PaperBackSwap Blog

Archive for June, 2009

Guest Post by Author Mindy Friddle

Wednesday, June 17th, 2009

Today we’re trying something a little different, we have author Mindy Friddle stopping by to talk about family secrets as mentioned in her newest book Secret Keepers.

At the end of the day we’ll have a random drawing including all of those who comment on the post.  Winner will receive a signed copy of Secret Keepers! Can’t think of something to comment about? Just tell us if you have any other favorite Novels that take place in the South like Secret Keepers or share some of your favorite family secrets!  (Congratulations to Courtney G., court4short -Enjoy your signed copy of Secret Keepers!)

Mindy Friddle - Author of Secret Keepers

Mindy Friddle - Author of Secret Keepers

Mindy’s Bio:
Mindy Friddle’s first novel, The Garden Angel (St. Martin’s Press/Picador) was selected for Barnes and Noble’s Discover Great New Writers program in 2004, and was a National Public Radio (NPR) Morning Edition summer reading pick. Secret Keepers, her second novel, was published by St. Martin’s Press in May. She lives, writes, and gardens in Greenville, South Carolina. For more on her books, visit her website www.mindyfriddle.com and her blog, Novel Thoughts: Musings on Writing, Reading and the Earth.

Since I came across the letter from J. Edgar Hoover in my grandmother’s trunk, I’ve been thinking a lot about family secrets.

My grandmother died two years ago.She was 93, and she left behind a house and an attic full of stuff. I was helping my mother go through it all when we came across the trunk. Actually, it was my great-grandmother’s trunk, which she’d brought along in 1950 when she moved in with my grandparents from North Carolina to Greenville, SC. My great-grandmother came from Franklin, NC, a little town up in the mountains, and it must have been hard for her to leave the place she’d grown up in, but, alas, widowed and the mother of an only child, she came down to Greenville reluctantly, dutifully, bringing along her trunk. Opening it just those few weeks ago felt like peering into a time capsule– my great-grandmother’s hairpins and sewing kit, dried flowers, a bible, newspaper clipping and lots and lots of photographs. Unlabeled, most of them: photos of farmers and fiddlers, of a woman smoking a pipe holding a goat, a baptism at the river, of brides and grave stones. Postcards too. From Atlantic City in 1910. My dear, it is beautiful here. There are so many people! And telegraphs. Sorry to inform you. STOP. Your son died in battle. Stop.

And letters. THE letter. From J. Edgar Hoover to the Sheriff of Macon County. About a missing person? The FBI…”Oh, that’s about Aunt Lily,” my mother said. “You know…your great-grandmother’s sister. She disappeared…and they never found her.” Huh?

My mother was only 13 when her Great-aunt Lily disappeared. My grandmother never talked about it much. And my great-grandmother and her people didn’t much discuss it, either. She just worked quietly, diligently, writing to the sheriff of her hometown for years, begging him to keep trying to find her sister. Her only sister. Who had married late in life, married a man who came through town–no one knew his people, no one knew anything much about him– but she–Lily– left with him, heading to California. “I reckon they eloped,” a relative tells me. “She just ran off with him.” A preacher’s daughter, a spinster? No children. With a salesman? She lost her head–and other things maybe, too– headed off to California, where her letters were regular for months, then stopped, and then…she disappeared. Never a trace. No funeral. The husband disappeared, too. He killed her, is what my great-grandmother suspected. No one said it outright, but they knew, they knew.

A few weeks ago, I was at a writers’ conference telling the story about my finding the letter from Hoover in my great-grandmother’s trunk. The table full of writers dropped silverware, jaws, conversation. I had given them the barest dry details, but it was enough to ignite a whole bonfire of possibilities.
She left because of sex. No, she was in love. He was a serial killer.(Cold Case fans.) No, SHE killed him. (A Rose for Emily, anyone?). Or maybe he left her and she was just too ashamed to come back home and fled to Mexico? Or …swam out in the choppy Pacific and…

Family secrets… the perfect breeding ground for novels.
# # #

SECRET KEEPERS:  strong storytelling, comic touches, prickly family dynamics, and the magical power of nature.
St. Martin’s Press
Read an excerpt at www.mindyfriddle.com
On Sale: 4/27/2009
ISBN: 9780312537029
ISBN-10: 0312537026
Also available: THE GARDEN ANGEL (St. Martin’s Press & Picador)

Dear Librarian,

Monday, June 15th, 2009

Dear Librarian- I’m a new member and I am anxious about my privacy.  Do you share or sell our personal information?  How can I check to see what information other members can see about me? – Jittery in Jonesboro

Dear Jonesy,

We do not sell or share member information with anyone (if you are getting spam, don’t blame us!).  Other members do need access to a working mailing address (which includes a full, real last name) to which to send the books you request, of course, but otherwise your personal information is hidden from others.  You can tightly control your privacy, in your Privacy Controls which are accessible from your Account Settings.  The default settings are pretty private – nothing shows on the site but your first name and last initial, and your PBS nickname if you have chosen one – but in your Privacy Controls you can choose how you want your “identity” to appear on the site, and control every other bit of information shown to the membership.  You can even hide your booklists (Wish List and Bookshelf) from other members – although that would be counterproductive in most cases, Jones, since you want people to see your Bookshelf so they can order from you, and hiding your Wish List means that you won’t get any Wish List books posted directly to you by buddies on the site (this happens pretty often).

So if you’re smart about what you post in forums and in your profile (it’s never wise to share TOO much personal info on the Internet), you shouldn’t have anything to worry about!  We have a great group of members and you are bound to make some good friends here.

Dear Librarian-  Why don’t you have the “posting position” of each book on the site, like you do with the Wish List, so we can see where our posted books are in line to get requests?  It would help us decide to donate some books instead of keep them listed – a book that has 60 available copies for example, I would donate instead of post here.  – Curious in Cooperstown

Dear Coop,

Good question!  We do plan to make this information available at some point – but not just as the position in line.   The raw information would not really help members make decisions about when their books might be requested.  Some books move very fast here!  So that book that has 60 copies in the system?  Those 60 copies could be swapped in a month, if it is a popular book.   Not only that, but FIFO does not govern every swap here – if you are a Boxer (= if you are subscribed to Box-O-Books) or if you offer “deals” in the Book Bazaar (2 books for 1 credit, 3 books for 2 credits, etc), your #60 book may be included as part of a Box-O-Books swap, or added in to a deal you are offering, and thus get requested “early”.

We are working on a way to show members the dynamics of a book in the system, to give the raw number some meaning so it is useful and not prone to being misinterpreted.  This programming is pretty tricky; in the meantime, you can’t know where your book is in line to get requests – so that leaves a nice opening for a surprise here and there!

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PBS Local Chapter News:

Monday, June 15th, 2009

New Local Chapter Leaders:

If you want to be a Local Chapter Leader for PBS, you just need to have a PBS NIckname, a viewable public profile, and some organizational skills…check the Local Chapter Leaders Forum List of Official Chapters to see if your area already has a local Chapter.  If not, and you want to do this, just contact us.  There are no formal guidelines for being a Chapter Leader.  All of the information is in the Local Chapter Leader Discussion Forum topic.    If you are an official Chapter Leader and want us to include your upcoming meetup in the Newsletter, send in a message to us with the date, at least a week before the end of the preceding month.

Books for Father’s Day

Monday, June 15th, 2009

Look at these books by, for and about dads, currently available to request…

General Fiction… Look Back All the Green Valley. Jess Kirkman returns to the North Carolina mountain town of his boyhood to tend to his ailing mother, and clean out his deceased father’s workroom. What he discovers there leads him—and the reader—on an unforgettable journey through the secret life of Jess’s father, which culminates in a moment of profound mystery… and comedy.

Memoirs Father Joe: The Man Who Saved My Soul. Tony Hendra, a writer and satirist who was one of the geniuses behind THIS IS SPINAL TAP, shares an inspiring true story about his spiritual journey toward God, in the form of a tribute to the Rev. Joseph Warrilow, a Benedictine monk who lives in a monastery on the Isle of Wight.    A New York Times Notable Book.
Military History … Duty: A Father, His Son, and the Man Who Won the War.   When Bob Greene went home to central Ohio to be with his dying father, it set off a chain of events that led him to knowing his dad in a way he never had before — thanks to a quiet man who lived just a few miles away, a man who had changed the history of the world….  Duty is the story of three lives connected by history, proximity, and blood; indeed, it is many stories, intimate and achingly personal as well as deeply historic.

Business …Business Dad : How Good Businessmen Can Make Great Fathers (and Vice Versa) Businessmen with kids often feel trapped between rising expectations at work and at home…there are never enough hours in the day. What’s a business dad to do? Tom Hirschfeld, veteran businessman and father of two, addresses the dilemma with surprising insights and sensible solutions….

Contemporary Fiction... A Father’s Affair. What happens to a father when he discovers that he has been infertile all his life? That intriguing question is the starting point of this book. Still reeling from the sudden death of his wife (the one person who could answer his questions), the protagonist, Armin Minderhout, begins a quest to discover the biological father of his thirteen-year-old son. The reader joins him on an extraordinary journey, one in which he is forced to reconsider everything and everyone he has ever believed in…


Monday, June 15th, 2009

Whatcha hidin’?  …Wouldn’t you like to know!  The soft bookcovers in the Kiosk can keep your reading material private, as well as protect your books and make them easy to hold.  Now in three sizes: Mass Market, Premium Mass Market (= most trade paperbacks) and Hardcover, and a number of different patterns.  Seriously, if you haven’t gotten one of these yet, you are missing out!

Cross-Country Champs… Check out the new page of Most Traveled Books under Search at the top of any page on the site…. These are individual copies of books that have been swapped the most times and are still traveling and available to request.  You can see the path each book has taken, and you can also see the most-swapped copies of all time from a link on the still-traveling copies page.  Think of it, each of these books could have had just one reader and then languished on a dusty shelf forever.  Instead, each of them has gladdened the hearts of multiple readers – and the currently-traveling copies are still going strong!

Dear Members, …Father’s Day

Monday, June 15th, 2009

Every year it sneaks up on us while we are gardening, finishing out the school year, getting ready for the Fourth of July…  Father’s Day!

When I was growing up, I never thought of my Dad as being special.   He went to work every day and came home to us three boys and my Mom.   My brothers and I hardly noticed when people stared at him rolling by in his wheelchair (where polio put him when he was a teenager) – to us he was just Dad.   But as I grow older and face my own relatively minor challenges every day, I begin to see things in a new light, and realize how  special he really was.  Not because of his disability – but because of his abilities.   Thinking of him inspires me to enjoy what I have instead of worrying about what I don’t have – to celebrate the many miracles that go into every day on this earth.

Here’s to you, Dad!   And to everyone else who reminds us that there is extraordinary in the ordinary all around us.
Let’s all have a wonderful June,
and the PaperBackSwap Team

Twitter Background Contest Results are in!

Wednesday, June 10th, 2009

Thanks to everyone for your design submissions & votes!

  • 1st Place Winners = $100 +25 credits (transferable between PaperbackSwap.com/SwapaCD.com/SwapaDVD.com), 1 Year Box-O-Books, 1 Year Book Journal, $10.00 PaperbackSwap Money, $10.00 SwapaCD.com Money and $10.00 SwapaDVD.com Money)
  • 2nd place Winners:  20 Credits transferable
  • 3rd place Winners:  15 Credits transferable
  • 4th place Winners:  10 Credits transferable
  • 5th place Winners:  5 Credits transferable

Thanks again to TwitterBackgroundsGallery.com for helping us with this contest!

The People’s Choice awards are:

Congrats to Lauri Johnsen - Winner of our Twitter Background Contest

Congrats to Lauri Johnsen - Winner of our Twitter Background Contest

  1. @LauriJohnsen
  2. @burtonreview
  3. @renegadebison
  4. @LauriJohnsen
  5. @mariEngle

The PBS Team’s Choice awards are:

  1. @LauriJohnsen We loved it as well! Congrats!
  2. @goldentwig
  3. @mariEngle
  4. @MaestroColl
  5. @renegadebison

Winner’s please email your original artwork files to librarian@paperbackswap.com. (We would prefer your photoshop/illustrator files as well, just in case we need to change image size or something.)
-Make sure to include your PBS member information in the email as well (nickname/membership email address) to help us track you down quickly and get you your loot.
Prizes will be awarded / sent out Monday, June 15th. (we must have your files)
Thanks & Congrats once again!