A Novel Experience: The Newsletter

It's 2017! We still read! 


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Dear Friends of A Novel Experience,  
      What a way to go into the New Year! We are so appreciative of your support during the holidays--we had a record-breaking month. Thank you, everyone. The best part of the holidays is seeing folks from near and far who stop by and catch us up with what's been happening in their lives--from Jewell and Jeremy's visit with their over-the-top Christmas present to each other (that would be Elliot) to our once-a-year customer Rebecca from Healdsburg, California. We love seeing our "regulars" who stop by to check if they can snag any used George R.R. Martin titles (sorry, they go out as soon as we shelve them!) and everyone who keeps us in the loop with local news--and, gives us suggestions for books to stock.

      For the New Year, we are going to focus on a couple of initiatives. First, we're going to read. We're going to read...books. During the holidays, we rediscovered how setting aside our gadgets and opening a book was remarkably calming. No humming, buzzing, ring tones, or anticipatory distractions...a delicious satisfaction in confounding the Machine's algorithms. We were reminded again about how monumentally noisy our lives have become. Try this for 10 minutes at a stretch and see what you think.

      Our second plan is to offer more opportunities for face-to-face sharing, conversation, and civil discourse. We're going to do more of our "one-time" non-fiction book groups (see below for January 22nd's title). In February we are going to convene our first "Living Room Conversation"--it's a model that's being employed across the country for substantive, energetic, and respectful discussion on  topics of national importance.  We're looking forward to Ryan Cumming's first classical guitar concert in February. And, we always invite you to join one of our monthly book groups--they are fabulous opportunities to share the love--and challenge--of ideas kindled by a book.

New Renovated Store!
BELIEVE: The store before renovation--next up:
The Old Zebulon School!

      Big news! The first fundraising campaign to get a roof on the old Zebulon School was a blow-out success! Our community raised over $120,000 to begin the renovation of this grand old lady. Once finished, it will serve as a nexus for the arts, business and civic uses. The most amazing thing was the spirit that suffused the three month campaign--it was truly inspiring. We'll keep you updated!

                                                               One of our favorite images: Ethel by Jan Fields

      Entries for the 2017 "Dog and Pony Show" photography exhibition are coming in--the deadline is January 9th and we'd love to see your images. (We'd love for the winner to take those three donkeys as well...)  See below for more information.

      This month in our Gallery we are presenting "Humans of Pike" thanks to the generous gift of prints taken by photographer Brant Barrett of South Carolina--he was a 2016 SlowExposures Artist in Residence and "Pop-Up" participant. Come see who he captured for posterity--Brant wants his subjects to take home the prints at the close of the show.

        As always, stop by and visit and let us know what you're reading!

                                            All of us at A Novel Experience




Let us help you keep your New Year's Resolution! 

     Shaunasee has brainstormed a clutch of familiar resolutions and picked some great titles to assist in their successful conclusion. Advisory Alert! Don't let the term "resolutions" scare you--or dissuade you from trying to do something challenging. We salute you for considering a life-enhancing project. And, we have the books to help on the journey--from getting organized to faith strengthening. Check out the front table for some inspiration!

A One-Time Book Group: Jan. 22

     It was an amazing--and surprising--election and we have a critically-acclaimed book to dig into the "why" and "what next" for our nation. Whether your candidate won or lost, this phenomenon is worthy of discussion. Read "Strangers in Their Own Land: Anger and Mourning on the American Right" by Arlie Russell Hochschild and come discuss over refreshments. We're discounting this book 15%--the book is now going into its fifth printing and we just got more copies! See you then!
Strangers in Their Own Land: Anger and Mourning on the American Right by Arlie Russell Hochschild
 List Price: 27.95 less 15% discount for attendees

CALL FOR ENTRIES: The Dog and Pony Show 


     Come and be a part of a tradition--and leap into the newest version of our annual photography exhibition that celebrates our relationship with two beloved species. We've done dogs and now, we're adding equines. If you have a great shot of a dog, or a horse, or both, enter it for this juried show that will hang at A Novel Experience during the month of February. We are pleased to announce that author, photographer, and Emmy winner Ray Sullivan will be our 2017 Juror--and, he'll be on hand at the Reception to comment on the work and sign his book, Zen and the Art of Dog Walking!

How to Enter

     Here's how you enter: Pick up to 4 of your favorite images. UPLOAD them by going to the link below. Because we know that the price of hay is through the roof this year, we're not charging an entry fee! We'll announce the Juror's picks by Jan 16. Print them and drop them by the store (or ship them to us at 426 Thomaston Street, Zebulon, GA 30295.) Note: Plan to either frame them or mat them--we'll hang them alongside wonderful dog and pony quotes for a fantastic exhibit--our biggest and most popular show. Come to the reception and enjoy!

The Prizes

First Prize: Choose either a blue ribbon or 3 donkeys (the winner must pick them up at Karen and Tom's farm)

Second Prize: A red ribbon or 2 donkeys.

Third Prize: A yellow ribbon or 1 donkey.

                                                                 Horse Line by Colton Vincent


                                                                Adoption Day by Jessica Van Kirk 
January 2017 Calendar


Please note our new closing time: 7:00 Monday through Sat.  

January at the GALLERY: HUMANS OF PIKE featuring the photography of Brant Barrett 
     Brant spent a week in Pike County last Spring as an Artist in Residence--his tenure was notable for his skill at capturing great images of Pike County residents. Brant was up at dawn and canvassed Pike, as well as surrounding counties. This month we've hung the lovely results of his exploration at A Novel Experience! Brant has asked that the subjects of his images be given the print at the conclusion of the show. The rub: we recognize lots of the faces, but not all! Please help us identify them by stopping by and getting the word out! Thanks, so much, Brant--hope to see you in 2017 at SlowExposures!  

JANUARY 9TH: MIDNIGHT DEADLINE to enter The Dog and Pony Show!



WE'RE OPEN ON DR. MARTIN LUTHER KING KING, JR. DAY! Monday, January 16! Come on by and watch the Parade as it goes by the store (about 1-ish--we'll send out a blast when we know more).

THURSDAY, JANUARY 5: Our DROP-IN, GUILT-FREE BOOK CLUB reads and discusses "A Man Called Ove" by Fredrik Backman.  Join us at 7:00 pm.
(It's a fabulous antidote to cynicism according to Chris.)  And, we'll finish choosing our 2017 titles! It's a great time to start book club--join us. Our February book will be "The Sport of Kings" by C.E. Morgan.

Our meeting of the Spirituality Book group meets at 1 p.m. We'll be discussing Sunlit Absence: Silence, Awareness, and Contemplation by Martin Laird through January.  We continue our spiritual sojourning...
We'll miss RYAN CUMMINGS for January but he's coming in February on the 10th--mark your new calendar! Great classical guitar at 7 pm.
meets Friday, January 6th! Write. Share. Reach.  
The Knit-a-Longs are here to purl, slip, and practice their knitting--they are also great helpers for those who are just getting the hang of it! Come at 10 am with your project and your questions!  And, TUESDAY EVENINGS (EXCEPT the first week--then, it's WEDNESDAY): 
That's Tuesday evenings (and the first Wednesday night) from 6 to 8 to do the knitting thing! Come on out!   
 TUESDAY, JANUARY 10: THE ARTIST'S WAY.  Our own Susan Fields Comer (bookseller and accomplished artist) will lead a 12-week course using the perennial bestseller "The Artist's Way". Books are still available at our regular "book club" 15% discount. The program includes daily activities that will motivate and jump-start your creative juices. The Tuesday discussions will be at 4:00 p.m. and last approximately an hour each time.
 Come see Valera's newest needlework creations!
Meets at 7:00 p.m. Shaunasee welcomes all fans of great Young Adult reads. This month the group will be reading And I Darken by Kiersten White.  And, check out our Nerd Herd FB page!
Join us at noon! This month's book: The Muralist by B.A. Shapiro.  Next month: "Our Souls at Night" by Kent Haruf. 

SATURDAY, JANUARY 21st: The Classics Book Group for January is reading Naguib Mahfouz' "Palace Walk" (winner of the 1988 Nobel Prize).   

We'll meet for a discussion of "Strangers in Their Own Land: Anger and Mourning on the American Right" by Arlie Russell Hochschild.