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Gayle's Picks

Gayle GAYLE
When she's not working in her garden, Gayle is usually reading or watching reruns of West Wing and ER. She loves contemporary fiction, mysteries and memoirs.  Occasionally you'll find her reading essays by people like Malcolm Gladwell, Paco Underhill, Daniel Pink or John McPhee.
$23.99
ISBN-13: 9780062112248
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Harper, 6/2013
If I had an illusion of separateness before reading this book, it was dispelled in the pages as I read, mesmerized from the first paragraph.  This novel is evidence of why people read books. The prose is extraordinary, poetic, and in a sense revolutionary as it weaves through time and history dispelling any sense of linear thinking but allowing one to react, feel and ponder the meaning of Life with a big L.  I finished the last page and marveled at the power of the writing and then almost immediately, I started it from the beginning and read it again.

The Lion Seeker (Hardcover)

$28.00
ISBN-13: 9780547898049
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 10/2013
This is the perfect beach book which is where I read it.  Actually, it's the perfect book.  Period.  Given that this is Bonert's debut novel, it's even more astounding.  He uses apartheid in South Africa, where blacks are treated like the Jews of Eastern Europe, to convey the drama of a family's emigration to escape the very debasement that they then perpetrate on those who live in their community. It's a complicated story well-told, emotional, fraught with angst but also with some of the most memorable characters in recent fictional history.

$26.00
ISBN-13: 9780316206846
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 days
Published: Mulholland Books, 4/2013
Of course you all know by now that Galbraith is really J.K. Rowling, but what you probably don’t know, if you haven’t read this murder mystery yet, is that the writing is in Ms. Rowling’s classic style. This time, however, it’s clearly for adults, peppered with many four-letter expletives throughout. Her descriptions of her characters and the places they inhabit fit right into the Muggle neighborhoods, with her precise descriptions of lampposts, train stations, stairwells, bars. The story itself is complicated and contains interesting characters who make it totally worth reading or listening to on audio, which is what we are doing. The reader isn't Jim Dale but he’s terrific.

Return to Oakpine (Hardcover)

$25.95
ISBN-13: 9780670025077
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Viking Adult, 7/2013
Bobby read portions of this great novel to me as he came upon them and I worried that it would ‘ruin’ it for me but those bits just added to the anticipation and my appreciation for Ron’s writing skills. He is a master of dialogue, creating a sense of place and his reading of human nature that he embodies into his extraordinary characters. He is a wonderful novelist, unsurpassed in most of modern fiction being written today.

$28.00
ISBN-13: 9780230342194
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 days
Published: Palgrave Macmillan, 7/2013
One sign of a good book is that the person reading it starts referencing it in their daily lives and referring to the content or ideas in conversations. This has happened to me with The Rise of the Naked Economy. It has struck a chord and I think Ryan Coonerty and Jeremy Neuner have encapsulated the changes facing employees and their employers in today's marketplace. It is insightful, humorous and filled with stories and opportunities for instant application. I think it nothing less than revolutionary in how they approach and describe the changes facing our economy.

Heart of Palm (Hardcover)

$25.00
ISBN-13: 9780802121028
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Grove Press, 4/2013
I just finished Heart of Palm and absolutely loved it. I've been bereft for two days that I don't have it to read when I hit the pillow. The quote from Russo on the cover is a reminder of his writing but I must say, she is his equal. This book will be perfect for his fans, but also for anyone who loves great characters, an interesting plot but mostly the power of love to overcome dysfunction in families. And not the gushy kind of love but the kind fraught with pain from past transgressions tempered by remorse and, ultimately, forgiveness. Laura Lee Smith is a wonderful writer and captures the humid weather of Florida complete with bugs and an overabundance of plant life that threatens to strangle its human inhabitants, as do the emotions charged by a lifetime of pain and guilt.

Benediction (Hardcover)

$25.95
ISBN-13: 9780307959881
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 days
Published: Knopf, 3/2013
Any new novel by Haruf is cause for celebration, but for those of us who have been waiting patiently to reconnect with the Front Range of Colorado and its quirky inhabitants since reading Plainsong and Eventide, Benediction is the answer to our literary prayers. The main character is dying, but that doesn’t set a tone of great remorse or regret for a life in its last stages on Earth. Instead, it becomes a reflection of a family, of the place where they live, of the forces that formed them and made them into the strange, angry, resourceful, and engaging people who they have become. Haruf is a wonderful writer, and I can’t wait to celebrate the publication of this book with him and with our customers. —Gayle

$35.00
ISBN-13: 9780307595652
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Knopf, 10/2012
I don't read many blogs, but I never miss this one when it comes into my inbox. Now there is a cookbook with many of the recipes and the gorgeous pictures that I have come to love from Deb Perelman's blog. For example, a recipe for Roasted Pear and Chocolate Chunk Scones.  Who can resist trying these?  Perelman is not a chef, she's a mom who cooks in a tiny Manhattan kitchen. Here is what she said she wanted to create with her cookbook:  "approachable recipes made with accessible ingredients that exceed your expectations."  My favorite fall cookbook choice. 

Leon and Louise (Paperback)

$15.00
ISBN-13: 9781908323132
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Haus Publishing, 10/2012
This lovely novel spans two World Wars and takes the reader to Normandy, Paris and the wilds of West Africa. It is about ordinary people living through extraordinary times, and about biking through the countryside and drinking a bottle of wine at a picnic lunch and falling head over heels in love. It’s about the arbitrariness of our lives and how sometimes an early romance can remain with us for all our days and, in this case, reassemble in ways we could never have dreamed. Capus is a wonderful storyteller and this is the perfect book for a bookgroup or to read while sipping a cup of tea.

$14.00
ISBN-13: 9781451608625
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 days
Published: Free Press, 4/2011
The unforgettable characters in Ms. Roy's novel span three generations.  Like planets, asteroids and comets, they move on separate paths which, in time, inevitably cross, pulled to the center by the force of love of family, of truth, of beauty and, ultimately, by the force of romantic love. We read this aloud to each other in the car, hardly able to wait for our next ride together while at the same time wishing the story would never end.

$27.95
ISBN-13: 9781594488436
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 days
Published: Riverhead Hardcover, 4/2012
Sweet is a wonderful writer. With this book she will join the ranks of others like Oliver Sacks, Tracy Kidder, Abraham Verghese, and Jerome Groopman. She is a remarkable storyteller and her stories speak to our hearts and minds. Not only did I think it was the best creative non-fiction book that I had read in many, many months but my niece who is an intern at Georgetown Hospital in Washington DC told me that she thought it was remarkable and helped her remember why she wanted to be a doctor. Sweet reminded her that medicine can be practiced one patient at a time and that doctors learn from their patients how to treat the whole body and mind not just the diseased organ or ailment.

$24.99
ISBN-13: 9780062088147
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 days
Published: William Morrow, 4/2012
I was caught up in this book from the opening pages. Cash’s voice, heard through his three narrators, is extraordinary, pitch-perfect—he is a natural storyteller. It’s a tragic tale of religious faith used with evil intentions rather than for the glory of God, but more than this it is a story of family connections gone awry. Past losses reconfigure the present; an innocent observance becomes the catalyst for ritual sacrifice.

Truth Like the Sun (Hardcover)

$25.95
ISBN-13: 9780307958686
Availability: Special Order - Subject to Availability
Published: Knopf, 4/2012
This is a story that is good to the last drop! I love his writing, his characters and the tension he creates in this novel set in Seattle in two eras--the 60s and the 2000s. There are no right answers; cities are built on dreams and graft and vision; humans have gifts and failings. We all want heroes but they are flawed when you dig deep enough. This is the perfect book to read thinking ahead to the presidential election. We wonder why the people who run for office do so knowing there is such peril to their families and friends and in a world of sound bites and innuendo circulated in 140 characters on the likes of Twitter, I wonder what, if anything, they think they can communicate. In spite of this, Lynch's book is a hopeful book--there are those men who, rather than seeing the world as bad and demoralizing, still can enjoy a ferry crossing the river, can imagine ripe blackberries and small boys and grown men comforting their mothers. Such a lovely novel.

$15.95
ISBN-13: 9781590514634
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Other Press, 1/2012
This novel has been a bestseller for years in Europe and I understand why. The story may sound cliché—a blind boy abandoned by mother falls in love with crippled woman, but is then is torn away from her and continues to love her the rest of his life—but it’s beautifully written. I only wish that I could read German, so that I could read the original novel without a translator—although Kevin Wiliarty did a fine job in this English version. I also learned so much about Burma, what it’s like being blind, and how to listen intently—in a whole new way—to what is going on in my world. I now have a new appreciation for living with heating and electricity even though I also learned that people can live spiritual, enchanted lives without the comforts of our modern world. The Art of Hearing Heartbeats is magical and hopeful and appeals to a wide range of readers. —Gayle

$14.95
ISBN-13: 9780307947727
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Vintage, 5/2012
When I finished this book, I felt like I needed to start it over immediately to figure out what I had missed the first time. I was confused, but in that wonderful way you sometimes are when you finish a great novel—did the author purposely add an element of mystery so that his protagonist, too, had to figure things out as the book progressed? Did he give him memories that betrayed him in the end? Do memories always betray us? Or do we change our memories to fit our notion of who we want to be? The writing is exquisite in this short novel—you’ll want to read passages out loud. Barnes won the prestigious Booker Prize for this novel, and I think he totally deserved it. —Gayle

All the World (Hardcover)

$17.99
ISBN-13: 9781416985808
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Beach Lane Books, 9/2009
A customer showed me this book a few weeks ago saying that she buys it for every child she knows. I read it and agree with her and plan to do the same. I can think of ten kids right now that I want to give this to for the holidays. It’s a lovely, poetic, multi-cultural, beautifully illustrated look at the natural world and the people who live in it. It ends with “Hope & Peace & Love & Trust. All the world is all of us.”

Turn of Mind (Paperback)

$15.00
ISBN-13: 9780802145901
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Grove Press, 3/2012
"I loved it. It's been haunting me since I finished it. How did LaPlante figure out how to construct this novel so perfectly? I was pulled, pushed, repulsed, delighted." -Gayle

$14.99
ISBN-13: 9780062060563
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Harper Paperbacks, 2/2012
I love finding a great new author whose first book draws me in, keeps me reading, and whom I can recommend to our customers. S. J. Watson is just such a writer.  Before I Go to Sleep is a literary thriller that is both well written and scary, but not too scary. And if you are a wannabe author and like movies such as Memento, Ground Hog Day and Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind—movies that feature memory and suspense—this debut novel will drive you crazy with envy for its author. The heroine, Christine, has lost her memory in an accident; she wakes each morning having forgotten who she is, who she is sleeping with, what her former life had to do with her current reality. She doesn’t know if she can trust the doctor she is secretly seeing, or the husband who tells her every day what happened twenty years ago. She writes in a journal, and each day rereads the entire book so she can make sense of her crazy existence.  Did she have a child, was she injured in a car accident, is her best friend living in Australia or someplace nearby trying to find her? Who are the people in the pictures that surround her bathroom mirror? I couldn’t stop reading this novel and think it would make a great movie!  —Gayle

Room (Paperback)

$14.99
ISBN-13: 9780316098328
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 days
Published: Back Bay Books, 6/2011
I avoid books about sociopaths who kidnap, rape and put women into escape-proof rooms for seven years. But I heard from several bookseller friends that this book was not one to miss in spite of the topic and saw that it was also nominated for a Booker Prize. It’s told through the eyes of a child, conceived & birthed in a tiny, 11-foot-square soundproofed cell in a converted shed in the kidnapper's yard. The boy’s perceptions are insightful and there are enough plot twists to provide a dramatic arc of breathtaking suspense. It kept me reading late at night -- highly recommended. -Gayle

$13.95
ISBN-13: 9781616201432
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 days
Published: Algonquin Books of Chapel Hill, 6/2012
Aaron Burr, Vice President under Thomas Jefferson, had a daughter who was lost at sea following his famous 1804 duel with the Secretary of the Treasury, Alexander Hamilton. She may have drowned, but it has long been thought that she might have been abducted by pirates. Michael Parker suggests that there were pirates involved and she was abandoned on an island off the coast of North Carolina. His novel travels back and forth between her life and and that of her 20th Century descendants—two unmarried aunts living a strange and lonely existence in a house that barely protects them from rain and hurricanes. Their welfare is dependent on another reclusive inhabitant of the island, whom may also be related to Theodosia Burr’s husband—a black man who grudgingly cares for them. This is a story of madness and devotion filled with love and a great sense of place and community. I loved the characters—their often tortuous bonds of family and community—the writing, the historical context and the author’s ability to bring the early 1800s into the present. —Gayle

$14.95
ISBN-13: 9780307739513
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 days
Published: Vintage, 4/2012
One minute she was there, walking the requisite four steps behind her husband, the next minute she had disappeared as he rushed to catch the subway. Where had she gone? Was she killed? Did she run away? Who was she anyway? Her daughter, her son, and her husband all have their own recollections about who this Mom was and she has her own story to tell as well. A compelling mystery set in the Korean countryside with visits to the big city, composed almost entirely in second-person narration, the writing is intensely moving. The characters continually battle with their own guilt for not taking better care of her while remembering the times when they were young, growing up in incredible poverty in the countryside. You will never think about a mother’s love for her family in the same way again. —Gayle

$14.00
ISBN-13: 9780451234391
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 days
Published: NAL Trade, 1/2012
A collection of stories, stand-alone vignettes, set on the military base in Fort Hood, Texas. Children wait for their fathers to come home—and leave again—and wives hope they will come home and will not be too much changed by what they have experienced. It’s haunting and captures the war that is fought at home—the emotional stress undergone by the women who also serve as they wait—as well as the impact on the men who leave their wives and children. These are ordinary people’s lives told by one who lives this very life herself. Fallon says, “You get used to hearing through the walls. You learn too much. You know when the men are gone. And without them there is a sense of muted silence, a sense of muted life.” —Gayle

$16.00
ISBN-13: 9780143120582
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 days
Published: Penguin Books, 12/2011
If you are a parent -- thinking you're doing all the right things -- you will never look at your children the same way again after you read Amy Chua's book. You'll find yourself questioning whether pushing then might have made them musical geniuses, math wizards, prolific writers, or all of the above. Pushing, prodding, threatening, demanding, and sacrificing -- but always loving -- your children in what Chua calls the "Chinese Style of Parenting" might have been their ticket to success. Battle Hymn of the Tiger Mother is disquieting -- it is hard to read if you empathize with her children or you find yourself thinking about your children's abilities and potentials in a new light. I read this in two nights, and now I can't stop talking and thinking about it.

$14.00
ISBN-13: 9780307463876
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 days
Published: Broadway Books, 8/2011
How well do you know your neighbors; those people who live on your block, in your apartment complex? As they come and go do you ever think they might have lives that are not revealed by their choice of car, the way they prune their hedges, or how they treat their children? Ginsberg looks inside the windows of a typical suburban neighborhood and what she finds are pregnant teens, drug-addled adults, deep, dark secrets clothed in polyester pant suits and people trying to maintain the semblance of normalcy. A mini mystery, great characters, and an absorbing plot. The makings of a good novel, to be sure. —Gayle

$16.00
ISBN-13: 9781416586296
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Scribner, 9/2010
I'm very excited about Jeannette Walls' new book. Walls' descriptions of life in the early 20th century are like reading a wonderful history book filled with amazing people.  It is set in southern Arizona and features Jeannette's strong, resourceful, often funny grandmother who bootlegs liquor, rides horses and plays a mean game of poker. This is the prequel to Jeannette's unforgettable memoir, The Glass Castle. —Gayle

The Children's Book (Paperback)

$16.95
ISBN-13: 9780307473066
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 days
Published: Vintage, 8/2010
This is the perfect book for balmy fall days.  It begs to be read with a cup of tea and a scone by your side. It is hard to put down and I was sad to finish it.  Byatt is an incredible storyteller—she uses myth, psychology, and fairytales—and this novel has stories within stories.  You learn about the beginnings of the Arts & Crafts movement, British aristocracy, the friends of Oscar Wilde, early Fabians, nudists, and most importantly the strange and convoluted relationships that develop among family members and their immediate sets of friends. She's an amazing novelist. —Gayle

$23.95
ISBN-13: 9780393332575
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: W. W. Norton & Company, 9/2009
I love the Vegetarian Epicure—it’s still one of my favorite cookbooks. This new one, all soups, any time, any season, is wonderful and the 160 enticing recipes may charm even a die-hard carnivore. She also has recipes for breads, dips and spreads, salads and a collection of desserts, as well as sample menus at the start of each chapter that make it easy to plan a full meal. Before it gets too hot again, try some cool weather soups; perfect to keep in the fridge and warm up for lunch or dinner. —Gayle

Border Songs (Paperback)

$15.00
ISBN-13: 9780307456267
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 days
Published: Vintage, 7/2010
When editor Gary Fisketjon sends out a manuscript, I always read it and am rarely disappointed. Border Songs was no exception and I savored every chapter, every character, every lovely sentence, every plot twist and turn. It is a superbly crafted novel—there is the necessary tension to keep the reader worried about what might happen to the big lovable Brandon whose connections with the natural world is so surprising and touching and whose relationships with humans is so unsteady and unsure. And the dialogue is pitch perfect; the characters come to life in a few deftly written paragraphs. Reading this novel was pure pleasure and reminded me once again, that books that are well-written and well-edited will become the bookseller’s next favorite book to recommend. This certainly is mine. —Gayle

Cutting for Stone (Paperback)

$15.95
ISBN-13: 9780375714368
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Vintage, 1/2010
This book is a book lover’s dream, and I am certain that it will become a classic and referred to by generations of readers. Abraham Verghese wrote The Tennis Partner several years ago and, although a work of non-fiction, it read like a novel. Attempts by skilled non-fiction writers to move into the realm of fiction often fail, but this is a glorious triumph. It is a saga of dedicated doctors and their passion for saving lives. It opens with a nun giving birth, in a third world country, to conjoined twins, and it is about family—fathers, sons, mothers, and community—convents, impoverished city dwellers, charity hospitals, war, and Ethiopia. It’s absorbing, wild, perilous, evocative, and tender. —Gayle

$14.99
ISBN-13: 9780061650765
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 days
Published: HarperOne, 10/2009
Van Jones, author of The Green Collar Economy, has been named Special Advisor for Green Jobs, Enterprise, and Innovation at the White House Council on Environmental Quality. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said Jones, who is founder and president of Green For All, possesses "a unique ability to inspire people of all colors, classes, and generations to uplift vulnerable people, while protecting our vulnerable planet." Publisher Mark Tauber called The Green Collar Economy: "A book we all believed in from the start, and it has been both exciting and rewarding to see Van and his message embraced by so many. All of us here at HarperOne are proud that the work and ideas that were presented in The Green Collar Economy will continue in Washington, D.C." —Gayle

$14.95
ISBN-13: 9780547247960
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 days
Published: Mariner Books, 9/2009
When you think the world is hopeless, this book might give you cause to be optimistic. What would it take to change the lives of poor children—not one by one, through heroic interventions and occasional miracles—but in big numbers, and in a way that could be replicated nationwide? Paul Tough's stories about Geoffrey Canada's bold effort to offer a cradle-to-college program for thousands of underprivileged children in Harlem is anything but dry theoretical rhetoric. It’s a behind-the-scenes look at the dramatic ups and downs of the Harlem Children's Zone, a $58 million project encompassing 97 city blocks and serving 7,000 children, and includes personal stories of the staff, students, and their parents and teachers with expert opinions and the broiling debates over poverty, race and education. Geoffrey Canada is a driven, brilliant crusader argues that to change the lives of poor children, everything has to change—their schools, their families, their neighborhoods—all at once. Barak Obama says if he becomes president, he will work to replicate this amazing program in cities all over America. Read it and weep, laugh... and find hope. —Gayle

$24.00
ISBN-13: 9780865477452
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 days
Published: North Point Press, 3/2009
Amy Irvine writes with integrity and insight about the natural environment, much like, Edward Abbey and Terry Tempest Williams do. She lives in the southern part of Utah with Mormon ranchers who hate environmentalists almost as much as they hate coyotes. Irvine comes from Mormon pioneer stock, but finds herself on the outside of Mormon culture, shunned by those she would love to befriend. The memoir attempts to reconcile a modern woman’s non-conformist sensibility with the longing to belong to a community whose values are diametrically opposed to her own. An avid hiker, Irvine takes the reader into slit canyons, desert washes, and old Indian ruins with her lyrical, bold writing, allowing us to “see” what she does and grow our own sense of urgency about protecting pristine lands. This is a memoir not to be easily forgotten. —Gayle

$13.99
ISBN-13: 9780446697903
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 days
Published: Grand Central Publishing, 1/2009
I’m a foodie and love books that talk about food lore, ingredients, and exotic tastes. I also read memoirs. This book combines all of these elements in a remarkable way. At the age of three, Kim Sunée was abandoned on a bench in a marketplace in Seoul, South Korea. A young GI and his wife brought her to the States, and she grew up in New Orleans amongst an extended family that included maternal grandparents who taught her how to cook. She never felt at home in her adopted country and, while still in her teens, moved to France where she continued cooking lessons under master chefs. This is her story, complete with recipes and anecdotes, of finding her rightful place in the world, and using food to lead her home. —Gayle

$13.95
ISBN-13: 9780393333572
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 days
Published: W. W. Norton & Company, 9/2008
As the granddaughter of Polish and Russian immigrants, and having grown up with stories from "the old country," this book of twelve connected short stories spoke to my heart. It made me laugh, it make me cry, it made me indignant. Immigrants have always added so much to our culture in America, but they often struggle with our language, with the nuances of our culture, and with the way they are treated by those who got here first. The stories are about adjusting, adapting, and most of all retaining a sense of who you really are, not how you're seen by others. You'll not soon forget the characters and you'll grow to appreciate how impossibly hard it is to adopt a new country whether you're in your teens or as an aging adult. This would be a great book club choice. —Gayle

$15.00
ISBN-13: 9781416571308
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 days
Published: Simon & Schuster, 3/2008
A literary mystery set in the late 1800’s with characters that stay with you long after you finish. The author’s screenwriting experience shows in this riveting novel told in powerful short takes. I read this book in one long, wonderful vacation day under an umbrella on the beach. What a treat! —Gayle

The Shadow Catcher (Paperback)

$15.00
ISBN-13: 9780743265218
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 days
Published: Simon & Schuster, 6/2008
Marianne Wiggins has created a fictional namesake whose father died when he was fifty, leaving his family unclear as to what part any of them played in his life. At the same time she tells the story of real-life photographer Edward S. Curtis, the famous chronicler of early-twentieth-century North American Indian life, who abandons his family, but leaves behind a legacy of photographs, Indian artifacts, and a scandalous secret life. Included are Curtis's beguiling photographs, as well as snapshots from Wiggin's own family albums. Magical, mystical, and magnificently written, The Shadow Catcher offers an unforgettable look at how people live their lives, both in the foreground and in the background. —Gayle

Five Skies (Paperback)

$15.00
ISBN-13: 9780143113461
Availability: Special Order - Subject to Availability
Published: Penguin Books, 5/2008
Men's friendships are at the heart of Carlson's latest novel. The characters are sensitively drawn, and their relationships begin silently and evasively. As three men work together creating a bridge across an Idaho gorge, they open up to one another, sharing their pasts and aspirations. Humor and anger are mixed with the work they do together—details of carpentry providing the basis for their interactions and weaving together the fabric of their past lives. In sharing their stories, the three come to understand themselves and allow the guilt they each feel about past transgressions seep away. —Gayle

Astrid and Veronika (Paperback)

$15.00
ISBN-13: 9780143038078
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 days
Published: Penguin Books, 2/2007
Linda Olsson's book is perfect—the gentle flow of the story, the tension created with hints of the characters past lives which only get revealed when the women are comfortable enough with each other to talk about the details. The author adroitly draws the reader carefully and slowly into the story using the the voices of her characters and the setting, which becomes another of the characters. This book is still at the top of my list for recommending to bookgroups. It is simple in its scope but manages to capture the whole realm of women's friendships and their importance in our lives. -Gayle

Returning to Earth (Paperback)

$14.00
ISBN-13: 9780802143310
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 days
Published: Grove Press, 9/2007
Each section of this brilliant novel is told from the perspective of a different character in a different voice. Harrison has created complex characters dealing with loss and love in the landscape of the Upper Peninsula in Michigan and through the rituals of Native American life. When I finished this book, I immediately read it through for a second time. This is one of the best novels I've read in years. If you're discovering Jim Harrison for the first time, this is a great book to get you started on his work—you'll want to go back and read everything he's written. (This book is also strongly recommended by Bob.) —Gayle

On Agate Hill (Paperback)

$13.95
ISBN-13: 9781565125773
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 days
Published: Shannon Ravenel Books, 8/2007
Lee Smith knows the South, but I had no idea how well she could capture the aftermath of the Civil War and those it left devastated in its wake. Through a beautiful patchwork of journal entries, letters, poems, recipes, songs, catechism and court records, On Agate Hill follows the life of self-described “ghost girl” Molly Petree, whose parents and brothers have been killed by Union soldiers. This is a moving record of one woman’s life, and I was deeply touched when it ended. Excellent writing, insightful perspectives and a wonderful story. -Gayle

$14.95
ISBN-13: 9780156031646
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Mariner Books, 5/2007
"Can't cook but doesn't bite." This newspaper ad offering the services of a housekeeper draws the attention of a Montana widower with three sons in the fall of 1909. Ivan Doig is one of my favorite authors and his writing in this novel is exceptional. Like Wallace Stegner before him, he captures the West in his novels, and its landscape becomes one of the book's characters. It's an affectionate, heartwarming tale that also celebrates a vanished way of life. You will read this and then want to share it with all your friends. —Gayle

The World to Come (Paperback)

$14.95
ISBN-13: 9780393329063
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 days
Published: W. W. Norton & Company, 10/2006
This is a stunning novel, filled with art, mystery, spirituality, and love. The power of family history as it both haunts and educates family members drives the plot, transporting us back and forth in time in the best storytelling tradition. Marc Chagall and his paintings play pivotal roles in this wonderful novel. I found myself wanting to read it aloud to anyone who would listen. It was good to the last word. -Gayle

$16.00
ISBN-13: 9781594481710
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 days
Published: Riverhead Trade, 1/2006
If you like Malcolm Gladwell, you’ll love Daniel Pink. Like Gladwell, Pink uses stories, websites, book recommendations, exercises, and his own philosophy to encourage us to use our right brains to understand our world. The eras of "left brain" dominance, and the Information Age that it engendered, are giving way to a New World in which "right brain" qualities—inventiveness, empathy, meaning—predominate. That’s the argument at the center of this provocative and original book, which uses the two sides of our brains as a metaphor for comprehending and functioning well in our daily work and play lives. —Gayle

$12.99
ISBN-13: 9780060933586
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 days
Published: Harper Perennial, 2/2002
While looking at the roles women are expected to play in both Mexico and the United States, this novel is a moving story of one woman engaged in a very personal struggle. Growing up in extreme poverty in the Mexican cities of Teatl´n and Sinaloa, Magda uses her feminine wiles and her sharp mind to build a new life for herself. I loved the relationships between the women in this novel. They learn to stand up for themselves, and with help from a porcelain Baby Jesus who cries real tears and their own abilities, they realize their dreams. This book left me feeling like I'd gone to Mexico and visited with people who would become life long friends. —Gayle

$14.00
ISBN-13: 9780140296280
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 days
Published: Penguin Books, 10/2000
This is one of my favorite books. I loved it so much that it sent me to museums looking for Vermeer paintings of which there are so few in existence. It begins with one of his masterpieces hanging in the private study of a school teacher. He knows that the painting came to his father in an unethical, if not immoral way, but he can't bear to part with it. We follow the painting backwards in time through a series of its owners to Vermeer, himself. The cast of characters we meet along the way is memorable and when you're finished reading, you have a history of the world seen though one work of art. -Gayle

Hank & Chloe (Paperback)

$13.99
ISBN-13: 9780060924645
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 days
Published: Harper Perennial, 5/1994
In this novel characters from completely different cultural backgrounds meet, argue, fall in love and try to make their relationship work. The unlikely couple is a cowgirl who adores her horse and dog but hates men, and a college professor who is dealing with personal loss and can't understand what draws him to a woman who is so totally independent. I felt tempted to finish Hank & Chloe in one sitting and a then a sadness when the last page was read because these are people who I liked so much I wanted to live next door to them. -Gayle

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