IndieBound for iPhone 2.0

eBooks, Indie Style

The IndieBound for iPhone app has received a major upgrade—now you can search for and purchase eBooks from independent booksellers across the United States. (eBooks download automatically into the free eReader app.) The Indie Bestsellers, the Indie Next List, and other book lists, now feature an "also available as an eBook" sticker where appropriate. And the Book Search has been upgraded with a choice of three searches: all results, books only, or ebooks only.

Now the main book search on IndieBound.org includes eBooks along with regular results, and a special list of Indie Next List Favorites in eBooks has been added.

Map it Out

The iPhone Indie Store Finder has received some upgrades, too. The iPhone app now includes integrated Google Maps, so you can view the stores close to you on a map without exiting the IndieBound app. Need directions? Just tap on a pin and you can go directly to the full Google Maps application for detailed directions by car, public transport, or on foot.



More info than ever

IndieBound book info pages now have more info than ever.

Thanks to National Public Radio, book info pages now feature unique audio content, gathered from NPR's extensive book coverage: reviews, interviews and more.

Longer, richer descriptions, author biographies, and editorial reviews can now be found on thousands of book pages, in addition to reviews from alternative weekly newspapers and conversation starters from ReadingGroupChoices.com.

Check out Jonathan Lethem's new novel Chronic City or David Chang's Momofuku for examples of how all this new stuff fits together!



November 2009 Indie Next List

Out now is November's Indie Next List: new titles hand-picked and recommended by independent booksellers, plus November's Notable books, and past Indie Next List titles Now in Paperback.

We've got a video with John Irving on his new novel Last Night in Twisted River, as well as Stuart Neville's much-praised debut novel The Ghosts of Belfast.

You can find the printed list at an independent bookstore near you. We're also offering a print-at-home version, found on the Indie Next List page directly beneath the carousel of titles, so you can read at home and take it to your local indie.

Happy reading!



The Indie Local First Reading List

Check out these great reads about making and keeping local communities vibrant. Print this list and take it to your local indie bookstore for intriguing titles on shopping, eating and living locally—all recommended by independent booksellers.

Download here

It's also great for book groups looking for meaningful nonfiction reads, and for local business alliances to help prompt and promote local first activities. We've also included links to local first resources, including IndieBound To-Go, where you can find more ways to spread the Shop Local message.



Reading Group Conversation Starters

You may have noticed—hundreds of IndieBound.org book info pages now feature "conversation starter" questions, courtesy of Reading Group Choices.

One teaser question appears on a page, and a click on "read more" brings up a full list of questions intended to provoke conversations among book groups and promote critical reading.

Check out the reading group guide for The Year of the Flood by Margaret Atwood.

Since 1994, Reading Group Choices has been recommending discussible books and providing conversation starters. Annually, it prints a nationally distributed guide to recommended titles and questions—the 2009 15th Anniversary Edition is still available, and the 2010 guide is on the way!

Here are general ideas from Reading Group Choices to stimulate book group discussion:

  • Who are they key characters How do their experiences cause them to grow?
  • How does the setting and time period affect the story?
  • Have any of the events in the story happened in your life?
  • Did the story change your opinion of a place, event, time period, etc.? How so?

Visit ReadingGroupChoices.com for more!



October 2009 Indie Next List

Out now is October's Indie Next List: new titles hand-picked and recommended by independent booksellers, plus October's Notable books, and past Indie Next List titles Now in Paperback.

We've got a video interview with Jeannette Walls on Half Broke Horses, as well as videos for Audrey Niffenegger's new novel Her Fearful Symmetry, Masha Hamilton's 31 Hours, and William Kamkwamba's memoir The Boy Who Harnessed the Wind, with a special message from the author in Malawi.

You can find the printed list at an independent bookstore near you. We're also offering a print-at-home version, found on the Indie Next List page directly beneath the carousel of titles, so you can read at home and take it to your local indie.

Happy reading!



IndieBound Naperville

I wrote about Naperville, Illinois' budding IndieBound Naperville group way back in January. Since then, it's only grown! Naperville News 17 recently explained what it's all about, highlighting their Independents Week celebrations.



Banned Books Week

Support Banned Books Week.

Book censorship of all kinds—even book-burning—continues today. Challenges may come from parents, teachers, clergy members, elected officials, or organized groups, and arise due to objections to language, violence, sexual or racial themes, or religious viewpoint, to name just a few. In 2008, the American Library Association counted 513 challenges. Many other cases go unreported.

Intellectual freedom—the freedom to access information and express ideas, even if the information and ideas might be considered unorthodox or unpopular—provides the foundation for Banned Books Week. Banned Books Week stresses the importance of ensuring the availability of unorthodox or unpopular viewpoints for all who wish to read and access them.

The books featured during Banned Books Week have been targets of attempted bannings. Fortunately, while some books were banned or restricted, in a majority of cases the books were not banned, all thanks to the efforts of librarians, teachers, booksellers, and members of the community to retain the books in the library collections.

Imagine how many more books might be challenged—and possibly banned or restricted—if librarians, teachers, and booksellers across the country did not use Banned Books Week each year to teach the importance of our First Amendment rights and the power of literature, and to draw attention to the danger that exists when restraints are imposed on the availability of information in a free society.

Banned Books Week is sponsored by the American Library Association, the American Booksellers Foundation for Free Expression, the American Booksellers Association, the Association of American Publishers and the National Association of College Stores, and was founded in 1982 to raise awareness of censorship problems in the United States and abroad. For the past 25 years, it has remained the only national celebration of the freedom to read.

With thanks to ABFFE and the the ALA.



The Philly Liars Club

The Philly Liars Club, a Philadelphia-based group of authors who “lie for a living,” have a lot of true things to say about indie bookstores. Since May 2009, the thirteen professional liars of the PLC have been on a Truth Tour of independent bookstore parties, with signings, giveaways, games, and general mayhem. I recently asked them a few questions about the club, their parties, and why they choose indies. I think they were telling me the truth.

How and why did you form the Philly Liars Club?

Jonathan Maberry: The Liars Club formed as a natural outgrowth of a lunch meeting I had with Gregory Frost. We got together to talk about networking and promotion ideas. We swapped emails about how we should gather a group of writers together to do the marketing thing as a team. At the same time we thought about how much fun it would be doing group readings and signings, maybe a few classes… We each invited in some like-minded authors, and soon we had a crew. Because we’re writers and we make stuff up for a living, I suggested that we call our gang the Liars Club.

The PLC authors are pretty diverse. What's the criteria for joining?

Maberry: Certain qualities of mind: optimism even in the face of the publishing industry’s financial troubles; enthusiasm for the craft and the business; a sense of fun; and a willingness to participate in projects that wouldn’t always directly benefit you.

Some have suggested that our requirements for membership also include low personal standards, a fast-and-loose attitude toward the truth, and no outstanding police warrants. But those are probably lies. We decided that there should be an even dozen, which is why (as liars) we have thirteen. Oddly, all thirteen members have never been in the same room at the same time.

How did you come up with the idea for the Truth Tour Parties? Were these an extension of any regular PLC meetings, or a totally different idea?

Don Lafferty: Ha! The "regular" meetings were held in a variety of dark local pubs where we brainstormed ideas. The time always flew by and there seemed to be so much more to talk about, but the positive events so many of us were having at indie booksellers always seemed to be a bright spot in an otherwise uphill battle to reach more readers.

Maberry: It was one of those out of the blue suggestions that was so right that we all tried to lie and claim that we each thought of it. In truth it was cooked up by Marie Lamba, one of our newest members. Marie suggested that we throw parties for indie bookstores. And not pity parties, but real parties with a focus on fun. That felt right and it felt like it would be a blast. We had a meeting and bashed ideas back and forth and what emerged was a solid plan for a monthly party, the Liars Tell the Truth About Independent Bookstores. And we were off…



More Rhode Island Indies

Rhode Island indie shops and restaurants from all over. Get the full experience in eat.shop rhode island:

Tio Mateo's - "Left to my own devices, I might just layer mole over mole and call that a meal. Fortunately for my balanced diet, the fine chefs at Tio Mateo provide a simple and tasty menu of burritos, enchiladas and tacos over which to spread the liquid gold."

7 Ply - "'7 Ply has that air of coolness that compels you to pull over and check it out. If it's seductive to me, imagine how great it is for South County's many committed surfers and skaters."

La Laiterie - "Entomb me in La Laiterie, and I will undoubtedly make a happy passage and be content for all eternity."

Rocket to Mars - "Rocket to Mars is just good, clean, archetypal vintage. Atomic-era relics and childhood memories in plastic, lucite and needlepoint."

Alloy Gallery - "Inside the narrow, spare shop, you'll discover work by eight or ten designers, mostly RISD graduates. Each tall case features deeply original work gleaming in silvers and golds but also featuring enamels, wools and other fun materials."

Lucky Garden - "I can come in and say, 'Hong Kong menu, please.' And then, like the sudden shift to color in The Wizard of Oz, the world becomes a brighter place."

Thanks to eat.shop guides for the independent suggestions. Find more Rhode Island indies in eat.shop rhode island. Find it at an indie bookstore near you.



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