Sam has been selling books for over 30 years, working at local indies Pages & Pages and Hawley-Cooke before coming to Carmichael's in 2014, where she is the Trainer and Floor Manager of the Frankfort Avenue location. Often an unoffical spokesperson for the store, she is a frequent guest on the literary podcast The Perks of Being a Book Lover, she appeared in the documentary "Bookstour" and interviewed author Leesa Cross-Smith for A Mighty Blaze's "Authors Love Bookstores".
Sam is also one of the featured booksellers in Reading is Magic: A Book Log for Families (9781419741401) published by Abrams Image.
Think the Count is the OG literary vampire? THINK AGAIN.
Polidori's The Vampyre 1819
Le Fanu's Carmilla 1872
Stoker's Dracula 1897
Let's give credit where credit is due. Respect must be paid.
Perfect for readers of any age who struggle with anxious worrying-what the Buddhists call 'monkey mind'-this picture book tells the story of two roommates, Fish and Crab, who need to address their worries before sleep. Older readers will appreciate the twin bed conversation of polar opposite besties that harkens back to other famous duos (Bert & Ernie anyone?) and younger readers will appreciate the artwork that reveals more with each reading.
An Antarctic book like no other, this mesmerizing account of a writer contemplating motherhood tagging along on a scientific voyage to the literal bottom of the world is the best writing I have read about climate change yet. The poetically personal account, mixed with the chorus of the scientists' statements of purpose, catches the reader's attention in a way no dry facts could.
In the 1984 movie,"The River", a frightened deer makes its way into a steel mill and some farmers, tricked into being strikebreakers, surround it and usher it out to safety. Well read viewers at at the time pointed out how similar that plot point was to Kurt Vonnegut's 1968 short story "A Deer in the Works", from his masterpiece collection Welcome to the Monkey House. Reporters, perhaps hoping for an angry hot take, were met with shrugs by the author who said, "It's good propaganda for humanity". I felt similarly about the latest novel from National Book Award winner James McBride. With graceful sentences that encourage lingering and a circular writing style that Venn diagrams its way to the point, this novel is both a good yarn about hardscrabble folks doing the right thing even when it's hard and a reminder of what we as humans owe one another. I predict major awards in this novel's future and, as I add my voice to the deafening chorus of praise, I encourage all readers of heart to share this book, we need it, and others like it, now more than ever.
This book reads like a tall glass of lemonade and I want to pour everyone a glass!
If you missed this debut novel back in 2021 don't feel bad, so did I, but I am grateful to find it now as it's a great example of one of my favorite (and rare) genres-the feel good literary novel. Leonard and Hungry Paul are bachelor best friends who still live at home and have quiet lives full of board games and small work dramas. Hession's an Irish musician by trade and it shows in his musical and lovely prose. Seemingly simple but profound like my other favorites, Jim the Boy and A Fortnight in September, it's a calm treat in a busy world.
In her American adult debut, YA author Caroline O'Donoghue weaves a story of young love (all kinds!) and twentysomething mistakes that perfectly captures both the universality of that experience and the specifics of Cork, Ireland in the recession 2010s. A perfect book for readers waiting for the next Sally Rooney or Naoise Dolan.
As an educator Willie Carver fought for protections for LGTBQ+ folks like himself, even testifying before the House of Representatives, but a year after being named Kentucky Teacher of the Year he left the public school system. This, his first poetry collection, tells of the wonder and the pain of his Appalachian childhood and, as the perfectly chosen epigraph reads, "The truth will stand when the world is on fire."
With shades of Daphne du Maurier's Rebecca shot through a Rosemary's Baby lens, all with Abbott's signature heightened vividness, this thriller tells the story of a young pregnant women's visit to her father in law's house in Michigan's remote UP that goes terribly, terribly wrong. If you relish a thrill ride read that's also meaty with meaning add this to your stack!
Memoirs by poets are one of my favorite genres-all of the candor but told poetically. Jane Wong's journey from Jersey Shore Chinese 'restaurant baby' to poet/educator is a fantastic example-the food descriptions will make your mouth water and the music in the language will wear out your highlighter (or have you dogearing like a fool, if that's your thing). It's an immigrant story, it's a love letter to the parent who stayed, it's an examination of how we become ourselves-in short, it's a triumph.
Brave and clear eyed, the latest addition to the terrific Music Matters series re examines O'Connor's career, mines it for her many contributions and points out how a racist, sexist industry framed it so problematically (she's crazy, she's a bitch) a book like this was necessary to try and set the record straight. But McCabe aims higher than mere due giving-she also delves into the personal for a larger indictment about celebrity culture, how we (mis)treat the mentally ill and how music gets knotted into our lives in ways it's sometimes hard to articulate. A heartfelt bravo for an artist who has never gotten enough.
Did you know in North America that there are more monuments to Sacajewea than any other woman? This novel, a bold reimagining of the historical woman from the coin you thought you knew, tells a truer version of her story in an unsparing but beautiful way. From her childhood to her enslavement, this is an American indigenous story reframed and reclaimed by an American indigenous author.
To create this startling collection poet and Princeton professor Patricia Smith used her personal collection of 19th century photographs of African Americans as prompts for poems ranging from erotic to mundane. The pairing of the two mediums explodes the remove people sometimes feel when looking at black and white portraits so the subjects feel wholly real and timeless. A great read for National Poetry Month!
To crib the author's own words, "this is the writing, thinking, feeling I'd been looking for." I am personally vexed by the modern fan's dilemma-with biography everywhere what do you (or should you) do when your favorite artist is revealed to be terrible, or worse, an actual predator? An expansion of her viral Paris Review essay, "What Do We Do with the Art Of Monstrous Men?", Dederer's book reads like a good thorny discussion with a smart friend, the kind where someone ends up shouting and pounding the table. If you have been soul searching about this too, I can't recommend this book enough.
Managing by delegation? Performance rewards? Extracurricular activities to promote employee satisfaction? Encouraging managers self development? These aren't ideas pioneered by the Harvard Business School, no, these are bedrock ideas of the Nazi Party that were synthesized by Reinhard Hohn, former general and SS Intelligence officer, and taught for years at the business school he founded after the war. In this slim volume, one of the first in Compass, a new nonfiction series by Europa, a leading French historian lays out the whole horrifying/fascinating evolution.
I loved, loved, loved this debut novel by one of my favorite magazine writers (Newman is the advice columnist for Real Simple). A life affirming story about being present at the end for a beloved friend, this book will make you laugh as often as cry and you'll beg to be adopted by this big, messy found family. It also has my favorite cover of the year- great before you read, and perfect after.
Written with precise clarity, this British novel from 1931 tells the story of a working class family's seaside holiday. Though the plot seems low stakes by 21st century standards, its tender attention to the ups and downs of everyday life make it that rare unicorn of reads-a well written feel good book.