Tag Archives: Books & Authors

This Is Not Your Mother’s Bookclub

Most book clubs have required reading for the month that half of the group didn’t read, some high falutin snack food and a shared bottle of wine that you drink with your pinkie extended.  

Well this is not that book club.  So buckle up buttercup because this is Chick Lit n’ Chocolate!

We decided that we would be different.  The ladies share the books that they read and consume copious amounts of chocolate while laughing the night away.

This open group meets at the store on the 4th Friday of the month around 6:30 and running until everyone stops talking.  In the summer months we’ve even been known to continue the festivities at undisclosed Mexican restaurants for libations.

Give us a call at the store if you are interested.  (573)449-8637

Books to Screens Big & Small

Lately it seems that the theaters and our TV sets are filled with adaptations of our favorite books.  Whether it is George R.R. Martin’s “Game of Thrones,”   Veronica Roth’s “Divergent” or Craig Johnson’s “Longmire” series there is something for all ages and all tastes.  And even though we have this need to see our favorite book brought to life there is always the nagging fear of disappointment.  Will they sound the way we imagined or even look somewhat like the author described them?  This summer brings about a bevy of books going to the screens, and here are our picks for the season.

“Edge of Tomorrow” the Sci-Fi novel by Hiroshi Sakurazaka opens in theaters June 6th starring Tom Cruise and Emily Blunt.  Originally written as “All You Need is Kill” in 2009, Sakurazaka’s freshman offering attacks with a viciousness that fellow sci-fi writer John Scalzi said, “reads fast, kicks ass, and keeps on coming.”

Also premiering in theaters on June 6th is the screen adaptation of John Green’s “The Fault In Our Stars.”

“[Green] shows us true love—two teenagers helping and accepting each other through the most humiliating physical and emotional ordeals—and it is far more romantic than any sunset on the beach.”
New York Times Book Review

Doug has graciously given this two “thumbs up” for sticking with him months after reading it.

“Outlander” on Starz beginning August 8th.  Based on the critically acclaimed series by Diana Gabaldon,  “Outlander” is already looking quite capable of bringing this powerhouse it’s due.

Claire Randall is leading a double life. She has a husband in one century, and a lover in another…

In 1945, Claire Randall, a former combat nurse, is back from the war and reunited with her husband on a second honeymoon–when she innocently touches a boulder in one of the ancient stone circles that dot the British Isles. Suddenly she is a Sassenach—an “outlander”—in a Scotland torn by war and raiding border clans in the year of our Lord…1743.

Hurled back in time by forces she cannot understand, Claire’s destiny in soon inextricably intertwined with Clan MacKenzie and the forbidden Castle Leoch. She is catapulted without warning into the intrigues of lairds and spies that may threaten her life …and shatter her heart. For here, James Fraser, a gallant young Scots warrior, shows her a passion so fierce and a love so absolute that Claire becomes a woman torn between fidelity and desire…and between two vastly different men in two irreconcilable lives.

Then there is “The Strain.”  The cable channel FX is bringing Guillermo Del Toro’s  Horror/Vampire series to us on July 13th.


“A high-tech vampire epic….Terrifying.”
San Francisco Chronicle

“Part The Andromeda Strain, part Night of the Living Dead.”

“Chuck Hogan is known for his taut thrillers, Guillermo del Toro for his surreal horror films…The Strain brings out the best of each.”
Minneapolis Star Tribune

An epic battle for survival begins between man and vampire in The Strain—the first book in a heart-stopping trilogy from one of Hollywood’s most inventive storytellers and a critically acclaimed thriller writer. Guillermo del Toro, the genius director of the Academy Award-winningPan’s Labyrinth and Hellboy, and Hammett Award-winning author Chuck Hogan have joined forces to boldly reinvent the vampire novel. Brilliant, blood-chilling, and unputdownable, The Strain is a nightmare of the first order.



Local Mid-Missouri Writers

“The Shape of Our Faces No Longer Matters” Poems by Gerardo Mena 

Do not for one second skip over our first entry about Local Writers.

Gerardo (Tony) Mena is a decorated Iraqi Freedom veteran.  He spent six years in Special Operations with the Reconnaissance Marines and was awarded a Navy Achievement Medal with a V for Valor for multiple acts of bravery while under fire.  His work has been published in such venues as Best New Poets 2011, Baltimore Review, Ninth Letter, Prairie Schooner Online, Cream City Review, Poetry East, Cider Press Review, and War.


William Trowbridge, Poet Laureate of Missouri, said that ” You might read Gerardo Mena’s poetry to find out what war is “really” like. However, you’ll find him describing, again and again, its interior reality, its sur-reality, full of humans transformed into or by bayonets, leaves, birds, bullets, flowers, rockets, and coffins in a zone where the fireball from a convoy vehicle blasted by an IED mirrors Van Gogh’s Starry Night.”

“Tom T’s Hat Rack” by Michele Spry

My good friend, Tom Trabue, was diagnosed with Hodgkin’s Lymphoma in 2012. To watch Tom go through chemotherapy and radiation, yet always remaining so positive, was such an inspiration. A long time ago, I decided to live my life by paying it forward to others as often as I could and try to encourage others to do simple acts of kindness for random strangers. I began writing this book with those two inspirations.

One of the ways I’ve chosen to pay it forward is to become a Partner in Education with Midway Heights Elementary School in Columbia, MO back in 2008. As a Partner in Education, I wanted to reach out to the students at our partner school and encourage them to do something good for someone else and pay it forward – hence, this book. Little did I know “Pay It Forward” is the overall school theme for the Columbia Public Schools for the 2012-2013 year! Coincidence? I’m not so sure!

“Collapse” by TK Carter

Saturday, May 3rd Local author TK Carter joined us in celebrating the release of her new book “Collapse.”  Her first book in the Yellow Flag Series focuses on events unfolding around Mid-Missouri in 2016 against the backdrop of a crumbling United States under the weight of failed social and economic policies.  Gas rationing, housing redistribution, roving highway bandits, and American terrorists all contribute to a taut story surrounding 3 sets of people struggling to survive the day.


They said the election of 2012 was going to be crucial to the future of America.  It seemed most Americans voted for one candidate to prevent the greater of two evils from entering office more than it was a matter of voting in favor of their candidate.  No one could have predicted what happened.  We didn’t see this one coming.

Paul Mazan

Born in Chicago in 1947 I grew up listening to the stories my father and Uncles told of their experiences during World War II. The only time they spoke of the war was at family gatherings when in the company of other veterans and I was fascinated by the stories and sought the men out and listened. The stories sparked a lifelong interest in History and common men faced with the realities of war.
I went on to serve in the United States Air Force, get married, father two children and make a carrier in Purchasing and New Product development for Brownells Inc. and Battenfield Technologies. Having attended Gunsmithing summer courses and worked in the firearms industry for over 25 years I learned a great deal about the subject. My writing career started with Magazine articles dealing with firearms restoration and repair and have appeared in several national magazines including Shotgun News, Shooting Times, and American Gunsmith. Always a storyteller, I have tried to combined my love of history, knowledge of firearms, and the stories my father and uncles shared into stories of my own.
Today I live in Missouri with Cecile my wife of 45 years and our dog Amber. I consider myself blessed with two grown children and four grandchildren.


Be sure to check out “Heart of a Warrior” and “Fighting Poles”