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The Light in the Forest Cover Image
$7.50
ISBN: 9781400077885
Availability: Special Order
Published: Vintage Books USA - September 14th, 2004

Another great book for not writing to dominant culture. The protagonist is a teenage white boy who has been captive and adopted in the Lenni Lanape culture since he was four years. True son is completely indoctrinated and considers the white settlers his enemies. The tale revolves around his forced relocation to his birth family in eastern Pennsylvania, his escape back to his home, and the difficult and painful resolution of his crisis of identity. 

(March 2017)


The Sympathizer: A Novel (Pulitzer Prize for Fiction) Cover Image
$16.00
ISBN: 9780802124944
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Grove Press - April 12th, 2016

Nguyen does an interesting thing with this book. He has the strong intention to write a story about Vietnamese people for Vietnamese people. Or rather, to NOT write a book for dominant culture. He purposefully does not translate, does not explain, and all the characters save one are Vietnamese, et cetera. The story is a spy thriller and historical fiction centering on the fall of Saigon in 1975 and the subsequent diaspora of refugees. 

(March 2017)


The Wayward Bus Cover Image
By John Steinbeck, Gary Scharnhorst (Introduction by)
$16.00
ISBN: 9780142437872
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Penguin Books - March 28th, 2006

In the tradition of the Canterbury Tales, a dozen strangers are thrown together on Juan's bus and then get stranded on the road in a rainstorm. Find the excitable adolescent, the trampy young woman of the world, the buttoned-down business man and his controlling wife and the grizzled, old curmudgeon. Their lives and their stories weave and enrich the tapestry of the reader's experience. Steinbeck is a master. This was his most successful book commercially in publication in 1947. 

(March 2017)


Delta Wedding Cover Image
$14.95
ISBN: 9780156252805
Availability: Special Order
Published: Mariner Books - March 21st, 1979

An atmospheric portrait of a family and place, the tale opens with motherless only child Laura traveling to visit her cousins, aunts and uncles in the Delta of the Mississippi. Evocative of a hot, languid, spoiled life, this is Welty at her best. 

(March 2017)


Adventures of Huckleberry Finn Cover Image
$6.00
ISBN: 9780486280615
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Dover Publications - May 26th, 1994

Just plain fun. I understand there are sociological messages and political messages here...

Oh. Read what Ernest Hemingway has to say about this book. 

(March 2017)


The Hotel New Hampshire Cover Image
$17.00
ISBN: 9780345417954
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Ballantine Books - June 23rd, 1997

Irving returns to favorite motifs, physical fitness, Austria, prostitution, writing as a profession. His booksare universally funny and provocative. The targets of his spoofing and barbs continue to be religion, societal mores regarding sex in particular, politics and conservatism. 

(March 2017)


Everything Is Illuminated Cover Image
$15.95
ISBN: 9780544484009
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Mariner Books - April 14th, 2015

I am always fascinated by Holocaust stories. The history of Jewish shtetls in the Ukraine annihilated by the Nazis is partly family's story. Alex, the Ukranian guide, is worth the read by himself. The novel is categorized as American magical realism. 

(March 2017)


Our Man in Havana Cover Image
By Graham Greene, Christopher Hitchens (Introduction by)
$16.00
ISBN: 9780142438008
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Penguin Books - August 2007

This is one of the funniest books of all time. Greene spoofs the British secret service and especially James Bond and Ian Fleming's thrillers. Wormold and his daughter, Milly, have a wonderful relationship. The spy play is hysterical and by itself, worth the read. 

(March 2017)


Tess of the D'Urbervilles Cover Image
By Thomas Hardy, Tim Dolin (Editor), Tim Dolin (Notes by)
$10.00
ISBN: 9780141439594
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Penguin Books - May 27th, 2003

Heartrending and tragic. Hardy's writing is exquisite. Tess' family aspires to rise above their status as peasants. Tess represents the Earth goddess and is Hardy's sacrifice doomed partly because of the Victorian moral and sexual double standard for women. 

(March 2017)


Brave Companions: Portraits in History Cover Image
$17.00
ISBN: 9780671792763
Availability: Special Order
Published: Simon & Schuster - November 1992

Spurred me to a raft of Wikipedia reading. McCullough gives us a series of short bios culled from his other books and research. Best are the first two on Alexander von Humboldt and Louis Agassiz, naturalists and explorers of the ninetheenth century. 

(February 2017)


Trajectory: Stories Cover Image
$25.95
ISBN: 9781101947722
Availability: Coming Soon - Available for Pre-Order Now
Published: Knopf Publishing Group - May 2nd, 2017

Russo goes to his comfortable themes, marriages, parenting, New England regular folks versus slick L.A. movie industry gadflies, academics, sibling struggles. All of this is mixed with his excellent writing, urbane wit and piercing insight into people and their motivations. 

(February 2017)


Moonglow Cover Image
$28.99
ISBN: 9780062225559
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Harper - November 22nd, 2016

Chabon is excellent, as usual. The grandfather is a wonderful product of his generation, WWII vet, reticent, stoic, grew up tough in South Philly. Knowing his death approaches, he opens up to his grandson in an unprecedented fashion. Thus, Chabon's convention for great storytelling. 

(February 2017)


Cold Mountain Cover Image
$16.00
ISBN: 9780802142849
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Grove Press - September 2006

This Civil War novel is full of riveting stories, not the least of which is the love story between Inman and Ada. The writing is spare and lovely. Frazier's first effort won the 1997 National Book Award for fiction. This is the best book I've read in the last year. 

(January 2017)


Orchids for Dummies Cover Image
$16.99
ISBN: 9780764567599
Availability: Special Order
Published: Wiley Publishing - February 2005

What a great beginner's book! I love orchids and knew next to nothing about them. What I know now is that I could grow many of my favorites if only I didn't live in an apartment with only north-facing windows. 

(January 2017)


All Quiet on the Western Front Cover Image
$6.99
ISBN: 9780449213940
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Ballantine Books - March 12th, 1987

The greatest anti-war novel of all time. Paul was a teenager finishing school when fervor for WWI fired up the German nation. This book is the story of his disillusionment and the horror of his experience after three years of war in the trenches. 

(January 2017)


Of Human Bondage Cover Image
By W. Somerset Maugham, Benjamin DeMott (Introduction by), Maeve Binchy (Afterword by)
$5.95
ISBN: 9780451530172
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Signet Book - January 2nd, 2007

Fantastic. Philip Carey is an intelligent everyman. He is orphaned as a boy and raised by a cold uncle and his well-meaning but ineffective aunt. Maugham's magnum opus and thinly veiled autobiography, Philip traverses life in search of love, art, and truth. 

(January 2017)


The Optimist's Daughter Cover Image
$13.95
ISBN: 9780679728832
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Vintage Books USA - August 11th, 1990

This is considered Welty's masterpiece and won the 1973 fiction Pulitzer Prize. Laurel loses her father, the optimist of the title,Judge McKelva, at the beginning of the book. She returns to their birthplace for the funeral and is lovingly enveloped in the sympathy of the community. Laurel swims in recollections of her father and mother while attemting a reconciliation with her self-centered step-mother. 

(January 2017)


Lab Girl Cover Image
$26.95
ISBN: 9781101874936
Availability: Special Order
Published: Knopf Publishing Group - April 5th, 2016

The botany is why I read this. Jahren describes her love of things technical and biological from infancy through parenthood. The most amazing passage is from her time on Alex Heiberg Island in Canada above the Arctic Circle. 

(January 2017)


Verklempt Cover Image
By Peter Sichrovsky, John Howard (Translator), Ari Roth (Foreword by)
$19.95
ISBN: 9780983254034
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Doppelhouse Press - January 12th, 2016

Sichrovsky is an Austrian Jew and he has written non-fiction previously that studies the guilt of the Holocaust of second generation German and Austrian gentiles and the choices of Jews to return to those countries after escaping the Nazi devastation. Verklempt revolves around these two populations and their interactions in contemporary society. Love, despair, heartache and humor are among other central themes. Completely worthwhile reads. 

(November 2016)


Hidden Order Cover Image
$9.99
ISBN: 9781476717104
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Pocket Books - May 20th, 2014

This became interesting when you finally meet the psychopath killer and from within his mind, you see his psychosis and are present at his murders. Harvath, Thor's hero, disarms the federal reserve, which is insiduously behind the mayhem. 

(November 2016)


Bucking the Sun Cover Image
$18.00
ISBN: 9780684831497
Availability: Special Order
Published: Scribner Book Company - May 13th, 1997

This is one of the robust Doig novels. Backdrop for the multi-generational saga is the building of the Fort Peck block of the Missouri River, the world's largest Earth-filled damn, in the 1930s. The farming Duff family comes to the dam project as ousted homesteaders and as college-educated engineers. Oft-repeated Doig themes are hark work, Montana spirit, jealousy, nature, hard work, love Scottish forbears, hard drinking, oh, and hark work. 

(November 2016)


Winesburg, Ohio Cover Image
By Sherwood Anderson, Irving Howe (Introduction by), Dean Koontz (Afterword by)
$5.95
ISBN: 9780451529954
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Signet Classics - November 2005

This classic and influential short story cycle is considered one of the earliest works of Modernist literature. Anderson focuses on the psychological traumas and motivations of the parade of "grotesques" in his portrait of small town America. Winesburg seems to be permeated by isolation and lonliness as each taciturn character in their turn, reveals their heartfelt passions in a moment of vulnerability to George Willard, the young reporter for the town's weekly newspaper. 

(November 2016)


The Phantom Tollbooth Cover Image
By Norton Juster, Jules Feiffer (Illustrator)
$7.99
ISBN: 9780394820378
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Random House (NY) - October 12th, 1988

A wonderful fantasy about a bored boy named Milo. The tollbooth takes him to the city of wisdom, the foothills of confusion and the mountains of ignorance. Tock, the trusty companion watch dog, protects our hero on his quest to free the princesses, rhyme and reason. Delightful read for any good reader from second to sixth grade. 

(November 2016)


A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court Cover Image
By Mark Twain, Justin Kaplan (Introduction by)
$10.00
ISBN: 9780140430646
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Penguin Books - February 28th, 1972

An adventure story primarily for children and a social satire for adults. The book is a parody of medieval chivalry and romance, a tirade against social inequality and political injustice, and an attack on superstition and human ignorance. The main target, though, is the idea that material and technological progress necessarily equates to cultural enlightnment. Oh, and it is funny. 

(November 2016)


Death in Venice Cover Image
$2.50
ISBN: 9780486287140
Availability: Special Order
Published: Dover Publications - August 10th, 1995

These stories are terrific. One could say that Death in Venice was instrumental in introducing conversation about same-sex desire into general culture, mindful of its publication date of 1912 and the phenomenon of a wide open sexuality in Berlin in the 1920s. 

(November 2016)