Category Archives: Recommendations

September Literary Events at The UConn Co-op Bookstore at Storrs Center


Join us for talks, readings, booksignings, musical performances and more. Check the Events link on our website for additional events. If you would like an autographed book but cannot attend, give us a call and we will arrange it.

Book Launch for The University of Connecticut’s School of Fine Arts: A History of the First Fifty Years: 1961-2011
Thursday, September 4, 6:00 pm, UConn Co-op Bookstore at Storrs Center
Professor Emeritus Dr. Donald L. Murray has chronicled the fascinating history of UConn’s School of Fine Arts from its inception to the 50th Anniversary in 2011. Please join Dean Brid Grant, distinguished faculty and guests in welcoming Dr. Murray back to campus for a Book Launch. Reception to follow, including UConn Jazz Night.

UCONN Jazz Night
Thursday, September 4, 7:00 pm – 9:00 pm, UConn Co-op Bookstore at Storrs Center
Live music with UConn Jazz Studies Director Earl MacDonald and the UConn jazz students. Coffee, espresso and pastries are available for purchase at Le Petit Marché Café.

Ruth Hartunian-Alumbaugh on Piano
Tuesday, September 9, 12:30 pm, UConn Co-op Bookstore at Storrs Center
Ruth Hartunian-Alumbaugh will play musical favorites from the first half of the 20th century. Hartunian-Alumbaugh, a board certified and registered music therapist, performs at weddings and social gatherings. She shares her music here on the second and fourth Tuesdays at 12:30. Requests welcome. Shop while you listen, enjoy a bite in Le Petit Marché, or sing along.

Matthew Hughey on The White Savior Film
Wednesday, September 10, 4:00 pm, UConn Co-op Bookstore at Storrs Center
Matthew W. Hughey is an Associate Professor of Sociology at the University of Connecticut. He is the author or coauthor of seven books, including White Bound: Nationalists, Antiracists, and the Shared Meanings of Race. Daniel Bernardi, author of Star Trek and History: Race-ing Toward a White Future writes, “In The White Savior Film, Matthew Hughey offers an insightful, thorough and well-written analysis of a key trope in America’s racial formation: cinematic representations of noble saviors—from Sandra Bullock to Kevin Costner—fighting to save Others. This important book offers its readers a timely analysis of how contemporary cinema continues to perpetuate racism by eliding historical specificity.”

Jason Koo author of America’s Favorite Poem
Wednesday, September 10, 6:00 pm, UConn Co-op Bookstore at Storrs Center
Jason Koo is the author of two collections of poetry, America’s Favorite Poem (C&R Press, 2014) and Man on Extremely Small Island (C&R Press, 2009), winner of the De Novo Poetry Prize and the Asian American Writers’ Workshop Members’ Choice Award for the best Asian American book of 2009. He has published his poetry and prose in numerous journals, including the Yale Review, North American Review and Missouri Review, and won fellowships for his work from the National Endowment for the Arts, Vermont Studio Center and New York State Writers Institute. An assistant professor of English at Quinnipiac University, Koo is also the founder and executive director of Brooklyn Poets, a nonprofit organization celebrating and cultivating the poets, poetry and literary heritage of Brooklyn, where he lives.

This reading is jointly sponsored by The Creative Writing Program, The Asian and Asian American Studies Institute, the English Department Speaker’s Fund, and the UConn Co-op Bookstore at Storrs Center.

UCONN Jazz Night
Thursday, September 11, 7:00 pm – 9:00 pm, UConn Co-op Bookstore at Storrs Center
Live music with UConn Jazz Studies Director Earl MacDonald and the UConn jazz students. Coffee, espresso and pastries are available for purchase at Le Petit Marché Café.

Meet Cookbook Authors Mark Scarborough and Bruce Weinstein
Saturday, September 13, 3:00 pm – 5:00 pm, ECSU Church Farm Center for Arts & Sciences, Ashford, CT
Mark Scarborough and Bruce Weinstein will autograph copies of their book, Vegetarian Dinner Parties: 150 Meatless Meals Good Enough to Serve Company. Scarborough and Weinstein have written more than 20 cookbooks including The Great American Slow Cooker Book, Pizza: Grill It, Bake It, Love It, and Grain Mains. We will be participating in the Friends of the Babcock Library Annual Wine Tasting for this booksigning. Wine and beer tastings, art, music and more.

Launch for Caragh O’Brien’s The Vault of Dreamers
Sunday, September 14, 3:00 pm, UConn Co-op Bookstore at Storrs Center
Ever since Caragh O’Brien’s award winning and wildly popular Birthmarked Trilogy came to a conclusion, her fans, including our entire staff of booksellers, have eagerly anticipated her next book. The wait is over. The Vault of Dreamers is here! We meet O’Brien’s new character, Rosie Sinclair who is attending the prestigious Forge School of the Arts to learn filmmaking. But things are not as they seem. Indeed, at Forge your dreams are not your own. Fast paced. Psychologically taut.

Originally from St. Paul, Minnesota, Caragh M. O’Brien grew up in a family of seven children and learned early how to embrace chaos and daydream. She attended the Visitation of the Convent School, which had salamanders in the playground, and later St. Paul Academy and Summit School, where she was active with the school chorus, the orchestra, and the volleyball team. She earned her B.A. in Physics from Williams College and her M.A. in the Writing Seminars at Johns Hopkins. While raising her kids, she published half a dozen romance novels. Recently, Caragh resigned from teaching high school English in order to write young adult novels. She also leads a writing workshop at Journey House, cantors at her church, and enjoys discussions with her book group. Caragh now lives and writes from her home in Connecticut.

Poetic Release: Poetry Slam Featuring Nate Marshall
Monday, September 15, 7:00 pm, UConn Co-op Bookstore at Storrs Center
Nate Marshall is from the South Side of Chicago. He was the star of the award winning full-length documentary “Louder Than A Bomb” and has been featured on HBO’s “Brave New Voices”. He is an MFA candidate in Creative Writing at the University of Michigan and received his BA at Vanderbilt University. His work has appeared in Muzzle, Learn Then Burn, Vinyl Poetry, The Spoken Word Revolution: Redux, on Chicago Public Radio and in many other publications. Nate has been a teaching artist with organizations such as Young Chicago Authors, InsideOut Detroit, and Southern Word. Nate is the founder of the Lost Count Scholarship Fund that promotes youth violence prevention in Chicago.

Krista Bremer: My Accidental Jihad: A Love Story
Wednesday, September 17, 6:00 pm, UConn Co-op Bookstore at Storrs Center
Krista Bremer grew up enjoying a comfortable, secular middle class American life, visiting Disneyland and learning to surf. She never expected to fall in love with Ismael, the child of a large Muslim family from a poor Libyan fishing village. In My Accidental Jihad: A Love Story Bremer tells how the two came together, despite huge cultural differences. “The story Krista Bremer tells–one of radical foreignness between a married couple,” Haven Kimmel author of A Girl Named Zippy writes, “could be a metaphor for all committed relationships.” Bremer is the associate publisher of The Sun and the recipient of a Rona Jaffe Foundation Award.

David K. Leff: Finding the Last Hungry Heart
Thursday, September 18, 6:00 pm, UConn Co-op Bookstore at Storrs Center
David K. Leff is a freelance writer from Collinsville, Connecticut. His essays, poems and fiction have appeared in newspapers and magazines. He is the author of the nonfiction works, The Last Undiscovered Place, which was a Connecticut Book Award finalist, Deep Travel and Hidden in Plain Sight. He has also penned three volumes of poetry, The Price of Water, Depth of Field and Tinker’s Damn. Leff will be reading from his most recent book, FindingThe Last Hungry Heart, A Novel In Verse.

UCONN Jazz Night
Thursday, September 18, 7:00 pm – 9:00 pm, UConn Co-op Bookstore at Storrs Center
Live music with UConn Jazz Studies Director Earl MacDonald and the UConn jazz students. Coffee, espresso and pastries are available for purchase at Le Petit Marché Café.

Ellen Stimson: Good Grief
Friday, September 19, 7:00 pm, UConn Co-op Bookstore at Storrs Center
Ellen Stimson, author of the hilarious memoir Mud Season, will be here for her new book, equally hilarious, Good Grief: Life in a Tiny Vermont Village. In Mud Season we saw Stimson pack up her family and move to a badly-in-need-of-repair old house, and purchase a quaint country inn. Many misadventures ensued. Now, in Good Grief her madcap life continues. One of her sons pees on his teacher’s chair. On purpose. Worse, the governor questions her about this. And she finds her ex-husband, whom she tells us she was married to for “fifteen minutes,” naked in her backyard. And then there’s the matter of packing for vacation and why the cop pulled her over. Of course, he ended up helping her rearrange the things in her trunk. Join us for a light-hearted evening
with Ellen Stimson. You will laugh out loud. You will feel you have made a new friend.

Celebrate Mansfield Festival
Sunday, September 21
For the first time, the annual festivities will be held on the Square and downtown sidewalks! Parade, music, exhibits, giveaways, and more.

Banned Books Week September 21 – 27
Celebrate the Freedom to Read. Fight Censorship. Join us for a Virtual Read Out.
We support the First Amendment and Freedom of Expression. Once again, with booksellers and librarians across the country, we will be participating in a Virtual Read Out. We invite you to visit the bookstore and read out loud from a book that has been challenged (we will have a display of those books for you to choose from. We will make a video of your reading and post it to the Banned Books Virtual Read Out site. You can come in anytime during the week to do your reading. Or come during the Celebrate Mansfield Festival on September 21.

UConn Jazz Showcase
Sunday, September 21, 3:00 pm, UConn Co-op Bookstore at Storrs Center
All the UCONN jazz groups unite to perform a beautifully diverse concert spanning a wide range of eras, styles and instrumentations – from bebop-infused quintets to big band swing! 
Gregg August, Earl MacDonald & John Mastroianni, directors.

Margaret Gibson Poetry Reading: Broken Cup
Monday, September 22, 6:30 pm, UConn Co-op Bookstore at Storrs Center
Margaret Gibson is the author of eleven books of poetry and one book of prose, a memoir. In Broken Cup, her most recent book (published this fall by LSU) she writes eloquently of her husband the poet David McKain and the progression of his Alzheimer’s disease. “Among its many virtues,” Stephen Dunn writes, “Broken Cup is a great love story, and I’m using the word ‘great’ both carefully and precisely…Her poems have an exquisite lyrical intelligence; they probe with a hard-won delicacy.” Eamon Grennan writes, “Imagination and many kinds of love tune these poems, which chart an experience of being in the world in a radically new and unforeseen way, and manage to achieve, often against the odds, the best kind of affirmation—that of the undeceived.”

Ruth Hartunian-Alumbaugh on Piano
Tuesday, September 23, 12:30 pm, UConn Co-op Bookstore at Storrs Center
Ruth Hartunian-Alumbaugh will play musical favorites from the first half of the 20th century. Hartunian-Alumbaugh, a board certified and registered music therapist, performs at weddings and social gatherings. She shares her music here on the second and fourth Tuesdays at 12:30. Requests welcome. Shop while you listen, enjoy a bite in Le Petit Marché, or sing along.

Dr. Phil Nel: “Not So Simple: The Genius of Crockett Johnson’s Harold and the Purple Crayon.”
Wednesday, September 24, 4:00 pm, UConn Co-op Bookstore at Storrs Center,
Philip Nel is the University Distinguished Professor of English and Director of Kansas State University’s Program in Children’s Literature. His Crockett Johnson and Ruth Krauss: How an Unlikely Couple Found Love, Dodged the FBI, and Transformed Children’s Literature (2012) was nominated for an Eisner, and was named an Honor Book by the Children’s Literature Association. He is the author or co-editor of eight other books, including Crockett Johnson’s Barnaby Volume Two: 1944-1945 (co-edited with Eric Reynolds, 2014) and Barnaby Volume One: 1942-1943 (co-edited with Reynolds, 2013), Keywords for Children’s Literature (co-edited with Lissa Paul, 2011) Tales for Little Rebels: A Collection of Radical Children’s Literature (co-edited with Julia Mickenberg, 2008), The Annotated Cat: Under the Hats of Seuss and His Cats (2007), Dr. Seuss: American Icon (2004). Since 2011, he has been General Editor of Routledge’s Children’s Literature and Culture Series. He blogs at Nine Kinds of Pie.

Novelist Vanessa Manko: The Invention of Exile
Thursday, September 25, 6:00 pm, UConn Co-op Bookstore at Storrs Center
Vanessa Manko graduated from UConn in 1998 and received her MFA from Hunter College. The Invention of Exile is her first novel. Salman Rushdie wrote his first letter of public recommendation for this book. He writes, “This beautifully written and deeply affecting first novel is the story of a man stranded by history in a strange land, torn away by politics and paranoia from the people he loves, exiled and trapped behind an invisible frontier he dares not cross. Manko ranges expertly between Russia, the USA, and Mexico to weave her absorbing tale of emigration, deportation, desperation, paranoia, and finally, improbably, love. The novel reminds one, at times, of Kafka, Ondaatje, and even, in its powerful evocation of marooned isolation, Robinson Crusoe. A brilliant debut. I commend it to you all.” The novel is based partially on Manko’s family history and the life of a grandfather she never knew.

UCONN Jazz Night
Thursday, September 25, 7:00 pm – 9:00 pm, UConn Co-op Bookstore at Storrs Center
Live music with UConn Jazz Studies Director Earl MacDonald and the UConn jazz students. Coffee, espresso and pastries are available for purchase at Le Petit Marché Café.

Daniel Levitin on The Organized Mind
Sunday, September 28, 1:00 pm, UConn Co-op Bookstore at Storrs Center
New York Times Bestselling author and neuroscientist Daniel Levitin will join us to talk about his new book, The Organized Mind: Thinking Straight in the Age of Information Overload. Levitin is the author of This Is Your Brain on Music: The Science of a Human Obsession, and The World in Six Songs: How the Musical Brain Created Human Nature. He is the James McGill Professor of Psychology and behavioral science at McGill University. In The Organized Mind, he used neuroscience to understand how some people become quite accomplished at managing information flow despite the unprecedented deluge of data that the world is awash in. This is a big and thoughtful book, packed with research and information.

William J. Hall on The World’s Most Haunted House
Sunday, September 28, 3:00 pm, UConn Co-op Bookstore at Storrs Center
In The World’s Most Haunted House: The True Story of the Bridgeport Poltergeist on Lindley Street, William J. Hall looks at the much reported 1974 haunting that had people in Connecticut talking. More than 2,000 people gathered to watch the jumping furniture, floating refrigerators and attacking entities. There were nearly forty newspaper accounts of the events. What was going on? Why were there rappings on the wall? What caused the chairs to levitate? After much investigatory work, Hall discovered the truth.


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The Orphan Master’s Son book review

The Orphan Master’s Son by Adam Johnson


People love to debate the merits of award winning books, and this 2013 Pulitzer Prize winner for fiction enters the fray.  This reader loved the book, but it hard to exactly explain why.  The simplest reason was that I wanted to keep reading….I was interested in the story, not so much the plot which is hard to pin down anyway.  This book was creative in an odd, strange, almost magical realism way.  What happens might not actually be able to happen in this world, but then again, the story takes place in North Korea, so maybe anything is possible.

The protagonist is Pak Jun Do, a homonym for “John Doe.”  He grows up in a work camp for orphans called Long Tomorrows, run by his father.  He becomes a soldier, patrolling the murky tunnels under the DMZ, the “demilitarized zone” separating the border between North and South Korea.  Later an electrical radar expert, his job is to listen in, on whom is sometimes unclear.  He is promoted to chief kidnapper, and some of his targets are those he listened in on, and some not.  Exactly who he is kidnapping for is murky, but someone powerful.

He falls in love with Sun Moon, the beautiful wife of the  powerful Commander GA, and then becomes the Commander’s doppelganger, or so it appears, one is never quite sure.  And this is part of the magical mysterious writing of Adam Johnson’s first novel.  This is really a creative tour-de-force, and his knowledge of North Korea and its culture comes largely from his imagination, having visited the country only once.  “We have a duty to tell the stories of others, even if we have to invent them” Johnson stated.

When an American woman, rowing solo around the world, is captured by North Korea, Pak Jun Do attempts to put into action a plan to save her, or is he saving Sun Moon?

Adam Johnson is a professor of creative writing at Stanford University.

Review by Larry




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Where Are the Books?


Yes, our General Books Department is relocating to the new downtown as UConn Co-op Bookstore at Storrs Center. We will have a comfy seating area for your browsing pleasure, a dedicated event space that we share with the Ballard Institute and Museum of Puppetry, a robust schedule of readings, an expanded children’s area, and lots and lots of good books. Happiness. In addition to the bookstore and BIMP, the café Le Petit Marché will offer a French inspired menu including crepes. Plus UConn ice cream!

We had hoped to be moved by the end of August so that we would be ready to welcome everyone back. Oh how we hoped! Alas, with the vagaries of construction and unforeseen circumstances, we are delayed. We are now expecting to be open and ready for you in October.

Meanwhile, we have a small section of books – bestsellers, Co-op Picks, UConn authors, study guides, and a few children’s books at the front of the store overlooking the patio. This will be our small general books section in the main store.

While we all eagerly await the opening of our new space, we can still get you whatever you want to read. And we are busy working on events. Here is our lineup so far:

UConn Co-op Fall Literary Events 2013

We will add more events as it gets closer to fall. Once our new bookstore opens in October in Storrs Center, we will hold our events there. Exciting! Please check our website or Facebook page (UConn Co-op Where Readers and Authors Meet) for updates. If you would like a book autographed but cannot attend, let us know and we will take care of it for you.



Kevin Cullen on Whitey Bulger

Saturday, September 14, 3:00 – 5:00 pm, Rain date, Sunday September 15, 3:00 – 5:00 pm Church Farm, Ashford

Pulitzer Prize winning journalist Kevin Cullen will speak and autograph copies of Whitey Bulger: America’s Most Wanted Gangster and the Manhunt that Brought Him to Justice.  Cullen, who writes for the Boston Globe, was part of the team that exposed Whitey Bulger as an FBI informant in 1988. He has covered national and international news including the conflict in Northern Ireland and the war in the former Yugoslavia. In the aftermath of the Boston Marathon bombings he wrote 12 columns in 11 days. Tickets are $25.00 and are available at the Ashford Library and at the door. Friends of the Ashford Library Wine Tasting.

Forrest Pritchard on Farmer’s Markets

Sunday, Sept. 15, 11:00 am – 2:00 pm, Coventry Regional Farmers Market

Forrest Pritchard, author of Gaining Ground: A Story of Farmer’s Markets, Local Food and Saving the Family Farm will be in the barn with us at the Coventry Regional Farmer’s Market. Pritchard is a professional farmer with degrees in English and Geology from William & Mary. His poems have been published in national literary magazines. The CRFM is one of the largest and surely the liveliest farmer’s market in New England.

Banned Books Week: Celebrating the Freedom to Read

September 22 – September 28

Like you, we strongly support the First Amendment and the Freedom to Read. Unfortunately, censorship continues to be an issue in this country. We are joining our fellow booksellers, librarians, civil liberties groups and readers like you in a Virtual Read Out which will be posted on YouTube. We invite you to read a few passages from She’s Come Undone or one of your favorite banned books. We will film you and post the video to the Virtual Read Out channel.

She’s Come Undone by Wally Lamb was recently banned by the Department of Corrections. It was an Oprah Pick. It has moved millions of readers. And Wally has tirelessly volunteered his time to work with inmates at York. Fortunately, the DOC’s decision to ban She’s Come Undone was reversed the next day by the governor’s office.  But sadly, censorship is still an  issue in this country. Please join us for the Virtual Read Out.

Festival on the Green Parade

Sunday, September 22, noon, Storrs Center

We may not be open yet, but we will be joining the parade. Watch for your favorite storybook characters!


Celebrating the Publication of Gathered Light

Thurs. Sept. 26, 6:00 pm, UConn Co-op (location may change)

Lovingly edited by Lisa and John Sornberger, Gathered Light: The Poetry of Joni Mitchell’s Songs is a dazzling collection of pieces on Joni Mitchell’s iconic songs and the impact they have had on our culture. More than 50 contributors share what Mitchell’s music means to them and to the world of poetry and song. Join us in celebrating the publication of this important book.


A Visit with Christopher Moore

Saturday, October 5, 6:00 pm, UConn Co-op

Christopher Moore is the author of eleven novels, including the international bestsellers, Lamb, A Dirty Job and You Suck. His latest novel is Fool, a retelling of King Lear from the perspective of Pocket, the Fool. Before publishing his first novel, Practical Demonkeeping in 1992, he worked as a roofer, a grocery clerk, a hotel night auditor, an insurance broker, a waiter, a photographer, and a rock and roll DJ. Chris has drawn on all of these work experiences to create the characters in his books. When he’s not writing, Chris enjoys ocean kayaking, scuba diving, photography, and sumi-e ink painting. He divides his time between Hawaii and San Francisco.


Steve Straight Poetry Reading

Tues. Oct. 15, 6:00 pm UConn Co-op

Steve Straight is a professor of English and director of the poetry program at Manchester Community College. His most recent book of poetry is The Almanac (Curbstone/Northwestern) of which Billy Collins said that every poem in the collection is “just plain interesting.”  An earlier book of poetry, The Water Carrier (Curbstone), was featured on the nationally syndicated radio program “The Writer’s Almanac with Garrison Keillor.” Co-sponsored with Creative Writing.

Ron Tanner on Fixing Up His Old Victorian

Tuesday, October 15, 7;00 pm, Hartford History Center, HPL

Ron Tanner, author of Animal House to Our House will give a presentation at Hartford Public Library. In the book, he tells the story of the dilapidated Victorian that he and his wife bought and lovingly (though not without mishap) restored. Tanner teaches writing at Loyola University in Baltimore and directs the Marshall Islands Story Project ( He is the author of two books: Kiss Me, Stranger and Bed of Nails, which won both the G.S. Sharat Chandra Award and the Towson Prize for Literature. He has won many other literary prizes as well, including a Faulkner Society gold medal, a Jack Dyer Fiction Prize, and a Pushcart Prize.  Tanner lives in the big Baltimore brownstone featured in this memoir with his wife, Jill, and their many pets. We will join Tanner for a booksigning after his talk.

Howard Mansfield on Dwellings

Thursday, Oct. 17, 6:00 pm, UConn Co-op

Howard Mansfield, author of Dwelling in Possibility: Searching for the Soul of Shelter will join us for a talk and reading. Mansfield is the author of seven books of creative nonfiction. The mystery that attracts his attention is that some houses have life– they are home; they are dwellings. Others lack this quality. Dwellings is his lyrical meditation upon what accounts for these differences. Co-sponsored with Creative Writing.

Gregory Frost, Science Fiction and Fantasy Author

Thursday, October 17, 7:00 pm, Stern Room, Austin Bldg.

Gregory Frost is the author of the Shadow Bridge series, Fitch’s Brides, Attack of the Giants and other novels. His short stories have most recently been published in Supernatural Noir and Apex Magazine.  Karen Traviss bestselling author of City of Pearl, called Frost, “one of fantasy’s most challenging thinkers.” The New York Times Book Review said, “Frost is both merciless and artful.”  A pleasure for the casual reader of science fiction and fantasy and the aficionado.


Wally Lamb Launch for We Are Water

Mon. Oct. 21, 7:00 pm, UConn Co-op Bookstore Storrs Center

We are deeply honored to be the venue for the launch of our friend Wally Lamb’s new book We Are Water. We think it is his best yet, and we are huge fans of all his books. This will be an evening to remember.

Opening for Wally

Justin Lamb, New Orleans based spoken word poet and Wally’s son will perform.  He recently released the CD However It Turns Out Is Perfect.

Zack Lamothe, author of Connecticut Lore:Strange, Off Kilter and Full of Surprises will also join us. He will share a few surprising stories.


Wally Lamb is the author of She’s Come Undone, I Know This Much Is True, The Hour I First Believed, Wishin’ and Hopin’ and with contributions from the women of York, Couldn’t Keep It To Myself and I’ll Fly Away. Wally’s awards include the Connecticut Center for the Book Lifetime Achievement Award, The New England Book Award for Fiction and others. She’s Come Undone and I Know This Much Is True were both Oprah Picks.

Wally has many friends and fans. We expect a crowd. Please sign up early. The purchase of a copy of We Are Water from the Co-op admits two. You can purchase in the bookstore or online. Co-sponsored with Creative Writing.

Richard J. King on The Devil’s Cormorant

Thurs. Oct. 24, 7:00 pm, UConn Co-op Bookstore Storrs Center

In his new book, The Devil’s Cormorant: A Natural History, Richard J. King, senior lecturer in literature of the sea with the Maritime Studies Program of Williams College and Mystic Seaport, looks at this misunderstood and too often maligned bird. Andrea Barrett, author of Ship Fever and Voyage of the Narwhal writes, “Before I read this marvelous, idiosyncratic book, I might have said I wasn’t interested in cormorants. Now—I’ll never not be interested.”

Andre Dubus III

Tuesday, October 29, 7:00 pm, Konover

Andre Dubus III grew up in Haverhill, Massachusetts, and is the author of Townie (winner of an American Academy of Arts and Letters Award), The Garden of Last Days, House of Sand and Fog (a National Book Award Finalist and Oprah pick), Bluesman, and The Cage Keeper & Other Stories. In Dirty Love, his recently released collection of novellas, he peoples his narratives with a fragile Irish teenager, an Iraqi vet, a bartender who longs to be a famous poet, and other finely wrought characters. Kirkus called Dubus “a dazzling talent.” Sponsored by Creative Writing.


Living and Sustaining A Creative Life: A Discussion

Monday, November 5, noon, UConn Co-op Bookstore Storrs Center

UConn Alum Sharon Butler (MFA) will lead a discussion on Living and Sustaining A Creative Life: Essays by 40 Working Artists by Sharon Louden. An essay by Butler is included in the book. You are welcome to bring your lunch or pick up something from Le Petit Marché in the Co-op.


Roar Reading Series

Monday, November 4, 7:00 pm, UConn Co-op Bookstore Storrs Center.

The Roar Reading Series is an eclectic new monthly reading series curated by Elephant Rock Books. The first Monday of every month join us for a variety of fiction, poetry, CNF, and other works, read by the authors. Reader TBA.


Markham Starr On Barns of Connecticut

Thursday, November 7, 6:30 pm UConn Co-op Bookstore, Storrs Center

Acclaimed photographer and author Markham Starr will give a presentation on his stunning new books Barns of Connecticut and End of the Line: Closing the Last Sardine Cannery in America. In Barns of Connecticut, Starr looks at this too rapidly vanishing icon of our state. The book includes more than one hundred full color photographs, diagrams and historic photos. End of the Line has 210 photos and chronicles the rise and fall of Stinson Seafood in Maine. Starr exhibits work and has won numerous prizes at the Mystic Arts Center, the Slater Memorial Museum and the Norwich Center for the Arts, and a portfolio of his work has appeared in the fine-art black and white magazine Lenswork.

22nd Annual Connecticut Children’s Book Fair

Celebrating Children and the Books They Read

Saturday November 9 and Sunday November 10, 10 am – 5 pm, Rome Ballroom.

Meet your favorite author or illustrator. Have a book signed. Listen to presentations. Two days of fun. We have an especially extraordinary lineup of authors and illustrators this year including Aaron Becker, Jonathan Bean, Nicholas Blechman, Elise Broach, Nick Bruel, Paul Catanese, Elisha Cooper, Diane deGroat, Etienne Delessert, Tomie dePaola, Elizabeth Eulberg, Robie Harris, Jeff Hirsch, Alaya Dawn Johnson, David Johnson, Steven Kellogg, Jarrett Krosoczka, Michaela MacColl, Rita Marshal, Ann Martin, Michael Northrop, Shelley Rotner, David Schwartz, Phoebe Stone, and Mark Teague. Storybook characters include Strega Nona, Spot the Dog, Very Hungry Caterpillar, and Clifford the Big Read Dog. The Connecticut Children’s Book Fair is a project of the UConn Co-op and the UConn Libraries to benefit the Northeast Children’s Literature Collections.

Kate Schapira and Tim Stobierski, Creative Sustenance

Tuesday, November 12, 6:00 pm, UConn Co-op Bookstore, Storrs Center

Kate Schapira writes socially engaged poetry. Her four books include How We Saved the City and most recently The Soft Place. Her work has appeared in many literary journals such as the Denver Quarterly and Drunken Boat. Tim Stobierski is an alumnus of UConn where he worked on the Long River Review for two years. His pieces have appeared in The Hartford Courant, Grey Sparrow, and The Good Men Project. Creative Sustenance is a project of Creative Writing in support of the Covenant Soup Kitchen. Please bring your generous donation.

Hilary Plum and Zach Savich, Fiction and Poetry

Wednesday, November 13, 5:00 pm, UConn Co-op Bookstore, Storrs Center

Hilary Plum’s first novel,They Dragged Them Through the Streets, was published this spring by the Fiction Collective 2. She is the co-director of Clockroot Books and a graduate of the MFA program at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst. Her recent prose and criticism have appeared in the Kenyon Review Online, the Collagist, Critical Flame, Requited, DIAGRAM, the Quarterly Conversation and The Rumpus.

Zach Savich is the author of three books of poetry—Full Catastrophe Living, Annulments, and The Firestorm—as well as a chapbook, The Man Who Lost His Head, and a book of creative nonfiction on art and the imagination, Events Film Cannot Withstand. He has won the Iowa Poetry Prize, the Colorado Prize for Poetry, the Omnidawn Chapbook Poetry Prize, and the Cleveland State University Poetry Center’s Open Competition. His poems, essays, and reviews appear widely in journals such as A Public Space, Denver Quarterly, Boston Review, Jellyfish, and Gulf Coast. He serves as book review editor with The Kenyon Review. Savich is a graduate of the MFA programs at the University of Iowa and the University of Massachusetts, Amherst. Co-sponsored with Creative Writing.

Paul Di Filippo Science Fiction Writer

Thursday, November 14, 7:00 pm, UConn Co-op Storrs Center

Best known for his widely published short stories, Paul D. Filippo will read from his new collection Wikiworld. His novels, which he calls “unclassifiable” include Freaks in a Box, Steampunk Prime, Strange Trades, Fuzzy Dice and more. Publisher’s Weekly writes, “Di Filippo is one of the most talented humorists in contemporary fantasy and science fiction.” 

One Book: One Hartford Featuring Angela Johnson

Saturday, November 23, 2:00 pm, Hartford Public Library

Welcome Angela Johnson to Hartford for A Certain October, this year’s One Book. Johnson, who has been awarded the Coretta Scott King Award three times and was the recipient of a MacArthur Fellowship is the author of more than 40 books including poetry, picture books and books for young adults. We will join HPL for this special event and have copies of Johnson’s books.

Small Business Saturday

Saturday, November 30, 10:00 am – 9:00 pm, UConn Co-op Storrs Center


Roar Reading Series

Monday, December 2, 7:00 pm, UConn Co-op Bookstore, Storrs Center

The Roar Reading Series is an eclectic new monthly reading series curated by Elephant Rock Books. The first Monday of every month join us for a variety of fiction, poetry, CNF, and other works, read by the authors. Reader TBA.

Robert Thorson on Walden’s Shore

Thursday, December 5, 4:00 pm

Popular professor, geologist, author and columnist, Robert (Thor) Thorson will discuss his newest book Walden’s Shore: Henry David Thoreau’s Nineteenth-Century Science. In Walden’s Shore, Thor shows that Thoreau was deeply interested in the geology of Walden Pond and conducted some remarkable field studies that have been largely overlooked or misunderstood. He was in many ways ahead of his times. Thor himself looks deeply at the geology of the famous kettle pond. As anyone who knows Thor, his passion and excitement for his subject is contagious. He brings rocks to life.

Check our website for additional literary events. We also post on the Daily Digest and on our Facebook page UConn Co-op Where Readers and Authors Meet.

Posted by Suzy

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The End of Vacation

As the dog days of August arrive, it seems as if everyone’s summer vacations are starting to wind down. I, myself, am fresh-back from a week in Maine spent relaxing, reading and visiting bookstores. One of this year’s finds was a little gift shop Imagein Brooklin, ME called Betsy’s Sunflower that has, among great gift items, a small but interesting selection of Maine-specific books and local authors while also hosting occasional author events.  Of course, I left there with a couple of signed editions of works by Brooklin author Peter Behrens. It’s places like this and the UConn Co-op that reaffirm my faith that bookstores are still a vital part of a community providing a place where “readers and authors meet.”

Also, in the Maine woods, I always take time (for a few moments, at least, before being devoured by mosquitoes) to look up and see the millions of stars in the night sky including the milky way. You’ll be hard-pressed to see many stars here, but if you stop into the well-lit UConn Co-op you can easily find a copy of the intriguing, new Co-op Pick,Image The End of Night: Searching for Natural Darkness in an Age of Artificial Light, by Paul Bogard–a book that laments “how upside down this world where what was once a most common human experience has become most rare. Where a child might grow into adulthood without ever having seen the Milky Way and never feel as though lifted from earth into surrounding stars. Where most of us go into the dark armed not only with ‘a light’ but with so much light that we never know that the dark, too, blooms and sings.”

Also, while most of our trade book inventory is still in storage awaiting completion of our new Storrs Center store, we still have a great selection of Indie Bestsellers (which are always 20% off), Co-op Picks (15% off), local-interest books, children’s books, and many others. You’ll be surprised at the variety we’ve crammed into such a small space. We’ve also just put out a large quantity of bargain books, in which, there are many terrific and unique finds to be had for a pittance.  And, as always, we’d be happy to order most any book that you want and have it for you in a couple days.

So, stop in today. We’re still here and would be glad to help you with books, or anything else for that matter–in addition to books, right now we have a very good selection (though going fast) of UConn Husky insignia wear and other UConn trinkets at clearance prices.

–Bob Smith

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July 30, 2013 · 2:45 am

Onward Toward Adventure

1: a : an undertaking usually involving danger and unknown risks

     b : the encountering of risks <the spirit of adventure>
2 : an exciting or remarkable experience <an adventure in exotic dining>
(Definition via
Every summer I think I’m going to have an adventure.  I’ll turn a corner and fall through a black whole into another time or dimension, meet my long lost twin, run into a witch, chase down some thieving sprites,  fight a mighty beast, and save the day!  Usually I just end up falling into a good book.  If your like me, trying to slack your thirst for adventure through a good summer read here are some books you can find at your own beloved UConn Co-op.
Happy Reading!
Shiver by Maggie Stiefvater (9780545123273)
shiver“Grace has spent years watching the wolves in the woods behind her house.  One yellow-eyed wolf – her wolf – watches back.”
When a murder takes place in town and it looks like it is wolf related Grace steps forward to defend the wolves, who may be more than what they appear to be.  (Back cover)
The Egypt Game by Zilpha Keatley Snyder (9781416990512)
Egypt GameIt’s all fun and games until the lines between reality and pretend begin to blur.  Finding a common interest in all things Ancient Egyptian, Melanie Ross and April Hall start up the Egypt Game and soon get more of their friends playing the Egypt Game too.
“Everyone thinks it’s just a game, until strange things begin happening to the players.  Has the Egypt Game gone too far?”
(Back cover)
On the Day I Died: Stories from the Grave by Candace Fleming (9780375867811)
day i diedFinding himself in a graveyard for teenagers after midnight, Mike Kowalski finds himself the center of attention for nine dearly departed teenage souls.
“Each of these nine teenage souls has a tale to tell about his or her own death – eerie, tragic, or horrifying – and Mike can’t leave until he’s heard them all.”
(Back cover)
The Diviners by Libba Bray (9780316126113)
divinersEvie is thrilled to be moving to New York City in the year of 1926!  Although she has to live with her occult obsessed Uncle Will.
“Evie worries he’ll discover her darkest secret: a supernatural power that has only brought her trouble so far.  But when the police find a murdered girl with a cryptic symbol and Will is called to the scene, Evie realizes her gift could help catch a serial killer.”
(Back cover)

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What strange creature is that?

A Beastly Menagerie: Sir Pilkington-Smythe’s Marvelous Collection of Strange and Unusual Creatures

(9781599219868 $19.95 Hardcover) (9780762788033 $12.95 Paperback)

“A Whimsical compendium of the most incredible animals the world has ever seen – with 200 full-color illustrations” (Back cover).

As I strolled through the bookshelves of our fine establishment that is the UConn Co-op, I happened upon a delightful book in the natural history beastlysection, Sir Pilkngton-Smythe’s “A Beastly Menagery”.  “A Beastly Menagery is a collection of the world’s strangest and most unusual creatures.  Each chapter covers a certain animal family from Invertebrates to Mammals to Birds.  You will be amazed, delighted, and intrigued as you make discoveries such as the water bear (which isn’t a bear at all despite its name) or the Pangolin, an armored creature found in Africa and Asia.  Sir Pilkington-Smythe’s menagerie is full of historical facts and folklore surrounding these strange animals and includes colored illustrations with captions that give a voice to these curious creatures which are sure to amuse.

Happy Reading!


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Having successfully locked my keys and lunch in my locker, my thoughts, prompted by my stomach, wandered towards the topic of survival.  Why so often are we un-prepared for the twists and turns of fate, bad luck, etc.?  I began to set to an investigation of survival and field guides here in the UConn Co-op General Books…

Have you ever found yourself, upon setting out for the day or planning with wcsfriends, mentally running through the worst case scenario?  What if you need to break down a door?  Hot wire a car? Or fend off a shark? What if you need to jump from a moving vehicle?  Take a punch? Or escape from killer bees? You’d best be prepared with an answer to these questions before the situation arises.  Look no further than The Worst-Case scenario Survival Handbook.  This book has the answers total of these situations and more of the worst possible cases you could find yourself in.

Ever been on a hike or camping trip and your buddy forgot the trail mix?  You might want to have which identifies common everyday plants that I’d never known I could eat.  This field guide gives illustrations as well as color plates of edible plants in Eastern and Central North America.  It also tells you how to prepare each edible part of the plant from leaves to stems to tubers.

Bolt cutters it turns out are an essential tool for survival.  Meanwhile, I’ve had my lunch and am now better prepared for whatever awaits me when I next step out my door.  Make sure you check out these books at the UConn Co-op so that you are too!

Happy Reading!


Peterson Field Guides’ Edible Wild Plants (9780395926222 $19.00)

The Worst-Case scenario Survival Handbook (9780811825559 $14.95)

The Worst-Case Scenario Survival Handbook: Paranormal (9780811879644 $14.95)

This book will have you prepared on how to immobilize a zombie, build a monster from spare parts and survive an alien abduction.

The Worst-Case Scenario Survival Handbook: LIFE (97808118531325 $15.95)

For the more practical everyday survival; tips on how to survive hay fever, a bird trapped in the house, a stampede of giraffes,  fingers stuck in bowling ball and more!

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