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Fall Reading, 2013

Falling Into the Fire by Christine Montross

I first came to love Christine Montross—a poet-turned-scientist—with her first book, Body of Work—a hauntingly moving memoir about the relationship that formed with a cadaver named Eve that Montross is assigned to as first-year of medical student. In Falling Into the Fire, we jump forward years, and Montross is now a fully licensed psychiatrist practicing a critical care setting. Still a poet at heart, Montross approaches her patients and, in fact, mental illness as a whole, with inquisitiveness and compassion. Weaving in case-studies with history, memoir, and her own intimate struggles as a doctor, Falling Into the Fire is a wonderful window into the nature of psychiatry and the thin line between illness and the need for connection and understanding that is so imbedded in each of us.

Reviewed by: 
S.M.C.
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Falling Into the Fire: A Psychiatrist's Encounters with the Mind in Crisis Cover Image
$25.95
ISBN: 9781594203930
Availability: Hard to Find - Contact Store for Availability
Published: Penguin Press - August 1st, 2013

Someone by Alice McDermott

National Book Award-winning author Alice McDermott (Charming Billy) has done it again. In a deft and transpiring voice, McDermott carries us through seven decades of Marie’s life, beginning in 1920 when she is seven years old, and the reader is left humbled by the intricacy of a life observed. This is a gentle but stunning book, about an Irish-American family and the intimate change that takes place with the passage of time.

Reviewed by: 
S.M.C.
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Someone: A Novel Cover Image
$25.00
ISBN: 9780374281090
Availability: Hard to Find - Contact Store for Availability
Published: Farrar, Straus and Giroux - September 10th, 2013

My Berlin Kitchen by Luisa Weiss

We are big fans of Luisa Weiss, her blog, The Wednesday Chef, and her charming, inspirational, and delicious book. If you enjoyed Julie and Julia, or are a devotee of Laurie Colwin (shouldn’t everyone be?), you will love Weiss’ writing and recipes.

 “A heartwarming (and often mouth-watering) memoir, German-born chef and writer Weiss recounts how, through hardship and heartbreak, she found solace among saucepans and stews. . . . Foodies and nonfoodies alike will enjoy chapters brimming with colorful cooking tales and savory recipes.” —Booklist, starred review

Reviewed by: 
S.B.
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My Berlin Kitchen: Adventures in Love and Life Cover Image
$17.00
ISBN: 9780147509741
Availability: Available from Warehouse - Usually Delivers in 3-14 Days
Published: Penguin Books - August 27th, 2013

What Poets Are Like by Gary Soto

Gary Soto is the author of children’s books, young adult fiction, and numerous collections of poetry—and is often referred to as one of the nation's first Chicano poets. In What Poets are Like, Soto captures episodes of a writer’s inner and public life. From rejection letters, to craving only the dog’s company, to the acclaim (or lack-there-of) that comes with writing poetry, Soto’s deep wit and self-deprecating sense of story-telling opens up toward surprising reflection and appreciation of a writer’s life. I loved this book for its unapologetic honesty and insight; here’s to irreverence at its best.

Reviewed by: 
S.M.C.
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What Poets Are Like: Up and Down with the Writing Life Cover Image
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ISBN: 9781570618741
Availability: Hard to Find
Published: Sasquatch Books - August 20th, 2013

Love and Terror on the Howling Plains of Nowhere by Poe Ballantine

Cheryl Strayed (Wild) wrote the introduction to this book, and in it she captures (in only the way that Cheryl Strayed can) the brilliance and luminosity of Poe Ballantine’s writing. After being a wanderer for most of his life, at forty-six Ballantine settled down in small town Nebraska, got married, and had a son, who was later diagnosed with autism. In 2006, Poe’s neighbor, a math professor at the local college, is found brutally murdered, and the police and the rest of the town are baffled about the motive and circumstances. Poe, using his writer’s sense, is inclined to know the deeper story of what happened, and with his 5-year-old son in tow, sets out to understand more. What follows is Poe’s six-year exploration of the case, but also his examination of his small town, his own marriage, the complexities of fatherhood, and the depth and understanding that can be found in pursuit of upending stories. This is a true-crime memoir that doesn’t spare details, but it is also an exploration of intimacy. It is one astounding read.
Reviewed by: 
S.M.C.
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Love & Terror on the Howling Plains of Nowhere Cover Image
By Poe Ballantine, Cheryl Strayed (Introduction by)
$16.95
ISBN: 9780983477549
Availability: Hard to Find - Contact Store for Availability
Published: Hawthorne Books - September 3rd, 2013

The Residue Years by Mitchell Jackson

The Residue Years takes us between the narratives of a woman and her son struggling to reconnect after years of silence. Their lives are juxtaposed against each other through a meta-emotional, back-and-forth style. Jackson has written a most sincere and artful story, while offering readers invaluable commentary on growing up black in America's whitest city. This truly exceptional story will be enjoyed by fans of Junot Diaz and Sandra Cisneros.
Reviewed by: 
Louise
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The Residue Years Cover Image
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ISBN: 9781620400289
Availability: Out of Print
Published: Bloomsbury USA - August 20th, 2013

Burial Rites by Hannah Kent

Burial Rites is a stunning debut novel immersed in an unfamiliar world: Iceland in 1829. It is the story of Agnes, a condemned murderer who waits out her execution on an isolated farm in the company of a frightened, hard-working family. As winter approaches, she slowly reveals the truth about what happened on the night of the murder. A chilling, atmospheric mystery that is based on a true story.
Reviewed by: 
Kat
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Burial Rites Cover Image
$16.99
ISBN: 9780316243926
Availability: Available from Warehouse - Usually Delivers in 3-14 Days
Published: Back Bay Books - April 1st, 2014

The Maid’s Version by Daniel Woodrell

This is the story of a fire, and those consumed by it—in the flames themselves and the grief filled aftermath. Woodrell has filled this stark and bittersweet tale with vivid imagery and distinctively biting prose, perfectly capturing the life and secrets of a small town rocked by tragedy, and those who never quite recovered from it. This is a sharp, staccato novel that I found to be all the more powerful in its brevity.

Reviewed by: 
Flannery
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The Maid's Version: A Novel Cover Image
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ISBN: 9780316205856
Availability: Hard to Find
Published: Little, Brown and Company - September 3rd, 2013

The Bones of Paris by Laurie R. King

Confession: This is the first time I've read a Laurie King novel (I know, I know). So I'm just now experiencing how her lush environmental prose can transport you—in this case, to Paris, 1929—and how her dialogue is spot on and charming and totally believable; and how her plot-building is precise and subtle and a wonder to unfold. I'm thrilled to be discovering all these things as I dive into the story of Harris Stuyvesant (previously seen in 2008’s Touchstone) as his search for a missing girl leads him to a group of artists obsessed with death.
Reviewed by: 
Andrea
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The Bones of Paris Cover Image
$26.00
ISBN: 9780345531766
Availability: Hard to Find - Contact Store for Availability
Published: Bantam - September 10th, 2013

Enon by Paul Harding

Paul Harding’s debut novel Tinkers won the Pulitzer Prize, and has been required reading for literary fiction fans ever since. His second novel Enon is about Charlie Crosby (grandson of George Crosby of Tinkers), and the year following the death of his daughter. Enon maps unthinkable and strangely beautiful landscapes of grief and remembrance, and it is haunting and immersive and difficult to put down. Sure to be one of the best literary novels of the year.
Reviewed by: 
Kat
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Enon Cover Image
$26.00
ISBN: 9781400069439
Availability: Hard to Find - Contact Store for Availability
Published: Random House - September 10th, 2013

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