Word on the street

Meow, meow

With its spacious aisles, uncluttered, dust-free shelves, and comfortable reading areas throughout, Nine Lives Bookstore (4919 NW Loop 410, in the Village at the Summit) encourages lounging as much as browsing - unless you're allergic to cats (WOTS managed to last only a half hour). As the name implies, the place has nine of them, a rescued mother and her eight kittens who roam unhampered amidst the books and DVDs, videos, magazines, and CDs.

Aside from the feline companions, what makes Nine Lives unique is their extensive collection of legal and medical titles, as well as their used occult and New-Age books. As Suzanne Mary Farnsworth, store owner, explains, her vision for the store combines what she cherishes most about her favorite bookstores in the area: low prices on used books, textbooks for students, spiritual and occult titles, and comfortable areas to relax and read.

A cat lover among cat lovers, Farnsworth dreams of a sanctuary for what she calls "special needs cats" - the abandoned, sick, and lame animals who would otherwise be put to sleep. Her plan is to use what she earns through Nine Lives to open the Tenth Life Cat Sanctuary. "I'm praying that somebody who loves dogs is going to open the Last Chance Dog Sanctuary," she says, only partly in jest.

Announcing Angelou

As part of San Antonio's Black History Month celebration, poet laureate Maya Angelou, best known for I Know Why The Caged Bird Sings, will be reading at Trinity University's Laurie Auditorium at 7 p.m. Wednesday, February 16. Her reading joins several literary-themed events running throughout the month, including Pulitzer poet Yusef Komunyakaa's visit later this week `see "Never mind the laurels, let's chat," February 3-9, 2005` and storytelling sessions sponsored by the city's branch libraries. Log on to www.bh.carver.org for more details.

Reading Banks

Russell Banks, the acclaimed writer whose novels include Affliction, The Sweet Hereafter, and Cloudsplitter, will speak at Trinity University's Stieren Theater at 8 p.m. on March 1. Banks work explores themes of race, working class identity, and masculinity, set against the backdrop of his native Northeast. The Darling, his latest, is the story of a middle-aged white woman, a '60s radical who left for Liberia, as she reflects upon her life. For more information on Bank's reading, contact the department of English at 999-7517.

Cinco kudos

Bravo! to El Paso's Cinco Puntos Press for their impressive showing at the American Library Association's Mid-Winter Meeting. Three of Cinco Puntos' titles walked off with honors: Benjamin Saenz' Sammy & Juliana in Hollywood made the 2005 Top Ten Best Books for Young Adults List (see "No Happy Ending," August 8-15, 2004). Youme Landowne's Sélavi, a Haitian Story of Hope was selected for the 2005 Notable Children's Book List, and Tim Tingle's CD of his book Walking the Choctaw Road is one of 30 Selected Audiobooks for Young Adults. Congratulations to all the authors and illustrators who collaborated on these prize-winning titles.

Altered pages

The always-innovative young artists over at SAY Sí, 1420 South Alamo, combine words with images in The Altered Page, an exhibit of self-produced, one-of-a-kind books, journals, comics and 'zines, using both traditional paper and electronic formats. Catch them now until the end of the month.

South side book fair

On Saturday, February 26, South Park Mall is hosting what they call their first annual Bookfair, a literary celebration featuring local writers and activities for children of all ages. Authors interested in joining the list of scheduled readers should contact Chris Gutierrez at 921-0534.

Compiled by: Alejandro Pérez

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