Mark's Picks


I’ve worked in the book trade for over thirty years, primarily as owner of The Globe Bookshop in Northampton and manager of the Yiddish Book Center store in Amherst. Now, I ’m an antiquarian bookseller, with a specialty in classic illustrated children’s books and graphic novels , at Boomerang Booksellers and director of Book Arts Promotions, a book fair production company,  both in Northampton.  I like to read literary fiction, mysteries, cookbooks, and children’s books.  When I’m not at work, I love to cook, take walks, canoe, and tend to our vegetable and fruit garden.





This is the artfully told story of an African American family’s haunted trip from the fictional town, Bois Sauvage to Parchman Farm, the Mississippi State Penitentiary through areas of the country where blacks are most certainly not welcome.  Ward, the 2011 National Book Award-winning author of Salvage the Bones, has crafted an elegant epic of three generations and the ghosts that haunt them. Their journey is a portrait in words of a family in dire need, clinging to what they have and believe in while attempting, at the same time, to outrun their adversity.  This novel will be seared into your unconscious for weeks after you read it.

The Clothing of Books Cover Image
ISBN: 9780525432753
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Vintage - November 15th, 2016

In this short, intense personal essay, Pulitzer Prize–winning author Jhumpa Lahiri examines the art of the book jacket through the eyes of an author and a reader. She views the dust jacket as a uniform that envelops the author’s writing, making it concrete and definitive. “If the process of writing is a dream, the book cover represents the awakening,” Lahiri writes.  She analyzes how dust jackets mediate the relationships between the reader and author, providing, “a door through which to enter the text”.  Lahiri examines the design of series books, reflects on how book jacket designs vary by geography, and explains how the iconic post-modern designs of Vanessa Bell for Virginia and Leonard Woolf’s Hogarth Press became “optical echoes” of their texts.   This is an ideal gift for the book lover in your life.

The Gefilte Manifesto: New Recipes for Old World Jewish Foods Cover Image
ISBN: 9781250071385
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Flatiron Books - September 13th, 2016

In their debut cookbook, the founders of the world-famous Gefilteria have reclaimed and revolutionized time-honored and beloved old-world foods with modern techniques and 21st Century sensibilities. They’ve reimagined over 100 recipes from the Jewish kitchens of Eastern Europe and the diaspora community of North America, reclaiming time-honored techniques and ingredients.  They demystify for us how to make classic sour dill pickles, lox, sour cream, crispy honey-glazed chicken, home-cured corned beef, kimchi stuffed cabbage, rye pull-apart rolls, and much more.  This hip and trendy cookbook gives us a contemporary take on the fermentation and preserving techniques of our grandparents.

Vegan Vegetarian Omnivore: Dinner for Everyone at the Table Cover Image
ISBN: 9780393083019
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: W. W. Norton & Company - April 18th, 2016

A fan of Anna Thomas’s recipes since the release of The Vegetarian Epicure in 1973, I’m heartened by her latest effort to unite our divided tables of vegans, vegetarians and meat eaters around simple, yet elegant meals that will delight family and friends around the dinner table.  She starts with food everyone eats, designing a dish and full meals around that, varying parts of each with small amounts of the right cheeses, meats or fish so everyone feels welcomed.   Thomas shares her love of home cooking, giving us more than 150 recipes for salads, soups, risotto, main courses and desserts including a festive “Thanksgiving for Everyone” and other special dinners.

Jazz Day: The Making of a Famous Photograph Cover Image
By Roxane Orgill, Francis Vallejo (Illustrator)
ISBN: 9780763669546
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Candlewick Press (MA) - March 8th, 2016

Readers, of all ages, will be taken back to Harlem 1958 through poems and portraits of more than fifty jazz musicians who convened for a unique, historic photograph, by graphic designer Art Kane for Esquire magazine, that preserves this group’s undying influence and talents generations later.  It’s magical when you eventually open a foldout page to see the photograph, including such jazz legends as Thelonius Monk, Count Basie and Mary Lou Williams and children surrounding them on a front stoop of a brownstone. Vallejo’s acrylic and pastel images transport the reader into the beehive of activity on that hot summer’s day of August, 12, 1958.  (Ages 8-12)

The Dead Bird Cover Image
ISBN: 9780060289317
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: HarperCollins - March 1st, 2016

Treasured children’s book author Margaret Wise Brown’s heartwarming story, from 1938, of a group of kids who find a dead bird in the woods and give it a proper burial, is beautifully re-illustrated for a contemporary audience by the critically acclaimed, award-winning illustrator Christian Robinson.  He moves the setting to a city park, giving one child fairy wings and another a fox costume.  The children dig a hole for the bird, covering it with warm sweet ferns and flowers, and then sing sweet songs to send the bird on its way.  This timeless story is rendered anew for a new generation through the illustrator’s simple brushwork and ingenious compositions. A New York Times Best Illustrated Book of 2016.  (Ages 4-8)