Joan's Picks

Joan's Odyssey: 

I am the only daughter of Romeo and Betty Grenier. My father founded the Odyssey in 1963. In 1985 while I was taking the GRE exam the Odyssey burned to the ground. In 1986 the Odyssey was once again the victim of an arsonist. My Dad was 76 at the time and I agreed to help out for a while. Well, somehow “a while” turned into decades and I decided not to pursue graduate school and instead took a different path of lifelong learning. My reading interests are varied. I love literary fiction, Scandinavian mysteries, American history and politics, nature, food, and environmental writing, and now that we have three granddaughters, I am thoroughly enjoying classic and new children’s books.  

 

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Books: 
The Wonderling Cover Image
By Mira Bartok, Mira Bartok (Illustrator)
$21.99
ISBN: 9780763691219
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Published: Candlewick Press (MA) - September 26th, 2017

Miss Carbunkle’s Home for Wayward & Misbegotten Creatures is a horrible orphanage where we meet our main character. He is a creature who does not know his real name and is called Number 13 by the nasty Miss Carbunkle and her nearly as nasty right-hand Mr. Sneezeweed. Number 13 is renamed Arthur by his new and trusted friend Trinket. Arthur is a fox-like groundling who stands upright, has no tail, and is missing an ear. This book is filled with many adventures as Arthur and Trinket escape from the orphanage and come across good and evil creatures. Arthur’s goodness persists and along with a string of friends, they are triumphant in the end. Mira Bartok has written a brilliant debut with her lovely artwork throughout. I can’t wait for my granddaughters to read this splendidly imagined story.


The Women in the Castle Cover Image
$26.99
ISBN: 9780062563668
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Published: William Morrow & Company - March 28th, 2017

Three German women react in very different  ways to the rise of Nazism-resisting, embracing, and avoiding.  They experience the horrors of the war including death, imprisonment, separation from family, and near starvation. With an inner strength they did not know they possessed, they manage to survive, although with lasting scars. The power of Jessica Shattuck’s story and writing illuminates for the reader a more complex understanding of what civilians experience living under an oppressive and cruel regime, as well as, the shattered civil society that remains after the war has ended. One of the finest example of historical fiction in recent years.


Dancers After Dark Cover Image
$19.95
ISBN: 9780761189336
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Published: Workman Publishing - October 18th, 2016

This is a beautiful follow-up to Matter’s bestselling Dancers among Us. Jordan Matter photographed ballet dancers in locations around the globe at night in stunning poses. And yes, they are nude. The dancers’ perfectly sculpted bodies in acrobatic poses highlight their dedication and passion for their art. The varied locations of the photos, from New York City, to Paris, to Stockholm, to Montreal add to this dazzling collection. And to think all these photos were taken without anyone being arrested!


Truevine: Two Brothers, a Kidnapping, and a Mother's Quest: A True Story of the Jim Crow South Cover Image
$28.00
ISBN: 9780316337540
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Published: Little Brown and Company - October 18th, 2016

Award winning journalist Beth Macy is an unrelenting researcher who combs through a wide variety of primary sources to tell a fascinating and heartbreaking story. Albino African american brothers are kidnapped by unscrupulous and racist circus managers who not only steal their earnings from their work as freak show performers, but tell their mother that they are dead. This occurs during the depth of the Jim Crow South, when Black lives don't matter and lynching is at its height. Their mother's persistent and heroic fight through legal channels to recoup their wages and a better standard of living is the heart of this story. Macy's portrayal of segregated and KKK dominate Roanoke, Virginia in the early 20th century give the reader an inside look at the historical depths of American racism. 


Footnotes from the World's Greatest Bookstores: True Tales and Lost Moments from Book Buyers, Booksellers, and Book Lovers Cover Image
By Bob Eckstein, Garrison Keillor (Foreword by)
$22.00
ISBN: 9780553459272
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Published: Clarkson Potter Publishers - October 4th, 2016

The New Yorker cartoonist Bob Eckstein has brilliantly illustrated independent bookstores from around the world, including several that are no longer in business. The colorful paintings are accompanied by quirky and amusing stories about writers, customers, and booksellers. This fascinating selection of seventy five bookstores includes several that I have visited, others I have heard of, but a good number that are new to me. The book has an interesting format, with a flip up jacketless hard cover that reveals horizontal pages. And after you have enjoyed the visual and written description of the seventy five bookstores, there are endnotes and miscellany to peruse. This is a delightful book for any bibliophile.


Shakespeare and Company, Paris: A History of the Rag & Bone Shop of the Heart Cover Image
By Krista Halverson (Editor), Jeannette Winterson (Foreword by), Sylvia Whitman (Afterword by)
$34.95
ISBN: 9791096101009
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Published: Shakespeare and Company Paris - September 27th, 2016

I loved this book!  It traces the history of one of the most famous bookstores in the world—Shakespeare and Company in Paris. The editor Krista Halverson searched through the extensive archives of the shop and pulled together hundreds of photos, poems, newspaper articles, ephemera, and reminiscences, giving the reader a spectacular portrait of this iconic bookshop. George Whitman, an American expat, opened the shop in 1951 after the original Sylvia Beach shop had been closed for 10 years. The bookshop has been a haven for writers from the Beats to present day. In exchange for helping out people can sleep in the bookshop. Over 30,000 tumbleweeds, as they are called, have been nocturnal guests! 


Rad Women Worldwide: Artists and Athletes, Pirates and Punks, and Other Revolutionaries Who Shaped History Cover Image
By Kate Schatz, Miriam Klein Stahl (Illustrator)
$15.99
ISBN: 9780399578861
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Published: Ten Speed Press - September 27th, 2016

From grand kids to grandparents and everyone in between, this is a book everyone should read in order to learn about amazing women around the globe.  Forty women who lived from ancient times to today are profiled. This selection of brave and creative pioneering women features names you will recognize and those that will be new to you, including Malala Yousafzai, Frida Kahlo, Buffy St. Marie, Poly Styrene, and Sophie Scholl.  From Mesopotamia to Mexico, from Ireland to Indiaand many other countries we learn the power of global sisterhood. Miriam Klein Stahl has created gorgeous papercut illustrations for each of the 40 extraordinary women. 


Palestine on a Plate: Memories from My Mother's Kitchen Cover Image
$35.00
ISBN: 9781566560696
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Published: Interlink Books - September 15th, 2016

Local independent publisher Interlink Books is recognized worldwide for the publication of gorgeous international cuisine cookbooks. Again they have a winner with Joudie Kalla’s new cookbook. In My World of Ingredients, Joudie gives us a view of her pantry which is filled with spices and herbs, grains and legumes, fruits, nuts, and seeds, and other flavorings. Not only is this a fabulous cookbook, but it is also helping support a Palestinian non-profit organization. Interlink Publishing is donating 50% of the profits from the sales of Palestine on a Plate,  to the Nablus-based children’s educational and cultural center Palestinian House of Friendship for the purchase of a permanent home in the city of Nablus.  


Trace: Memory, History, Race, and the American Landscape Cover Image
$16.95
ISBN: 9781619028258
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Published: Counterpoint LLC - September 13th, 2016

This book is a brilliant and unique musing on American history and landscape. Lauret Savoy is a mixed race woman and professor of geology and environmental studies. Her search for her ancestors leads her to landscapes, including borderlands of the southwest, the Grand Canyon, Washington D.C., and her birthplace in California. Inevitably the role of race in American history is part of her family’s history. Savoy details the inaccuracies, silences, and omissions throughout American history, including the Black Codes in Washington D.C. and South Carolina, land grabs from Mexico and Native peoples, and the disappearance of African American towns. An important book as we struggle to understand and overcome the wrongs of history and the impact on our current lives. 


Ada Twist, Scientist Cover Image
By Andrea Beaty, David Roberts (Illustrator)
$17.95
ISBN: 9781419721373
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Published: Abrams Books for Young Readers - September 6th, 2016

This is a marvelous collaboration between writer and artist. Beaty’s rhyming story about a spunky and curious little girl named Ada Twist is a treat to read. Illustrator David Roberts creates amazing and detailed drawings to enhance the text. Girl Power Rocks!


Words in Transit: Stories of Immigrants Cover Image
$26.95
ISBN: 9781625342195
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Published: New England Public Radio - August 11th, 2016

We often hear mention of immigrants and refugees in the news, but we don’t often hear their voices or their stories. This book shares the oral histories of twenty-eight immigrants and refugees to western New England, many living in the Pioneer Valley. Some heartbreaking stories portray harrowing escapes from either war torn countries or desperate economic conditions. Others describe the pain and confusion of being an outsider. All give us important insight into the lives of immigrants and refugees. The proceeds from this book go to scholarships for immigrant students at Holyoke Community College.


A Great Reckoning Cover Image
$28.99
ISBN: 9781250022134
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Published: Minotaur Books - August 30th, 2016

Our beloved Chief Inspector Armand Gamache is brought out of retirement to be the Commander of the Sûreté police training academy. And as in the past, he is investigating corruption and brutality.

There are many mysteries to solve, but most pressing is who killed the corrupt, exploitative, and arrogant Sûreté professor Serge Leduc? There are also the secrets about a WW I map found in the dead professor’s room, a map that Gamache gave to four of the cadets. Are they now in danger or are they suspects? And who is this smart and solitary cadet with the multiple piercings?  And why is there a Royal Canadian Mounted Police investigator reviewing suspiciously Gamache’s every move? The quirky and loveable gang of characters from Three Pines is, as usual, gathering at the bistro and helping Armand with his investigation. Louise Penny does it again with multiple twists and turns and a surprise finale.


Barkskins Cover Image
$32.00
ISBN: 9780743288781
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Published: Scribner Book Company - June 14th, 2016

At slightly over 700 pages, Barkskins is quite a time commitment, but if you love history and multiple generation sagas, the hours spent delving into this fascinating novel will be well worth it. As a descendant of a French Canadian lumberjack (woodcutter or barkskin), I was immediately drawn to this story. Proulx follows the lives of two indentured Frenchmen and their descendants for 300 years. Some endure hardships and near starvation, while others experience immense wealth. The destruction of massive forests of North America and other countries and the exploitation and near annihilation of native peoples are central themes that reoccur throughout the generations. The ecological disasters that we are now confronting have been set in motion for generations due to our repeated mismanagement and exploitation of human and natural resources. This is an environmental epic and a literary masterpiece.


Murder on the Quai Cover Image
$27.95
ISBN: 9781616956783
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Soho Crime - June 14th, 2016

 

Since 1999 Cara Black has written 15 engaging mysteries featuring sassy and stylish Parisian private investigator Aimée Leduc. And now we have a prequel set in 1989 which explains a great deal about her parents, especially her Mom who disappeared when she was young. The past and the present are tied together by murders, the fall of the Berlin Wall, and Nazi gold. If you haven’t read Cara Black and fallen in love with her stories set in various Paris neighborhoods, this is a good place to start. If you are already a fan, then this book will answer some of those nagging questions about how Aimée ended up following in her father’s footsteps to become a skilled detective and how she met her talented sidekick René.


The Hour of Land: A Personal Topography of America's National Parks Cover Image
$27.00
ISBN: 9780374280093
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Published: Sarah Crichton Books - May 31st, 2016

In this book Terry combines several genres –nature writing, memoir, and public policy. She writes about a diverse and eclectic selection of parks, some obvious choices like Grand Teton National Park in Wyoming, her family favorite, and Arcadia National Park in Maine, but also Gettysburg National Battlefield in Pennsylvania, Effigy Mounds National Monument in Iowa, Gulf Islands National Seashore in Florida and Mississippi, and the Cesar E. Chavez National Monument in California.

In her chapter on Gettysburg we learn that it wasn’t until 1998 that the National Park Service shifted its interpretation of the Civil War from just focusing on military strategies to telling the truth about slavery. While visiting Gettysburg, Terry, her husband Brooke, and writer Rick Bass have a conversation with a Confederate soldier re-enactor who insists that the Civil War is not about slavery, but rather states rights vs. the Federal government. There still is a great deal of education that must occur and Terry Tempest Williams’ writings are invaluable in the discussion of the importance and the role of our National Parks.


White Rage: The Unspoken Truth of Our Racial Divide Cover Image
$26.00
ISBN: 9781632864123
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Published: Bloomsbury USA - May 31st, 2016

Carol Anderson’s new book is a must read for everyone. Her thesis is that since Emancipation any steps towards Black equality or advancement trigger a white rage response, which includes a highly organized opposition to roll back the clock. Whether it is Reconstruction, the Great Migration, the Civil Rights Movement, or the election of our first African American President, the response is swift, destructive, and pervasive. Her case is made strong not only by the text she has created, but also by the dozens of pages of notes detailing the extensive research she carried out. This book gives the reader a clear understanding of our painful racial history and how it shapes our current political landscape. 


Before the Fall Cover Image
$26.00
ISBN: 9781455561780
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Published: Grand Central Publishing - May 31st, 2016

Yes, this is a novel about the crash of a private plane minutes after it takes off from Martha’s Vineyard. Only two of the eleven passengers and crew survive after a harrowing long distance all night swim.  However, this book is about much more than a plane crash.  The back story of all the characters is really the heart of the novel. The negative sides of human nature, including greed, power, anger, bullying, and a hefty dose of male ego are portrayed with razor sharp precision. The disturbing gotcha “journalism” of a Bill O’Reilly type is particularly well drawn. Hawley is a talented screenwriter and this compelling novel will surely make it way to the big screen.  A fast paced read for the summer or anytime of the year.


Larose Cover Image
$27.99
ISBN: 9780062277022
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Published: Harper - May 10th, 2016

Award winning writer Louise Erdrich displays her brilliant talent in this multi-generational novel set in the Ojibwe territory of North Dakota. On the second page the reader learns about the accidental shooting of a neighbor’s young son. From this tragedy Erdrich weaves a richly told story portraying a wide array of human events and emotions including grief, love, anger, despair, betrayal, forgiveness, and healing. In revealing flashbacks Erdrich details the abductions and abuses of native children at government run boarding schools in the attempt to force “assimilate” these children into Anglo culture. Not only is Louise Erdrich an incredible writer, but she also owns an independent bookstore in Minnesota.


Heat and Light Cover Image
$26.99
ISBN: 9780061763298
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Published: Ecco Press - May 3rd, 2016

An amazing novel about America’s energy crisis and the people and planet that are being destroyed by our greedy, ill conceived, fossil fuel driven economy. The long shuttered coal mines of Bakerton, Pennsylvania, once provided jobs and energy. There’s a new kid on the block – natural gas companies exploiting the Marcellus Shale with a drilling process now all too familiar – fracking. Haigh’s cast of characters includes local landowners and farmers, as well as wealthy Houston energy company owners and their high paid out of town workers. She does a first rate job of describing the conflicting goals and moral dilemmas that some of her characters confront, even members of the same family. I have loved Jennifer Haigh’s novels since her debut. This book is her best to date and I hope will significantly enlarge her readership. 


The Penny Poet of Portsmouth: A Memoir of Place, Solitude, and Friendship Cover Image
$25.00
ISBN: 9781619027121
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Published: Counterpoint LLC - March 15th, 2016

This is an amazing gem of a book. Katherine Towler describes with heartfelt prose her friendship with poet Robert Dunn. Dunn was so committed to poetry and books that he spent most of his waking hours reading and writing. He did work part time and in the decades before gentrification was a well known poet among the literary community in the seaport city of Portsmouth, New Hampshire.. He lived simply in a rented room without owning a phone, car, computer, or television.  He was a writer’s writer and he sold his poems for a penny on the streets of Portsmouth. He was admired and supported by many people, including Katherine Towler. Towler skillfully captures the longing for creative solitude and the sacrifices it necessitates for many writers and artists.


Bottomland Cover Image
$16.00
ISBN: 9780802124715
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Published: Grove Press, Black Cat - March 1st, 2016

The shattering impact of World War I on a German-American farm family in Iowa is starkly portrayed in Michelle Hoover’s second novel. Hoover describes with precise details the necessary hard work and hardships to run a farm in the early 20th century Midwest. Add to this the limitations that young women confront and the anti-German prejudices that turn the Hess family’s neighbors against them, and the ingredients for a volatile situation are in place. Chicago is a gritty industrial city teeming with immigrants, factories, and a different array of hardships where several of the younger Hesses set out for. This haunting story combines the challenges of city and farm, war and peace, and resonates with the U.S. we face today with speeches about walls and exclusion based on ethnicity and religion


Wildflowers of New England Cover Image
$27.95
ISBN: 9781604694642
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Published: Timber Press (OR) - February 24th, 2016

For those of us that love to be outdoors, especially hiking and walking throughout the fields, forests, waterways, and coasts of New England, this is a book we all will treasure. With over 1100 photos and succinct details, this guide will help us determine the name of those lovely wildflowers that abound in our region. Ted Elliman is a trained botanist and has skillfully organized the guide by color and shape and the book includes a handy ruler on the back cover.


Dark Money: The Hidden History of the Billionaires Behind the Rise of the Radical Right Cover Image
$29.95
ISBN: 9780385535595
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Published: Doubleday Books - January 19th, 2016

This is one of the most important and disturbing books I read recently. Jane Mayer is an incredible investigative journalist. I thought I knew a fair amount about the Koch brothers, but they and their billionaire cohorts are even more pervasive and destructive of our democracy than I had previously understood. Mayer begins with a short history of Fred Koch, the father, who was one of the 11 original founders of the John Birch Society and who owed his early success to joint ventures with Hitler and Stalin. Since the 1970s the Koch brothers and others have strategized, conspired, and financed think tanks, policy organizations, lobby groups, academic institutes, and legal programs with the goal of “limiting government”, which has more to do with drastically lowering their personal and corporate taxes and reducing oversight of their industries, especially environmental regulations. The donor lists behind these efforts are hidden and thus the title of the book.  ~  Joan


Dead Wake: The Last Crossing of the Lusitania Cover Image
$28.00
ISBN: 9780307408860
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Published: Crown Publishing Group (NY) - March 10th, 2015

Dead Wake: The Last Crossing of the Lusitania by Erik Larson. When I started reading Dead Wake, I was aware of the fate of the Lusitania one hundred years ago. However, the power and pacing of Erik Larson’s writing, along with the depth of his research, immerses the reader in the minor and major happenings of 1915 in America and Europe. You not only become familiar with some of the Lusitania’s captain, crew and passengers, but also the U-boat’s captain, the British Admiralty’s war room, and President Wilson’s struggle with loneliness, depression, and attempts to keep America out of World War I.  This is a gripping and fascinating retelling of history.


The Complete Vegetarian Cookbook: A Fresh Guide to Eating Well with 700 Foolproof Recipes Cover Image
$29.95
ISBN: 9781936493968
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Published: America's Test Kitchen - March 1st, 2015

This book is fast becoming one of my favorite go to cookbooks. The 700 recipes span the global cuisines and include interesting and detailed descriptions of various foods. Some of my favorites are Quinoa and Vegetable Stew, Indian-Style Vegetable Curry with Potatoes and Cauliflower, and Roasted Carrots and Fennel with Toasted Almonds and Lemon. And I can’t wait to experiment with the 8 pesto sauces!  Whether you are vegetarian or not this is a book every cook should have. Also includes 250 vegan and 500 gluten-free recipes.  


Evicted: Poverty and Profit in the American City Cover Image
$28.00
ISBN: 9780553447439
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Published: Crown Publishing Group (NY) - March 1st, 2016

Evicted  belongs on everyone's bookshelf next to The New Jim Crow and Nickel and Dimed. We need a multi-focused drive to reduce poverty in this country and certainly the crisis of the housing situation should be one of our top priorities. Three out of four families that qualify for housing assistance receive none. Tenants are forced to pay 50% to 75% of one's income for housing leading to widespread eviction rates in many cities. Matthew Desmond brings us into the lives of those facing eviction and the pain and desperation it brings to their families. 

 


Saving Capitalism: For the Many, Not the Few Cover Image
$26.95
ISBN: 9780385350570
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Published: Knopf Publishing Group - September 29th, 2015

In highly readable language Robert Reich describes in detail how the increasing concentration of political power in the corporate and financial elites in this country has occurred over the last forty years with devastating results for most Americans. There are some startling revelations. Pharmaceutical companies promote pay-for-delay agreements with generic drug companies to delay the sale of cheaper versions of drugs costing Americans $3.5 billion! Between 1978 and 2013 corporate CEO pay increased 937% while the average worker rose just 10%! Corporations and the financial sector spend huge amounts of money lobbying Congress in order to overturn regulations that they don’t like or to promote rules they do want. The system is rigged for the top 1% and the rest of us need to get involved to dismantle this inequality

 


My Life on the Road Cover Image
$28.00
ISBN: 9780679456209
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Published: Random House - October 27th, 2015

Gloria Steinem’s new book, which is part memoir and part organizing manual, will inspire feminists and social justice activists of all ages, races, ethnic groups, and genders. Her nomadic childhood was difficult, but good preparation for the next more than half century during which she spent half of her life on the road. Her embrace of the talking circle concept began in her twenties when she traveled in India working with non-violent peace and land reform activists. Talking circles, based on talking, but just as importantly, on listening and building consensus.  The ‘77 National Women’s Conference in Houston is described in some detail in the book since Steinem sees that event as a turning point not only in her life, but in many lives of the 20,000 women that attended. Her life on the road continues today, even as she enters her 80s. 


A Lesson in Secrets Cover Image
$14.99
ISBN: 9780061727719
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Published: Harper Perennial - March 6th, 2012

My first Maisie Dobbs mystery is Jacqueline Winspear’s eighth book in her highly acclaimed series. I shall have to start with her first book and catch up since I was very much taken by Maisie and her independent nature. The year is 1932 and Maisie’s begins her first assignment with the British Secret Service and Scotland Yard’s Special Branch as a junior lecturer at a Cambridge private college. The College of St Francis was recently founded on pacifist principles by Greville Liddicote who is found dead shortly after Maisie’s arrival. The rise of Hitler and British Nazi sympathizers is a major theme in this book as Maisie and her colleagues attempt to unravel the circumstances surrounding Liddicote’s death.  Maisie’s instincts, integrity, and investigative skills are crucial in solving the crime.  


Shelter Cover Image
$26.00
ISBN: 9781250075611
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Published: Picador USA - March 15th, 2016

Korean American Kyung Cho and his wife Gillian are confronting financial problems. Their house is saddled with a mortgage they no longer can afford despite Kyung’s university professor position.  This situation is only made worse when Kyung’s parents barely survive a brutal home invasion.  Jin and Mae are forced to move in with Kyung’s family and the memories of Kyung’s unhappy childhood, including the fear and violence he experienced, are revived. Jung Yun is remarkably skilled at creating a tension filled family drama with a surprising ending. At the same time, she pulls back  the curtain revealing the impacts of race, class, immigration, and domestic violence in contemporary America

 


Notorious RBG: The Life and Times of Ruth Bader Ginsburg Cover Image
$24.99
ISBN: 9780062415837
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Published: Dey Street Books - October 27th, 2015

How exciting that a tumblr blog becomes a bestselling book about a feminist lawyer and judge! A book for a wide range of readers, from young adults to those of us who remember those difficult days before and during second wave feminism. We learn about Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s early years as one of the very few female law students, her struggle to find a job after law school, her work with the ACLU’s Women’s Rights Project, as well as, her impressive judicial decisions and Supreme Court dissents. For all of us who are fans of the notorious RBG there are added features such as a description of her workout, RBG swag, and photos of lace collars!   


Trace: Memory, History, Race, and the American Landscape Cover Image
$25.00
ISBN: 9781619025738
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Published: Counterpoint LLC - November 10th, 2015

This book is a brilliant and unique musing on American history and landscape. Lauret Savoy is a mixed race woman and professor of geology and environmental studies. Her search for her ancestors leads her to landscapes, including borderlands of the southwest, the Grand Canyon, Washington D.C., and her birthplace in California. Inevitably the role of race in American history is part of her family’s history. Savoy details the inaccuracies, silences, and omissions throughout American history, including the Black Codes in Washington D.C. and South Carolina, land grabs from Mexico and Native peoples, and the disappearance of African American towns. An important book as we struggle to understand and overcome the wrongs of history and the impact on our current lives. 


God's Kingdom Cover Image
$25.99
ISBN: 9781250069481
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Published: St. Martin's Press - October 6th, 2015

Reading Howard Frank Mosher’s novels always leaves me with a longing to head to the Northeast Kingdom of Vermont. Mosher not only captures the beauty of the landscape, but he also introduces us to the local folks of small town New England. He reveals a place and a time (1950s) where most people are acquainted with each other, family ties are strong, and yet there are still long held secrets and the idyllic scenery can cover up a ruthless, murderous past. Whether Mosher is describing hunting deer, a baseball contest, the efforts to organize a furniture factory, or the hideous exploits of the Ku Klux Klan, the reader is mesmerized by the storytelling prowess of a remarkable writer.  


Between the World and Me Cover Image
$25.00
ISBN: 9780812993547
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Published: Spiegel & Grau - July 14th, 2015

National Book Award winner for Nonfiction Ta-Nehisi Coates wrote this book for his teenage son, but it is probably at least, if not more, important that white America read this book. For white America this is not only an eye opening book, but one of the clearest statements on what are the daily consequences and confrontations of being black in America.  Others have called him the James Baldwin of our era and the analogy is accurate. Coates brilliantly weaves together America’s violent and disgraceful history of racism with his personal experiences to present a devastating portrayal of how America has exploited the black body throughout centuries. Required reading for all of us. 


War Against All Puerto Ricans: Revolution and Terror in America's Colony Cover Image
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ISBN: 9781568585017
Availability: Out of Print
Published: Nation Books - April 7th, 2015

War Against All Puerto Ricans: Revolution and Terror in America’s Colony by Nelson A. Denis.  The tragic history of Puerto Rico since the US occupied the country in 1898 is exposed in this well documented and powerful book.  The Nationalist Party headed by Pedro Albizu Campos organized to bring world attention to Puerto Rico’s colonial status and demand independence. Under US rule Spanish was not allowed in schools, it was illegal to own a Puerto Rican flag, and US companies, individuals, and the military grabbed land destroying Puerto Rico’s agricultural economy. Recently declassified FBI reports clearly detail the role of that agency in the violent destruction of the Nationalist Party especially during the 1950s. Torture and mass arrests across the island were the harsh response to the cries for independence. At the conclusion of the book Denis provides strong evidence of the radiation poisoning of Albizu Campos by his captors.  


Trail Running Western Massachusetts Cover Image
$19.95
ISBN: 9781611687866
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Published: University Press of New England - May 5th, 2015

Trail Running Western Massachusetts by Ben Kimball. Not just for trail runners! The only in print hiking guide to western MA. Each trail has scannable codes to download trail maps to your smartphone. Ben Kimball has a passion for trail running and utilizes his cartography skills to give us a 21st century trail guide.  


The Second Amendment: A Biography Cover Image
$16.00
ISBN: 9781476747453
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Published: Simon & Schuster - May 26th, 2015

The Second Amendment: A Biography by Michael Waldman. Often lost among the debates about the second amendment and the right to bear arms is a solid historical understanding of not only the original intent of the Bill of Rights, but also how until recently the courts have interpreted the amendment.  Michael Waldman presents a thoroughly readable and well researched history of the amendment. He details the origins of the amendment in the concerns that the recently independent revolutionaries had and their fears of a strong standing army.  It was a time in our early history when all white men over 16 were required to be part of a state militia and bring their own well maintained musket.  Waldman makes it clear that the intent of the amendment, which had many counterparts in the new states’ constitutions, was for military purposes.  


Backroad Bicycling in Western Massachusetts: 30 Rides in the Berkshires, Hampshire County, the Mohawk Trail, and the Pioneer Valley Cover Image
$16.95
ISBN: 9780881505597
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Published: Countryman Press - February 17th, 2003

Backroads Bicycling in Western Massachusetts by Andi Marie Cantele. Western MA is a great place to ride the backroads. This book details a wide variety of rides throughout the three counties of western ma from easy to strenuous. Excellent guide for all bike lovers.  

 


The Mockingbird Next Door: Life with Harper Lee Cover Image
$17.00
ISBN: 9780143127666
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Published: Penguin Books - May 5th, 2015

The Mockingbird Next Door: Life with Harper Lee by Marja Mills. This memoir is a fascinating look at two sisters living together in their later years. The sisters are Nell Harper Lee and Alice Finch Lee. Nell is in her late 70s and Alice in her early 90s and still practicing law. In 2014 at the publication of this book, Harper Lee, who had suffered a stroke, denied she had cooperated with Marja Mills. Her sister Alice later stated that Nell did not remember issuing a denial. Alice and Nell spent hours with the author and introduced her to many of their friends over an 18 month period in 2004-2005. The sisters are born storytellers and share many tales of their family and the environs of Monroeville. I was drawn to Mills’s portrayal of Alice, who is a trailblazer and the most knowledgeable person on the history of the county. Go Ask Alice has a different meaning in Monroeville.


In the Unlikely Event Cover Image
$27.95
ISBN: 9781101875049
Availability: Special Order
Published: Knopf Publishing Group - June 2nd, 2015

In the Unlikely Event by Judy Blume. In her first adult novel in fifteen years, Judy Blume skillfully captures a time, a place, and a catastrophe. Within 58 days in 1951-1952 three airplanes crash in Elizabeth, New Jersey which was Judy Blume’s hometown. From these historical events, she masterfully weaves together a large cast of fictional characters whose lives are changed by these events. At the center is Mira Ammerman the 15 year-old daughter of a single Jewish mother. Remember this is the 1950s and single moms were often looked down upon in the post war years. Miri and her mother Rusty live with Rusty’s supportive mother and her kind and generous newspaper reporter brother Henry. Besides fascinating characters of all ages, Judy Blume details with precision life in the 1950s, including clothes, dating, food, music newspaper reporting and more.


Jam on the Vine Cover Image
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ISBN: 9780802123343
Availability: Out of Print
Published: Grove Press - February 3rd, 2015

Jam on the Vine by LaShonda Katrice Barnett. Ivoe Williams grew up in a segregated small town in central-east Texas. Her mother is one of the few Muslims in the area, a cook, gardener, and food preserver –especially known for her tomato jam. Her father is a Christian metalsmith.  Her early love of reading helps her escape to Willetson College in Austin.  Despite her college education and talent, the cruelty of Jim Crow and gender discrimination block her pursuit of a journalism career for decades. Finally in Kansas City, Ivoe and her lover, Ona, establish the first female-owned African –American newspaper, Jam! On the Vine.  At great risk their newspaper covers a violent period in our history –the race riots of Red Summer 1919, deplorable prison conditions, and the unlawful lynching of African Americans.  The spirit of Ida B. Wells comes alive in this extraordinary debut novel.


Orhan's Inheritance Cover Image
$25.95
ISBN: 9781616203740
Availability: Backordered
Published: Algonquin Books - April 7th, 2015

Orhan’s Inheritance by Aline Ohanesian. A remarkable debut novel that details the pain, brutally, and dislocation suffered during the Armenian Genocide and its aftermath.  Ohanesian joins the ranks of historians and novelists who have insured that the Amermian Genocide, once a footnote in history books, is now revealed and discussed by contemporary readers.  At the center of the story are two teenagers, Kemal a Turk and Lucine who is Armenian. The Armenian Genocide will impact them for the rest of their lives. Ohanesian unravels their tangled connections with a startling ending.


On Sal Mal Lane Cover Image
$16.00
ISBN: 9781555976767
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Published: Graywolf Press - May 20th, 2014

On Sal Mal Lane by Ru Freeman. This novel is set in the years leading up to the Sri Lankan civil war (1979 to 1983) and describes the lives of ten families who live on the same small street in a middle class neighborhood in the capital city of Colombo. The street is a microcosm of the island nation, with Sinhalese, Tamil, and Burgher (mixed European/Sri Lankan) families. Religious backgrounds are diverse—Buddhist, Muslim, and Christian. Over the course of the novel, we see some characters drawn into ethnic prejudices that will divide the neighbors on Sal Mal Lane, first in petty ways that will eventually evolve into devastating violence. Others will offer solidarity and refuge across ethnic and religious lines. An insightful and complex novel that illuminates the choices people make during civil war conflicts.


When Paris Went Dark: The City of Light Under German Occupation, 1940-1944 Cover Image
$18.00
ISBN: 9780316217439
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Published: Back Bay Books - March 17th, 2015

When Paris Went Dark: The City of Light Under German Occupation, 1940-1944 by Ronald C. Rosbottom. What is life like for ordinary citizens when their beloved city is occupied by foreign troops? Amherst College professor Ronald Rosbottom delves into this question through the lens of the Nazi occupation of Paris. The answers are complex and disturbing. France had surrendered before the Germans reached Paris and the city was spared the intense bombardment and destruction which other cities suffered. However, the Nazis step by step tightened the noose around Parisians. Food shortages, long lines for staples, severe restrictions on foreign and French Jews, appropriation of businesses and apartments, curfews, Jews from the age of six forced to wear yellow stars, imprisonment, interrogations, and deportations made life difficult for most Parisians and desperate for many.  Rosbottom gathers evidence from a variety of sources and presents a disturbing story of the Nazi occupation. 


The Lewis Man: The Lewis Trilogy Cover Image
$14.99
ISBN: 9781623654481
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Published: Quercus Books - June 2nd, 2015

The Lewis Man by Peter May. This is the second Peter May mystery I read and I’m dying to read the next one. The trilogy begins with The Blackhouse which is now out in paperback. The books are set on the ever fascinating islands of the Outer Hebrides, Scotland. Island born Fin McLeod has left his detective career in Edinburgh. Within days of returning to his parents’ dilapidated crofthouse on the Isle of Lewis he becomes deeply involved in the investigation of a mummified body discovered in a peat bog. The beauty of the islands, the rugged weather and the stalwart people of Lewis are as much a part of the story as discovering the identity of the bog man with the Elvis tattoo and who murdered him.  I don’t read many mysteries, but I am always delighted to find a great writer and a new series.


The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness Cover Image
$27.95
ISBN: 9781595581037
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Published: New Press - January 5th, 2010

The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness by Michelle Alexander.  This book is a thoroughly researched and remarkably written analysis of a new racial caste system that functions in a similar manner to the earlier Jim Crow system. Over the last 30 years the penal system in the U.S. has exploded largely due to the so called War on Drugs (introduced in 1982 when drug use was on decline). Components of the New Jim Crow include stop and frisk policies focused nearly exclusively on communities of color, harsh and unequal sentencing laws imprisoning  people for years for non-violent drug crimes, police departments awash in federal grant money for drug arrests, lack of meaningful representation in court, and harsh laws that brand felons for life and deny voting rights and other public services.  7.3 million people are currently under correctional control, many of them black and brown. All Americans need to read this book, get fired up and work to change this system.


The Sixth Extinction: An Unnatural History Cover Image
$17.00
ISBN: 9781250062185
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Published: Picador USA - January 6th, 2015

Sixth Extinction: An Unnatural History by Elizabeth Kolbert. Elizabeth Kolbert is one of my favorite science and nature writers.  I learn so much from her investigations and her straight-forward writing.  In this book the reader discovers the commitments made by scientists around the globe to study and report on the impacts that fossil fuels and our modern day life styles have on various habitats and creatures.  Although I read about and I’m concerned about climate change, I hadn’t known much about earlier mass extinctions or the details of the current one underway.  Kolbert presents fascinating, although dismaying,  information of a variety of topics, including the golden frog of Panama, the Great Barrier Reef, the American chestnut tree, bats, and  the Sumatran rhino.  For those interested in preserving our lovely planet this book is a must-read.


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The Bully Pulpit: Theodore Roosevelt, William Howard Taft, and the Golden Age of Journalism Cover Image
$22.00
ISBN: 9781416547877
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Published: Simon & Schuster - September 9th, 2014

The Bully Pulpit: Theodore Roosevelt, William Howard Taft, and the Golden Age of Journalism by Doris Kearns Goodwin. Doris Kearns Goodwin has hit another home run. Her in-depth examination of several of the key figures deeply involved in the early days of the Progressive Era will be sought after by every American history buff. Her research is greatly aided by the multiple daily letters people wrote and that other people preserved. It was a time not unlike our present day – a huge gap between the rich and the poor, highly concentrated wealth in the hands of the few, corporations opposing and fighting against reforms. I found the discussion of McClure’s Magazine and the outstanding investigative journalists Ida Tarbell, Lincoln Steffens, Ray Stannard Baker, and William Allen White the most interesting part of the book. These muckraking journalists are a far cry for our current sound bite media culture


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Empty Hands, Open Arms: The Race to Save Bonobos in the Congo and Make Conservation Go Viral Cover Image
$26.95
ISBN: 9781571313409
Availability: Backordered
Published: Milkweed Editions - October 1st, 2013

Empty Hands, Open Arms: The Race to Save Bonobos in the Congo and Make Conservation Go Viral by Deni Bechard. A fascinating examination of the challenges confronting the preservation of the matriarchal bonobos and the rainforest they inhabit. Bechard takes the reader on an extensive journey through the Democratic Republic of the Congo. The book includes colonial and post colonial history, interviews with the Congolese involved with conservation, descriptions of scientific research, and most importantly, an approach to conservation that is not imposed from the outside, but rather a process of exchange between the rainforest people and scientists.


Oil and Honey: The Education of an Unlikely Activist Cover Image
$16.99
ISBN: 9781250048714
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Published: St. Martin's Griffin - July 29th, 2014

Oil and Honey: The Education of an Unlikely Activist by Bill McKibben. Bill McKibben’s books and speeches have inspired and informed me for many years. His writing is imaginative yet straightforward in describing the impact of climate change on our world. But how do we organize for change on such a complex and worldwide issue? How does a writer become an activist? How does someone new to activism work on both a local and global level?  How are raising beehives in Vermont connected to stopping the Keystone XL pipeline and the extraction of tar sands oil in Canada?  The answers are found in this book.  Please read and get involved


The Faithful Scribe: A Story of Islam, Pakistan, Family and War Cover Image
$17.95
ISBN: 9781590517482
Availability: Special Order
Published: Other Press (NY) - February 17th, 2015

The Faithful Scribe: A Story of Islam, Pakistan, Family, and War by Shahan Mufti. Shahan Mufti is in a unique position to write a book on Pakistan and its relationship with the United States. Mufti is a highly regarded journalist and currently is a professor of journalism at the University of Richmond. Born in the American Midwest, he can trace his Pakistani roots back fourteen hundred years. He weaves the history of his family and of Pakistan history together in a highly readable and informative manner. Pakistan is the world’s sixth largest country, the world’s first Islamic Democracy, a nuclear power, and a country that most Americans have little understanding about. This is essential reading for knowledge about a country that plays a pivotal role internationally


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Making Masterpiece: 25 Years Behind the Scenes at Masterpiece Theatre and Mystery! on PBS Cover Image
$29.95
ISBN: 9780670015351
Availability: Special Order
Published: Viking - October 29th, 2013

Making Masterpiece: 25 Years Behind the Scenes at Masterpiece Theatre and Mystery! at PBS by Rebecca Eaton. Who better than an English major from Vassar College with a love of British literature to become the Executive Producer of Masterpiece? Rebecca Eaton shares with us a fascinating behind the scenes look at what it was like to work with the various hosts of Masterpiece, including Alistair Cooke, Vincent Price, Diana Rigg, and Russell Baker. Brilliant actors portrayed include Judi Dench, Maggie Smith, Derek Jacobi, John Thaw, and a nine-year-old Daniel Radcliffe who starred in David Copperfield and would go on to play Harry Potter. Eaton also relates several of her mistakes, including initially turning down Prime Suspect with Helen Mirren. However, her successes abound, especially in recent years with the astonishingly well-received Downton Abbey.


How the Light Gets in Cover Image
$16.99
ISBN: 9781250047274
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Published: Minotaur Books - July 29th, 2014

How the Light Gets In by Louise Penny. Finally we have a French Canadian detective! I love Louise Penny’s books with Chief Inspector Gamache .Her new book is a great story, fast paced and with numerous twists and turns. Gamache is under attack by his enemies in the higher ranks at the Surete du Quebec. However, he still has devoted friends within the force, and combined with the loyal and lovely people of Three Pines, they struggle to stop the corrupt officers and their wicked ways


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Moosewood Restaurant Favorites: The 250 Most-Requested, Naturally Delicious Recipes from One of America's Best-Loved Restaurants Cover Image
$29.99
ISBN: 9781250006257
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Published: St. Martin's Griffin - September 3rd, 2013

Moosewood Restaurant Favorites. The Moosewood Collective gathered together their favorite recipes over the last forty years and here they are in one book from appetizers to desserts. Many of us have cooked from previous Moosewood cookbooks for decades and it is so terrific to add this fabulous cookbook to our collections. You must try the Spanakopita Bites, Red Bean and Walnut Spread, Peruvian Quinoa and Vegetable Salad, and the scrumptious Sara’s Fresh Apple Spice Cake. A collection of 250 time tested recipes that every cook/chef will want to own


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At Night We Walk in Circles Cover Image
$16.00
ISBN: 9781594632839
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Published: Riverhead Books - September 2nd, 2014

At Night We Walk in Circles by Daniel Alarcon. Daniel Alarcon is a man of many talents – selected by the New Yorker as one of the best 20 writers under 40, founder and producer of Radio Ambulante, a journalist, and a translator. On the surface this novel is the story about the revival of a 15-year dormant guerilla theater group, but in reality it is more layered and complex. Multiple themes abound, including the aftermath and consequences of a long Civil War;  the disgrace and despair of the prisons in an unnamed Latin American country; the vast differences between rural and urban areas; the often thin line between the drama of a play and the drama of real life; and the search of a young actor for the path to love and fulfillment. This novel is a thoughtful examination of contemporary life, with richly drawn characters, and an ending that surprises, despite hints foreshadowed throughout the story


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Stella Bain Cover Image
$16.00
ISBN: 9780316098892
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Published: Back Bay Books - May 27th, 2014

Stella Bain by Anita Shreve. In the beginning of this novel, Anita Shreve transports the reader to the horror of the French battlefields of WWI. Stella Bain is a volunteer nurse and ambulance driver who has been wounded and suffers memory loss associated with shell shock. She is not even sure if Stella is her real name. In Shreve’s capable hands, Stella’s story emerges of how she slowly regains her memory with the help of a British doctor who employs the relative new “talking therapy.” Stella finds the strength to confront the demons that she fled from in America. A brilliant depiction of a story often ignored – the effects of shell shock on women


Paradise Lot: Two Plant Geeks, One-Tenth of an Acre, and the Making of an Edible Garden Oasis in the City Cover Image
$19.95
ISBN: 9781603583992
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Published: Chelsea Green Publishing Company - January 25th, 2013

Paradise Lot: Two Plant Geeks, One-Tenth of an Acre and the Making of an Edible Garden Oasis in the City by Eric Toensmeier.  A remarkably inspiring book for plant geeks, talented gardeners, or people like me who don’t have the time to garden at this point in our lives, but would love to learn more. A step by step explanation of how Eric and Jonathan created a permaculture garden, including 200 edible plants in Holyoke.


On Sal Mal Lane Cover Image
$16.00
ISBN: 9781555976767
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Graywolf Press - May 20th, 2014

On Sal Mal Lane by Ru Freeman.  This novel is set in the years leading up to the Sri Lankan civil war (1979 to 1983) and describes the lives of ten families who live on the same small street in a middle class neighborhood in the capital city of Colombo. The street is a microcosm of the island nation, with Sinhalese, Tamil, and Burgher (mixed European/Sri Lankan) families. Religious backgrounds are diverse—Buddhist, Muslim, and Christian. Over the course of the novel, we see some characters drawn into ethnic prejudices that will divide the neighbors on Sal Mal Lane, first in petty ways that will eventually evolve into devastating violence. Others will offer solidarity and refuge across ethnic and religious lines. An insightful and complex novel that illuminates the choices people make during civil war conflicts.


The Celestials Cover Image
$15.95
ISBN: 9781935639558
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Published: Tin House Books - June 11th, 2013

The Celestials by Karen Shepard. Nearly forgotten from Massachusetts history is the story of 75 young Chinese laborers who were contracted in 1870 by Calvin Sampson the owner of a shoe factory in North Adams. Karen Shepard, with scant historical records, brilliantly fictionalizes their lives in this alien environment. Unbeknownst to the young Chinese workers, they are brought in as strikebreakers. Only the 22-year-old Chinese foreman speaks English. Shepard skillfully examines the interactions of people from vastly different cultures. This is not only a historical novel, but it also reveals themes that are relevant today


The Art of Simple Food: Notes, Lessons, and Recipes from a Delicious Revolution Cover Image
$35.00
ISBN: 9780307336798
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Published: Clarkson Potter Publishers - October 2nd, 2007

The Art of Simple Food by Alice Waters. This is one of my favorite cookbooks which include great recipes and straight forward instruction. It is excellent for new or experienced cooks. Some of my favorite recipes are Leek and Potato Soup, Chard Frittata, Sautéed Cauliflower, and Roasted Root Vegetables.


Crossing the Borders of Time: A True Story of War, Exile, and Love Reclaimed Cover Image
$17.95
ISBN: 9781590515709
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Published: Other Press (NY) - January 8th, 2013

Crossing the Borders of Time: a True Story of War, Exile, and Love Reclaimed by Leslie Maitland is a well-written family history detailing a Jewish family’s flight in 1938 from Freiberg, Germany, across France to Marseille, and onward via boat to Cuba. The family, along with hundreds of other desperate refugees was on one of the last boats to leave Marseille and then nearly not allowed into Cuba. Only after five years on the run were they permitted entry to the US. Maitland’s research took her back to Europe and to Cuba to speak with various archivists and historians. She was fortunate that her family saved many documents, including the Inventory of Jewish Wealth form that her grandfather was forced to sign reporting he no longer had any assets since the Reich had taken everything. Maitland also conveys a poignant love story: her mother held dear for fifty years the last letter from the Frenchman she had loved and hoped to marry.  These once young lovers are finally reunited, fifty years later, albeit with complications. You’ll need to read this fascinating book to find out how the story ends


Wendy and the Lost Boys: The Uncommon Life of Wendy Wasserstein Cover Image
$17.00
ISBN: 9780143121398
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Published: Penguin Books - July 31st, 2012

Wendy and the Lost Boys: The Uncommon Life of Weny Wasserstein by Julie Salamon. This authorized biography details the highs and lows of Wendy’s life. Born in 1950 to Polish-Jewish parents in Brooklyn, NY she was the youngest of 5 children. Her mother Lola was very keen on having her children succeed. One sister became a millionaire and her only brother became a billionaire. Wendy was the first woman to win a Tony Award for her play Heidi Chronicles, which also won a Pulitzer Prize. However, her search for a life partner was largely unsuccessful. The book details her several “gay” husbands, many who were important theatre people, but none would become the life partner she longed for. Secrecy is a main theme in Wendy’s life. She did not meet her brother Abner who was developmentally disabled until she was 50. For many years she did not know that her brother and sister had a different father, that her mother had married her husband’s brother after he died at an early age. Many friends were unaware that she was pregnant until she gave birth to Lucy Jane in 1999. She was 49 and Lucy weighted 2 lbs at birth and was 3 months premature. The father of her child is still a mystery. And although she didn’t look well to many friends, few knew she was dying of Leukemia in 2006. A fascinating portrayal of a pioneering playwright and one of Mount Holyoke’s most famous literary figures.


My Song: A Memoir of Art, Race, and Defiance Cover Image
$17.00
ISBN: 9780307473424
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Published: Vintage Books - November 13th, 2012

My Song: A Memoir of Art, Race, and Defiance by Harry Belafonte with Michael Shnayerson. Harry Belafonte was so much more than an entertainer, although he was a terrific singer and actor. His memoir gives us a glance into his poverty ridden childhood in NYC and in Jamaica. His rise to the top of the entertainment world was unsuspected given the prevalence of segregation, Jim Crow, and racial violence. I’m not sure how many of us were aware of the depth of his political involvement in the Civil Rights movement. One example revealed in the book is how he raised an enormous amount of money to p bail out hundreds of jailed children in Birmingham, Ala. in 1963. For many years he was one of Martin Luther King Jr’s top advisors. Another role he played was as the go between for the Kennedys and the Civil Rights leaders. But through it all he was courageous, committed, and uncompressing about his dignity and his politics.  This is a truly remarkable memoir by a man who kept his eyes on the prize and made a difference in all our lives.

 


The Unruly Passions of Eugenie R. Cover Image
$21.95
ISBN: 9780547840215
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Published: Mariner Books - March 26th, 2013

The Unruly Passions of Eugenie D. Carole DeSanti not only paints a lavish portrait of Paris during and after the Second Empire, but she also powerfully details the struggles of women, especially those who find themselves penniless and forced into prostitution. The novel’s language is so rich that our senses are immersed in the sounds, smells, and flavors of Parisan life. But war commences and everyone is impacted. During the  Siege of Paris everyday life becomes impossibly difficult, with the persistence of food and fuel shortages. Eugenie Rigault is a heroine that captured my heart and I only hope that the author continues her saga.


Wingshooters Cover Image
$15.95
ISBN: 9781936070718
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Published: Akashic Books - February 8th, 2011

Wingshooters, the fourth novel by Los Angeles writer Nina Revoyr, is a riveting and heartbreaking tale. Nine-year-old narrator Michelle is the daughter of a Japanese mother and white American father. Both parents abandon Michelle to live with her grandparents in the rural, all white town of Deerhorn, Wisconsin in the early 1970s. Bullied and rejected by her classmates, Michelle spends her free time by herself or with her grandfather Charlie, a bigot who embraces his only granddaughter, teaching her to garden, fish, hunt, and play baseball. Michelle’s world is torn apart, when the Garretts, an African-American family move to Deerhorn and her grandfather’s loyalty is made clear. You won’t forget this story and Revoyr’s thoughtful insight into the complexity of human relationships.


Corporations Are Not People: Why They Have More Rights Than You Do and What You Can Do about It Cover Image
By Jeffrey D. Clements, Bill Moyers (Foreword by)
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ISBN: 9781609941055
Availability: Out of Print
Published: Berrett-Koehler Publishers - January 9th, 2012

Corporations Are Not People: Why They Have More Rights Than You Do and What You Can Do about It by Jeffrey D. Clements. Every American who cares about our fragile democracy should read this book. We need to overturn Citizen's United and Jeffrey Clements presents a coherent solution to ending corporate control of our election process. Read this book, pass it around, and take up the fight.


American Rust Cover Image
$17.00
ISBN: 9780385527521
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Published: Spiegel & Grau - January 12th, 2010

American Rust by Philipp Meyer. What happens when union manufacturing jobs are shipped overseas? What happens to workers who lose their good paying jobs with benefits? What is life like in cities and towns when work disappears and a slow decay sets in to once vibrant communities? Philipp Meyer’s debut novel is an absorbing portrait of ordinary people and communities that face the extraordinary and heartbreaking de-industrialization of America. His novel is set in the former steel towns of Pennsylvania, but the experience resonates with many once prosperous New England mill towns. I can’t stop thinking about Meyer’s characters, the issues they confronted, the complexities of their limited options, and the life-changing decisions they made. There were times I couldn’t put this book down and there were also times I didn’t want to turn the page for fear of finding out what will happen to these people I have come to care about so much, such is the power of Meyer’s writing.
 


Simply Satisfying: Over 200 Vegetarian Recipes You'll Want to Make Again and Again Cover Image
$21.95
ISBN: 9781615190621
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Published: Experiment - November 6th, 2012

Simply Satisfying: Over 200 Vegetarian Recipes You’ll Want to Make Again and Again by Jeanne Lemlin. This is one of my favorite vegetarian cookbooks. Jeanne Lemlin is a pioneering vegetarian cookbook author and this is a fabulous collection of her flavorful and relatively easy recipes. My favorites include: Brussels Sprouts with Lemon-Soy Glaze, Ricotta Basil Spread, Sesame Broccoli, Bulgur Salad with Tarragon and Vegetables, and Linguine with Swiss Chard and Garlic.