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Diana Gabaldon and Poisoned Pen Launch Writers-in-Residence Program

Bestselling author Diana Gabaldon is joining her hometown bookstore, The Poisoned Pen in Scottsdale, Arizona, to launch the bookstore’s Writers-in-Residence program. Charles Finch, who is known for his Charles Lenox mystery novels, will be welcomed as the inaugural resident.

For the week of February 21–29, Finch will host events with authors Laurie R. King, Priscilla Royal, and Tessa Arlen. He will also host an event featuring his own work, and will teach two writer’s workshops, “Getting Your Novel Off the Ground” and “Story Structure Masterclass.”

Going forward, one writer will receive housing and a stipend each winter.

Bookends & Beginnings Raises Funds for Music Therapy

Following Bookends & Beginnings’ opening in Evanston, Illinois, in the summer of 2014, a news article featuring the store inspired Art Mollenhauer to donate his deceased wife’s 600-title, mint-condition cookbook collection to help the store get on its feet, The Daily Northwestern reported.

“It was an extraordinary gift,” said co-owner Jeff Garrett. “We were just getting started at that point and our cookbook collection was still struggling. With this single gift, we were put on the map.” Now, nearly 100 books from the Ida Mollenhauer collection have been sold.

While Art Mollenhauer donated the books without expecting anything in return, Garrett and co-owner Nina Barrett set up a partnership with the NorthShore University HealthSystem Foundation to donate a percentage of proceeds from the cookbooks to the organization’s Music Therapy Internship Program, which Mollenhauer already financially supports.

“Literally to [Ida’s] final day, the Music Therapy interns were always there for us,” Mollenhauer said. “In the late stages of her life, the music therapy process gave comfort to her, all of our visitors, and to me.”

A January 29 event at the bookstore will celebrate its partnership with the Music Therapy Internship Program. It will feature a silent auction of select cookbooks from the collection as well as music performances. Feast & Imbibe, a local catering business that received a donation of Ida Mollenhauer’s catering equipment, is providing food for the party.

East End Book Exchange Highlighted for Success

When Lesley Rains opened East End Book Exchange in November 2012 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, “all the doomsayers and naysayers were saying no one is reading books anymore, kids aren't reading,” Rains recently told TribLIVE. “I think that’s just not true. Reading and books are as vibrant as they’ve always been. I sell more classic literature to young people than anything else.”

The bookstore began as a pop-up bookshop in Pittsburgh’s Public Market. Rains initially sold her own books and those of her parents, but now has a store fully stocked with used books and a small selection of new books, including fiction, nonfiction, history, mysteries, and a strong section of titles from local authors. The store has come to be known for its literary events, including a poetry series and book release parties.

“I just thought ... that for this community, there could stand to be another small, independent store,” Rains said. “I thought there was a need there, and if I kept it small and wasn’t trying to be all things to all people, I could make it work.”