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Calling All People Who Can Read!

Calling All People Who Can Read!
By Brown Banana Books  • Issue #1 • View online
 Good morrow, literature fans.
I’m Jesse Wilson, the Chief Operating Officer of Brown Banana Books (née The Open Book), and this is the inaugural Brown Banana Books Newsletter.
 Wow, that feels good to say. I don’t know about you, but for my money (which I have a lot of), books and newsletters are two of the most pleasurable forms of entertainment known to man. Especially newsletters.
Newsletters are part of a genre I just decided to call Ephemoral Non-Fiction, which also includes blogs and zines, and is my favorite genre. As a book pusher, I get very upset when The American Public treats reading as homework, instead of something pleasurable like watching a movie, and Ephemoral Non-Fiction prooves that reading can be done purely for pleasure, because you don’t get any “points” for reading it. Not unless a cute punk rock girl catches you reading a zine on the bus. I always thought that might happen to me but it never has. Anyway, I love newsletters, you know that by now, and I think one day I’ll have a really good one.
Are you signed up for any other newsletters? If you want more newsletters to read, here are the 3 best.
This is an extremely well-written and “smart-funny” book review newsletter that also gives you a behind-the-scenes look at the book reviewer’s life and reading experience. Molly will talk about a type of bench she likes to read on, for example, and you’ll read along going HA HA! ME TOO!
 LIFE IN A SHANTY TOWN by Byron Crawford
This is more of an offensive, gossipy newsletter. Byron Crawford is out of his mind, but he’s also our greatest living author. (RIP Charles Portis.) If you’re not a real 1st amendment soldier/aging rap fan you’ll probably hate it. 
 THE BOXXX REPORT by Juiceboxxx
Juiceboxxx is out of his mind too, and you can see him lose his mind even more, then talk himself down from the ledge, then lose his mind even more in every single Boxxx Report. That’s not the only cool thing about this newsletter, though, because Juiceboxxx also uses it to plug upcoming tour dates and talk about music he likes. (Juiceboxxx is a rock star/rapper/energy drink mogul from Milwaukee.)
This issue is running longer than I thought it would, so I’m going to do one book review and one movie review and then be done with it.
 First, the movie review. I won’t normally do movie reviews in this newsletter, because we don’t sell movies at Brown Banana Books, except THE BIG SICK and some Tai chi DVDs, but I thought for this first newsletter it would be fun to review the movie THE BOOK SHOP.  
Here’s what happens in the book shop.
An attractive British widow decides to pursue her dream of opening a book shop. At first it goes badly. (That part was relatable.) She goes to the bank to get a loan and a fat, bald banker named Mr. Potato Head scoffs at her, telling her he only reads 2-3 pages a night, maximum. (Can you imagine? That’s only 4 books a year. To put it in perspective, that’s how much my roommate reads.) Mr. Potato Head’s patronizing corporate attitude, plus the fact that it’s taking the widow so long to achieve her dream, make her feel “angry, proud, impatient…and terribly alive.” Already, this character is a quadruple threat in terms of emotional complexity. Then there’s more news: a big hearted fisherman tells the widow it’s going to be difficult to run a book shop in that town, because NONE of the townsfolk read, including him. “Real life’s enough for me!” he says. I’ve heard that one before. To that fisherman I say: you probably watch telly. That’s not real life. It’s a form of escape just like reading. And fishing’s a form of escape, too. Speaking of escape, the next scene features an old man in the town who’s trapped (the opposite of escape) in his own house, because he hates people and loves to read. This guy is the second-most relatable character in the movie. First the hot bookstore CEO, then the tortured old man, then the fat banker, then the illiterate fisherman.
Ok… I’m not watching the rest of this movie. What am I anyway, one of those online movie “critics” who just summarizes the movie for you?
Let me criticize this: I thought the part of the movie I saw was bad.
The book I’ll be reviewing for this last segment, I promise, of the newsletter is DAEDORA, by Shawn Kennedy.
 DAEDORA is a dark fantasy novel that I learned about when my car was in the shop and I had to take a taxi to work. I told the driver to to drop me off at the bookstore, he told me his son had just written a dark fantasy novel, and 35 minutes later DAEDORA was $14.95 at the front desk. (If you’re one of those used book cheapskates who scoffs at double digit book prices, let me ask you this: how much money did you spend on American Spirits and scratch-offs yesterday?)
 DAEDORA follows the early adulthood misfortunes of a vampire–or possibly something even more sinister–named Leon Ravenheart, who lives in a castle in the late 1800’s. 1883, specifically, is when the first scene takes place, and we learn this in the first sentence: “The morning was young in October of 1883.”  This sentence bothered me for two reasons:
 1.) The first sentence of a book should be riveting. 
 2.) This sentence has problematic grammar. Grammar was my biggest problem with DAEDORA as a whole. It needed a copyeditor. (Incidentally, does anyone want to be my copyeditor?) There shouldn’t be an error in the first sentence. And there shouldn’t be sentences like this:
 “The male kept stationary as she asked the question before answering.”
“…impaling the blade into his chest cavity.”
“Leon came, close to Abigail’s mansion.”
 FORTUNATELY, the book is imaginitive and action-packed enough that this becomes less and less of a problem as you read. (It’s probably not a problem at all, if you’re not a wiseass english major.) Shawn Kennedy, like Leon Ravenheart, posseses a raw storytelling power that compensates for his stubborn independence and technical shortcomings. I found myself immeresed in his world, and that’s what fantasy is all about. God is a character in the books, Satan is a character in the book (they’re both minor characters, which I liked) and there are angels, demons, vampires, Daedora, wolf-Daedora-vampires, and more.
This book also knocks it out of the park in the “cover picture” and “character names” categories, which are crucial to fantasy fiction. 
If Shawn can find someone to copyedit his next book–which he previewed for me when he last came into the store, and sounds awesome–I will be reading, reviewing and recommending again, and hope you will do the same. This is a magnificent local talant.
 Ok, that’s all for now. Don’t forget to cancel you Amazon account! 
Best Wishes,
Jesse Wilson, CEO
THE NAME CHANGE from THE OPEN BOOK to BROWN BANANA BOOKS will be made official (via storefront sign and government form) by the end of the month. Sorry if this has caused you any confusion.
 OPEN MIC NIGHT is still Tuesday nights from 6-8, every week.
THE BOOK SWAP is still 12-2 (PM), on the first Sunday of every month.
Author BILL PIEPER will be giving a reading from his short story collection BORDERS & BOUNDARIES, published by COLD RIVER PRESS, on SUNDAY, MARCH 22nd at 2:30 PM.
 Scruffy millenial rockers THE ARGUMENTS will be performing in-store on March 28 at 7:00 PM. Bookie the book will be there, as will.
The HEATHER GROVE STUDENT CHOIR will be performing in-store on SUNDAY, APRIL 26th.


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