Dragonfly Books is thrilled to launch Decorah native June Melby with the release of her much anticipated and highly acclaimed book, My Family and Other Hazards – a funny, heartwarming memoir about saying goodbye to her childhood home, the quirky one-of-a-kind, miniature golf course in the Wisconsin woods that her school-teacher parents ran in the summertime.
June, a crowd favorite at the ArtHaus Poetry Slams, will read at The Courtyard & Cellar (downstairs) on Tuesday, July 8th at 7 pm. Join us for this special opportunity to hear June’s stories first hand and celebrate the release of My Family and Other Hazards. Including special guests Charlie Langton and Keith Lesmeister, we’ll commemorate June’s book release with refreshments, readings, and a celebration of Decorah writers. Everyone is welcome to join us as we kick off June’s multi-state book tour!
A native of Decorah, June Melby’s mother, Jean, was the librarian at West Side and East Side Schools, while her father, George, was the chemistry and physics teacher at Decorah High School. After spending fifteen years as a stand-up comedienne in Los Angeles, June returned to Iowa and again calls Decorah home. She currently lives in a log cabin in the woods with her husband, Tim Lecander, and a twenty pound cat named Ferdinand Magellan. If you haven’t heard her read at the ArtHaus Poetry Slams, you’re in for a treat! June has taught creative writing at ArtHaus, Luther College, and the Iowa Summer Writing Festival in Iowa City.
Spending their summers in Waupaca, Wisconsin, summers got a tad more interesting when June was ten years old and her parents decided – almost on a whim – to buy the miniature golf course in Waupaca. Without any business experience or outside employees, the family set out to run Tom Thumb Miniature Golf. Naturally, there were bumps along the way.
In My Family and Other Hazards (Henry Holt & Company, 2014) June recreates all the squabbling, confusion, and ultimately triumph, of her family’s quest to build something together, and brings to life the joys of one of America’s favorite pastimes. In sharp, funny prose, we get the hazards that taunted players at each hole, and the dedication and hard work that went into each one’s creation. All the familiar delights of summer are here — sno-cones and cotton candy and popcorn and long days spent with people you love.
June is a writer and performer with an MFA in Nonfiction Writing from the University of Iowa. Her work has appeared in McSweeney’s, LA Weekly, and National Lampoon Magazine, among other places. In 2011 she was a Writing Fellow at the Virginia Center for the Creative Arts, and in 2003 received the International Artist Award and residency from the City of Hamburg Kulturbehorde (Cultural Affairs Department). In 2002 she was the winner of the Children’s Poetry Award at the Edinburgh International Poetry Festival.
As a performance poet, June has appeared in NYC at Bar 13, CBGB's, The Knitting Factory, and the Nuyorican. She has also performed at several festivals and museums including Seattle Poetry Festival, the Las Vegas Arts Festival, and the San Diego Museum of the Living Artist.
Join us on Tuesday, July 8 at the Courtyard & Cellar. The evening will kick-off at 7:00 pm with readings from June and special guests Charlie Langton and Keith Lesmeister. A book signing and light reception will follow.
This event is sponsored by Dragonfly Books, and will be held downstairs at the Courtyard & Cellar at 421 W. Water Street, Decorah and is free and open to the public.
We hope to see you out in support of this author, but as always, if you can't make it to the event, one of our staff would be glad to reserve a copy of June's book and have it personally autographed for you. To reserve a signed copy of any of June's books, submit your order below by July 7, 2014
Book-to-film adaptations have been incredibly popular the last few years, and this year is no different. However, since we all know that the book is always better than the movie, here are 16 you'll want to read before the movie is released this year.
Join us Thursday, April 24 at 7:00 pm with author Thomas Maltman and his book Little Wolves at Dragonfly Books. Little Wolves is the 2014 All Iowa Reads selection.
Set on the Minnesota prairie in the late 1980s, Little Wolves is a penetrating look at a town reeling from a heinous murder. Following the intertwining stories of a young pastor’s wife and a father searching for answers, Maltman teases apart the traditions, assumptions, and stories that make up small-town life. Weaving together elements of folklore and Norse mythology, Little Wolves is a powerful murder mystery and a page-turning literary triumph.
Little Wolves is the All Iowa Reads selection for 2014. Established in 2003 by the Iowa Center for the Book, the All Iowa Reads program encourages Iowans statewide to come together in their communities to read and talk about a single book to foster a sense of unity through reading. Libraries, book clubs, school, and communities are encouraged to sponsor discussions and host events. Past All Iowa Reads selections have included Driftless by David Rhodes, The Master Butchers Singing Club by Louise Erdrich, and Peace Like a River by Leif Enger.
A MFA graduate from Minnesota State University, Mankato, Maltman’s essays, poetry and fiction have been published in many literary journals. His first novel, The Night Birds won an Alex Award, a Spur Award, and the Friends of American Writers Literary Award. In 2009 the American Library Association chose The Night Birds as an “Outstanding Book for the College Bound.” Maltman has taught for four years at Normandale Community College and lives in the Twin Cities area. Little Wolves is his second novel.
Join us to talk with Thomas Maltman and learn more about Little Wolves on Thursday, April 24 at 7:00 pm at Dragonfly Books. This event is free and open to the public. A reception with light refreshments will follow.
Why eight? Well, it’s my favorite number. I could come up with a hundred or more reasons, but decided eight is enough.
1. One-Click Registration
First and foremost, getting signed up is straightforward. Dragonfly Books, through our membership in the American Booksellers Association, is affiliated with Kobo in providing ebooks to our customers. Click through and create a Kobo account with our custom Dragonfly Books link and you’ll support us with every download. You can go digital and stay indie!
2. It’s An Amazingly Awesome and Alternative App
Did we overdo the alliteration? Maybe. Yet, the Kobo ereader app is amazingly easy (and fun) to use. Download the app to your android smart phone, your ipad, your iphone, your nexus tablet, your blackberry, your kindle fire, your laptop, your desktop computer, and sideload your Kobo ebooks onto your nook. The Kobo app doesn’t yet work for your yellow legal tablet, but we've put in an enhancement request for this functionality. Or, pick up a Kobo tablet or ereader at Dragonfly Books! You don’t see your device on this list? Drop us a note, and we’ll see if it is supported.
3. Cuz it’s K-K-K-Katie!
Ok, a bit corny, but 98% of the time when you call Dragonfly Books during regular business hours (563-382-4275), you’ll reach a Kate on the other end of the phone. Both Kate R and Kate S read voraciously in all formats (print and digital), and both Kates have Kobo tablets and ereaders, in addition to experience using the Kobo app on non-Kobo devices such as smart phones and other tablets. Can they be stumped? Possibly. But one or the other Kate will either be able to answer your question or find out the answer for you.
4. Splendiferously the Same Selections
Best selling authors. Obscure works of literature. Poetry. Science Fiction. Romance. Fantasy. How To. How Not To… There’s an ebook for every chapter in your life. Four million titles. Sixty-eight languages. Seriously, it’s the same digital ebook and digital catalog as sold by the mega-corporations. The difference? Profits stay local when you purchase through your Kobo app.
5. Profit Portion Pledged to Public and Private Schools
Dragonfly Books has pledged that 90% of the profits from ebook sales get donated to local public and private schools. In 2013, through the Dragonfly Books "Books in the Classroom Program" over $400 in additional book purchases (our match to PTO purchases) were placed in John Cline classrooms. Purchasing ebooks locally will help us give back even more. We’d love to give away thousands of dollars worth of books in 2014!
6. Privacy is Paramount
Locally, only the account administrator has access to your ebook purchase history. Our store policy is to never review your information unless you have a question which requires us to do so.
7. What Does the Fox Say?
Support your local independent bookseller, of course. Listen closely. It’s true.
8. Consumer Choice
Bottom line, you as a consumer can exercise choice. The mega-corporations don’t advertise this, but for almost all digital reading devices, you can choose how you purchase your ebooks. Just as you choose to support main street businesses, you can support independent bookstores with your ebook purchases. Do you know who your bookseller is?
Let's talk about Small Business Saturday! The Decorah Area Chamber of Commerce has partnered with the national campaign that American Express is advertising. We have partnered because our community is built on small business. All but a handful fit into the small business category. We appreciate having national recognition of the impact these businesses make to our communities, schools, economy, and fabric of our success and vitality. We also appreciate the strong message to support our small businesses, not just on Small Business Saturday.
Technology in today's world has made it extremely easy to bypass the local business for cheaper deals delivered right to your doors. The internet allows you to be your own lawyer, purchase insurance, invest, bank, and shop without ever leaving your couch. Yet, local businesses are putting people to work, paying taxes that support city infrastructure and schools, and they give generously when asked for support. Their existence relies on their customers and clients. And the customers and clients benefit far more from the relationships that are built. It keeps us all connected to the greater community.
Keep our community strong by supporting those who live, work and play here too. Make the local choice your first choice this Small Business Saturday and every day!
This guest blog post is written by Nikki Brevig, Director of the Decorah Area Chamber of Commerce. It was orignially written for the Decorah Chamber Friday Focus (Nov. 2013), and is reposted with permission.