotypes. There were the jerks (Carter), but she also has Jones and Martin, boys who have a strong moral code and different ideas on how to approach justice.

One major aspect that I notice in many reviews is the commentary that Carter did not get a fitting enough punishment for his crime. That date rape is something that need to be address by the public legal system and that he should be given time in prison, etc.. I don't disagree with that statement. Rape is a serious issue and I completely agree that Carter should be given a harsher sentence, but given the confines of the premise, the punishment the Mockingbirds give for the guilt sentence is as far as their power can go. Because the Mockingbirds is a student-run society, anything harsher is out of their reach. The other comments I notice is about the version of justice that the Mockingbirds use on Carter. I can understand their point, but my counterpoint is that since the Mockingbirds is not a formal court of justice, they have to use other avenues to ensure that the accuse show up for the case and accept their punishment if found guilty. If they did not use ways to compel the accused to show up, how will they try the case or punish someone, the Mockingbirds will be an ineffective group. And it is very checks and balance as attest by Alex when she signed the contract. If Alex was found lying, she'll have to accept punishment.

"Sexual assault is against the standards to which Themis students hold themselves. Sexual assault is sexual contact (not just intercourse) where one of the parties has not given or cannot give active verbal consent, i.e., uttered a clear "yes" to the action. If a person does not say "no" that does not mean he or she said "yes." Silence does not equal consent. Silence could mean fear, confusion, inebriation. The only thing that means yes is yes. A lack of yes is a no."

This quote above is one of the most candid messages I read about rape in a YA book and one of the best messages in this book. Especially today, where society still stigmatize women for not being a virgin or acting morally (getting drunk or high, dressing provactively, etc.). And if they do act unmoral, they are therefore "asking for it." The Mockingbirds empowers women with its strong message that rape isn't simply the act of sexual intercourse and that being drunk or expressing sexuality through clothes or words is not an agreement to sex. That silence does not equal consent. And a lack of yes is a no. This message alone makes The Mockingbirds a must-read for anybody and everybody, but combined with the awesome characters and plot, its not only empowering, but page-turning as well.

Happy Book Birthday to SO MUCH CLOSER!


Come celebrate this awesome new book with Susane Colasanti herself at our next event! Information here.

An Adaptation of Maggie Stiefvater's SHIVER


Pure brilliance. Meet Maggie at the THIS IS TEEN event June 13th at our Opera Plaza store! And please, bring your puppets.

On Sale May 3rd: Divergent by Veronica Roth

There is a serious glut of dystopian young adult novels in the market right now, and just about all of them claim to appeal to fans of The Hunger Games. And honestly, most of them don't. Of course it makes sense as marketers to align new titles with the most successful YA of the last few years, whether or not the new book is actually similar in appeal. But now, we finally have a worthy heir to Collins' blockbuster: Divergence, by debut author Veronica Roth.
 
The world of Divergence is fully imagined from page one, and like The Hunger Games, takes place in a post-apocalyptic American landscape. Society in this future is highly stratified into five factions. Each faction is defined by a value that they believe counteracts the cause for the historical catastrophe that created their ravaged landscape. The Amity faction, who blamed aggression, value peace and live their lives accordingly, as farmers and caretakers. The Candor faction, who blamed duplicity, value honesty, even in its bluntest forms. The Abnegation, who blamed selfishness, value selflessness, and as such live ascetically and also command the government. The Dauntless, who blamed cowardice, value bravery and are the soldiers and police of this new world. And lastly, the Erudite, who blamed ignorace, value intellect. However, there is strife between the factions, primarily between the Erudite and the Abnegation; at the onset of the story, the Erudite have been releasing "antagonistic reports" about the Abnegation faction. Our protagonist, Beatrice, is of the Abnegation faction, but when it comes time for her to choose her own path, she finds herself among the Dauntless. What ensues is a fabulously propulsive ride into the dangerous world of the Dauntless.
 
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