Monday, October 19, 2015

And So It Begins - Our MASSIVE Anniversary Sale!

Greetings, Booklover!

We thought that you'd like to know about our exciting annual sale!

It is a pleasure to announce, on this most auspicious occasion, that beginning today... 
THE ENTIRE SHOP IS ON SALE!  (Well, the items within the shop, at least.)

To celebrate our 46th Anniversary, for a limited time only!

We're offering Almost Everything at 46% OFF!
And 25% off Everything Else! 
(The "Everything Else" category includes new books, pulps and pulp-related items, football programs, movie posters, signed limited editions, items behind the counter, and Curious shirts.)

Everything is discounted. Everything! It's a great opportunity to do some holiday shopping, or to stock up on winter necessities on your "To Read List".

In mid-October of 1973*, a long-haired MSU student named Ray started selling groovy science fiction novels out of the basement of a house. A booklover to the core, he had unknowingly struck upon a great way to buy more books for himself, and began  a strange and wonderful career.

Since those early halcyon days, Ray Walsh has taken Curious Book Shop through multiple manifestations (and locations). In 1973 we moved to our current location, and have since offered information and enlightenment from our small (but sturdy!) spot at 307 East Grand River Avenue.

From its vantage point on the edge of MSU's campus, Curious has greeted 46 incoming freshman classes, has bid farewell to countless wizened graduates and gleefully welcomed back alumni on a regular basis.

We have provided shelter to writers and thinkers of all sorts, and have served as the setting for numerous first dates and marriage proposals. We have observed various political protests (and drunken sports celebrations), weathered the tenure of 9 MSU presidents (beginning with John Hannah in the late 60s), and hosted countless book signings and shows. We have watched with interest the evolution of the book industry and the growth of East Lansing.

Sparty's visage and that special shade of Spartan Green have changed a few times, but Curious remains the same. Over the years, Ray and the gang have paired innumerable books (and art, and comics, and more!) with happy new owners, and show no signs of slowing down.

In the past 46 years, this quiet bookshop has aged well. It's only 18' wide, but 100' deep - and there's 3 floors! Intriguing titles arrive daily; we've expanded our selection of new releases in hardback and paperback. The information held within these tomes is vast and awe-inspiring. Our shelves are brimming with books on an incredibly wide variety of subjects. There are fantastic stories for young and old; erudite texts for hardnosed academics; centuries-old books with beautiful bindings; worn and trusty classics in need of a new home.
We have it all, and now it's all on sale! 

Join us as we celebrate another journey around the sun, this being our forty-sixth circuit. Without the ongoing love and support from our local literary community, Curious simply would not exist.

Please accept our thanks and endless gratitude in the form of SUPER-MEGA SAVINGS... 

Here's to another year of bookish delights!

Many Thanks and Much Love,
Ray, Mark, Audrey and the Curious Gang

*Newsletter recipients may notice a date discrepancy, as the newsletter listed the move to our current location as a 1967 event. False! Sorry for the confusion.

** A happy coincidence - this is the 300th blog entry! 


Sunday, October 18, 2015

Ray's Reviews: X by Sue Grafton

  “X” by Sue Grafton (Putnam, $28.95) is the 24th book in her popular, best-selling Alphabet mystery series starring California private detective Kinsey Millhone.

        Over the years, dedicated readers have enjoyed her entertaining novels, which began with “A is for Alibi”, back in 1982.

        Grafton’s latest dark convoluted tale covers two weeks in 1989, with Millhone getting involved in three odd cases that really aren’t connected.

        Initially, Millhone is hired by a wealthy woman who’s trying to find a recently released bank robber. Hallie Bettancourt claims that she is his birth mother; but it’s actually part of a distinctively devious plan.

        Millhone discovers that the woman is intentionally deceiving her, and uses a variety of clever methods to uncover the truth.

        A second sub-plot focuses on two new neighbors, an elderly couple who are taking advantage of Millhone’s landlord Henry. She has her own suspicions about them, but proving her theories becomes challenging.

        Millhone is also working without pay, trying to bring closure to a few unsolved cases left behind by Pete Wolinsky, a recently murdered private investigator who was an associate. She makes an unusual discovery; soon she is in danger, with a clever serial killer who’s determined to hide his past.

        “X” unfortunately, is a bit of a disappointment; at 401 pages it feels padded - almost as if an editor told her to throw in more description and add a hundred pages.

        The conflict resolution of the first sub-plot doesn’t seem exceptionally plausible, considering all of the anger issues and deception.

        Later, the author goes on at length about the California water shortage of 1989 and the problems of water-rationing. Although this may seem relevant when compared to today’s California water crises, it’s likely to bore all but the most determined readers.

        There’s considerably more action in the last 100 pages, but some readers may feel it’s too late, having dozed off frequently mid-book and really not caring that much about many of the characters.

        Grafton, whose father was a noted crime novelist, has only two more books to go before she completes her Alphabet mystery series.

         Her loyal fans will be waiting in line for her next releases, even if they’re titled “Y is for Yawning” or “Z is for Zombie”.

        Ray Walsh, owner of East Lansing’s Curious book Shop, has been reviewing crime novels and Michigan books regularly since 1987.

Find this book and other great titles
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 originally published by the Lansing State Journal on October 18, 2015.


Tuesday, October 6, 2015


Join us for MIDWEST'S LARGEST Antiquarian Book & Paper Show...

The Midwest's LARGEST show of its kind, the 62nd Michigan Antiquarian Book and Paper Show, is coming to Lansing THIS SUNDAY!
If it's on paper you're likely to find it at the Michigan Antiquarian Book and Paper Show.

Organized by the Mid Michigan Antiquarian Book Dealers Association, this show has become a regular event for book and paper enthusiasts from across the country.

Book and paper dealers from eight states will offer over 160 tables of vintage, antiquarian and collectible books, magazines and paper items of all kinds! 

There is something for everyone, including first editions and signed books, children's and illustrated books, regional histories, noir mysteries, newspapers back to the Civil War (and before), original movie posters, WWII posters and sports collectibles galore.
Antique photographs, lithographs along with autographs. Vintage advertising art, framed prints, beautifully-detailed maps and so much more. You'll find things you always wanted but never new existed!

This family-friendly event is sure to be a wonderful experience for the WHOLE family. come for the entire day.

In addition to the countless paper treasures you'll see, guests are encouraged to sit and enjoy the live acoustic music

Lunch is a snap, too! Refreshments (drinks, salads, wraps, pretzels and more) are available from the Lansing Center's concessions stand.
When: Sunday, October 11th
9:30 AM to 5 PM (Sorry, no early admission)
Where: The Lansing Center,
333 E. Michigan Ave.
Lansing, MI
How: Admission is $5.00, children 13 and under enter free!
More Info:

Please note that parking is not included. There are many parking options at and near the Lansing Center.

We're quite excited for the big show. Packing has begun, so please excuse the big gaps on our shelves in the coming days.

Also, keep in mind that 
Curious will CLOSE EARLY this SATURDAY, at 6pm.

The shop will be 
OPEN on Sunday from noon until 5pm, and the shop will be hoppin' with book show fans searching for extra deals. 

Curious will be CLOSED on Monday the 12th, for a much-deserved and very appreciated Staff Recovery Day.

We'll be full of pancakes and joy, 
back to our regular store hours on Tuesday, the 13th.

Many thanks for your continued support.
We'll see you at the show!

Ray, Audrey and the Curious Gang


Sunday, October 4, 2015

Ray's Reviews: Walk in Light by Michigan Author Larry Neitzert

 “Walk in Light” by Morrice author Larry Neitzert ($15.95) is an intriguing self-published novel that’s set in a nameless rural small town near Lansing in the summer and fall of 1952.

        It’s likely to be a bit on the controversial side, as it deals with racial prejudice, bigotry and stressful relationships during challenging times.

        The entertaining, semi-autobiographical tale is evocative of Mark Twain’s “Tom Sawyer” and “Huckleberry Finn” as well as Harper Lee’s “To Kill a Mockingbird.”

        It seems like an odd mixture, but Neitzert makes it work, smoothly capturing the atmosphere of the time, offering shifting narratives from viewpoints of innocents.

        Four young boys, Henry, Frederic Jacob, and Floyd are spending a seemingly idyllic summer - goofing off, playing and fighting with another.

        They perform farm duties, go to church and bible studies on Sundays and have created a couple of hideouts where they can get away from adult supervision,

        Soon they’re joined by a new neighbor, William, a black boy whose family is from Kenya. William quickly becomes part of their “gang”, helping them build a new tree house nearby.

        Conflicts arise when relatives and other church-goers don’t want to have anything to do with William’s family, even though his mother Sarah is now playing the organ at the church services.

        Bigotry abounds - the boys discover what the “n” word means and are distressed to hear it used frequently by angry townspeople.

        William’s father is living in Ann Arbor; he’s a minister who’s studying for a medical degree. William’s younger sister Elizabeth is shy; she’s fascinated by the young farm animals.

        When the boys are playing in the attic of the farmhouse, they make a puzzling discovery that leads to more disturbing questions. 

        The author is a polished storyteller, creating strong characters, flowing dialogue and an unexpected conclusion.

        Neitzert, who graduated from MSU, has taught for 40 years. He is an adjunct instructor in Social Studies, teaching history at Baker College in Owosso.

        The release of Harper Lee’s “Go Set a Watchman” has raised interest of books dealing with racism. Neitzert’s novel is one of those rare self-published books that should catch the eye of a smart editor and get significant, deserving, national recognition.

        He has written two other books, “Maggie’s Farm”, a novel set at MSU in the late 1960’s, and “Barn Stories”, an enjoyable collection of entertaining tales.

        Ray Walsh, owner of East Lansing’s Curious Book Shop, has reviewed books regularly since 1987.

Find this book and other great titles
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 originally published by the Lansing State Journal on October 4, 2015.