Kelly

photo credit Jay Paul

Kelly bought The Fountain in January 2008 after managing it since 2000 and she has been a professional independent bookseller since 1989.

Kelly is currently serving a third term on the board of the Southern Independent Booksellers Alliance and works regularly with the American Booksellers Association on projects as well.  

She loves to talk to folks about books and the book business, food and bev, business and management theory in general (a real geek about that, actually), cats, overproduced action movies, and life in general.  Just ask!!

She's an omnivore of a reader, rarely refusing to at least try reading any category of book. Unfortunately, we also suspect she eats them.

For more on Kelly's history with Fountain and Fountain history in general, see this great article in Richmond Magazine online!

Books: 

Staff Pick Logo
Do Not Lick This Book Cover Image
By Idan Ben-Barak, Julian Frost (Illustrator)
$16.99
ISBN: 9781250175366
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Roaring Brook Press - June 5th, 2018

My comments to my sales rep about this book: WHY NO FLOOR DISPLAY???????? WHY???????? THIS BOOK IS GENIUS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I LOVE IT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I WANT PLUSH AND PAPER DOLLS AND BOOKMARKS AND BRANDED KLEENEX AND HAND SANITIZER NOW!!!!!!!!! And now for the real review: This delightfully disgusting book will not only have kids learning about the microbes that live on all of us, but actually transferring them around their own bodies!! Brilliant!


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Calypso Cover Image
$28.00
ISBN: 9780316392389
Availability: Currently Out of Stock - Available to Ship From Our Warehouse in 3-5 Days
Published: Little, Brown and Company - May 29th, 2018

If there is a "King of Audiobooks", it has to be David Sedaris. The absolute best way to enjoy the writing of Sedaris is to hear him perform it. Not only is his voice rather odd, immediately putting you in a mood to giggle, but he is such an effortless performer it's impossible not to get caught up in his world.

And what a world! In his latest, and indisputably most accomplished, work to date, he takes us on his journey through midlife: the betrayals of the body, the loss, the wear and tear on long relationships. I found myself shedding tears for his heartbreaking regrets and laughing so hard I had to pull my car over at his observances of the absurdities of everyday life.

 


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The Sadness of Beautiful Things: Stories Cover Image
$16.00
ISBN: 9780143133049
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Penguin Books - October 2nd, 2018

Simon VanBooy's latest collection features stories based on actual people the author has spent time listening to for the past ten years.  The planet would be such a better place if we could all listen like Mr. VanBooy.  Through his interpretations, we as readers can fully inhabit characters very different from ourselves and feel their grief, soar with their choices to use personal tragedy to shape themselves for the better and create a more beautiful world.  These are everyday people: a boxer with, perhaps, unrealistic dreams for his future unexpectedly shows a kindness to a mugger; parents struggling to accept the loss of a child; an insomniac woman picks up a hitchhiker while driving alone at night and the encounter changes both of their lives.  VanBooy is one of my all time favorite writers.  He is that rare sort that writes sentences of such grace and simplicity, detailing in words human emotional states we feel every day but could never articulate.  And he does it perfectly every time.  When I finish one of his books, I immediately want to turn it over and start it again.  If you like Kelly Link and/or Haruki Murakami, the collection would be a good choice for you.  Not because they are particularly similar, but because some of the emotions I feel when reading all three are on the same level of intensity.  And that "brain tickle thing".  You know what I'm talking about.  


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A People's History of the Vampire Uprising: A Novel Cover Image
$27.00
ISBN: 9780316561686
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Mulholland Books - June 5th, 2018

I will say that this book needs to state very clearly on the cover that it is the first of a series because it left me completely hanging.  That's cool because it is a great start to a new imagined world where a virus causes vampirism and the new vampires ("gloamings") become a social morality issue as well as a public safety one.  Richly imagined and full of yummy scientific and legal detail, this is a complete fictional world and I can't wait to see more.  Kind of a cross between World War Z and True Blood, but the humor is decidedly gallows.  Think tv's Gotham.


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Rabbit: A Memoir Cover Image
$15.99
ISBN: 9780062407313
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Dey Street Books - May 22nd, 2018

Ms. Pat's story is nothing short of unbelievable.  Two kids and a successful crack dealing business by the time she was 15, this is a story of an imperfect journey from a hopeless situation to success.

I think everyone needs to read Ms. Pat's book to understand the realities that some kids have to deal with every day and how the belief and support of a few key people can sometimes make all the difference.  Williams has spun her terrifying upbringing and early adulthood struggles into a compelling, hilarious, and scary tale.  I want everyone to meet Ms. Pat!  I enjoyed it via our digital audiobook service Libro.fm.  I recommend you try it that way or come by and get the paperback from us! I really prefer the hardback cover, but no one asked me.  


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Buttermilk Graffiti: A Chef’s Journey to Discover America’s New Melting-Pot Cuisine Cover Image
$27.50
ISBN: 9781579657383
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Artisan - April 17th, 2018

I love this book.  If you were a Bourdain fan, this is a great book.  Edward Lee is also a very nice man.  Just met him recently.  We're trying to set up a dinner with him next year.  Wish us luck!!!  This is a memoir of America's melting-pot cuisine.  He's a Korean-Southern fusion chef.  I really, really dig this book.  Big-hearted.  Uplifting.  Funny!


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Anatomy of a Miracle: A Novel* Cover Image
$27.00
ISBN: 9780553447583
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Hogarth - March 13th, 2018

This is an extraordinary tale of a paralyzed veteran who is gifted (or cursed) with a miracle, the storm that surrounds him in the aftermath, and the meaning of faith. This book has ruined me. It was so good I don't want to read anything else. I've been in a funk for days since I finished it knowing that nothing else is going to measure up. This is a loving portrait of America today: imperfect, ridiculous, dangerous, yet still inspiring.


 


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The Oracle Year: A Novel Cover Image
$21.99
ISBN: 9780062686633
Availability: Currently Out of Stock - Available to Ship From Our Warehouse in 3-5 Days
Published: Harper Perennial - April 3rd, 2018

Loved this near-future (like, next week) tale! A millennial mostly out of work musician in New York has over 100 predictions beamed into his brain overnight. Some seemingly insignificant, others that could cause the deaths of thousands perhaps even the end of the whole world. A beautiful study on the interconnected nature of life on planet Earth and a thoughtful funny look at human foibles, especially those of the young. Highly recommended!!!


Staff Pick Logo
How to American: An Immigrant's Guide to Disappointing Your Parents Cover Image
By Jimmy O. Yang, Mike Judge (Foreword by)
$27.00
ISBN: 9780306903496
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Da Capo Press - March 13th, 2018

Yang (star of HBO's Silicon Valley) is excruciatingly revealing about his life growing up as a Chinese immigrant who wants nothing more than to blend in.  Learning English and American culture from watching endless hours of BET.  

Cringingly politically incorrect, some readers might take offense.  (I actually listened to the audio, which I highly recommend!!!)  When it comes to women, Yang's view seems to still be stuck in images of 90s rappers on yachts surrounded by women in thongs...his persistent idea of the American dream.  It's a little distracting, if funny.  And sort of gross.  

Anyway...Yang concludes the book with an impassioned plea for fair treatment if immigrants as individuals first, not their ethnicities, and an inspiring account of his revelations about his own identity.  Worth the price of the book, for sure.  I actually had tears in my eyes at the end.  

And I laughed a lot.  We all need that.  


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How to Instant Pot: Mastering All the Functions of the One Pot That Will Change the Way You Cook Cover Image
$16.95
ISBN: 9781523502066
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Workman Publishing Company - October 31st, 2017

Maybe you, like me, got one of these Instant Pot things for a present? (Thanks, Dad!) I have a weakness for small appliances....and cookbooks. So I took home ALL the cookbooks for the Instant Pot and tested them out so you don't have to. This one has turned out to be my favorite. I'm a fan of this author and his publisher anyway, so the fact that it beat out all the rest is no surprise. It beat out the "official" cookbook by a mile for ease of use, deliciousness of recipes, variety, layout, and photography. It's not particularly "chefy", but that's not what I was looking for in a general cookbook for this appliance. For "chefy", try Dinner In An Instant by Melissa Clark.


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The Perfume Burned His Eyes Cover Image
$25.95
ISBN: 9781617756207
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Akashic Books - April 3rd, 2018

Yes. It's That Guy From The Sopranos. If that's what makes you pick it up, fine. Just do it. Matthew, a 16 year old living in Queens loses both his father and his grandfather. His mother uproots the now family of two to Manhattan. He starts an unlikely friendship with two tenants in his building: Lou Reed and his trans girlfriend Rachel. Lou becomes a quasi-shamanic father figure to the boy as he navigates his lonely path to becoming a man. Heartbreaking. Pure. If you walk away from having read this book without feeling the deepest of empathy for teenagers and your own teenage self, you're just a stone, man. You can't be reached.


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A Short History of Richmond (Brief History) Cover Image
$21.99
ISBN: 9781625859570
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: History Press - December 4th, 2017

I have been asking authors for over 10 years to write a short history of Richmond.  I’m, like, PLEASE! I NEED THIS BOOK!  I COULD SELL SO MANY! In late December 2016, I wearily made the same request of Guy and Jack, even though they were at the shop promoting a political book.  I had just been asking everyone at that point, even novelists.  To my utter shock they said, “Okay?”.  I said, “Great! I need it for next Christmas!”  Boy did they deliver! I love this book!  It’s exactly what I wanted!  You will want one too.  Don’t worry, I’ve put them back to work for another book you didn’t know you wanted for next year!


Staff Pick Logo
Beautiful Music Cover Image
$16.95
ISBN: 9781617756276
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Akashic Books - May 1st, 2018

I am such a huge fan of this book and this author.  Beautiful Music, set in 1970s Detroit is just what the title states.  A young  Danny Yzemski is growing up chunky kid with a love of pop radio and an turbulent home life.  He starts his freshman year in a new school being confronted by racial tension issues previously he only experienced through the news and his mother's snide comments.  When a tragedy happens, Danny's mom becomes more and more obsessed with the world's cultural changes and tries to drive them out of her life with booze and pills.  In this storm, Danny finds comfort in music.  Like beautiful music, this book is permeated with the power to make you sad, lift you up, and carry you home.


Staff Pick Logo
The Travelling Cat Chronicles Cover Image
By Hiro Arikawa, Philip Gabriel (Translated by)
$20.00
ISBN: 9780451491336
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Berkley - October 23rd, 2018

Told in alternating points of view from Nana the cat and his owner, Satoru, we join with our duo at the beginning of their relationship and continue with them on a quest: a road trip across Japan.  As they travel together they learn what it means to love, to learn, and to be brave.  

Deftly and delicately translated by Philip Gabriel best known for his translations of Haruki Murakami and Kenzaborō Ōe, the story has a dream-like quality.  If you've ever loved an animal, this sweet, melancholy, cleverly funny book is for you.