January Reading Group

| 0 comments | Monday, December 21, 2009
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We have selected Let the Great World Spin by Colum McCann for our next book. Copies are available now, behind the counter, at a 10% discount.

We also decided to reschedule our next meeting to the second MONDAY of the month, so we will be meeting at 6:00 on the 11th of January, 2010 here at Northtown Books.

Don't forget to check out our (fairly) new Facebook page:

http://www.facebook.com/home.php?#/pages/Northtown-Books/172333521554?ref=ts

And here are a couple of relevant links:

http://colummccann.com/
http://www.nationalbook.org/nba2009_f_mccann.html

And here's Mr. McCann himself talking about the book:


LOCALLY DELICIOUS

| 0 comments | Wednesday, December 2, 2009
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Friday December 4th at 7 pm, Northtown Books hosts an event celebrating a new book: Locally Delicious: Recipes and Resources for Eating on the North Coast.

The book describes where to find local food and gives ideas for eating locally on a budget and offers a regional agricultural history along with a discussion of issues that are restricting local agriculture.

For more info, go here.

DECEMBER READING GROUP: MY STROKE OF INSIGHT

| 1 comments | Wednesday, November 18, 2009
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The second Sunday of each month, Northtown Books hosts its own book group. Next month's selection is My Stroke of Insight: A Brain Scientist's Personal Journey by Jill Bolte Taylor, Ph.D. Taylor writes about her experience of a stroke from the perspective of an expert.

Our next meeting will be December 13th at 5:30 here at the bookstore. Books are available behind the counter for a 10% discount.

Here's a TED talk by Jill Bolte Taylor:



JOHN ROSS

| 0 comments | Tuesday, November 10, 2009
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John Ross will read, sign and discuss his new book El Monstruo: Dread and Redemption in Mexico City Friday, November 13 at 7 pm, kicking off his book tour in his old stomping grounds here in Humboldt County.

Ross—poet, journalist, and globetrotting troublemaker—has lived in what the Aztec-Mexicas described as "the umbilicus of the universe" since the great Mexico City earthquake of 1985 crushed out as many as 30,000 lives. Over the years, he has watched the city—El Monstruo—pick itself up, bury its dead, and come battling back. But he is filled with a gnawing unease that Mexico City's days as the most gargantuan, chaotic, crime-ridden, toxically contaminated urban stain in the Western world is doomed, that the monster he has grown to know and love through a quarter of a century of reporting on its foibles and tragedies and festering blight will be globalized into one more McCity.

Covering 4,000,000,000 years of history from the primal broth that first spewed out the monster to the Aztec-Mexica oblivion through centuries of rapine and revolution all the way to the Great Swine Flu Panic of 2009, El Monstruois a phantasmagoric retelling of the story of Mexico City, with which Ross's own history has become hopelessly entwined.

In the tradition of Suketu Mehta's Maximum City, Roberto Bolaño's The Savage Detectives and Joseph Mitchell's Up At The Old Hotel, Ross's El Monstruo is a unique exploration of the mother of all mega-cities. Never before has anyone told from ground level the gritty, vibrant histories of this left city of 23 million faceless, fearless souls, listened to the stories of those who have not been crushed by the Monster, deconstructed the Monstruo's very monstrousness and lived to tell its secrets.

John Ross is the author of the acclaimed memoir Murdered by Capitalism, which was praised by Thomas Pynchon and chosen as a San Francisco Chronicle Book of the Year. Based in Mexico City for the last two decades, Ross's reporting has appeared in the San Francisco Bay Guardian, The Nation, Texas Observer, and Counterpunch, to name a few. He is the winner of an Upton Sinclair Award and an American Book Award. His books include Rebellion from the Roots, The Annexation of Mexico and the novel Tonatiuh's People.

To read an excerpt from the book, go here.

For John's most recent dispatch from Mexico in Counterpunch, go here.

John will also be presenting a book he co-edited and wrote the introduction for, IraqiGirl: Diary of a Teenage Girl in Iraq, the story of a teenager who was fifteen years old when she began blogging from her home city of Mosul, Iraq, in July 2004.



THE CRYING TREE

| 0 comments | Wednesday, November 4, 2009
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Saturday, November 7th at 6 pm Naseem Rakha will sign her novel The Crying Tree at Northtown Books.

Naseem is an award-winning journalist whose stories have been heard on NPR’s All Things Considered, Morning Edition, Marketplace Radio, Christian Science Monitor, and Living on Earth.

Here's what the author herself says about the book:

The murder of a child dredges up the most painful emotions. There is no justicein it, no justification, and no way to find solace. Remorse and vengeance become inseparable from the souls of the people left behind. Yet, somehow there are inspirational stories of those who have come to forgiveness.

I found this baffling situation as a reporter covering an execution for public radio and then later in interviews with the parents of murder victims. I wanted to understand how an individual can move from one place to another – hate to forgiveness, despondency to hope – what that road looks like, and what toll it must exact.

The Crying Tree is that story, told through the lives of two main characters: Irene Stanley, the mother of slain 15-year-old Steven Joseph Stanley, and Tab Mason, the stoic and determined superintendent of the Oregon State Penitentiary who is preparing to execute the boy’s murderer.

Here's an interview with Naseem:


MEDICINE TRAILS

| 0 comments | Thursday, October 29, 2009
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Karuk medicine woman Mavis McCovey and cultural anthropologist John F. Salter will make an appearance at Northtown Books in conjunction with their new book Medicine Trails, Monday, November 2nd at 6:30 pm.

Sometime in 1933 here in Humboldt County, a Karuk medicine woman named Daisy Jones had a vision identifying the tribe's next medicine woman. Later that year, Mavis Smither (McCovey) was born, and in the first twelve years of her life she was groomed by a designated group of medicine women to become a spiritual healer.

Medicine Trails
is Mavis McCovey's honest and lively account of the many worlds in which she moves: the Indian and white cultural worlds, and the day-to-day and visionary reality of the medicine woman's world, as well as trips to what she calls "the other side": one of the responsibilities of a medicine woman is to bring back a medicine man's soul if he gets lost on the trails of the world beyond—a task McCovey has been called upon to do.

One of very few first-person accounts of Native American healers, Medicine Trails is invaluable for its insights into the experiences of a modern-day medicine woman. And McCovey is a warm and engaging guide not only to her life, but also her family's history and the history of the Karuk, Yurok, and Hupa peoples of the region.

Mavis McCovey has lived along the Klamath River in northwestern California all her life. Trained as a child to be a medicine woman, she assists with the traditional ceremonies of her tribe, the Karuk. The mother of five children, she has also worked as a community health representative and a nurse, and she has been an advocate on issues affecting the health and well-being of the native people of her region.

Dr. John Salter is a cultural anthropologist, teacher, and writer who has worked intermittently with the Karuk Tribe of California and Karuk people since 1968. Trained by Gregory Bateson, Salter received his Ph.D. for a study of the social ecology of the Salmon and Klamath River area. He currently lives in Sacramento, California.

Mavis McCovey makes no exotic claims about her powers, but describes those functions as seamlessly integrated in Karuk culture. More importantly, she describes a living contemporary culture, enriching the melancholy beauty of our shared world
—Freeman House, from the foreword

NATASHA WING

| 0 comments | Thursday, September 3, 2009
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Natasha Wing presents her new children's book An Eye for Color: The Story of Josef Albers Friday, September 11 at 7 pm at Northtown Books.

Her book is about a neighbor of hers when she was growing up in Connecticut, the artist of the "Homage to the Square" series who studied color for 25 years and changed how teachers taught color. The book features art by Julia Breckenreid.

Here's what Publisher's Weekly had to say about the book:

This creative biography explores how Albers, perhaps best known for his paintings of squares in different color combinations, “saw art in the simplest things.” Albers is pictured rummaging for scrap materials in a dump, which he turns into “collages that shined like jewels.” As a teacher, Albers told his students, “Watch what’s going on... and capture the accident.” After visiting Mexico—Albers is shown climbing an abstract temple-like structure of colorful rectangles—he reflects on the effects of combining different colors: “Colors came to life like actors on a stage!” An accessible and lively introduction to this artist and to color theory.

Natasha Wing is best known for her paperback series based on the popular story, The Night Before Christmas. The stories are about families celebrating holidays and other big events in kids’ lives such as the first day of school and losing a tooth. Her titles include The Night Before Easter, the original book in the series which was published in 1999, and The Night Before Kindergarten, the highest-selling title which has regularly been on bestseller lists since its publication in 2001.

Wing’s multicultural book, Jalapeño Bagels, is a favorite among second grade teachers and students since it is included in several textbook series. The story is based on Los Bagels in Arcata.

Wing is a graduate of Arizona State University and has been writing children’s books and articles since 1991.

For more info on Natasha and her books, visit her website.

SEPTEMBER READING GROUP

| 0 comments | Wednesday, August 19, 2009
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Our next book club selection is Elegance of the Hedgehog by Muriel Barbery. As usual, it's available for a 10 % discount.

Here's an NPR story on the book.

The next meeting will be Sunday, September 13th at 5:30. It will be our fifth year anniversary, so there's a good chance of celebratory cake.

Please join us.


BILL AYERS AND BERNARDINE DOHRN

| 0 comments | Wednesday, August 5, 2009
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Friday, August 14 at 7 pm educator/activists Bill Ayers and Bernardine Dohrn present their new book Race Course Against White Supremacy at Northtown Books.

White supremacy and its troubling endurance in American life is debated in these personal essays by two American veteran political activists. Arguing that white supremacy has been the dominant political system in the United States since its earliest days and that it is still very much with us. The discussion points to unexamined bigotry in the criminal justice system, election processes, war policy, and education. The book draws upon the authors' own confrontations with authorities during the Vietnam era, reasserts their belief that racism and war are interwoven issues, and offers personal stories about their lives today as parents, teachers, and reformers.

Reactionaries stuck in the 60s conjure Scooby-doo ghosts to chase. But the real William Ayers and Bernardine Dohrn are fully in the present, fighting on behalf of the disempowered and dispossessed.

-Jeff Chang, author of Can't Stop Won't Stop: A History of the Hip-Hop Generation

"Having made an extraordinary journey together from Sixties militants to accomplished scholars, Bernardine Dohrn and William Ayers bring to the subject of race a special sensibility. Their work is a troubling challenge to white people to
examine, not only the world round them, but their own psyche, their own behavior, and to act accordingly."

-Howard Zinn, author of A People's History of the United States
UPDATE: Heidi Walters of The North Coast Journal recently interviewed Bill and Bernardine.

AUGUST BOOK GROUP

| 0 comments | Wednesday, July 15, 2009
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We have chosen The Post-American World by Fareed Zakaria for our August meeting. Copies are available behind the counter at a 10% discount.

Here are some links to peruse from the New Yorker, Wikipedia, and our local North Coast Journal on the book.

And here's a BBC interview with Zakaria:



Join us to discuss foreign affairs here at Northtown Books August 9th, the second Sunday of the month, at 5:30.


Image of a typical reader of the book from The NY Times book blog, Paper Cuts.

URSULA OSBOURNE

| 1 comments | Monday, July 6, 2009
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On Friday, July 10 at 7 pm, Northtown Books welcomes Ursula Osbourne, who will talk about her translation of Heinrich F. Liebrecht's memoir, Not To Hate But To Love, That Is What I Am Here For: My Path Through The Hell Of The Third Reich.

She recently talked to the Times-Standard about the book:
Liebrecht became a friend of Osborne's parents in Hamburg, after she and her two younger siblings had been sent to safety in England. Her parents were fortunate: In 1941 they obtained a U.S. visa and left Germany, among the very last Jews to escape Nazi-occupied Europe. For Liebrecht and his family, the border was sealed.

A long search for legal and illegal escape proved futile for Liebrecht, his wife, Lies, and their infant daughter, Eva-Maria. Liebrecht was arrested. Lies placed Eva-Maria with a trusted friend, then committed suicide.

During interrogations, Liebrecht endured brutal beatings and near starvation until he was sent to the concentration camp Theresienstadt. There, as was to prove true throughout his entire ordeal, he found inspiration. Even though many -- Germans and prisoners alike -- sank to subhuman levels, others displayed courage and humanity amid the deprivation and disorder.

”Despite these miserable circumstances,” Liebrecht wrote, “the accomplishments
by camp inmates are as worthy of remembrance as any other honorable acts of this war.”

Physicians stemmed the tide of epidemics, youth leaders schooled children, and workers of all descriptions strove to improve physical conditions. Musicians, writers and other artists, along with philosophers and clergy, nurtured spiritual and artistic enlightenment.

Among them was the kind-hearted chief rabbi of Germany, Dr. Leo Baeck, to whom Liebrecht, a Jew who converted to Catholicism, was most grateful. It was Baeck's philosophical lectures that were known for their depth and clarity that helped him stay connected to faith and reason -- reason to stay alive.

”That is where the wellsprings of our strength lay, that is where the conviction grew that we still had some kind of calling,” he wrote. “From here came the impulse to really endure, and the belief that we were able to do so.”

Liebrecht's mother arrived in the camp, unwell but content to spend her last days near her son. Later, his toddler daughter and her caretaker also arrived at Theresienstadt, affording a brief family reunion before Liebrecht's mother died in the infirmary.

Eva-Maria -- whom most at the camp endearingly called “little fawn” -- became sickly when the caretaker was sent to Auschwitz. Again, the determined effort of a fellow camp inmate, a nurse named Böszi, helped the child recover and thrive.

The family's next destination was Auschwitz, where father and daughter were separated. Liebrecht was among the men who avoided the gas ovens and was sent to hard labor at yet another camp -- but only after a dehumanizing physical inspection by the infamous SS physician Josef Mengele.

Life for the survivors was one of unending burden.

”We were no longer human individuals,” Liebrecht wrote. “We were merely numbers ... sad humans, sights of misery.”

In time, rumors of the war's end mounted as refugees flooded past the camp and gunfire grew ever closer. Meager food and medical supplies dwindled even further, weakening the disheartened prisoners. Liebrecht found himself in a sick room with a severely infected foot.

”I saw black in front of my eyes. I lost consciousness,” he wrote. “Then I caught myself: This is not how the end is supposed to be! See it through! Don't give up! Not now -- perhaps it's only a few more weeks before our liberation!”

He was right. The Holocaust ended with the Russians liberating the camp. The grief, however, was not over for Liebrecht: He learned of the death of his “little fawn.” She had been gassed at Auschwitz, along with her beloved Böszi, who despite the opportunity, refused to leave the child's side.

It was a chance reunion with Dr. Leo Baeck, and an in-depth, thought-provoking discussion on vengeance and forgiveness, that lead Liebrecht to find renewed faith to continue on. Yes, Hitler's influence was like an infectious disease that made “the real Germany into an unworthy nation,” Baeck told Liebrecht. But, he added, “injustice cannot be healed by injustice.”

Liebrecht took these words to heart. There was something extraordinary about the man, remembers Osborne, who met him in person in 1969 in Freiburg, Germany, while she and her family lived in Germany for a year.

”He was such a pleasant man,” she said. “Not only my husband and I, but our two sons, aged 14 and 16 at the time, became friends with him. Each of them went back to visit him again.”

Twenty-five years later, a few years after Liebrecht's death, Osborne received a copy of his memoir, which had been published posthumously. Widowed by then, Osborne was temporarily away from her Arcata home, serving in the Peace Corps in Papua New Guinea. There, the book gained popularity with her German-speaking colleagues.

In 2003, Osborne formed a California public benefit nonprofit corporation in order to save documentation concerning her family's dispersal all over the globe after Hitler came to power. One of the volunteers helping with this archive expressed interest in writing a book about the family's history. Osborne thought the volunteer would benefit from reading Liebrecht's book.

”So, in January 2008, I started translating it for her, and while working on the translation, I began to realize the book's wider importance and decided I'd like to publish it,” she said.

Osborne believes this memoir will be especially helpful as supplementary reading for college students in a variety of courses. She believes its lessons are as timeless as the advice Baeck gave Liebrecht more than 60 years ago:

”Your task, the purpose of your life,” he said, “is to participate, to the best of your ability, so that brute force, force of any type, is not ever the victor.”

JULY BOOK GROUP

| 0 comments | Wednesday, June 17, 2009
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We have chosen Lolita by Vladimir Nabokov for our next book group meeting. The books are available behind the counter for a 10% discount and our next meeting will be July 12th at 5:30 here at Northtown Books.

Here are some links to augment your reading experience or help you make a more informed decision about your participation:

Random House's official site for the book.

Martin Amis on Lolita.

The Lit Lover's guide to Lolita.

A video interview from Canadian television with Vladimir Nabokov about Lolita:


RAY RAPHAEL AND JAIMAL YOGIS

| 0 comments | Wednesday, June 10, 2009
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This weekend brings two author events to Northtown Books.


Ray Raphael will present his new book, Founders: The People Who Brought You a Nation, at Northtown Books on Friday, June 12 at 7 pm.

Founders is Raphael’s largest and most ambitious book, a daring attempt to recreate an “honest history” of our nation’s founding by skipping over nineteenth century distortions and returning to primary sources from Revolutionary times. It’s a sweeping narrative, starting with the beginnings of unrest in 1761 and ending with the ratification of the Bill of Rights thirty years later. To keep his rendition intimate, Raphael focuses of seven lead characters — not the usual cast, but a far more diverse lot. For the first time, Raphael interweaves the new bottom-up approach, the favorite of social historians in recent years, with traditional top-down history, moving back and forth between leading figures inside chambers and the people “out-of-doors.”

Ray Raphael has written many books, several of which are about local Humboldt history. His first book, An Everyday History of Somewhere, won the Commonwealth Club award for the best book of the year about California. He recently collaborated with Freeman House on the first part of a projected multi-volume history of Humboldt County, Two Peoples, One Place.

For more info on Ray Raphael, go here.

On the very next night, author Jaimal Yogis presents his new book, Saltwater Buddha: A Surfer’s Quest to Find Zen on the Sea, Saturday, June 13th at 7:30 at Northtown Books.

Here's what Publisher's Weekly had to say about it:
A journalist, photographer, surfer and Zen Master, Yogis began the life of a roving seeker his junior year of high school, when he ran away from his Sacramento, Calif. home to learn how to surf in Hawaii. His subsequent travels include a handful of prime surfing spots, but Yogis’s more arresting journey is spiritual, taking him to monasteries in France and Berkley, Calif., and deep into the living tradition of Zen Buddhism. Captured here in short chapters and wonderful, visual prose, Yogis’s coming-of-age odyssey also takes readers into the culture of indigenous Hawaiians, who believe the gods were surfers. Yogis’s long-time surfing mentor Rom provides insight into the science of surfing, ocean swells, the bathymetry of the continental shelf, deep water canyons and sea mounts. Even land lovers will find Yogis’s lessons resonant and entertaining, but surfers will find this a quick, surprisingly deep tribute to the quest for surf and serenity.

Here's a short film on Jaimal and the book:



Max and Mandy at the Beach

| 0 comments | Tuesday, May 19, 2009
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For those who wonder what Max is up to when he's not behind the counter at Northtown, here he is in action on Trinidad State Beach with his pal Mandy in a video filmed by Dante and edited by Ric.


WICKED PLANTS

| 1 comments | Thursday, May 7, 2009
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Local author Amy Stewart will discuss and sign her new book Wicked Plants: The Weed that Killed Lincoln's Mother & Other Botanical Atrocities at Northtown Books May 17th at 3 pm.

A tree that sheds poison daggers; a glistening red seed that stops the heart; a shrub that causes paralysis; a vine that strangles; and a leaf that triggered a war. Stewart takes on over two hundred of Mother Nature's most appalling creations in an A to Z of plants that kill, maim, intoxicate, and otherwise offend.

Menacing botanical illustrations and splendidly ghastly drawings create a fascinating portrait of the evildoers that may be lurking in your own backyard. Drawing on history, medicine, science, and legend, this compendium of bloodcurdling botany will entertain, alarm, and enlighten even the most intrepid gardeners and nature lovers.

Here's a video preview of the book:


Please help us welcome Amy back to Northtown Books.

For much more information on this and Amy's other books and articles, go to her own website.

UPDATE: The New York Times comes to visit Amy in Eureka. (link via NCJ Blogthing)

BARBARA KERLEY

| 0 comments | Tuesday, April 28, 2009
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Friday, May 8th at 6 pm, Northtown Books welcomes local author Barbara Kerley.

A former Peace Corps volunteer in Nepal, and a one-time resident of Guam, she brings a unique life experience to her work.

She's written a wide variety of books for young people, on subjects as various as Walt Whitman, the artist who introduced dinosaurs to the world, and the importance of water in the world.

Her new book from National Geographic Books, One World, One Day, follows children around the world as they get up, wash up, and start a new day. It's an elegant picture book with contributions from top international photographers.

Her book What to Do About Alice? was recently reviewed in the New York Times, and you can read an interview with her here.


NORTHTOWN BOOKS READING GROUP

| 2 comments | Thursday, April 23, 2009
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We have copies of our next selection for the Northtown Books Reading Group, The Persian Boy by Mary Renault, behind the counter for a 10% discounted price.

Our next meeting will be May 10th (Mother's Day!--let us know if anyone has a conflict with this date) at 5:30 here at Northtown Books.

In the meantime, here are some links to peruse.


STENCIL NATION

| 1 comments | Monday, March 30, 2009
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Friday, April 10 at 7:30 pm, Russell Howze presents a slide show at Northtown Books from his book "Stencil Nation: Graffiti, Community, and Art", which features over 500 full-color photographs.

The book presents work by more than 350 artists from 28 countries, including Iran, Australia, Japan, Canada, Spain, Lebanon, Israel, and the United States. Featured artists include: Banksy, Jef Aerosol, Logan Hicks, Adam5100, Arofish, M-City, SWOON, Hao, John Fekner, Peat Wollaeger, Klutch, and others.

Russell Howze saw his first stencil in 1990, which was J. R. "Bob" Dobbs on an apartment wall in Clemson, SC. In 1995, Russell saw an amazing sight on the exterior wall of the Reichstag in Berlin: a huge stenciled Bertolt Brecht poem. He snapped a photo of that stencil, then found one in Budapest, Hungary. Then a few more stencils appeared in Basel, Switzerland. When he landed in San Francisco in 1997, he found dozens on the sidewalks of the Mission and Haight neighborhoods. He's never stopped photographing the sometimes temporary, always intriguing art form.

In 2002, Russell created the first version of Stencil Archive, thinking that he would have time to scan and upload his own collection before anyone discovered the site and submitted their own work. He was gladly mistaken, so Stencil Archive took off and ended up becoming a site with over 10,000 uploaded photographs. At the time of its inception, Stencil Archive was the only international stencil site out there (for a few months). Now there are dozens of sites with tens of thousands of photographs. Russell continues to curate his site, posting stencils from around the world and featuring dozens of amazing artists.

When not photographing, making, painting, and uploading stencils, Russell fills his time by doing one or more of the following fun things: being a carny for the Sustainable Living Roadshow, riding his bike, writing for his blog, cooking healthy food, creating vector art and putting it on stickers and buttons, producing events, puppeteering, listening to good music, traveling, and volunteering/protesting to make the world a better place.

He currently lives in San Francisco's Mission District, and is usually seen on his bike with his camera slung around his shoulder.

A "vibrant exploration of a sub-sub-genre.... [T]his volume crosses the globe for a swift tour of the world's best artists, making it a handsome and insightful introduction to the form." - Publishers Weekly, 10/16/2008

UPDATE: We had a packed house here at Northtown, and Russell enjoyed kicking off his tour here.

JJ SEMPLE

| 0 comments | Thursday, March 26, 2009
|

In his latest book The Backward-Flowing Method: The Secret of Life and Death, JJ Semple examines the meditation techniques for activating the Kundalini-Life Force.

His previous book, Deciphering the Golden Flower One Secret at a Time, told the story of his Kundalini awakening.

In The Backward-Flowing Method, he examines the meditation techniques that led to his awakening, analyzes meditation practices across cultures and throughout the ages, and offers a method that has the following real world results:

Triggering autonomic self-healing mechanisms capable of correcting defects related to neural degeneration;
Rejuvenating the body, retarding the aging process, stimulating neuroplastic activity; Reversing self-destructive and addictive behavior;
Heightening and enhancing consciousness to effect release from Karmic bondage;
Facing death without fear and facilitating the transition into the next state of being.
Join JJ Semple Friday March 27th at 7 pm for this event.

For more information, go here.

ANNE IGOU

| 0 comments | Wednesday, March 11, 2009
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On Friday March 13th AT 7 PM , local artist Anne Igou presents her new book I Can't Believe I'm Creating Millefiore, and shares her techniques for creating polymer clay jewelry.

Millefiore means "a thousand flowers" and imitates the look of intricate Italian glass art.

Anne has taught workshops all over the country, and has made appearances on several national television shows. At Northtown, she'll do a demonstration of how she creates her pieces.

Please join us this Friday.



GROUP PORTRAIT

| 0 comments | Thursday, March 5, 2009
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(l-r) Erik Syverson, Monika Zerzan, Jay Herzog, Dante Digenova, Deric Mendes, and standing in for Simone Goldenberg, Max (in front).


The staff at Northtown recently was asked, along with several other local independent bookstores, to help judge the North Coast Journal's flash fiction contest.

The group picture above was taken for the paper by Bob Doran.

Mexico Unconquered

| 0 comments | Monday, January 26, 2009
|


John Gibler presents his new book from City Lights, Mexico Unconquered: Chronicles of Power and Revolt, at
Northtown Books
February 4 at 5:30 pm.


Mexico Unconquered is an evocative report on the epic powers of violence and corruption in Mexico and the underdogs and rebels who put their lives on the line to build justice from the ground up.

Author John Gibler probes the overwhelming divisions in contemporary Mexico, home to the world's richest man, Carlos Slim, and to destitute millions. The book explores the concept of the Rule of Law in a land known for its implacable corruption and impunity; the political machinations behind Mexico's devastating economic disparities; the implications and consequences of the annual exodus of half a million Mexicans to the United States; the unprecedented civil disobedience uprising in Oaxaca state; and the continuing Indigenous Present that resists the government's attempts to confine Mexico's 10 million indigenous peoples to calm and controlled corners of the past.

Global Exchange supported John Gibler while writing Mexico Unconquered and reporting from Mexico from 2006-2008 with the Global Exchange Media Fellowship.

Read his dispatches at GlobalExchange.org.

Praise for Mexico Unconquered:

"In Mexico Unconquered John Gibler has produced an important new work focusing on Mexico's ongoing class struggles and the historical continuum of resistance, organizing, and revolt against the social injustices and official corruption evident at all levels of Mexican society. Gibler argues that the Conquest never quite finished, that colonialism from Spain evolved into a new, but equally violent form of internal domination. From the arrival of the first people in ancient Mesoamerica to the ongoing plague of narcotrafficking and feminicide in Ciudad Juarez, Gibler explores Mexico's current political undercurrents in a historical context. Through research, critical analysis, and superb first-hand reporting culled from years of living in Mexico, Gibler shares the voices, stories, and communal dignity of the ordinary Mexicans who are putting their lives at risk by challenging corrupt power as they build social movements for basic rights, justice, and autonomy. An exciting first book by an emerging young writer."— Howard Zinn

"Part journalism, part history, part call to action, John Gibler's book chronicles not only the continuing colonization of Mexico, but also the continuity of resistance to it. Revealing those forces of resistance, which sometimes take the form of mass explosions, and other times take the form of individual expressions of indignation and defiance, Gibler helps us see Mexico with new eyes—a Mexico that has always been constituted by revolutionary dreams of freedom and equality." —Michael Hardt and Antonio Negri, co-authors of Empire and Multitude: War and Democracy in the Age of Empire

An insightful tour of the horror show next door, this book is full of shocking and distressing tales about the struggle and brutality of Mexican politics. It boggles the mind how close Mexico is, yet how overlooked their past and current history is. Gibler, burning with righteous anger, helps correct that." —Christian Parenti, author of The Freedom: Shadows and Hallucination in Occupied Iraq, The Soft Cage and Lockdown America

"Mexico Unconquered maps a complex and tangled territory stretched between two poles—on one side, a world driven by the logic of empire and the reality of possession, conquest, and occupation; on the other, a land of possibility animated by cooperation, mutual recognition, love, dignity, and sustainability. John Gibler plots the former with laser-like precision, and portrays the latter in vivid and urgent detail. What becomes clear is that the power of resistance today draws in the first place on human creativity and the collective power of our imaginations. Taking the long view—glancing back at the steps that led us to the place we are, and looking forward toward a new world in-the-making—this book is essential reading for activists and engaged citizens who want to make a difference here and now." —Bill Ayers, Distinguished Professor of Education, UIC, author of Fugitive Days

 

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