Amelia Update!

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Hello Amelia Admirers!

We wanted to share some good news and offer a huge THANK YOU for donating to Amelia’s medical fund.

In the spring, Amelia was diagnosed with Feline Hyperthyroidism. Hyperthyroidism is the most common endocrine (hormone) disorder that affects cats. It creates a wide range of symptoms resulting from the overproduction of thyroid hormone made by the thyroid gland.  A common disease for senior kitties (Amelia is a whopping 15 years old!) it can be maintained by a special diet and medication.  When Amelia was diagnosed she began a special prescription diet and needed several blood tests to determine if her treatment was working.  That was when we asked for your help.

You gave generously and raised enough money to cover food for the past four months as well as for one appointment and blood test.  We are so touched by your love and concern for our little Amelia.  She brightens our days and we know what a cuddle of comfort she is to everyone who walks in the door.

Amelia just had a follow up appointment and she had great results!  The blood test deemed that the prescription food was doing its job and her system has stabilized.  This is a life-long disease, so we will maintain her health through regular blood tests and through her special diet.

Thank you again for your beautiful generosity.  We always tell people we have the best customers and friends, and once again – it’s pretty obvious that we do.  Come give Amelia a snuggle and a “job well done.”

Love,  Amelia’s dedicated minions.

thank you amelia

Zine who? Zine what?

Maybe you have noticed some talk about zines in the store and on our social media pages. If you’re not familiar with zines, prepare to have you mind blown because they are awesome.

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Zines are independently written and produced pamphlets made by anyone about anything. Zines are most closely associated with the punk rock community, but historically lots of sci-fi fans have made zines about the books, tv shows, and movies they loved. And maybe you’ve heard of an obscure little piece of literature called Common Sense by Thomas Paine.

Zines are most commonly made by cutting and pasting your work (art, fiction, poetry, essays, basically anything) into a master copy and then reproducing them on a photocopier. This is commonly called cut ‘n paste and because of the DIYness and the limitless possibilities, it is as much fun as you can have playing with office and school supplies.

Philadelphia has a huge zine community! There’s Philly Zine Fest once per year, the Secret Admirer, and tons of cool zinesters who make and distribute their work at a local and national level.

Predictably, since we love authors and artists and believe in supporting our community in any way possible, we’re really excited about making our store a hub for zines in Philadelphia. We’ll be having a monthly zine making party on the last Thursday of every month as part of Manayunk’s Stroll the Streets celebration. (We’ll be donating a portion of our sales on Thursdays to support a local literacy organization, and there are tons of cool food trucks, sidewalk sales, and discounts of food and booze. Definitely worth a  trip!)

Additionally, we’ll be hosting our first ever zine reading on Saturday, August 6th from 7-9PM, with readings from local voices and an opportunity to share work from your own zines afterward.

And THEN, if you’re reading to start putting your work out there but don’t know where to start, we’ll have a zine making tutorial for beginners on Sunday August 7th, from noon until 2 PM.

We’ll see you there, right?

Books & Broads: A Feminist Book Club

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Books and Broads is a feminist book club that will focus on intersectional identities in fiction. We prioritize the writing of women of color, queer, trans, and gender non-conforming people, and women with disabilities. We welcome feminists of all gender identities to our reindeer games and believe that talking about our perspectives and experiences around a story helps us to understand it, ourselves, and one another better. Club members get 10% off their order of the book and 15% off by ordering three month’s worth of books in advance. Books and Broads will meet on the third Tuesday of every month. You can join our facebook group here.

July: Dietland by Sarai Walker (Facebook RSVP)

August: Salvage the Bones by Jesmyn Ward

September: The Fair Fight by Anna Freeman

October: Sister Mine by Nalo Hopkinson

November: Southland by Nina Revoyr

December: Beauty Queens by Libba Bray

PLEASE DONATE – Philly High School needs copies of THE GREAT GATSBY

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REQUESTING DONATIONS FOR PHILADELPHIA HIGH SCHOOL!

Do you happen to have your old copy of THE GREAT GATSBY?  Do you want to support a local high school by sharing the gift of literature?

Copies of THE GREAT GATSBY are needed (see details below). Deadline Monday, Jan. 25th. Drop off location – The Spiral Bookcase, 112 Cotton St., Philadelphia, PA 19127.  Mailed copies are also welcome as long as they are here before the deadline.

Details:
We are an accelerated high school for over-aged and under-credited students in Philadelphia; essentially a second chance school for students who have dropped out or have been unsuccessful in the traditional school setting. Because we are an alternative school, we don’t have a great deal of funding or resources, and because most of our students are from low income families, we do not require that they purchase any books or textbooks of their own. This often makes it difficult for teachers to provide students with the materials they want and need.

The English Department has been on a hunt for used copies of The Great Gatsby, but has been struggling to find enough copies (looking for around 30) at an affordable price. If anyone is willing to part ways with their copy of Gatsby, it would be going to a great school of students who, despite their obstacles, have made the mature decision to reenter the school system and get their high school diploma!

The Spiral Bookcase, 112 Cotton St. Philadelphia, PA 19127

AVENGERS – READ THIS!

With the new Avengers movie hitting screens, I was thinking -

What would Spiral recommend to this spectacular cast of superheroes?

Well, I can’t resist a bit of character analysis and and jab of whimsy, so I decided to give it a shot.  Here’s what I recommend – now pick up a book and get to it!

 

CAPTAIN AMERICA 

A CONNECTICUT YANKEE IN KING AUTHOR’S COURT
BY MARK TWAIN 

Hey there Captain – We all know you are a bit sensitive and certainly a powerhouse out of time.  I’ll think you’ll appreciate this story of a fish out of water and how, inevitably, you can’t re-write history.

ctYANKEE

 

IRON MAN

BREAKFAST OF CHAMPIONS BY KURT VONNEGUT, JR. 

Let me just explain one thing to you Stark – You have free will.  Everyone else is a robot.  Wait, wait, wait, I mean -You are a robot, and everyone else has free will.  Okay, maybe not – but I think you’ll appreciate this biting satire, even if you’re a robot with free will.

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THOR

MATILDA BY ROALD DAHL

Hey Thor, this little girl has some Power < yep, with a capital “P”.   Her family is mean, her teacher is the worst, but she finds support in a comely teacher and learns to take control.   I think you’ll clench your teeth at the mean-spirited humans she has to deal with – but remember, we’re not all bad.

matilda

 

HULK

THE YELLOW WALLPAPER
BY CHARLOTTE PERKINS GILMAN

Bruce – I think you’ll like this one.  It is creepy, I won’t lie.  But I think you’ll be taken by the narrator’s descent into psychosis and come to find a deep understanding within these pages.  Perhaps a bit of insight into your own malady?

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THE BLACK WIDOW

WHY THE CHILD IS COOKING IN THE POLENTA
BY AGLAJA VETERANYI (TRANS. VINCENT KLING)

This is a dark book, Natasha, but I just need to recommend it to you.  It’s tragic, it’s stunning, it’s everything that you escaped.  The story will make you cry, but sometimes it’s good to remember our demons.

polenta

 

HAWKEYE

GEEK LOVE BY KATHERINE DUNN

Okay, this one might hit a little bit close to home, Clint, but like Natasha, I think you’ll appreciate it.  Circus freaks, familial strain, unfettered emotions - have I got you yet? Draw a bubble bath and jump in.

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LOKI

ULYSSES BY JAMES JOYCE

Loki – I think you’ll be lost forever trying to figure this one out – Have at it.

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Those are my very specially selected recommendations.  What would you recommend to The Avengers?  Let us know on facebook and twitter – #spiralavengers

These books can be found or ordered by emailing spiralbookcase@gmail.com or stopping by the shop!

 

MARCH MADNESS – HEAD-CASES, PSYCHOPATHS, AND MALCONTENTS

MARCH MADNESS

A delirious selection of books for those seeking something a bit off-kilter.

Call 215-482-0704 to order any of these titles, mention MARCH MADNESS, and get 15% off your order or free shipping.  (We ship anywhere in the US and our flat-rate shipping fee is $2.50.)


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Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland illus. by Camille Rose Garcia

A stunning edition of Lewis Carroll’s Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland.  You will feel wonderfully mad as you navigate through Camille Rose Garcia’s trippy & creepy illustrations.


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The Psychopath Test by Jon Ronson

Have you wondered if you or your boss/co-worker/friend/mother-in-law is a psychopath?  This is the book for you.  Jon Ronson explores the concept of psychopathy through discussions with mental health specialists, descriptions of odd and unsettling treatments, and the lens of mass media.  Ultimately, an engaging look at how psychopathy is viewed and treated in our world.


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The Girl on the Train by Paula Hawkins

There is a reason everyone is reading this.  For those of you with voyeuristic tendencies (I know you’re out there), read this book.  Three perspectives – three versions of the truth.  The perfect thriller.


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The Devil and Sherlock Holmes by David Grann

A motley collection of heroes and rogues from around the world.  Strange non-fiction, the best kind perhaps?  Tumble along these tales and leave wanting more.


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Jillian by Halle Butler

Two secretaries, Megan & Jillian, a malcontent and a short-sighted optimist.  They will test your patience, yet you can’t help but feel for them.  Somehow humorous, somehow distasteful, completely great. If you like staring at car crashes, this is your book.  (Meet the author and get a signed copy : March 4th, 630-900)


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The Year of No Mistakes by Cristin O’Keefe Aptowicz

After all of these maddening reads, cleanse your palate.  Poetry has a beautiful way to return you to yourself, and Aptowicz deftly and simply presents moments of personal struggle, joy, and insight.  This isn’t sugar sweet, but life isn’t either.


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I hope you enjoyed our foray into madness – and if you do like our recommendations, please remember to SHOP INDIE!  We are happy to get these books into your hands (just call!), and I bet your local indie is ready to help too.

Book Notes : Dave Housley’s “Commerical Fiction”

MEET Dave housley : SAT : FEBRUARY 28th : 630-900

STORY & SONG : ROCK AND ROLL EDITION 

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This article was originally published by largeheartedboy.com on 2/24/14.  Dave will be reading and signing copies of his latest short story collection: If I Knew The Way, I Would Take You Home.  PURCHASE SIGNED COPY HERE

In the Book Notes series, authors create and discuss a music playlist that relates in some way to their recently published book.

 

 

cfDave Housley’s short story collection Commercial Fiction is filled with humor, pathos, and popular culture, with each story drawing inspiration from a specific television commercial.

Matt Bell wrote of the book:

“With Commercial Fiction, Dave Housley once again stakes his claim as the poet laureate of pop culture. No one else could take the cynical manipulations of commercials and extract from them so much humor and empathy and heart.”

Stream a playlist of these songs at Spotify.

In his own words, here is Dave Housley’s Book Notes music playlist for his short story collection, Commercial Fiction:
As you’ll quickly notice when you read the titles of these stories, this is a book of short fiction based on television commercials. In assembling this playlist, I’m trying to do what I tried to do when I wrote the stories, which is not so much to make fun of the source material (which would be too easy, and not even very much fun) but to use these mostly ridiculous commercials as jumping off points, to take them at face value and try to see what might happen if these people  were actual people, with actual complicated, messy lives concerned with more than fast food and cars and beer and erectile dysfunction (spoiler alert: a good deal of the book was written during football season).

Continue reading

Book Notes – Tara Murtha’s “Bobbie Gentry’s Ode to Bille Joe”

Meet Tara Murtha : Sat : February 28th : 630-900

Story & Song : Rock and Roll Edition 

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This article was originally published by largeheartedboy.com on January 28th.

Tara Murtha’s Bobbie Gentry’s Ode to Billie Joe : PURCHASE SIGNED COPIES HERE

In the Book Notes series, authors create and discuss a music playlist that relates in some way to their recently published book.

Tara Murtha’s fascinating 33 1/3 book on Bobbie Gentry’s Ode to Billie Joe album explores the mysterious recording artist’s life through the lens of her work.

The Utne Reader wrote of the book:

“Murtha pulls free the threads of truth from a tangled knot of personal mythology and contradictions. Her book is likely to be a hit with casual listeners and pop-culture obsessives alike.”

Stream a playlist of these songs at Spotify.

In her own words, here is Tara Murtha’s Book Notes music playlist for her book Bobbie Gentry’s Ode to Billie Joe:

I still clearly recall the first time I heard Eddie Rabbitt’s “I Love a Rainy Night.” My cute mom stopped dusting the furniture long enough to start dancing in our living room while singing along. I love to hear the thunder, watch the lightning! Most people don’t have a flashbulb memory around hearing “I love a Rainy Night.” I only do because it gilds a fond scene.

Almost universally, though, people remember the first time they heard “Ode to Billie Joe,” especially when it first hit the charts in the summer of 1967. Bobbie Gentry said fans felt compelled to share with her where they were and what they were doing—usually driving—when they first heard her sing her signature spooky story-ballad about a teenage suicide in the South.

Continue reading

A Sweet Deal – A Second Bite at the Apple

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Featured Book – A Second Bite at the Apple by Dana Bate

Looking for a Valentine’s Day gift (for yourself, or someone else)? Why not give two gifts in one! Dana Bate and The Spiral Bookcase have teamed up for this sweet deal.  With every purchase of this delightful foodie rom-com, we will be donating a gently used book to Inter-Faith Housing Alliance, an organization that provides housing and services to homeless families in the Philadelphia area.

Buy a book, give a book. It’s a win-win! We are happy to ship anywhere in the USA – all you have to do is order direct from the shop : 215-482-0704, or order here: A Second Bite at the Apple

“Funny, sweet, & a perfect read to rid the winter doldrums” – Ann 

LIBER LIBRI LOVE Contest & Photo Gallery

LLLShow the world why you LOVE The Spiral Bookcase! 

To Enter:
1) Follow us on Instagram @spiralbookcase
2) Post a photo of why you love The Spiral Bookcase
* perhaps a book you recently acquired or a picture of Amelia Cat
3) tag your post #spiralbooklove
4) tag @spiralbookcase
* contest ends on March 6th * you do not need to be present to claim prize *
Winner will receive a $25 Gift Card and A Stack of Signed Books
PHOTO EXHIBIT featuring YOU
First Friday  March 6th, 630pm – 930pm
On March 6th, join us in-shop while we celebrate this outpouring of love!  YOUR PHOTOS will be displayed throughout the shop.  Feel the love, show off to your friends, and bring home a 4×4 print out of your photo.  Light refreshments will be provided. BYOB.

Winter Stockpile Sale!

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