Posts Tagged ‘bookshop yarns’

Happy Valentine’s Day!

February 14, 2010

No, I don’t get it either.

Last Sunday we were, perhaps unwisely, left in charge of putting together a Valentine’s display. We had to pick the books that went on the shelves and write review cards for them. During the week, Matt and Chris had added a few books of their choosing to the bay, including…

and

because, as we know, nothing says “I love you” quite like the biographies of a woman from West Lothian and a man who used to hit people until they fell over.

We left the majority of books in because we couldn’t think of nice things to replace them with. So, the top shelf consisted of collections of love poems and a guide to romantic European getaways.
We had to write generic reviews for these, so I didn’t bother taking pictures of them. However, as I am a sad fuck, I took some of the ones that I liked.

Unsure of what to include, Shane came up with the brilliant idea of taking up a whole shelf with recipe books: one book representing one course of a romantic meal. Figuring out what such a meal might involve was far too much fun. I was insistent on the dessert book being the one pictured for the name alone. Valentinesy!
The photos are a bit unclear, but they should be clickable to make them biggerer…

Shane wanted to include ‘Important Artifacts and Personal Property from the Collection of Lenore Doolan and Harold Morris: Including Books, Street Fashion and Jewelry’ by Leanne Shapton despite it being about the breakdown of a relationship on Valentine’s day so we thought we’d throw it in and see if anybody noticed.
It was when I tried to think of a novel I’d read that had a lovely story, I realised I couldn’t actually do it. Then I thought of ‘A Handful of Dust’ so grabbed it. I read the blurb, where it was described as “One of the most chilling and bitter novels of the twentieth century”, and remembered it was all about divorce and betrayal and child-death. Oh…
We’d just have to make an Anti-Valentine’s shelf!


“Valentines isn’t for everyone!
This clever work of fiction traces the demise of a relationship through the possessions the couple shared.”


“This is TECHNICALLY a love story.
Romance! Death! Betrayal! Tragedy!
…and what more could you possibly want?
Jungle-based adventures? Why yes, sir/madam, it even has that too…”


“Put down the Ben and Jerry’s and turn off that rubbish Meg Ryan film. He’s not worth all the trouble you’ve put into stalking him these past 3 months.” – Shane, thou art a genius!


“Turn to page 136 and you’ll see you’re already halfway there!”
I’m intrigued, Shane, what could possibly be on page 136?

How to pick up the laydeez in a bookstore! Smooooth!

Iain insisted that we put in some little gifts, so we did. The passion one contained ‘flavoured motion lotion’. Shudder. I wasn’t gonna let that go unmentioned…

“If it’s flavoured “motion lotion” you’re after, the Passion Box is for you…
If that’s not your cup of tea, then the Love Fortune Cookie is perfect for slipping your other half a romantic message.”
Did that sound sincere, guys? I think they nearly bought it… Sadly, not literally.

And now for some works of fiction that are perhaps more appropriate, but with the jaded spin of Pete…

“An entire bloody war fought over Achilles’ love for Helen and the strop he gets himself in when she’s abducted. Something we can all relate to, eh?”
[Scott has pointed out the flaw in this one, however, as Achilles wasn’t involved. He wasn’t even there, guy, he don’t know nuffink!]


“Not exactly the conventional love related read but one to help you remember that we’re all a little confused when the hysteria kicks in.”

Life lessons, all.

And that’s what it takes to be a bookseller: boredom, too much time on your hands and an unhealthily cynical outlook on life.
MERRY CHRISTMAS!

Death Before Dishonor [34/100]

January 3, 2010

This book defies all logic. It may well be my new favourite thing.

About a year ago, I saw this in our fiction section under ‘F’ for ‘Mr Fifty Cents’, read the blurb and destroyed myself laughing. For your pleasure…
“ONE REASON TO LIVE. THREE REASONS TO DIE.
Trill Johnson has five years of jail time under his belt, two women trying to get inside his pants, and one mission in his heart of hearts: Get the suckers who sold him out. And get ’em good.
Sunni James will do anything for Trill. Lie, cheat, steal. Even risk losing her successful beauty salon to save him from the mean streets of Richmond.
Previous Pay will do anything for Trill, too. She cribbed his kid while he did his time, so now she wants Trill to pay for the leg she lost in a robbery gone wrong.”

Hey, that shit sounds just like the Wire!

I’d forgotten all about it, somehow, until I stumbled upon it again in our crime section (now under ‘C’ for ‘Cent’, very sensible, or centsible, if you will) just a few weeks ago. Every page I flicked to brought about a new, hilarious extract that I could read out to m’colleagues.
On the outskirts of Richmond, inside the house in Caroline County, four guys and two broads were entertaining themselves. Lee, one of Diego’s lieutenants, was in the bedroom laying pipe to some hoochie momma he had picked up at the club.

Just then Beatrice, one of the stylists that Sunni had fired earlier that day, entered her office.

‘What is it?’ Sunni snapped, wondering why Beatrice was back up in her shop.

Trill was wearing a simple well-tailored black suit that complemented his sexy frame.”

We all thought these and… pretty much every other sentence in the book, were hilarious, but it wasn’t until I came across chapter five that I cried with laughter.
Now, it may shock you to learn that this book was not written by 50 Cent alone, but mainly by a woman called Nikki Turner. I had no clue who Nikki Turner was until this point, but then I read the following well-written piece…

The city was fienin’ for a huge event, and the town’s internationally bestselling author Nikki Turner, blessed the city of Richmond with a series of activities celebrating the launch of her latest masterpiece, Forever A Hustler’s Wife. She wanted to raise money for the G-Unity charity, so she played off the theme of her street life books and decided to have a “diamonds and furs” party to raise money to help increase literacy and advertise her new book at the same time.

The author made sure there were a limited amount of tickets available, which created an even bigger buzz for the event. People always wanted what they couldn’t have.
The crowd came in sellout numbers. Lloyd Banks from G-Unit was one of the MCs. Olivia from G-Unit hosted along with radio personalities Mahogany Brown and Wendy Williams.


Although many limelight celebrities came out and showed love and unity for the author and her cause, her hometown big hats, fans and ghetto celebrities didn’t disappoint.

Hell’s horses, Nikki! Way to completely demolish that fourth wall. I think this was the moment I truly fell in love with this book. So much detail, so much self-love. Astounding.
…She’s trying to increase literacy!

We got a bit obsessed with her and tried to find out more information.

Upon reflection, I feel such a fool for not knowing that I was reading the work of the, possibly self-professed, Queen of Hip-Hop Fiction.
I thought the book said she was an international bestseller though? You’d think at least one website would mention that… The amateurs!
Learn more about her at nikkiturner.com.

While you’re at it, why not read some reviews of the book?
Here are some of my favourites…

NIKKI TURNER AND 50CENT REALLY DID AN EXCELLENT JOB WITH THIS MASTERPEICE. THIS BOOK IS FAST PACED BUT YOU HAVE TO BE ABLE TO KEEP UP WITH THE STORY LINES USING YOUR IMAGINATION WHEN THE STORY DOESNT ELABORATE ON THE CHARACTERS HISTORY. THATS THE BEST PART ABOUT NIKKI.* SHE BRINGS TO LIFE SUNNI JAMES, TRILL JOHNSON, AND PRECIOUS PAY AND I AM ABLE TO RELATE TO THE ENTIRE CASE SENARIO. THE RUNNING FROM THE COPS IN THE WOODS, SUNNI OPENING HER DOOR TO HIM,”A FEARLESS RIDE OR DIE CHICK”. IF YOU UNDERSTAND ANYTHING ABOUT NIKKI TURNER, YOU WILL KNOW THAT HER WORK HAS ALWAYS BEEN ON THE CUTTING EDGE OF REALISM AND STAYING TRUE TO THE FICTUAL FACTS OF HIPHOPHOODISM**. THANK YOU 50CENT FOR EMBRACING HER GIFT AND BEING DOWN FOR HER VISION THAT WE MAY TAKE THIS BOOK THING TO A WHOLE OTHER LEVEL.
*You’ve got to admire that in an author; the inability to tell a story. Let the readers make it all up in their heads, that’s what makes a good book!
**I have no idea what this means.

Okay this book was actually pretty good in the beginning considering that it was writted by a looser like 50 cent. But the ending made you say WTF? I was so pissed that I wasted my time reading this book all because of the ending. Because the ending sucked so badly I would never buy a book from 50 cents series. Thank goodness this one was free!

Wonderful read, drama packed, great characters, and priceless humor!
Trill is a real baller, Sunni is a down chick, and Precious…well Peg-leg. Great job and I can’t wait to read the sequel…there will be a sequel right? There has to be a sequel!!!!

Well, judging by the other poor reviews, it doesn’t tie up any loose ends and it’s as though she just… stopped writing, fell asleep, dreamt she’d finished it, woke up believing she had and then handed it to the publishers who shrugged and put it out anyway. THIS HINTS TOWARDS A SEQUEL, RIGHT? AMIRITE? RIGHT?

Yes, I am aware this is an incredibly easy target. I was hardly expecting Dostoevsky, but I did not know I’d get so much joy out of a book that falls under the category of ‘hip-hop novellas’.