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New Releases: August 25th, 2015

Every week, dozens of new books are released in hardcover and paperback editions. We are highlighting just a few that have caught our eye…

NEW RELEASES IN HARDCOVER

CAPTAIN UNDERPANTS AND THE SENSATIONAL SAGA OF SIR STINKS-A-LOT by Dav Pilkey
There’s something rotten in the state of Ohio, and it’s smellier than a pile of putrid gym socks! Steer clear — it’s Sir Stinks-A-Lot! George and Harold, and their doubles, Yesterday George and Yesterday Harold, have a good thing going. Two of them go to school, while the other two hide in the tree house and play video games all day — then they switch! But when their malicious gym teacher, Mr. Meaner, creates a method of mind-control that turns their fellow students into attentive, obedient, perfect children, the future of all humanity will be in their hands! Children’s Fiction

SECONDHAND SOULS by Christopher Moore
Something really strange is happening in the City by the Bay. People are dying, but their souls are not being collected. Someone — or something — is stealing them, and no one knows where they are going, or why, but it has something to do with that big orange bridge. Death Merchant Charlie Asher is just as flummoxed as everyone else. He’s trapped in the body of a 14-inch-tall “meat puppet” waiting for his Buddhist nun girlfriend, Audrey, to find him a suitable new body to play host. To get to the bottom of this abomination, a motley crew of heroes will band together. Fiction

THE TAMING OF THE QUEEN by Philippa Gregory
Kateryn Parr, a 30-year-old widow in a secret affair with a new lover, has no choice when a man old enough to be her father who has buried four wives — King Henry VIII — commands her to marry him. Despite being a leader of religious reform and the first woman to publish in English, Kateryn cannot save the Protestants, under threat for their faith, and Henry’s dangerous gaze turns on her. The traditional churchmen and rivals for power accuse her of heresy. The punishment is death by fire, and the king’s name is on the warrant. Historical Fiction

X by Sue Grafton
Perhaps her darkest and most chilling novel, Sue Grafton’s X features a remorseless serial killer who leaves no trace of his crimes. Once again breaking the rules and establishing new paths, Grafton wastes little time identifying this sociopath. The test is whether Kinsey Millhone can prove her case against him before she becomes his next victim. Mystery

See something you like? Give us a call and we’ll put a copy on hold for you!

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Tomorrow: Los Gatos Literary Fair!

SECOND ANNUAL LOS GATOS LITERARY FAIR
AUGUST 22ND, 2015, 12:00 PM – 3:00 PM

More than 30 Bay Area authors will be gathering on the Civic Center lawn in Los Gatos onSaturday, August 22nd, from 12PM-3PM to showcase their literary work. This free, annual event is a collaboration between the Los Gatos Library, Friends of the Los Gatos Library, and Village House of Books.

Cheryl and Steve Hare, owners of Village House of Books, have lined up three exciting keynote speakers. Kicking off the event at 12PM will be the New York Times best-selling author Cara Black. Her renowned Aimée Léduc mystery novels feature a female Paris-based private investigator.

Closing the event will be two award-winning authors, C. W. Gortner and Jan Ellison. Gortner is the author of historical Renaissance fiction, including the novels The Last Queen and The Confessions of Catherine de Medici. His newest release is Mademoiselle Chanel. Ellison’s first published short story won a 2007 O. Henry Prize, and her work has also been short-listed for the Best American Short Stories and the Pushcart Prize. Her newest publication, A Small Indiscretion, was listed as a 2015 Book Club Pick by the San Francisco Chronicle.

 cara_black  gortner  ellison1

RSVP on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/events/685211284946102/
We look forward to seeing you on the Civic Center lawn!

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New Releases: August 18th, 2015

Every week, dozens of new books are released in hardcover and paperback editions. We are highlighting just a few that have caught our eye…

NEW RELEASES IN HARDCOVER

AUGGIE & ME: THREE WONDER STORIES by R. J. Palacio
Over 2 million people have read the #1 New York Times bestseller Wonder and have fallen in love with Auggie Pullman, an ordinary boy with an extraordinary face. Readers have also been treated to three stories offering a special look at Auggie’s world through new points of view…These stories are an extra peek at Auggie before he started at Beecher Prep and during his first year there. Readers get to see him through the eyes of Julian, the bully; Christopher, Auggie’s oldest friend; and Charlotte, Auggie’s new friend at school. Together, these three stories are a treasure for readers who don’t want to leave Auggie behind when they finish WONDER. Children’s Fiction

BORN ON THE BAYOU by Blaine Lourd
In honest, confessional prose, BORN ON THE BAYOU transports us to a pocket of the South where Lourd learns how to be a man from the two people he looks up to the most: his larger-than-life father, “Puffer,” a prominent figure in the oil business, and his successful older brother, Bryan. With an eye turned perpetually toward the gruff and distant Puffer, Lourd illustrates how those closest to us can cause the most hurt, even as we seek their approval. Whether he’s learning how to skin a duck at age ten, enjoying his first beer at thirteen, or detailing the finer points of ride-on lawn mowing, Lourd gets to the heart of being a Southerner with rawness and grace. From his early childhood through his eventual pilgrimage to the West Coast, he beautifully details what it means to have tangible roots to a place so ingrained it is a part of your own being. Memoir

THE DAY THE CRAYONS CAME HOME by Drew Daywalt & Oliver Jeffers
I’m not sure what it is about this kid Duncan, but his crayons sure are a colorful bunch of characters! Having soothed the hurt feelings of one group who threatened to quit, Duncan now faces a whole new group of crayons asking to be rescued. From Maroon Crayon, who was lost beneath the sofa cushions and then broken in two after Dad sat on him; to poor Turquoise, whose head is now stuck to one of Duncan’s stinky socks after they both ended up in the dryer together; to Pea Green, who knows darn well that no kid likes peas and who ran away—each and every crayon has a woeful tale to tell and a plea to be brought home to the crayon box. Children’s Fiction

EVERYBODY RISE by Stephanie Clifford
EVERYBODY RISE is a keenly observed novel in which a young woman plunges headlong into a glittering world of wealth and social prestige. Evelyn Beegan, an irresistibly flawed heroine, relentlessly elbows her way up the social ladder. In order to be accepted, she must pass as upper class and be seen as someone with an established old money background. Her lies start slowly but quickly grow until the ground underneath her begins to give way. Fiction

WE NEVER ASKED FOR WINGS by Vanessa Diffenbaugh
For 14 years, Letty Espinosa has worked three jobs around San Francisco to make ends meet while her mother raised her children in their tiny apartment on a forgotten spit of wetlands near the bay. But now Letty’s parents are returning to Mexico, and Letty must step up and become a mother for the first time in her life. She comes up with a plan to help the family escape the dangerous neighborhood and heartbreaking injustice that have marked their lives. But one wrong move could jeopardize everything she’s worked for and her family’s fragile hopes for the future. Fiction

NEW IN PAPERBACK

GRAY MOUNTAIN by John Grisham
Samantha Kofer’s career at a huge Wall Street law firm is on the fast track — until the recession hits and she gets downsized. However, she is offered an opportunity to work at a legal aid clinic in Virginia for one year without pay, after which there would be a slim chance that she’d get her old job back. Samantha’s new job takes her into the murky and dangerous world of coal mining, and within weeks she finds herself engulfed in litigation that turns deadly. Thriller

MONA LISA: A Life Discovered by Dianne Hales
Dianne Hales became obsessed with finding the real Mona Lisa on repeated trips to Florence. Here, she takes readers with her to meet Lisa’s descendants; uncover her family’s long and colorful history; and explore the neighborhoods where she lived as a girl, a wife and a mother. In the process, we can participate in Lisa’s daily rituals; understand her personal relationships; and see, hear, smell and taste “her” Florence. Biography

See something you like? Give us a call and we’ll put a copy on hold for you!

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Announcing our first ticketed PREMIUM EVENT: Andy Weir & The Martian!

PREMIUM EVENT: ANDY WEIR & THE MARTIAN
OCTOBER 29TH, 2015, 6:30 PM

588974-250First a hit novel and soon to be a blockbuster starring Matt Damon, THE MARTIAN has been flying off the shelves ever since it debuted.  Join us in welcoming Andy Weir to Los Gatos for a fun evening diving into the world of THE MARTIAN!  See the movie when it hits theaters in October and then come see the man behind the story, Andy Weir, in this special appearance with Village House of Books.

THE PLOT: Six days ago, astronaut Mark Watney became one of the first people to walk on Mars.
Now, he’s sure he’ll be the first person to die there.
After a dust storm nearly kills him and forces his crew to evacuate while thinking him dead, Mark finds himself stranded and completely alone with no way to even signal Earth that he’s alive and even if he could get word out, his supplies would be gone long before a rescue could arrive.
Chances are, though, he won’t have time to starve to death. The damaged machinery, unforgiving environment, or plain-old “human error” are much more likely to kill him first.
But Mark isn’t ready to give up yet. Drawing on his ingenuity, his engineering skills and a relentless, dogged refusal to quit he steadfastly confronts one seemingly insurmountable obstacle after the next. Will his resourcefulness be enough to overcome the impossible odds against him?

There are two ticket tiers:
$20 Ticket (no book): This ticket will guarantee you a seat at Andy Weir’s event.
$35 Ticket (with book): This ticket comes with a signed hardcover copy of THE MARTIAN and guarantees you a seat at Andy Weir’s event.

Purchase your tickets here: http://vhob.brownpapertickets.com/

Buy your tickets early to ensure you get a seat!  This also helps us – if early response is good we may be able to move to a larger venue so that everyone can see Andy Weir.  

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Upcoming Event: Fayette Fox Meet ‘n’ Greet

Fayette Fox Meet ‘n’ Greet
July 25th, 2015 at 1:00 pm

Have you seen The Deception Artist?fox
Eight-year-old Ivy has a vivid imagination and tells lies so that people will like her. With her brother, Brice, in the hospital, life at home feels unsettled and things become even more strained after her father loses his job, along with his sense of purpose. Ivy’s parents might divorce and her best friend hates her but, ever creative, she abandons her escapist fantasies and determines to uncover the truth.
In this sharp and funny literary debut set in Northern California during the 1980s recession, Fayette Fox delves deep into the dark heart of an ordinary American family – and finds out that make-believe isn’t just for kids.

Join us in welcoming Fayette Fox to Los Gatos as she signs copies of her new book The Deception Artist.  This debut author’s been making a splash everywhere she goes; be the first to read a novel that gives every reader something to talk about.

RSVP on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/events/694071497386151/

Or call or e-mail the store!

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Guest Post: Fayette Fox, Author of “The Deception Artist”

How to Write from a Kid’s POV
By Fayette Fox

There’s a wonderful tradition of novels for adults written from kids’ points of view. Think “Catcher in the Rye,” “The Poisonwood Bible,” and “Room”. For these books to work, they need compelling stories and child narrators whose voices ring true.The Deception Artist Front Cover-US-small.v2 (2)

My novel, “The Deception Artist” is told from the perspective of Ivy, an eight-year-old with a vivid imagination, who lies so people will like her. Literary fiction for adults, it’s set in the Bay Area during the recession of the 1980s. Basically, I lifted the time and place from my own childhood and used it as a backdrop for my fictional characters and crafted plot.

During the five years I spent writing my novel, I worked hard to get Ivy’s voice right. Reviewers and readers seem to universally love Ivy, so I must be on to something.

Here are my best tips to help you write convincingly from a kid’s point of view.

Remember to Play and Play to Remember – Our first permanent memories form around age three, but as adults we seem to remember wildly different amounts of our childhoods. Personally, I remember a lot from being a kid and I believe that’s helped me create authentic child characters. You can try and trigger memories by looking at old photos. Talk with people about their childhoods. Do things you used to do as a kid. Blow bubbles in your milk, make chalk drawings on the sidewalk, sculpt with Play-Doh, build a pillow fort. Be silly and see what happens. Also spend time around kids. When I was writing my novel, I arranged to spend a day observing a third grade class at a local elementary school.

Vocab Test – In my novel I used simple language for Ivy’s thoughts, and went even simpler for her spoken words. Inevitably, some big words are going to sneak into your writing. As you revise, weed out words your character wouldn’t know. Obviously this has to do with their age and who they are a character. A five-year-old who lives in an 11’x11’ shed will have a different vocabulary from a 14-year-old American on a missionary trip in the Belgian Congo.

Treat Your Character with Respect – Your child narrator will probably have worries that look very different from your own, but they are real for them. Treating your character with respect means meeting them where they are, and acknowledging their emotions. If you think they’re being silly, your readers will too. And worse, they might not want to read about them.

Remember the Emotion – Part of childhood is a sense of powerlessness and not understanding a lot of what’s going on around you. In my novel, Ivy feels upset hearing her parents fighting and worries they might divorce. Additionally, kids are often obsessed with fairness. This can light a fire in their belly, making them to fight for their beliefs. Ivy’s brother, Brice, a budding animal rights activist, risks getting grounded by refusing to eat veal.

Kid Logic – When Brice is sick in the hospital, Ivy wants to move into his room because he’s not using it and it’s a waste of a good room. When their dad loses his job, Ivy cuts holes in all her new clothes so her mom won’t be able to return them. In my novel there’s a lot of humor and bittersweet moments around kid logic. As you get to know your child protagonist, imagine how they make sense of their world. These “discoveries” will help your character come to life.

Kids are Observant – Their worlds are smaller and they notice things we might not even see. I remember taking great pleasure poking around logs for bugs and lizards. Kids also absorb obscure facts at school, we might have forgotten. These details will help your character feel real.

Read Your Work Out Loud – Okay, this is actually important for all writing, but I think it’s especially key when you’re writing from a kid’s point of view. Listen to the sounds and the rhythm of your words. If you’re not sure it’s right, spend time around a friend’s kids. Take notes on how they talk and behave.

Good luck and let me know how that pillow fort turns out!

Fayette wood wall-small

Fayette Fox will appear at Village House of Books on July 25th from 1:00pm-3:00pm. Join us for a meet ‘n’ greet and a chance to chat with Fayette about her novel and writing!

Photo of Fayette taken by Dusty Olson.

Fayette is a professional freelance writer. Her novel, “The Deception Artist” was published in North America in March by Roaring Forties Press, after initially being published in the UK in 2013 by Myriad Editions. The book was shortlisted for Amazon Rising Stars and the First Book Award ebooks by Sainsbury’s.

Fayette is the Co-Founder of My Love Ninja, a boutique OkCupid profile makeover service. She is a former commissioning editor for Lonely Planet Publications. She holds an MA in Publishing from the London College of Communication and a BA in Creative Writing from Hampshire College. Fayette has trekked the Nepalese Himalayas, taught sex-ed to teenage girls in India, harvested pumpkins on an organic farm in the Netherlands, radio-tracked echidnas in Australia, and been attacked by a giant, Japanese centipede. (She survived.) You can learn more on her website here.

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New Releases: July 14th, 2015

Every week, dozens of new books are released in hardcover and paperback editions. We are highlighting just a few that have caught our eye…

NEW RELEASES IN HARDCOVER

GO SET A WATCHMAN by Harper Lee
Originally written in the mid-1950s, GO SET A WATCHMAN was the novel Harper Lee first submitted to her publishers before TO KILL A MOCKINGBIRD. Assumed to have been lost, the manuscript was discovered in late 2014. GO SET A WATCHMAN features many of the characters from TO KILL A MOCKINGBIRD some 20 years later. Returning home to Maycomb to visit her father, Jean Louise Finch — Scout — struggles with issues both personal and political, involving Atticus, society, and the small Alabama town that shaped her.  Fiction

THE ART OF THE CON: The Most Notorious Fakes, Frauds, and Forgeries in the Art World by Anthony M. Amore
Art scams are so numerous today that the specter of a lawsuit arising from a mistaken attribution has scared a number of experts away from the business of authentication and forgery, and with good reason. Art scams are increasingly convincing and involve incredible sums of money. The cons perpetrated by unscrupulous art dealers and their accomplices are proportionately elaborate. Anthony M. Amore’s THE ART OF THE CON tells the stories of some of history’s most notorious yet untold cons.  History / True Crime

THE WATCHMAKER OF FILIGREE STREET by Natasha Pulley 
1883. Thaniel Steepleton returns home to his tiny London apartment to find a gold pocket watch on his pillow. Six months later, the mysterious timepiece saves his life, drawing him away from a blast that destroys Scotland Yard. At last, he goes in search of its maker, Keita Mori, a kind, lonely immigrant from Japan. Although Mori seems harmless, a chain of unexplainable events soon suggests he must be hiding something. When Grace Carrow, an Oxford physicist, unwittingly interferes, Thaniel is torn between opposing loyalties.  Fiction

OPEN GRAVE by Kjell Eriksson
Professor Bertram von Ohler has been awarded the Nobel Prize for medicine. This news causes problems in his otherwise quiet upper-class neighborhood in Uppsala, Sweden, as not everybody is happy with the choice of winner. Mysterious incidents start to occur. “Boyish pranks” say the police, but what follows is certainly not innocent amusement. Detective Inspector Ann Lindell becomes involved in the case and immediately is transported back into her own past.  Mystery

NEW IN PAPERBACK

BLUE-EYED BOY: A Memoir by Robert Timberg
In January 1967, Robert Timberg was a short-timer, counting down the days until his combat tour ended. He had 13 days to go when his vehicle struck a Viet Cong land mine, resulting in third-degree burns of his face and much of his body. He survived, barely, then began the arduous battle back, determined to build a new life and make it matter. Memoir

LIBERTY’S TORCH: The Great Adventure to Build the Statue of Liberty by Elizabeth Mitchell 
The Statue of Liberty has become one of the most recognizable monuments in the world: a symbol of freedom and the American Dream. But the story of the creation of the statue has been obscured by myth. In reality, she was the inspiration of one quixotic French sculptor hungry for fame and adoration. LIBERTY’S TORCH tells the story of an artist, entrepreneur and inventor who fought against all odds to create this wonder of the modern world.  History

THE LAST WHITE ROSE: The Secret Wars of the Tudors by Desmond Seward 
One of the most dramatic periods of British history, the Wars of the Roses didn’t end at the Battle of Bosworth in 1485. Despite the death of Richard III and Henry VII’s victory, it continued underground into the following century with plots, pretenders and subterfuge by the ousted white rose faction. In a brand new interpretation of this turning point in history, historian Desmond Seward reviews the story of the Tudors’ seizure of the throne and shows that for many years they were far from secure.  History
See something that catches your eye? Give us a call and we’ll put a copy on hold for you!