Chaucer's Books

Visit our Facebook page for current news and interesting info!

Kathryn Blaine - Beloved Chaucer's Bookseller

She made us laugh, helped keep us calm amidst bookselling strife and contributed greatly to balancing the sometimes precarious and creaky Chaucer psyche. We salute Kathryn's life and honor her dear memory.


A Naturalist's Guide to the Santa Barbara Region
by Joan Easton Lentz

Santa Barbara native Joan Easton Lentz shares her lifelong knowledge of this region renowned for its unique natural resources and legendary scenery.

The beautiful book combines lucid and evocative nature writing, including on-the-scene journal entries, with a rich array of photos and illustrations, creating a highly personal and scientific handbook.

We would be happy to mail a gift certificate:
Simply call us with mailing & payment info at (805) 682-6787, fax (805) 682-1129 or email

Chaucer's Cat of the Month - Santa Barbara Animal Shelter Assistance Program

Chaucer's proudly supports


The Book of Santa Barbara

Macduff Everton (Author, Photographer), Pico Iyer (Introductory Essay), Mary Heebner (Extended Captions)

Santa Barbara seems a place of such obvious charms. The golden beaches and sage-covered hillsides are there at first glance, while the Spanish-style townscape issues an invitation to visit all year, thanks to an unvaryingly pleasant Mediterranean climate. Even so, it takes an artist with a unique vision to reveal the complexity of Santa Barbara's beauty, as Macduff Everton does so brilliantly in the photographs that grace the pages of this book.

A longtime Santa Barbaran, Everton uses his panoramic camera to reveal the play of light on sea and rock, the quirky corners of historic landmarks and the unexpected variety of lush gardens and open spaces.

Chaucer's said to "dominate" Santa Barbara bookstores in the Santa Barbara Independent

Mahri and Chaucer's also profiled in Publisher's Weekly

Many thanks to our loyal bookloving customers!


Hear a fascinating & entertaining example of Joycean brilliance


Partial Text of Audio (1st 6 minutes of 8:49):

Well, you know or don't you kennet or haven't I told you every telling has a taling and that's the he and the she of it. Look, look, the dusk is growing! My branches lofty are taking root. And my cold cher's gone ashley. Fieluhr? Filou! What age is at? It saon is late. 'Tis endless now senne eye or erewone last saw Waterhouse's clogh. They took it asunder, I hurd thum sigh. When will they reassemble it? O, my back, my back, my bach! I'd want to go to Aches-les- Pains. Pingpong! There's the Belle for Sexaloitez! And Concepta de Send-us-pray! Pang! Wring out the clothes! Wring in the dew! Godavari, vert the showers! And grant thaya grace! Aman. Will we spread them here now? Ay, we will. Flip! Spread on your bank and I'll spread mine on mine. Flep! It's what I'm doing. Spread! It's churning chill. Der went is rising. I'll lay a few stones on the hostel sheets. A man and his bride embraced between them. Else I'd have folded and sprinkled them only. And I'll tie my butcher's apron here. It's suety yet. The strollers will pass it by. Six shifts, ten kerchiefs, nine to hold to the fire and one for the code, the convent napkins, twelve, one baby's shawl. Good mother Jossiph knows, she said. Whose head? Mutter snores? Deataceas! Wharnow are alle her childer, say? In kingdome gone or power to come or gloria be to them farther? Allalivial, allalluvial! Some here, more no more, more again lost alla stranger. I've heard tell that same brooch of the Shannons was married into a family in Spain. And all the Dunders de Dunnes in Markland's Vineland beyond Brendan's herring pool takes number nine in yangsee's hats. And one of Biddy's beads went bobbing till she rounded up lost histereve with a marigold and a cobbler's candle in a side strain of a main drain of a manzinahurries off Bachelor's Walk. But all that's left to the last of the Meaghers in the loup of the years prefixed and between is one kneebuckle and two hooks in the front. Do you tell me that now? I do in troth. Orara por Orbe and poor Las Animas! Ussa, Ulla, we're umbas all! Mezha, didn't you hear it a deluge of times, ufer and ufer, respund to spond? You deed, you deed! I need, I need! It's that irrawaddyng I've stoke in my aars. It all but husheth the lethest zswound. Oronoko! What's your trouble? Is that the great Finnleader himself in his joakimono on his statue riding the high horse there forehengist? Father of Otters, it is himself! Yonne there! Isset that? On Fallareen Common? You're thinking of Astley's Amphitheayter where the bobby restrained you making sugarstuck pouts to the ghostwhite horse of the Peppers. Throw the cobwebs from your eyes, woman, and spread your washing proper! It's well I know your sort of slop. Flap! Ireland sober is Ireland stiff. Lord help you, Maria, full of grease, the load is with me! Your prayers. I sonht zo! Madammangut! Were you lifting your elbow, tell us, glazy cheeks, in Conway's Carrigacurra canteen? Was I what, hobbledyhips? Flop! Your rere gait's creakorheuman bitts your butts disagrees. Amn't I up since the damp tawn, marthared mary allacook, with Corrigan's pulse and varicoarse veins, my pramaxle smashed, Alice Jane in decline and my oneeyed mongrel twice run over, soaking and bleaching boiler rags, and sweating cold, a widow like me, for to deck my tennis champion son, the laundryman with the lavandier flannels? You won your limpopo limp fron the husky hussars when Collars and Cuffs was heir to the town and your slur gave the stink to Carlow. Holy Scamander, I sar it again! Near the golden falls. Icis on us! Seints of light! Zezere! Subdue your noise, you hamble creature! What is it but a blackburry growth or the dwyergray ass them four old codgers owns. Are you meanam Tarpey and Lyons and Gregory? I meyne now, thank all, the four of them, and the roar of them, that draves that stray in the mist and old Johnny MacDougal along with them. Is that the Poolbeg flasher beyant, pharphar, or a fireboat coasting nyar the Kishtna or a glow I behold within a hedge or my Garry come back from the Indes? Wait till the honeying of the lune, love! Die eve, little eve, die! We see that wonder in your eye. We'll meet again, we'll part once more. The spot I'll seek if the hour you'll find. My chart shines high where the blue milk's upset. Forgivemequick, I'm going! Bubye! And you, pluck your watch, forgetmenot. Your evenlode. So save to jurna's end! My sights are swimming thicker on me by the shadows to this place. I sow home slowly now by own way, moyvalley way. Towy I too, rathmine.

James Joyce Centre Dublin

Molly Bloom's Soliloquy - Read and Hear

Search entire text of "Ulysses"

Words, Images, Text and Print

On an electronic screen, she said, "the words pass as an image before you. If you want to turn back, it is something you have to manage. With a book, you are flipping back and your eye may be caught indeed by other passages. Reading the image is different from reading the text in a book."

Food for thought from Nadine Gordimer in, according to the Guardian, "a passionate defence of the printed book against the onslaught of technology."


Mahri Kerley, owner of Chaucer's Bookstore, spent several weeks taking photographs in India in the fall of 2008. India is a magnificent country, saturated with color and completely overwhelming for all of the senses.

A selection of the photographs can be viewed, and are available for purchase, at Chaucer's.

A Note About Availability

When ordering from Chaucer's Books online, please remember that not all books listed on our website are currently on the shelves at our store.

In general, if a book on the website is listed as "available," it's either in stock or we can get it for you within a few days.

When in doubt, please give us a call at (805) 682-6787, or email us at We're always happy to help!

The Dying Grass

In this new installment in his acclaimed series of novels examining the collisions between Native Americans and European colonizers, William T. Vollmann tells the story of the Nez Perce War, with flashbacks to the Civil War. Defrauded and intimidated at every turn, the Nez Perces finally went on the warpath in 1877, subjecting the U.S. Army to its greatest defeat since Little Big Horn as they fled from northeast Oregon across Montana to the Canadian border.

Vollmann s main character is not the legendary Chief Joseph, but his pursuer, General Oliver Otis Howard, the brave, shy, tormented, devoutly Christian Civil War veteran. In this novel, we see him as commander, father, son, husband, friend, and killer.

Teeming with many vivid characters on both sides of the conflict, and written in an original style in which the printed page works as a stage with multiple layers of foreground and background, "The Dying Grass "is another mesmerizing achievement from one of the most ambitious writers of our time.

Vollmann with Michael Silverblatt on BookWorm

Hidden Wealth of Nations

by Gabriel Zucman

Everyone knows the super rich are hiding tons of money and not paying near enough taxes. This common knowledge that the wealthy have found ways around taxation by moving their assets to countries that don't tax them raises the question of how much of the world's wealth is hidden and how.

Gabriel Zucman, a prominent young French economist, has come up with novel yet effective ways of quantifying how big the problem is, how tax havens work and are organized, and how we can begin to tackle the problem.

Digging deep into the global data and comparing it with that of individual and international institutions, "The Hidden Wealth of Nations" offers for the first time a full picture of how this sophisticated international system works and is organized in practice. It is an invaluable glimpse at one of the most powerful forces contributing to inequality across the globe."

Gabriel Zucman talks about his work at the London School of Economics


by Giacomo Leopardi

The greatest intellectual diary of Italian literature, its breadth and depth of thought often compared to the work of Schopenhauer and Nietzsche. The Zibaldone's long-overdue translation into English in this handsome edition is warmly to be welcomed . . .

With its excellent introduction, its generous notes and cross-referencing, this edition is a huge achievement, making available at last a key document in the history of European thought and throwing light on Leopardi's unique poetry and prose works.--Tim Parks -The New York Review of Books

More info on the amazing Zibaldone project