Friday, October 30, 2009

Congratulations to Canal House Cooking!

Farley's favorite and local production Canal House Cooking Volume 1 has been nominated for the 2009 Piglet Award! Awarded by food52, which celebrates home cooks, cookbooks, and recipes, the Piglet is given to the winner of the Tournament of Cookbooks, which sees the 16 most notable cookbooks of the year pitted against one another.

Canal House Cooking Volume 1 has already made it through the first two rounds of competition, which were judged by James Beard Award-nominated cookbook author Heidi Swanson and actress/foodie Gwyneth Paltrow. Check out what they had to say about Volume 1 and follow the progress of the Tournament of Cookbooks by visiting

Volume 2 of Canal House Cooking is now available at Farley's, and it is packed with an assortment of delicious recipes for the holiday season! Stop by today to pick up your copy of the newest collection of seasonal recipes by local food artists Melissa Hamilton and Christopher Hirsheimer.

Congratulations, Canal House!!

Friday, October 23, 2009

November Book Club Pick!

Thanks to everyone who joined us this past Tuesday as our book club met to discuss The Hakawati! For November, we've chosen to read People of the Book, by Geraldine Brooks.

"When an Australian rare-book conservator named Hanna Heath finds a butterfly wing, a salt crystal, a white hair, and bloodstains in the recently rediscovered Sarajevo Haggadah, a late-medieval illuminated codex of uncertain provenance, she sets out to solve the mystery of the book’s origins. To her disappointment, analysis of the specimens reveals little. 'It’s too bad,' an organic chemist tells her. 'Blood is potentially so dramatic.'

Brooks, beginning where science leaves off, uses Hanna’s finds as entry points to richly imagined historical landscapes peopled by the Haggadah’s creators, protectors, and would-be destroyers—a female Muslim slave in Convivencia Spain, a Jewish doctor in fin-de-si├Ęcle Vienna, an alcoholic priest in seventeenth-century Venice. Their narratives alternate with Hanna’s own, and the final, multilayered effect is complex and moving." ~ from The New Yorker

We'll be meeting on Tuesday, November 17th at 7 p.m. in the back room at Farley's. We hope to see you there for some great conversation and light refreshments!

Friday, October 16, 2009

Books vs. Movies

Where the Wild Things Are opens today! A little while back, we tweeted about these gorgeous photo stills from the movie, and more than a few of us here at Farley's are pretty excited to check it out. We've been ooohh-ing and aaahh-ing over the stills from Tim Burton's 2010 Alice in Wonderland since they started floating around the internet too, and the trailer for the upcoming adaptation of Alice Sebold's The Lovely Bones is pretty stunning as well.

All of the buzz around these movies has gotten us thinking, and more often than not, it seems that the film adaptations of our favorite books fall woefully short of their predecessors in print. How many times have you left the movie theater thinking, "Wow, the book was so much better!" Take the recent movie version of Audrey Niffenegger's The Time Traveler's Wife, for example. While not a bad movie, per se, it definitely did not live up to the book... much of what we loved about the main characters Henry and Clare didn't make it to the screen, and their love story just didn't get the time it needed to develop.

So often, that's just it: something we love from the book is inevitably left out of the movie. But when everything's got to fit inside of a two-hour window, however, some details have to be compromised... don't they? Still, there seem to be successful ways to go about that. Take the Harry Potter empire. Sure, there are plenty of HP fans out there who can't stand the movies because they leave so much out, but there are just as many who are understanding of the time constraints and enjoy them whole-heartedly regardless. (We're among the latter.)

Then there's the matter of casting. There's a certain joy to envisioning a good novel as we read, which sometimes gets lost once the film is released. Can I ever recall my original imagining of Henry DeTamble now that I've seen Eric Bana in his shoes? How many times have you seen a movie trailer and thought, "That's not how I pictured him/her at all!" Of course, the opposite can happen too... Daniel Radcliffe, we're talking to you!

That's not to say there's no such thing as a good film adaptation, of course, or that the reverse can't happen. Watching a movie can just as often spark interest in the book, and of course there are some wonderful books-turned-films out there. After all, Slumdog Millionaire took home an Oscar, and there are a number of movies out there that rival or far outshine the books that inspired them. There's The Wizard of Oz, Gone With the Wind, and perhaps the greatest book/movie combination of all time: To Kill A Mockingbird.
And what about The Princess Bride?? We can't tell you how many visitors we get who spot that book on our racks and say, "Oh, they made a book out of this? I love that movie!" While the movie is a total cult classic, we've got a sneaking suspicion that more people than not don't even know about the book--which is, while markedly different in some places, equally enjoyable and even more amusing. So what makes the difference here? Is it that most people have seen the movie first? Do we tend to love the form we're first exposed to more?

Whatever the case, it's always entertaining--or at least interesting--to see how someone else envisions the books we love, and if Where the Wild Things Are lives up to even half of its promise, we'll likely be happy campers. To anyone who makes it to the theaters today, please let us know what you think!

And to everyone else out there, we'd love to hear your thoughts as well! What is it that makes a good film adaptaion? A bad one? What are your favorite (and least favorite!) movies inspired by books?

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

2009 National Book Award Finalists

The National Book Foundation has announced the finalists for this year's National Book Awards!! There are some fantastic titles among the finalists, and some brilliant writers among the judges. Check them out for yourself...

...and let us know what you think!

Friday, October 9, 2009

Pumpkin Decorating Contest!

Farley's is hosting our first ever pumpkin decorating contest!! Decorate a pumpkin inspired by your favorite children's book character and win a $30 Farley's Gift Certificate!

Contest Guidelines:
  1. Choose a character from your favorite children's book and decorate a pumpkin inspired by that character. All characters are welcome!
  2. Complete the entry form at the bottom of this email and bring it, along with your pumpkin, to the bookshop between 10 a.m. on Friday, October 30th and noon on Saturday, October 31st. Submitted pumpkins will remain on display in our children's window throughout the weekend of October 31st-November 1st. During that time, visitors to the bookshop will have the opportunity to vote on their favorite pumpkin. The winner will be announced in the first week of November.
Entry Rules:
  1. No pumpkins larger than 1' x 1' x 1' please!
  2. Carved pumpkins are welcome, but please remember that entries will be displayed in our shop window, and that painted/decorated pumpkins will stay fresh considerably longer.
  1. Choose a firm pumpkin with no blemishes, and make sure the stem is firmly attached. Store your pumpkin in a cool, dry place, protected from frost.
  2. Wash your pumpkin under running water before decorating.
  3. If painting your pumpkin, acrylic paints work best.
We can't wait to see what you come up with! Happy Fall!!