Articles by " Adam"
4 Jun
2013

KU’s Book Bites: Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children

miss p book cover with border

I think the cover really says it all...

Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children by Ransom Riggs

Bizarre, macabre, and absolutely fabulous, Miss Peregrine reads like a picture book for dark-minded adults.  Sprinkled throughout the story’s pages is a series of weirdly wonderful sepia-toned photos, all of which – the author claims – are genuine images he collected after countless trips to flea markets and rummage sales across the country.  The photos, arranged in groups of twos or threes, coincide with character descriptions in the text and are meant, I suppose, to spark the reader’s imagination – but honestly, Riggs’ writing is so richly descriptive, you’ll hardly need any help envisioning the odd world he’s created for us in Miss Peregrine.  This’ll be a hit with fans of Gaiman or Gorey, or really anyone who can appreciate a good ghost story.

*We're carrying the sequel, Hollow City as well!
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4 Jun
2013

Cool Stuff Tuesday! National Iced Tea Month!

Hello all my favorite people!  It's Cool Stuff Tuesday again and since June is National Iced Tea Month, I thought I'd give you the run down of some of our delicious iced tea-related products!

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We are very enthusiastic about tea, so if you have any questions come down and see us!  We love to help!

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30 May
2013

Kards Unlimited Calendar of Events: June!

June KU

Lovely late spring morning here at KU!

The warm weather has finally convinced me that it's here for real now and almost immediately I've decided that I'm tired of it.  Because that's what I do.  Humidity is the worst.  But enough about that!  Yay summer!  I think it's funny how the school year schedule persists into adult life.  I haven't been in school for years, but I still think of summer as a lazy time with no responsibilities.  Maybe it'll sink in someday.

As usual, June is all hustle and bustle here at KU!  Click READ MORE to find out what the plan is! Read more >>

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21 May
2013

Cool Stuff Tuesday! National Stationery Week!

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Aw yeah, stationeries. All of them.

Hello favorite people and welcome to KU's Cool Stuff Tuesday Stationery Show!  The National Stationery Show is currently happening at the Javits Convention Center in NYC and since most of you, my friends, aren't there, I figured I'd show you some of the things that are probably on display there!

We've already discussed at length my love of writing, so I don't feel the need to reiterate, but let me just say that I've used stationery from several of the brands here at the store and I love them all.  If you need note cards, look no further, people.

Without further ado, have a look at these Cool Stuffs.

kodaroid

Kodachrome Notes are a staff favorite.

Polaroid Notes and Kodachrome Notes are totally cool.  They're a really good shape, too.  Small and squareish for a quick note to a friend or family member.  "Hey, thanks for the bottle of wine!  It was great and I only got pulled over once!"  Or whatever.  Just kidding, don't drink and drive, kids.

 

 

 

Then there are the slightly larger and more formal cards, for slightly larger and more formal occasions.

 

faeries

Ok, maybe not Faerie Houses...

I'm not sure how or why, but flowers always seem to make things more formal.  Much more, "Dear Edgar, thank you so much for attending our little soiree the other night. Your joke about the hippies was so diverting!"  Or something.  Maybe not that stuffy.  Flowers don't necessarily say 'stuffy' to me...

Maybe you're into matching pens and note cards?  We have sweet rollerballs that I've mentioned before which have matching sets of note cards and/or stationery.  Behold!

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Pretty cool right? Right?

And then there's this!

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That's hot. Just sayin'.

And what would a stationery discussion be without fountain pens?  Nothing!  That's what it would be.

sexy

Oh so sexy.

I'm gonna stop now before I really get involved.  If you have any stationery questions, I'm here!

 

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14 May
2013

Cool Stuff Tuesday! Children’s Books!

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So many Children's Books! SO MANY!

It's Children's Book Week!  Here at the store we have several books that were favorites of mine when I was a child and several more that either didn't exist then or that I didn't know about when I was a kid and that I've come to love as an adult.  Let me tell you about them!

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Such a cute ducky. I kinda had to cull one or two books about ducks from this post. Apparently I'm into duck books.

First, the classics from my childhood.  I spent a lot of time with my maternal grandparents as a small child and one of the books I loved for them to read to me was The Story About Ping, by Marjorie Flack.  First published in 1933, the book chronicles the night and day that Ping, a domesticated duck, spends away from his family and his subsequent return to them.  Between the endearing story and the soft, colorful illustrations, it's no wonder that this eighty year-old story continues to be popular today.

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Sleepy peddler is sleepy.

Another early 20th century classic that was a favorite of little me was Caps for Sale, by Esphyr Slobodkina.  Based on a folktale, Slobodkina's 1938 classic is about a peddler whose wares are stolen by a troop of monkeys while he naps and then returned to him when he throws his own cap on the ground and the monkeys follow suit.  Though the main body of her work is in other media (she was a prolific abstract expressionist, working primarily in oils, but she also produced collages of various materials as well as paintings and sculptures), Caps for Sale is Slobodkina's best known work and continues to delight young readers.

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Hope that dog doesn't fall through.

The last of my many favorite childhood books I'll mention is Shel Silverstein's Where the Sidewalk Ends.  I have been fascinated by almost all forms of poetry for most of my life and one of the earliest introductions I had to the art form was the work of Silverstein.  His clever rhymes, musical rhythm work, and charming line illustrations have held their value for me and Silverstein, like the others, is still a mainstay of children's literature.

On to the newer books!

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He's the world's best panda. Yeah, I said it.

First is Jon J Muth's Zen Shorts.  Muth, who studied stone sculpture and brush painting in Japan, gives three traditional Zen and Taoist stories life in interactions between the characters of three young children and a panda, Stillwater, who is their neighbor.  Muth's watercolor illustrations leave nothing to be desired and the story is an elegant and politic introduction to Zen thinking.

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You don't usually think of God as cute, but there you go.

Another new favorite is Mr. and Mrs. God in the Creation Kitchen, by Nancy Wood.  This is a completely charming book which ignores the gravitas of the Creation story and turns it into something little kids will be much more familiar with, a family cooking project.  Timothy B. Ering's illustrations really bring the story to life; his renderings of the creative couple are adorable.  One other thing I can tell you from experience is that reading this book out loud in a Scottish accent takes it from great up to the epic level.  Just something to think about.

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Adorablest pea in the world. No joke.

Finally, and perhaps, most adorably, there's Amy Krouse Rosenthal's Little Pea.  This book is near and dear to my heart for a number of reasons:  like Little Pea himself, I was a picky eater as a child (still am, actually, but not as badly), I think it's the world's cutest thing, and also because anthropomorphizing cute vegetables is the best thing in the world.  Little Pea is the main character of this story and it's about how he hates to eat candy for dinner every night and all he wants is some spinach for dessert.  It's wonderful.

So there you are.  Six children's books to love and cherish and read to the kids in your life at every opportunity.  Instilling a love of reading and literature is important and grows more so every day.  Though our culture is becoming increasingly paperless (even I have a Nook, though I still prefer real live books), that doesn't mean that it's containing any less words.  This blog is a perfect example, I guess.

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7 May
2013

Cool Stuff Tuesday! Mother’s Day Gifts!

If you haven't done your Mother's Day shopping yet, you'd better get your butt down to KU and pick up some of our excellent Mother's Day paraphernalia!  Observe!

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6 May
2013

Shine up those apples, it’s National Teacher Appreciation Week!

I don't think I ever actually took any of my teachers an apple ever.  Coulda shoulda woulda.

teacher

Too cute. Wish I had done this.

I did totally appreciate my teachers, though.  When you consider, in your adult life, how much you owe the person who taught you to read, the person (or people) who taught you basic arithmetic, and even the people who taught you higher skills like rhetoric, philosophy, literature, calculus, et al, all those people whose concerted efforts nurtured your mental abilities into what they became, made you, in short, the person that you are, the debt is staggering.

I suppose that my regard for teachers was instilled early in life.  My grandmother worked as a teacher when I was a kid and my parents were always involved in my schooling when I was young, so having a good relationship with teachers came pretty easily to me.  It's not necessarily something that a child thinks about, but in retrospect that's something that really sets the tone for at least the remainder of your childhood if not the remainder of your life.

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I don't think any of my teachers follow this blog, but for all you teachers out there, thanks.

This is starting to get rambly, so I'll just wrap it up with a little reminder that teachers deal with us when we're pretty much at our worst, they're the people who get the least respect in relation to the respect that they deserve, and they also are not exactly compensated in a manner befitting their efforts.  So the least you can do this week (and really, every day) is appreciate them.

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2 May
2013

Somebody call the authorities, I’m ’bout to Get Caught Reading!

keiraknightlyreading

Here's Keira Knightley reading. Like we care what she's doing.

Hey folks!  Long time no blog!  But enough pleasantries!  May is Get Caught Reading Month and I aim to misbehave.

Let's start with the basics.  Former Congresswoman Pat Schroeder, the President and Chief Executive Officer of the Association of American Publishers (AAP), launched the Get Caught Reading campaign in 1999.  "She saw the opportunity to spread the word about the joys of reading through an industry-supported literacy campaign."  (That's a quote from GCR's website.)

Now.  Before I go on, I just want to say that under no circumstances do I disapprove of any literacy campaign.  Getting people to read more and more fluently is extremely important and one of the best humanitarian goals in my opinion.

That being said, I do take issue, slightly, with the implications of something called Get Caught Reading Month.  Calling it that makes it seem like reading is something that one does secretly and doesn't let other people see.  Like reading a book is something that you don't want to let people know you're doing.  Like reading is somehow wrong or bad.  Of course I understand that the intended meaning of the name is that one should read in public.  That one should own one's literary tastes.  It just doesn't seem like it, though.  Or rather, it does, but it simultaneously seems like reading is a clandestine activity.  Like, the fact that there's such a thing as Get Caught Reading Month says to me, "Hey kids!  It's GCR Month, so definitely take that book out of that dank library where you usually hide and get out in the sun where the jocks can see you and be shamed!"  Ambiguity intended.

I don't know.  Maybe I'm over-thinking things, but I'd rather it be called something like, "Give the Knuckle-Dragging Illiterates What For!" month or something.  I guess that's kind of a mouthful.  And maybe a touch on the bitter side.  My point, though, is that it would please me more if the name of the campaign was something a little more self-assured, you know?  I guess I'm just a big fan of owning what you like.  If you hate reading and love lacrosse, that's sad for you, but own it.  If you don't understand team sports but you love books, own it!  If you hate sports AND books but you love, I don't know, video games or something, that's also sad for you, but own it!

ANYwho.  Hey!  I just thought of something else!  Get Caught Reading Month could also imply that you should get caught reading when you were supposed to be doing something else.  That makes a lot of sense, actually.  Unfortunately, that's a much better idea for a kid than it is for an adult.  If a kid got caught reading when they were supposed to be doing math homework, that wouldn't exactly be great, but it would at least be forgivable.  If an adult got caught reading while they were supposed to be working (that's totally never happened to me...) that's not exactly ok.  Unfortunately.  But oh well.  Presumably, an adult with a job doesn't really require a literacy campaign, so that's alright.

I think the essence of what I want to say is that not only do I support Get Caught Reading Month (despite my issues with its wording), but I also don't see any real reason to discourage reading ever.  At any time.  If I could get paid to read, I would.  In a big way.  As long as it was things I liked reading and not boring crap.  You know.

People-reading-books-photography17

Aw yeah. Read them books.

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