Drama, character, and high quality prose are hallmarks of Wendee’s favorites. Wendee doesn’t shy away from a dark story, and her picks are often great book group discussion choices. Wendee is the store’s sidelines buyer, too.
Pure 100 percent Tuscan delight. Three women, complete strangers at first, contemplate the next phase of life from the rustic comfort of an abandoned villa in the south of Italy. This is armchair travelling at its best. Frances Mayes knows her way around Tuscany, and proves an excellent travel guide. A glass of rosé is the proper pairing.
Concerned less with the actual war and more with its after effects, this novel takes us to a world of clever nicknames, spies, dog racing, lost identities and missing family members. Ondaatje’s writing is clear and precise. His storytelling is spellbinding. And his ending still haunts me. A complete reading pleasure.
At the heart of this novel is the extraordinary love and friendship between Eleanor Roosevelt and Lorena Hickok. Based on thousands of pieces of correspondence between the two women, White Houses sheds light on a romance of both the intellect and the heart. Readers are treated to first-hand glimpses of their time together in the White House (Lorena actually lived there for a time), and then the many years of their long friendship. We all know Eleanor, but now we can know Lorena.
Opening this book is like jumping on a bullet train flying at full speed. You won’t believe what you’re reading, and you most certainly will not want to put it down. In every sense, this is my kind of memoir. It elicits every emotion imaginable, from outrage to compassion, from curiosity to adoration. In the end, you’ll leap from your seat and cheer for Tara--both for the book she’s written and the bold life she’d led. This is Jeanette Walls’ Glass Castle on steroids.
Tara is 30 years old, and she’s written a memoir that will leave you gasping for air.
It's New Year's Eve 1984 and Lillian decides to spend the evening strolling her neighborhood of Manhattan. She dines alone, meets strangers, steps way outside her comfort zone, and lingers in thoughts of her life as the highest-paid advertising woman in the country. A love letter to city life. Lillian's character is modeled loosely on the real-life of Margaret Fishback, an advertising copywriter for R.H. Macy's in the 1930s. This book is funny, perfectly paced, and full of wisdom.
Strout is a master. Here she takes an unflinching look at Lucy and a 6-day visit made by her mother to her hospital bedside. Nuance, silence, and exquisite care are used to shine a light on Lucy's lonely childhood and adult life.
Dishy-dishy fun looking at the glitz & glamour of 1950s Manhattan. Babe Paley & Truman Capote take center stage with appearances from Frank Sinatra, Andy Warhol, and Rose Kennedy. Equal parts drama, tragedy, and comedy = GREAT reading.
*Holiday Recommendation 2015*
The story of a marriage—twice told, first from the husband’s perspective (Fates) and then from the wife’s (Furies). Don’t let yourself be influenced by comparisons to other books of similar topic. This one stands alone…it simmers from the opening to the closing with taut language and character revelations. To say this is a page-turner is a huge disservice. Actually, you’ll want to linger with the writing and plot, and even reread sections to capture what was missed. Lauren Groff’s writing is on fire. Get it. Read it. Then contemplate how she does it.
*Holiday Recommendation 2015*
For the lover of historical fiction and romance comes this gorgeous Allende novel set in beautiful San Francisco, complete with mansions overlooking the Golden Gate and the quirky activist residents of an older adult community. With all the sweep of multiple generations, many continents and historical events, this book makes a perfect gift.
*Holiday Recommendation 2015*
Weaver’s memoir set in North Seattle tells the story of a run-down plot of land, a dilapidated house, and an overgrown fruit orchard. At the heart of the story is Ellen, Weaver’s single mother, and the relationship between the two that’s about as neglected as the parcel of land. Ellen buys the property and Tara takes on the weeding and planting. It’s not all bliss, but it’s a gorgeous story of restoration and commitment.
*Holiday Recommendation 2015*
A dazzling retelling of Beryl Markham’s childhood and early adult years in British colonial Kenya. Honestly, you’ll feel like you’ve traveled to Africa and back in time to a bygone era. Markham’s life is one non-stop adventure. If you liked The Paris Wife, I promise you’ll love this one. (Anne recommends it, too.)
This hilarious, tender memoir chronicles an adult son’s return home to Paris, Missouri to care for his 91-year-old mom, who will tug at your heart strings while causing you to fall over with laughter. Best memoir I’ve read in a while. I LOVE Betty. I LOVE George. I LOVE this book.
A rich, evocative novel about a mysterious book, a lost author, and an antiquarian bookseller’s son. Set in Spain, this novel takes you to old world bookshops and through the back streets of Barcelona in what becomes a total page-turner. Gorgeously written.
Why did I wait so long to pick up this gem? Old Filth is nearing 80 years old, reflecting on his career as a barrister in Hong Kong and his lifelong marriage, and finally coming to understand the whole ball of wax that makes up his life. This one bears repeated readings. One of the most memorable characters in literature.
Don't be fooled, this is not a book about death. In fact, it's not the least bit sad or depressing. Instead, it's full of hope, grace, and love.With clarity and joy, Harvard-trained neurologist Gawande shares anecdotal glimpses into a new way of looking at the end of life. His focus is on living fully, each and every day right up to the end. It's an important book to read, because chances are we each will confront the death of someone close to us. And we'll be better equipped if we know what questions to ask, how to stimulate values-focused discussions, and how to create a care plan that focuses on living fully until the end. Get it, read it, and be glad Gawande wrote it.
Ever wondered about all those commas or strange word breaks in the venerable New Yorker? Longtime copy editor Mary Norris offers readers a delicious hybrid of a book--part memoir and part grammar guide. Hers was not a direct path to the copy desk, where she's spent the last 30 years. Her first job was inspecting feet at her community swimming pool. With a large helping of practicality, Norris goes into the nuances of grammar and punctuation, whichworked perfectly for me. I am a grammar book geek. I thoroughly enjoyed this book, and recommend it to anyone who likes a quirky memoir or a nerdy grammar book. Or both.
I'm bringing back this ageless quintessential :bookstore" story. This is a 209-year correspondencer betwen a NYC freelance writer & a London bookseller who works at Foyles--the beloved bookstore.
Fans of The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry will rejoice in this companion story, told in Queenie’s candid voice from the hospice where she’s fighting cancer and waiting for Harold’s arrival. For the first time, Queenie tells the truth about her life, her love for Harold Fry, and the yet-to-be-revealed connection she has to Harold’s son. Her love song is told in the same steady, one-step-at-a-time pacing as the first book, making it a beautiful meditation on life, transformation, and the power of secrets.
Absorbing and deeply felt, this debut novel is a gripper. After a lifetime of tending his family orchards, William Talmedge wakes to discover two feral girls have appeared on his land. A gentle man, Talmedge sets about to protect and save the girls. A beautiful story of a man who opens his heart.
A fun debut novel about three grown sisters who find themselves under the same roof again and discover it’s time for change. Full of clever Shakespeare references
A story with a huge heart, a great adventure that will satisfy the soul and characters that will resonate for a long time... Evison is one of our local author gems.
Readers Rejoice! This is a love letter to readers and book lovers. A tender story of a mother and son and how books propel us through life.
A rich family saga that opens with a nun giving birth to twin boys. Spans decades, set in Ethiopia, details twins and their unusual up bringing. Exquisite storytelling. A great book club selection.
When Susan’s son instigates a racial incident in their small Maine town, she calls her 2 lawyer brothers. Reluctantly they return to their home town only to have old resentments flare up. Strout creates characters who are not easily likable but who endure. Excellent follow-up to Olive Ketteridrge.