FRIDAY, OCTOBER 19th 7:30pm THRESHOLD THEATER--DWELLING IN POSSIBILITY--FALL FORWARD Dwelling in Possibility....Fall Forward with Threshold Ensemble
Stories about What's Coming from the Future" The return of Threshold, for another intimate evening where your life stories are brought to life by this great improv theater and music ensemble. $15 Donation. Great Food and Drinks--including beer from Fremont Brewing--available. More Info: http://www.thresholdensemble.org/

SATURDAY, OCTOBER 20th 7:30pm JIM PAGE RETURN CONCERT Seattle's Legendary Bard Poet and Guitarist, Jim Page returns for another evening of original songs, from love songs, to social commentary, to sharp political commentary. Always a treat. A favorite of Bonnie Raitt. No Cover. Donation Appreciated. Great food and drinks--including beer from Fremont Brewing. Hear Jim's music: http://www.myspace.com/seattlejimpage/

We keep serving them up, and you keep asking for another helping. So here they are. There are many bluegrass and old-timey bands in the Northwest, but none quite like PICKLED OKRA. They breathe new life into a classic genre with fresh ideas and playful family charm. Conceived in 2006 by a husband and wife team, Todd and Paisley Gray, playing of mandolin, upright bass, and banjo leaving plenty of room for their rich vocal harmonies. New bandmates, and Alyse Read (banjo) complete the band's rich sound.
Yes they all know their bluegrass licks and aren’t afraid to show them off, and their music is full of ideas borrowed from old time fiddle tunes, jazzy delta blues, pop, rock, reggae and funk as we. No Cover. Donations appreciated. Hear Pickled Okra: http://getokra.com/fr_home.cfm.

Hey, we had so much fun at the last weekend Community Open Mic, we decided to do it again. There is so much talent in our Community. Come Strut you stuff: Music, Poetry, Stories, Dance, Rants, Whatever. No Cover. Sign-up at 7pm Come early. Great Food and Drinks--including beer from Fremont Brewing--available.
OPEN MIC...Strut Your Stuff....Every Wednesday at 7:30pm. it is growing more popular weekly. Come discover all the great talent in our community. Music, Dance, Stories, Poems, Comedy, Whatever. Sign-up is at 7pm. Drink Available.

Writer's Group Now you have two Writer's Groups to choose from: Writing with Marilyn meets every Monday at 7pm and is for those need fun exercises to perk up their creative muse. Writer's Sharing Group is for Writer's already working on something, wanting friendly tips and critiques. Every Tuesday at 7pm.

New Titles

Yes, we now carry a small selection of New Titles, chosen by Theo. Mostly these are New Releases, titles that will not be available used for some time. We plan to carry about 50 new titles.  Customers with Trade Accounts receive 10%. Let us know if you would like additional new titles. Here are some titles: Mockingjay by Susan Collins. The final in the excellent and popular YA Hunger Games Trilogy. Border Songs by Jim Lynch. The latest novel from the PNW writer and a 2010 Washington State Author Award Winner. Naming Nature by Carol Kaesuk Yoon. Another 2010 Washington State Author Award Winner, exploring the tension between evolution and taxonomy. The Warmth of Other Suns by Isabel Wilkerson. This is a stunning book. The epic story of Black America's great migration.There is a section on the Pacific Northwest. The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet's Nest by Stieg Larsson. The final book in the hugely popular Trilogy. At Home: A Short History of Private Life by Bill Bryson. Matterhorn by Karl Marlantes. One of the best novels of the Vietnam War.

Totemic Object or Dusty, Dog-Eared Companion?

Keeping your books in a pile on the floor might be a cheaper way to organize your trove of literary treasures, but it just doesn't show them the respect they deserve. In an era where the physical book seems to be under siege by its digital analogues, books are often deemed tired, old and ever so tangible. In a bits and bytes world, who needs a separate book for each story?

Bibliophiles do! And as digital readers become ever more popular, it seems that the act of owning and displaying books has become an activity that seems almost holy, historical and reverent: like the Renaissance duke who exhibited his worldly and exotic treasures in his Cabinet of Wonders, books seem to take on an increasingly totemic significance. And the design of the furniture meant to hold these reliquaries of story has been getting wilder.

To the designers of these displays and those who buy them, books are no longer another regular feature of the home; their placement has become far more fetishized. Some of these designs conceal their burdens, disguising books as something more or less. Others incorporate a place for the bibliophile to sit or recline, in effect providing a place of practical worship. Some carve out a huge, central niche for themselves, announcing the tantamount important of the dead-tree written word. Others safeguard the books as if being out in the open were too blatant, too dangerous.

 To wit:

The Girl Who Was Mistranslated

At Couth Buzzard we've been in the midst of a maelstrom of Stieg Larsson buzz. The posthumously famous author's Millennium Trilogy has been the most requested title of the year, and with more movie adaptations on the way, it looks like requests for The Girl Who Did Something with Something aren't nearly on the wane.

However, as familiar as most Americans are with the series, did you know that the original titles are quite different from their translations? Take the first book in the series, which American publishers translated to "The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo." The original Swedish title reads "Män som hatar kvinnor," or, "Men who hate women." Certainly a more apt title for the violent and misogynist goings-on , but American publishers shied away at its frankness and preferred to mask its internal workings with a vaguer title.

The second book, translated as “The Girl Who Played with Fire” is an identical translation to its Swedish namesake, but intriguingly, other translations got a little more visceral with it; the Spanish and French titles read “The Girl Who Dreamt of a Gasoline Can and a Match.”

The third book is where the major problems seemed to occur. A colloquial Swedish expression threw a monkey wrench into all of the translations: “Luftslottet som sprängdes” roughly translates to "The aircastle that was blown up.” According to the infallibility of the Web, “luftslottet”connotes a castle built out of air, somewhat akin to a “house of cards” in English. However, “The Girl Who Exploded a House of Cards” is more than a little laughable, and publishers scrapped all authenticity to fit the title into their preexisting theme as “The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet's Nest.” Other languages had similar problems with this last title, offering everything from the Italian “The Queen of Paper Castles,” to the French “The Queen in the Palace of Drafts,” to the Russian title which attempts to combine both themes in, “The Girl Who Was Blowing Up Aircastles.” Hmm, that last one sounds like a good anime title...

Crack Open Brand New Titles at Couth Buzzard!

What's that? You say you're looking for newest Stieg Larsson, the latest in the Hunger Games books, or that novel topping the Booklist this month? Look no further! Couth Buzzard employees have specially chosen a selection of brand spankin' new titles for you to read.

Did you know that China Mieville's British Science Fiction Award-winning and Arthur C Clarke Award-winning masterpiece The City & The City is now in paperback? We've got it! Wanted to pick up Michael Pollan's foodphiliac works, all now in softcover? We have each of his latest releases on our front table. Gary Shytengart's Super Sad True Love Story is sitting cheek-by-jowl with Tinkers (Paul Harding), Abraham Verghese's Cutting For Stone, and Jedediah Berry's fantastical mystery ride debut, The Maunal of Detection.We've even beefed up our Northwest Authors section, so you're likely to find lots of work by some of the Northwest's best exports, including; Sherman Alexie, Chuck Palahniuk, Octavia C Butler, Neal Stephenson, William Gibson, Nicola Griffith, Jonathan Raban and David Guterson. 

And not only did we score great adult reads, but we now have some of the most sought-after young adult books on our shelves! From The Hunger Games to werewolfpireromance title Shiver (Maggie Stiefvater), Scott Westerfeld's World War I steampunk fantasy Leviathan to the whole Percy Jackson series, we have it all! Come check out what's left in stock, and let us know what new titles you would be interesting in snatching from us, your independent bookseller!

Better Book Titles

Much has been made about redesigning book covers to better suit their interiors--entire blogs and fora are devoted to the subject. But what about scrapping those misleading book titles altogether? Over at Better Book Titles the tongue is firmly in cheek when they reinvent Frankenstein as "A Zombie Learns French" and The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier and Clay as "Killing Nazis." See how many you've read!

Enhanced by Zemanta

"Zero History" brings William Gibson's Modern trilogy to a close

The trailer for William Gibson's "Zero History" promises the same sorts of forays into the dizzying morass of technology and surveillance that he undertook with "Pattern Recognition" and its sequel, "Spook Country." Though the cyberpunkian author is best known for his older work in the1980s--"Neuromancer," the short story "Johnny Mnemonic"--his newest works have cleaved closer to our current time and technology. No longer content (or able?) to cast his speculative net wide into the future with the scary precision of his previous books, Gibson's post-2000 works have crept closer and closer to the modern day. Whether this grinding spotlight focus on today's world detracts or adds to his narratives is of personal preference: certainly it puts more pressure on his character and plot building skills--never terrible strong to begin with--but it also makes for an easier read for those unused to the zipping grandeur of cyberpunk. But is it still cyberpunk? Or has his genre caught up with him, transforming futuristic fiction to simple fiction?

Enhanced by Zemanta

It's a Page Turner--More Surprises in the World of Bookstores

Just as bookselling behemoth Barnes and Noble admits it is weighing its options and may sell itself to an investment group this week, New York Magazine publishes an upbeat article about the unlikely resurgence of independent bookstores. Is this the way the pendulum now swings, the newest trend in a suddenly chaotic industry? Perhaps. Well, for this week, at least. Or maybe just for today.
No one is certain enough to prognosticate the future of books and bookstores--and the ones loudly proclaiming their clairvoyance on the subject are often most clueless of all--so the kind of dichotomy these two articles provide is telling. For the moment, we at *this* independent bookstore are just happy to read the enthusiastic press at New York Mag and to nod our heads sagely: that's right, we ARE here to stay, in a community-minded way!

John Callahan, Cartoonist of the Rude, Crude and True, Passes Away

I often saw John Callahan on his perambulations around Northwest Portland. Though, considering his quadriplegia, perhaps they weren't perambulations at all. Still, his tell-tale shock of orange hair and heavy-set jaw were a near-daily sight on the streets of 23rd Ave or on the 15 bus. Quiet spoken and focused, he guided his wheelchair carefully between crowds of people--who often as not recognized and greeted him, or quietly muttered "look, there's Callahan" as he made his whirring, mechanized passage. Indeed, it was difficult to reconcile the vision of this polite fellow with his cartoons, which have appeared in certain newspapers for the past twenty years.

Those cartoons--often acidic, harshly critical, and outrageously un-PC--landed Callahan in trouble over the years, but nevertheless evinced a wit and point of view that was as honest as it was dark. Callahan passed away this past Saturday, at the age of 59, from complications with bedsores and painkillers. Always true to his own sense of humor and unwilling to tone down or compromise, Callahan has left a narrative of cartoons that not only produce evil snickers in its audience, but the sort of death's head grins only the grimmest humor can produce.

For a wonderfully personal obituary--with excellent descriptions of Callahan's wickedest cartoons--head to the Washington Post, here.

Dabbling in Discourse -- 'The Onion' goes Booksmart

It's sometimes daunting to join a new book club without knowing exactly into what sort of controlled chaos you're wading. Discovering whether the vibe of the group and its choices will mesh with yours is sometimes a long, occasionally embarrassing process. This, in part, is why book clubs flourish so beautifully online. Yet, web-based book discussion groups have their pitfalls, too: as open as they are to wanderers-in is as vulnerable they are to flamers, trolls and spam. What might begin as a tasteful discussion of Michael Chabon might devolve into a flame war in the blink of the refresh button.

That's why I'm glad to see the vivacious, creative discourse going on at the most unlikely of sites: The Onion. Surprised? Over the last decade the Onion's sister site--the Onion AV Club, made up of media nerds dedicated to parsing every last happening on page and screen--has upped its game and transformed itself into a formidable place for news and discussion. Their author interviews are often more illuminating (and refreshingly casual) than anything you'd read in the NY Times, and their new monthly book discussions--"Wrapped Up in Books"--have a high rate of participation and perspectives.

August's book is the incomparable Cloud Atlas by David Mitchell. An apt choice, since Mitchell's newest book--The Thousand Autumns of Jacob de Zoet--dropped only a month ago and Atlas is referenced in nearly every review. Grab a copy, speed through and join the diverse conversation over at the AV Club!

Seven DIrty Words.

At the old Couth Buzzard Books shoppers were offered $.50 off of their purchase if they could list one to the Seven Dirty Words from the famous George Carlin comedy routine. Many customers where shocked that they were encouraged to say the words that everyone say privately, publicly. Happily shocked. Anyway, below is a review of a new biography of Carlin: Seven Dirty Words: The Life and Crimes of George Carlin, by James Sullivan. The review is mixed, but any insight into the life of this brilliant comedian and wordsmith is probably worth the read. As the reviewer stated: "Well, here’s a cockeyed salute, then, a moment of dazzled mental genuflection for a comic who, every once in a while, felt like the most alive human being on the planet." The most alive human being, indeed! Here's the NY Times Review: Click Here:

What is Social Network?

I read an interesting article yesterday about the "Social" sharing capability of the Kindle. You can set the Kindle to show you passages in a book highlighted by other Kindle readers. While this is an interesting feature, it seems to me that a truly Social experience does involve two or more persons, together, engaging in the immediate give and take of discussion. Any thoughts? Click Here to read article.

Another Obit On Books and Bookstores

Reports of the Death of Bookstores are Greatly Exaggerated

In today's Seattle Times, columnist Danny Westneat wrote another story on the impending last breath of bookstores in Seattle and the nation. You can read it here at http://seattletimes.nwsource.com/html/dannywestneat/2010939207_danny31.html. If you have the time, read the reader's comment too. Overall, the comments possess a more nuanced and accurate take on what is happening and will probably happen to books and brick and mortar bookstores. Some of the comments are unintentionally hilarious (and provide this author with future comic material), such as the following from Paul000: "The independent bookstores in Seattle serve a niche of people that mostly includes liberal women (who probably are the biggest book readers), homosexuals, and other "progressive" urban types. If you don't want to buy that type of literature, then you are out of luck."
Well, there you have it: Liberal women, progressive urban-types and homosexuals. While Couth Buzzzard Books Espresso Buono Cafe certainly enjoys catering to those three demographics "types" we also believe that the future of independent bookstores is contingent upon serving everyone in our "community."
And serving community is an vital bookstore function missed in the Westneat article.
Sure bricks and mortar bookstores are closing here in bookstore-rich Seattle and across the country. But places like Couth Buzzard Espresso Buono serve needs--primal needs perhaps--that online booksellers and Kindlesque devices can never, never meet: the human need for true, face-to-face social contact, communication, interaction: instantaneous communication--faster and more giddy-inducing than any Giga Network number promised by any Corporation.
And speaking of Corporations, online buyers of books and of downloads for their Kindle-Ipad-UPlod devices should contemplate the fact that for each "purchase" they make, their "profile" is being scooped up and "gathered" and stored, and plugged into unimaginative algorithms of market stereotypes and then spit back out to them as personable "We Recommend Just For You" embedded and unavoidable Pop-Up advertisements, which also serve the purpose of cataloging your reading "habits" for use by these web-based corporations for future "market" strategies, and for sale to other corporations that also do not have your best interest in mind, and, perhaps also to government agencies who--as they have in the past-may take an interest in just what is (your name) reading these days.
Well, there is no gathering of buyer information at Couth Buzzard Espresso. We are a Free Speech and Privacy Honored Zone.Our goal is to stock a complete variety of books, from best sellers to collectibles and obscure titles, and to serve as a physical meeting place for all people in our true "community." It's not just about books, its about knowledge, and sharing and coming together, creating community, One Book, One Cup at at Time.
Maybe Danny Westneat should have interviewed us before writing his Obit to Bookstores column.

IPad, Kindle and the Future of Books. Very Interesting

I believe that books and bookstores/cafe will be around for a long, long time because public meeting places are vital to communities. Digital readers are important tools for many, but can never meet this deeper, human need. Any thoughts?

Free Speech Zone

A friend recently posted the following interesting quote:
"With liberty comes excess. I mean, if you want to play it safe then you're not going to have liberty. The safer you are with guarding those things that you value, those speech codes that you value, the more you invite tyranny, the more you invite suppression, the more you invite censorship."Ron Collins (author/scholar at the First Amendment Center).
Thinking about these thoughts lead me to remember the Old Couth Buzzard and it's "George Carlin" Discount offer. I put up a sign right after learning of the death of that great, essential even, comic and social commentator. Next to a photo of George, I posted: "Say One Of The Seven Banned Words and Receive 50 Cents Off Of Your Book Purchase!" Most of you know of Carlin's famous routine about the seven words that the Federal Communications Commission bans from the airways. In a famous Catch 22 situation, the FCC will not tell you which words are banned because, well, they are banned. Carlin mock just idiocy, and his case went all the way to the US Supreme Court.
Anyway, one of my most pleasant surprises was watching the almost child-like glee arise in those customers who took up the challenge. Saying "those" words in public!? In a store!Some customers knew all seven words, and then, playfully asked for $3.50 off.
The New Couth Buzzard Books Espresso Buono Cafe continues with it commitment to celebrate one of this country's most important freedoms: Expression. We are, indeed, a Free Speech Zone. A Free Ideas Zone.
For how else are we to discover how best to move forward as a community, as a people, as a country, as humans unless we have the forum to fully express ourselves, to listen to each other.
Writing Group Begins February 1 We're gathering together folks who like to write on Monday Evenings from 7 to 9pm. There is no fee, but a great barista will be on duty should you wish to refresh yourself and stimulate those neurons.
Our format will be guided spontaneity. The Supreme Leader of the Pack, Marilyn Stauter will suggest various topics, beginnings, ideas from which we all can write. This will be a No Criticism group. Contact Couth Buzzard Espresso Buono at theo@buonobuzzard, or Marilyn at stauter5687@msn.com or 206 633-5687.
Family Game Night Every Thursday 6pm to 9pm
Let's come together and play card and board games every Thursday from 6 to9pm. Chess, Go, Bridge, Scrabble, Dominos, Apples to Apples and more. The Cafe will also be open for drinks and food.
Today, I was thinking: What is the purpose of the new Couth Buzzard Books Espresso Buono Cafe? Seattle--especially North Seattle--has amazing independent bookstores and coffee shops. Sure their numbers are decreasing, but many still survive.The addiction to conspicuous consumption that attracts many to Starbucks and Barnes and Noble also turns off a great many more community-oriented folks.
It seems to me that a typical independent bookstore or coffeehouse offers visitors an opportunity to come alone to read or with a small group of friends for quiet, undisturbed intellectual conversation. Public discussions and debates are really not part of the ambiance. The music smoothly wafts from the speakers to reinforces this privatized, public experience. Perhaps someone sits in a corner with laptop or pen composing deep-felt thoughts. The calm and quiet are so necessary in our quick-paced, don't think twice world.

But, we need--and I know need is a loaded word--something more too. And that is what I believe the new Couth Buzzard Espresso Buono Cafe offers. A public place to come together as a community; to discuss; learn; laugh; hear different music; and, yes, even to disagree. Openly, in good spirit, one book, one cup at a time.

This Public Openness is nothing new. In fact it all goes back to those original coffee houses in 18th Century England. Coffee houses sprung up during the rapid rise of Industrialization; a place to meet after a hard days labor. They called them Penny Universities. (Not related to Penny, our great Cafe Manager!!!) Following is a long quotation from an article by J. Pelzer, called The English Coffee Houses.

Instead of paying for drinks, people in the eighteenth century were charged a mere penny to enter a coffee house. Once inside, the patron had access to coffee, the company of other customers, pamphlets, bulletins, newspapers, and news ‘reporters.’ These reporters were called "runners" and they went around the coffee houses announcing the latest news, like we might hear on the radio today. Before television advertisements and bulletin boards, people visited coffee houses to hear about the newest developments and business ideas.

One of the most unusual aspects of this environment was the eclectic groups of people that ran into each other at a coffee house. In a society that placed such importance on class and economical status, the coffee houses were unique because the patrons were people of all levels. For example, a merchant could converse with a prominent businessman. Anyone with a penny could come inside. Students from the university’s also frequented coffee houses, often spending more time at the shops then at school. It is easy to imagine the wide range of ideas that were produced as a result of this intermingling of people. The term “Penny University” is often used in reference to the eighteenth century coffee houses because of this reason. Coffee houses encouraged open thought and gathering of community. This environment, which was so conducive to intellectual discovery, could almost be called a school of social learning. To some people this was probably more of a school then rigid classrooms where people could not step out of a particular social role.(End of Quote.)

Well there you have it. How far have we evolved--or is it devolved?--from public places like the Penny University? In our small way,we are striving to reestablish that community discourse. We are open to your comments and suggestions on how we can best achieve this at the Couth Buzzard Espresso Buono.
Today, I am remembering that one day at the old Couth Buzzard when a middle-aged woman--slender and pretty, really--walked into the store with a very purposeful gait. She came up to the counter and slammed the one book she had down hard and said,"Do you give credit for books.""Why yes," I sheepishly replied. "This book is abosolutely usesless!!!" she declared. I turned it over. The title: "Passionate Marriage."
She then asked me where she could find the fiction. I think she bought a Margaret Atwood book.
Seattle's best book culture commentator, Paul Constant of the Stranger gave our upcoming Grand Re-Opening Party on Saturday the 16th a Star in his Events Calendar. That means it is a must go-to event for all you Bookies. Great drinks, food, fun, entertainment all day and into the night with a Special Cabaret at 7pm hosted by the great Kate Smith.

Thanks to co-owner and Science Fiction buff, Gerry Lovchik, for twenty years Couth Buzzard Used Books had one of North Seatte's largest and most extensive Science Fiction collections. Many mass market collectibles with those great cover illustrations.
We are looking to re-build our Science Fiction collection. Pleasese come on by and bring in your Science Fiction books for trade, and purchase some books too.

Theo's Extra Short Mostly True Story #1

Boy was I tired after my 13 hour day at the new Buzzard. It was that good kind of tired. I locked up and went to my truck. As soon as I backed up I heard that unwelcomed "PaaaTtaaat." Someone carefully nestled a bottle under my tire. Then came the escaping air "Hissssssss." A blowout. At first I thought some street drunk with an empty bottle of cheap wine and a mind filled with bitterness needed to strike back at an unforgiving world. Then I found the label with the embedded jewels of glass shards; it was that over- priced, Pro-Biotic(Are there Anti-Biotics) drink, Kambucha. So the tire got deflated and so did one of my remnant prejudices. Life is interesting that way.

Greeings BuonoBuzzard Friends

Welcome to our new--and still under construction--website. We are committed to having this digital space augment and serve our wonderful new physical space.
Please, feel free to send us tips, suggestions, comments to help us grow into a true community space.

Don't forget our Grand Re-Opening all day and into the evening on Satruday, January 16th. Food, talk, entertainment, and, in the evening a Special Cabaret. Volunteers to help with the day are also needed.

There are a few things we could use:

* A big comfy, clean reading chair for one of our nooks.
* A small comfy couch.
* Some clean rugs in a variety of sizes.
* Your crafts and art that we can display in our store.
* Books, books, books. We are especially looking for good fiction, science, philosophy, and books on Agnosticism and Atheism(we have tons of various books on religions).
*Clever, eccentric Knick-Knacks to place in our store.

Penny, Gerry & Theo...

If any of you are reading this...something is working!