Books in Bars, an occasional series of happy hours for book lovers is being launched at Ortino’s Northside in Perkiomenville, PA, just outside of Philadelphia!
“Books in Bars” is simply a happy hour for people who enjoy reading books. Think of it as a networking event for book readers – in a bar! No charge. You won’t have to listen to an author read. No highbrow literary diploma needed. Just enjoy happy hour specials while discussing books with other avid readers. Meet other book lovers and learn about their favorite books, authors, and genres. You may walk away with a larger “To Be Read” list or add to someone else’s TBR pile. Invite your book club friends, your Goodreads friends, or your local bookseller!
For the Sunday, November 9th event, the Ortino family is generously offering a 1/2 price appetizer menu, 1/2 price Margaritas, and $3 Craft Draft Specials. Ortino’s Northside is located at 1355 Gravel Pike, Perkiomenville, PA. Books in Bars will run from 3pm – 6pm. Their phone number is (610)287-7272.
Each Books in Bars event will feature two writers with recently published books. You can buy a book if you would like, but there is no pressure. Writers happen to enjoy talking about books in bars. On Sunday, November 9th, the writers will include two authors who live and work in Chester County.
Robb Cadigan is the author of the popular novel PHOENIXVILLE RISING. Bestselling author William Lashner exclaims, “PHOENIXVILLE RISING is a beautifully written love letter to the American industrial town.”
Jim Breslin is the author of SHOPLANDIA, a humorous novel inspired by his 17 years as a producer at home shopping network QVC. Holly Love wrote in the Philadelphia Inquirer, “Give me 10,000 copies. I’d gladly give it a go selling them on QVC myself.” Jim is also the founder of the West Chester Story Slam and the editor of West Chester Story Slam: Selected Stories 2010-2014.
Books in Bars will be an occasional series. Possible future events are being planned in Phoenixville, West Chester, and Media. To receive email notices about upcoming Books in Bars events, click here. Also, if you are on Twitter, reach us at @BooksInBars.
Oermead Press is thrilled to be publishing the anthology West Chester Story Slam Selected Stories – 2010-2014 this November. The anthology will feature forty stories told during the first five seasons of the West Chester Storytelling event. The anthology is scheduled to be released on Tuesday, November 11th, the same day as the West Chester Story Slam’s 5th Annual Grand Slam, which is the culmination of another sold out season.
Stories included in the anthology include: Ad Man Eli Silberman’s “Release the Condor” Story, Terry Heyman’s classic “Ordinary People” story of her brief fling with Timothy Hutton, Luanne Sims’ “Adult Diaper Changes” story, and Michael Gleason’s “Bad News Bears” story. The forty stories were chosen by West Chester Story Slam Founder Jim Breslin and edited to retain the feeling of the original live presentation.
“We’ve heard over five hundred stories over the first five years,” says Jim Breslin. “It wasn’t easy, but I chose stories that resonated with me, and asked the authors if they would like to contribute.” Authors submitted their written versions and shaped them to feel live while cleaning up and editing where needed. “For those who attended the story slams, they’ll enjoy revisiting the classics told through the years. For those who have never attended the live events, this anthology will make for a great introduction to live storytelling.”
West Chester Story Slam Selected Stories 2010-2014 will be available at the Grand Slam on November 11th at the Chester County Historical Society, and will also be available at Chester County Book Company, Oxford’s BookPlace, IndieBound, and Amazon. If your store is interested in selling copies, contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Early blurbs for the back cover include:
“The West Chester Story Slam is a mix of brilliant comedic awesomeness and Philly sport fan-style rowdiness.” – Steve Clark, Two-time “Best Storyteller in Philadelphia”
“The live stories are heartbreaking and hilarious. West Chester Story Slam is a great night out for anyone who loves a good story.” – Kelly Simmons, author of The Bird House
“West Chester Story Slam is a fun live event powered by impressive story tellers. Drawing on real-life experiences, these insightful, often funny tales move with all the smooth speed of the best short fiction.” – John Dixon, author of Phoenix Island
“West Chester Story Slam is just one more reason to love life in the borough.” – West Chester Mayor Carolyn Comitta
REVIEWS FOR SHOPLANDIA, the new novel by Jim Breslin published by Oermead Press, are in. Shoplandia launched on May 15th at Chester County Book Company and is available through bookstores, IndieBound and Amazon. In addition, Jim Breslin is offering personalized copies sold direct from the author here.
Carole Mallory of Huffington Post Books calls Shoplandia,”A raucous novel resplendent with anecdotes about the machinations of the always striving-to-get-ahead employees of one of our nation’s leading capitalistic ventures brought into your home.” Mallory writes, ‘This home shopping experience is powerful. And so is James Breslin’s novel, Shoplandia.” Another nice quote from the review, “Breslin is not mean-spirited; rather he is insightful in his remembrances of things past.” And finally, “As one laughs through this short and rapid read, one recalls the bonds that form in the work place that often reflect those bonds we have formed within our own family.” You can read the full review on Huffington Post Books
“With a tone and style reminiscent of George Saunders and situations that would feel right at home in a Don DeLillo novel, the stories collected in Jim Breslin’s Shoplandia offer an engaging and informed behind-the-scenes look at the home shopping industry.” – Marc Schuster of <em>Small Press Reviews</em>. Read the full review here.
“Breslin’s choice to set the stories within the television shopping network corporation is one of the most refreshing and strategic narrative moves I have experienced in a long time.” – Jillian Benedict, <em>Turk’s Head Review</em>
You can read Jillian’s entire review by clicking here.
“Shoplandia reveals the absurd world of home shopping networks with rollicking humor and gusto.” – James Esch, <em>Turk’s Head Review </em>
“Compelling and poetic, Shoplandia’s stories have all the insight and complexity of the best novels. Breslin gives us a thoughtful meditation on consumerism and the American Dream.” – Terry Heyman, <em>Greetings From Insanity </em>
“Jim Breslin viscerally knows the dynamics of a three-ring circus played out on the rotating stage of a 24/7 shopping network. They’re all there—stars and has-beens, pretty pitch women, sad clowns, roustabouts, network lions and wolves. Both moving and entertaining, Shoplandia mingles the humor and pathos inherent in the big tent of our consumer obsessive culture.” – Virginia Beards, <em>Exit Pursued By a Bear and Others</em>
“Drawing from his experiences in TV production, Jim Breslin’s Shoplandia immerses the reader into that wild and weird world. This collection sizzles and pops, particularly in “Laugh Track,” where Breslin’s evocative storytelling about the seamy side of the television industry is so potent that you can almost smell it. – Josh Goller, <em>The Molotov Cocktail </em>
Oermead Press is busy this April! We have just published Exit Pursued by a Bear and Others, a poetry chapbook by Virginia Beards. Next up, Jim Breslin’s novel Shoplandia is being released on May 15th.
To celebrate, both books are available as Goodreads Giveaways for a limited time. Are you on Goodreads? Click on over and enter for a chance to win a signed copy for either book.
“A Dairy Queen converted into a funeral parlor, a famous stage direction from Shakespeare’s The Winter’s Tale, the sands of Afghanistan … everything is grist for Ginny Beards’ clever mill. Full of humor, learning, and dark insight, she wears her erudition lightly, as all the best poets do.”
– Mark Bowden, author of Black Hawk Down
In the poems of Virginia Beards, insomnia is a 3-ring circus, a Dairy Queen mutates into a funeral parlor, an 18th century graffito enlivens a bedpost in a Venetian palazzo, a swim in the Nile both lulls and terrifies. What she sees both directly and via a sideways glance, the inanities of the overheard as well as of the zeitgeist, and the stresses of domestic relationships are some of her themes in Exit Pursued by a Bear. Whatever the focus, she is committed to the pleasures of language and to multum in parvo, much in a small space.
If poetry is your game, click HERE for the Goodreads Giveaway page for Exit Pursued by a Bear and Others.
“Compelling and poetic, Shoplandia’s stories have all the insight and complexity of the best novels. Breslin gives us a thoughtful meditation on consumerism and the American Dream.” – Terry Heyman, Greetings From Insanity
Jake Meecham has been dropped down a rabbit hole. As a new production assistant at Shoplandia, he quickly realizes America’s third largest home shopping channel is much more than smiling show hosts, quantity counters, and sparkling jewelry. Everyone visiting the live studio—reality TV stars, beloved country musicians, drunk baseball icons and A-Team actors—is striving to cash in on their own version of the American Dream. Meanwhile, a motivational guru inspires manager Warren to plot out a life-changing career strategy and fledgling show host Renee searches deep to find her “sales gene.” Marketing VP Johnny tracks down a troubled long lost show host while back in the studio, producers Dottie and Dylan struggle to keep the live show from imploding.
A humorous novel told through stories, Shoplandia peels back the curtain to reveal the emotional bonds that form in our working lives.
If you want a chance at winning a free copy of Shoplandia with Goodreads Giveaway, click HERE.
Jim Breslin’s first novel SHOPLANDIA will be launched with two events in mid-May 2014. SHOPLANDIA is a novel told through stories that follows the lives of show hosts, producers and the crew that work at the fictional shopping channel known as SHOPLANDIA.
When Jake Meecham takes a production assistant job, he quickly realizes he has been dropped down a rabbit hole. Everyone visiting the live studio—reality TV stars, beloved country musicians, drunk baseball players and A-Team actors—is striving to cash in on their own version of the American dream. Meanwhile, manager Warren doubles down on his career after being inspired by a motivational guru. Fledgling show host Renee tries to determine if she has the “sales gene,” and Marketing VP Johnny Wake tracks down a troubled long lost show host. Back in the studio, producers Dottie and Dylan struggle to keep the live show running as a cascade of catastrophes unfolds on every shift.
A surprising novel told through stories, Shoplandia peels back the curtain to give a humorous and tragic glimpse into the familial bonds that often form in our working lives.
The two scheduled events are free and open to all:
SHOPLANDIA Book Launch
Thursday, May 15th, 6-8 p.m., short presentation at 7 p.m.
Chester County Book and Music Company
957 Paoli Pike
West Chester, PA 19380
SHOPLANDIA Book Launch Weekend
Sunday, May 18th 3-6 p.m.
BOOKPLACE, 2373 Baltimore Pike
Jim Breslin is a former TV producer who worked at QVC for seventeen years. His debut collection, Elephant: Short Stories and Flash Fiction, is available in paperback and for Kindle. Jim’s fiction has been published in Turk’s Head Review, The Molotov Cocktail, Think Journal and Metazen. Jim’s first published pieces were even shorter, his tweets were included in the book, The World According to Twitter, which was edited by NYT columnist David Pogue. Jim is the founder of the West Chester Story Slam and the Delco Story Slam.
Oermead Press is pleased to announce that Exit Pursued by a Bear, poems by Virginia Beards will be published in March, 2014. The chapbook will appear in paperback. In addition, a limited edition of 100 signed and numbered hardcover copies will be available exclusively at the book launch.
In Virginia’s poems, insomnia is a 3-ring circus, a Dairy Queen mutates into a funeral parlor, an 18th century graffito enlivens a bedpost in a Venetian palazzo, a swim in the Nile both lulls and terrifies. What she sees both directly and via a sideways glance, the inanities of the overheard as well as of the zeitgeist, and the stresses of domestic relationships are some of her themes in Exit Pursued by a Bear. Whatever the focus, she is committed to the pleasures of language and to multum in parvo, much in a small space.
Beards draws from an archive of urban (New York, Philadelphia), suburban (Seattle), rural (Lancaster county, PA), and international experience (Denmark, France, North Africa) plus a considerable literary backlog acquired as a member of the Penn State English Department for twenty-three years. She has published criticism in The Journal of Modern Literature, Twentieth Century Views of Women Writers, and in Critique: Studies in Modern Fiction. Her poetry has appeared in Writing on the Edge (Univ. of California, Davis) and her short stories in Chester County Fiction. She holds a M.A. from the University of Pennsylvania and a Ph.D. from Bryn Mawr College.
Eli Silberman’s debut novel, E-Train to Masada, was released in early 2013 by TSG Productions, Inc.. In the story, a New York City advertising executive is asked to create a commercial for the President of the United States. Amid the turmoil of the sixties, Harry Lang begins to question the war and civilization itself. The novel features Madison Avenue, focus groups, religious zealots, and powerful figures in Hollywood and Washington DC, and takes a wry philosophical look at our values as a society.
Eli is a retired advertising executive who lives in Unionville, PA. Eli’s short story, The Great Neck Nazi Killer, was featured in Chester County Fiction, an anthology of Chester County writers that was published by Oermead Press. Eli is currently transforming that short story into a novella. Learn more at Eli Silberman’s website by clicking here.
UPDATE: PHOENIXVILLE RISING is available from Amazon. Click here.
We are thrilled to hear that Robb Cadigan‘s first novel is being published by Rodgers Forge Press in October, 2013. PHOENIXVILLE RISING is “a tale if rebirth and redemption, as rich and vibrant as the American town it portrays.” Robb has received advance praise for the novel from NYT best selling author William Lashner. See what Lashner says by clicking through to Robb’s website, and sign up for a chance to receive a free copy by joining the email list.
Robb’s short story, Baptism, was featured in Chester County Fiction, an anthology of Chester County writers that was published by Oermead Press.
Robb lives in Phoenixville, PA.
We’re excited to announce the release of Chester County Fiction. These sixteen stories from authors who live and work in Chester County, Pennsylvania, explore our common history and shared bonds. The collection includes stories about people in transition, struggling to find their place and peace in the community they live in. They are tales about love and loss, violence and heartbreak. The collection features brand new stories by: Virginia Beards, Jim Breslin, Robb Cadigan, Wayne Anthony Conaway, Peter Cunniffe, Michael Dolan, Ronald D. Giles, Terry Heyman, Joan Hill, Nicole Valentine, Jacob Asher Michael, Eli Silberman and Christine Yurick. Check out the book trailer:
Chester County Fiction is available at Chester County Book and Music Company, BookPlace, Willow on State, Wellington Square Bookshop and Amazon. Two book signings are scheduled in the coming weeks: Saturday, October 22nd, 1pm at Chester County Book Company and Sunday, November 6th at 4pm at BookPlace in Oxford, PA.