WORD FROM WELLERS | OCTOBER 2020
A Word from Catherine
This is a tough time for business - escalating social injustice and the search for remedies to centuries long problems while Covid-19 and its resulting economic downturn have caused brick and mortar retail sales to plummet across the country, restaurants to close at an alarming rate, and created the need to adapt and adopt new business models without a lot of capacity to do so. It’s tough. I know you know because I’m constantly asked, “How is the bookstore doing?” by concerned friends and customers. Thank you for asking.

We’re ok. The WBW staff has stayed healthy and we’ve not received too much pushback on our measures to ensure we stay that way. We’re scraping by, though there are times when it’s been downright scary. At the same time, we’ve been heartened by the people who’ve reached out to us with messages of support while also being willing to buy a book or a gift certificate. That’s why we’re still open. People have chosen to demonstrate their values by buying from Weller Book Works and for that we’re humbled and grateful. We can’t say it enough, Thank You.

To be blunt, locally owned businesses can’t survive on Instagram photos and fond feelings. Don’t get me wrong, our hearts and minds are nourished by such things: A happy memory, an assertion of value, a conversation about a good book helps us begin the day with a smile and can make a bad day better. But locally owned businesses are businesses with staff to support and bills to pay. We can’t do that without sales.

Many businesses are now asking for donations and running GoFundMe campaigns. By all means, donate to them. I have. However, I guarantee no business wants to undertake such measures. Small business people are passionate about their offerings. We want to share them with others. We’d rather support ourselves with sales of the goods and services we provide.

So, as I said in March and April, please, don’t just say we’ll emerge from the pandemic changed. Envision the change you want to see and work for that change. Vote. Donate to your preferred causes. Do charitable work. If you have the resources – and I know many don’t right now -- buy from the businesses you want to remain open. Act like your community is depending on it, because it is.


Rarities
By Tony Weller

In 1763, the sons of Johann L. Frisch (1666-1743) finished the final part of the engraved series of bird illustrations he had begun in 1733, it contained 255 skillful renderings of birds. We recently acquired 18 nicely framed hand-colored engravings from this series. 10 of them are of parrots and the miscellaneous other birds number eight. Loosely translated from German, the title was Introduction to Birds in Germany and a Selection of Birds, some unusual, from other Places, Their Characteristics shown in Natural Color. The publication was considered the first monumental German book of Ornithology. The images measure 20 x 32 centimeters, the frames, about 34 x 50 cm. Since all birds are not equal, neither are our prices. These 18th century engravings are available individually for prices ranging from $350 to $850, depending on the magnificence of the birds.
Events
SATURDAY OCTOBER 3
2 PM

Yamile Saied Mendez
virtually discusses Furia
with Christian McKay Heidicker

We're delighted to host a virtual discussion with Yaile Saied Martinez about her new book, Furia, with Christian McKay Heidicker!

Rosario, Argentina: Camila Hassan lives a double life. At home, she is a careful daughter, living within her mother’s narrow expectations, in her rising-soccer-star brother’s shadow, and under the abusive rule of her short-tempered father. On the field, she is La Furia, a powerhouse of skill and talent. Furia is heart-soaring romance, breathless action on the pitch, and the story of a girl’s journey to make her life her own.



WEDNESDAY OCTOBER 7
7 PM

Becky Wallace and Abigail Johnson

We're excited to be hosting a virtual conversation with Becky Wallace and Abigail Johnson as they talk about their new books, Far From Normal and Girl on the Run. The discussion will be livestreamed on our Facebook page. Join the live stream on our Facebook page on the 7th!

Far From Normal...

Maddie McPherson is sick of Normal―both her hometown of Normal, Illinois and being the ‘normal’ sibling. But when she lands a summer internship with a sports marketing firm, she finally has a chance to crawl out of her genius brother’s shadow, and to get a glowing letter of recommendation to secure her admission to her dream college. When the company tasks her with repairing the image of teen soccer phenom Gabriel Fortunato, she wonders if she’s set herself up for embarrassment. Gabriel is a tabloid magnet, who’s best-known for flubbing Italy’s World Cup hopes. Falling for a footballer is exactly how CalaMaddie would botch this internship, but with the firm pressuring her to get the job done, perhaps her heart is worth risking?


Katelyn wants the best for her widowed mom. Surprising her with an online dating profile seems like a good idea It isn’t. Katelyn’s mom hasn’t just been acting overprotective all these years–she’s been hiding something. And now that anyone can find them online , Katelyn is in a desperate race against time to uncover the secrets of the past–not only her mom’s, but also her own. As Katelyn’s world unravels , she begins to trust the guy who brought this nightmare to her door and to doubt the one person she never thought she would. Because her mom has been hiding for a reason: she’s been waiting.

THURSDAY OCTOBER 8
3 PM

Edward Power and Craig Gordon in Conversation: Dragons in the Snow

Join us for a livestreamed conversation between Edward Power and Craig Gordon, discussing their new book, Dragons in the Snow: Avalanche Detectives and The Race to Beat Death in the Mountains.

Edward Power sets the reader down in the midst of a February 2017 blizzard that raked Utah’s Uinta Range as nine snowboarders made their way into the backcountry for a day of intense adventure. As the boarders were taking their first turns, expert avalanche forecaster Craig Gordon was tracking the storm and its impact, posting one of the most dire avalanche forecasts and warnings in his career.

Dragons in the Snow delves into the research and science behind avalanche forecasting and rescue, weaving in the art of backcountry skiing as well as dramatic tales of avalanche accidents, rescues, and recoveries. And he paints compelling portraits of the men and women who have made the study of avalanches their life’s work.

MONDAY OCTOBER 19
7 PM

A reading and Q&A of
with Sahar Mustafah

This event was made possible with support from Weller Book Works, Book Club, and Utah Humanities.

A uniquely American story told in powerful, evocative prose, The Beauty of Your Face navigates a country growing ever more divided. Afaf Rahman, the daughter of Palestinian immigrants, is the principal of Nurrideen School for Girls, a Muslim school in the Chicago suburbs. One morning, a shooter―radicalized by the online alt-right―attacks the school.

As Afaf listens to his terrifying progress, we are swept back through her memories: the bigotry she faced as a child, her mother’s dreams of returning to Palestine, and the devastating disappearance of her older sister that tore her family apart. Still, there is the sweetness of the music from her father’s oud, and the hope and community Afaf finally finds in Islam.

The Beauty of Your Face is a profound and poignant exploration of one woman’s life in a nation at odds with its ideals, an emotionally rich novel that encourages us to reflect on our shared humanity. If others take the time to really see us, to look into our face, they will find something indelibly familiar, something achingly beautiful gazing back.

TUESDAY OCTOBER 20
7 PM

A reading and Q&A of
with Gerald Elias

This event was made possible with support from Weller Book Works, Book Club, and Utah Humanities.

From the pen of Salt Lake City novelist Gerald Elias, author of the critically acclaimed Daniel Jacobus mystery series, comes his first thriller, The Beethoven Sequence-- the story of a mentally imbalanced political outsider who makes an improbable ascent to the presidency of the United States.

A rural Colorado machine shop mechanic, Layton Stolz is obsessed with the music of Beethoven and its message of freedom for mankind. Building a cult-like empire of acolytes, by the time he is elected president his message has metastasized into a cancerous ideology, and his political machine is bent upon eliminating his opponents.

The Beethoven Sequence is truly a novel suited to our turbulent times. Conceived well before the current White House administration, it contains prescient parallels of what could happen when political power, supported by a critical mass of indoctrinated acolytes, goes unchecked.
Join Catherine and the crafters of Weller Book Works on Zoom for 40 minutes of casual bookish conversation and snacks. All crafts and crafters are welcome. BYOB.

Email catherine@wellerbookworks.com for an invitation to attend.

Lit Knit is held the 2nd and 4th Wednesdays of monthly.



 Bookseller Thoughts and Reviews

By Raven Leilani
Farrar, Straus and Giroux
9780374194321
hardcover $26.00
Reviewed by Tamsen Maloy

In its hardcover first edition, Luster is only 240 pages but it packs in so much emotional heft and so many key moments, moments of quiet beauty and truth as well as moments of utter horror, it has the impact of an epic. In it, Leilani explores trauma, race, healing, and what goes unsaid in relationships.

Luster is one of the best novels I’ve read this year and I recommend it to anyone who likes stories that explore non-traditional human relationships and the caprice of real-world experience.

Zondervan
Paperback $19.99
9780310113607
Recommended by Lila Ann Weller

The History of American Christianity and its relationship to social justice is complex, to say the least. Sometimes the source of personal spiritual power for marginalized peoples, and often times a source of social and systemic oppression, the impact that American Christian churches and culture has on the fight for social justice is immense, and when not empowering, deeply insidious.

The Color of Compromise is a many-layered, nuanced history of the social and systemic structures that cumulatively grew the American racism we know today, and a critique of the many contexts in which these structures are both consciously and unconsciously upheld. This book is not anti-Christian, anti-faith, or anti-spirituality, simply a justice-focused journey through the presence and influence of American Christianity.

Ranging from the powerful evolution of Black spirituality that sprung from the ongoing violence of colonialism, to the negative impact of the mid-20th century Christian principle that "personal betterment" is more productive than community support, this is an extremely broad, yet specific and driven overview of Christian culture. To the notable extent that we are a tacitly Christian nation, it's an analysis of American culture as a whole;Tisby seamlessly connects cultural elements and contexts that many--particularly white and white Christian Americans-- may not see through the limited experience of our day-to-day lives, leaving us with a valuable framework through which we can examine ourselves, our influences, and our choices in order to think and act more consciously.

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Weller Book Works | 801-328-2586 | books@wellerbookworks.com | wellerbookworks.com
Store hours: Monday-Thursday, 11 AM-8 PM | Friday-Saturday, 10 AM-9 PM | Sunday, 12 PM-5 PM