A Novel Idea Bookstore
Building & Buying Book Collections since 1991
Open Tuesday-Saturday 10 am-6 pm . Off hours-open by chance! 
118 North 14th Street, Lincoln, NE 68508 . (402) 475-8663
anovelideabookstore@yahoo.com

 

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Community: Customer Spotlights

Every few months, we draw for a $20 gift certificate & the opportunity to share your passion for books as our "spotlighted" customer.

If you are interested in being in our Customer Spotlight, please email here.
We look forward to hearing from you!

The following is a Customer Spotlight on: Damon Magnuson
Damon Magnuson is an avid reader of many topics, strange and obscure like. Raised just outside of Lincoln, NE by a teacher and an engineer, reading was a bug introduced to him at a young, bright age. A writer as well when he is able, he enjoys several different topics and authors, fiction and non-fiction alike. He highly recommends trying to attend one of the Books and Bottles parties at A Novel Idea!

He has a bachelor's degree in Business Administration from the University of Nebraska, as well as employed as an Operations Manager for the University of Nebraska at Lincoln. He plans to move to Philadelphia, PA by the beginning of the summer, though he will always find his way back to Lincoln and A Novel Idea regardless of his distance.

Q: What are your favorite sections in our store?
A: Several of them; the mystery section has always been my favorite for fictional section (then Fantasy!) and mythology is definitely my favorite nonfiction section, followed quickly by the reference section. I also have a habit of acquiring several cookbooks as well. I often find myself simply wandering the store, to see what interesting and fascinating books have been recently acquired that I might serendipitously stumble upon and pick up. A Novel Idea has an amazing talent of acquiring some of the most intriguing and unexpected books!

Q: Who are your favorite authors?
A: Terry Pratchett, Piers Anthony, Glen Cook, Christopher Moore, Dean Koontz, Guy Kawasaki, Stephen Covey, Mark Twain, Neil Gaiman, Tom Robbins, Tim Powers, H.P. Lovecraft, Mark E. Rogers, Robert Anton Wilson, Douglas Adams, Kelley Armstrong, Jim Butcher, Ed McBain, Kim Harrison, Robert McCammon, Piers Anthony, Diane Duane, Spider Robinson, Robert Heinlein to name a few!

Q: What are five books you've particularly enjoyed?
A: Oh that is a challenging question. I would have to go with Boy's Life by Robert McCammon; a good story about magic, mystery, imagination, and a good coming of age pieces Moving Pictures by Terry Pratchett; a solid satire about passion and determination as viewed through the lens of Hollywood, Pride, Prejudice and Zombies by Jane Austin and Seth Grahame-Smith; a classic piece with a little extra flair for taste added to it, The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy by Douglas Adams; a must read for everyone about adventure and being prepared, and Path to Bliss by His Holiness the Dalai Lama XIV; an amazing book about life and meditation.

Q: What has been your best book find in our shop?
A: That question is easy - that would be acquiring my Midsummer Night's Dream folio; I was overjoyed that was I able to find it and it's one of my most cherished possessions. Though I'm quite familiar with the piece, I have ready it several times over a nice cup of tea and enjoy it every time.

Q: What is your fondest memory or favorite thing about A Novel Idea Bookstore?
A: There are so many to choose from. I would have to say my fondest memory would be the one time I was fortunate enough to have a Books and Bottles party at the Store - it was amazing to be able to have my friends and I at the store for our own private party of shopping and merriment. The staff was considerably charming and perfect and it was a fetching evening of book shopping and good company.
 

The following is a Customer Spotlight on: Scott Clark
I've been a life-long resident of Lincoln since being born here in 1963. I've been an avid reader for as long as I can remember, enjoying weekly trips as a kid to both the old University Place Library and then Anderson Branch Library when it opened in the 1970s. I grew up on Encyclopedia Brown, The Hardy Boys and Nancy Drew, The Three Investigators, the Danny Dunn books of Jay Williams, and the "Trick" series by Scott Corbett. It's no surprise to me that I ended up working for the Lincoln City Libraries, starting in 1980 and continuing to this day. Currently, I work as a reference librarian at the Bennett Martin Public Library (a block away from A Novel Idea), where my main area of responsibility is maintaining the online "readers advisory" pages known as BookGuide. I read voraciously, and share my reviews of most of what I read via the Staff Recommendations pages of BookGuide.

I'm a huge fan of TV, and have collected TV Tie-In novels for decades now. I'm also a big science fiction and mystery fan. I've been a member of Lincoln's science fiction club, Star Base Andromeda since 1981, and enjoy reading SF/Fantasy novels for discussion with that group. I also lead the Just Desserts mystery fiction discussion group on behalf of the library, and have enjoyed sampling numerous new mystery authors with that group of intense mystery fans. At heart, I'm happy to admit I'm a geek!

I'm also friends with Lincoln's own Hugo Award-winning science fiction author, Robert Reed, and serve as webmaster for his official website.

I enjoy doing the whole "social networking" thing - you can find me on LibraryThing - which has links to my other online presences. I was proud to have been the only "mayor" of A Novel Idea on FourSquare for the past few years, until somebody usurped that role from me just recently!

Q: What are your favorite sections in our store?
A: Working as close to the store as I do, I make it part of my lunch-time routine to stop in at least 5 days a week. I always check out the New Arrivals section first, as well as the "staff recommendations" shelves. But my favorite parts of the store to hang out in are the Science Fiction/Fantasy section, the Mystery section, the Film/TV/Theater cubbyhole, and the history and cooking sections down in the basement.

Q: Who are your favorite authors?
A: I have way too many favorites to narrow down effectively! As a kid, my favorite books were the Alfred Hitchcock and the Three Investigators series, written by a number of different authors, including Robert Arthur, William Arden, M.V. Carey and Nick West. My mom introduced me to the works of Marguerite Henry (Misty of Chincoteague, Brighty of the Grand Canyon, etc.), and then to adult mystery authors such as Agatha Christie, for whom I have a certain fondness. She and I also got sucked into the thrillers of Robert Ludlum, whose style I continue to enjoy, though he passed on in 2001. In the genre category of science fiction, I enjoy both classic authors and contemporaries - far too many to try to list here - check out my library on LibraryThing linked above! I particularly like the field of Urban Fantasy, and am a fan of Jim Butcher's Dresden Files series, and Patricia Brigg's Mercy Thompson series. Oh, and Naomi Novik's Temeraire series, too. I'm also a huge fan of the TV writer/producer Stephen J. Cannell (Rockford Files, Tenspeed and Brown Shoe, Greatest American Hero, Wiseguy, etc.), and really enjoy his novels as well!

Q: What are five books you've particularly enjoyed?
A: Wow...that's a tough one. I just looked at my list of books on my LibraryThing account, and see that I've given 113 books a top 5-star rating, out of the 2400+ books I've indexed so far. Of those, here are some that jump out as noteworthy, and I'm afraid I can't stop at five: Kindred Spirits by Alan Brennert - I identified with the characters and felt like part of the story; Dream Park by Larry Niven and Steven Barnes - introduced me to the concepts behind role-playing games; The Essential Ellison: A Fifty Year Retrospective by Harlan Ellison - my favorite short story writer; The Gallery of Regrettable Foods by James Lileks - I've laughed more at reading this (and his follow-ups) than at any else in recent memory; The Encyclopedia of Science Fiction by John Clute and Peter Nicholls - one of my essential reference volumes; the Lord of the Rings trilogy by J.R.R. Tolkien - still the best fantasy novels I've ever read; The Star Trek Concordance by Bjo Trimble; Salem's Lot by Stephen King - still my favorite vampire story; and The Bourne Identity - Robert Ludlum at his absolute best.

Q: What has been your best book find in our shop?
A: Two part answer - Of the things I've purchased in the store, my favorite find(s) have been the non-fiction works of Mark Kurlansky. I started with Salt: A World History at the library, and loved his writing so much that I continue to pick up anything I find by him - and A Novel Idea regularly has his works on the shelves, usually the New Arrivals shelves. I also haunt the "freebie boxes" on the sidewalk outside the store, looking for more books to release through BookCrossing around town. One book that I stumbled across in the freebie boxes turned out to be an amazing find. Among a box of old SF anthologies was a copy of of Survival of Freedom. It turned out to have authentic autographs from four giants of science fiction literature: Robert Heinlein, Poul Anderson, Larry Niven and Jerry Pournelle. You can read details at my blog entry about it.

Q: What is your fondest memory or favorite thing about A Novel Idea Bookstore?
A: For me, even as somebody who is allergic to cats, one of the essential things I enjoy most about A Novel Idea is the fact that it is the home to friendly felines. I've followed the progression of this bookstore since it was originally founded, in a dank basement over 20 years ago. But in all that time, my favorite memory of the store is of having visited on what was a bad day for me, and having gone down to the lower level to look at the history and cookbooks sections. I sat in a chair, for what was supposed to be just a few minutes on a lunch break, and Silas hopped into my lap, nestled down and fell asleep. I stayed that way, reading, for 45 minutes before heading back to work. I'm more of a dog person myself, and can't be around cats for long periods due to allergies. But to have Silas trust me and enjoy my presence enough to do that pretty much made my week.

Today's new generation of cats, and the wonderful staff of the store, make it a must-stop destination for me - you've made it an incredibly welcoming place, and you share my love of literature. How could I not be a loyal customer?

 

The following is a Customer Spotlight on: Dawn Foley
I
have three kids and two cats, am going to Doane for a double in Human Services and Organizational Communications, and work full time as a Technical Writer at a local software company. I'm always busy, but still find time to read. I am a book person all the way and not overly fond of eReaders. Books just have a certain feel and smell that stirs childhood emotions and memories of endless trips to the library. Thanks to my mom, I found a love for reading early on and have been collecting books since I was a child. I am often reading multiple books at one time, strategically placed so they are quickly accessible (downstairs, upstairs, the van, work). I also write poetry off and on, and come up with some great ideas for short stories - which unfortunately go no further than ideas, but maybe someday!

Q: What are your favorite sections in our store?
A: I tend to haunt the popular fiction, fantasy, and mystery sections most often. I do enjoy wandering the basement to see what catches my eye, however, and have a cookbook addiction I try not to indulge in. I mean, how many cookbooks does a girl really need? Apparently, quite a few.

Q: Who are your favorite authors?
A: This varies so much. Throughout the years I have loved Christopher Pike, John Saul, David Weber, Terry Goodkind, J.R. Ward, Dean Koontz, Laurell K. Hamilton, and so many more. I've recently discovered Elizabeth Moon and am working my way through her books.

Q: What are five books you've particularly enjoyed?
A: This is difficult. I am attached more by series than individual book. The Paksenarrion series by Elizabeth Moon, The Hunger Games trilogy by Suzanne Collins, the Anita Blake Vampire Hunter series by Laurell K. Hamilton, and Sati by Christopher Pike. For children's books, The Hoppameleon by Paul Geraghty is hands down my favorite book to read to my kids. It's just fun to say "babylizzyparroturtlehoppameleon".

Q: What has been your best book find in our shop?
A: Most recently, Uncle Wiggily's Automobile. My kids love to play the board game Uncle Wiggly and I had no idea there was a book, so I was very excited to oh so randomly find this one. Further back, Kat surprised me with a hardbound set of Kushiel's Dart, Kushiel's Chosen, and Kushiel's Avatar by Jacqueline Carey.

Q: What is your fondest memory or favorite thing about A Novel Idea Bookstore?
A: When I worked downtown, I would come into the bookstore on a regular basis during lunch. I miss having the opportunity to visit so often. I love the people; I am often not allowed to leave the store without a hug from Cinnamon and Kat, and I have had some great books and series recommended to me. The newer folk have also been really friendly and helpful each time I've come in. And how can you not love a bookstore that has cats? Really, there is nothing that is not wonderful about the people and store. I love you guys!!

 

The following is a Customer Spotlight on: Todd Ball
I'
ve worked most of my life as a carpenter. I read about half fiction, half non-fiction (History and Religion). I especially like reading Cather France history and Shoah history. The book group Rhonda & I belong to meets once a month. We read a wide variety of material. It's a great way to explore and make myself read books I normally would not consider. I like to spend time with my grandchildren, travel, and listen to a wide variety of music.

This past summer I returned to favorites of my youth. I reread Huckleberry Finn and Treasure Island. They continue to be rewarding reads.

Q: What are your favorite sections in our store?
A: I head to the basement first - History, Religion, Judaica. I also like the Poetry and newly shelved books.

Q: Who are your favorite authors?
A: Roddy Doyle, Isaac Bashevis Singer, Eric Newby, Nikos Kazantzakis, Charles Bukowski, Cormac McCarthy and Pablo Neruda come to mind. Two years ago a bookseller in Tennessee told me about William Gay. Iíve now read his published books and Iím anxious for more.

Q: What are five books you've particularly enjoyed?
A: Blood Meridian, Provinces of Night, The Last of the Just, And There Was Light, Tokyo Woes

Q: What has been your best book find in our shop?
A: I found a really cool book of poetry by ee cummings, illustrated by Marc Chagall, entitled may i feel said he.

Q: What is your fondest memory or favorite thing about A Novel Idea Bookstore?
A: I like talking with the salespeople. They are informative. They know about books and authors that Iím unaware of. They also let me know about new arrivals.

 

The following is a Customer Spotlight on: Dan Clanton
Professionally, I teach at Doane College as an Assistant Professor of Religious Studies.  I present, publish, and teach on a variety of topics, including artistic, musical, and literary interpretations of biblical literature as well as the intersection between religion and culture.  Currently I'm editing two books and have written two books.  My latest book - titled Daring, Disreputable, and Devout: Interpreting the Hebrew Bible's Women in the Arts and Music - focuses on aesthetic and scholarly interpretations of biblical women.

Personally, I'm married to Melissa Clanton, who works in the Registrar's Office at UNL.  Together, we're the proud parents of Danny and Hannah, who are 12 and 7 respectively.  In addition to spending time with my family and reading comic books, I enjoy collecting and listening to music (especially Jazz), and watching far too much television.

Q: What are your favorite sections in our store?
A: I always check out the New Arrivals first, and then move onto the graphic novels.  Of course, I check out the Judaism and Religion sections downstairs, too.  Lately, I've been checking out the music section most often, since I'm teaching a class on Jazz in January at Doane.

Q: Who are your favorite authors?
A: Oh, this changes all the time!  There are some authors of fiction, though, to whose work I always return and reread.  On the serious side, writers like Chaim Potok and Hemingway, as they're able to pierce straight through to their characters and the historical settings in which they find themselves.  Carl Hiaasen is always funny and satiric (in the best sense of that word), no matter which of his works you read.  In terms of graphic novels, the work of Alan Moore and Frank Miller is always provocative and stylish, and as such rewards repeated visitations.  I'm tremendously lucky, though, in being able to assign my students some of my favorite works, like Gilgamesh, The Odyssey, and, of course, biblical texts.  These last works are the ones that must be read and reread, the stories with which one could spend a lifetime.

Q: What are five books you've particularly enjoyed?
A: Only five?  This is really tough.  (Please note that I would've included the Bible, but it's not a book; it's a library.)  Okay, here we go:

(1)     Chaim Potok's My Name is Asher Lev.  This was one of the first books I read in college, and it was the first time an author laid bare to me an entirely new culture, a new way of conceiving the world.  Asher's conflict between his inherited faith and his artistic gift spoke to me as a new college student, one who wanted to be open to new ideas and experiences, but who grew up in a small town in Arkansas.  It's a fabulous and magical work.

(2)    The Odyssey.  There's a whole world in this epic poem, complete with every conceivable human emotion.  Homer tells of community and conquest, rage and sorrow, the joys of travel and the serenity of home.  And I don't care how many times I read it, I'm still moved every time Odysseus and his wife Penelope reunite, and I cry like a baby when Odysseus breaks down in front of his father Laertes.

(3)    Neil Gillman's Traces of God: Seeing God in Torah, History and Everyday Life.  Gillman is one of the most respected rabbis and authors today, and this collection of short columns on topics as various as liturgy, Torah, and even opera never fails to amaze me with a keen insight, a different reading, or a thought-provoking comment that enhances my Jewish understanding of the world and my place in it.

(4)    The Monster at the End of This Book.  One of my favorite books to read with our kids to this day.  Grover's fear of the monster that turns out to be himself as well as the obvious breaking of the so-called "fourth wall," is hilarious to kids, even as adults I know comment on the book's sophisticated use of meta-linguistic devices and the almost postmodern construction of identity.  Plus, I love doing Grover's funny voice!

(5)    Mark Waid and Alex Ross' Kingdom Come.  A shout-out to my friend Andy Tooze who recommended this book to me, which became the very first graphic novel I ever read.  Set in an alternate future in which old superheroes have been replaced with a violent and deadly new breed of heroes, this story brings Superman out of retirement in response to an apocalyptic vision of the end of days.  Mark Waid's story skillfully meshes comic lore with biblical imagery, and Alex Ross's painted panels and unique "what-if-superheroes-looked-human" artistic style has made this one of the masterpieces of comic literature.  And thanks to my friend Andy, I was hooked.  Still am.

Q: What has been your best book find in our shop?
A: This is a toss-up.  The very first time I came into the store, I found a cloth copy of Isaac Bashevis Singer's novel The Penitent.  At that time, it was out of print, and I'd wanted a copy for quite a while, as it deals with the place of traditional Judaism in the modern world.  I took this to be a sign that I'd be spending a lot of time and money in the store!  And on my most recent visit, I found a copy of Wynton Marsalis' To a Young Jazz Musician: Letters from the Road, which is great since I'm studying up on Jazz right now.  It seems that no matter what I'm interested in at the moment, you all always have something for me!

Q: What is your fondest memory or favorite thing about A Novel Idea Bookstore?
A: This is an easy one.  My favorite thing is how excited our kids get when I ask them if they want to go to A Novel Idea.  Of course, they call it "The Kitty-Cat Bookstore", so you see why they like it so much.  Even so, they always find books they want to read.  It's the atmosphere that you all cultivate - the welcoming and helpful staff; the music; the community engagement; the quality of your books; and of course, the cats! - that keep all of us customers coming back.

 

The following is a Customer Spotlight on: Tricia Scott
I
've been a lifelong resident of Nebraska. Growing up in a rural area with 2 1/2 TV channels and no cable made it almost necessary to enjoy reading.  I made my way through all of the sci-fi/fantasy sections of all four of the libraries that were within a 30 mile radius of my hometown and soon had to start buying my own copies of the newer stuff I desperately wanted to read.  My love of the genre started early and my late, old-hippie aunt very generously lent me her first edition printings of The Wizard of Earthsea trilogy after I'd finished reading C.S. Lewis's Narnia series.  From that point on, I was completely hooked.  I do read other books-in fact, I'll read just about anything that I think looks really interesting or that catches my fancy.  Aside from reading, I write, bind my own handmade books, sew, crochet, cook, and do Viking wire-knitting pieces.  I'm utterly convinced that someday, I will have enough money that I will be able to say that I am eccentric instead of just plain weird.

Q: What are your favorite sections in our store?
A: I'm always checking out the New Stuff section, the Science Fiction and Fantasy, the Graphic Novels, and the Mythology and Folklore, but it's not unusual to find me in the Cookbooks, the Humor section, the Kids' books, the Horror section or the Art books, either.

Q: Who are your favorite authors?
A: First and foremost, Neil Gaiman. It doesn't matter what it is, if he wrote it, I will definitely read it. I also like Jacqueline Carey, Charles de Lint, Drew Hayes, Ilona Andrews, Dave Sim, Esther M Friesner, Francesca Lia Block, Terri Windling, and Ellen Datlow.  I'd really better stop the list there, because if I keep going I'll be using up all of my allotted space.

Q: What are five books you've particularly enjoyed?
A: The War for the Oaks by Emma Bull - this book is absolutely everything that really good urban/contemporary fantasy should be, and she does her research on the folklore, which makes her book particularly good - there aren't any sparkly, happy, helpful fairies in her world.
The Dragonbone Chair by Tad Williams - oh, sure, it's an enormous doorstopper of a book, but it's so well written that it's almost impossible to keep from going into that total immersion readers' trance that means you finally wake up about nine hours later because you keep hearing this weird growling noise - and you realize that it's your stomach. It's also an excellent distraction on very long road trips.
My Name Escapes Me by Sir Alec Guinness - I'd always had an impression of him as this very dignified English gentleman, and then I read this book. It's full of dry British wit, but it also has a nearly uncountable number of surprises in it for unsuspecting readers. Who knew that dignified English gentlemen devote time to contemplating the effect of termite farts (and yes, he did use those exact words) on global warming.
Neverwhere by Neil Gaiman - this was the very first book of his that I ever read. It was dark and disturbing and gritty, but it also carried this sense of hope with it. The characters are so extraordinary that it's nearly transcendent to read them. Richard Mayhew is such an inordinately bland everyman and yet through his own passivity he gets sucked into an unbelievable adventure that takes place in the very city he has been oblivious to the entire time he's lived there.
Magic Bites by Ilona Andrews - actually, I like the whole Kate Daniels series. Kate's a messed-up, butt-kicking mercenary who doesn't take any crap from anyone. Andrews has some of the nastiest, most disgusting vampires this side of Brian Lumley, which is a fantastic cure for Vampire Fatigue (her vampires are also mindless feeding machines that are controlled by a cult of necromancers known as The People). Kate Daniels also faces off against The Pack - the affiliation of shape shifters lead by a were-lion named Curran who's also known as the Beast Lord. My only real complaint with the whole series is that I want Mahon, the Bear of Atlanta, to have his own book. That's the power of Andrews writing, it makes readers curious about all the characters, even the ones who aren't necessarily at the forefront of the story.

Q: What has been your best book find in our shop?
A: This has got to be a three-way - no, four -- okay, five-way tie-(actually, if you're counting by volumes, this would be a twenty-four way tie). I got The Complete Calvin and Hobbes here. I got The Complete Far Side here. I have Absolute Sandman v. 1 and 2 thanks to here, and, of course, there's my magnificently beautiful leather-bound set of the Arabian Nights. Oo - and then there was the first printing hardcover copy of Dave McKean's Cages...I need to stop answering the question now.

Q: What is your fondest memory or favorite thing about A Novel Idea Bookstore?
A: I would probably have to say that being able to visit regularly for fuzz therapy during my college days would have to have been a high point of the experience, but then again, there was the day that Kat let me know that there was a Complete Calvin & Hobbes and a Complete Farside waiting for me. That was pretty awesome too. (Now, if the other two volumes of Absolute Sandman and Absolute Death would just come in my answer would be Sooooooooooo much longer)

Winning the Customer Spotlight is more than a little awesome!

Mostly, though, it's the people who work at Novel Idea. It's wonderful to come in, browse, buy, and make wish lists and be able to chat and joke and laugh, all without ever being judged for your eclectic tastes or the anomalous things you find interesting.

 

The following is a Customer Spotlight on: Erik Waiss
I'
ve been an avid reader since as long as I can remember. I remember becoming rather bored with the books available at my elementary school pretty early on and spent my 4th-8th grade years in the reference section. It didn't take long to figure out that an overnight checkout on Friday meant you had all weekend to read that World Almanac or Guinness Book of World Records before it had to be back on Monday. I take after my grandfather Frank Waiss, formerly of Valparaiso, who had quite a large library when I was younger. He would let me borrow as many books as I wanted whenever I visited, and on several occasions loaded up my parents' car with many years' back issues of National Geographic. I started with those Nat Geos and just a few books in high school, but as soon as I got to college I started collecting. I have officially reached the point that I just renewed my lease rather than try to move them all.

I spent some time at UNL earning my BS and MS, and now earn my wage as a Geologist for a small local Environmental Company. My library continues to grow and spread, as I now have several shelves of "reference" material behind my desk at the office. I find I spend way too much time online in general, and the untimely death of my home computer recently has given me the much needed time to catch up on my reading. Though it seems no matter how many pages I consume I still have a whole shelf worth of "to be read". A Novel Idea Bookstore does not exactly help me in that regard... Like every good bibliophile I live with two cats, Clive and Schrodinger, and they are ever so eager to "help" me when I'm reading.

Q: What are your favorite sections in our store?
A: I spend most of my time split between Sci-Fi/Fantasy section and the "Nook of Knowledge" in the Southwest corner of the basement, wherein lies all the Natural History, Physics, Geology and so on. I will admit I was personally devastated by the basement flood of years past, mostly because the Geology section was on the bottom shelf. Other than that I always glance through the Horror, First Edition/Signed copies, Gaming, Comics - and the New Arrivals shelf is good for random discoveries.

Q: Who are your favorite authors?
A: H.P. Lovecraft, Glen Cook, Michael Moorcock, Tolkien, Jim Butcher, Robert A Heinlein, Frank Herbert and Stephen King dominate my fiction section. I also have nearly everything published by Stephen J. Gould, lots of Stephen Hawking, some John McPhee, and several by David Quammen slipped in among the non-fiction/reference material.

Q: What are five books you've particularly enjoyed?
A: Several leap to mind: House of Leaves by Mark Z. Danielewski, Watchmen by Alan Moore, The Moon is a Harsh Mistress by Robert A Heinlein, Monster of God by David Quammen, and for useful hobby knowledge How to Brew by John Palmer.

Q: What has been your best book find in our shop?
A: I am a real sucker for any old book, even if the subject matter is odd. I've picked up several 100+ year old books from the freebie bin on Toasts, Czech songs, and even 500 collected sermons. But my best find by far was at the Brownville shop in the discounted bin, when I picked up an 1870's edition of the Adventures of Baron Munchausen for next to nothing. I don't even care if it ends up being worthless to collectors, I think it's a great old book that I plan to read it to my nieces as soon as I think they'll appreciate it.

Q: What is your fondest memory or favorite thing about A Novel Idea Bookstore?
A: Before the flood there was a nice cushioned chair down by the "Nook of Knowledge". Often, Silas would lead me down to the basement and insist in his own cat way that I sit and pet him for awhile. After 5 or 10 minutes, he'd get up to show he'd had enough, so I'd get up and he would immediately jump back into the warmed chair. I fell for this ruse many, many times. I miss Silas and Okay, but I'm happy to see that Padric and Eddy are keeping their memory alive and making us create new ones about them. Other than the cats, I am always pleasantly surprised when Cinnamon or Katherine calls me up to say they found a book for me. It's a great feeling to have a place that knows you well enough they'll find books you didn't even know you wanted!

 

The following is a Customer Spotlight on: Walter McDowell
I
 have not always enjoyed reading. In fact, I use to avoid any lengthy reading all together - which, much to the annoyance of any English teachers I had in junior high or high school, served me well until I was about 15 or so. 17 years later, I read more than enough to make most people's heads spin. I currently read about a book a week and sometimes that number can jump up to two or three and sometimes even more.
I grew up in Lincoln and have called this town home for most of my life. I currently work for a company that does contracted work for the Nebraska Lottery. I've been there three years and it is really not want I want to be doing. I would much rather be acting, or creating art, or even reading more. All things in good time, all things in good time.

Q: What are your favorite sections in our store?
A: I love the whole store - but you know what I really get a kick out of is looking at the New Arrivals section. You never know what you are going to find on that shelf.

Q: Who are your favorite authors?
A: Walter Mosley, Stephen King, Dean Koontz, Bentley Little, J.K. Rowling, Sherman Alexie, Kurt Vonnegut, Charlaine Harris, Fannie Flagg, John Grisham, Chuck Palahniuk and Sarah Vowell. I should probably include a few more but names escape me at the moment.

Q: What are five books you've particularly enjoyed?
A: Futureland: Nine Stories of an Imminent World by Walter Mosley, Different Seasons by Stephen King (more specifically the story The Breathing Method), The Godfather by Mario Puzo, The Giver by Lois Lowry, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows by J.K. Rowling (really the whole series...the last book is only named because there is hope for the future).

Q: What has been your best book find in our shop?
A: There have been a couple. Most notably would probably be the art books that I have found on Jean-Michel Basquiat, Jacob Lawrence and Keith Haring. I am still kicking myself in the butt for not buying the dual set of Frieda Kahlo and Diego Rivera works.

Q: What is your fondest memory or favorite thing about A Novel Idea Bookstore?
A: Really, how can I pick only one? I love the store, and will continue to love it well into the future. Some people would argue that a library card would be cheaper, but I wouldn't get the same satisfaction from my finds, if I had to return them.

 

The following is a Customer Spotlight on: Lora Black
I
have always loved books. I grew up on a farm in the southeast corner of the state.
While in High School I used to bicycle all over the section, and my favorite place to "haunt" was an abandoned farmhouse. I discovered a covey of books hidden in a cupboard under the stairs. Some were stamped with the Clifton library stamp (an old country school long gone). Others were stamped with the Aldrich name. Soon, I realized this old house was letting moisture and mice in to slowly destroy these old books. I drove over one day, and loaded them all up, and took them back home.  I schlepped them around on my travels for a few years, out to Colorado and Texas, and then back to Nebraska. I finally donated them to the Nemaha County Historical Society. Years later, I learned that some of those books belonged to Benton Aldrich, who started the first lending library in the state. Cool.

I have been an announcer at NETRadio for 19 years, and love presenting classical music to the state. A favorite project of mine during this tenure was to do live and taped readings of Nebraska authors for air. I also am invited to book clubs to do readings, as well. I love to garden, bike, read, see movies and do yoga, and enjoy traveling and being with friends. I have 3 grown children and one granddaughter who make life very special. Oh, and I have 3 cats, Tink, Gus-Gus and Mowgli.

Q: What are your favorite sections in our store?
A: Fiction, travel, historical fiction, special leather bound books that I use for gifts. Actually, the whole store...wherever the Cat leads me...

Q: Who are your favorite authors?
A: Jean Auel and Dan Brown

Q: What are five books you've particularly enjoyed?
A: The Art of Racing in the Rain, The Secret Life of Bees/The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society ( TIE), Lost Symbol, The Book Thief, Shadow of the Wind

Q: What has been your best book find in our shop?
A: Shadow of the Wind

Q: What is your fondest memory or favorite thing about A Novel Idea Bookstore?
A: It isn't just one memory for me. I always leave the store with a smile on my face, even if I didn't find the book I was looking for. The reason? The great customer service. Everyone who has waited on me, is really interested in helping me find the book. Plus, you can tell they enjoy their job. So, between them making me feel welcome, as well as the cats, it is a very pleasant shopping experience!

 

The following is a Customer Spotlight on: Janice Jillson
I'
m proud to say I'm a baby boomer and two-time breast cancer survivor. I love life and am happy to be alive. Facing serious health issues has helped me appreciate the good things in life - laughter, music, books, good friends and family. I have had a book addiction since childhood; it's genetic. My mother and father are/were serious book-a-holics. Mother took me to the library in Clarinda, IA, where we climbed the steps of the old Carnegie Library, then went separate directions to search for literary treasures. Mom went upstairs to the adult library; I went down to the children's library. After I checked out my selections, I went upstairs and waited for Mom in the old, weathered leather chairs. To this day, I still love the smell of old books, bookstores and libraries. I am an administrative assistant for a non-profit developing affordable housing. My husband and I are musicians and members of the Burnt Biskits Band. We play bluegrass, oldies, gospel and comedy tunes.

Q: What are your favorite sections in our store?
A: Spirituality, Art, Biography, Adventure/Travel, Nature, Health

Q: Who are your favorite authors?
A: May Sarton, Bill Bryson, Elizabeth Berg, Thich Nhat Hanh, William Least Heat Moon, many adventure writers.

Q: What are five books you've particularly enjoyed?
A: Peace Pilgrim: Her Life and Work in Her Own Words by Peace Pilgrim; Polar Dream: The First Solo Expedition by a Woman and Her Dog to the Magnetic North Pole by Helen Thayer and Sir Edmund Hillary; Tasha Tudor's Garden, by Tovah Martin; Grayson, by Lynne Cox; Having Our Say: The Delaney Sisters' First 100 Years, by Sarah L. Delaney, A. Elizabeth Delaney & Amy Hill Hearth.

Q: What has been your best book find in our shop?
A: Griffin and Sabine: An Extraordinary Correspondence by Nick Bantock. Katherine told me about this book and also helped me find the rest of the Griffin and Sabine trilogy.

Q: What is your fondest memory or favorite thing about A Novel Idea Bookstore?
A: I was once having a particularly low day while at work. I walked from my office to A Novel Idea. My legs felt like lead; my head was foggy. Katherine and Cinnamon treated me like I was the best customer to walk through the door (like they treat all customers); Katherine gave me a hug; Cinnamon gave me that sweet, sunshine smile and showered me with kindness; I spent some quality time with the cats and books. About an hour and a half later, I walked back to work with a bag full of books and a smile on my face. What's better than a place where you can count on finding genuinely loving people, two cute cats and being surrounded by books? I walk through the door of A Novel Idea and I get that same cozy feeling I had as a child at the Clarinda Public Library. I'm home again.

 

The following is a Customer Spotlight on: Cliff Bridges
I've haunted A Novel Idea Bookstore for more years than I care to remember. I was born in the illustrious state of Mississippi two or three days after the Earth's crust cooled. As a small boy, my Aunt read The Iliad to me and gave me a love for the classics. (I believed I was Achilles during that time.) I studied European History at Millsaps College in Jackson and Military History at UNL. I've taught at UNL and Nebraska Wesleyan, leaving my students with little or no damage from the encounter.

Q: What are your favorite sections in our store?
A:My favorite sections are History, Mythology & Folklore and Science Fiction.

Q: Who are your favorite authors?
A: John Keegan, Louise Erdrich, David Weber, Christopher Moore, Dan Chaon and Nadine Gordimer.

Q: What are five books you've particularly enjoyed?
A: Seven Pillars of Wisdom by T. E. Lawrence, The Things They Carried by Tim O'Brien, The Anabasis by Xenophon, Heart of Darkness by Joseph Conrad, and Lamb by Christopher Moore.

Q: What has been your best book find in our shop?
A: The Thirty Years War by C. V. Wedgwood

Q: What is your fondest memory or favorite thing about A Novel Idea Bookstore?
A: The day I found the store sixteen years ago!

 

The following is a Customer Spotlight on: Ladd Wendelin
I'
m 28 years old, and originally from Oberlin, Kansas; proud home of the Last Indian Raid on Kansas Soil in 1878. Not much has happened there since, except maybe the time I accidentally rammed my Dad's SUV into a support wire that upheld the Christian radio station tower. Ah, memories. I graduated from Concordia University in 2004 in Seward, NE with a B.A. in Interpersonal Communications. I've lived in Lincoln since graduating and always within walking distance of Novel Idea, of course. In October, I'm going back to school to get my graduate teaching degree and become a high school English and drama teacher. From there, sky's the limit.

Q: What are your favorite sections in our store?
A: Drama, Fiction, Graphic Novels, New Arrivals...although you'll probably find me perusing just about every corner of Novel Idea.

Q: Who are your favorite authors?
A: David Sedaris. Sarah Vowell. Alan Moore. James Kochalka. Kurt Vonnegut. J.R.R. Tolkien. Franz Kafka. F. Scott Fitzgerald. William Shakespeare.

Q: What are five books you've particularly enjoyed?
A: A Confederacy of Dunces by John Kennedy Toole. On The Road by Jack Kerouac. Illuminations/A Season in Hell by Arthur Rimbaud. Angels in America by Tony Kushner. Slapstick by Kurt Vonnegut.

Q: What has been your best book find in our shop?
A: The Necronomicon. No joke. It was a mass market paperback that I found snuggled in a shelf, and my first thought was to recite a few choice passages from it and unleash armies of the evil dead on downtown Lincoln. Nah...

Q: What is your fondest memory or favorite thing about A Novel Idea Bookstore?
A: I've been a Novel Idea addict for almost 10 years now. It's hard to believe, but I can still remember visiting the store those first few times and just being in total awe at Novel Idea's selection. I remember Silas and O.K. The cats have always been such an integral part of Novel Idea, and it's so nice to see the new cats on the block greeting customers or sleeping in the windows after hours, twitching and jerking while they dream of balls of string or mouse pate. Nothing compares to finding that elusive copy of whatever book I had my sights set on and walking home with a world famous Novel Idea bookmark tucked in between the pages. I'd say about 10/6th of my library is composed of books purchased over the years from Novel Idea - one of my favorite shops in sunny downtown Lincoln.

 

The following is a Customer Spotlight on: Charlotte Kyriss
I
am a lifelong Lincoln resident, and work as a librarian at Bennett Martin Public Library in the reference dept. I have a BA in Business from Doane College and am working (at a snail's pace) on my Masters in Library Science. I'll be married for 15 years this Sept and have one daughter starting second grade.

Q: What are your favorite sections in our store?
A: Quilting, cookbooks, and history.

Q: Who are your favorite authors?
A: David McCullough, Ellery Queen, Bob Schieffer, Rex Stout; quilt books published by That Patchwork Place. I also follow these series: Aunt Dimity, Bishop/FBI Special Crimes Unit, The Cat Who..., Charlotte Adams, Kinsey Millhone, Mrs. Murphy, The Psychic Eye, Stephanie Plum, Turing Hopper.

Q: What are five books you've particularly enjoyed?
A: The Illearth War by Stephen R. Donaldson (second book of the Thomas Covenant the Unbeliever series), Dune by Frank Herbert, The Martian Chronicles by Ray Bradbury, On the Night of the Seventh Moon by Victoria Holt, Busman's Honeymoon by Dorothy L. Sayers.

Q: What has been your best book find in our shop?
A: The D-Day Atlas: The Definitive Account of the Allied Invasion of Normandy by John Man

Q: What is your fondest memory or favorite thing about A Novel Idea Bookstore?
A: I walk by the shop daily on my lunch hour and must stop to browse through the FREE box(es), and then the shop just seems to suck me on in through the front door. I can run down to the basement and do a quick browse to see if there are any new quilting books I just can't live without. I never have enough time to look through the WWII, World History, Biography, and Cookbook sections. When running errands on weekends, my daughter always asks to visit the kitties' bookstore - we are temporarily cat-less and it's nice to have fuzzy, purring critters to pet. The staff at the shop are always welcoming and listen politely while I inflict upon them a two-minute review of my latest read!

 

The following is a Customer Spotlight on: Rob Tobin
I am a 50+ year-old AARP member. I have a PhD in Geosciences and work as a Technical Writer. I serve as a Major in the US Army Reserves and was wounded in Iraq. I've been married for 27 years and my wife and I have 3 daughters and 1 grandson.

Q: What are your favorite sections in our store?
A: Classics, Anthropology & History

Q: Who are your favorite authors?
A: Homer, Tolkien, Ernst Mayr, Tolstoy & G.G. Simpson

Q: What are five books you've particularly enjoyed?
A: The Iliad, War & Peace, The Lord of the Rings Trilogy, The Meaning of Evolution and Popular Species & Evolution

Q: What has been your best book find in our shop?
A: The Biology of Ground-Dwelling Squirrels

Q: What is your fondest memory or favorite thing about A Novel Idea Bookstore?
A: I have frequented the shop since it opened in it's old location east of the Federal Building, and came home to tell my wife about the "Hippie Bookstore" that I'd found. My wife shops here, and our daughters have all grown up coming here. I've known the proprietors and staff well over some 18 years. They sent me books when I was in Iraq. Good people!
 

Our Gift Certificates are available for any amount, never expire and are good on all books & merchandise in our store. All Gift Certificates are written by hand. Gift Certificates of $25 or higher value come in a beautiful sleeve of handmade paper embedded with wildflower seeds, which can be planted in a sunny spot.

"If you have a library and a garden,
you have everything you need.
" ~ Cicero

We are happy to send Gift Certificates directly to all the people on your list. To order, please call (402) 475-8663, email us or visit our Gifts for Book Lovers page.