Kobo Arcs are In Stock!

You may have noticed that The Bookloft is now selling ereaders and ebooks though a partnership with Kobo. But did you know that we have - in stock now - some shiny new Kobo Arcs?

It's true! Kobo's newest reading device is a snazzy 7" multimedia tablet, with full access to the Google Play network for movies, games, apps, video chat, photo sharing, and music, and 3 million books from the Kobo library. With the fastest processor on the market and one of the sharpest screens, a vibrant experience is at the tip of your fingers. We've got the 16 and 32 GB models here, for $199.99 and $249.99 respectively. More information from Kobo here.

The Berkshire Festival of Women Writer's has begun!

...and our very own Laura Didyk is leading two workshops!

The festival says it best: "The annual Berkshire Festival of Women Writers is a collaborative, multi-venue event sponsored by Bard College at Simon’s Rock with many local partners, celebrated county-wide in the month of March, Women’s History Month." This month there are over 50 events being held in the Berkshires; workshops, panels, readings, and performances of all kinds. There's something for everyone! See more here.

Our own Laura Didyk is hosting two memoir-themed events. Laura is an accomplished writer, editor, and teacher. Be sure to catch her this month at:

Illumination: Memoir Writing as a Path to Peace

Wednesday, 3/20 from 6:00-8:30 PM at the Stockbridge Congregational Church

Writing about your own life means more than merely reporting on your past. When you bring the perspective of who you are today to bear on stories from your life, not only will the stories shine with new and surprising significance but you, the writer, will be transformed in the process. Approached in the spirit of discovery, memoir writing becomes a vehicle for illumination, insight, and wisdom that can bring the writer a sense of peace while inspiring and changing her readers. Writer and teacher Laura Didyk will lead memoir-writing exercises and give a short reading from her memoir in progress. Following the usual format of Women's Interfaith events, the potluck dinner starts at 6 PM, and the program will begin at 7:00. Please bring a dish to share.

Garbage into Gold

Thursday, 3/21 at the Berkshire South/Jenifer House 6:30-8:30 PM

There's a myth about successful writers: they know what they want to write; they sit down and write it, brilliantly, on the first try. Wrong. Sometimes, most times, we need to write (and write and write) to find our subject matter, to arrive at a turn of phrase, an image, or a piece of dialogue that will bring us to the gold of our own work. In this workshop, writing practice, writing exercises, and on-the-spot assignments will help us quiet our inner editors long enough to surprise even ourselves.
Both sound good, eh? The even better news is that there are 53 events like that, and most of them are free!

My Bookstore comes with a dash of the Berkshires

Have you heard of My Bookstore: Writers Celebrate Their Favorite Places to Browse, Read, and Shop? If you haven't, it's a charming homage to the importance of old-fashioned independent brick-and-mortar bookstores, by the authors who frequent them. Even better, The Bookloft has been included! Our friend and Berkshire neighbor - and New York Times bestselling author - Simon Winchester has written quite a few kind words about us. Here's a sample:

That they are all here conjoined - the writers and their bookstore, the book-loving customers and their formidably well-read army of booksellers - underlines the point that Eric Wilska likes to make: that this is a community bookstore, providing a much-needed service for a community that, as he believes and which all of us pray is true, simply could not and will not countenance the vanishing of one of the last truly great independent bookstores in the country.

And if this precious place happens to be lacking a mullioned bow front window or two, and has to exist sans cat napping on the Agatha Christie shelf, but is in fact down from the dollar store and a step away from the Vietnamese nail salon, who truly cares? Just as long as it is here, and stays here until we are gone, and long after. It is the kind of place that almost makes the notion of strip malls acceptable, provides the very idea with some kind of commercial blessing, and is a literary benison for us all.
Our thanks to Simon for that. If you would like to read more, the book is on our shelves now - chock full of other nice things about other stores as well!

Kobo eReaders For Sale Now

The demos are in, and we've got the devices for sale. If you're looking for a stylish, easy-to-use device (with full wifi capabilities!) this season, come check out the Kobo Glo and the Kobo Mini! The Glo ($129.99) is a backlit e-ink device with space for 2,000 books, and the Mini ($79.99) fits 1,000 books right in your pocket! If that's not even enough space, each device has an expansion slot so that you can carry entire libraries on your hip.

Julia's 2 Cents on Audiobooks

I finished listening to the wonderful production ofThe Good Earth by Pearl S. Buck, read by Anthony Heald. I enjoyed the story a great deal, and his voice suited it well. Another classic I enjoyed listening to was Watership Down by Richard Adams, read by Ralph Cosham. It's an interesting story, and well worth a listen, even if you, like myself, are not one for talking animals.

Something to think about for people of all ages are well-read "chidren's" books. I read and listen to quite a bit of juvenile fiction, and I must say it can be absolutely fantastic. One such is The Scorpio Races by Maggie Steifvater, read by Steve West and Fiona Hardingham. Their joint narration enhanced the story with a magical wonder, despite there being no magic present in the book itself.

Two series that I have thoroughly enjoyed were Septimus Heap by Angie Sage, read by Gerald Doyle; and Peter and the Starcatchers by Dave Barry and Ridley Pearson, read by Jim Dale. Whether dealing with the humorous or the serious, both narrators made me appreciate equally the jokes and adventure of these series.

- Julia

A Naked Singularity

I skidded off, not just once, but three times before I managed to break the surface of Casi's monologue and get back on his shoulder beneath his ringing, aching ear, to listen to his long diatribes on justice, legacy, Television (always with a capital T), etc.

There is a lot of legalese to plow through, since he is a public defender in New York City. There is astute commentary on our very modern - or are we talking post-modern - world? And, there is that all-absorbing quality that a dense saga offers. It is impossible to ignore. Give it a try - or two - or three.

- Lauren

Three New Staff Picks from Linda

This week I was surprised to look on the staff pick shelves to find not one, not two, but three new picks by Linda. Three! We're convinced she doesn't sleep. Check them out.

"Her personal history - growing up and living in New York City; her marriage and family; her plans and foresight in business; and her generosity - make this a timely historical read even if the years are different."
"Joe and crime go together, but how bad is he? Through Lehane's intense story of violence, family, lotalty, and love, Joe gets ahead in the Prohibition era. But at what price? "
"Action, chase scenes, and some computer mayhem abound. But along with this story, Joe is dealing with his loss, and Sammy and Willy have their new stress: Emma."

Fuzzy Nation

Based around the discovery of a possibly sentient, but more importantly endearing and adorable alien species, this book is a real feel-good read. Jack Holloway is morally ambiguous in a rapscallion-disbarred-from-being-a-lawyer kinda way; we are constantly reminded by his words that he isn't such a great person, but do his actions speak differently? The real stars are the Fuzzies, whose charm is just sweet and wild enough to be believable, and the dog, Carl, who enjoys blowing things up. Add to this some grandstand courtroom drama, and you've got a fun, easy read. Also check out Little Fuzzy, the 1963 Hugo-nominated book that Fuzzy Nation was inspired by.

- Alec