Results tagged “Berkeley” from kwc blog

Codys has closed (for good)

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Codys Books has shown plenty of signs of struggling over the years. The biggest warning for me came when I tried to stop by the 4th St store and found it closed. I kept crossing my fingers that, like Keplers, it would make it through, but it sounds like the economic downturn made it too hard for even its generous benefactors to keep it afloat.

Cody's Books closes Telegraph store

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Cody's has closed its main branch at Telegraph Ave -- their Fourth Street and Stockton Street stores are still open. Cody's is where I turned to for author's events when Keplers closed (temporarily, as it turned out). The cause of the closure seems to be multiple factors, from declining foot traffic and crime on Telegraph Ave that has lead to a 10%+ vacancy rate, to a shifting student audience that now uses online stores for books more and more. I have used the Fourth Street store much more than the Telegraph store, but I wonder if Cody's will still have the same draw for author's events.

Brrr

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Just so you non-Bay-Area folks are aware. It frickin' cold here. There's snow on the hills around here. Every store on 4th Street in Berkeley has a sign on its front door: "We're open. It's just cold outside." We're not used to having to keep the front door closed to keep out the cold. We don't have Metro stations to hide in. We usually stick up a heat lamp outside a restaurant and redeclare that patch of land "summer." We see frozen little ice balls coming down and have to pause to think of what the right word for it is.

My parents called me from Virginia to tell me how it's 70 degrees outside and perfect for yard work. This arctic cold front must have flipped its compass because I think this ball of hail was meant for you, East Coast.

Talk: Neil Gaiman *Anansi Boys*

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Neil Gaiman-1"Dearly Beloved..."

Neil Gaiman addressed us from atop the pulpit in the First Congregation Church in Berkeley on National Geek Day, the day that both Mirromask and Serenity were released in theaters. He read from Anansi Boys, a book that has the tagline "God is dead. Meet the kids." As Gaiman noted, you write a "book with strange gods, and they send you to talk in churches."

Gaiman described Anansi Boys as American Gods' second cousiin, once removed. He had the idea for Anansi Boys before American Gods, so one way he thinks of Mr. Nancy and American Gods is that it had a special guest star... for a book that hadn't been written yet.

For Anansi Boys I've decided to do something I've never done before: buy the audiobook. My reason for this was is very simple: there's an mp3 version. I never saw much reason before in buying audiobooks. They're as expensive as the book and there's this giant stack of CDs that you either have to cart around or you have to spend an hour ripping to your computer. With an mp3 CD I can immediately place it on my iPod or PSP -- it's ready to consume.

The battle over DRM rarely gets very far as it is an ideological battle with strongly divided opinions, full of speculation but few actual examples proving either sides' case. It's great to see an author that's #1 on the New York Times Bestseller List take what the industry would consider a risk and move the debate over DRM forward. Gaiman had to fight with Harper Collins to have mp3 CDs made, so he encouraged me to encourage my friends to purchase the mp3 version. I wish more authors were iPod users like Gaiman so that they too would act as intelligently about technology.

Neil Gaiman-2 Neil Gaiman-6 Neil Gaiman-5 Neil Gaiman-4 Neil Gaiman-3 Gaiman Pratchett-1

WARNING: Notes in the extended. I did a really, really bad job with my notes. Much more here is paraphrased from memory than actual quotes. For whatever reason my note-taking skills were terrible tonight and much that was funny I cannot remember well enough to transcribe.

Concert: White Stripes in Berkeley

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I got to see the White Stripes perform in Berkeley. It was one of their first shows back after Jack White broke his finger, and it was fun, good, and rocking, though as a note to self, the show probably feels more energetic if you probably aren't sitting down on a hard concrete slab - the pit is where it's at. As a tribute to the late Man in Black, Jack read the lyrics to "I Got Stripes" between songs (I've posted the lyrics in the complete entry).

We were also treated to an opening act by Ima Robot, which seems to be a revival of nearly every 80s act that we could think of (Cure, Cars, Duran Duran), combined with a bit of Johnny Rotten. I didn't listen to music in the 80s, so I don't have much else to say about this.