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 serving on various committees and is a regular speaker at bookseller gatherings on topics ranging from brand building to utilizing the newest technologies for bookstores.
In 2019 she was awarded a scholarship to the Turin Book Festival where she addressed Italian booksellers on the topic of Amazon's effect on the American bookselling market and the potential threats posed by Amazon on international markets in the future.
She loves to talk to folks about books, audiobooks, 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!
The Lesson is a spectacular first contact novel set in St. Thomas. The Ynaa have been living among us for years, but have only recently made themselves known to humans. They bring many gifts, but any resistance or aggression from the humans is met with wrath that is ruthless and out of proportion. This is a complex, but easy-to-read novel that reminds me of Ursula K. LeGuin. Issues of race and sexuality are dealt with a grace and intensity unusual in a debut novel, particularly from an author so young. I was intensely moved by this story, completely swept up in it. I can't wait to read more from this author!
Patty, Fay, Magda, and Lisa are four very different women working in a department store in 1950's Sydney Australia. This is a book about women's friendship, the difficulties of being a woman in that era, the small cruelties of aging, and the uncertainties of youth.
It's a very difficult book to describe, but I enjoyed it immensely, and give it often as a book to cheer people up. It's short and is perfect for book clubs. Great if you've been in a reading rut or are having trouble finishing books.
Chronicling the lives of the Galvin family, Kolker tells the stories of their 12 children born from 1945 to 1965, six of whom suffered from debilitating, and in some cases fatal, schizophrenia. By revealing the almost unbelievable misery of this one family, he is also illustrating the many faces of psychiatry and mental health treatment over history from relatively benign, if ineffective, treatments to what we would now consider torture. He also exposes the psychiatric drug industry for the greedy, uncaring, opportunistic practices that have been the standard for decades. This look at schizophrenia and its effect on individuals, families, and societies is inspiring as it is disturbing and I hope its publication helps to accelerate change in the mental health industry and the hearts and minds of the public at large.
I hardly know where to start with my need to talk about this book! Reproduction is a love story spanning three decades from the early eighties to the 2000s starting in the city of Toronto, a city of vast differences in wealth and cultures. The unlikely couple (Edgar, a rich, idle German and Felicia, a poor 19-year-old immigrant from the West Indies) meet and start an unconventional relationship with lifelong consequences for them both. Don’t let the 550 page count fool you: the writing-style is the opposite of weighty and dense. It is mischievous and funny, while still being moving and full of stunning revelations about “how strangers become family”. Simply breathtaking!
There are tons of great grilling books out there, but this is my new favorite. After a lively, informative, heartfelt introduction, Moore introduces us to 17 grill masters from all walks of life and styles of grilling. You are introduced to each person, how they came to grilling and then some recipes from each. The second half of the book is recipes divided by course and all of them are different and delicious! There is a lot to love about this cookbook. Moore clearly loves his craft and the people who practice it. His personal story with grilling is detailed in a beautifully written foreward about his parents and extended family. This would make a marvelous family gift or Father's Day gift!
Ooooo this book is so good!!! Picture a remote island off the coast of Ireland, the wedding of the year, and a guest list full of A-list celebrities and high-society notables. Everyone, (well, almost everyone), is rich, beautiful and not very nice. If you're familiar with HBO's Succession, you get an idea of the type of people we're talking about. And, of course, there's a murder. In the middle of a blinding squall so everyone is trapped, a body is found. Everyone's an awful person, so where to start??? All of them have motives and everyone has a secret. Will keep you guessing until the last page!
From the author who brought you World War Z, a fresh take on Bigfoot! (Bigfeet?) A small community of eco-neutral pioneers is living more or less happily in the shadow of Mount Rainier when it erupts, cutting them off from civilization and they find themselves less self-sufficient than they had originally thought and also being hunted by a tribe of giant, hairy, and extremely hungry Sasquatch! It's tempting to write off books starring cryptids as the stuff of camp and cartoons, but this book is truly frightening and thoughtful in its exploration of what makes us human and who we are when we are called upon to explore our animal nature.
Even with access to her email and social media accounts, the author's investigation into her sister's alleged overdose and death yield heartbreaking truths, but very few confirmable facts. We share her building frustration as the narrative unfolds and the disappearance of troubled musician "Atlantis Black" reveals more and more confusing details: Craigslist ads seeking companions, police reports, frantic and incoherent Facebook posts, images of a woman with a handgun. Her body was found in a Tijuana hotel room, but the body was never positively identified. This is a memoir of two siblings' frightening childhood and what it makes them as adults. It is also very satisfying as a true crime read. The author is also a poet and the writing is spare and haunting and cuts like a knife.
So much fun! This screamingly funny take on the vampire-next-door genre will have you turning the pages at breakneck speed! Hiding in plain sight between the grisly action and the offbeat humor is a sweet and heartfelt tribute to the tough and tender nature of Southern women. Hendrix's characters will stop at nothing to defend their families and friendships from being destroyed by this sly and dangerous invader! Not even an all-powerful supernatural being is any match for a bunch of Southern book club women. I can't say I'm surprised.
I found a lot to love in this application of Kon Mari method to work. I am finding it especially comforting at this time when I am working mostly from home as many of you are. It is a very slow process as, by nature, I am a slob and my surroundings are usually chaos. Little by little, I feel gently guided by Kondo and Sonenshein to eliminate clutter from my workspace and in my e-space. (Oh, My Enemy Email Inbox!) I am taking it easy on myself and going very, very slowly with this, but I am already seeing some results. It's also shortening some of my meetings and eliminating others altogether. Very short book also available in Libro audio and ebook. If I can apply some of these methods, anyone can.
I adore Frog and Toad and they bring back comforting memories of childhood for me. The first Frog and Toad book was published when I was about 3. This hardback gift book is a wonderful value at $12.99 and portrays the highlights of what it means to be a good friend along with quotes from the original texts and Arnold Lobel's distinctive and soothing sepia-toned illustrations. This would make a lovely gift for a child, of course, but I love giving it to adult friends having tough times to remind them we have each other.
I almost regret reading this, it was so good. It was so exceptional, it took a solid week for me to be ready to read anything else. I just kept picking it back up and re-reading. I finally had to give it to another bookseller on staff so I could move on. And now I can't sell it for months. That's not very fair. Chiang's stories are the reason I read. Each one is a perfect cut gem. It's as if by the act of reading, you become light and pass through the gems and feel yourself reflected, refracted, split apart and turned into someone new. Each story makes your brain all bendy, even the ones that feel like they have existed for hundred of years. You'll find fantastic tales of time travel, meditations on the true nature of consciousness, even thoughts on parenting. Elegant without seams, I highly recommend this collection to fans new and old.
Reading a new book by George Singleton is like running into an old friend from your past, striking up a conversation, and later wondering why on earth you don't spend more time with them because they are even funnier and smarter than you remembered and they just make you feel good! The stories in Staff Picks are like that: clever in surprising ways but never precious or pretentious. They are filled with incredibly screwed up people from all walks of Southern life instantly recognizable to those of us who grew up in small Southern towns. These nutjobs are real, y'all. You will laugh out loudly, so take care where you choose to read this collection. You might also shed a tear or two. I did. Singleton is one of the few writers who can pull off profane and profound in the same paragraph. He's one of my favorites. Enjoy!