David

Morningside Heights

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Morningside Heights: A Novel Cover Image
$26.95
ISBN: 9781524748357
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Pantheon - June 15th, 2021

What starts out looking like a predictable female-English-student-has-affair-with-handsome-young-professor story quickly demonstrates that it is going to cover a lot more ground. They meet and marry in the 70s - but fast-forward 30 years, when the prodigy Spence, now in his late 50s, is diagnosed with early-onset Alzheimer's  The novel deeply explores the relationships among husband, wife, children, and the outside (and increasingly foreign) world, and poignantly chronicles his descent into middle-aged madness without being maudlin or sentimental. It’s beautifully and sensitively written, funny, and driven by a don't-put-it-down plot.

David


Under the Wave at Waimea

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Under the Wave at Waimea Cover Image
$28.00
ISBN: 9780358446286
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Mariner Books - April 13th, 2021

 

I thought as I began this novel that it was a reminiscence by a middle-aged Hawaiian surfer dude about his youth of waves, drugs, and girls.  And superficially it is, but it is also a moving meditation on mortality, complacence, and self-knowledge.  Theroux is as always a masterful storyteller, and the descriptive passages about the ocean and the sublimity of surfing are alone worth the price of admission.

 

David


David

Greenwood

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Greenwood: A Novel Cover Image
$28.00
Not Available
ISBN: 9781984822000
Published: Hogarth - February 25th, 2020

 

Novels that span multiple generations of a family are not particularly uncommon, but it's hard to do them well.  Christie, widely acclaimed in Canada but not well-known in the US, has done just that with this beautiful tale that opens and closes in the year 2038, and in between telescopes back through various points to 1908 and then forward again.  Trees are intrinsic to the book both actually and metaphorically, and the people who interact with them and with each other are drawn thoughtfully and richly.  The book doesn't moralizes but is deeply moral, and the heart of the story, set in the Depression, is riveting.

David


Apeirogon

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Apeirogon: A Novel Cover Image
$28.00
ISBN: 9781400069606
Availability: Available at Wholesaler
Published: Random House - February 25th, 2020

A masterpiece of storytelling. Of two real people, an Israeli and a Palestinian man, who both lost teenage daughters (one to a suicide bomber and one to an Israeli soldier's bullet) and who have become close friends and allies in a attempt to reshape common understanding of the conflict.  The novel is brilliant, empathic, illuminating - it will cause you to rethink much of what you "know" and ask questions you didn't know to ask.  The book is not political, it simply weaves together an incredible number of stories and perspectives and history. 

David


The Witches Are Coming

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The Witches Are Coming Cover Image
$27.00
ISBN: 9780316449885
Availability: Available at Wholesaler
Published: Hachette Books - November 5th, 2019

 

Lindy West is a brilliant cultural critic and in this collection she tackles an array of subjects from Adam Sandler to #metoo to abortion rights to (of course) Trump and the right wing.  This book is broader in its ambit than Shrill, her last one, but what really makes it delicious to read is her incisive observation, brilliant wordcraft, and laugh-out-loud hilarity.  She is making deep and important points and reading will make you laugh and be furious at the same time.

 

David


The Atlas of Boston History

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The Atlas of Boston History Cover Image
By Nancy S. Seasholes (Editor)
$40.00
ISBN: 9780226631158
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: University of Chicago Press - October 10th, 2019

 

Visually stunning and beautifully designed, this comprehensive history of the city begins with its geological origins (under 4,000 feet of ice in the last Ice Age), through the periods before European colonization, 250 years as the most important city in North America, through the present day.  Many of the maps and illustrations are original for this volume, and the text represents the contributions of 40 historians, scholars and experts. It is that rare item, an indispensable reference book that is informative and gorgeous at the same time.

David


The Body

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The Body: A Guide for Occupants Cover Image
$30.00
ISBN: 9780385539302
Availability: Available at Wholesaler
Published: Doubleday - October 15th, 2019

 

A tour-de-force tour of the human body - organs, systems, glands, everything you could imagine.  Written for the layperson but chock-full of amazing anatomy explanations as well as factoids that you will want to remember for future conversation but of course will never be able to keep track of (the liver is part of 500 different metabolic processes and contains a quarter of all your blood).  Fascinating digressions about particular diseases, scientists, discoveries and yet more facts. (And if you're an audio-book lover, Bryson's own reading of the book on Libro.fm is fabulous.)

David


Age of Light

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The Age of Light: A Novel Cover Image
$28.00
Not Available
ISBN: 9780316524087
Published: Little, Brown and Company - February 5th, 2019

 

When done well - and this is certainly done well! - good historical "bio-fiction" captures their characters' essence but places them in a context of urgency, of narrative and of emotion.  This novel about photographers Lee Miller and Man Ray (she was also his model and muse), in Paris in the late 20s-early 30s, makes you feel like you know them both intimately, that you're in the room for the tempestuous and intense love, fighting, jealousy, art and passion that was their relationship and through which they produced their bewitching and important art.   

 

David 


Boy Swallows Universe

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Boy Swallows Universe: A Novel Cover Image
$26.99
ISBN: 9780062898104
Availability: Available at Wholesaler
Published: Harper - April 2nd, 2019

 

Wow, what a book. This book was a blockbuster success in Australia and it deserves every bit of hype.  The momentum of the writing is irresistible, the humor is both dark and laugh-out-loud, and the characters are deliciously compelling.  You won't need a bookmark because you won't put it down.

David


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