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Calling all local poets!
To celebrate April Poetry Month, The Spiral Bookcase will be reviewing, selecting, and publishing your work in a very special Poetry Zine. You have until May 7th to submit your best work, following the guidelines below. There will be a Zine Release Party on Saturday, May 20th – a perfect time to meet and mingle with other poets and celebrate the published authors. Each selected poet will receive a copy of the Zine, and other copies will be available in-shop while supplies last.
Accepting submissions now through May 7th
One poem per person
One page maximum
Previously unpublished preferred, if published include publication details
Specify any formatting styles with submission
Include Name, Phone number, and Email
Submit to Keenan in-shop or send to spiralbookcasestaff@gmail.
Staff & Local Authors will be reviewing submissions and selecting poetry for the Zine.
Word document (.doc) files
Rich Text Format (.rtf) files
Text (.txt) files
Portable Document Format (.pdf) files
Word Perfect (.ppf) files
We are so pleased to announce our new subscription mail service – the Small Press Book Subscription – for adventurous readers only! Are you ready to take the literary leap? For more details and to subscribe you can click the tab above <Small Press Book Subscription> or click HERE. Welcome aboard!
Here are some of our favorite books to give & get this holiday season – and beyond! Any and all of these are suggested reads to begin a literary new year.
And now you can purchase direct with Spiral right here- Just click the links below to connect to our online Square E-Commerce site. Shop Spiral this holiday season and all year around!
AMERICAN GODS : PURCHASE HERE
We are fans of the Gaiman’s entire oeuvre, but you need to read AMERICAN GODS now! A cross-country & cross-mythological journey that will bring you deep into a world that you always wanted to experience. Plus, we can’t wait for the STARZ Original Series take on the book to come out in 2017.
THROUGH THE WOODS : PURCHASE HERE
Not going to lie – this is SPOOKY & CREEPY & I just couldn’t get enough. This was my favorite read of the year, the illustrations and the re-told fairy tales wound around me and the imagery still holds me hostage. Good for those who like a bit of a scare – suggested age 13years and up.
THE COLLECTED POEMS OF SYLVIA PLATH : PURCHASE HERE
Years ago, I received a special copy of Ariel by Plath as a Christmas present, and shortly after delved into the rest of her works. Specifically her poems capture you with their strange beauty- read them on a quiet winter day when you have space to savor each stanza.
DHARMA BUMS : PURCHASE HERE
This was the third Kerouac book I’ve read, but it left the biggest impression. Both frenetic and solitary, if you liked On the Road you will love Dharma Bums. This semi-fictional book travels deeper and farther, from city life to complete isolation. For those seeking something more.
THE HANDMAID’S TALE : PURCHASE HERE
This is probably one of my favorite books of all time. I am a huge Margaret Atwood fan, but The Handmaid’s Tale is exceptional. This dystopian novel is set in the near-future, and describes a totalitarian theocracy which has overthrown the US government. This is a terrifying look at women in subjugation in the context of a new regime. Be sure to read it before the show hits HULU in 2017.
BAD FEMINIST : PURCHASE HERE
If you haven’t read this book, get it now. Funny personal essays that tackle the supremely relevant issues of feminism and politics. Roxane Gay’s intelligent and empathetic dialogue will make you a believer- and then you’ll recommend this book to everyone you know.
THE ORIGINAL FOLK AND FAIRY TALES OF THE BROTHERS GRIMM: THE COMPLETE FIRST EDITION : PURCHASE HERE
A necessary addition to any fairy tale library. NECESSARY.
THE HAUNTED LOOKING GLASS BY EDWARD GOREY : PURCHASE HERE
Illustrated by Edward Gorey – this book is his personal selection of favorite stories that go bump in the night. The master of the macabre knows how to make your skin crawl, with stories from Algernon Blackwook, L.P. Hartley, Bram Stoker, and M.R. James to name a few. And, my personal favorite – The Monkey’s Paw by W.W. Jacobs.
100 THINGS TO DO IN PHILADELPHIA BEFORE YOU DIE : PURCHASE HERE
The perfect book for anyone who wants to enjoy Philly in all its glory. Ahem- including a mention of ye olde establishment, The Spiral Bookcase.
WEIRD PA : PURCHASE HERE
THE book to celebrate all that is weird and wonderful in this glorious state. Penned by our good friend, MATT LAKE, this book needs to go on your bookshelf. Also – ROAD TRIPS!
DR. MUTTER’S MARVELS : PURCHASE HERE
We cannot keep this book in-stock. For good reason, it a fascinating history of the much loved historical figure Dr. Mutter- the medical innovator who revolutionized American surgery and founded the country’s most famous museum of medical oddities. Perfect for your weird uncle or your scientist brother, and really anyone who appreciates a great and readable history book.
I hope you’ve enjoyed this list of some of our very favorite books. We’d love to get these essential reads into your hands. Click the links and purchase direct with Spiral – you can either request pick-up or shipment for any of these titles. Happy Reading!
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.
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
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.
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
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!
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.
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.
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.
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?
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.
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.
ULYSSES BY JAMES JOYCE
Loki – I think you’ll be lost forever trying to figure this one out – Have at it.
These books can be found or ordered by emailing email@example.com or stopping by the shop!
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.)
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.
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.
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.
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.
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)
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.
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.
MEET Dave housley : SAT : FEBRUARY 28th : 630-900
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.
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).