In the apocalyptic battle known as Keep Austin Reading, the city has struck yet another blow: On Friday, May 14, the Austin Public Library announced that the third selection in the Mayor's Book Club is Cormac McCarthy's All the Pretty Horses. Past selections have been Rudolfo Anaya's Bless Me, Ultima and Austinite Louis Sachar's Holes. All the Pretty Horses is a deviation of sorts: Both Bless Me, Ultima and Holes are widely recognized as books geared mainly toward children and young adults, which probably explains why the latter was checked out more than 5,000 times from branch libraries, and why more than 500 people attended various programs and discussions during a two-month period last year. Grownups, it seems, will have to pick up the pace to maintain the initiative's success. While Anaya and Sachar participated in culminating discussions during their books' respective reigns, McCarthy will not. Keep an eye on this space for upcoming events in the Keep Austin Reading campaign.
Despite rumors among employees and customers that the Half Price Books on Guadalupe had narrowed its search for a new location to the former Wherehouse Music on Burnet and the former Randalls on North Lamar, corporate headquarters namely, Executive Vice-President Kathy Doyle Thomas would only confirm that the store will not be purchasing the property at 3110 Guadalupe. She also said that "currently, there is a contract pending" between the Showalter family trust that owns the property and an as-yet-unknown buyer. As we reported in February, Half Price had declined an offer to buy the property, because, according to Thomas, "It was not a viable option for us to purchase the building, because, one, they're asking way too much, and, two, the parking lot wouldn't be part of the deal." The scouting for "a place to meet our needs" has been accelerated, as the store's lease is soon up, and renewal with a new owner is unlikely.
Austin's James Hynes (The Lecturer's Tale, Publish and Perish, The Wild Colonial Boy) will be at BookPeople on Wednesday, May 26, to read from and sign his latest, Kings of Infinite Space (St. Martin's, $24.95), as part of the Texas Monthly Author Series. Look for our review of Infinite Space in next week's "Summer Reading" section. And in June, look out for BookPeople tour stops from Megan Daum, James Surowiecki, Jonathan Rauch, and Adrian Tomine. See www.bookpeople.com for all of the specs.