Tag Archives: grant

On Our Nightstand, October 5th-11th

Here’s what we’re reading this week at Diesel!

Anna in Brentwood
Half Empty
By David Rakoff
As in his previous collection–Don’t Get Too Comfortable, one of my favorite books of essays ever–the pieces in this book delve into a vast array of subjects with Rakoff’s perversely reassuring pessimism.

Grant in Oakland
Zero Decibels: The Quest for Absolute Silence
By George Michelsen Foy
A personal journey through one of the noisiest places on earth – New York City – and its opposites – a snowy forest, an underground mine, an anechoic chamber – in search of absolute silence and what that means.

John Evans
Introduction to Sufism: The Inner Path of Islam
By Eric Geoffroy
Why not take a good look at the heart of Islam and its messages of universal tolerance, love, and peace? I can’t think of a reason.

John Peck in Oakland
The Scott Pilgrim Series
By Bryan Lee O’Malley
Little graphic novels that somehow manage to be simultaneously escapist and true-to-life.

Miles in Malibu
The Pleasures and Sorrows of Work
By Alain de Botton
The world is full of man-made things. Every day, we use, eat, see, buy, and sell man-made things. But who are these “men,” and how does “making” “things” affect their lives and the lives around them? De Botton’s meditation on labor and laborers paints a portrait of the faceless manufacturers of our everyday commodities.

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On Our Nightstand, September 14th-20th

Here’s what we’re reading this week at Diesel!

Anna in Brentwood
Gunn’s Golden Rules
By Tim Gunn
Tim Gunn, how are you so awesome? This book is partly a 21st century etiquette manual advocating basic human decency, partly a peek into the oddities of the world of fashion, and partly a series of autobiographical anecdotes. In its entirety, it is utterly charming.

Cheryl in Brentwood
Kitchen Confidential
By Anthony Bourdain
Bourdain’s classic restaurant expose almost makes me want to be a chef, but the fact that they work 12-hour days on their feet, with maybe one day off a week, and labor in a sweltering kitchen, makes me thankful I work in a bookstore.

Grant in Oakland
Alive in Necropolis
By Doug Dorst
By mixing together the tropes of ghost story, detective noir, and coming-into-adulthood narratives, Alive in Necropolis plays with the notion of what makes us human, given that Dorst’s undead are often more humane than the living.

John Evans
The Interloper
By Antoine Wilson
Just finished local author Antoine Wilson’s wonderful, not-to-be-forgotten novel. Writing the way it is supposed to be done–craftily, engagingly, intelligently.

Miles in Malibu
Why We Fight
Edited by Simon Van Booy
Why We Fight is a collection of passages culled from a number of texts (ranging from the Bible to present day writers such as Thich Nhat Hanh), all dealing with the history and philosophy of fighting. Each passage is concisely prefaced in an insightful manner by novelist and editor Simon Van Booy, making the heavy subject matter easier to digest.

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A Giant Gets His Due

Grant in Oakland reports:

His dreams are awesome, always have been, and continue to be so for the eighth straight decade. On August 22, Ray Bradbury turns 90—and he’s not slowing down. Sure, he had a stroke that took away the use of his right arm, but every morning, he wakes up, calls his daughter in Arizona, and dictates his “dispatch from the Land of Nod.” According to The Los Angeles TimesHero Complex blog, tomorrow “the Los Angeles City Council is scheduled to consider a resolution that would declare Ray Bradbury Week in Los Angeles, and, of course, they will vote yes.” It warms this bookseller’s heart the way L.A. has embraced a man who has lived in the same yellow house on the same tree-lined street for the last 60 years.

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We Are the Walrus

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As you may have heard by now, the I Write Like widget is serious business: copy and paste some text into the box, and it’ll tell you which (for the most part white, male) author you write like. With 100% accuracy, of course! We started with some of our staff members (Anna = Vladimir Nabokov; Geo = Charles Dickens; Grant = James Joyce; Jon Stich = Kurt Vonnegut; Margaret = Ian Fleming; and Alison, Cheryl, John Evans, Kim and Thomas all = H.P. Lovecraft—wow we’re a morbid bunch). But then we got creative:

Did you know…?

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*Pablo Neruda = Raymond Chandler!
*Michael Moore = Dan Brown
*President Obama’s inaugural speech = H.P. Lovecraft (that guy! so versatile)
*Darth Vader = Anne Rice
*Lyrics to “Don’t Stop Believing” by Journey = Ursula K. Le Guin
*Unabomber Manifesto = Stephen King
*Lyrics to “A Whole New World” in Aladdin = Mark Twain
And:
*Jack Kerouac = David Foster Wallace = James Joyce = Grant. Duh.

Gosh, we’re thinking about the relationships between these writers in whole new ways! (Huh. That sounds like a line from Mark Twain…) We feel like we’ve learned something. Don’t you?

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On Our Nightstand, June 22nd-28th

Here’s what we’re reading this week at Diesel!

Anna in Brentwood
A Good Man Is Hard to Find
By Flannery O’Connor
If you’ve never read it, the title story will provide one of the biggest literary shocks of your life. I’m still reeling!

Geo in Brentwood
Nature and Selected Essays
By Ralph Waldo Emerson
Emerson’s essays are staunch defenses of individualism. They are each positive and affirming, and they are just as powerful read in today’s society as in Emerson’s time.

Grant in Oakland
Perfecting Sound Forever
By Greg Milner
This topic could very easily be boring, but in Milner’s hands it’s totally not. He brings a lot of fascinating social history, such as race relations, into his narrative of recorded music.

John Peck in Oakland
Martyrology Books 1 & 2
By bpNichol
I’m rereading this gorgeous epic poem from the late Canadian experimentalist. In case you doubt the depth of my feelings for this book: I have a tattoo of the second to last illustration on my left arm.

Miles in Malibu
The Amazing Adventures of a Marginally Successful Musician
By Bill Cinque
A hilarious look at the joys, wonders, and harsh realities of being a professional musician, as told by someone who’s been in the business over 30 years. A must read for all musicians, or anyone unfortunate enough to have to deal with one on a regular basis.

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Sing the Bookstore Electric!

Hey, it’s musical Monday! Let’s sing the book tour blues with mystery writer Parnell Hall!

We find this song strangely catchy. It certainly makes us want to show Hall some appreciation by buying his books. (Maybe he should try signing at his local indie!) Or we could at least check them out at the library after using their:

And in case you missed any, be sure to check out all our Music Month videos. Topics include Chuck Klosterman (twice! how greedy), Oliver Sacks, the 33 1/3 Series, Greil Marcus, The Threepenny Opera, and…why are Colin and Grant in bed together again?

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