In John Irving's Avenue of Mysteries, we get to revisit an American master of the novel and travel with his guide, Juan Diego, from Oaxaca to Iowa to the Philippines. Because Mr. Diego, a former dump kid turned popular novelist, successfully merged both of his backgrounds - Mexican and American - I wanted to do the same with his cocktail. So this is an update of one of the oldest American drinks, the flip, with a Oaxacan twist.
6 oz American Ale
.5 oz high-proof Oaxacan Mezcal
1 tbsp. Demerara sugar
Heat the ale in a pot. Pour boiling water into a tempered glass mug. Toss out the water and add the sugar so that it coats the sides. Add the mezcal. Tilt the mug so the mezcal coats the glass and sugar. Being careful, ignite the mezcal and allow the sugar to caramelize. Finally, extinguish the flame by pouring in the heated ale. Let cool slightly before sipping.
I absolutely loved The Nest by Kenneth Oppel.. It's the story of Steven, a boy whose struggling family is doing their best to care for a sick newborn baby whose health isn't improving. One night, Steven begins to have dreams about strange, flying beings who say they want to help his sick brother... but as their visits continue, Steven begins to suspect that they might really be after something else.
I read the whole thing in a day, and couldn't put it down. Steven is a rare protagonist in fiction -- a sensitive, thoughtful boy who acts as a nurturer and protector. And though supernatural elements form the crux of the tension here, the setting of a family struggling around health issues and disability should be familiar to many readers, both young and old.
The book is truly scary, and doesn't pull its punches. Though nothing too terrible actually happens, there are legitimate, believable life-and-death stakes, and this goes a long way toward making this book the gem it is. The story is ultimately optimistic, and has a great, poignant message about accepting uncertainty and celebrating imperfection.
David- Books Inc. Berkeley
YA Highway has created an awesome, book themed, pumpkin carving contest!
Step One: Carve, paint, decorate, or otherwise turn your pumpkin into a literary masterpiece.
Check their site and tumblr post for more stencils!
Wolf by Wolf by Ryan Graudin is one of my favorite October releases! I picked up the advanced copy when I was in a reading slump. I had tried reading a romance novel, didn't make it far. I tried reading an adventure novel, took too long to get anywhere. I read a few comics, but they're over so fast. I was craving adventure but also a bit of a romance and I wanted a kick-ass female character to pull me in. Nothing I picked up was quite what I was looking for!
Then one day, I was sitting in the back room of one of our stores next the over crowded bookshelf, a graveyard for most advanced copies, looking like it hadn't been cleared out in months. Books were haphazardly stacked onto more stacks of books, and facing out, teetering on the edge of a shelf, was Wolf by Wolf, it's cover instantly drawing my attention.
I admit, I'm a sucker for wolves, so the shadow of the wolf mixed with the motorcycle and map intrigued me. Then the premiss of an alternative WWII where Germany and Japan are in power and Hitler continues to reign, sold it. So into my purse it went! I got home that night and instead of turning on the TV or logging on to Tumblr to scroll the endless void, I pulled out Wolf by Wolf and was instantly pulled in to Yael's world, life, and quest for revenge. It was everything I was looking for. Yael is a strong female character, there's a hint of romance, which is really all I needed, and the action/ adventure was perfect! I LOVED this book. Now I have to go back and read Graduin's previous book, Walled City!
(Yours Truly, portraying all my crazy excitment.)
If you need more information and want another review, check out this Kirkus Review!
It's the last week of October (seriously, what happened to this month?!) and Halloween is upon us! If you're like some of our friends, you put a lot of thought and time into your costumes and when it's all over, the saddness of having to wait a whole other year to dress up again descends upon you. Well, Books Inc. and Not Your Mother's Book Club have a solution for you! Both of our November events encourage dressing up!
First, we have the lovely Gail Carriger celebrating the release of the final book in her Finishing School series, Manners & Mutiny. Come decked out in your Steampunk attire and get the chance to win a Books Inc. gift card!
November 3rd, 7pm at Books Inc. Opera Plaza
Wait!! Don't put your lacey, puffy, silky, dresses or spiffy, sleak, dashing suits in the closet just yet! Books Inc. and Marissa Meyer are throwing the LUNAR BALL in celebration of her final book in the Lunar Chronicles, Winter. Come dressed to the nines and enjoy refreshments, music, and activities while you meet the wonderful Marissa. This event is ticketed so get yours (complete with a copy of the book) before they sell out!
November 15, 5pm at Books Inc. Opera Plaza
These are two wonderful events, both closing a beloved series and bringing an end to Not Your Mother's 2015 Events.
I'm not saying we're saving the best for last, but...
Today I visited one of our local publishers, Chronicle Books for their Spring 2016 preview event! They have amazing books on their line up! Can't wait to see what else they have up their sleeves!
P.S. Molly Idle's new book Flora and the Peacocks is gorgeous, of course!