Friday, July 19, 2013

New Stuff, Sale Stuff and Stuff Stuff - a Mid-Month Update from Curious

Greetings, Friends of Curious

Just a quick update, to keep you in the literary loop...

The Great and Powerful Ray has declared:


Come to Curious and SAVE 40% on almost everything in the store, now through July 31st.

EXTRA DEALS are to be found THIS WEEKEND, as we take part in East Lansing's Sidewalk Sales.

It's a great opportunity to come downtown and enjoy the sunshine.

Remember, we validate parking for City of East Lansing ramps and lots, with a purchase.

Recent Acquisitions:

There's always something new at Curious. We add new titles to our shelves every day, all day long.

Sure to puzzle and please, we've added plenty of mystery novels by Agatha Christie, Robert D. Parker and Rex Stout.

Find your muse, and learn about the world's greatest Composers and Performers with our vast collection of Music biographies and histories!

Dozens of new Art Books will allow you to revel in the creative glory of European, Asian, African and American artists (famous and obscure).

Learn of the world from whence we came with the bevy of World History and American History books, as well as biographies of world leaders (good and evil).

Crafters, take note! We've restocked the Arts & Crafts section with all sorts of fiber-art how-to's and patterns.

Curious has a limited number of SIGNED copies of Neil Gaiman's The Ocean at the End of the Lane.
If you'd like to reserve a copy please call the shop on Monday, July 22nd, between 10am and 3pm.
These books will arrive early next week, and won't last long! (517) 332 - 0112

Thank you for continuing to support Curious Book Shop, an independent bookshop founded in 1969.

Keep an eye on our Facebook page, for New Acquisitions updates, fun literary facts and shop gossip.

Many thanks,

PS - Next weekend, Ray will attend Pulpfest 2013, in Columbus, Ohio. (July 25 - 28th)
It's one of the biggest and best pulp conventions in the world, 
and Curious will be exhibiting NEW original art, pulps and more.
Find out more about the show and collectable pulps:

If you'd like to receive our monthly newsletter in your email inbox, please email us at


Curious Book Shop

307 East Grand River
East Lansing, MI  48823


Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Classic Schwinn Bike Ads to Amuse and Amaze

Check out these vintage Schwinn bicycle advertisements! 

They graced the back covers of classic comic books from the 1950s and 1960s.

Schwinn Deluxe Tornado

Phantom by Schwinn

Schwinn Racer - Christmas Ad

Mark II Jaguar by Schwinn - Christmas Ad

Panther by Schwinn

Mark II Jaguar by Schwinn

Mark II Jaguar by Schwinn


Ray's Reviews: Neil Gaiman's Make Good Art and The Ocean at the End of the Lane

Expect the unexpected in a pair of recent releases by best-selling, award-winning fantasy author Neil Gaiman.

Both slim volumes are distinctly memorable; one is a remarkable otherworldly tale while the other is a colorfully designed speech.

If this sounds unusual -- you've been warned: the novel is a carefully crafted book that's tough to put down; the inspirational speech will have mind-bending visual impact.

"The Ocean at the End of the Lane" (Morrow, $25.99) is a compelling tale for adults told from the viewpoint of an unnamed seven-year-old boy.

The partly biographical tale begins with a man attending a funeral. He leaves, breaking away to travel down the country roads of Sussex, England, where he grew up.

He's drawn back to an old farmhouse near the end of the road, where forty years earlier he had met remarkable 11-year-old Lettie Hemptstock, her mother and grandmother.

The novel gets darker and stranger from there, as Lettie leads him into an unforgettable adventure on the farmland and far, far beyond.

This is a classic tale of good versus evil, a unique, unusual coming-of-age recollection and darned good, fast-paced entertainment.

Gaiman, who's the author of over 20 books, has created an outstanding, bittersweet masterpiece full of imaginative characters and a very determined, exceptionally nasty villain.

"Neil Gaiman's 'Make Good Art' Speech" (Morrow, $12.99) is a journey in a completely difference direction.

Basically, it's the text of a 19-minute commencement address given by Gaiman to the 2012 graduating class at Philadelphia's University of the Arts.

The speech got huge attention by internet viewers, especially on YouTube; Gaiman got many requests to publish it.

The exceptionally creative author had an intriguing idea for presenting the speech -- get it designed into book format by innovative graphic designer Chip Kidd.

The result is a book full of graphic typography that showcases Gaiman's advice in an unusual manner. Kidd uses no photographs or black ink; instead, he uses stripped-down design imagery to emphasize Gaiman's points.

Kidd breaks many rules; the speech is displayed using a wealth of white space and varying typefaces. It's awash in turquoise and orange/red ink.

Gaiman offers great advice; this is idea for creative graduates who appreciate innovation. Other less appreciative souls may find Kidd's format challenging, awkward and difficult to read.

To view Gaiman's 2012 speech, visit

Ray Walsh, owner of East Lansing's Curious Book Shop, has been reviewing books regularly since 1987.

Find this and other books by great Michigan authors
at the Curious Book Shop, an independent 
book shop in East Lansing, founded in 1969.

Curious Book Shop
307 East Grand River Avenue
East Lansing, Michigan

This review was published by the Lansing State Journal on July 6, 2013.


Monday, July 1, 2013

Ray's Reviews: Steve Hamilton's Let It Burn


Steve Hamilton will be signing novels at a 
Tue. July 2 at 7:00 PM at Schuler Books, 
1892 West Grand River Ave. (Meridian Mall) Okemos.

He will also be signing on Friday, July 5 at 7:00 PM 
at Aunt Agatha's, 213 South Fourth Ave., Ann Arbor.


"Let It Burn" by multiple Edgar-Award winning author Steve Hamilton (Minotaur, $25.99) is the tenth in his very popular series starring private detective Alex McKnight.

Scheduled for release on Tuesday, this excellent crime novel is set minimally in his usual stomping grounds in the Upper Peninsula.

Most of the action takes place in decaying Detroit, with flashbacks to a time when McKnight was still a cop, before he was severely wounded and his partner was killed.

McKnight's last arrest, before he was shot, was teenager Daryl King, discovered in the huge, abandoned Michigan Central Train Station with a brutally murdered woman.

A colleague notifies McKnight of Daryl's impending release and is worried that revenge might be on the prisoner's mind.

McKnight drives down to Detroit to discuss the case with the old friend; it also gives him an opportunity to contact Janet Long, an FBI agent.

Although Daryl confessed to the crime, McKnight was hospitalized and not around for the trial. He has suspicions that Daryl isn't telling the complete truth and decides to investigate.

The diligent private eye uses his gut feelings and a variety of sources to gather information, discovering that there were other similar murders that took place after Daryl was sent to prison.

McKnight's investigation raises considerably more questions; the FBI becomes more involved as unnerving facts emerge.

The author's description of the current state of Detroit is exceptionally accurate. He deftly captures McKnight's distress at the ongoing decay of the once bustling and proud metropolitan center, noting "it's turning into a ghost town."

A graduate of the University of Michigan, Hamilton won  the coveted Edgar Award for Best First Novel in 1988 for "A Cold Day In Paradise" and for Best Novel, for "The Lock Artist" which was published in 2010.

He's in fine form with his latest release, creating a highly entertaining crime novel with great characters and many unexpected plot twists.

If you haven't discovered Hamilton, you're due for a real treat - most of his superb McKnight mysteries are set in Paradise, in Michigan's Upper Peninsula.

Ray Walsh, owner of East Lansing's Curious Book Shop 
grew up in northwest Detroit. He's reviewed crime novels and 
Michigan books regularly since 1987.

Find this and other books by great Michigan authors
at the Curious Book Shop, an independent 
book shop in East Lansing, founded in 1969.

Curious Book Shop
307 East Grand River Avenue
East Lansing, Michigan

This review was published by the Lansing State Journal on June 30, 2013.