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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.
Tin Man: A Novel Cover Image
$23.00
ISBN: 9780735218727
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: G.P. Putnam's Sons - May 15th, 2018


This novel is an emotional roller coaster ride but instead of screaming, you'll find yourself gasping as you read. Quiet gasps at the language, at the beautiful story that unfolds, for the intense longing that you feel for the characters and the landscape, and the depth of feeling you'll experience as you read. Winman is a master storyteller and her language and pacing are extraordinary. Her words read like poetry with an intensity that moved me to tears. "The bats have claimed the sky from the swallows and the smell of lavender and sweetness rises from the earth. I stand at the window." Please try this novel and share it with those you love intensely.


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My Ex-Life: A Novel Cover Image
$25.99
ISBN: 9781250122438
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Flatiron Books - May 8th, 2018


In today's crazy world, occasionally we need a book that makes us feel good about human beings. The characters in McCauley's novel are flawed but for the most part lovable and attempting to find their places in a world that is filled with bumps and old heartache and betrayal. They are funny, their conversations ones that you want to be a part of and they speak to the human condition--a search for love, a need for deep friendships that weather the years, for a sense of place, and enough money to make this happen. McCauley is a master of dialogue and he's witty, perceptive and compassionate. I needed this book in my life and when it was finished, I smiled.


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I Am, I Am, I Am: Seventeen Brushes with Death Cover Image
$25.95
ISBN: 9780525520221
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Knopf - February 6th, 2018

O'Farrell is such a good writer; her novels, some of my favorites of all time. And this new memoir is extraordinary. Hard to imagine 17 brushes with death in one lifetime but she has had them. The stories are paired with anatomical picture of the part of the human body impacted by the story and those are lovely as well. She unzips herself, lets us look inside to those deep intimate places and then partially zips up again allowing the reader to reflect and identify with the emotions and often terror she felt. We all have had brushes with death but probably didn't have the gall or ability to tell our stories in such a beautiful, heartfelt way.


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Norwich: One Tiny Vermont Town's Secret to Happiness and Excellence Cover Image
$26.00
ISBN: 9781501119897
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Simon & Schuster - January 23rd, 2018

This is a small but powerful book of creative nonfiction. The Norwich of the title is tiny Norwich, Vermont (population 3,000), home to many Olympic athletes and happy, contented families whose children, as do children everywhere, compete in sports.But not so much for glory and fame, but because it's part of the fabric of life there. On some level this is a parenting book, a look at how we can support kids in doing what they love and teach them life's lessons at the same time; on another level it's a book about courage and fortitude and how sports and competition can be healthy and fulfilling, not demoralizing and all-consuming. The author is a sports writer for the NYT and writes beautifully and compellingly.


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Birdcage Walk Cover Image
$26.00
ISBN: 9780802127143
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Atlantic Monthly Press - August 1st, 2017

One of my favorite authors, Helen Dunmore, died last year from cancer; a tragic premature death. Birdcage Walk, finished just before she died, takes place in England during the time of the French Revolution. Women grappling with issues of liberation from the men who assumed they owned them once they married them, lack of contraception or safe births and people thinking about and debating the issues of the revolution that had just occurred in the United States. Add in France's own revolution, royalty sent to the guillotine, economic ups and downs, women writing in secret with little hope of publication or a reading audience, murder and mayhem and you have a great novel.


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Montaigne in Barn Boots: An Amateur Ambles Through Philosophy Cover Image
$25.99
ISBN: 9780062230560
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Harper - November 7th, 2017

This book by Perry is pertinent to today's times, hilarious to witty, non-pontificating (I'm talking to you, Harold Bloom) and small and engrossing. From his quoting (editor) Craig Raine's term - 'mouth athletes' and their know-it-all, non-stop bombardment to how Montaigne's thoughts that 'a solid stance is not synonymous with sold thinking' it works.This is a gem.


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The Mountain: Stories Cover Image
$25.00
ISBN: 9781501154089
Availability: Not Available In-Store - Usually Ships from Warehouse in 1-5 Days
Published: Simon & Schuster - August 15th, 2017

Paul Yoon is one of my favorite wordsmiths (The Snow Hunters is one of the best novels I’ve read in the last ten years), and his new story collection, The Mountain, is brilliant. Yoon’s characters live big in stories that are sparse, reflective, and in some sense all connected. Lives at once desperate and tender traversing the globe and bringing hope when you think there is none.


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Bad Dreams and Other Stories Cover Image
$26.99
ISBN: 9780062476661
Availability: Not Available In-Store - Usually Ships from Warehouse in 1-5 Days
Published: Harper - May 16th, 2017

In her reflections of family dynamics and our inner psyche, Hadley reveals how small actions can have immense repercussions and often reveal the hidden mysteries that shape the people we are. In these ten stories she captures her characters at turning points so subtle they themselves rarely notice them. Her stories are right up there with those of Alice Munro, Laurie Moore, and Jhumpa Lahiri.


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All Grown Up Cover Image
$25.00
ISBN: 9780544824249
Availability: Not Available In-Store - Usually Ships from Warehouse in 1-5 Days
Published: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt - March 7th, 2017

If you want a sense of what it's like to be a career woman, childless by choice and living in Manhattan, All Grown Up will fit your needs.
Andrea Bern understands how American culture works, and as she nears forty has, by choice and by circumstance, bucked convention. She questions society’s need for her to be married, have children, strive for advanced degrees, and climb the corporate ladder. She’s funny, lonely, and she sees a therapist regularly. She's generally happy with her debt-free, rather carefree life in Manhattan, except when she talks to her mom on the phone who questions and constantly nags her to change her life.


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The Idiot Cover Image
$27.00
ISBN: 9781594205613
Availability: Hard to Find
Published: Penguin Press - March 14th, 2017

In The Idiot—yes, a reference to Dostoyevsky's Idiot—a rather naive first generation Turkish American in her first year at Harvard attempts to absorb American ways. Along with learning the workings of email, she asks profound questions about how culture and language shape our experiences, notices how differently men and women are treated, and how baffling love is. You wouldn't think the naivete would work with this young debut author, but she is a great writer and it does.


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The Peculiar Life of a Lonely Postman Cover Image
By Denis Theriault, Liedewy Hawke (Translator)
$14.99
ISBN: 9781786070531
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: ONEWorld Publications - March 14th, 2017

This is a tribute to handwritten letters, haiku, and the power of poetry to manifest heartfelt love. A lonely mail carrier has found a way to break the monotony of his life--he steals people's mail, steaming open the envelopes, and reading the letters inside--but only the hand-written envelopes. A local poet and a mysterious woman are communicating in haiku, beautiful love letters in a mere three lines and their world suddenly becomes his world when he witnesses a terrible and tragic accident and decides to continue the correspondence. Denis Theriault weaves a passionate and elegant tale, comic and tragic with a love story at its heart. This small, elegant book will be one you hand out like candy to friends.


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Little Fires Everywhere Cover Image
$27.00
ISBN: 9780735224292
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Penguin Press - September 12th, 2017

Celeste Ng is a wonderful storyteller.  She has her finger on the pulse of America at the moment--the disparities between the wealthy and those just barely making it.  Her characters moved in next door to me and most likely will never leave my life.  There is an abundance of intrigue and pathos and there are no easy answers in spite of the desire by the matriarch of the wealthy family to impose order on her world.  Her daughter, Izzy, is the proverbial Fifth Business--she lights the little fires, she is the truth teller, she asks the hard questions. I totally loved this book.


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Anything Is Possible: A Novel Cover Image
$27.00
ISBN: 9780812989403
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Random House - April 25th, 2017

If you read My Name is Lucy Barton and loved it but were left wondering who Lucy Barton truly was or where she might have gone when she left the small town in Illinois where she grew up, this new novel by Elizabeth Strout will fill in the blanks. Strout is a brilliant writer, her prose is read out loud beautiful and her characters totally believable and memorable. There is intense emotion in these connected stories, complicated lives, interwoven and overlapping drama that leaves you wanting to start the book over from the beginning because there is a chance that you missed a few bits the first time around and missing anything Strout has to say would be a travesty.  


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Insomniac City: New York, Oliver, and Me Cover Image
$27.00
ISBN: 9781620404935
Availability: Not Available In-Store - Usually Ships from Warehouse in 1-5 Days
Published: Bloomsbury USA - February 14th, 2017

Lucky for us Bill Hayes is an insomniac. This book is a gift to readers. It is a paean to New York City and to love in all its guises and intimacies. The journal entries, photographs and short creative pieces left me teary and laughing and reminded me that great writing comes in my forms. I want to meet Bill Hayes on the streets of NYC, ride with him on the subway, have a drink with him at a party that neither of us were invited to, go onto the roof of his building, eat fresh grilled salmon and drink from a bottle of wine with a straw, and talk about Oliver Sacks--the sweet time he spent with this brilliant scientist, musician, writer, and human being.


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Iza's Ballad Cover Image
By Magda Szabo, George Szirtes (Introduction by), George Szirtes (Translated by)
$16.95
ISBN: 9781681370347
Availability: Not Available In-Store - Usually Ships from Warehouse in 1-5 Days
Published: NYRB Classics - October 18th, 2016

Magda Szabo is one of Hungary's most notable novelists but I confess to never hearing about her before I read this amazing novel.  It's a quiet book but the impact is loud and disturbing. Iza, a famous doctor, has been in control of everything and everyone around her since her early childhood.  She compartmentalizes her emotions and the pieces of her life so carefully that even those who love her fear breaking into her boxes. Her beloved father's death brings her mother into her life in a huge way and as she tries once again to be all and do all for her, she fails and her life collapses. A novel about families, mothers and daughters, trust, careers and Budapest.  I'm on the hunt for the rest of Szabo's writing.


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A Whole Life: A Novel Cover Image
By Robert Seethaler, Charlotte Collins (Translated by)
$23.00
ISBN: 9780374289867
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Farrar, Straus and Giroux - September 13th, 2016

Andreas Egger lived his whole life with nature as his most trusted companion--when humans, war and debilitating events threatened him, he quietly climbed mountains, bathed in icy streams, watched the sun streak its intense color into the sky, put his head down and forged ahead.  He lived eight decades, mostly alone, and faced death and privation with heroism, stoicism and a depth of character rarely experienced in the 'modern' 20th century. Egger was of the opinion, "when someone opens their mouth, they close their ears."  Fortunately for us as readers, when Robert Seethaler penned this sparse 160 page novel we have no choice but to open our ears and listen. He has poetically created a character and a way of looking at the natural world that you will never forget for the rest of your life. 
 


The Girl from Venice Cover Image
$16.00
ISBN: 9781439140246
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Simon & Schuster - September 26th, 2017

One of the best mysteries I've read in years. Smith's work is usually brilliantly written, but often dark and brutal. This novel, set at the end of WWII in Venice, is not so dark, but funny and compelling at the same time. Mussolini, Hitler, their mistresses, and their gold are characters in the story, as is a lovely young Jew hiding from the Nazis, and a fisherman who not only teaches her about fishing but about life, discovering unknown parts of himself in the process. 
 


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Reputations Cover Image
$16.00
ISBN: 9780735216860
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Riverhead Books - September 19th, 2017

Political cartoons and caricatures in particular can change the subject’s life dramatically and drastically.  They can also change the course of an election, the fate of a corporation, or a law getting passed. But, what are the constraints on an artist--is he allowed to destroy someone’s life in the process?  And what if there is a chance that an artist with his pen and ink has made a mistake? This novel examines these issues in an absorbing, brilliant way--the famous caricaturist, Javier Mallarino, at the apex of his career is suddenly confronted with the implications of his holier than thou, although in my mind, politically correct, attempts to get Bogota’s corrupt government back on track. His world implodes and he if forced to examine it from the inside out.  


UnSelfie: Why Empathetic Kids Succeed in Our All-About-Me World Cover Image
$16.00
ISBN: 9781501110078
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Touchstone - May 23rd, 2017

Borba argues that we can change our world, one child at a time, if we can teach them empathy and compassion and get them off of electronic devices. This is one of the best parenting books I've ever read. As I am once again helping to raise a school-age child, Borba reminded me how important teachers and parents and grandparents can be, and that teaching children to take care of others might be the best thing we can do for them. 
 


Did You Ever Have a Family Cover Image
$16.00
ISBN: 9781476798189
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Gallery/Scout Press - May 17th, 2016

Bill Clegg's book is a masterpiece--quiet at times, loud at others, but brilliant.  All his characters, with no exceptions, are fully realized and speak with voices that come from the depths of their being, formed by circumstance, happenstance, pain and joy.  The intersection of disparate lives is fascinating and so true to how humans connect, disconnect, and move through the world but Clegg manages to shape and bend the lives to a cohesive whole without compromising the truth of any of their stories.  This is going to be my favorite handsell when it arrives in our stores in September.


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