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Country Girl Cover Image
$16.00
ISBN: 9780316122719
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Back Bay Books - May 6th, 2014

In
this vivacious memoir, named after her groundbreaking novel, The
Country Girls, 
Edna O'Brien chronicles a writer's life—from her girlhood in County
Clare to the pubs of Dublin, the gray of Chelsea to the din of New York, the sea of
Donegal to the fields of Connemara—and the relationships she formed along the way.

Deftly interwoven in the narrative of this life is evidence of an
insatiable hunger for literature born from the pages of prayer books: in words that will
resonate with anyone who has ever been moved by a story or tried to better understand
someone they love, O'Brien
writes of her own
stories, “I wanted to get
inside them, in the same way as I was trying to get back into the maw of my mother.”

Here is a courageous and alluring personality shaped by the
landscapes in which she has lived, who captures the loneliness inherently linked with writing, as
well as the joy.

O'Brien writes with music, style and above all, honesty.

~Hannah


The Old Devils Cover Image
By Kingsley Amis, John Banville (Introduction by)
$14.95
ISBN: 9781590175767
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: New York Review of Books - October 2nd, 2012

Unexpectedly Alun Weaver, television personality and man-of-letters,
and his beguiling wife Rhiannon decide to leave England and return home to Wales. Once there they reunite with their old friends, a hard-drinking group
of Welsh married couples, reawakening old friendships and romances.

Winner of the Booker Prize in 1986, The Old Devils is Kingsley Amis at his sardonic best, only this time he mixes in a lot of tenderness and compassion witty dialogue and humor. Also enjoyable are his colorful and poignant descriptions of Wales.

~John

 

PS Check out Kingsley's earlier novels: the hilarious and wonderful
Lucky Jim; and
the very clever ghost story The
Green Man.


For All of Us, One Today: An Inaugural Poet's Journey Cover Image
$15.00
ISBN: 9780807033807
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Beacon Press (MA) - November 19th, 2013

This heartwarming memoir is truly “for all of us”--complete with
humility, awe, joy, and hope. It allows us an intimate peek into his world, sharing one
man's realization of his American Dream. The three poems Blanco wrote for consideration by
Obama's Inaugural Committee are accessible to even the most lay readers of poetry;
again “all of us.”

This is a book to be read and re-read, to share with family and
friends. A lovely gift, it inspires and affirms.

~Dawn


Staff Pick Logo
The Heart Broke in Cover Image
$16.00
ISBN: 9781250037770
Availability: Hard to Find
Published: Picador USA - October 1st, 2013

One of my three favorite novels published in 2012, this is the story
of scientist Bec (Rebecca) Shepherd and her aging, rock-n-roller brother Ritchie.
Both carry secrets concerning their father, a British solider who was killed
when they were kids. The story follows Bec as she travels back and forth from
London to Africa searching for a malaria cure. Along the way she meets Alex another scientist,
Dickensian and delightful.

James Meeks writes short, beautifully composed chapters in elegant
prose. He also creates realistic interactions with his characters. His plot is
intricate and satisfying with clever twists, surprises, and betrayals. There are also a lot of
laughs, especially involving the wonderful Alex and his pursuit of Bec.

~John


Together Tea Cover Image
$14.99
ISBN: 9780062236807
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Ecco Press - May 21st, 2013

Do you remember the drama of the 1979 Iranian hostage crisis? Read about how the Iranian characters in this novel experienced that time period. The book describes their subsequent life in the 1990’s in America, and a return trip to Iran in 1996. In her first novel, Kamali shares Persian social customs and the immigrant experience in an engaging style with grace and humor. Find out why the main character, Mina, and her family call America “the Land of the Teacups.” 

~Carolyn


We Have Always Lived in the Castle Cover Image
By Shirley Jackson, Jonathan Lethem (Introduction by), Thomas Ott (Illustrator)
$17.00
ISBN: 9780143039976
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Penguin Books - October 31st, 2006

This subtly sinister novel which builds an atmosphere of ostracization
in a small New England town captures Shirley Jackson's notoriously
creepy tone while examining the
mysterious lives of two sisters. Merricat narrates with a distinctive
voice and twisted view of the world, simultaneously unnerving and
strangely lovable. The townsfolk who treat her family with hostile
suspicion create a tense social environment not unlike the famous one in
Jackson's short story, “The Lottery.” With a dose of grim humor from
an invalid uncle and a strange visiting relative, we experience
Merricat's struggle as she watches her world of superstitious games and
solitude unravel in the face of persecution. This story is told with
dark imagination and is a great intro to the themes
and style of Jackson's work.

~Sarah


The Moth Cover Image
By Catherine Burns (Editor), Catherine Burns (Introduction by), Adam Gopnik (Preface by)
$16.00
ISBN: 9781401311117
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Hachette Books - September 3rd, 2013

There are four rules if you want to
perform at The Moth. The story must be true. It cannot exceed 10
minutes. You cannot use notes. And it must be entertaining.

This collection of 50 Moth stories,
from the famous and the not-so-famous, are not in the TED talk, “I'm
going to impart my universal wisdom to you in five minutes” mode;
rather, they are small, intimate, first person, and thoroughly
enjoyable.

Open this book to any story and read
it. It's the perfect book for anytime you have five minutes – or a
whole day.

~ Burt


Can You Forgive Her? Cover Image
By Anthony Trollope, Stephen Wall (Introduction by)
$16.00
ISBN: 9780140430868
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Penguin Books - June 30th, 1975

What a treat!
Trollope's mid-Victorian novel of love, politics and social class is surprisingly
contemporary: in love, the age-old dilemma between marrying the more exciting, if
ne'er-do-well, suitor over the more upright, stable and wealthy
lover; in politics, the
price of becoming an MP, both financially and morally, and the
machinations of appointments to
upper levels of government. All this is set against the backdrop
of social striving
within a rigid class system. Alice Vavasor's vacillations are
mirrored by those of her silly
but wise Aunt Greenow and her snobbish cousin Lady Glencora, married to the scion of a
wealthy and influential family.

Will Alice marry steadfast John Grey?

Will Aunt Greenow
marry striving farmer Cheesacre?

Will Glencora run off with ex-lover Burgo?

Trollope's
wit produces often laugh-out-loud scenes, as we discover the wisdom or
folly of ultimate choices. Enjoy!

 

~Fay


Jonathan Strange and MR Norrell Cover Image
$18.00
ISBN: 9781582346038
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Bloomsbury Publishing PLC - September 5th, 2005

Jonathan Strange and Mr.
Norrell
is the best
possible combination of Charles Dickens' characters and scope, Jane
Austen's social wit, and
Neil Gaiman's impressive magic. English magicians have studied the
dry history of their
craft for a long time—often engaging in amusing scholarly
debates—but Mr. Norrell and
his dashing student Strange, bring real magic back to England with
startling consequences.
The lines between real late 18th
century events and Clarke's invented history blend seamlessly
to create a striking atmosphere with a whole host of unforgettable characters:
obnoxious social climbers, terrifying fairy gentlemen, brave young
ladies, and the mysterious
king of Northern England mingle with the likes of Lord Wellington and
King George. This
debut novel is so rich in historical detail and sharp humor that
you'll never want to put it down.

~Sarah


Left Neglected Cover Image
$16.00
ISBN: 9781439164655
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Gallery Books - July 26th, 2011

Genova combines
her background as a neuroscientist with her talent as a novelist to create both an
engaging story of an unusual medical condition and a cautionary tale
for the over-achiever.
Sarah Nickerson's driven-to-perfection personality has her working 80
hours a week, managing
the lives of her three children and making mortgage payments on two homes. One day
while juggling a cell phone during her commute, Sarah totals her car
and and suffers a
debilitating brain injury known as “Left Neglect.” Unable to see
half her world; unable to function
without assistance or to live her previous life, Sarah and her
husband must find the courage
and strength to live in their new reality and to learn the difference
between compensating and
giving up.

~Dawn


When America First Met China: An Exotic History of Tea, Drugs, and Money in the Age of Sail Cover Image
$16.95
ISBN: 9780871406897
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Liveright Publishing Corporation - September 3rd, 2013

This incredibly interesting and informative book is written with great
clarity and style. It is appropriate and highly recommended for both
novices and aficionados of history,
anyone interested in some of the major reasons why it has taken China
until recent times to develop into the power it is today. We learn
about the trade for tea and silk as well as the terrible role of opium
and the England/China Opium War of the 1840s. Dolin, as environmentalist
as well as historian, also explains how the trade led to the decimation
of fur seals, sea otters and sandalwood. This is a history that truly
reverberates to the present.

~Matt


In One Person Cover Image
$15.99
ISBN: 9781451664133
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Simon & Schuster - January 29th, 2013

You're kidding, right?! A coming of age
story from John Irving. We know the story will be unusual and
audacious, and the characters will be peculiar and quirky. While
some aspects of Irving are familiar - prep school, wrestling, Vermont
- we are taking this trip to the unfamiliar and courageous territory
of gender identity and preference. Irving does not allow for
indifference in either his characters or his readers. He challenges
us to consider all our sexual possibilities. In return, we get a
great story.

~Dana


Cold Comfort Farm (Unabridged) Cover Image
$12.99
ISBN: 9781607964100
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: www.bnpublishing.com - February 10th, 2012

Written
largely as a parody of 19th
century British novels that take place in the countryside (think
Thomas Hardy, D.H. Lawrence), this novel is populated with hilarious
versions of such dreary characters as old
Adam who tends to the cows, Aimless, Feckless, Graceless and Pointless,
and a whole family of hapless Starkadders. Our heroine, Flora Poste,
could have walked right out of a P.G. Wodehouse novel. She is bracingly
clear, determined and firm in her commitment to change the lives of
the cousins who inhabit Cold Comfort Farm. Flora is delightfully
well-drawn; if not exactly likeable, she is a voice you will not forget.

A nice light choice for those in need of a read where everything is
tied up neatly and happily in the end.

~Jill


The Ninth: Beethoven and the World in 1824 Cover Image
$17.00
ISBN: 9780812969078
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Random House Trade - November 8th, 2011

Like many others, I have loved Beethoven's 9th Symphony for many years. After reading the historical and musical context and a breakdown of the components of the score, I listened to several different versions on CD and DVD and found myself listening and watching with heightened awareness and greater pleasure than before. Sachs also gives some background to the other monumental work by Beethoven that was completed towards the end of his life, the wonderful and dynamic Missa Solemnis. Together, these two works catapulted classical music into what became the Romantic Era which is characterized by more freedom of form and greater emotional expression. Sach's book is informative and inspirational and is highly recommended.

~Matt


Ethan Allen: His Life and Times Cover Image
$18.95
ISBN: 9780393342291
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: W. W. Norton & Company - August 6th, 2012

This volume is much more than a wonderful biography, but is a history of the extremely interesting early politics and Revolutionary War events that involved the territory that was to become Vermont, including the campaign to take Canada with Ethan Allen and Benedict Arnold, the tug of war between the rich New York planters along the Hudson and the powerful interests in New Hampshire for control of the lands that became Vermont, and the book, still in print, that Ethan Allen wrote about his horrific experiences as a prisoner of war. Randall's book is a pleasure to read.

~Matt


The Psychopath Test Cover Image
$25.95
ISBN: 9781594488016
Availability: Special Order
Published: Riverhead Hardcover - May 12th, 2011

While Norman Bates may be everyone’s favorite psychopath, he’s too tortured to be typical. The more common psychopath, according to Jon Ronson’s humorous, fascinating, and frightening The Psychopath Test, can be highly manipulative, very accomplished, and charming – traits common to many CEOs and politicians.

After being drawn into a hoax perpetrated on a group of top scientists, Ronson decided to explore the world of the psychopath. His quest brings him from a scientific conference, to Broadmoor Prison, to the home of the legendary ex-CEO of Sunbeam Corporation

Jon Ronson read a segment of The Psychopath Test on This American Life, but even if you heard it, you won’t regret reading this highly entertaining book.

~Burt


Tiny Sunbirds, Far Away Cover Image
$16.95
ISBN: 9781590514665
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Other Press (NY) - May 10th, 2011

As I read Tiny Sunbirds, Far Away, I felt grateful to the author for writing this novel and taking me into a world so far removed from, yet just as real, as my own. This is the world of the Niger Delta where poverty along with political and religious confusion dominate daily life. Narrated by 12-year-old Blessing, the novel follows this young girl and her family as they are uprooted from their comfortable urban life in Lagos to a more challenging existence in her grandfather's compound in rural Warri. Blessing must confront this new world where extreme poverty is the norm, where foreign oil interests are destroying the environment, where bands of young men, so-called Freedom Fighters, use violence to protect their turf, and where the burgeoning practice of Islam threatens to compromise the lives of women. Through Blessing's compelling young voice we see her observing, learning, suffering and persevering, even coming to embrace her new circumstances.

Watson's characters are fully realized and memorable. Tiny Sunbirds, Far Away is beautifully told. It is impossible to read it and not be moved.

~Dawn


Cloud Atlas Cover Image
$17.00
ISBN: 9780375507250
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Random House Trade - August 17th, 2004

Many novelists can be recognized by a single writing style. David Mitchell defies this convention in “Cloud Atlas”, a series of nested short stories, each written in a different voice. Progressing through time from a 19th century sea voyage to a post-apocalyptic future world (and back again), the six stories are all loosely related in some way, either through common characters or a reinterpretation of the past narrative.

The book should be read twice. First, read straight through. David Mitchell switches from style to style and theme to theme through time, and yet presents a complex and surprising cohesive novel. Next, read each of the stories individually. All six stand on their own as wonderful examples of storytelling.

~Burt