Someone told me recently of a phrase they'd heard -- "Think globally. Act neighborly." -- which I've put at the end of my emails. When people who've never been to Diesel ask what our stores are like, I usually say something like "Excellent quality local neighborhood bookstores." They are stores like what we think every city neighborhood, small town, or cluster of developments should have: an independent bookstore, more diverse than their community knows it needs. On this May Day, as workers throughout the world celebrate their lives and their livelihoods, in their towns and their neighborhoods, we just want to say thanks to all those who support us and support bookstores like ours, for all of our sakes.
Happy May Day!
John & all Dieselfolk
Great history! It's 1858, three years before the civil war. Robert E. Lee is a happy househusband, John Brown is raising hell in Kansas, William Tecumseh Sherman is running a roadside food stand, and the entire nation is riveted to a series of debates between Stephen Douglas and a little known Abraham Lincoln on the issue tearing the union apart - slavery. Rich in human detail and full of surprises, Bruce Chadwick paints a fascinating picture of a nation in crisis. A terrific prelude to Doris Kearns Goodwin's Team of Rivals. -- Colin Waters
In this deep reading of the poetic enterprise - with chapters from "Defending Poetry" to "Divine Parameters" - Parini shows why poetry matters through revealing how, and of what, poems are made. "Poems are made things...Poetry is conversation." This is a great introduction to, defense of, and deep dive into the poetic world - enlightening, conversational and useful. -- John Evans
If you think the extent to which the English language's capacity for pointless rhetoric and jubilant hilarity is limitless, and that makes you chuckle (knowingly) to yourself, then this is the book for you! Bryson's research is impeccable, his wit alarmingly canny. The nature of English - its origins and the roots from which so many zany similes and serendipitous metaphors spring - is malleable, kinetic, and extraordinarily wacky. Perhaps surprisingly, it is actually less logically confusing (that is, to say, more logical) than many if not most other languages. It just takes the right kind of mind to unearth, analyze and appreciate the ineffable pithiness of our mother tongue. -- Grant Outerbridge
The idea of exhaustive spending has become so commonplace in the American psyche that we have forgotten whether the things we buy have actually made us happier. In his latest work, Bill McKibben reminds us that even though our utopic vision of a house in the hills has been achieved, our lack of human interaction as a result of this distance has led to our collective melancholy. This absence of community is affecting not only our character, but our pockets as well. McKibben stresses the importance of buying locally as a way to keep our communities economically stable and emotionally upbeat. So although the internet makes it easier to lethargically order our copy of The Secret, we must ask ourselves if the answer could be outside our bubble. -- Jon Stich
One need not be a comic book reader to appreciate Mark Evanier's exquisite book, Kirby - a fantastic collection of and tribute to Jack Kirby's contributions to comic books and American culture (Kirby gave us characters such as the X-Men, the Fantastic Four, and Captain America among so many others). Evanier's book celebrates its contents with large-page spreads of Kirby's art which so often seem as if they are going to burst forth from the frame. And while the art is impressive it is Kirby's imagination that truly stuns. Here we see men and women traveling into the infinite crossroads of the universe, concrete monsters lurking along brownstone walls, and new gods careening through space in complex machinery. William Hazlitt, the great English literary critic, states in his essay "On Gusto" that "Gusto in art is power or passion defining any object" and "In a word, gusto in painting is where the impression made on one sense excites by affinity those of another." Hazlitt was describing Titian's work, but I think the same description can be applied to Jack Kirby's drawings and spreads, panels and paintings. Kirby is a wonderful and necessary contribution to not only the growing appreciation of comics as an art form, but also for designers, daydreamers, and rogues. -- Trevor Calvert
In the tradition of David Macaulay's illustrated classic The Way Things Work comes another diagrammatical look at life, this time focusing on the anatomical makeup of a major city. Using the layout of New York City, Kate Ascher gives us a detailed x-ray of each of the gears that keeps a metropolis running. How water gets to your home, how bridges and tunnels are constructed, how airwaves work to help us communicate, the voyage our trash takes in a garbage truck, the guts of a subway system, and other facets of inner-city infrastructure are all broken down and beautifully explained in this fascinating book. -- Jon Stich
At its core, My Friend the Starfinder is a tale about storytelling, about our need as humans to share our experiences with one another. The narrator remembers back to when she was a young girl and tells the story of an elderly neighbor who used to tell her fantastic stories about capturing falling stars and traveling through rainbows. She can tell that his tales are true, because she can feel the colors as he travels with her back in time through his own childhood memories. The story itself is simple and one that anybody who has ever been a wide-eyed child can love. Gammell's illustrations are nothing short of extraordinary and joyously enhance every word. -- Grant Outerbridge
From the mind that brought you Lost and Found and The Incredible Book Eating Boy comes the next masterpiece: The Way Back Home! Having made his way back to shore, the boy from Lost and Found finds an airplane in his closet and goes for a flight. Unfortunately, he flies so high he gets stuck on the moon! Luckily he isn't alone on the moon, but how will he make it home? Gotta read to find out! -- Joey Puente