THE NIGHT GUEST, dementia has begun
to work its magic in Ruth. She
knows the tiger she hears snuffling in her living room isn’t real. But it is thrilling. So is the unexpected appearance of a
“carer” sent by the government to Ruth’s isolated beach house. Frida brings warmth and encouragement
to Ruth’s unkempt life, even helping Ruth connect with an old love from her
youth. But can she protect Ruth
from the predator that circles the house every night? Suspenseful and packed with insight about the vulnerability
of being old. A knockout debut
novel from a young Australian.
Whether you’re planning a garden or just planning to shop
your local farmers’ market, Deborah Madison’s beautiful new VEGETABLE LITERACY
will soon be your favorite reference book. Long admired as a leader in the vegetarian cooking and slow
food movement, Madison brings her considerable skills and knowledge to hundreds
of exquisitely simple recipes. Each
family -- from Carrots to Mint to The Sensual Squashes, Melons, and Gourds – is
illustrated with remarkable photographs and Madison describes the features that
make its members interchangeable. Botany has never been so fascinating. Or delicious. The garden is “a lively universe that stitches us firmly to
the world at large.” In the
kitchen, it becomes a part of us.
THE GOLDFINCH is small and mysterious painting, the
centerpiece of Donna Tartt’s dense and
brilliant novel. Theo Decker
miraculously survives an accident that kills his mother. The event catapults us through this
intricately crafted tale of intrigue and art, a tale of survival and longing. Tartt captures Theo’s complex inner life with
a verve that makes it impossible to abandon him in the dark heart of this
novel. His fellow travelers on this
odyssey become whole people, as flawed and fascinating as Theo himself. The masterful plot and exquisite detail of
characters and settings require constant attention. The reward of the last 50 pages is so
satisfying, I read them a second time.
You’ve never read a coming-of-age story like this one.
Alice McDermott’s new novel, SOMEONE, has just over two
hundred pages. That means we can linger
over its beautifully crafted words. In
them, this National Book Award winner packs the truth of life. Marie, a child in pre-Depression Brooklyn,
guides us through the treacheries of growing up poor and hopeful. “A Tree Grows in Brooklyn” fans will savor the
clear-eyed details of friends and neighbors, rendered with wit and affection. The street teems with incidents – stick ball
games with a blind umpire, sudden death, disgrace. McDermott trusts readers grasp the story as
it unfolds, creating a mosaic of scenes that connect for us in unexpected and
satisfying ways. SOMEONE is a finely
tuned book to savor over a winter weekend.
Lovers of dogs and a well-turned phrase: prepare to be charmed. A collection of essays and letters, E.B. White on Dogs will put a smile on
your face. Steeped in the privileged and literary world of a young New Yorker magazine, E.B. White’s essays reveal an unpretentious, kind-hearted,
and insightful man. With keen and occasionally biting humor, White’s
observations on society and the natural world are delivered through the lens of
his admiration for the dogs in his life.
One dachshund (his wife’s preferred breed) named Fred accompanies White
through the heartbreaking “Death of a Pig.”
If you’ve never cried reading Charlotte’s
Web,” you will now. Buy two. This is a lovely gift book.
Between a fortress of housing projects and the newly
christened berth of the Queen Mary, New York’s Red Hook borough shapes itself
around VISITATION STREET. Ivy Pochoda
captures the despair of lives yanked off course as suddenly and swiftly as a
swimmer caught in the dangerous currents of the East River. Tenderness infuses this gritty story, laced
with hope and remorse. Pochoda’s loving
eye takes in the exact moment of a fall from grace – the precise point at which
innocence and guilt intersect.
I’ll sell Pochoda’s literary chops to readers looking for an
intelligent, intense fiction. A great read.
Give your favorite three to seven year-old a stack of paper,
a fresh box of crayons, and Drew Daywalt’s wildly funny The Day the Crayons Quit. At
school, Duncan discovers a stack of letters from his crayons. They’ve had enough. Illustrator Oliver Jeffers captures the
problems and personalities of each color, from Red’s “you make me work harder
than any of your other crayons” to orange and yellow’s feud over who is the
real color of the sun. Only green wants
to say “that I like my workloads of crocodiles, trees, dinosaurs, and
frogs.” A pleasure to read aloud and
children will appreciate Duncan’s brilliant solution.
Toss and turn? Count
sheep? Desperate to escape your honey’s
snoring? In Dreamland: Adventures in the Strange Science of Sleep, Journalist
David K. Randall offers fascinating insights into the mystery of human
slumber. Though “ingrained in our
cultural ethos as something that can be put off, dosed with coffee, or
ignored,” every moment of our lives depends on the quality of our sleep. Unlike our ancestors, modern sleepers expect
uninterrupted blocks of this vital and elusive state. But few would give up the single greatest
impediment to healthy sleep: artificial
light. Lack of sleep creates dangers on
battlefields and football fields, roadways and school hallways, bedrooms and
boardrooms. Randall’s research will change
how you think about the time spent behind closed eyes.
Compact and epic, Transatlantic is a near perfect blend of fact and fancy. Ireland connects three stories spanning three continents in this complex, beautifully written and satisfying novel by National Book Award winner (Let the Great World Spin) Colum McCann.
"Find a dozen eggs or die." A mismatched pair of prisoners. A story so real you'll swear you've met these guys. Now just try to forget them.
"When her American father and Japanese mother divorce, Michelle LaBeau tries to find a place as the only mixed-race person in a small Wisconsin town. Just after Vietnam and the struggles for civil rights, the community is ripped apart by a series of revelations that pit loyalty against justice. A terrific choice for book clubs!"
"An urban dweller with roots in northern Minnesota, Stonich sets out to find a piece of land where she and her son can belong. Newly divorced and strapped for cash, she buys a parcel that she sees for the first time from the air. Shelter contains stunning passages about the natural world, great stories about the life and times of true Northerners, and wry commentary about settling the wild."
"Pitch perfect dialogue."