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Local Author Event
Sandra Cuza 
Book Signing

Featuring her newest release

Passion Fruit

Saturday, October 11th, 2-3pm

Local author Sandra Cuza will be signing copies of her latest novel Passion Fruit at2pm on Saturday Oct 11th.  

About the Book:

Happily married and living in Venice Beach, California, television executive Julia Elliott's orderly life collapses when her husband is sent to Brazil for a two-year assignment by his company. Knowing that she will not be rehired once she leaves her job, she nevertheless agrees to follow him to the land of sunshine, tropical fruit and string bikinis.


But on arrival in São Paulo, Julia is shocked to discover that the city is marred by chaotic traffic, pollution, endemic graffiti and

appalling slums. This is not the exotic paradise she envisioned.


As her husband works the long hours typical of American businessmen in São Paulo, their marital relationship frays; and remembering warnings about glamorous, seductive Brazilian women, Julia becomes concerned about her husband's late nights and weekends at the office.


Is her husband having an affair with his gorgeous secretary? And how does Julia really feel about Max Calhoun, the married, off-beat minister that she's met at an ex-pat theatrical group she joins?


Passion Fruit explores the personal and social lives of ex-pat wives following their husbands along the path of international business: the challenges are momentous, and the consequences of bad decisions are life-changing. Yet through it all another Julia emerges, and the 'other Julia' is indeed a pièce de résistance.

About the Author
Sandra Cuza was born in Kansas and raised in Los Angeles. After graduating with a BA from Mills College, she moved to London where she lived for nine years and worked as a reader for CBS films, a waitress, an actress in food commercials and a teacher in a state school for maladjusted youths. Her first book was based on the latter experience and was made into a feature film which she co-wrote, launching her career as a writer.

Two more novels were published on her return to California where she worked as a waitress, earned an MA and devised and taught a Creative Writing course at UCLA. After moving to São Paulo, Brazil twenty one years ago, she condensed the UCLA course and taught it annually under both the auspices of the American Society and São Paulo´s largest language school. She wrote articles, short stories and a cookbook of Brazilian recipes, was on the Board of a Brazilian children's charity and was active in the community affairs section of the American Society.
Champaign Center Happenings

The Champaign Center Partnership presents  
Midtown Sundaze 

October 26th 2-4 p.m.


Join the Champaign Center Partnership and area businesses for the Midtown Sundaze, a fun and FREE family event in the Boneyard Creek Second Street Basin.

Families are encouraged to come out to enjoy Halloween themed festivities including spooky storytelling by local storyteller, Kathleen Brinkmann, glitter tattoos by Party Prep, creepy crafts, and plenty of ways to win candy! Wear your costumes so you can enter the costume contest. Prizes will be awarded to the scariest, most creative and best group costume. Cool Bliss Popped Bliss will be serving up Halloween popcorn balls and hot cider and hot chocolate! 


This event will take place in the south side of the Boneyard Basin accessible from Springfield Avenue, White and Stoughton Streets. Free street parking is available on Second Street along the East side of the park.

For more information call the Champaign Center Partnership office at 352-2400.

New Used Books
(Books that are new to the store even if they are old in age)
In September the store had an opportunity to pick up an entire estate of books. In 24 hours, 8 people packed 350 boxes, hauled them up stairs, across town, and back down stairs to our basement. We believe the number of books is somewhere in the 10,000 range. The estate will take a while for us to inventory which means lots of great stuff to hit the shelves for the next few months! In addition to the estate we continue to get great books from our customers for store credit. Overall we added 2100 books to our shelves. It took me longer to decide which books to highlight than usual because we received so many great titles! Stop by to check out what's new or search our inventory online!

Lisa Rogak
"My name is Stephen Colbert, but I actually play someone on television named Stephen Colbert, who looks like me and talks like me, but who says things with a straight face [that] he doesn't mean."
-Stephen Colbert


No other comedian can generate headlines today the way Stephen Colbert can. With his appearance at a Congressional hearing, his rally in Washington, D.C., his bestselling book, his creation of the now-accepted word truthiness, and of course his popular TV show, nearly everyone (except the poor Congressional fools who agree to be interviewed on his show) has heard of him.

Yet all these things are part of a character also named Stephen Colbert. Who is he really? In And Nothing But the Truthiness, biographer Lisa Rogak examines the man behind the character. She reveals the roots of his humor, growing up as the youngest of eleven siblings, and the tragedy that forever altered the family. She charts his early years earning his chops first as a serious acting student and later as a budding impov comic, especially his close connection with Amy Sedaris, which led to the cult TV show Strangers with Candy. And Rogak offers a look inside how The Daily Show works, and the exclusive bond that Colbert and Jon Stewart formed that would lead to Colbert's own rise to celebrity.

"O, this is a delightful country!" one newly arrived settler wrote to a friend back East. Indeed, as James E. Davis shows, many newcomers found Illinois a hospitable and relatively peaceful place in which to start a new life. In this sweeping history of the making of the state, Davis tells the story of Illinois from the Ice Age to the eve of the Civil War. He describes the earliest Native American civilizations, the coming of LaSalle and Joliet and the founding of the French colony, the brief history of British Illinois, and the complex history of subsequent settlement that brought distinct cultural traditions to Illinois.

A major theme of this book is the relative absence of violence, at least after the Blackhawk War of 1832, even over explosive issues such as slavery. Davis treats these developments in careful detail, while keeping the reader mindful of the experiences of Illinois' ordinary people.

David Macaulay's first book, Cathedral, introduced readers around the world to his unique gift for presenting architecture and technology in simple terms, and for demystifying even the most complex of concepts.Cathedral received a Caldecott Honor Medal and is now considered a classic.Building the Book Cathedral includes the content of Cathedral in its entirety. Here Macaulay traces the evolution of his creative process in "building" that first book, from the initial concept to the finished drawings. He introduces the basic elements of structure and sequence and explains why one angle of a drawing may be better for conveying an idea than another. He describes how perspective, scale, and contrast can be used to connect a reader with concepts, and how placement of a picture on a page can make a difference in the way information is communicated. Building the Book Cathedral provides an opportunity to examine Macaulay's unique problem-solving skills as he looks back over two and a half decades at the book that launched his distinguished career.

From bullet holes to severed fingers, from slashed throats to wounds and burns, Special Effects is a complete easy-to-use guide to creating horrifying make-up. As storylines become more sensational and technology more sophisticated, special effects have become an increasingly important element of both film and theater production. Janus Vinther provides fully illustrated, step-by-step instruction for creating grotesque and horrifying effects. There is also a chapter on specialized character make-up, covering familiar figures such as Dracula and the Terminator. Illustrated throughout in gory full color, Special Effects describes both techniques and materials. It will be an essential tool for those involved in film and theater make-up or design, and for anyone out to make Halloween a very special evening.

Mark Evan Swartz
Like many of us, Mark Evan Swartz first encountered Dorothy, the Scarecrow, the Tin Woodman, and the Cowardly Lion while watching the 1939 MGM musical starring Judy Garland. Although the obvious source for this film was L. Frank Baum's children's book, Swartz reminds us in Oz before the Rainbow that various stage and screen dramatizations of Baum's story preceded and influenced the 1939 film. Musical comedy elements in the MGM film, extensive scenes with the Kansas farmhands, and even the ending, in which Dorothy realizes that her visit to Oz was only a dream -- all originated in stage or film versions rather than in the pages of Baum's book. This richly illustrated book contains many rare photographs, film stills, sketches, theater programs, and movie advertisements from the different productions. 

Piecing together the Chicago and Broadway stage productions (1902-3) from contemporary reviews, surviving script pages, and published song lyrics, Swartz shows how Baum and his many collaborators worked to transform the book into a popular theatrical attraction -- often requiring significant alterations to the original story.

Philip Nel

How did Dr. Seuss come to write The Cat in the Hat?
How long did it take him to write The Cat in the Hat and The Cat in the Hat Comes Back?
Were these books instantly successful, or did their popularity build?

The answers to these questions and more can be found in this fascinating illustrated study of two books that changed the way our children learn how to read.

According to Professor Nel, The Cat in the Hat and its sequel operate on many levels. The books teach reading, but they also teach about poetry, politics, ethics, comics, history, and even conartistry! Complete with the text of both books, photographs, draft material, and essays by Seuss, The Annotated Cat is like a DVD with all the extras. Cat lovers everywhere can gain a deeper understanding of two of the most popular children's books ever written, and the remarkable man behind them.

Bruce Watson
In the summer of 1964, with the civil rights movement stalled, seven hundred college students descended on Mississippi to register black voters, teach in Freedom Schools, and live in sharecroppers' shacks. But by the time their first night in the state had ended, three volunteers were dead, black churches had burned, and America had a new definition of freedom.

This remarkable chapter in American history, the basis for the controversial film Mississippi Burning, is now the subject of Bruce Watson's thoughtful and riveting historical narrative. Using in- depth interviews with participants and residents, Watson brilliantly captures the tottering legacy of Jim Crow in Mississippi and the chaos that brought such national figures as Martin Luther King Jr. and Pete Seeger to the state. Freedom Summer presents finely rendered portraits of the courageous black citizens-and Northern volunteers-who refused to be intimidated in their struggle for justice, and the white Mississippians who would kill to protect a dying way of life. Few books have provided such an intimate look at race relations during the deadliest days of the Civil Rights movement, and Freedom Summer will appeal to readers of Taylor Branch and Doug Blackmon.

Bruce Watson
Complete texts of Benten Kozo, Pulling the Carriage Apart and The Village School, Shunkan and Naozamurai, and a variety of interpretations by the actors who originated the major roles. Commentaries by critics and actors precede each work. Details on staging, movement, wigs, costumes, music. 

Order/Hold any of these titles by clicking on the book title and placing an order on our website!

(synopses from goodreads.com)

Donnie's Corner
Mommy is looking forward to Halloween although she doesn't know what she will dress me as (I have yet to express an opinion, but I am only about 2). She is getting in the spirit by reading Halloween themed books to me. It's Halloween by Jack Prelutsky is one of her favorites. 


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