Friday, March 26, 2010

Tracy Hickman!

Tracy Hickman will be reading and signing Secret of the Dragon in Sam Weller's Bookstore Thursday, April 1st, at 6:00 PM.

What self-proclaimed fantasy nerd (like me!) hasn't read a ton of Weis and Hickman's works? Rose of the Prophet, Death Gate, Darksword, and, of course, Dragonlance!

Here's what TOR has to say about Secret of the Dragon and Tracy Hickman:

Margaret Weis and Tracy Hickman, the creative minds behind these incredible worlds, have teamed up again to write an epic new fantasy saga which began with Bones of the Dragon. Now, they return to this exciting new world of the Dragonships with Secret of the Dragon.

With Bones of the Dragon, these two storytelling masters introduced the rich new world of Viking-like warriors who sail the seas in ships powered by dragons in search of untold treasure. When strife and chaos threatens their world, however, they are duty-bound to follow their gods on a fantastic quest that will not only determine the fate of mortals—but the fate of the gods as well.

The action-packed, utterly riveting Secret of the Dragon brilliantly continues the Dragonships of Vindras saga, an epic six-book adventure in which individual mortals will face tests of faith and character, and both gods and dragons will aid, abet, and battle as they see fit—to ensure their own survival.

Margaret Weis and Tracy Hickman published their first novel in the Dragonlance Chronicles, Dragons of Autumn Twilight, in 1984. Over twenty years later they are going strong, collaborating on more than thirty novels. Alone or together with other co-authors, Weis and Hickman have published more than one hundred books, including novels, collections of short stories, role-playing games, and other gaming products. Margaret Weis lives in Williams Bay, Wisconsin. Tracy Hickman lives in Utah.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Author Dan Wells at Sam Weller's Bookstore

We are really pleased to be hosting Dan Wells for the release of his novel I Am Not a Serial Killer. He will be here Tuesday, March 30th, at 6:00 PM to read an excerpt and sign.

Here's a little about the book and Dan.

Fifteen-year-old John Wayne Cleaver does not fit in. His psychiatrist has diagnosed him as “antisocial,” but sometimes he has an inkling that his urges may take a darker turn—into violence and murder. It isn’t just because he grew up in a mortuary or even the fact that he helps his mother clean up dead bodies. Serial killers have long captivated John—while the rest of his classmates write essays on George Washington and John Adams, John writes them on Jeffrey Dahmer and Dennis Radar. Dan Wells’ debut novel, I Am Not a Serial Killer, introduces this curious protagonist who worries that fate is leading him down a dark and deadly path.

How founded are John’s fears? Oddly enough, the similarities between John Cleaver and society’s most disturbed killers are surprisingly uncanny. Not only does he share the same three traits that most serial killers have in common: bed-wetting, pyromania and animal cruelty, but his father’s name is Sam, making him literally the Son of Sam. In addition, his parents saddled him with the same name as John Wayne Gacy, the famous Chicago killer clown, along with the unfortunate last name of a murder weapon (Cleaver). He also works part time for the family business: a mortuary, and the dead bodies both fascinate and comfort him.

Despite his efforts to contain the dangerous monster within, an unnatural death at the local laundromat sparks John’s curious obsession and he feels compelled to investigate. For the first time, John comes across a danger apart from himself, and possibly one that is even more deadly than him . . .

Dan Wells lives in Orem, Utah, with his wife, Dawn, and four young children. This is his first novel. The two sequels are already written and Wells is now researching a new book about paranoia. To learn more about Dan Wells and his work, visit his website at

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Lane Recommends

Travels with Charley in Search of America
by John Steinbeck
Penguin Books

The author and his french standard poodle, Charley, board a custom built camper truck named Rocinante and head across the U.S.A. My kind of road trip. Steinbeck, suffering from bad health, doubts, disillusionments, and a healthy case of ennui, sets off across America to rediscover the country he'd been writing about for 40 years. Look for the section when Charley, maybe the most urbane dog in literature, takes on a bear in Yellowstone. Hilarious.

Thursday, March 18, 2010

The Talented Mr. Ripley queereads

The selection for April's queereads is The Talented Mr. Ripley by Patricia Highsmith. You may be thinking, this book isn't gay or queer, why was this one chosen? Patricia Highsmith also penned The Price of Salt, a lesbian classic. But just because she wrote a different gay book, why this one? Tom Ripley, the protagonist, shows us how powerful obsession can become and how far he is willing to go because of it. The obsession begins not only when Tom falls in love with Dickie Greenleaf's lifestyle, but with Dickie himself. Highsmith paints a chilling portrait of Tom Ripley, a sociopathic conman willing to go to any length to get what he wants. We'll be meeting on Wednesday, 4/21/10, at 6:00 PM in the basement. And remember, when you buy the book from us, we'll give you 20% off!

I Recommend

America's Constitution: A Biography
by Akhil Reed Amar
Random House

Amar's "biography" of the Constitution is utterly fascinating. He discusses every paragraph and almost every sentence. He describes why each clause was needed, how it was interpreted then, and how the interpretation has changed over time.

Akhil Reed Amar is Sterling Professor of Law at Yale Law School.

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Frank Recommends

Desert Solitaire
by Edward Abbey

This is the "hook" that started my reading of natural history titles and also sparked the want to be out in the Red Rock desert.

Saturday, March 6, 2010

Handmaid's Tale queereads

Queereads has been gaining momentum, and our next book up for discussion is The Handmaid's Tale by Margaret Atwood.

The Handmaid’s Tale follows the story of Offred, handmaid to a commander and his wife in the Republic of Gilead, formerly the United States, after fundamentalist Christian uprising has removed the freedom and rights of most men and all women. Handmaids are women of proven fertility who are enslaved in order to provide children to higher ups who have not been able to conceive. They are given three opportunities of two years to provide a healthy, perfect baby. If they do not succeed, they are sent to “the colonies” to labor until death. Offred wishes to escape her enslavement by fleeing north to the freedom of Canada.

Queereads meets on the third Wednesday of each month at 6:00pm in the basement of Sam Weller's. We'll be discussing The Handmaid's Tale on March 17th, and if you buy the book from us, we'll give you 20% off!

Friday, March 5, 2010

Debra Recommends

Everything I Need to Know I Learned from a Children's Book
edited by Anita Silvey
Roaring Brook Press

Read about which children's books inspired our most respected and admired writers inside a beautifully illustrated gift book for everyone. Steve Forbes, Scott Simon, Sherman Alexie, Jay Leno, Peter Matthiessen — more. Wonderful.

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Joan Recommends

The Quilter's Catalog
by Meg Cox
Workman Publishing

You like browsing catalogs? You like sewing, quilting, fingering fabric? READ THIS! Nirvana for the fabric arts.