The Selected Poems of Donald Hall
"This is a gift of honesty, intimacy, and the pure genius that is Donald Hall, as he hand-picks what he considers to be the best of his poetry from more than 70 years of published works. From this former U.S. Poet Laureate comes one essential volume of his works, where 'Ox-Cart Man' sits alongside 'Kicking the Leaves' and 'Without'. As he is no longer writing poetry, this 'concise gathering of my life's work' is the perfect introduction to Hall's literary contributions, as well as closure for his many ardent followers."
— Katharine Nevins (W), MainStreet BookEnds Of Warner, Warner, NH
December '15 Indie Next List
Inspired Recommendations from Indie Booksellers
An intimate look at the devastating effect of the bombing of Nagasaki on one family, this is a story of love -- parental and sexual, selfless and selfish, and, in the end, healing. Amaterasu Takahashi opens the door of her home in the U.S. to a badly scarred man claiming to be her grandson, who supposedly perished along with her daughter during the bombing nearly 40 years earlier. The man carries a cache of letters that forces Ama to confront her past and the love affair that tore her apart from her daughter.
— Sandi Torkildson, A Room of One's Own Feminist Bookstore, Madison, WI
The author of The Hours gives us a modern take on classic fairy tales, from a sympathetic Rumpelstiltskin to a jaded but content Steadfast Tin Soldier. Cunningham is not shy with his characters: he strips away sentimentality like an old Band-Aid, tearing through the romanticism that these tales usually inspire. Each story is less a retelling and more an unflinching dissection of human nature-our base needs and urges, our raw fears and joys. Shimizu's haunting illustrations give the book a classic feel, and make it a perfect addition to any fairy tale lover's collection.
— Jennifer Oleinik (E), University Book Store, Seattle, WA
Boys in the Trees is a surprising and delightful read and more than a guilty pleasure derived from a crass and exploitative celebrity culture. Carly Simon has always been an appealing and alluring personality, and her memoir presents an honest -- yet crafty -- look at her life, beautifully and elegantly voiced. At times captivating, touching, and occasionally embarrassing, it is unfailingly entertaining -- a sexy and romantic book with a sweet heart and soul.
— Ed Conklin (E), Chaucer's Books, Santa Barbara, CA
According to the Spirit of Music, the narrator of Albom's latest novel, everyone joins a band in life --some of them play music, while others can be in a band of friendship, romance, or career. Frankie's music is so powerful that he can actually affect people's futures with the six magic strings on his guitar, but this gift becomes a burden for Frankie, impacting his loves and friendships, and ultimately, his life. Albom offers a story destined to become a classic that will have readers looking at music differently than they ever have before.
— Karen Briggs (W), Great Northern Books and Hobbies, Oscoda, MI
Sometimes too much pineapple turns your tongue into a caterpillar, all that acid seeping through. Between detailing a government-sanctioned fat camp meant to 'rehabilitate' China's morbidly obese children and the brutal assassination of China's richest man -- Papa Hui, CEO of Bashful Goose Snack Company, China's most profitable corporation -- Hallman's Year of the Goose contains that same tartness. Snarky and sinister, this debut novel will make you both cackle and cringe.
— Annalia Linnan (W), Brazos Bookstore, Houston, TX
Claire Talbot has a lot to prove in the misogynistic legal world in which she has immersed herself, but she puts it all on the line when Marcus Hastings enters her life with an old case that stirs an ominous feeling in the pit of Claire's stomach. Though the string of missing girls occurred before she was born, Claire senses a familiarity with the case, and with Marcus, that she can't explain. What begins with an ambitious young female prosecutor, a mysterious cold case, and an intriguing ex-cop who knows too much about both ends in a series of twists that readers won't see coming.
— Rachel Kelley (M), Sunriver Books, Sunriver, OR
William Morrow Paperbacks
This is the story of a mother's anguish and desperation when her eight-year-old son runs ahead on an ordinary Sunday afternoon walk in a park and vanishes. It is the story of the lead detective, told partly in sessions he has with a psychologist because of the toll the case is taking on his personal life. It is the story of family and friends and the secrets they have been keeping that are slowly revealed. And it is the story of how the media and the public are quick to point fingers and assign blame. But, most of all, it is the story of a mother's love and her strength and will to push everything aside and do anything to bring her son home.
— Nancy McFarlane (E), Fiction Addiction, Greenville, SC
Yi's debut book of illustrated stories snagged my heart from the start and left it shaken, squeezed, and full. Her deceptively simple narratives and sketched illustrations reminiscent of Shel Silverstein shift the mood smoothly from surreal to touching to utterly charming. Highly recommended for daydreamers, artists, and lovers of life!
— Whitney Spotts (M), Schuler Books & Music, Lansing, MI
Picking up where he left off in Trapeze, Mawer reacquaints readers with Marian Sutro, whose role with the WWII Special Operations Executive resulted in interrogation, incarceration, and the brutalities of a concentration camp. Returning to London, Sutro attempts to put her life back together, but players from her past reemerge, leading her down the familiar paths of deceit and deception, this time within the shifting landscape of the Cold War. Mawer brilliantly blends fact and fiction, and what results is a gripping tale of suspense, intrigue, and espionage that will keep readers up late into the night.
— Anderson McKean (W), Page & Palette, Fairhope, AL
When I was young, one of my favorite toys was my dollhouse. It looked just like a regular house from the front, but the back was open with all the rooms exposed. That's what Paradise City reminded me of, with each chapter narrated by a different character, all inscrutable to the people around them, but giving the reader glimpses into their inner lives. Every character is richly detailed and Day's clear, sharp prose had me relating to their every feeling from wild, unexpected happiness to deep, thudding sadness. I can't remember the last time I enjoyed a book this much!
— Lauren Peugh (E), Changing Hands Bookstore, Tempe, AZ
In this riveting and compassionate mystery, beloved counselor Carl Ashby is found dead at church, leaving the Mormon community devastated. But when Linda and Kurt Wallheim learn that Carl was originally a female the news turns their world inside out, directing their focus away from the bigger issues at hand. In a community that is so set with its gender roles, can the Wallheims look past that to discover who killed Carl and why?
— Rachael Drummond (W), Saturn Booksellers, Gaylord, MI
This short, spare, beautifully evocative novel becomes a major meditation on the mystery of life, with all of its attendant joy and sorrow. The story of Anna -- caretaker, nanny, and confidant -- becomes the tale of all families with the extremes of happiness and sadness inherent in every situation. Like Family is poignant, sure to stir emotions in any reader and, in the end, a paean to living the life that is given.
— Bill Cusumano (M), Square Books, Oxford, MS
These invigorating stories are populated with brilliantly conflicted characters who, no matter how hard they try, just can't seem to find -- or face up to -- what their lives are sorely missing. From the Everglades to the Ozarks, these men and women are adrift, crashing up against the rude, punishing confines of various hard-luck landscapes. While his characters might be lost, McManus is anything but, using language that is refreshingly precise. He doesn't have time to waste on preciousness -- he's got stories to tell.
— Sophie Stewart (W), BookCourt, Brooklyn, NY
Beautifully composed, with a voice that is uniquely his own, Sala with The Boys, winner of Catalonia's highest literary award, heralds a stirring new voice in English translation. Sala's novel, set in an age of increasing detachment and anxiety, unflinchingly espies the tenuous connections and moral ambiguities of modern life. With vivid characters, confident prose, and a heady mix of style and substance, The Boys deserves major attention from devotees of international literature and especially fans of Antonio Lobo Antunes, Javier Marias, Goncalo Tavares, and Roberto Bolano.
— Jeremy Garber (W), Powell's Books, Inc, Portland, OR
As if a near-dead dog towed by an empty skiff wasn't enough to rattle the village of Bayou Chene, a misdirected letter returns, dragging a host of secrets in its wake. In the ensuing fracas, three young friends find out that the perils of their swamp are tame compared to the vagaries of the human heart -- territory more dangerous than a wad of cottonmouths in high water. Roland's ear for dialogue and eye for detail bring the vanished community of Bayou Chene and the realities of love and loss on the river back to life in a well-crafted, bittersweet tribute.
— Christine Curry (w), A Novel Experience, Zebulon, GA
This is a sweeping, in-depth story of how American comedy evolved from its earliest days. From Vaudeville and radio to mob-controlled night clubs and television, Nesteroff is adept at showing how the seedy underbelly of show business shaped the stars of yesterday and today. Stuffed to the brim with amusing anecdotes and insider gossip, it is an eye-opening trip. A former comedian himself, Nesteroff has long been a chronicler of the history of comedy in America, and this book is the culmination of years of interviews and research. Fun, entertaining, and insightful.
— Jay Aubrey-Herzog, Northtown Books, Arcata, CA
Food scholar Wilson explores not only how our food habits are shaped and the origins of our tastes, but also the problems we have with our present diet and how we can change our palates to lead healthier lives. Entertaining, informative, and packed with food wisdom, First Bite belongs on the shelves of food lovers, history buffs, and all fans of good writing.
— Linda Bond (E), Auntie's Bookstore, Spokane, WA
Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
Eco's new book engages on many levels, from the intense literary verve to the cunning insertion of conspiracy theories. Colonna, an unemployed writer, is hired to write the history of a newspaper, which will never see print, while one of his colleagues discovers that Mussolini may have met a different end than the historically accepted one. When Colonna digs deeper, the life he has made, and the lives of his friends, unravel in unexpected ways. Eco has produced another genre-bending, erudite piece of fiction that will amuse and distress lovers of literature and history with equal measure.
— Raul Chapa (E), Book People Bookstore, Austin, TX
Meet Raymond Electromatic, private detective tuned assassin. Oh, and he's also the world's last robot. It's just another day in 1965 Hollywood and business as usual for Ray and his boss, Ada. That is, until a mysterious woman shows up with a duffel bag full of unmarked gold bars and a request. Unable to pass up all that money, Ray takes the case. Soon, Ray discovers that this is no regular 'find him and assassinate him' kind of job. Made to Kill brings back noir with a stylish new twist in this captivating tale for people of all makes and models!
— Jennifer Steele (M), Boswell Book Company, Milwaukee, WI
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