Friday, December 28, 2012

Atomic Reading Club 2013 - It's Criminal

Baltimore has had a long and unfortunately (or fortunately depending on how you look at it) rich tradition with crime. But we've also had a strong connection to crime literature. Edgar Allan Poe, inventor of the detective story, died on our streets (Yay us! We killed Poe!). Dashiell Hammett, creator of Sam Spade, was from Maryland. And of course, Baltimore, via David Simon, has given the world the books Homicide and The Corner as well as the NBC series Homicide and the HBO series The Wire. And Laura Lippman's beloved investigator Tess Monaghan wanders our streets even when Laura's off in New Orleans.

As a city, crime is in our blood. So this year our book club's theme is downright criminal! We're reading books about crime.

January - We Need To Talk About Kevin by Lionel Shriver
February - Batman: The Long Halloween by Jeph Loeb / Tim Sale
March - Under The Banner Of Heaven by Jon Krakauer
April - The Big Con by David Maurer
May - Devil All The Time by Donald Ray Pollock
June - The Thin Man by Dashiell Hammett
July - The Hot Rock by Donald E. Westlake
August - The Likeness by Tara French
September - The Poisoner's Handbook by Deborah Blum
October - People Who Eat Darkness by Richard Lloyd Parry
November - Pimp by Iceberg Slim
December - The Killer Inside Me by Jim Thompson

As always, the titles are all 15% off for Reading Club members and all you have to do to join is tell us at the counter! Discussions for each title is the last Wednesday of the month, at Atomic Books, 7:30pm!
Join our Facebook Group for further discussions and updates.

Monday, December 17, 2012

Holiday Hours 2012

Our Holiday Hours starting tomorrow:

11 - 8pm
Fri. & Sat. 11 - 9pm
Sun. 10 - 7pm
Christmas Eve 11 - 5pm
Christmas Day - CLOSED
Dec. 26th back to normal hours
New Year's Eve - 11 - 5pm
New Year's Day - CLOSED

Saturday, December 15, 2012

Holiday Picks Part 6: Stocking Stuffers

Over the past few days, we've been posting theme-based holiday picks lists for your shopping enjoyment. Here we have our final installment: A Shoppers Guide to Stocking Stuffers!

Atomic Books Corn Mug
They're biodegradable. They're made of sustainable US corn (a material that is sort of like an organic Bakelite). And they feature our logo. But really, the thing that freaks people out is the corn thing. "Really? They're made of CORN?!!" they'll say in disbelief. Yep. Corn.

Baltimore Rat Sticker
Baltimore Rat Magnet

Yes, we know Baltimore isn't the only city suffering from an infestation of rodents, but here, instead of doing something about the problem we take pride in the ownership of that problem. These stickers and magnets say, "Yeah, we know we have rats. Wanna make something of it?"

Dunny Figure (Series 2012)
Blind-boxed mini figures are the perfect stocking stuffer, and The Dunny is the king of the blind-boxed toy. It's especially fun to give these to people who have no idea what they are and then try to explain it to them only to watch them not get it until they actually open the box and see which figure they got. Within a matter of seconds they'll be double-checking to see if there's another in their stocking because they'll want to open that one too. Addictive is what we're saying.

Everything Is Terrible! DVDs
Hilarious video mixtapes in the vein of TV Carnage! You'll laugh at the terribleness of humanity!

Freddy Kreuger Plush Clip-Ons
Jason Plush Clip-Ons

Two of our most iconic, cinematic horror movie characters in adorable, miniature plush form, complete with a plastic clip so we can attach them to a bag and take them along with us.

Inflatable Unicorn Horn for Cats
We all know someone who likes to take too many pictures of their cats. Instagram, Facebook, hell, the whole internet is lousy with adorable cat pictures. This prop can help liven up an otherwise typical kitty porn photo while giving the cat a touch of well-deserved dignity.

Public Toilet Survival Kit
We've all been there - having to use that rest room we'd rather not have to use. Damn bodily functions! This kit, the size of a box of band aids, will nest away nicely an almost any bag and be ready for that moment when we most need it.

Unicornos Series 2 Figures
The second series of Tokidoki's Unicornos are just too damn adorable to not go over well. Miniature, blind-boxed, artist designed unicorns. What more could you what? A rainbow? Well a rainbow is not a stocking stuffer!

Friday, December 14, 2012

Holiday Picks Part 5: Art/Coffee Table Books

Over the next few days, we'll be posting theme-based holiday picks lists for your shopping enjoyment. Here we have Shoppers Guide to Art and Coffee Table Books!

101 Essential Rock Records by Jeff Gold
This is not only a great book for the budding rock enthusiast, it's the perfect coffee table companion for any music fan. Contributors include Iggy Pop, David Bowie, Susanne Vega, Peter Buck (REM,) Johnny Marr (The Smiths,) Nels Cline (Wilco,) Devendra Banhart, Robyn Hitchcock, and more. Plus, the photo survey of censored record covers from the rock era is a really nice addition.

Beauty in Decay II by RomanyWG
A second collection, following up Beauty in Decay, of photography from urban exploration. Basically, people sneak into forgotten, abandoned, and locked away places where they're not allowed, and take magnificent pictures of spaces from another time in various states of decay.

Dark Stories by Dark Artists by by Nie Youjia
As the use of the word "dark" twice in the title should suggest, this is a collection of dark art - bizarre, gruesome and downright strange. Artists like Tara McPherson, Kate MacDowell, Ver Mar, Scott Radke, Jules Julien, Zhang Shihao reveal their own dark selves and visions.

Hi Fructose Collected Edition 3 (Special Edition) by Attaboy / Annie Owens (editors)
This beautiful box set is the third collection of the popular art zine Hi Fructose in a limited edition that is just loaded with goodies. The book itself is great, but so too are the black velvet Junko Mizuno print, the Mark Ryden mask, the stickers, and more that come with it. 

New York Nights by James T. Murray / Karla L. Murray
New York Nights is a follow up the the Murrays' stunning Store Front. In an age of stripmall sameness -New York Nights celebrates the majestic beauty of the individual nightlife spot - bars, restaurants, venues - in an oversize format with photos of the fronts of places from the past and today.

Stay Up!: Los Angeles Street Art by G. James Daichendt
This is an excellently designed and edited survey of today's street art scene in L.A. Overloaded with an abundance of awesome street art.

Friday, December 07, 2012

Holiday Picks Part 4: Funny Books

Over the next few days, we'll be posting theme-based holiday picks lists for your shopping enjoyment. Here we have Shoppers Guide to Funny Books!

America Again: Re-becoming the Greatness We Never Weren't by Stephen Colbert
Fiscal cliffs, partisan bickering - Colbert is here to pull us back from the brink of our own stupidity.

The Great Showdowns by Scott Campbell
Just because it's a famous, long-running, and iconic relationship based on competition - that doesn't mean the parties involved have to be enemies. Campbell's appealing art recreates famous cinematic showdowns like Ripley and the Alien, Brody and the shark, and many more.

How To Be A Woman by Caitlin Moran
It's not as easy as it might seem. Funny, provocative, and a great way to celebrate the end of the year of the War on Women.

How To Be Black by Baratunde Thurston
A funny look at race. You have to like a book that warns, "If you don't buy this book, you're a racist." Therefore - How To Be Black is the perfect gift for non-racists and people who are having a hard time being black.

Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me? (And Other Concerns) by Mindy Kaling
The writer/star of NBC's The Office and Fox's The Mindy Project invites readers to step into her life and share some of her observations. Along with Amy Poehler and Tina Fey, Kaling is undeniably one of the funniest women around - and this book underlines that point.

The Onion Book of Known Knowledge: A Definitive Encyclopaedia Of Existing Information by The Onion
The satirical newspaper The Onion isn't just a funny read, it's a public service, oftentimes delivering funny commentary so precise, it can change the way we think about things. This book will provide you with everything you need to know about knowing stuff - Onion-style.

That Is All by John Hodgman
Here Hodgman delivers the conclusion to his trilogy - Complete World Knowledge. Made-up facts, lists, hilarity and insightful nonsense.

Totally MAD: 60 Years of Humor, Satire, Stupidity and Stupidity by The Usual Gang Of Idiots
MAD Magazine is a humor institution. Gathered together here is a distilled selection of MAD's most ridiculous stupidity from 60 years and counting.

Zombies Hate Stuff by Greg Stones
In a glut of zombie-related entertainment, Stones' magical book shines as a slice of beautifully illustrated, simplistic genius. Zombies do hate stuff - they are surprisingly more complex than you'd think the shambling undead would be. 

Atomic Books On WYPR's The Signal

Benn will be on WYPR's (88.1FM) The Signal this evening at 7PM (and again Saturday at 1PM) to discuss holiday gift suggestions, covering fiction, non-fiction and graphic novels.
Check out the podcast.

Listen live online.

See The Glacktorkulous Artwork of Stephen Blickenstaff

Artist Stephen Blickenstaff will be having a one night only art show as part of Hampden Holidays Five First Fridays celebration (every Friday leading up to Christmas is a neighborhood-wide First Friday party).

Stephen is best known for his iconic cover art for The Cramp's legendary record, Bad Music For Bad People, but he has also designed record covers and t-shirts and posters for They Might Be Giants, Thin White Rope, The Graves Brothers Deluxe, Electric Frankenstein and Love Tractor among others. His work has appeared in Les Barany's Carnivora, Dark Horse Presents, Weirdo, Guitar World, Psychotronic Video and Draculina.

We'll be serving adult beverages, and there will be a lot more going on throughout Hampden! 

Holiday Picks Part 3: Boozers & Foodies

Over the next few days, we'll be posting theme-based holiday picks lists for your shopping enjoyment. Here we have a Boozers and Foodies Shoppers Guide!

The Book of Gin: A Spirited World History from Alchemists' Stills and Colonial Outposts to Gin Palaces, Bathtub Gin, and Artisanal Cocktails by Richard Barnett
For those who like their liquors clear. I know, I know, it sounds weird to me, too. Jinuary is just around the corner!

Cocktails with Bompas And Parr by by Sam Bompas / Harry Parr
Bombas and Parr provide an array of classic cocktails, some obscurities and some new delights as well. There is a nice background provided on the drinks, and some serious discussion of cocktail equipment. 

Destination: Cocktails: The Traveler's Guide to Superior Libations by James Teitelbaum
This boozers guide book is a must for the traveling drinker. Teitelbaum reviews hundreds of cocktail bars in dozens of cities around the world - complete with notable menu items. Destination: Cocktails has a lot of bonus features like bar owner interviews, history and even some recipes. 

Dr. Cocktail: 50 Spirited Infusions to Stimulate the Mind and Body by Alex Ott
A great gift for the more spiritual boozer. Dr. Cocktail mixes homeopathy with drink recipes. Ott explains how active ingredients function, he explains the medicinal value of the herbal additives, and the book is illustrated with lush photography. 

Faviken by Magnus Nilsson
For the localvore foodie. Nilsson has a restaurant in the middle of a farm and hunting estate. And he only makes food with what he can hunt and gather. His impressive oversized hardcover features fine photography and recipes that cause you to rethink recipes using what's around you.

Foodopoly: The Battle Over the Future of Food and Farming in America by Wenonah Hauter
Hauter's book makes great fuel for political foodie. It's an in-depth look at how corporate farming is wrecking our national food policies, and she traces the ripples out to surprising destinations. Food isn't just personal - it's also political.

Lucky Peach
McSweeney's food magazine is a thing of beauty. It's one of those magazines that you pick up and can't help but reading from cover to cover.

Modernist Cuisine At Home by Nathan Myhrvold / Maxime Bilet
This is the Cadillac of foodbooks! But the full edition is both huge and super-expensive. This home version features friendlier recipes, accessible ingredients and a plastic pages that wipe off easily. Modernist Cuisine isn't about you making grandma's great comfort food - it's about you being able to make the sorts of food you find in your favorite restaurants - with well-illustrated, step-by-step instructions.

Space Invaders Drink Markers by Kikkerland
Space Invaders will help you never confuse your drink with someone else's. Just in time for the holiday party season!

Thursday, December 06, 2012

Holiday Picks Part 2: Baltimore Stories

Over the next few days, we'll be posting theme-based holiday picks lists for your shopping enjoyment. Here we have a Baltimore Stories Shoppers Guide!

And When She Was Good: A Novel by Laura Lippman
Mystery writer Laura Lippman's new hardcover, set in Baltimore, was largely considered one of her best. And our copies come signed by the author, while supplies last.

Baltimore Beer: A Satisfying History of Charm City Brewing by Rob Kasper
Kasper provides a lively, fun and fascinating history of beer in Baltimore. Why is Maryland called "The Free State?" What happened to beloved Baltimore beers? Why did Baltimore have such a rich beer culture for a significant part of the 20th century? Kasper answers all these questions with trademark storytelling charm.

Hey Cabbie Volume 1
Hey Cabbie Volume 2: There's Nothing More Real Than The Streets

by Thaddeus Logan
Thaddeus is a former Baltimore City police detective turned cab driver who has compiled his experiences into two utterly revealing collections that provide a peak into a city of people who have all kinds of problems and drama.

REDLINES: Baltimore 2028 - An Anthology Of Speculative Fiction by Jason Harris (editor)
This anthology collects fiction that speculates about Baltimore city in the not-too distant future. Will Baltimore still be "the Greatest City in America" 15 years? More importantly, will our mass transit Red Line be built by then? Peep into Baltimore's near future by a host of talented writers.

So Say the Waiters Volume 1: Episodes 1-5 by Justin Sirois
Sirois creates a fun tale based on an app that lets people submit to recreational kidnapping. Baltimore is as much a character as the cast of familiar city types we all know. The City Paper says that Sirois "is well on his way to becoming Baltimore’s most important novelist," and this novel is the fascinating, entertaining and fun proof in that pudding. It actually reads like a good HBO series, which makes total sense given the episodic nature of what Sirois is doing.

Wednesday, December 05, 2012

Holiday Picks Part 1: Music Lovers

Over the next few days, we'll be posting theme-based holiday picks lists for your shopping enjoyment. We start off with a Music Books Shoppers Guide!

A Light That Never Goes Out: The Enduring Saga of the Smiths by Tony Fletcher
If you know someone who loves The Smiths, this book is the end all/be all, clocking in at about 700 pages. This is the complete history of the working-class Manchester band that left behind a legacy of fantastic records and a seemingly insurmountable, mutually shared hostility.

Baltimore Sounds by Joe Vaccarino
This new edition of the encyclopedia of Baltimore music from 1950 updates its listings through 2000. Vaccarino painstakingly documents every Baltimore-area pop band of the last half of the 20th century - loaded with history, photos, and more. When you pick this book up, it's very easy to lose several hours just hopping around from listing to listing.

Gainsbourg: The Biography by Gilles Verlant / Paul Knobloch (translator)
Gainsbourg was more than just the beloved French pop superstar - he was a sexual provocateur, the ugly man who loved gorgeous women. Serge was an icon of scandal and song who not only transformed a nation's music - he transformed the world with his music, and this thorough biography is loaded with interviews and stories every bit as entertaining and worthy as the subject himself.

I'm Your Man: The Life of Leonard Cohen by Sylvie Simmons
The definitive account of poet, novelist, artist, musician and icon, Leonard Cohen. The book follows Cohen hopping around the world, through the counter cultural sixties and seventies - through his 90s retreat to a monastery and up through his reemergence as a distinguished folk statesmen.

Song Reader by Beck
Beck decided to go totally old school with the release of his new record - in that he didn't release it as a record. Or a download. Or a CD. Or a cassette. Song Reader is a McSweeney's book of sheet music for play along at home fun. So if you know anyone who plays or reads music, or just likes to support Scientologists, Song Reader makes a great gift - loaded with great illustrations by Marcel Dzama and others.

The Sound of Tomorrow: How Electronic Music Was Smuggled into the Mainstream by Mark Brend
The Sound of Tomorrow tells the history of the rise of electronic music. It's the story of artists experimenting with technology to bring boundary-pushing sounds to the masses. From the Beatles to the theremin and beyond!

How Music Works by David Byrne
Byrne has spent a lot of time thinking about how music works. Here, he presents his findings, mixed with social science, history, cultural anthropology and more. It's a heady yet accessible and fascinating look at how music does what it does.

We Got Power!: Hardcore Punk Scenes from 1980s Southern California by David Markey / Jordan Schwartz
We Got Power! was an early '80s hardcover fanzine that documented the emergence of bands like Black Flag, Social Distortion, The Minutemen, Suicidal Tendencies, and even Husker Du. This beautiful Bazillion Points hardcover collects the zine, loaded with many, many photos that are stunning in their documentation of an era.

Will Oldham on Bonnie "Prince" Billy by Will Oldham / Alan Licht (editor)
Collecting a series of conversations between Oldham and Licht, this book provides a fascinating look into a challenging and fascinating artist - complete with a discography. Also, Oldham has said this book will be his last interview. It probably won't be. But still.