Saturday, December 31, 2016

Birthday Book of the Day: Nicholas Sparks, the mansplainer of Love


Local and regional books is one of Henry Bemis Books’ strong suits, so we’re proud to offer Nicholas Sparks fans a  treat today:

Nicholas Sparks, At First Sight (Warner Books, 1st stated ed., 1st printing, 2005). Hardcover, unclipped dust jacket, 277 pp. Very good condition. Autographed on the title page; “Autographed Copy” sticker on front of dust jacket along with discount sticker). HBB price: $65 obo.

At First Sight was Sparks’ twelfth book, and, like most since he moved to New Bern on the $1 million advance for his first novel, The Notebook, it is set in eastern North Carolina. Publishers Weekly said,

When we last left 37-year-old Jeremy Marsh (a scant six months ago, in Sparks's April pub True Believer ), the science columnist had traveled from his New York base to Boone Creek, N.C., to get a story—and ended up falling in love with Lexie Darnell, the 30-year-old town librarian. Now Lexie's pregnant—but it's true love (and a portable job) that's allowing divorcé Jeremy to move down so they can marry and build a life together. The book centers on the tension-filled runup to the wedding. Sparks pulls out all the smalltown stops—psychic grandmother, meddling mayor, sullen townie ex, jealous best friends—and offers Mars/Venus commentary on what makes his characters tick. Jeremy's writer's block, instead of heightening the will-they-or-won't-they tension, is as enervating for readers as it is for him. More compelling are the mysterious e-mails Jeremy receives that suggest Lexie may not be telling the truth (about who the father is, for one thing), and the character of Lexie's psychic grandmother, Doris, who has correctly predicted the sex of every child born in the town. As the wedding gets closer (and house renovations suck more and more money from Jeremy's dwindling savings), Jeremy and Lexie have some serious talking to do, and Sparks throws in a substantial zinger at the end. It's majorly manipulative and totally effective. Have plenty of tissues on hand.


The author, Nicholas Sparks, turned 51 today. The Writer’s Almanac says,

He’s one of the few successful male romance novelists, starting with his first novel, The Notebook, which he wrote as an homage to his wife’s grandparents. They had been married for 62 years when he met them and he realized while talking to them for the first time that they were still flirting with each other.

Nicholas Sparks said: “Writing the last page of the first draft is the most enjoyable moment in writing. It’s one of the most enjoyable moments in life, period.”

Sparks grew up a college professor’s son, and won a full track and field scholarship to Notre Dame. After graduating, and marrying his college girlfriend, Sparks failed at attempts to get into publishing and law school, then spent five years in real estate appraisals, waiting tables, selling dental products, starting a manufacturing business, and being a pharma rep. Having written several unpublished novels, he turned out another while on the road for the drug company. It was discovered in a pile of unsolicited manuscripts at a literary agency; the agent liked it, and got Sparks a $1 million advance from Time Warner Books.

Since then Sparks has written twenty books, most of them international bestsellers that were then made into movies. After five children and twenty-five years of marriage, the Sparkses separated in early 2015 and subsequently divorced.

The author remains a resident of New Bern, where he is known for lavishing money on the high school track team, and for his devotion to Catholic causes.

Henry Bemis Books is one man’s attempt to bring more diversity and quality to a Charlotte-Mecklenburg market of devoted readers starved for choices. Our website is at  Henry Bemis Books is also happy to entertain reasonable offers on items in inventory; for pricing on this or others items, kindly private message us. Shipping is always free; local buyers are welcome to drop by and pick up their purchases at our location off Peachtree Road in Northwest Charlotte if they like. #NicholasSparks #AtFirstSight #Book of the Day #RareBooks #HenryBemisBooks #Charlotte

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