Shop Local. Small Business Saturday. Punta Gorda. Copperfish Books

Punta Gorda
Copperfish Books

What a year this has been and continues to be. We at Copperfish Books feel so lucky that our customers have been so supportive over the past many months of the pandemic. From shopping online to doing curbside pick up, we are so grateful for all of  you. Now that the holidays are upon us we are hoping you will continue to shop with us. We have been hard at work filling the new store with the perfect books and gift items for your shopping pleasure. 

Our T shirts are so comfortable you may want to live in them. They come in three colors: gray, white and copper.
I love a good tote and this is just one example of ours. They do make great gifts.
This is a great jigsaw puzzle for the booklover.

And every reader will love finding a Copperfish Books gift certificate so they can come in a shop and get just what they want. Any denomination.

Copperfish Books will be open tomorrow, Saturday, November 28th from 10-4. Come on in and join the celebration. There will be a lot going on and you don’t want to miss it. Plus, Sullivan Street Craft Festival will be in full swing to add to your holiday festivities.

This year we’re going to be open this Sunday from 11-2 for your shopping convenience. So, if you miss us on Saturday and want to visit the store while shopping the festival, we’ll be open and looking forward to seeing you! Come on in! Free gift wrapping.

Sullivan St Craft Festival

And just a heads’ up: don’t forget we are now open in our new store at 212 W. Virginia Ave in Punta Gorda.

Cover Reveal

#CoverReveal! Behold #TheForestofVanishingStars by #nytimes #bestseller @kristinharmel (“a powerful and dazzling voice in historical fiction,” says NYT bestselling author @pattichenry). Kristin’s evocative new coming-of-age World War II story will be in stores everywhere on July 6, 2021 from @gallerybooks. Mark your calendars and start planning your summer reading early. Copy & paste this link to #preorder NOW! https://bit.ly/preorderTFOVS 
#TFOVSreveal #historicalfiction #wwiifiction #kristinharmel #gallerybooks 
 
SYNOPSIS: After being stolen from her wealthy German parents and raised in the unforgiving wilderness of eastern Europe, a young woman finds herself alone in 1941 after her kidnapper dies. Her solitary existence is interrupted, however, when she happens upon a group of Jews fleeing the Nazi terror. Stunned to learn what’s happening in the outside world, she vows to teach the group all she can about surviving in the forest—and in turn, they teach her some surprising lessons about opening her heart after years of isolation. But when she is betrayed and escapes into a German-occupied village, her past and present come together in a shocking collision that could change everything. 

You know how exciting this is. Love the cover!

The Star-Crossed Sisters of Tuscany by Lori Nelson Spielman

The Star-Crossed Sisters of Tuscany

Okay, right away the cover gets an A plus from me. Brings back memories of trips to Tuscany and beyond. But, is the story as good as the cover? You betcha!! In fact, it’s better.

This from Goodreads: A trio of second-born daughters set out to break the family curse that says they’ll never find love on a whirlwind journey through the lush Italian countryside by New York Times bestseller Lori Nelson Spielman, author of The Life List.

Since the day Filomena Fontana cast a curse upon her sister more than two hundred years ago, not one second-born Fontana daughter has found lasting love. Some, like second-born Emilia, the happily-single baker at her grandfather’s Brooklyn deli, claim it’s an odd coincidence. Others, like her sexy, desperate-for-love cousin Lucy, insist it’s a true hex. But both are bewildered when their great-aunt calls with an astounding proposition: If they accompany her to her homeland of Italy, Aunt Poppy vows she’ll meet the love of her life on the steps of the Ravello Cathedral on her eightieth birthday, and break the Fontana Second-Daughter Curse once and for all.

I decided to copy the review listed on Goodreads because it sums up the novel without giving away too much. This novel begins rather softly: light reading. It then moves to a place I could not resist. Lori Nelson Spielman is a delightful author. She created a world filled with characters I kept rooting on. And the Italian vistas, Venetian canals, Amalfi coastline, and hills of Tuscany come blazingly to life beneath her pen. 

This beautiful story became so compelling that I put aside everything until I was finished. I did not want it to end but I was DYING to know the climax. I know you will be too. 

THE STAR-CROSSED SISTERS OF TUSCANY by Lori Nelson Spielman was due to come out in the spring. Alas, we know what came along. I think the publisher made a brilliant decision to postpone the pub date. This book is going to be on every single reader’s list! I know several people who have already pre-ordered it. I was one of the very lucky people who received an early copy. I am grateful to the publishing people at Berkley. This is a real winner!! Knocked it right out of the book park!! Loved, loved, loved it. 

THE STAR-CROSSED SISTERS OF TUSCANY will be available for purchase tomorrow. Copperfish Books will have copies in stock. I can’t wait to hand sell it. We are really fortunate that it will be in trade paperback making it the perfect choice for book clubs everywhere!

Dawson’s Fall by Roxana Robinson

Dawson’s Fall

This is certainly a novel for our times. It may take place in the late 1800’s but it’s a story for our generation. This novel is based on the true story of Roxana Robinson’s great-grandparents, really her great-grandfather Frank Dawson and his life in South Carolina after coming to America from England to fight for the Confederacy. His political, social, and moral leanings are investigated to the fullest.

Roxana Robinson is a no-nonsense writer who has novels and biographies under her belt. I first read her when she published COST and fell for her writing. Now here she is with a story that is practically lifted from today’s news. But it isn’t today, it’s so long ago. Some things never change.

I love the setting for the story. Charleston, South Carolina is such a great place to set a novel. And the actual story behind the novel took place right there.

Issues of slavery, moral misconduct and politics fill the pages of DAWSON’S FALL. It’s not a happy book. But it’s truthful and must have been difficult to write knowing that this happened to your own family. As Robinson penned this novel she had no idea we would be in the midst of a global pandemic and racial strife as not seen in so many years.

As Frank Dawson became the editor of the Charleston News & Courier, he becomes totally enmeshed in airing his views even to the point where he loses readership and begins having money problems.

It’s not often we read about the aftermath of the Civil War and the horrors that were faced on a daily basis. But, Robinson is the master of showing and not telling of the racism and violence that was barely endured. This tragic novel is important. It’s powerful. And it’s beautiful. Do not miss this one.

The New York Times says: How should a white writer write about whiteness? In no particular way. One sits with the truth, holds it, troubles it and writes as far into it as one’s pen will go. Robinson acknowledges that Frank Dawson “wrote to explain the world to itself” and that, in the end, no explanation could suffice. “Dawson’s Fall” asks what truth means in an era when conviction matters more, and Roxana Robinson’s answer — that morality is friable — should make us sit up and tremble.

My review copy arrived as a finished hard cover from Sarah Crichton Books, a division of Farrar, Straus and Groux Publishers in exchange for an honest review. A very important literary novel that gets inside the tragic issues of race and morality in our country then and today. A real keeper. Great for book club discussion.

The Brilliant Life of Eudora Honeysett by Annie Lyons

The Brilliant Life of Eudora Honeysett by Annie Lyons

So happy to have discovered this refreshing new novel about being alive.

Eudora Honeysett is a sharp-minded 85 year- old woman whose body is failing. A paragraph on the flap of the novel says it perfectly: Eudora Honeysett is done with this noisy, moronic world–all of it. She has witnessed the indignities and sufferings of old age and has lived a full life. At eighty-five, she isn’t going to leave things to chance. Her end will be on her terms. With one call to a clinic in Switzerland, a plan is set in motion…

Eudora lives alone with her bad- tempered cat Montgomery. She had originally brought him home in a moment of weakness, thinking he would be good company in her twilight years. Sadly, Montgomery has morphed into the equivalent of a long-endured husband-cantankerous, offhand, and only interested in being fed. But she’s not lonely. She enjoys her life but is ready to move on..

Along comes ten-year-old Rose; colorful and spirited, and turns Eudora’s staid little life upside down. I immediately fell in love with Rose. Her bright and sparkly personality will quickly win your heart. Eudora is Rose’s only friend as she has just moved next door with her mom and dad. And then Rose brings Stanley into the friendship. So there were two. Stanley is a recently widowed older gentleman who is as charming as can be.

If you loved A MAN CALLED OVE and ELEANOR OLIPHANT then you are going to love EUDORA. There’s something endearing and refreshingly honest about British novels.

I thought I knew exactly where the novel was going. Then it turned the corner and surprised me over and over again. This novel could have been depressing but instead I found it to be very uplifting and filled with witty dialogue and highly satisfying characters that will live in my mind forever.

I borrowed a copy of THE BRILLIANT LIFE OF EUDORA HONEYSETT by Annie Lyons from my library. It was one of those runaway stories that just runs away with your afternoon. How wonderful. Harper Collins is the publisher. Great job. I’ll be thinking about this one for a long time.

November Musings And A Move

New Copperfish Books Location

It’s official! Copperfish Books is now settling into the new location just a couple blocks away. We are now at 212 W. Virginia Ave. Ste 112, Punta Gorda, Fl. 33950. I drove up to poke my nose in on Saturday morning and business was brisk in the new abode. The feeling of warmth as I entered the building made me smile. And the smiles on the masked faces of Cathy and Liz were genuine and welcoming. Boxes are still being unloaded and we are still adorning the walls and tables. But we’re open for business and happy as clams. You are going to love all the nooks and crannies. All the usual books will be available. And plenty of unique gifts and the greeting cards; yes, those greeting cards, have all come along for the ride. We have the best selection of cards anywhere around. So come on in and see what the todo is all about. We can’t wait to see you. And, I will be returning to work within the new store…..soon. I will keep you posted.

November is being swept into SW Florida this morning with a brisk breeze and much cooler temps. I love that about it. Is well overdue. House is opened to the elements and cats are enjoying sniffing all the wonderful outdoor things… Husband can enjoy reading the paper on the front porch again.

For me, November means back to the lectern. Yes, speaking engagements are beginning next week. They will be different this time. My first talk will be through zoom. If this goes well, I will continue to offer them as in- person or through zoom. Safety is the main thing this year. We must be safe. Everyone needs to feel safe. There are so many wonderful books just waiting to be introduced to avid readers. Books that are out now and books coming in the New Year.

Fresh from Mike and Ana’s garden.

I have never lived through a more challenging time. I had an important birthday in October. When my oldest son Craig visited me he wore a mask and we had a very safe visit. I had not seen him since January. And we live fifteen minutes apart. Like I said, these times are challenging. It was a great visit and I am grateful for it. My youngest son and his family also visited and we celebrated with cake and ice cream. And they brought amazing fresh flowers from their garden. Mike tells me the bright pink flower is actually the grain called amaranth and it can be dried and eaten. Oh my. It’s lovely. My daughter who lives in Asheville with her family called and we all got to speak. They will be coming this month to visit. My three grown children went together and bought me the amazing Ruth Bader Ginsburg in the Library print you see here. It is truly amazing. I am so thankful!

Ruth Bader Ginsburg in the Library

Tiny’s Poodle Cut

We had plenty of drama with one of our kitties last month. Great aunt Tiny whose actual name is Siena, was hospitalized for a virus and we were very worried about her. She is thirteen. Here she is after being hooked up to IV’s for a few days. She was VERY happy to get home.

Where I Come From

The book I’m a huge evangelist for right now is Rick Bragg’s WHERE I COME FROM. I was lucky enough to get a finished copy of Rick’s book and I devoured it all the while laughing like a crazy person. Just what we need right now. You are going to love this. We have copies at Copperfish Books so come on in and get yours!!

Penny’s Coffee Bar

I almost forgot to mention that I discovered a brand spanking new coffee shop in downtown Cape Coral. My son Mike met at Penny’s Coffee Bar last week where we were able to sit outside and sip freshly roasted local coffee with a tasty pastry. Shop Local. You can find Penny’s on Facebook.

Everyone is being asked to shop earlier than usual for the holidays this year especially for books. There may not be as many printings of books as usual. Plus, I think we all need to feel the festive atmosphere of the holidays. Thanksgiving is my very favorite holiday. All about food and families. This year it’s also about being safe and well.

Cheers my book friends! I hope to see you soon.

Where I Come From by Rick Bragg

Look what I just read! Rick Bragg is a writer that can make you wet your pants with laughter. His new book of Southern essays is just what everyone needs during this ridiculous year of challenges and horrific events. His sense of humor is timeless. It’s down to earth. It’s spot- on real. And, honestly, it’s funny as hell. I actually woke my husband during nap time to read to him from this book. And the tears were racing down both my cheeks as I read. I was almost breathless from laughing hysterically. That just doesn’t happen very often. 

I love Rick Bragg. I can’t say it enough.  He gets better and better. I had the great pleasure of experiencing his humor in person at our southern book conference in Tampa a couple years ago.  He had written a cook book called THE BEST COOK IN THE WORLD with his momma’s recipes and stories from his past. It was wonderful. After hearing his actual voice I was then entranced. And now when I read him he speaks to me in that wonderful southern drawl of his. 

Bragg doesn’t miss much in this book. His chapters on food made me so  darn hungry I found myself running to the bookshelf to pull the cookbook down. And, the stories of po’boys and Barq root beer  on the curb of Magazine Street in New Orleans made my mouth water. The tomato sandwiches which Northern folk just don’t “get.” I get them.  The dessert experience over the  bread pudding soufflé  at Commander’s Palace. Been there. And Bragg got it perfect.

Rick Bragg

I was lucky enough to receive a finished hardcover of WHERE I COME FROM straight from the publicist who was kind enough to do so. I am happy to share this book with my readers now and through the upcoming book season as I truly do think it is the perfect gift for everyone especially now. My copy lives on my nightstand where I crack it open several times a day just because it makes me feel good.

Rick Bragg is doing several interviews to promote WHERE I COME FROM right now. If you want to treat yourself sign up for one of his events. Just google and you shall see. His voice is like no other….

I was enjoying reading the blurbs on the back of the finished book. Then I came across the one from The Denver Post: “Bragg is a storyteller on a par with Pat Conroy.” Yes indeed. He truly is. And The Atlanta Journal-Constitution says: ” Bragg tells about the South with such power and bone-naked love…he will make you cry.”

Rick Bragg is working on a new book about what he calls “a terrible dog.” I’m already looking forward to it.

So you already know my finished copy of WHERE I COME FROM by Rick Bragg arrived from the warehouses of Knopf Publishing in exchange for an honest review. Honestly, they already knew what a fan I am. I love the book. Love, love, love it!! Just buy it. Copperfish Books will have copies of WHERE I COME FROM when they reopen on Friday, October 31. They will be discounted 20%.

Rich Bragg
The Best Cook in the World

The Lost And Found Bookshop by Susan Wiggs

The Lost and Found Bookshop

I love finding a great novel about a bookstore. THE LOST AND FOUND BOOKSHOP by Susan Wiggs sure does fit the bill. 

I know I’ve read Wiggs years ago. I even remember really liking the book but the title is not coming to me. And I have no idea why I’ve waited so darn long to read more…..

Not only did I enjoy this story, I truly enjoyed the experience of the read. Took my time. Let it get under my skin. Since I’m a book lover and a bookseller it makes sense I would like this book. It’s quite accurate, too. Owning a bookstore is not for the faint of heart. It’s hard work. If it’s not your passion then it’s not for you.

Natalie Harper has just received a promotion. She’s been made vice president of digital inventory at a Sonoma winery. The job is not her passion but it brings financial stability which is her passion. She never had it growing up with her mother and so it’s all she can think about as an adult. Then tragedy strikes and she inherits her mother’s bookshop and all the instability that it brings including caring for the grandfather she loves dearly who is suffering from early dementia along with some other mysterious illness. 

Natalie discovers that her mother may have been a very experienced and passionate bookseller, but, she was not a good businesswoman in any sense of the word. So there is that. Plus, the building that houses their home and the business is in dire need of all sort of expensive repairs. 

Enter Peach Gallagher, “hired hammer” extraordinaire.  And his daughter Dorothy. What an amazing little girl. I instantly fell for this child. And throw in a very popular children’s author who is no slouch in the charming department. 

I loved the historical aspect of the city and mostly of the building. It’s sustained earthquakes and great fires. Houses hidden artifacts and secrets. Was once a saloon and a brothel. Oh my.  Chinese immigration issues come up. Interracial marriage. And Natalie’s difficult relationship with her mother. Her mother, Blythe, was never able to sustain a relationship. Never cared to. And this definitely carried over into Natalie’s own ability to love. 

I found this delightful novel just right for now. It’s well-written. It’s got a helluva story. The characters are fun but not too light. There’s a lot of meat between the lines. And, yes, there is romance, but it’s not silly. 

I think you’ll find yourself rooting for this woman, her bookshop, her granddad, and all the charming characters she’s surrounded by. 

I borrowed this book from the library and not indebted to the publisher for a review of any kind. But, I loved it. And I intend to let the nice publishing people at Harper Collins and William Morrow know how much I loved it. 

Plus, if you liked this book, you’re sure to want to try more of Susan Wigg’s novels. And there are a lot. She’s just super. 

Susan Wiggs

We have copies of THE LOST AND FOUND BOOKSHOP at Copperfish Books right this very minute. Your copy is just a visit away. Of course they are discounted 20% and ready for pick up now.

Pale Morning Light With Violet Swan by Deborah Reed

Pale Morning Light With Violet Swan by Deborah Reed

There is nothing more exciting to me than to discover a wonderful new novel written by an extraordinary author. In this case, Deborah Reed is that author and PALE MORNING LIGHT WITH VIOLET SWAN is the amazing new novel I’m excited about. In fact, I’ve already decided this novel is coing along on my lecture tour for fall and winter.

The setting for most of this story is along the gorgeous Oregon coast. Reed shows us the amazing natural beauty of this part of the country in prose that sparkles and pops and colors that show off the abstract loveliness of Violet’s paintings. By the time I was deeply into this wonderful novel I was yearning to be right there on the coast listening to the ocean and enjoying the briny scents in the air.

The story begins when Violet is ninety-three. She’s become a famous abstract artist and now lives comfortably in the loft of the home she and her husband built. Now she shares it with her son and his wife, Penny. Her husband passed some years ago. Not a day goes past that she doesn’t miss him dearly. At first it appears that Violet is living a charmed life. Well, she pretty much is presently. But as we begin seeing flashbacks we find her childhood has been anything but charmed. In fact, traumatizing would be a better word.

At a young age Violet was involved in a horrific accident that killed both her younger sister and her father. It changed her mother forever and as she became closely involved with a religious group we see this is not a good place for young Violet to be. And so Violet runs away from her home in rural Georgia at the age of fourteen. She’s on a mission to make it across the country to the Pacific coast. She has an address in Oregon, given to her by a young man who meant well. Her trials and tribulations during this cross country trek are some of the harshest I’ve ever read. She hops trains, lives with strangers, works at odd jobs, and meets good and bad people. Honestly, I don’t know how she lived through it.

The time line begins at the start of World War Two. But the war has very little to do with it. This is not a WW11 novel. I want to make that very clear. This is the story of a woman’s life. How she was born and raised, what made her who she is. How she became a great artist. And the unbelievable secrets she manages to keep from her family all her life.

The many layers of this beautiful novel are exposed bit by bit as they are peeled back to reveal the parts of Violet’s past that made her the artist and woman she is at age 93. The story begins early on with a powerful earthquake hitting the coast and jogging Violet’s memory. She’s been such a secretive person, never sharing the harsh moments of her youth with her loving family. But something about the earthquake causes Violet to rethink this. And now that there are serious health issues to face, she is having a change of heart….

PALE MORNING LIGHT WITH VIOLET SWAN is rife with strained relationships. Father and son. Son and mother. Grandson and entire family. Son and wife. This is real life. It’s filled with heartache and seething emotions. Written in stunning prose, this new novel is both tragic and epic. The earthquake shook more than just the earth, it shook up the entire foundation of this woman’s secret life.

Deborah Reed

Deborah Reed is the author of several novels. She owns the Cloud & Leaf Bookstore , an Indy bookstore, in Manzanita, Oregon. My review copy arrived from Mariner’s books via Houghton Mifflin Books in exchange for an honest review. I am especially grateful to Emily Keough of Mindbuck Media Book Publicity for telling me about this amazing novel and arranging the book to be sent to me.

I absolutely adored the book, the entire reading experience was superb. Put this one at the top of your toberead list.

What Is October Looking Like Here In SW Florida?

October 1. Wow. September truly did right by.  Some big changes are in the air for October.

Punta Gorda

Copperfish Books

The biggest news by far is that Copperfish Books is moving. Yes, we are! We’ve been in the current location in the center of Punta Gorda for four and a half great years. We’ve met so many wonderful readers and acquired many new and very loyal customers who we love.  The new building will be two blocks from the old location.  The address is 212 W. Virginia Ave. #112. Not far. Still in town.  And it’s on the first floor with a great parking area and very convenient in and out access. And just a short walk from great  coffee and eateries. The space is being renovated right now and will be ready for our move later this month. By November we’ll be settled into our new nest and ready to greet all you great readers for the holidays. We are all excited. It’s going to be a bit smaller but, it’s going to be full of all our unique stuff and most importantly of all, all of us!

I’ve been reading like a lunatic lately. Hooked up with a new marketing company out of Oregon. Discovered a couple wonderful literary novels that I will soon be blogging about.

Pale Morning Light With Violet Swan

One, PALE MORNING LIGHT WITH VIOGET SWAN  is written by Deborah Reed who owns an Indy on the Pacific coast called Cloud & Leaf  Bookstore.

I spent five days attending  our SIBA convention last week as it went virtual like all other book gatherings this year. Heard about dozens of upcoming novels and listened to what’s happening in the world of books during this unprecedented and challenging time. Everything was very upbeat and positive. We have all learned to adapt.

I’ve noticed  roads are becoming a bit more congested as some of our winter residents begin trickling back. The library is getting busier. People are beginning to come out of their bunkers. Restaurants are now free to open at full capacity. Not sure how I feel about that yet. I want more than anything for us all to be safe and stay well.

Received an email from our animal  hospital sending a big Happy Birthday to our Mimi who turns 6 this month. Here she was as a kitten. Strikingly lovely.

Young Mimi

 

Wish I had a picture of a flowering plant but not much is blooming right now. We have had some cooler mornings lately, and for these I am grateful, and I suspect plants will be much happier soon.

I’ve cut way back on the baking and cooking in hopes that some of the extra weight I have retained will go away…….And now that the mornings are not so God awfully hot I have begun walking again. All good.

I will keep you updated on the bookstore’s move and we so look forward to seeing you all at the new locale.  We are having a moving sale at the current location right this minute. Good time to pick up some gifts for the upcoming holidays at a great price.

Try not to think too hard about politics, the weather, the pandemic, or life in general. Stay focused and look toward the future. It’s surely going to be better. Cheers!