Tuesday, December 29, 2009
Saturday, November 21, 2009
Seriously, we want to know. We went upstairs on Friday to discover that all the books in the front room had received this treatment. And this is certainly not the first time. You know how long it takes us to reposition that many books on our shelves? Two hours. No joke. Two wasted hours, all because someone is either: 1. a complete jerk, 2. obsessive compulsive, or 3. some combination of the above.
Customers of Chop Suey: we need your help. We position our books with their spines at the edge of the shelf so you may find what you're looking for quickly and conveniently. If you ever see someone rearranging whole rows of books, please come downstairs and alert Ward, Ryan or Andrew. We need to know who's doing this, and we appreciate your help in looking after the store.
Monday, November 16, 2009
Saturday, November 14, 2009
Tuesday, November 10, 2009
Our friend Johnny Hugel of Fortnightly has arranged for Visioneers, a dark comedy featuring Zak Galifianakis, to be screened at Gallery 5 on Tuesday, November 17th at 7 pm. It is only $3 to see the film (proceeds go directly to Gallery 5, which is a perfect non-profit for you to donate funds).
Check out a trailer here: Visioneers!
Monday, November 9, 2009
On Saturday, Books On Wheels set up outside of the Richmond Zine Fest to accept donations for our new Thrift Store: Books, Bikes, and Beyond and to give away great books. It was a warm and fun afternoon, a time for Shelley and I to catch up with each other and with great friends and supporters.
One of the people we got to see was Shel, a Charlottesville native who has set us up with some great events in her city. She made it by the thrift store after the zine fest, and immediately found a great old typewriter. As she was paying for her purchases, she was telling Shelley that she had her fortune read at the zine fest, and was really confused and a little worried by one prediction: at some point that day, she was going to find a bag of fingers! She and Shelley were laughing about this odd fate, until they looked down at the typewriter she was buying and realized that this mechanism, though not a bag, was full of fingers! Her prediction was right! Fate, now just another free thing offered by Books On Wheels!
Here's a prediction: you will have an amazing time at the official grand opening celebration for Thrift Store: Books, Bikes, and Beyond (302 W. Brookland Park Ave.) this Friday, November 13th from 6-9 pm. Food will be provided by Joe's Inn! Bring cash or your credit card and plans to buy your destiny!
Monday, November 2, 2009
Friday, October 23, 2009
Saturday, October 17, 2009
Shop at Chop Suey Books today! The next life you save may be your own!
Friday, October 16, 2009
Friday, October 2, 2009
Saturday, September 19, 2009
Thursday, September 17, 2009
Friday, September 11, 2009
Thursday, September 3, 2009
Thursday, August 27, 2009
Thursday, August 20, 2009
Wednesday, August 12, 2009
From now through August 19th we are offering a great deal on Gloria Naylor's first novel, The Women of Brewster Place. The novel is made up of 8 short stories, each chapter focusing on one of the seven women of Brewster Place, with the final chapter culminating in a block party which ties the community, and these seven women, together. Certainly a milestone in African American literature and Women's Literature, this fantastic novel has already been made into a movie (thanks Oprah!) and, most recently, a musical. For only $2, you can own the book that made it all possible!!! Get yours while supplies last.
Wednesday, August 5, 2009
Another week, another great book for only $2! This week we are offering Arundhati Roy's 1997 Booker Prize winning novel, The God of Small Things. Set in India, this story follows the lives of fraternal twins Rahel and Estha, jumping between the years 1969 and 1993. These twins are the victims of both circumstance and the past actions of other family members. This is an extremely popular book, and we have plenty on hand. Come in and get yours now!
Tuesday, August 4, 2009
Our good friends at ART 180 are holding the 2nd Annual Jonny Z Fest this Saturday, August 8 from 12-5 on the 200 North block of Shields Ave (right in front of Joe's Inn). It will be a time to remember our good friend Jonny Zanin and to celebrate the love and energy he gave to Richmond and the Richmond art scene.
In addition to the block party with a mobile mural, music by WRIR Djs, activities for kids, raffle drawings, and great food and drink at Joe's Inn, we will be holding a Bizarre Market. Artists and crafters from around the Richmond region will be displaying their great work up and down the block, offering you the best in local, handcrafted work. If you are an artist with something to sell, we welcome you to set up at 11 am. It is free to set up, but we ask that you donate 10% of your sales to ART 180.
Spread the word! This will be a great block party and will ensure the continued success of ART 180!
Monday, August 3, 2009
Do you like the smooth sounds of Steeley Dan? Toto? Hall and Oates? The Doobie Brothers, or any of the other amazing bands who wrote the soundtrack to the late 1970s and early 1980s?
Do you like taking a midnight cruise down the James while listening to a live band playing the biggest hits from such bands?
Do you like alcohol fashioned in the form of Mojitos, Margueritas, mixed drinks, wine or beer?
Then Yacht Rock is for you!
Chop Suey Books is now selling tickets for Richmond's best midnight cruise. $65 will buy you entrance to this 3 hour tour during which you will get free drinks, free food catered by Cous Cous, a DJ playing great dance music, and a performance by Three Sheets to the Wind, a cover band specializing in the best mucic ever.
More information and a break down of what you get can be seen here.
Saturday, August 1, 2009
Tuesday, July 28, 2009
It's that time of the week when we pick a great book that we have way too many of and offer it to you for only $2. This week's pick is Fast Food Nation, Eric Schlosser's in depth analysis of the fast food industrial complex, laying bare everything from the farm industry to the slaughter house to the McDonalds counter to the doctor specializing in diabetes. Supersize your intellect with this limited time offer!
Wednesday, July 22, 2009
Our ongoing attempt to thin out our overstock is working!!! This week, we're offering copies of Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil for only $2. This "non-fiction novel," written in the style of Truman Capote and Norman Mailer, concerns the murder of Danny Hansford by Jim Williams, a wealthy antiques dealer in Savannah. The story traces the levels of doubt that this killing was done in self defense as Williams claimed, and eventually uncovers the bizarre relationship between Hansford and Williams. For only $2, you could do a lot worse!
Thursday, July 9, 2009
Come in to Chop Suey Books between July 9th and 15th to get a great deal on Colleen Curran's debut novel Whores on the Hill. For only $2, you can take home a barely used copy of this great summer read. Thisbe and her two friends, Astrid and Juli, are 15 year olds enrolled at Milwaukee's Sacred Heart Holy Angels in the early 1980s. The fact that the school is set on a hill, combined with the young girls penchant for short plaid skirts, boys in fast cars, parties at the lake, and casual sex, gives these girls there moniker, one which they accept with indifference. The narrative makes for a quick read, despite the in-depth and sometimes terrifying expose of an adolescent girl's life. For only $2, you can't lose!
Listen to a great review on NPR here.
We are currently overrun with great fiction, so keep an eye out for our Deal of the Week reads. The title will change every Wednesday, but the great price won't!
Tuesday, July 7, 2009
Our current exhibition in the upstairs gallery is Ride The Wild, a collection of paintings by Steve Crandall and sculptures by Evan Venditti. There is a bonus collaborative skeleton in the closet. The show is great, and definitely one that you shouldn't miss. It will be on display through August 9th.
Wiggum the Pug isn't part of the show. He's just there to give you an idea of the scale of this show.
Wednesday, July 1, 2009
In the spirit of individuality, underdog perseverance, and the freedom of speech, Chop Suey Books will celebrate our 6th Annual Month of Independents throughout the month of July. In order to honor our brave patrons who realize the importance of small, independently owned bookstores, we have devised a sale that will save you money while helping you support other local booksellers. The idea is simple: give to your local bookstores, and they will give back to you. For the month of July, Chop Suey Books will give customers 20% off of used books if they provide a receipt dated in the month of July from a bookstore listed below. For customers who prove that they have supported three or more of these stores this July, we will extend a 30% discount.
Remember, support means support, so we expect for you to spend at least $10 at one of these stores:
Alchemists Books and Gifts
Black Swan Books
The Book Room
Creatures & Crooks
Ex Libris Books
Midlothian Book Exchange
Owens and Ramsey
Richmond Book Shop
Whitings Old Paper
Tuesday, June 30, 2009
Monday, June 22, 2009
On Friday we received a phone call from a telemarketer: "Hello sir, my name is Anthony, and I'm calling on behalf of The Association of Richmond Country Clubs with an exciting offer for you!"
We usually receive about 5 telemarketer calls a day, and I'm usually pretty quick with getting them off the phone. But that's because they either have a very tired, depressing tone to their voices, or they are asking for Mayron Chopsuey (obviously the owner of Chop Suey Books). But there was something about the way the man calling on behalf of the Association of Richmond Country Clubs talked that kept me on the line. I'm guessing he was new at the job, because he sounded really excited, like he really believed that this offer was going to blow our minds.
I cut right to the chase. "Sorry, I don't think there's anyone at this store who would be interested in joining a country club."
"Ok, but that's not why I'm calling," he said. "The reason I am calling is to offer you a chance to advertise at 5 of Richmond' s most prestigious country clubs, and only have to pay once! That's five ads for the price of 1!"
"Yeah, sounds like a great deal, but I don't think that we'd be advertising to the right demographic," I countered.
"Oh, why's that?"
"Because," I explained, "our store pretty much stands against everything that a country club stands for."
I wasn't sure what response I was going to get from this man, but it certainly wasn't this: "Oh, I get it. Fuck the Man! Right?"
I was floored, and gave a little chuckle. Even though he sounded really sincere saying "Fuck the Man," there was a chance that he was mocking me. But worse, I was worried for him. He was really excited when he said it, his voice raising in volume. This guy is going to lose his job, I thought.
He, however, was undetered. "Right on, brother! You have a good day." And with that, he ended a phone call that, I'm assuming, made each of our days that much better.
Tuesday, June 16, 2009
So come on out to Chop Suey tonight!
Here is the McSweeney's summary of God Says Now, followed by praise it has received:
Gary Gray marries his first girlfriend, a fellow student from Central Florida Christian College who loves Disney World as much as he does. They are 19 years old, God-fearing, and eager to start a family, but a week before their wedding Gary goes into a rest-stop bathroom and lets something happen. God Says No is his testimony — the story of a young black Christian struggling with desire and belief, with his love for his wife and his appetite for other men, told in a singular, emotional voice. Driven by desperation and religious visions, the path that Gary Gray takes — from revival meetings to "out" life in Atlanta to a pray-away-the-gay ministry in Memphis, Tennessee — gives a riveting picture of how a life like his can be lived, and how it can't.
"A tender, funny tour of a mind struggling to do the right thing. A revelatory and sympathetic guide to a misunderstood world."
- Steve Martin, author of Shopgirl and Born Standing Up
James Hannaham's God Says No introduces a groundbreaking new American voice: a writer of spectacular sentences who has trained his sights on a world that has hardly been touched by literary fiction. Topical and ambitious, disturbing and hilarious, God Says No is everything a person could ask of a first novel -- and twice that much.
- Jennifer Egan, author of Look at Me and The Keep
"This novel is an absolute original. Gary Gray's search for wholeness and acceptance is a heartfelt (and often very funny) plea for all men (and women) to be embraced just as they are. A wonderful debut."
- Martha Southgate, author of Third Girl From The Left
“God Says No is a book that was desperate to be written but well out of reach. And then James Hannaham came along and wrote it, with the kind of care, wit, sympathy and fury that the book deserved. Imagine Candide -- okay, imagine Candide as a black man, a southerner, a Christian fundamentalist, middle-class, obese, married, a father, and utterly, even profoundly gay. If a comedy, in the classical sense, is a story then ends in a marriage, and a tragedy is a story that ends with a death, then what do you call a book that ends with a split and a resurrection? A truly daring first novel, and something to read.”
- Jim Lewis, author of Why the Tree Loves the Ax
We hope to see you there! For more information on the author, visit www.jameshannaham.com.
Wednesday, June 10, 2009
One of the coolest things about buying other people's libraries is that the collection of books gives you an incomplete view of who they are, enough to pique your interest, but full of holes that you have to guess at. It's like finding the third page of a love letter and having to make up the rest of the story.
Usually, we will at least have met the person selling the books, and that solves part of the mystery. But yesterday, we bought a collection of a few hundred books from an estate and never got to meet the person who they belonged to. Judging from the books, however, I can tell you this: he was really into chess, Jesus, and science, possibly in that order. Which gives us an indication of this man's character: he was an intense thinker, a private person who enjoyed the privacy of a deeply theoretical book, and if he was around other people, it was to play chess. As a side note, I was told that this person was a man, but would have assumed the same. And that part about him being at all social. I actually doubt it, having seen the computerized chess board that he owned.
This composite sketch isn't so strange. We've all known someone who could have fit the description, or at least come close. What makes it more interesting are the random books on drug harvesting (marijuana, and some harder chemical recipes) and the history of white supremacy.
Who was this guy?
In any case, there are now plenty of books on chess, on Jesus and his history within both Christian and Jewish theology, and on cutting edge science and math at Chop Suey. Some on marijuana. Oh, and none on White Supremacy.
The following poem is a collaborative effort by the Richmond Young Writers, inspired, of course, by our mascot WonTon:
Ode to WonTon
He is black and white like Michael Jackson.
When he sits down it looks like he has huge feet.
He has green bloodshot eyes.
He has big, long white whiskers.
The clicking of pens intrigues him.
He has a growing interest in writing implements.
The pen is purple, but I don’t know if cats can see purple.
Actually he seems to like all of the pens.
He loves attention.
He prances around the table and when somebody tries to pet him he slinks down.
Tuesday, June 9, 2009
Terrific, astounding news: on Friday, June 6, Alex Germanotta's recent documentary on Chop Suey Books and the Books on Wheels program WON A FREAKING EMMY!!! The short film was originally produced for VCU-TV/HD and rebroadcast on Richmond PBS affiliate WCVW.
You can watch online in full at the VCU-TV site, or in three parts on YouTube. The VCU press release about the award, which was bestowed at a ceremony in Washington, DC, can be found here.
Our congratulations to Alex, his team, and everyone at VCU-TV/HD! We're just honored that they wanted to put a bunch of silly-looking book people like ourselves on video in the first place...
Hey, here's a side note: we learned about the award this morning when it was announced on WCVE, the NPR station related to WCVW. Together they're known as the "Community Idea Stations." And how'd they announce the bestowing of this honor upon a film about a community business? The award, they said, was won for a documentary "about a local cut-rate bookstore." A local cut-rate bookstore? Thanks, Wayne Farrar! Is it hard for WCVE to say the name of the store? Which is the title of the award-winning movie? They can't call us a used bookstore? Which is what we are? They've gotta use a demeaning term? Listen, we're just thrilled with our Community Idea Stations, whose staff we've never seen in this community bookstore.
For our money, the real community broadcasters in Richmond are the good folks at WRIR. Maybe that's because when we go to events with Chop Suey or do community outreach with Books on Wheels, we actually see WRIR, you know, interacting with the community.
Our good friend Valley Haggard started her Richmond Young Writers class in our upstairs gallery yesterday, and it looked like everyone had a great time. They went on a silent walk through Carytown and ended up writing lots of poetry. Cool. Valley is going to post the results on her website soon. In the meantime: when opening up today, I found a notebook belonging to one of the students set on a random shelf of books. I looked through it to find out whose it might be, and came across a chant-like poem about what the writer's name is and why he might have been named such. Then, on the next page, he talks about why he wouldn't want another name, because then he would have an "alternative ego" and "would hate sports, would never swim, would be stupid, would hate ice cream & candy, and would hate pizza a lot." I think I know exactly how he feels.
If you know a teen who is interested in writing, I can't think of anyone better than Valley to give guidance. There is more information on signing up for her classes on the RYW website.
Tuesday, June 2, 2009
Here's a digression: Why is it that so many people who come into Chop Suey ask us if Wonton is stuffed? Or else say, "Is that cat real?" Yes, he's real. Can't you see him moving? Did we somehow give you the impression that we enjoy deploying taxidermied animals at strategic points around the store? Because we don't. It's much easier to have one live cat that wanders around the place.
Friday, May 29, 2009
Sound Screen Design is a new product design firm located in Brooklyn, NY, and Artist Music Journals is perhaps their most important contribution to modern art books. Published once a month, the AMJ series offers contemporary artists, designers, and musicians the chance to design a 24 page, 10 inch, stitch sewn book. The books are in turn packaged in a plain white cardstock slipcase resembling a 10 inch record jacket, and sealed with a letterpressed, hand-numbered sticker replicating the artist's signature. Each edition is limited to 1000 copies.
Issue 1 features the work of LA based performance and design artist Jason Yates. Chop Suey Books is lucky enough to be one of the selected stores (15 total) to feature this title, so come in and get your collectable copy now!
Saturday, May 23, 2009
Friday, May 8, 2009
A couple was just in looking for a present for their son's 21st birthday. At one point the woman picked up Russian Criminal Tattoos III, and offered it up as a cool suggestion. "That," the man asked, "no way. Give him that and he'll end up getting one of them, and then he'll run into the wrong person and get himself killed."
"What? By who," his wife asked.
"I don't know. By a Russian, by some Russian criminal who knows what it says and doesn't like it. No way!"
"Come on" she responded, and I was expecting her to weigh the probability of their son running into a Russian criminal who not only recognized the tattoo, but found it offensive enough to kill someone over. Instead, she took a unique stance. "It's a pretty random way to go. Pretty cool, not something stupid like dying in a car crash."
"Yeah, well, let him do it on his own time," responds the man, and decides on the new Chuck Palahniuk book, Pygmy.
When they were checking out, the woman wanted to get a 2009 organizer, and had to choose between red and blue. "Red," she decided. "He needs to be more masculine." I guess that's a good compromise, building up his manhood with a red date book rather than a Russian criminal's tattoo.
I wonder what she's expecting for Mother's Day.
Tuesday, May 5, 2009
If you're a big Jerry Garcia fan, don't get too excited by this post's title. We're talking about the cool kind of Dead: Zombies! If you thought the Vampire renaissance over the past couple of years "sucked," then you'll be excited to know that Zombies are having a new Day... of the Dead!
Shuffle over to Chop Suey and check out our Zombie shelf, featuring recent releases like Pride and Prejudice and Zombies and Breathers: A Zombie's Lament, plus favorites of the genre like World War Z!
Monday, May 4, 2009
UPDATE (3pm): The Continental vanished as it came, with the wind, its departure not witnessed by a single soul in Chop Suey. We may never know if it was driven by a mortal man.