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Monthly Archives: April 2013

Celebrating Creativity!

It’s Tuesday, which means I’ve gotten my book order for the week, a lot of special orders for customers, and some tried and true selections for the stacks, and, sigh, the New Books for the week. Tuesdays are always joyful for me.

This week, I’m especially enchanted with three new titles, each, as it happens, celebrating a different aspect of creativity.  Creativity is such a wonderful aspect of existence, and for me, it’s the fuel that keeps me going.  So, here are these three inspiring books:

New Persian KitchenThe New Persian Kitchen by Louisa Shafia

Cooking is such an intimate art, the act of taking raw foods and preparing them with love into nourishment for friends and family.  I picked this cookbook out from the lists of forthcoming books with a particular friend and customer in mind, one who has family ties to the Persian community.  It’s a beautiful cookbook and sounded like a fresh approach to traditional, so I thought she might like it.  When it came, I found myself immediately drawn in. Shafia intruduces the book, gives a bit of history, and then has this to say “In general, you’ll find that the recipes here emphasize whole grains and gluten-free flours, use minimal amounts of oil and fat, and call for alternatives to white sugar. …”  Sounds like the way I’m trying to eat.  Then I started reading the recipes, and the overwhelming impression was that this cookbook was a must-have for me as I figure out how to use all the fantastic produce in my summer CSA box from Blue Gate Farms!  So, fellow CSA-ers, and the rest of you too, take at look at this delightful new cookbook up and bring a little exotic flair to your summer!  Read More.

Artful ParentThe Artful Parent: Simple Ways to Fill Your Family’s Life with Art & Creativity by Jean Van’t Hul

Van’t Hul defines artful activity as any that’s ful of art, beauty and creativity.  She writes, “As parents, there are innumerable ways we can make our family life more artful.  While painting, drawing, and other traditional art-making methods are obvious choices, many other activities can also be considered artful…” These other activities include science experiments, nature walks, baking, and planning a party.  This is compact for an art project book and has page after page of great project ideas using mostly common household art supplies and other products like dish soap, clothes lines, etc.  The photographs throughout show darling, normal children in the midst of their creative process as well as a bunch of great display ideas.  My kids are mostly too old for these projects, but I sure enjoyed reading this one, and will delight in passing it along to the younger families who stop by. Read More

Patchwork PleasePatchwork, Please : Colorful Zakka Projects to Stitch and Give, by Ayumi Takahashi

This darling little bit of inspiration has clear, easy to follow instructions for sewing up a variety of Zakka projects, which loosely translates to useful objects for the home, using some of those scraps that we sewers have giant stashes of.  Starting with some basic materials lists and instructions, there are sections for the Kitchen, the  Home, for Kids, for Crafts, and for Going Places.  Projects include really cute variations on the basic trivet, the pin cushion, the totebag, and even a tea-bag caddy!  It’s a good thing my sewing machine is already set up, because I’m going home to sew!  Read More

 
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Posted by on April 30, 2013 in Uncategorized

 

Top 20 Reads for Spring 2013!

This is a list of our favorite new books released this season!

These are selected by Annie, Tresa and Diane, especially to appeal to our customers.  We don’t pretend that these are necessarily the most important books of the season, or that these will all become classics, but they are all great reads we hope will keep you entertained and enriched for the next few months at least!  Enjoy!

Love AnthonyLove Anthony , Lisa Genova

Gallery Books, $16.00, Fiction

By the author of Still Alice and Left Neglected comes another tour-de-force exploring the inner workings of the human mind. This is the moving story of one family’s struggle with the realities of parenting a child with autism, and the support they get from the community around them.  When the child dies young, his mother, who has struggled to connect with him, is left to pick up the pieces of her life and find hope again. After reading this remarkable story, especially those passages told from the child’s perspective, you will see autism in an entirely new light.  Read More

Promise of StardustThe Promise of Stardust , Priscille Sibley

William Morrow, $15.99, Fiction

The story of a successful and loving, but childless, couple and the tragedy that shatters their world, leaving a wife on life support, and a family to grapple with questions of life and death in the face of a political and media frenzy.  Full of questions about the boundaries of decency and the public versus the private world.  Moving and thought provoking, great for fans of Jodi Picoult.  Read More

Calling Invisible WomenCalling Invisible Women, Jeanne Ray

Broadway Books, $14.00, Fiction

A delightful read about Clover, a middle aged former reporter, wife and mother who wakes up one morning to discover she’s invisible–truly invisible!  What would you do?  Have you ever felt invisible to your family and the world around you?  Would you retreat and hide, unsure of your new role? Or would you set out to change the world? As Clover grapples with this problem, she learns she is not alone in her invisibility, and that she may just have what it takes to change the world for all the Invisible Women!  Read More

 

 

BenedictionBenediction , Kent Haruf

Knopf, $25.95, Fiction

The new, beautifully written novel from the beloved and bestselling author of Plainsong and Eventitide, set once again in Holt, Colorado. In Benediction, Haruf follows ‘Dad’, a dying man through his quiet last days, as he reflects on the ties that bind people together, and observes all the wonderful small things about life in a small town. But make no mistake, this is not a book about dying, it is a book about living told in the luminous prose fans of Haruf have come to love. Read More

 

 

Ordinary GraceOrdinary Grace, William Kent Krueger

Atria, $24.99, Mystery

A departure from Krueger’s usual thriller fare, this is a coming of age story about a two boys in the early 1960s whose childhoods come to an abrupt end as death visits their small town — first with the death of a young boy, then with their happening upon the body of a hobo, and most terribly, the brutal murder of the beautiful older sister of the main character.  As they grapple with death and what it does to their own families, they must also learn what ripples it will leave in their community. Ordinary Grace is an unforgettable novel about discovering the terrible price of wisdom and the enduring grace of God.  Read More

 

Ghana Must GoGhana Must Go , Taiye Selase

Penguin Press, $25.95, Fiction

Kwaku Sai is dead. A renowned surgeon and failed husband, he succumbs suddenly at dawn outside the home he shares in Ghana with his second wife. The news of Kwaku’s death sends a ripple around the world, bringing together the family he abandoned years before.  This novel teaches us so much about the lives of immigrants to America, and the cultural differences that we all grow up with that shape how we see the world and what we believe is wrong or right. This one with stay with me for weeks!   Read More.

 

 

BirdseyeBirdseye: The Adventures of a Curious Man, Mark Kurlansky

Doubleday Books, $15.95, Biography

This lively biography from the author of Cod and Salt follows the life and times of Clarence Birdseye, the man who developed the process for fast freezing food, and founded the company that still bears his name.  But not only did Birdseye forever changed the way we preserve, store, and distribute food, and the way we eat, but his insatiable curiosity let him to invent solutions to a wide variety of problems, and to a rich life full of family and perpetual discovery. This is a vibrant and affectionate narrative reveals Clarence Birdseye as a quintessential “can-do” American., Read More

 

After Visiting FriendsAfter Visiting Friends: A Son’s Story

Michael Hainey, Scribner, $26.00, Memoir

This memoir that reads like a thriller is the account of a man’s search for the truth about what happened to his father forty years ago,  when he was found dead in Chicago.  Filled with familiar places, and set against the backdrop of the newspaper industry of the Midwest, it is a son’s relentless quest to uncover what really happened, and an account of a mother’s love and sacrifices, and how families create and bury secrets.  Read More.

 

 

 

Rage Against the DyingRage Against the Dying , Becky Masterman

Minotaur, $24.99, Mystery/Thriller

Retired FBI agent, Brigid Quinn’s experiences in hunting sexual predators have left her with memories she wishes she didn’t have and lethal skills she hopes never to need again. But the past intervenes when a man confesses to the worst unsolved case of Brigid’s career. We definitely hope to see more of this feisty white-haired heroine and her riveting adventures!  Read More

 

 

 

Evidence of LifeEvidence of Life , Barbara Taylor Sissel

Mira Books, $14.95, Mystery/Thriller

After a woman’s husband and daughter disappear during a weekend camping trip, she mounting evidence that her husband had secrets, and she will not rest until she solves the mystery of what happened to them.  For fans of Anita Shreve, this is a taut psychological thriller that cuts to the heart of a woman’s fears. Read More

 

 

 

YardThe Yard, Alex Grecian

Putnam, $16.00, Mystery

Set during the early days of Scotland Yard’s Murder Squad, just after Jack the Ripper’s rampages, during the height of the Victorian era, this tale of murder and suspense is a satisfying first entry in a new series.  Readers get to know the hard-working cops that patrol the streets of London, their families, and the murderer who is stalking them and killing the police-men one by one. Readers also get glimpses of the emerging science of forensics, as law enforcement begins to use the advancements of science in their sleuthing.  The first in what promises to be a great new series of historical mysteries!  Read More

 

Maid and the QueenThe Maid and the Queen : The Secret History of Joan of Arc, Nancy Goldstone

Penguin, $16.00, History

You may think you know the story of Joan of Arc, the simple medieval peasant girl who led the French army to victory against the invading English, but was later tried for heresy and burned as a witch.  But, as Goldstone carefully lays out, that is not the whole story.  Joan, or Jeanne D’Arc as she was known, did lead an army, but she was much more than a simple peasant, and she was supported by Yolande of Aragon Queen of Sicily, one of her time’s most influential politicians.  This is the tale of two powerful women set against a complex backdrop of shifting alliances and a world where women had to work behind the scenes to control their own destinies.  Not a light read, but one of those fascinating and satisfying books that change the way you look at history. Read More

Seven LocksSeven Locks, Christine Wade

Atria, $15.00, Historical Fiction

With a haunting and utterly unique voice, this is the story of a wife and mother living in a Dutch community in the Catskill Mountains on the eve of the American Revolution.  She cares little for what her neighbors think, but when her husband abandons her to care for their farm and children alone, she must depend on her community, and her own hard work for survival.  This novel gives voice not only to a hidden corner of history, but also to the common citizens who were buffeted by the winds of war and politics during the early years of your nation’s history.  If you like historical fiction, don’t miss this one! Read More

 

 

Aviators WifeThe Aviator’s Wife, Melanie Benjamin

Delacorte Press, $26.00, Historical Fiction

This novel goes inside the private world of the very public figures of Charles and Anne Morrow Lindbergh, and will change the way you look at fame, at aviation, and even at history.  Beautiful and riveting, this story gives us an inside look at what it was like to be a wife and mother during the early decades of the 20th century, at a crossroads of women’s rights and responsibilities within the family, at a juncture of fame and fortune, and during the crisis of a family caught in the middle of it all.  Read More

 

 

Mary CoinMary Coin, Marisa Silver

Blue Rider Press, $26.95, Historical Fiction

Most of us have seen the iconic photograph taken by Dorothea Lange of a woman and her children during the dustbowl years of the Great Depression.  This is the story inspired by the photograph of this Native American migrant worker and mother of six. It is also the story of the photographer who captured the image, and a man, decades later, who tries to find the truth of the story.  This is Diane’s pick for best book of the year!  Read More

 

Orphan TrainOrphan Train, Christina Baker Kline

William Morrow, $14.99, Fiction / Historical Fiction

This is the story of a 9 year old Irish immigrant girl who was among the thousands of children shipped west from New York in the late 19th and early 20th centuries on what became known as the Orphan Trains.  These children were parceled out to any families who would take them in states like Kansas and Iowa, and often faced lives of servitude and abuse at the hands of their new ‘parents’.  This is also the story of a modern-day troubled teenager who is just aging out of the Foster Care system, and is given the choice to do community service to recompense for her crime.  To meet her obligation, she goes to help an elderly woman clean out her attic, and the two find they have a great deal in common as they sift through the memories of a lifetime. Read More

 

Weight of Small ThingsThe Weight of Small Things, Sherri Wood Emmons

Kensington, $15.00, Fiction

When an old love resurfaces in her life, asking for her help in keeping his non-profit children’s shelter open, a woman must decide if she will help him, thus facing the choice she made decades ago. Moving and thought provoking, this story explores the weight of those decisions we all carry with us as we move through life. Read More

 

 

 

Truth About Love and LightningThe Truth About Love and Lightning , Susan McBride

William Morrow, $14.99, Fiction

A freak tornado brings a magical man to the walnut farm where Gretchen lives with her twin sisters. It’s as if he fell from the sky, landing in the millions of walnuts dropped by the storm.  This mystery man has no memory of who he is or how he got there, but something seems very familiar.  With Gretchen’s daughter Abby arriving simultaneously to the farm, pregnant and unmarried, all is a bit unnerving for Gretchen.  Are these events about to reveal her 40 year old secret?  Read More

 

Fate of Mercy AlbanThe Fate of Mercy Alban, Wendy Webb

Voice, $15.99, Gothic Suspense

For fans of the classics from Phyllis Whitney and Daphne DuMaurier, a quintessential Gothic Romance from award-winning novelist Webb. This is a spine-tingling modern-day haunted house story set on Lake Superior, with all the elements a good gothic should have, including a mysterious house, a beautiful heroine, an enigmatic love interest, forgotten stories, and the retainers that know them all. Webb has woven a suspenseful mystery that skillfully skirts the boundary between what is paranormal and what is psychological., Read More

 

 

Alif the UnseenAlif the Unseen, G Willow Wilson

Grove Press, $16.00, Fantasy

A sort of Arabian Nights meets Harry Potter in which a young computer hacker in an unnamed Arab emirate shields his clients–dissidents, outlaws, Islamists, and other watched groups–from surveillance and tries to stay out of trouble. He goes by Alif. He is in love with a woman out of reach of his social status, and when she is betrothed to his arch enemy, the Government computer mastermind known as The Hand of God, he is betrayed, sending Alif on the run through the streets of the city along with his neighbor, a young woman whose face he has not seen since they were children and she took the veil.  Deeper than it’s adventurous spirit may seem, this was one I could not put down, and that has stayed with me for months!  Read More

 

River of No ReturnThe River of No Return, Bee Ridgeway

Dutton, $27.95, Fantasy / Historical Fiction

This romp in time has it all!  There’s a dashing hero, several feisty heroines, some really nasty bad guy, plenty of mystery, suspense, humor and romance as Ridgeway navigates her eminently plausible route along the River of Time filled with paradoxes and switchbacks. For readers of Diana Gabaldon’s Outlander and Deborah Harkness’ Discovery of WitchesRead More

 
 
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