A Very Grand Thank You

Phew! That was quite the celebration! We’re delighted to report that our Grand Opening was a bright and buoyant success. Here’s a pictorial recap of our three-day festivities…

On Day One, there was cake.

Cake Day 1

On Day Two, we opted for MORE CAKE.

Cake Day 2

And on Day Three, we decided we needed CAKES. And also cookies, because it is important to eat more than one kind of carbohydrate.

Cake Day 3

And there were prizes! Here’s Mark manning our “Jenga for Fabulous Prizes” stand. Mark’s expression suggests he found it quite hard to part with the fabulous prizes, and who can blame him…


There was milling at Malvern! Just look at all these lovely literary types. It is possible we exceeded our maximum occupancy, but fortunately there were no calamitous fires.

Crowds 1 Crowds 2

There was music! Here are three of the four Faux Paws getting their folk on:

Faux Paws

And best of all, there were readings. Here’s our Curmudgeon in Chief, Dr. Joe, playing MC:

Joe Bratcher

Our esteemed readers included Tyler Gobble and Taylor Jacob Pate:

Tyler and Taylor

And Joshua Edwards, who read from Imperial Nostalgias:

Joshua Edwards

Mark Smith read from Knave of Hearts (while also doing a pretty nifty Sam Neill impersonation, amirite?):

Mark Smith

And Matt Hart (at right) gave a rather dashing performance:

Tyler and Matt

Thanks so much to everyone who came by Malvern Books over these past few days. It was lovely to meet you all, and to feel so warmly welcomed by Austin’s awesomely smart and vibrant literary community. We trust that a jolly good time was had by all, and we look forward to seeing you at our future shenanigans. We also apologize for any cake withdrawal you might be experiencing.

Let There Be Leuchtturm

Today’s the first day of our Grand Opening extravaganza (you might have heard about it?), which means you’re almost certainly going to be stopping by Malvern at 6.30pm for nibbles and drinks and readings, right? Excellent. Now, we also recommend you allow yourself a little extra time for loitering near the cash register, because… sidelines! We got ’em!

Sideline items (hark at our bookstore lingo!) are those tempting little doodads that lurk near the checkout, calling out to you, “Purchase me! On impulse! I’m cute!” And we have some very cute, very impulse-purchase-worthy sidelines at Malvern…


First up, we have greeting cards. But not lame greeting cards that say soppy things like, “Our love is like a rainbow of angel wings fluttering against a darkening sky” (barf). Our cards have food puns! Yes, that’s right, the two best things ever—FOOD and PUNS—in one sealable envelope.


We also have bookmarks, because we think dog-earring books is a crime. Our bookmarks are made from genuine foreign postage stamps, because books are like stamps for the soul, transporting you to unfamiliar places. Ha! Not really! They just look cool, and they’re selling like hot cakes. (What a strange expression. I’ve never bought a hot cake, and I bet you haven’t either. Let’s say, “selling like a delicious novelty donut-croissant hybrid.”)



Next up, we have two Malverny options: mugs and t-shirts. We suggest you buy both, because much like shampoo and conditioner, they are designed to be used in conjunction for maximum Malvern effect. And if you spill stuff from your Malvern mug onto your Malvern t-shirt (which we know you will), it won’t leave a stain because MAGIC. Some of the t-shirts sport a WE DON’T SELL CRAP slogan (very true), while others say A DIFFERENT KIND OF ADULT BOOKSTORE (for those of you unfamiliar with Malvern lore, the former occupant of our esteemed location sold knick-knacks of a decidedly… saucy nature).


And last but not least, we have our Leuchtturm1917 journals. They’re beautiful. You might be thinking they look just like a certain popular brand of nifty notebooks, but trust me, they’re much nicer: better quality and much more colorful. And here’s another cool thing about the lovely Leuchtturms: they’re ethically made. You see, although it might seem like we’re all pirate jokes and giddy nonsense here at Malvern, we’re actually rather serious about what we sell, and we want all our sidelines to be either locally made or fair trade, and environmentally sound. So we sent an email to a Leuchtturm representative asking for clarification on how the journals are manufactured, and were thrilled with the (prompt and lengthy) reply… to summarise, Leuchtturms are stitched together by a third-generation family-owned bindery and the company itself has been run by the same family for four generations (i.e. since 1917, hence the name). Good news for those of us who like to write our poetry in classy, kindly-crafted journals.

So, lots of lovely, lovingly made stuff to choose from at Malvern. Come for the free pizza (thanks, Conans!), and stay for the sidelines! See you tonight, my dears.

Paws & Prose: Grand Opening Day 3!

Just when you thought our two-day Grand Opening shindignigans couldn’t get any more spectacular, we go and add a third day of loveliness to the schedule. Yep, I’m afraid your Sunday (November 24th) has now been ceded to Malvern Books. After a couple of days of poetry, we thought it was only fair to introduce Prose Day—served with a side of Paws.

We’ll kick things off in rousing style at 1pm with a performance by Faux Paws and Friends, an awesome group of local musicians whose folk has a decidedly French flavor. If you’ve never heard a hurdy-gurdy or a crumhorn, now’s your chance!

At 2pm, Austinite Mark Smith will give a reading from his latest story collection, Knave of Hearts. Mark’s previous collection, Riddle, won the 1992 Austin Book Award.

By Way Of WaterAnd at 4pm, we’ll play host to Charlotte Gullick, author, editor, educator, and Chair of the Creative Writing Department at Austin Community College. Charlotte will give a reading and sign copies of her novel By Way of Water, the Grand Prize Winner of the Santa Fe Writers Project Award. Set in the late ’70s amidst the misty redwood forests of Northern California, By Way of Water is a confident and moving portrayal of a community struggling to come to terms with changing times.

We’ll look forward to seeing y’all in the store, and don’t forget to check our Events Calendar for even more Grand Opening excitements to come!

Something Grand!

Party CatYes indeed, that glorious time is upon us: the Grand Opening of Malvern Books! We opened our doors softly six weeks ago, and now that we’ve mastered the tricky stuff—shushing politely and making the cash register go ping!—we’re ready to fling open those doors with ribbon-shredding abandon. And, such is our OMG WE’RE A BOOKSTORE!!! excitement, we decided that a one-day celebration just wouldn’t do… so we’ve arranged for y’all forty-eight hours of wanton literary festivities.

What’s the plan? Well, we indicated that there might be free cheese, and I think we can make good on that promise, and possibly include several other pleasant foodstuffs as well. There will also be beverages, music (did someone say… marching band?), and very special discounts on very special books. Most importantly, there will be readings! So, what are you waiting for? Get your sharpies out, pull that Goats in Trees calendar off the wall, and put a big ol’ GONE TO MALVERN through November 22nd and 23rd.

On Friday, November 22nd, we’ll be hosting a reading from poets Joshua Edwards and  Lynn Xu. Joshua and Lynn are currently on a 650-mile walk across Texas, from Galveston to Marfa, and will stop in at Malvern to give their aching feet a rest, share their adventures, and read from their new collections. Joining them is acclaimed poet and translator Kurt Heinzelman, an English Professor at UT Austin and the editor-at-large for Bat City Review. Kurt will be reading from his hot-off-the-press collection, Intimacies & Other Devices.

But wait! There’s more! The following night, Saturday, November 23rd, Malvern will play host to a trio of irreverent poets: Matt Hart, Taylor Jacob Pate, and Tyler Gobble. Matt is the co-founder of the literary journal Forklift, Ohio and the author of five poetry collections, including the recent Debacle Debacle. Taylor is an MFA candidate in the New Writers Project at UT Austin, as well as the editor-in-chief of Smoking Glue Gun and the art director for Bat City Review. And Tyler Gobble is Malvern Books’ most impressively named staff member—and a poet to watch out for. His first collection, More Wreck More Wreck, will be out from Coconut Books in 2014.

On both nights, plan to stop by Malvern at 6.30pm for nibbles, browsing, and chitchat; the readings will begin around 7pm. And please do remember to invite all your chums… the more, the Malvernier!

Bat City Bounty

We love to fill our Malvernian shelves with poetry and fiction from across the country and around the world, but we’re also rather partial to a little local lit. Below, a few of our recent Made-in-Austin poetry acquisitions…

Local Authors

Until You Electrocute Everyone and Into The Ropes by Deva Haney. Two candid, funny, and ferocious collections that demand to be read aloud. We’re also pleased to note that Haney is a friend to pirates.

Diamond Plate by W. Joe Hoppe. Coolly contemplative poetry that pulls off the tricky task of being both boldly experimental and instantly accessible. Hoppe teaches creative writing at Austin Community College, and he sounds like a bloody inspiring bloke.

Restless Astronomy by Michael Gilmore. The peripatetic Mr. Gilmore has lived in China, New York, and Iowa, but now calls Austin home. With startling imagery and sly asides, Restless Astronomy deftly lures the reader into an imagined world that feels both intensely personal and hauntingly familiar.

Newsworthy #1

In which we provide you with assorted delightful snippets concerning upcoming excitements and recent additions to our shelves:

  • On Thursday, November 14th at 2pm, Malvern Books will be hosting a very special event: the Center for Survivors of Torture has arranged an informal roundtable discussion with Father Ubald Rugirangoga, a priest of the Diocese of Cyangugu in Southern Rwanda. Father Ubald lost eighty family members and 45,000 members of his congregation in the 1994 Rwandan genocide; he has since devoted his life to spreading a message of forgiveness and reconciliation. This discussion is open to the public, and we strongly encourage you all to come along. To learn more about the remarkable Father Ubald, check out this inspiring TEDx talk.
  • IntimaciesIf you like your poetry hot off the press, come in and pick up a copy of Kurt Heinzelman’s latest collection, Intimacies & Other Devices. A “hommage to the erotic in all its forms and manifestations,” Intimacies is imaginative, playful, rapturous, and, yes, a wee bit sexy. Highly recommended! (Also well worth checking out at Malvern: Demarcations, a bilingual French/English edition of poet Jean Follain’s masterful 1953 collection, featuring translations by Heinzelman.)
  • Have you checked out our splendid and quite sizable display of Green Integer titles? You really should! Edited by Per Bregne, Green Integer publishes a wide range of pocket-size books, including new works by leading contemporary artists, and overlooked fiction, poetry, and plays by some of history’s very best writers. So come on down to Malvern and get your Green on!

Green Integer