Posts filed under ‘Q & A’

Meet the Staff: Cody Madsen

Cody Bio (4)

I’m originally from a small town in California outside of Yosemite National Park in the Sierras. I’ve worked in bookselling for 8 years. In college, I worked seasonally at a small independent in my hometown. I came on as a manager for Book Culture in August of 2013.

What is your role as a Manager for Book Culture?
I’m the Event Coordinator for Book Culture, and help with managing the periodicals, floor managing, and help coordinate web content. I’m a semi-pro gift wrapper, and I also occasionally wear shorts and flip-flops.

How did you come to join the Book Culture family?
I moved to NYC in September of 2011 for graduate school. While waiting to board my plane in California, I sent an email to Book Culture to see if they might be hiring. On a layover in Denver, I received a reply from Chris asking if I could come in for temporary work for the coursebook rush. I got to Manhattan around 3am Sunday morning, and by 11am I was working for Book Culture. I’ve been here in some capacity ever since.

What are your areas of expertise?
I read a little all over the place. I studied cultural anthropology in school, so I can speak to that body of work. I read more contemporary fiction now, with a Tennessee Williams play thrown in every couple of books. I enjoy ‘History of the Book’ books. I read samples of most of the magazines we stock, so I can recommend the heck out of a number of those titles.

What are you currently reading?
I’ve been reading The World According to Garp for a while with some friends from college. It’s definitely something. I also recently just read Prelude to Bruise by Saeed Jones. I’ve started to read more stories, fiction and nonfiction, told from the perspective of non-American women. Some of my favorite authors in this vein are Chinelo Okparanta, Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, Margery Wolf, and Lisa See. I also follow APOGEE and Hello Mr. magazines for their writing.

What’s your favorite part of working for a bookstore?
The community. Bookselling seems to attract wonderful, insightful, collaborative people. I’ve made lifelong friends through my work in bookstores, and for that I’m especially grateful. My quality of life has been forever enriched. (The discount, advanced copies, and BEA are nice perks, too.)

January 16, 2015 at 3:00 pm Leave a comment

Q&A and Reading with MB Caschetta

We are thrilled to have MB Caschetta launch her debut novel, Miracle Girlsat our Columbus store this Sunday, January 18th, at 3pm.  MB Caschetta is the recipient of a W.K. Rose Fellowship for Emerging Artists, a Sherwood Anderson Foundation Writing Award, and a Seattle Review Fiction Prize. Her work has appeared in the Mississippi Review, Del Sol Review,3:AM Magazine, New York Times, and Chronicle of Higher Education, among others.

We’d like to thank her for taking the time to share her work with us and hope you enjoy the Q&A!

miracle

How did you come to write Miracle Girls?

I was actually writing a very different novel when Miracle Girls emerged and took over. It’s been quite a long and unexpected process; I’ve been writing the novel since my last book (a short story collection) was published in 1996. It’s not at all the novel I expected it to be, which is kind of amazing. And it took me on a kind of surprising spiritual journey, which is a lofty way of saying it was rejected a lot! The lesson I learned about novels (and maybe life) is that you have to accept it on its own terms. Resisting just makes for a lot of unhappiness and road blocks. Mostly, this book has taught me to go with the flow and to not give up hope. It’s a happy ending for me, since the book has been so graciously received with wonderful reviews from Kirkus and People Magazine.

Do you have a personal favorite book of all time? If so, can you share it and tell us why?

I have so many favorite books, it’s difficult to say. My favorite book of all time is probably a tie between Tolstoy’s Anna Karenina, which I somehow read in part in Russian in college, though I couldn’t do that now, and Nabokov’s Lolita. But more importantly my current favorite book is Elizabeth McCracken’s new short story collection, THUNDERSTRUCK. I think I’m going to read it a second time. I feel like I loved the experience of reading it so much that I went too fast. I think I can take it in more deeply on a second read.

What’s next? Any upcoming book projects in the works that you can tell us about?

I am writing a non-fiction book about the experience and the cultural phenomenon of disinheritance. A few years ago I published a personal essay in the New York Times about having found out as a surprise that I was disinherited by my father (nyti.ms/vmZcxa). It’s been a difficult book to write; I am on a third draft, and still struggling to get the right even-handed tone and a voice that is more deeply my own. My family is unhappy about my writing on the topic, so that adds another layer of complication. Like Miracle Girls, though, it feels like a book I have to write: I have no choice in the matter, since it won’t leave me alone otherwise. After that, though, I hope I get to write a fun book. I don’t think that’s too much to ask.

January 14, 2015 at 2:42 pm Leave a comment

Q&A and Reading with Paula Rizzo

At our Columbus location on Thursday, January 15th, at 7pm, broadcast journalist Paula Rizzo will launch her latest book, Listful Thinking: Using Lists to be More Productive, Highly Successful and Less Stressed.  Introducing Rizzo will be Patty Chang Anker, author of Some Nerve: Lessons Learned While Becoming Brave.

Finding enough hours in the day to get everything accomplished and allow for some downtime can be a struggle, and it has only gotten harder in the past five years. It’s no wonder so many of us are stressed, overextended and exhausted. The Institute of American Stress has discovered that 44% of Americans feel more stressed than they did five years ago, and 54% of all American employees feel overwhelmed, according to a study by the nonprofit Family and Work Institute. Listful Thinking: Using Lists to Be More Productive, Highly Successful and Less Stressed is the book that will give you your life back. Author Paula Rizzo is a television and web producer from New York, and she has applied the tools and techniques that have made her successful at work to the art of list-making. Listful Thinking can be applied to anything in life and almost all situations.

listful

How did you come to write Listful Thinking?
I’ve always wanted to write a book but I never thought it would be about lists! I’ve always been a list maker and a bit of a procrastinator. But my job as a news producer quickly taught me to be more efficient with my time. I wasn’t using the same time-saving tips at home that I used to get things done at work and I noticed a lot of things would fall through the cracks. So when I was looking for an apartment in NYC I created a checklist of all the things I needed to pay attention to. Much like I would at work when I go out on a shoot and need to interview someone. I will write out all the questions I need to ask and do a lot of preparation beforehand. When I did this, it was so much easier to find a great apartment! A friend wanted my list and suggested I start a blog because as she said not everyone thinks this way. So I did and ListProducer.com was born. That was the start of the Listful Thinking journey.

What are you currently reading?
Choose Yourself by James Altucher

Do you have a personal favorite book of all time? If so, can you share it and tell us why?
Oh this is such a hard question. For me this changes all the time. I’m always falling in love with new books. I have a list of course!

Is there anything you are particularly looking forward to the publication of?
Better Than Before by Gretchen Rubin. I’m a big fan of hers and she always comes up with ideas that make you really look at your life and choose to make it better.

Any upcoming book projects in the works that you can tell us about?
I’m still updating my blog ListProducer.com regularly. I’ve created an online PopExpert course based on the book that I’m really excited about. And I’ve been narrating some of my blog posts for the time-saving app Umano, which has really been fun. And I do hope another book or a series comes along at some point.

January 9, 2015 at 1:43 pm Leave a comment

Q&A With Lynn Lurie

In early December, we had the chance to hear Lynn Lurie read from her latest novel, Quick Kills, alongside Atticus Lish.  We would like to thank her for participating in the event and taking the time to answer a few questions about her personal reading and writing.  If you haven’t check it out already, be sure to also read our Q&A with Atticus Lish.
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How did you come to write Quick Kills?
Quick Kills was the result of fragments of images that came to me. Photographs I had once taken but had lost. I tried to resurrect some of the scenes and began writing a narrative to link the pieces into a coherent whole.

lurie

What are you currently reading?
I am currently reading I Am China by Xiaolu Guo.

Is there anything you are looking forward to the publication of?
If Fleur Jaeggy were to write another novel to be translated to English I would be very happy.

Any upcoming book projects in the works that you can tell us about?
I am scribbling down things and have no idea where they will lead. Most likely a novel as I am not adept at short stories. I would love to write something funny.

January 7, 2015 at 6:52 pm Leave a comment

Meet the Staff at 112th: Devon Dunn

Now that you have met some of the wonderful people who work at Book Culture on Columbus, we are ready to introduce the staff at Book Culture’s 112th store! There are quite a few of us, so look forward to many more posts, reading recommendations, and exclusive insights into the workings of an independent bookstore.

Devon Bio

What is your role as a Manager for Book Culture?
In addition to all the usual managerial duties, I’m also responsible for stocking and curating our sidelines, cards, and other non-book products you see at 112th. As a buyer, I try to find fun and interesting products that fit with Book Culture’s aesthetic that I feel will appeal to our customers. It’s a great experience–especially when I can connect with other independent/local companies to bring unique stuff to Book Culture.

How did you come to join the Book Culture family? 
I moved to New York last March after several years in Boston where I worked as a manager and assistant buyer for a locally-owned retailer. When I interviewed with Book Culture, it seemed like an instant perfect fit: independent store, wonderful book selection, and one of the managers at the time even grew up in my hometown!

What are your areas of expertise?
I studied Russian Literature and Translation in college, so I have a lot of Slavic authors who are favorites of mine, and I’m always happy to debate the merits of different translations (for anything, not just Russian-language stuff). Other than that, I’ve been really into reading more female authors, as well as books about Nature, Environment, Urban Foraging, and Cookbooks.

What are you currently reading?
Elena Ferrante! I picked up My Brilliant Friend because I’d heard so much about it, and now I’m eagerly devouring everything she’s written. If you’ve been debating whether or not to read her stuff, do it!

What’s your favorite part of working for a bookstore?
Hands down it’s getting to work with people and products I enjoy. In the age of Amazon, if you’re in a book store, it’s by choice–because you like the atmosphere and comradery that these spaces offer. It’s great to know that I have something in common with pretty much everyone who walks in the door.

January 7, 2015 at 4:00 pm Leave a comment

Q&A With Atticus Lish

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Earlier this month, Atticus Lish launched his first novel, Preparation for the Next Life at Book Culture on Columbus. Lish was joined in conversation with Lynn Lurie, author of Quick Kills and Corner of the Dead.  We would like to thank both authors for taking the time to share their work and hope you enjoy the following Q&A with Lish.

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How did you come to write Preparation for the Next Life?

Distress over post-9/11 America: the invasion of Iraq, Gitmo, Abu Ghraib, hooding, waterboarding, indefinite detention, prisoner abuse, and the plight of undocumented immigrants caught up in immigration sweeps; combined with a morbid fascination with war and especially the effect of war on the psyche of the combatant; combined with two powerful sources of inspiration: the landscape of Central Asia–deserts, mountains, vineyards–and the landscape of New York, from the industrial outskirts to the extended immigrant neighborhood along Roosevelt Avenue–Jackson Heights, Corona, Flushing–and down to Ozone Park, Jamaica and beyond. A migrant’s view of the world–walking on the highways, taking buses, crossing the border–from one country to the next, from rural to urban, mountain to desert, life to death.

lish

What are you currently reading?

National Geographic magazines, staring at pictures of amoebas. I want to read Ann Rule’s The Stranger Beside Me.

Do you have a personal favorite book of all time? If so, can you share it and tell us why?

I don’t have a single favorite book, but one book that stands out to me as a true-crime masterpiece is People Who Eat Darkness by Richard Lloyd Parry. Parry puts chills in my spine. The very title of the book, which is both perfectly logical and yet never fully explained, is an example of his gift for capturing horror.

Is there anything you are particularly looking forward to the publication of?

I regret to say that I am not up on what is coming out–I’m very uninformed–so I don’t know what to look forward to. I’m always looking forward to Joseph Wambaugh‘s next book.

What’s next? Any upcoming book projects in the works that you can tell us about?

I’m working on a second novel, but I’m going to respectfully decline to say anything much about it for now.

December 27, 2014 at 2:45 pm 1 comment

Periodical Spotlight: King’s Review

kingsCan you tell us a bit about the history of King’s Review?
KR was founded about two years ago in Cambridge, UK, by a group of graduate students who shared the same frustration: the research we were doing on topics as diverse as climate change, modern political systems and the knowledge economy didn’t find its way out of the small academic circles in which they originated. The King’s Review was founded with the goal of using research and expert knowledge as a basis for exciting journalism. Since then the original idea of an online journal has developed further: besides our online presence, we are now publishing four print issues a year and sell them in shops in Berlin, London, Paris, and with you in New York.

In your mission statement, you say that KR “exists to promote accessible journalism underpinned by long-term, rigorous research.” Do you find that this goal is in response to a lack of journalism with these particular aims: to be both accessible and rigorously researched? Does today’s journalism too often meet only one criterion or the other?
The most recent trend in journalism, particularly online, has been about ‘accessibility’. Buzzfeed et al. are not doing more than filtering information to make it more accessible to readers. What happened to TNR last week shows how good that is for journalism. KR goes beyond this digestible, surface-level form of information à la ‘Here is the 5 most important things to know about Climate Change’. We understand ourselves as being part of the recent re-invention of long-form writing, which is now being published in places like n+1 and Medium, as well as in classic outlets such as the NYRB, LRB and TLS.
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December 11, 2014 at 1:28 pm Leave a comment

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