February 2009




There is much talk these days about sustainability, and rightfully so. But I find my mind turning to the word "sustenance", which goes beyond survival. Both words arise from "sustain", to hold up. But sustenance also is defined as "Means of livelihood." I want my survival to be lively, a living. Which reminds me of "conviviality", living together. I have often thanked you for "supporting the fragile ecology of free speech which independent bookstores help to sustain", so that we can live together. Books sustain us, enliven us, and provide sustenance. As do bookstores which provide them. Bookstores provide a living for those who want to provide sustenance to our communities. Without your support, our ability to live together convivially is threatened. Here's to conviviality and the sustenance we provide in the company of each other, in the company of books, in the enlivening spirit of ideas and experiences conveyed person to person through words. Let's choose the world we wish to make. Support all that furthers our conviviality and our sustenance, so that we can live well together.

Thanks for all,
John and all Dieselfolk




Staff Pick Logo
Little Bee Cover Image
ISBN: 9781416589631
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Simon & Schuster - February 10th, 2009

If we're lucky, once a year a new voice proclaims itself, right up off the page, changing our life. Little Bee springs fully formed from the first pages of Chris Cleave's beautiful novel of the same name. For every book group, every world citizen, every devoted reader of beautiful writing and engaged artistry. Shout it from the rooftops! -- John Evans

Staff Pick Logo
The House on Fortune Street Cover Image
ISBN: 9780061451522
Availability: Special Order - Please call to confirm availability
Published: Harper - May 1st, 2008

The House on Fortune Street is Margot Livesey's best novel to date. It explores the best-friendship of two young women: one extremely ambitious and hard working, the other kindly, malleable and willing to share whatever she has. Yes, they are by nature poles apart. I found myself thoroughly caught up in their backgrounds, parental hang-ups, love-lives and work-lives, their friends, boyfriends and living arrangements - all in the service of explaining what makes them tick. The novel's structure is an unusual one that truly enhances the story; writers will wonder if the non-chronological organization came first or last. There are surprises, romance, and even an ongoing mystery. Ultimately, though, this is a book about the responsibility of friendship. -- Diane Leslie

Staff Pick Logo
The White Tiger Cover Image
ISBN: 9781416562603
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Free Press - October 14th, 2008

Balram Halwai sees contemporary India in a way that is strikingly similar to the United States, namely the absurdly large gap between the wealthy and the poor. As a member of the latter, Balram has aspirations and dreams he fears will never manifest considering his current position as a chauffeur and servant of the wealthy. His circumstance is not, however, his own doing, as he analogizes the situation of his class to a chicken coop, animals that live their lives in a cage and are brainwashed into believing their survival is dependent upon the rich. As blind submission has never been in Balram's plans, he takes it upon himself to rise above the muck in a series of unethical and criminal actions, committed with the knowledge he is putting the lives of his family at risk. A tale of obedience and loyalty versus will and determination, White Tiger will challenge your concepts of right and wrong, and make you feel guilty for laughing along the way. One of my favorite books in years! -- Jon Stich

Staff Pick Logo
Beasts!: Book Two Cover Image
By Jacob Covey (Editor)
ISBN: 9781560979494
Availability: Special Order - Please call to confirm availability
Published: Fantagraphics Books - December 1st, 2008

I like monsters. Usually, they creep in,
slither out, or crash down ever so briefly,
and then go wherever it is that monsters go
when they're not interacting with us. Covey's
second collection of beasts, monsters, and
ghosts, including over 90 artists (Frank
Stockton, Tomer Hanuka, Yuko Shimizu, Ellen
Forney, and a ton of others!), gives monsters
their due with elegant, whimsical, and
haunting illustrations. Each beast, which
could be the Yuki Onna, the Chupacabra, a
brownie, a nymph, or frost giant, includes a
brief description of the creature's behavior,
hangouts and, often times, diet. Beasts!
Book 2 is a terrific coffee-table book
that makes a wonderful gift for anyone who
loves things that live in the desolate, wild
places of the imagination (or perhaps beneath
your bed). -- Trevor Calvert

Staff Pick Logo
Scat Cover Image
Email or call for price
ISBN: 9780375934865
Availability: Out of Print
Published: Alfred A. Knopf Books for Young Readers - January 27th, 2009

Duane, notoriously known as Smoke, is an unlikely candidate to be found helping the very teacher he threatened. After a mysterious field trip that leaves a teacher M.I.A., Nick and Marta suspect foul play. Their suspicions aren't completely inaccurate, but they slowly learn that their suspects are heroes and that they are dealing with a larger villain than they anticipated. Hiaasen continues his string of mystery novels for younger readers with Scat, pitting curious, activist children against money-grubbing adults. -- Elise Clarkson