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Hannah Harlow

The Book Shop of Beverly Farms

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 In my family, cooking assignments for Thanksgiving were doled out weeks ago, though I make the same thing every year.  I’m not much of a cook, but I’ve perfected a handful of baked goods over the years, including apple pie and so, in addition to finding and signing the family up for the turkey trot in whichever town we happen to be celebrating in that year, an apple pie or two is my only responsibility.  My recipe comes from Pam Anderson’s The Perfect Recipe, which sadly is no longer in print. But if you’ve been assigned pie this year and you’re looking for a little inspiration, I’d recommend The Book on Pie by Erin Jeanne McDowell and Mark Weinberg.  If you’re looking to bring your pie to the next level, check out Pie Camp by Kate McDermott, which focuses on technique, in addition to having fabulous recipes. But why limit yourself to pie this Thanksgiving?  The great Dorie Greenspan’s latest, Baking with Dorie, is delightful.

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For most gift-giving occasions, not surprisingly, I usually wrap up a book.  But I can’t remember the last time someone gave me a book on my birthday or Christmas.  My brother, co-owner of the store with me, is the only one who still tries.  Would you give a book to a bookstore owner? Yeah, probably not.  I get it.  I wouldn’t want to try and give me a book either.  

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The other week Hannah Harlow was on a call with a sales rep, reviewing her company’s spring publishing list, when she pitched me a book that Harlow had initially passed on.  She referred to it as being “cli-fi.”  What?  Well, it refers to "climate change science fiction."  Go figure ...

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About 10 years ago, The Book Shop's Hannah Harlow gave herself permission not to finish a book.  It’s a popular creed for people to decide that every book they start must be paged through to fruition.  She used to feel the same way.  Not anymore.  She's decided not finishing a book isn't the end of the world.

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Life restarts with a bang in September.  As summer comes to a close, we get back in a business frame of mind.  For those of us in retail, that means thinking about the holidays.  A lot of our buying has already been done.  In fact, Christmas cards began arriving last week.  The big question looming this year is the supply chain.  Where exactly will the works get gummed up? 

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One of our first new partners at the Book Shop was Libro.fm, a company that allows customers to purchase audiobooks through independent bookstores. I’ve come to learn just how much narration matters.

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Did you know today, August 20, is National Lemonade Day? The age of social media has meant a new random holiday to celebrate every day, mostly so we can use hashtags to generate likes and follows.  A less cynical view is that they exist to bring greater attention to things that often get overlooked. August is also Women in Translation Month, and that’s an internet holiday I can get behind.

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Do people go on blind dates anymore?In the age of the internet, when you meet first online, or when you can google any name before agreeing to dinner and a movie, does the blind date still exist?  I’ve never been on one — except with a book.

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