TEXTBLOCK | The bi-monthly newsletter of Weller Book Works | MARCH-APRIL 2019
This year's
Independent Bookstore Day Activities
*Exclusive merchandise
*Face Painting
*Kids Demo: Make your own book!
*Custom Bone Garb 11:00 AM - 2:00 PM
*IBD Passport: Visit all four indie book-store locations (Weller Book Works, The King's English, The Printed Garden, and Booked on 25th) to get your passport stamped - at the end of the day, submit yours to the store where you would like the chance to win 20% off all purchases for one year .
It pays to shop indie!
Indie Bookstores Matter
by Tony Weller
Independent Bookstore Day began in 2015 to recognize the value of local, independently operated bookstores. It’s a one-day national party that takes place on the last Saturday in April, and this year will be on Saturday, April 27th. Each store's celebration and activities are different, like their booksellers and communities. 

Publishers provide exclusive books and literary items that you can only get on Independent Bookstore Day. Not before, and not online, because publishers know indie brick-and-mortar bookstores employ smart readers who discover and illuminate great books. A diverse mix of bookstores guarantees healthy bibliogenetics of culture. 

It has become customary for me to make “Bone Garb” on Indie Bookstore Day. I stencil designs on clothing or other objects for persons with courage and something worthy of risk or improvement. The day is almost play for me but the last few years, I over-committed myself, so this year I am asking those who want something stenciled to arrive between 11:00 AM and 2:00 PM so there is time to complete what we start. To heighten possibilities and increase aleatory suspense, this year we’ll take names for a dice raffle in which someone will win an elaborate Bone design I will make and deliver at a later date. 

Indie Bookstore Day is about bookstores in the physical world, cornucopias of culture, dreams and knowledge, so participation in the dice raffle will require a visit to our store. We’re planning other things too. Watch our social media, read our bi-monthly e-newsletter, Word from Weller’s and join us Saturday, April 27th.

Independent bookstores are community centers run by passionate readers. They are fertile fields where aimless perusal is necessary and rewarding. In a world of tweets and algorithms and pageless digital downloads, bookstores are the crossroads of cultures, providing the distilled essences of the lives of persons local and foreign, living and ancient. Indie bookstores are here to fulfill your intellectual, entertainment, and practical needs.

I am infected with a manageable degree of bibliomania. I do not forget that the original enchantments of books were the information and stories they contained. This magic, the promise or the threat can’t be learned without a reader’s investment, like a magic bean that won’t grow without water. A reader who has been deeply touched, maybe even changed by a great book, sees an unread book as a package of possibility.

When I encounter too many enticing books in too short a period, I become breathless with excitement, and a little anxious about time and the task of prioritization. Smart help in choosing books is a reason I value our booksellers greatly. They are engaged and thoughtful readers, skilled at identifying significant books. When you enter our bookstore, check out the staff favorites display on the right. If you see a book you already love, notice who recommended it; that bookseller may steer you towards other excellent titles.

Last month, we closed for a few days to take inventory. Unlike many retailers, we do it our-selves. The process can be tedious and mind-numbing – beep…beep…beep.. – but the shared duty bonds us, and handling each and every book in a department gives our booksellers a rich sense of what we supply. No one person gets to, or has to, handle it all, but each bookseller gets deep exposure to something. We stock thousands of thoughtfully selected and diverse new, used, and rare books. We hire book enthusiasts, but no two have the same taste or interests. We embrace such culture and we hire knowing that no one knows enough. A bookseller’s education is always incomplete. 

I boast about our staff - they are wonderful persons and smart readers. Only a fool would do this difficult work without affection. For over 30 years, hiring booksellers has been largely my responsibility. I have become better at recognizing those who will thrive in the overwhelming wash of information this work requires. If one doesn’t find exhilaration here, one might feel oppressed by regular encounters with the unknown. But for open eyed and minded readers this flow of ideas has a seductive potential, is an intellectual candy store, a thought garden, a buffet of dreams.
Don't miss our
EXCLUSIVE Independent Bookstore Day MERCHANDISE !

These and other items are only available Saturday, April 27 - not before, and we can't order more after, so don't stay home! Come join us on IBD Saturday!
Our Best Weller's pick is
20% off March & April
Steven Novella with Bob Novella, Cara Santa Maria, Jay Novella, Evan Bernstein
Grand Central Publishing
List price: $30.00
Our Price: $24.00

Reviewed by Emma Fox

When I was a child, the truth was the truth, and a lie was a lie. Even a few years ago I would have laughed at the suggestion of a ‘post-truth’ world; yet here we are.

It seems timely, then, that The Skeptics’ Guide to the Universe: How to Tell What’s Really Real in a World Increasingly Full of Fake should find its way into public discourse amid social media cries of ‘Fake news!’ In this book by Steven Novella and his podcast co-hosts, the Yale University neuroscientist and science educator looks at the various ways we can be manipulated into belief, how facts are skewed, and how our own brains trick us on a moment to moment basis.

Our biology is set up to deceive us. An example given in the book is that we have tiny blind spots in the centers of our eyes, right where the optic nerve is, but no one sees them. This is because the brain prefers a cohesive picture and edits them out for us. This and other mind-blowing facts about the flaws in human perception make up the meat of The Skeptics’ Guide , but due attention is given to classic examples of charlatans, cons, and grifters. Novella discusses the types of logical fallacies that plague us and gives concrete examples to help us spot them. Through the rigorous application of scientific skepticism, Novella takes on the potentially harmful beliefs of alternative medicines as well as the devastating science-denying beliefs of political leaders, such as those of former South African President Thabo Mbeki, whose denial of HIV/AIDS led to the deaths of tens of thousands of South Africans.

Unlike other scientific skeptics, Novella doesn’t require that people give up their non-scientific beliefs, so long as they’re not harming anyone. Harm comes with the application of alternative treatments that aren’t medically sound, or when one who engages in climate change denial is elected to government. Though Novella is not a believer, he writes with compassion for those who are. The ultimate point, however, is that science and belief do not belong together. Science is an objective method of truth-finding; belief, no matter how fervent, will always be subjective.

I read this book with the resolve to challenge myself. As a crystal-hugging, plant-whispering hippie mama, some of my long-held beliefs were put into question, and my sacred cows were brought dangerously close to the slaughter. However, this exercise was good for me; this is a book that sharpens one’s skills of critical thinking, and ultimately arms one to better face a world that’s full of real-seeming fakes and alarmingly real lies.

Staff Reviews
Nana Kwame Adjei-Brenyah
Mariner Books
$14.99 / Paperback

Reviewed by Lila Ann Weller
Friday Black is striking. The tales that comprise it are a powerful collection of narratives woven together through the socio-political horrors of day-to-day life in a racist, capitalist, utilitarian nation. Adjei-Brenyah's writing is artfully blunt. A dark, sometimes wry humor drives the tone of many of the stories - one that in my experience accompanies a sense of hopelessness which contributes to an intensely intimate and real feeling, regardless of whether the story in question is contemporary realism or science fiction set in a near future.
Martha Wells
$15.99 / Paperback

Reviewed by Chance Miller
After reading her novella All Systems Red , Martha Wells has skyrocketed to the top of my favorite authors list. Her prose is beautifully complex and layered, yet assertive and succinct.

All Systems Red paints an image of the self-proclaimed “MurderBot,” a rogue SecUnit who would rather watch its soap opera-esque series than be a tool used by planetary corporations. However, when literal and figurative monsters attack its current team of soft, slow humans, it must bend beyond the scope of its security assignment and personal comfort zone to keep them alive.

Haunted by a past it can’t fully remember, let alone process, it must come to terms with its unique form of humanity. Bitter but awkward, it doesn’t know its place in the universe or even how to interact with others. Where did it come from? What is it? Where is it going? Turning the fight in ambushes and existentialism alike, All Systems Red is not likely to disappoint. In this first novella of four, Wells blends excitement with hard hitting themes about gender identity, artificial intelligence, and what it means to be human.

Full of mystery, suspense, an exotic and expansive universe, and direct, amazing writing, All Systems Red has something for every science fiction fan.
Benjamin Balint
W. W. Norton
Hardcover / $26.95
Julie Dobrow
W. W. Norton
Hardcover / $27.95
Reviewed by José Knighton

Superficially a combined scrutiny of the evolution of Franz Kafka's and Emily Dickinson's literary legacies would seem absurd in the extreme. But these two deep readings of their individual worlds—European Jewish diaspora and Puritan New England—reveal startling parallels in the maze of occurrences that led to their eventual afterlives at the center of modern literature.

Neither writer's work was known, much less renowned during their lifetimes: Kafka published only a handful of short stories; Dickinson only seven poems (most of them anonymously,) and neither would currently be icons of the world literary canon without the absolute, lifelong dedication of their editorial and promotional champions, Max Brod for Kafka and Mabel Loomis Todd for Dickinson. As well, both of their advocates would have their own contemporarily successful literary careers overshadowed into obscurity by their devotion to their singular enigmas.

Max Brod famously refused to burn Kafka's manuscripts and correspondences as the author insisted in a letter he left for Brod after his death. Emily Dickinson's sister, Lavinia, did burn Emily's letters, which made Mabel Loomis Todd's search for Emily's unknown but likely correspondents very difficult when she collected and edited the first volume of Emily's letters. Lavinia did, however, give Mabel an amazing trove of poems, insisting she publish them "immediately." Mabel eventually edited and published three collections of Emily's unusual poetry, as well as her collected letters. For Kafka, Max compiled and published three unfinished novels, his haunting stories, and his letters.

Both Max's and Mabel's posthumous publishing and promotional endeavors for Kafka and Dickinson, respectively, were complicated by each editor's personal romantic obsession, and were, almost inevitably, mired in legal morasses that would be handed down to their descendants. In a generational chain-reaction: when Max's wife died he became romantically involved with his much younger editorial assistant, Esther Hoffe; when Max died he bequeathed his manuscripts, including Kafka's, to his beloved Esther; then, when Esther passed away, those papers came into the possession of her daughter Eva. Eventually, Eva Hoffe wound up in court, repeatedly, with Kafka's ghost in Tel Aviv. 

Mabel Loomis Todd—out of step with Puritan New England as a female travel-lecturer and musical performer—also had an infamous and enduring love affair with an older, married man. His name was Austin Dickinson and he happened to be Emily's brother. Mabel outlived both Austin and Emily. When Mabel died she passed the camphor wood trunk full of Emily's poems, given to her by Emily's sister, Lavinia, to her own daughter Millicent. Mabel had faced legal challenges from Emily's sister-in-law, wife of Austin, Susan Dickinson. Eventually, her daughter Millicent faced off with Susan's daughter Mattie.

Kafka would hardly have been surprised to find Romance and The Law so inevitably entangled. Kafka's Last Trial and After Emily recount both of these sagas in historically immersive detail, making it clear that without Max and Mabel the writings of Kafka and Dickinson may have remained unknown.
New Books to Look For
Hailed as a "dark fantasy take on The Goose Girl " this Young Adult novel by Crystal Smith releases March 12, 2019.

pre-order your copy at
The Great Great Salt Lake Monster Mystery , Hardcover / $19.99*
by Dr. Bonnie K Baxter and Jaimi Butler is currently the only kid's book about our Great Salt Lake - and it's now at Weller Book Works!

UPCOMING EVENT: Join the authors this April for a special look at the ecology of the mysterious lake our city is named for. We'll do a science experiment and other fun activities! Date and time details will be announced in our e-newsletter and on our social media. Stay tuned!

*Not currently available online. Please visit our store or call 801-328-2586 to order.
News & Announcements
Closed Easter Sunday
April 21, 2019

We'll open again Monday, April 22 
during normal business hours. 
Get your tickets for the
Tickets go on sale MONDAY, APRIL 1 for the Reading the West Book Awards Celebration, sponsored by the Mountains and Plains Independent Booksellers' Association. The celebration will be held FRIDAY, MAY 3 from 6:30 PM - 8:30 PM at the Viridian Event Center in West Jordan. The event will include a c atered meal, open bar, live music, gift bag, and the awards presentation. Details on ticket prices and where to purchase will be announced in our e-newsletter and on our social media.

Be a Champion of
Children's Book Week
April 29 - May 5

Follow us! @wellerbookworks
Store Events

Breakfast Club with lead new book buyer Catherine Weller is every Tuesday from 10:00 - 11:00 AM at The Coffee Connection. Join her for book news and casual conversation - no reading requirement!

Lit Knit is a crafting circle held every second and fourth Wednesday of the month from 6:00 - 8:00 PM. Crafters of all kinds are welcome to join us for crafting and friendly conversation.

Collectors' Book Salon Interesting people with varying reading tastes gather at the Collectors' Book Salon every last Friday of the month from January through October. Glasses are filled and socializing begins around 6:30 PM, and at 7:15 an invited bibliophile shares her or his particular bibliopassion.
Professor of Law James Holbrook and Valeri Craigle, Head of Digital Publishing at the University of Utah S.J. Quinney College of Law will explore the dangers of cultural imperialism in foreign policy and the unintended consequences of the Iraq War.

A Q&A and refreshments will follow. The lecture is free, open to the public, and made possible by a grant from Utah Humanities.
Edward Lueders investigates language and ways of knowing in The Salt Lake Papers: From the Years in the Earthscapes of Utah . In varied ways, Lueders' small book of intellectual musings speak to the necessity of the humanities in the modern age and explore how a landscape can shape what is observant in each of us.
Calling all kids! Kathryn E. Jones will read her silly, sensationally fun story of a moose who likes to rhyme. Put on your antlers and come listen to Mooseberry Mooseberry Gooseberry Pie .
Join local author Jeremy Pugh for the release of 100 Things to Do in Salt Lake City Before You Die, 2nd Edition , an updated guide to all the amazing things to do, see, and taste in the four-season playground we call home.
J. B. Nelson will read from his science fiction fantasy, Exodus, Book I . A portal between Earth and Xaliud has opened after being closed for a thousand years. Lord Luxeniah and the officers of Alpha Z must unite the Northern Kingdoms against the threat of a Coltrous invasion. If they can overcome the apathy and corruption of their leaders, they might stand a chance.
Rasoul Shams, director of the Rumi Poetry Club, will discuss transience in the poetry of Omar Khayyam, from Persian and English sources. This Books & Bridges lecture is free, open to the public, and made possible by a grant from Utah Humanities.
In another insightful Books & Bridges, Steven Peck will discuss "How Evolution Creates Novelty in the Universe." This lecture is free, open to the public, and made possible by a grant from Utah Humanities.
WESTMINSTER COLLEGE: Celebrate Utah's poetry at the Utah Poetry Festival, 9:30 AM - 6:00 PM.

INDEPENDENT BOOKSTORE DAY! Join in the festivities at Weller Book Works from 10:00 AM - 4:00 PM!
*Put this on your calendars: 
Join authors Greer Cheshire, Amy Irvine, and Steven Trimble in a discussion of Ellen Melloy's posthumously published collection of essays, Seasons: Desert Sketches , due for release April 16, 2019. To pre-order your copy, visit us online or call 801-328-2586.
Collectors' Book Salon
Introduction by Tony Weller

Since their inception in 2012, we’ve hosted more than 75 Collectors’ Book Salons in which we've heard stories and learned from more than 60 bibliophiles. I meet interesting, remarkable and smart persons here, and once a month, we have a gathering for those who share esteem for old, collectible, obscure, or fancy books.
Book collector, writer, and antiquarian Daniel Davison was our invited speaker at the February Salon last year, which occurred on a stormy Friday. That day was cold and wet and Davison’s entertaining presentation was heard by only a few, so we have invited him back for another Collector’s Chat on March 29th.

Daniel Davison is a fascinating speaker with an awesome memory. His enthusiasm for books is palpable and contagious. He will focus his Collectors’ Chat on the 1755 publication of Johnson's Dictionary of the English Language . Davison will recount anecdotes from the life of Dr. Samuel Johnson (1709-1784), renowned scholar, littérateur, and lexicographer, and will share famous Sam Johnson bons mots. Davison will also show books and facsimiles from his private collection.
The Collectors’ Book Salon in April will feature our friend, colleague, and noted collector Brent Ashworth. This Salon will be a little different because a book about Brent’s life and amazing books, papers, and antiques was published since he last spoke at a Salon in 2016. Show and Tell: A Unique Journey through History From the Life of Brent Ashworth by Traci McFarland Fieldsted was released in 2017. So, the April Salon will be somewhat like an author event. Brent Ashworth, subject of the book, will show select treasures from his remarkable collection and tell us about of them. Ms Fieldsted may join us as well. Socializing begins at 6:30 and the Collector’s Chat featuring Brent begins at 7:15.
Rare Books
A very well preserved English language contemporary edition of Fidel Castro’s 1960 Declaration of Cuba from the 26th of July Movement of Cuba, printed in September of that year. Very nice but we wish someone hadn’t first stapled this into something by the rear cover and later, removed it hastily. Small edge tears do not affect content. “…make common cause with all the oppressed, colonized, exploited peoples…” 

Declaration of Cuba , $35
A very nice copy of Major Gordon Casserly’s circa 1914 Manual of Training for Jungle and River Warfare . Casserly is best known for his Life in an Indian Outpost from the same era. This scarce little volume has a few old library marks but was barely used. Black and white photos and good diagrams. Rare. 

Manual of Training for Jungle and River Warfare , $300
It’s hard to imagine more Far Side than one gets in the two folio volume set, The Complete Far Side, 1980-1994 . Over 1200 pages of Gary Larson, well printed, nicely bound and in slipcase. 

The Complete Far Side, 1980-1994 , $125
Beginning in the mid-19th century, New York publisher Street & Smith produced hundreds of adventure pulps or dime novels. Cheap construction caused many of these acidic-paper books to deteriorate all by themselves, and extra fast in rough hands. We have a great copy of Bicycle and Gun, or The Search for Seven Diamonds: A Story of Adventure in the Wilds of Mexico , No. 79 of Street and Smith’s Bound-to-Win Library, printed in 1904 and written by Cornelius Shea. 

Bicycle and Gun, or The Search for Seven Diamonds: A Story of Adventure in the Wilds of Mexico , $100
The Eavesdroppers by Samuel Dash, Robert E. Knowlton, and Richard F. Schwartz. Scarce 1959 Rutgers University Press book on surveillance, this copy inscribed by Dash to the Harvard Volunteer Defenders. In dust jacket. 

The Eavesdroppers , $175
Chicago publisher Max Stein published detective pulps in the teens of last century. Of course they don’t survive often. We’ve acquired a good looking copy of Mata Hari, the Kaiser’s Female Spy from The Detective Series, circa 1915. Sharp looking but covers are loose.

Mata Hari, the Kaiser’s Female Spy , $75
A jacketed first edition of mercenary Rolf Steiner’s rare 1978 memoir, The Last Adventurer . A good deal at $650.

The Last Adventurer , $650
"Te Deum Laudanum," a six line poem by Christopher Morley first printed in The Baker Street Journal in 1949. Here printed in a single-fold paper 16mo edition of 150 copies for members of The Grill-parzer Club of California, in 1987.  

"Te Deum Laudanum," $25
See something you like? Call 801-328-2586 and ask for the Rare Book department, or email rarebooks@wellerbookworks.com. We ship anywhere!
Thank you for supporting your local independent bookstore.
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