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Our physical store is closed, but you can still get many books shipped to you directly from our warehouse. Here's how:  
1. Only order titles with an inventory status of "Available at the Warehouse" 
2. Select the " UPS/USPS Ground Shipping" option
3. Pay with a credit card

We are happy to fulfill other orders, but will not be able to process them until at least May 4. Other options: try  or - keep it indie!
Shelf Stable: April 19
“But all shall be well, and all shall be well, and all manner of things shall be well.”
–Julian of Norwich
In my last note to you all, I wrote that I had revisited one of the great poets of ancient Rome. Long used to looking back at such old and mostly forgotten things, I have noticed that I am not alone in turning now to the past. Why this should be, I cannot exactly say. But it seems that the present will not now do. Perhaps searching for guidance, understanding – something, anything of a kind – we have to look a long way back. 

I was reminded of all this on Monday morning, when my aunt and uncle told our family about their virtual Easter Sunday service. The minister had shared the story of Julian of Norwich, an English mystic of the 14 th and 15 th centuries. Having fallen severely ill and received the last rites of the Church, she saw a series of visions of the Passion of Christ. When she had recovered, she described her visions in a work that has become known as the Revelations of Divine Love , believed to be the earliest surviving book in the English language to be written by a woman. 

Following her illness, she lived in seclusion as an anchoress in a cell attached to St. Julian’s Church in Norwich, from which she drew the name that she gave to her works. Beyond this, we know little more. She was a contemporary of Chaucer. She is known to have offered prayers and provided counsel from her cell to those seeking guidance, many of whom must have come great distances to hear her. A handful of pennies and twenty shillings were left to her by four other residents of Norwich in their wills. Representations of her in stained glass and other artworks often depict her with a cat at her side. But her birth, family, education, even her real name – none of the rest is known.

And yet we know much, after all. We know that she would have been a child when the Black Death reached her city in 1348, which may have gone on to kill a third to more than a half of the city’s population. We know too that widespread instability during her lifetime led to a major uprising, when the “Peasants’ Revolt” of 1381 overwhelmed her city. We know that proposed reformers were burnt at the stake just outside the city as she lived a life of quiet and prolonged isolation, poverty, chastity, and devotion within. And we know the words she left us throughout all of this, described as spoken to her by Christ during her illness. They were words that I first found in Eliot’s “ Little Gidding ,” having been transposed by more than half a millennium: 

“But all shall be well, and all shall be well, and all manner of things shall be well.”  

I do not know if that is true. But those who sought her guidance in her own time took comfort in these words. Whether they spoke to her through her curtained window or over the wall into the small garden she might have kept, they took comfort in the words she set down and passed on to us, and in the many more that we cannot now know. Those in centuries since have done so in their turn. I hope we may now.

James @ PSB 
Don't miss our next virtual event!
Old Hollywood: From Page to Screen
Sound was the most important change in movie making as the new decade began - although the first feature film is considered to be  The Jazz Singer  was made in 1927  - by 1930 nearly all movies were Talkies.  

One of the most important stars of this period and who is credited with saving Twentieth Century Fox Studio was Shirley Temple.  Starring in many literary adaptations such as: Damon Runyun’s  Little Miss Marker  (1934);  Stand Up and Cheer ! (1934), based on a story by Will Rogers; Rudyard Kipling’s  Wee Willie Winkie  (1937);  Heidi  (1937) from the story by Johanna Spyri;  The Little Princess  (1939) based on the beloved 1905 book by Frances Hodgson Burnett. Temple was, by most estimates, a true genius.  Her tap dance routines with Bill Bojangles Robinson are nothing short of brilliant:  The Little Colonel  (1935) book by Anne Fellows Johnston and  The Littlest Rebel  (1935), a 1909 Civil War drama by Edward Peple.
Dubbed the Boy Wonder when he became vice-president of production at M-G-M at age 25, Irving Thalberg had been a sickly child spending a great deal of his youth reading books. His love of literature came into play as a movie producer and under his watch M-G-M produced adaptations of:  Mutiny on the Bounty  (1935) novel by Charles Nordhoff and James Norman Hall; 1936's  Romeo and Juliet;   The Good Earth  (1937) by Pearl S. Buck;  Private Lives  (1931), play by Noel Coward;  Grand Hotel  (1932) bestseller by Vicki Baum, and  Anna Christie  (1930) based on the play by Eugene O’Neill and starring the luminous Greta Garbo.
The late 1930’s are considered the Golden Age of Hollywood and nothing cements that honor more than the year 1939. Some of the movies made from books that year include:   Wuthering Heights , from the classic by Emily Bronte with Laurence Olivier as Heathcliff;  Good-bye Mr. Chips  by James Hilton starring Oscar winner Robert Donat;  Beau Geste  with Gary Cooper, based on the 1924 novel by P. C.Wren; Frank L. Baum’s  The Wizard of Oz Destry Rides Again  book by Max Brand, and one of the biggest box-office hits of all time: Margaret Mitchell’s  Gone with the Wind with Oscar winner Vivien Leigh and Clark Gable.

Check out these websites:   
Porter Square Books for books on the movies.
Turner Classic Movies:

Next up:  Technicolor and the Birth of Noir: the 1940’s.
Need some inspiration?
Earlier today, I had to go on a grocery run for essential items and I passed by this beautiful cherry blossom tree in Somerbridge (Somerville+Cambridge). This has inspired me to finally read the book about cherry blossoms that I've been putting off : The Sakura Obsession by Naoko Abe. Another book that would really go well with the cherry blossom theme today is I Love You So Mochi by Sarah Kuhn out in paperback on May 5th, but available for pre-order today!

If you can get out for a short walk this week, I bet you'll catch some cherry blossom sights around the neighborhood. I recommend taking some close-up shots of the flower so you can draw/paint/sketch them to life and hold onto the beautiful flowers forever.

Some suggestions for the sketchbooks:
  1. Moleskine Limited Edition Notebook Sakura
  2. Moleskine Art Sketchbook

Note : "In Japan, cherry blossoms are called sakura, a special flower for the people and the country. Cherry blossoms are a symbolic flower of the spring, a time of renewal, and the fleeting nature of life. Their life is very short. After their beauty peaks around two weeks, the blossoms start to fall."
Bedtime Stories
Kate continued reading from The Hobbit last night, and even manged to get Jolkein Rolkein Rolkein Tolkein to guest star. A fun as that is, Kate has a much better singing voice than the bard of Middle Earth, so don't miss the songs.
And of course, don't forget to meet us over at our Instagram story at 8:45pm for tonight's live bedtime reading!
Support Cafe Zing baristas!
Although Cafe Zing is its own business separate from ours, we really don't see it that way: Zing workers are part of the Porter Square Books family. They keep us well supplied - very well supplied - with caffeine, kindness, and some great tunes. Sometimes they give us staff picks; sometimes we give them exact change because we've bought the same, perfect, comforting, delicious beverage twice a day five days a week for how long, now?

They're our family, and they could use a hand. If you are able, please considering donating to the Cafe Zing GoFundMe; 100% of proceeds go to baristas. What might you have spent at Zing over the past weeks if it we were in normal times? If that $10 is still in your wallet, consider putting it in their tip jar. We love you, Zing!
Featured Staff Pick For Kids
My Friend Earth by Patricia MacLachlan and Francesca Sanna

With its tender, lyrical text, gorgeous illustrations, and fun die-cut windows on each page, this book is the perfect reminder that the earth keeps turning and spring will come again. Send it as an Earth Day present to someone you love, or pick it up for yourself and let it transport you to prairies, mountains, forests, and oceans. -- Kate
We Want to Hear from You!
What do you do when someone gives you a book you already read?
Thank them, but tell them you've already read it.
Don't mention you've read it and re-gift it
Don't mention you've read it and return it.
Don't mention you've read it and donate it somewhere.
Don't mention you've read it & somehow lose it in with your other books
Reevaluate your entire relationship because you didn't like said book.
Audio Book Of The Month
Deacon King Kong by James McBride

“Deacon King Kong is a quintessential New York story. Set in the Brooklyn projects in 1969, a perpetually inebriated deacon called Sportcoat aims a gun at the neighborhood’s main drug dealer in the public plaza and pulls the trigger. Incredibly well-constructed and hilarious at times, McBride’s story entwines a number of storylines that are kickstarted by this central event. The local Italian gangster, the veteran cop, the meddling churchgoers, and the drug pushers all have their own agendas, hopes, and dreams that are affected. And though Sportcoat doesn’t remember his actions and is always under the influence of gut-rot moonshine, I couldn’t help but root for him as I was reading this. His delightful ineptitude and absence of clarity made this book impossible for me to put down. If you’ve never read McBride before, this is a great introduction.”
--Stuart McCommon, Novel.
See you next time here at Shelf Stable!
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