As a poet and writer herself, Janis appreciates a well-crafted book, no matter what genre. Janis buys the store’s inventory, so she has a voracious curiosity and wide range of interests, always searching to find what you and she both agree are the next great books.
The coveted Syracuse MFA Creative Writing program, where Saunders has taught for 25 years, accepts 6 new students a year, less than 1% of applicants. A Swim in a Pond in the Rain offers a portal into the class that has inspired him the most as a teacher: nineteenth-century Russian short story in translation. In this book Saunders takes his favorite 7 stories, by 4 different Russian writers, and teaches through guided instruction. It is a book for both readers and writers alike. I read it with a pen in one hand and a notebook in the other, thoroughly engaged, entertained and inspired. And I know I will dip into it again, and again.
Gyasi’s first book, Homegoing, was a favorite of 2016 and I eagerly awaited her second. It was worth the wait. Transcendent Kingdom brings us Gifty, a Ghananian immigrant who is at Stanford in her 6th year of neuroscience doctoral research. Gifty’s work is motivated by issues she and her family have faced in America: addiction, grief and depression stemming from immigration and racism. Gifty finds her foundation of science reassuring and when elements of her childhood faith start to reappear, she ponders if it’s possible to hold both at the same time. Brilliant and beautiful—Gyasi has done it again.
Walter is one of our most gifted storytellers, able to effortlessly blend details of history with his own riveting characters. It is the 1920’s and orphaned brothers Rye and Gig hitch their way to Spokane seeking work. They find themselves swept up with the unions, involved with a flamboyant vaudeville singer, and fighting the mining tyrants alongside a fiery young activist. A wildly entertaining and immersive read!
Just in time for the holiday season, local Instagram sensation, artist and baker Lauren Ko shows how to rise to the next level with pie baking. Ko provides easy to follow recipes for creating impressive and unique pies and tarts, both savory and sweet. Whether you’re a novice or know your way around a scratch crust you will love this cookbook!
A mesmerizing memoir by poet and translator E.J. Koh. It explores immigration, motherhood, familial bonds, love, trauma, forgiveness and reconciliation taking the reader from San Francisco to Korea to Japan. Gorgeous, lyrical, painful, poignant and hopeful. I couldn’t put it down. A must read!
If you’re looking for a beautifully crafted, adventure-filled, big-hearted modern classic, this is it. In 1932, Minnesota, there is the Lincoln School: a draconian place where Native American children are sent to be educated. Four orphans escape and set out in search of a better life, heading toward the Mississippi and crossing paths with many colorful characters along the way. Truly a tender tale, woven across this haggard land of ours.
"This remarkable book hits all the sweet spots of an unforgettable classic story: big-hearted, quirky, loveable characters; life purposes that are urgent and larger than oneself; and a warm, strong, tenderly flawed family unit. Throw in the fight against capitalism, parent rights and real-life snakes living in the walls, and it adds up to a book I couldn’t stop reading. I know it is one I’ll remember for a long time."
"An enlightening, empowering memoir from an admirable woman. Melinda draws on her 20 years of philanthropy with the Gates Foundation, co-founded with her husband Bill, to give her readers concrete ways to lift and to help lift. Each chapter conveys a current issue of need, at home and in other countries. Her message is that we can all actively work together to better the world. We can use our voices and actions to help break down barriers standing in the way of change. Empower women and overall the world will benefit.
Whether you’re a Gabito fan or not, you’ll find this book to be a treasure. It is real-life storytelling at its finest. The book is a compilation of oral history told by those Gabito held dearest: fellow pranksters and drunks, family, friends, and fans. It is divided into two parts: BC (before Cien anos de soledad) and AC (after Cien anos de soledad). I found it utterly fascinating to glimpse behind the curtains into the life of this legendary literary giant, from his formative years through the years of fame.
Settle in your most comfortable chair and enter the enchanting story of Virgil, a small town cinema owner who died momentarily and came back with a renewed purpose. One that a widowed kite-maker stranger from the Acrtic Circle had a stake in. And one that the whole town would end up participating in. This book embodies the comfort of an honest story, the kind that leads its reader generously and delivers wholeheartedly.
This is a lushly rendered and at times heart-breaking novel set in the deep marshlands of Noth Carolina in the 60's. Kya Clark is abandoned by her parents and siblings and depends on the land, her self-reliance and a few friends to help her navigate childhood to adulthood. Along the way there is a murder that she is implicated in and she also becomes a published author. A very good read.
A farcical romp through elite privilege gone awry, and that doesn't fail to entertain. Patrick deWitt is a master at depicting the scene behind the scene, the one we all want to see. Frances Price is a gorgeous NY socialite, who may or may not be the killer of her late husband Franklin, the man who now embodies small Frank, the house cat. Malcolm is the eccentric sulking progeny who at times turns admonishes and sustains Frances. When inheritance money runs dry, the trio flees to Paris on a last run adventure.
"...you have to know we should never not tell our stories...." - Opal Viola Victoria Bear Shield
In his debut novel, There There, Tommy Orange tells a story like none other, one that grabs you from the beginning and won't let go at the end. A story of alienation in your own country, of the beauty and ugliness of family, of traditions and ties and living your truth. Tommy's voice is utterly unique and wholly satisfying. Don't miss this book.