2017 Biography/Memoir

2017 Odyssey Bookshop Holiday Newsletter

Biography & Memoir
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From Here to Eternity: Traveling the World to Find the Good Death Cover Image
ISBN: 9780393249897
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: W. W. Norton & Company - October 3rd, 2017

Caitlin Doughty, a mortician by trade and founder of The Order of the Good Death, takes her readers on a global journey to discover how people care for their dead in different parts of the world. From open air pyres in Colorado to Indonesia where mummies continue to live with their families after passing, Doughty lets us in on the rituals and customs that give people comfort and make space for them to be held during times of grief. None of these practices are fetishized or shamed, and in fact, she spends a fair portion of the book indicting deathcare in the western world. Her humorous writing style and a subject that isn’t often discussed make this an enjoyable and enlightening read! ~Kinsey

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Heating & Cooling: 52 Micro-Memoirs Cover Image
ISBN: 9780393609479
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: W. W. Norton & Company - October 10th, 2017

By turns provocative and poignant, these micro memoirs feel like a cross between poetry and journal entries. Fennelly is incredibly open and disarmingly honest in the depictions of parenthood, marriage, friendship, work, and simple everyday situations in these pages. This is a book I will dip into again and again, the pages becoming well-thumbed over the years, but here’s a little taste to entice you, entitled Married Love IV: “Morning: bought a bag of frozen peas to numb my husband's sore testicles after his vasectomy. Evening: added thawed peas to our carbonara.” ~Emily

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It's All Relative: Adventures Up and Down the World's Family Tree Cover Image
ISBN: 9781476734491
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Simon & Schuster - November 7th, 2017

A.J. Jacobs rarely does anything small. From reading the entire Encyclopaedia Britannica (The Know-It-All) to spending a year trying to follow the bible literally (The Year of Living Biblically, the Esquire editor at-large knows how to get the most out of his subject matter, all while being really, really funny. It’s All Relative is a three-year quest into the nature of human relationships and family, with Jacobs traveling to all seven continents, meeting with Daniel Radcliffe and hip-hop artist Ludacris, and having lunch with Barbara and George H.W. Bush. All while delving into important questions of what really makes a family, what unites us and what divides us. A timely book from a very funny man.  ~Mitch

The Long Haul: A Trucker's Tales of Life on the Road Cover Image
ISBN: 9780393608717
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: W. W. Norton & Company - June 6th, 2017

This is a gem of a book where the reader enters a world which impacts all of us, but where we have little knowledge of the inner workings. Finn Murphy is a born Irish American storyteller and he has a fascinating story to tell. He dropped out of college to become a long-haul truck driver and has traversed most parts of our country moving some of the 40 million Americans that move each year. It’s not an easy job maneuvering a 53 foot eighteen wheeler and it is an art form to pack up a tractor trailer to accommodate the belongings of retiring New Englanders as they head to Florida. And who lugs all these items up and down stairs? Today nearly all helpers are Latinos. Long Haul is a superb recounting of work and class in this country, with a solid sprinkling of humor.   ~Joan

Theft by Finding: Diaries (1977-2002) Cover Image
ISBN: 9780316154727
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Little Brown and Company - May 30th, 2017

Anybody who has read Sedaris before, or who has been lucky enough to hear him give a public reading, knows that he has carried small notebooks with him since he was a teenager, all the better to record jokes, conversations overheard, and especially the absurdities of human existence. This book recreates 25 years’ worth of these notebooks, with entries varying in length from a couple of sentences to a few pages, and filled with everything from observations of fellow strangers to ruminations about his various addictions. Sedaris’ trademark dark humor is ever present here, and as often as not, it’s directed at himself, but what’s amazing is that across the trajectory of personal success that he documents here, his voice remains largely the same despite his improved circumstances. A must-read for all Sedaris fans. ~Emily

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Vacationland: True Stories from Painful Beaches Cover Image
ISBN: 9780735224803
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Viking - October 24th, 2017

Perhaps you know Hodgman from his role as PC in the Apple commercials, or from his role on The Daily Show with Jon Stewart (Hodgman refers to himself as a famous minor television personality), or perhaps his Judge John Hodgman podcasts. But you don’t know this John Hodgman. He’s written a bestselling trilogy of books of fake facts, but in Vacationland he turns his wry wit inward, musing on time spent during much of his youth at his parent’s house in rural Western Mass as well as later on the coast of Maine, so-called Vacationland and home of the most painful beaches on earth. Residents of Western Mass. will be particularly interested to hear his thoughts on growing up as an only child in the internet-less hills of Franklin County, fatherhood, middle-age, and the privileges of being a white guy in modern society. A touching memoir, filled with poignant thoughts and Hodgman’s dry sense of humor. ~Mitch
*Signed copies available*

We Are Never Meeting in Real Life.: Essays Cover Image
ISBN: 9781101912195
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Vintage - May 30th, 2017

This is the kind of book that you shouldn’t read around other people because you’ll either be constantly stifling laughter or forcing them to stop whatever they’re doing so you can read a quote out loud. Even when detailing failed relationships, life with an abusive alcoholic father, and the daily joys of chronic pain, Samantha Irby is laugh-out-loud funny and all too relatable. I have never felt more called out than while reading the chapter titled A Case for Remaining Indoors. Other highlights are Fuck It, Bitch. Stay Fat., Feelings Are a Mistake, and My Bachelorette Application in which she describes her hobbies as “eating snacks, sleeping during the day, scrolling through Facebook quickly enough that people’s stupid videos don’t start playing automatically, listening to slow jams.” ~Kinsey