In which we teach you how to play chess

My husband is a chess champion. 

I use that term both loosely and quite seriously; loosely, because I do not really know what it means, and seriously, because my in-laws are always quick to tell me it's true. 

Jordan loves to play chess. He and his dad learned the game together when he was a little boy, and he competed in chess tournaments as a kid. (Apparently, he also won a lot of chess tournaments. I guess that's where that whole "champion" thing comes from.) Now, any time Jordan comes into the shop, he straightens the chess board, teaching me and the rest of the staff how to properly set it up for customers to play. "The queen's dress," he says, "should match her shoes."

The Bookshelf is a family affair, but Jordan also has a day job in Tallahassee that keeps him pretty busy. He spends his days practicing election law, so day-to-day store operations are left to me and to The Bookshelf staff. Still, I'm always looking for ways to bring Jordan into the store. He's funny and extroverted and smart, and it occurred to me -- after recruiting him, of course, to help host a men's book club -- that he'd be the perfect chess instructor, especially for kids. And I just so happen to have a venue where he could teach.

So, this summer, we'd like to launch a chess club where parents and their kids could come learn chess in a friendly, safe environment. Jordan is a dream instructor, and because he loved learning to play right alongside his dad, he'd love to see parents come with their kids, so you can all learn to play together. Not a parent, or a kid? He'd love to see you there, too!

Right now, we're trying to gauge interest in a class/club like this; we've hosted enough events at The Bookshelf to know it's not worth it unless you think it's worth it, too. Hop over to our website and let us know if you or your child is interested, and what days might work best for you. We'd love to hear from you, and we'd love to launch this project in June!

Let us know what you think!

+ Story Time at the Amphitheater - Tuesday, 5/30, 1 p.m. + Shelf Talk + Signing w/ columnist Gary Yordon - Thursday, 6/1, 7 p.m. + First Friday book signing w/ Bruce Means - Friday, 6/2, 6 p.m. + Book signing w/ Jeff Vandermeer - Saturday, 6/10, 2 p.m. + Summer Reading Extravaganza - Thursday, 6/15, 7 p.m. + Story Time at the Amphitheater, Tuesday, 6/27, 12 p.m. + Ladies' Drawing Night w/ Janae Easton - Thursday, 6/29, 6 p.m. + Shelf Talk + Signing w/ Kathy Bradley - Friday, 6/30, 7 p.m.

Story Time at the Amphitheater - Tuesday, 5/30, 1 p.m.
Shelf Talk + Signing w/ columnist Gary Yordon - Thursday, 6/1, 7 p.m.
+ First Friday book signing w/ Bruce Means - Friday, 6/2, 6 p.m.
Book signing w/ Jeff Vandermeer - Saturday, 6/10, 2 p.m.
+ Summer Reading Extravaganza - Thursday, 6/15, 7 p.m.
Story Time at the Amphitheater, Tuesday, 6/27, 12 p.m.
+ Ladies' Drawing Night w/ Janae Easton - Thursday, 6/29, 6 p.m.
+ Shelf Talk + Signing w/ Kathy Bradley - Friday, 6/30, 7 p.m.

It's been a while since I've started a book I absolutely couldn't put down. Enter this week's new release, Standard Deviation. The book is author Katherine Heiny's debut novel; her collection of short stories, Single, Carefree, Mellow, was one of my favorites a couple of years ago.

Standard Deviation is the story of Graham Cavanaugh's seemingly normal marriage to his second wife, Audra. We immediately discover, of course, that their marriage is anything but normal, filled with hilarious quirks and flaws, including Graham's odd relationship with his first wife Elspeth. I loved this book, and I think you might love it, too. For fans of The Nest and The Rosie Project.

Chris has been out of town for the past couple of episodes, but never fear: I chatted with Emily (from You're Maker) and friend of the store Hunter all about Katie Kitamura's literary novel A Separation. The episode is part of our "Love It or Loathe It" series, where we host a book club discussion about a particular title. Our feelings were mixed on this one, so I hope you'll give the episode a listen and weigh in!

Chris has been out of town for the past couple of episodes, but never fear: I chatted with Emily (from You're Maker) and friend of the store Hunter all about Katie Kitamura's literary novel A SeparationThe episode is part of our "Love It or Loathe It" series, where we host a book club discussion about a particular title. Our feelings were mixed on this one, so I hope you'll give the episode a listen and weigh in!

-Annie