Eric

Eric, reader of good nature books and head maple syrup maker, started the Bookloft in 1974.

Eric's Staff Picks:

(Head back to my newer Staff Picks here.)


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The Children Act Cover Image
$15.95
ISBN: 9781101872871
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Anchor - April 28th, 2015

Bookseller: Eric
Title: The Children Act

Comments:
In this era of shelf-bending bestsellers such as The Goldfinch and The Bully Pulpit, Ian McEwan offers some relief with his spare and adroitly written novels.

McEwan has always written masterfully about marriage and parenthood and does so especially well again in this fine slim work. Watch the way, for instance, a husband slides a cup of coffee across the counter to his wife and you'll learn more about the state of that relationship than a lesser writer could reveal in ten pages.

And, as always, you learn so much in a McEwan novel. In this case, the law- particularly law as designed to protect and serve children.

But above all it's his amazing prose style. If you're like me, you'll find yourself re-reading sentences simply to marvel at the wondrous way he puts words together.


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Norwegian by Night Cover Image
$14.95
ISBN: 9780544292666
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Mariner Books - May 6th, 2014

Bookseller: Eric
Title: Norwegian by Night


Comments:

A quintessential Scandanavian crime thriller written by an American with a Jewish New Yorker as the protagonist.

Hummm...

But it works! And works well. A funny, poignant and inspiring first novel. And I love the cover, don't you?


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The Sugar Season: A Year in the Life of Maple Syrup, and One Family’s Quest for the Sweetest Harvest Cover Image
$24.99
ISBN: 9780306822049
Availability: Backordered
Published: Da Capo Press - March 4th, 2014

Bookseller: Eric
Title: The Sugar Season


Comments:

Things are changing down at Grampy's sugarshack!

This is big business now. Vacuum systems, reverse osmosis, eco-tourism, multimillion dollar syrup buys, and even a multimillion dollar syrup heist.

As Douglas Whynott artfully and compellingly writes in Sugar Season, the industry is at a crossroad.

GET A SIGNED FIRST EDITION HERE.


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Shotgun Lovesongs: A Novel Cover Image
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ISBN: 9781250039811
Availability: Out of Print
Published: Thomas Dunne Books - March 11th, 2014

Bookseller: Eric
Title: Shotgun Lovesongs


Comments:

Kirkus Review noted that Shotgun Lovesongs will strike a responsive cord for any reader who has found his life reflected in a Bob Seeger song. Well, I certainly related.

Old high school buddies, small town life, dreams unlived, heartaches and joys unimagined.

A beautifully written love letter to the midwest reminiscent in many ways to Richard Russo's best novels.

Give it a look!


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Rivers: A Novel Cover Image
$17.00
ISBN: 9781451699432
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Simon & Schuster - September 9th, 2014

Bookseller: Eric
Title: Rivers


Comments:

ERIC'S SP: In the first line of this amazing novel, we learnt that "it had been raining for weeks, maybe months."

Imagine a post-Katrina world where it simply does not stop raining. Those who choose to live below a geographical line created by the government will receive no services- or protection. They face an uncertain fate in this wasteland.

Cormac McCarthy meets Margaret Atwood meets James Lee Burke in this all-too plausible slightly dystopian tale. But no global warming preaching here; nor is it necessary.

The cast of characters, the terrain, the relentless wetness on the reader's psyche makes any proseltizing unnecessary. Not my usual type of read, but I loved it!


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Bunker Hill: A City, A Siege, A Revolution (The American Revolution Series #1) Cover Image
$18.00
ISBN: 9780143125327
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Penguin Books - April 29th, 2014

Bookseller: Eric
Title: Bunker Hill


Comments:

Revolutionaries can use Facebook and tweer in powerful ways, but it will always be that revolutions are won by those who go into the streets and risk their lives.

Master chronicler Nat Philbrick makes this abundantly clear in his tightly focused - and unbiased - richly detailed narrative. And while the "malcontents and rabble rousers" do indeed play a crucial role in this book, it is BOSTON, "known for its love of liberty, its piety, and its prostitutes" that is the real protagonist here.

This telling is a far cry from the 6th grade version of events we were all force-fed. A terrific book!


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The Round House: A Novel Cover Image
$16.99
ISBN: 9780062065254
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Harper Perennial - September 24th, 2013

Bookseller: Eric
Title: The Round House


Comments:

The fact that Louise Erdrich co-owns an independent book store is bit one of the many reasons I admire her. She is also one to the outstanding writers of our time, I believe. Since she first published the magnificent Love Medicine over 30 years ago, I have eagerly awaited each new book and few writers have done more to illuminate readers to the schizoid view our culture has of American Indians. How is it we ignore, denigrate, and romanticize them all at once?

In The Round House - a 2013 National Book Award nominee - Erdrich adds an engrossing and important story to the patchwork she had been stitching together these many years. I loved it!


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Midnight Rising: John Brown and the Raid That Sparked the Civil War Cover Image
$20.00
ISBN: 9780312429263
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Picador - August 7th, 2012

Bookseller: Eric
Title: Midnight Rising


Comments:

Terrorist or Freedom Fighter, Enlightened Patriot or Monomaniacal Psychopath? (I'm not sure, but I lean towards the latter.) One of my favorite authors tales us into the life and times of John Brown. This, I assure you, is not the simplified version we all learned in grade school. This was a pivotal moment in our history, now brought to life in an elegant fashion.


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Let's Take the Long Way Home: A Memoir of Friendship Cover Image
$17.00
ISBN: 9780812979114
Availability: Backordered
Published: Random House Trade Paperbacks - August 9th, 2011

Bookseller: Eric
Title: Let's Take the Long Way Home


Comments:

What a pleasure this book is to read. Yes, a book about death and loss, but really more a book about the lasting value of friendship. How is it, Gail Caldwell asks, in the middle of a terrible life storm, we are able to bob to the surface for a lungful of air? And then do it again, and again, until we find our way. Surely, in her case her big samoyed aided and abetted. And for anyone else who has clung to a beloved pet in the middle of a dark night, this book will be all the more poignant. A beautifully written and thoughtful story.


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Nowhere to Run Cover Image
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ISBN: 9780425240557
Availability: Out of Print
Published: Berkley Books - April 5th, 2011

Bookseller: Eric
Title: Nowhere to Run


Comments:

Ok, so it's not high art, but C.J. Box does know how to keep his readers' eyes glued to the page. If you're drawn to the landscape of the western high peaks, as I am, you'll find this a compelling read. Quirky characters and gun play galore. I found myself challenged, too, by some of the anti-government themes that Box threads into this modern-day western/mystery.

It was a perfect book as I hunkered down and waited out Hurricane Irene!


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Fire Season: Field Notes from a Wilderness Lookout Cover Image
$15.99
ISBN: 9780061859373
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Ecco - February 28th, 2012

Bookseller: Eric
Title: Fire Season


Comments:

I loved it! Illuminating, funny, flora and fauna galore, and most importantly, Philip Connors is a fine writer. Give it a look.


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A Reason to Believe: Lessons from an Improbable Life Cover Image
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ISBN: 9780767931120
Availability: Out of Print
Published: Broadway Books - April 12th, 2011

Bookseller: Eric
Title: A Reason to Believe


Comments:

I must say, in our nearly four decades of being in business, we've hosted quite a few authors - chefs, actresses, aviators, plumber-poets, dog poets, dogs, even! But never a governor. Let alone a governor who writes so well and eloquently. Deval Patrick, as the jacket flap indicates, truly has had an extraordinary life. In these uncertain times, his message of hope, idealism, and the importance of community is especially resonant.

A great gift for a graduate or for anyone in need of a little shot of courage.


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To a Mountain in Tibet Cover Image
$16.99
ISBN: 9780061768279
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Harper Perennial - March 6th, 2012

Bookseller: Eric
Title: To a Mountain in Tibet


Comments:

No rare snow leopards spied along the trail, no near falls into deep ravines (though deep ravines abound) and no one is held at gunpoint by bandits in this gem of a travel book.

You will discover, however, elegant, rich, masterly written prose which neither romanticizes nor preaches. Thubron describes his guide's face as having "the lemony blandness of a sumo wrestler's, faintly androgynous." The sick baby upon a mother's back is "bundled like a sad toy."

This much despoiled but still beautiful and remote landscape, and its people, is eloquently scrutinized by Colin Thubron.

Utilizing his well-known powers of description mingled with compassion and storytelling, he has created another powerful work.


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The Three-Legged Woman and Other Excursions in Teaching Cover Image
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ISBN: 9781611684711
Availability: Out of Print
Published: University Press of New England - February 12th, 2013

Bookseller: Eric
Title: The Three Legged Woman


Comments:

For the teacher in your life, may I suggest these fresh thoughts on ancient crafts - writing and teaching - noth of which Robert Klose does eminently well.

His humor, compassion, and insight into human nature make me wish I had had him as a teacher way back when...

No question about it, though, this book is the next best thing!


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Hail, Hail, Euphoria!: Presenting the Marx Brothers in Duck Soup, the Greatest War Movie Ever Made Cover Image
$12.99
ISBN: 9780061808173
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: It Books - November 22nd, 2011

Bookseller: Eric
Title: Hail, Hail, Euphoria


Comments:

Ok, here's the deal. This is a very good book. Roy Blount Jr. is a very good writer.

In this shot-glass of a book Roy gives us a behind-the-scenes look at this truly - nutty? ridiculous? - but brilliant movie.

We also get a glimpse of the disparate personalities and hard wired humor of "The Boys" as the brothers were known. I especially like Roy's digressions and digressions from his digressions that fill this story with choice tidbits. Cool book!


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Girl by the Road at Night: A Novel of Vietnam Cover Image
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ISBN: 9781439163337
Availability: Out of Print
Published: Simon & Schuster - June 1st, 2010

Bookseller: Eric
Title: Girl by the Road at Night


Comments:

I was a conscientious objector during the Vietnam War and did my alternative service bit. Taught some poor kids, emptied some bed pans at a V.A. hospital.

So, big deal, right? But you know, the war, the the friends who got killed and the memory of that crazy time haunts me still.

Award-winning playwright, novelist, Berkshire neighbor and friend of The Bookloft Dave Rabe got drafted and did his bit with a hospital group in Vietnam. Noe that was a big deal...

In this brilliantly conceived and written novel, Rabe captures the surreal time and place that was Vietnam. And he does so with a voice of authority and authenticity.

An unlikely story of sorts, whose two hapless main characters - kids, really - are simply trying to survive this unbidden war.


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The Man Who Loved Books Too Much: The True Story of a Thief, a Detective, and a World of Literary Obsession Cover Image
$16.00
ISBN: 9781594484810
Availability: Backordered
Published: Riverhead Books - October 5th, 2010

Bookseller: Eric
Title: The Man Who Loved Books Too Much


Comments:

For all of you Bookloft readers who love the heft, the feel, the smell - even - of books, this amazing tale of obsession and deception is a perfect read.

And for those of us compelled to acquire just "one more" cookbook, art book, tractor book, old quilting book - or whatever our personal collecting obsession happens to be - this book tells us why and that we are not alone.

I flew to Florida last week for a brief visit and Ms. Bartlett's gripping story held me rapt both to and fro.

I loved it!


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And Then There's This: How Stories Live and Die in Viral Culture Cover Image
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ISBN: 9780143117612
Availability: Out of Print
Published: Penguin Books - August 31st, 2010

Bookseller: Eric
Title: And Then There's This


Comments:

SO I GT 140 CHARCTRS 2 TTY BOUT THIS BK.

SEZ IT AL RE: OUR OBSESON W/MICROMINIMAL-FAST INTERCONECTIVNES. WASIK'S BRILIANT & FUNY.

I GET IT NOW! DO YOU? I'V MUCH TO SA BUT M OUT... TTYL


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Await Your Reply: A Novel Cover Image
$17.00
ISBN: 9780345476036
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Ballantine Books - June 1st, 2010

Bookseller: Eric
Title: Await Your Reply


Comments:

Henry James meets Stephen King meets Ian McEwan meets Kate Atkinson in this mesmerizing tale of identity theft.

(Toss in some Quentin Tarantino into the mixing bowl as well.) In the hands of a lesser writer this "who is who," "what is what," "when is when" story could come across as cliched or hackneyed but Dan Chaon is so deft a writer and so familiar with the perils of the cyber world that he pulls it off beautifully.

I found myself rereading the final chapter to understand better how the myriad clues tossed effortlessly came together for such a seamless - if mystifying - ending.

Tons of great reviews.


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Winter's Bone: A Novel Cover Image
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ISBN: 9780316131612
Availability: Out of Print
Published: Back Bay Books - June 1st, 2010

Bookseller: Eric
Title: Winter's Bone


Comments:

One of the best things about being a bookseller is discovering talented authors who reaffirm my love of reading. How have I not known of Daniel Woodrell and his eight well-reviewed novels?

The depth of poverty and clannish nature of this Ozark community (Woodrell's home turf) is so well drawn in this stark but ultimately redemptive short novel. Despite the harshness of some of the subject matter - meth labs, poverty, violence - you'll not find a whiff of preachy tone from this author.

You will find, though, a remarkable heroine in Ree Dolly. You'll also find a slew of characters you'll not soon forget. Blond Milton, Jack Teardrop. Sweet Pea, Thump, Momsy, Hog Jaw, Peashot... They all await you...

I haven't seen it yet, but I hear the movie of the same name is getting four and five star reviews.


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A Reliable Wife Cover Image
$15.95
ISBN: 9781565129771
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Algonquin Books - January 5th, 2010

Bookseller: Eric
Title: A Reliable Wife


Comments:

Don't be fooled by the chaste cover or the simple title. This book, while simply told, isn't just hot, as one reviewer raved, "it's in heat." Told with an almost biblical austerity, this is Wendell Berry on Viagra. Sex and the cold, stark Wisconsin landscape could almost be called characters in this riveting first novel. All is not as it appears - treachery and subterfuge abound - but "these things happen," author Goolrick constantly reminds us. Well worthy of all the fine reviews it has received. I loved it.


$18.00
SKU: 9780978908911

Bookseller: Eric
Title: The Lenox School of Jazz


Comments:

I suspect like many, including myself, the amazing saga of the Lenox School of Jazz, totally escaped you. Started by impressarios Stephanie & Philip Barber first as The Music Inn in 1950, The Lenox School of Jazz component quickly became on of the pre-eminent venues both for jazz performance and jazz instruction.
In 1957, African American teachers simply were not teaching white students in the U.S., let alone Berkshire County. The Lenox School of Jazz did much to change that (see page 33) regardless of race, the creme de la creme of jazzmen played and taught here (see page 39!). Berkshire resident Jeremy Yudkin brings the L.O.S.J story alive in this crisply written & fascinating book.


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The Last Canyon: A Novel Cover Image
$19.95
ISBN: 9780618257744
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Mariner Books - September 26th, 2002

Bookseller: Eric
Title: The Last Canyon


Comments:

I'll tell you, this ain't no tubing down the Housatonic. A gripping, historically accurate fictionalized account of John Wesley Powell's exploration of the Grand Canyon. Like Michael Sharra's The Killer Angels, you can smell the campfires in this one; it seems so real. Great characters and a deftly crafted story make this a book you'll be passing on to friends.


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Peace (Vintage Contemporaries) Cover Image
$15.00
ISBN: 9780307388582
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Vintage - April 7th, 2009

Bookseller: Eric
Title: Peace


Comments:

Hands down, my favorite book of the year by a writer most readers have never heard of. A writers' writer, Richard Bausch's publisher is hoping this will (finally) be his break-out book. I have no doubt about it.

A consumate stylist who makes you feel as though you can smell the smoke, feel the cold.

Peace is justifiably receiving rave reveiws. Give it a look, you won't be disappointed.


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Runaway (Vintage International) Cover Image
$16.95
ISBN: 9781400077915
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Vintage - November 8th, 2005

Bookseller: Eric
Title: Runaway


Comments:

The women in these stories could be our spouses, our sisters, daughters or neighbors. Her characters and stories seem fairly mundane and filled with seemingly unconnected events. (And makes the reader sometimes wonder where she's going.) But somehow, and with great literary style, she takes all of the frayed ends and yanks them into a knowt. What can I say -- she gets what it is to be human. This book has received nothing but rave reviews. Here is a masterful writer.


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The Road (Vintage International) Cover Image
$16.00
ISBN: 9780307387899
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Vintage - March 28th, 2007

Bookseller: Eric
Title: The Road


Comments:

My dilemma is, why would I possibly suggest reading this book to anyone?(Easily the grimiest, darkest book I've every read.) And I'll say right here, it's not for everyone. It's not for most, in fact.

But it is brilliant. A masterpiece of post-apocalyptic vision told with biblical simplicity like some old testament prophecy. N. Korea, Iran, weapons of mass destruction. But the Cold War is over, we say to ourselvs. It won't happen, will it? It can't...can it?

A great writer, writing great literature.


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Summer Gone: A Novel Cover Image
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ISBN: 9780385720755
Availability: Out of Print
Published: Anchor - August 21st, 2001

Bookseller: Eric
Title: Summer Gone


Comments:

The stain on the last page of my copy of Summer Gone is from a big, fat tear drop. Rarely do I stumble (a friend recommended it to me) upon a book so evocative. I mean - you can smell the wood smoke - evocative.

Not a new book, it was first published in Canada to great acclaim in 1999 and more recently here. For those that bittersweetly remember those Summers by the lake, Summer Gone will launch you back in time.

Fathers and sons, husbands and wives, betrayal, loss of innocence and estrangement are themes all beautifully written about and powerfully told in this gem of a novel. I loved it.


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Wandering Home: A Long Walk Across America's Most Hopeful Landscape: Vermont's Champlain Valley and New York's Adirondacks Cover Image
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ISBN: 9780609610732
Availability: Out of Print
Published: Crown - April 12th, 2005

Bookseller: Eric
Title: Wandering Home


Comments:

If you're partial to the Champlain Valley/Adiorndack region, as I am, this slight but thoughtful and entertaining book by Bill McKibben is a great choice.

Part of the crown journey series, (see back cover) McKibben's personal walking odyssey from one home to another is the armchair traveller's answer to all those hikes you've long watned to take into the Adirondacks. Though McKibben is sucha a fine writer-and with a poets eye- that you'll soon be packing your pack for the real thing.

A great read!


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Joe College: A Novel Cover Image
$19.99
ISBN: 9780312361785
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: St. Martin's Griffin - September 19th, 2006

Bookseller: Eric
Title: Joe College


Comments:

If you need a respite from the heavy news of late, this is the perfect antidote. Sort of a Bridget Jones for guys. A very fun-and funny-book to read. I must admit, I didn't expect it to be so good, but it is! Tom Perrotta has a sharp memory of what the angst of college years is all about and brings it to life with great wit and poignancy.


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Uncommon Carriers Cover Image
$16.00
ISBN: 9780865477391
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Farrar, Straus and Giroux - April 3rd, 2007

Bookseller: Eric
Title: Uncommon Carriers


Comments:

From the pulp mill,

to the printing press,

to the publisher's warehouse,

to The Bookloft,

into your hands,- lots of toiling going on to bring this book to fruition. (Not Counting Mr. McPhee's prodigious effort.)

John McPhee at his most observant and illuminating best. Very few writers could tell us about the people who haul things for us with such astuteness, wryness, and eloquence.

A writer at the peak of his form.


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Unformed Landscape: A Novel Cover Image
By Peter Stamm, Michael Hoffman (Translated by)
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ISBN: 9781590512265
Availability: Out of Print
Published: Other Press - April 17th, 2006

Bookseller: Eric
Title: Unformed Landscape


Comments:

Most of the action in this gem of a book is internal. To me, reading it was like stumbling on a subtitled foreign movie that while you may not entirely understand it, you do know you've been to an exotic land and have been moved by being there. In this case, Finmark. FINNMARK!
But the real adventure takes place in the protagagonist's heart and soul (Katherine).
A quiet, thoughtful book where seemingly nothing happens, but after reading it, you think back and realize that everything happened.


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Coyote: Seeking the Hunter in Our Midst Cover Image
$12.95
ISBN: 9780618619290
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Mariner Books - November 9th, 2005

Bookseller: Eric
Title: Coyote: Seeking the Hunter in Our Midst


Comments:

As Paul SImon wrote, "Everybody loves the sound of a train in the distance, everybody thinks it true." So too, with coyotes. But put them in your backyard eyeing 'ole Fido for dinner and they suddenly don't seem so romantic.

As Berkshire author Catherine REid writes, love them or hate them, they're here to stay, folks. These scrappy, supremely intelligent survivors truly are the stuff of mythology- and an amazing wildlife success story.

A terrific book, illuminating an often poignent.


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Shadow of the Silk Road Cover Image
$15.99
ISBN: 9780061231773
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Harper Perennial - July 1st, 2008

Bookseller: Eric
Title: Shadow of the Silk Road


Comments:

Simply the best travel book I've read in years. Perhaps ever. And I love good travel writing. Insightful, lyrical, articulate. You'll find yourself reading a line or paragraph over again for sheer pleasure of it.

Basically, an 8 month (solo) walk, camel, bus, truck, train ride across a near-mythic path. The clash of cultures permeates this journey and Thubron's mastery of his subject(s) is astounding and informs his writing throughout. Did I mention that he speaks Mandarin? Oh, and Russian. And Farsi. And Spanish.

Thubron can squeeze more insight out of an overheard conversation at a tea shop than you or I could get studying this terrain for years. He writes with a scholar's breath of knowledge, (without being scholarly) and a poet's eye.

If you enjoyed Rory Stewart's The places In Between, you'll love this- it's also a far better book, I think.


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Forgetfulness Cover Image
$15.95
ISBN: 9780618918492
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Mariner Books - September 5th, 2007

Bookseller: Eric
Title: Forgetfullness


Comments:

All these years selling books and I've never read Ward Just-what a pitty. As a former Washington Journalist he understands well the current political scene and the trickle-down effects of the war on terror and individuals. We are all impacted.
Not a flashy writer but his prose is so elegantly crafted and evocotive ( you can smell the French cigarette smoke wafting across the page). His characters are complicated. And no one-at least in this book-is innocent entirely.
There's a scene where terror suspects are being interrogated by French "officials" that still haunts me.


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In Search of the Old Ones Cover Image
$18.00
ISBN: 9780684832128
Availability: Backordered
Published: Simon & Schuster - April 9th, 1997

Bookseller: Eric
Title: In Search of the Old Ones


Comments:

Author Roberts hiking boots are well worn, to be sure. A fascinating mystery, still unsolved. If you've ever been to the Southwest this book will particularly speak to you. Author Jon Krakauer appears briefly for an intense chapter or two.


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Digital Destiny: New Media and the Future of Democracy Cover Image
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ISBN: 9781595583437
Availability: Out of Print
Published: New Press - July 8th, 2008

Bookseller: Eric
Title: Digital Destiny


Comments:

Imagine if you got on-line last night & every site you viewed was catalogued, stored, transmitted & sold to someone. Imagine. Oh, wait, that is happening


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Temple Stream: A Rural Odyssey Cover Image
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ISBN: 9780385336550
Availability: Out of Print
Published: Dial Press Trade Paperback - May 30th, 2006

Bookseller: Eric
Title: Temple Stream


Comments:

I know, I know, you've never heard of this guy, right? One of New England's best - and usung - writers, I think.

If you're partial to good (very good) nature writing, have a warm spot in your heart for New England and appreciate a thoughtful spiritual journey, Temple Stream and Bill Roorbach may be perfect for you.

Check out his short story collection, also another staff pick and reminiscent of Richard Russo's style.


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Stirring It Up: How to Make Money and Save the World Cover Image
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ISBN: 9781401303440
Availability: Out of Print
Published: Hachette Books - January 1st, 2008

Bookseller: Eric
Title: Stirring it Up


Comments:

I've never staff-picked a business book before, but having heard Gary Hirshberg speak recently, I'm a convert. (Great product, by the way. I'm a convert with yogurt, too!) Stoneyfield is a business that thinks and acts GREEN not only because it's the right thing to do, but because it's profitable. $$$$$

With great anectdotes and a lively personal writing style, Gary Hirshberg shows us, trite as it sounds, that we can make a difference. Here at The Bookloft, we've already quietly implemeneted some of the Stoneyfield (and other profiled business environmental practices). Perhaps your business can as well?


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The Book of Illusions: A Novel Cover Image
$20.00
ISBN: 9780312429010
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Picador - October 27th, 2009

Bookseller: Eric
Title: The Book of Illusions


Comments:

I bet Paul Auster tells great bedtime stories to his kids! For that's just what he is - a storyteller - in the true, traditional sense of the word. At once comic, then dark, The Book of Illusions is a fine, (and finely told) story of how the seemingly innocent and unplanned small moments in our lives can transform and redeem us.


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Peace Like a River Cover Image
$16.00
ISBN: 9780802139252
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Atlantic Monthly Press - August 7th, 2002

Bookseller: Eric and Laura
Title: Peace Like a River


Comments:

A double staff pick, it must be good! Well, Laura and I assure you, it is. My favorite book of the year, no doubt about it. A complex family saga, simply and poetically told. I know, I know, its a cliche, but I hated for this book to end.


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The Quickening: A Novel Cover Image
$14.95
ISBN: 9781590513460
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Other Press - June 29th, 2010

Bookseller: Eric
Title: A Reliable Wife


Comments:

I surely can't say it as eloquently as the admirers on the back cover do, but suffice it to say, I agree wholeheartedly!

Willa Cather without the rose-tinted glasses. And I love Willa Cather.

I felt in every page I was living the lives of my immigrant grandparents. A fine book!


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A Voyage Long and Strange: On the Trail of Vikings, Conquistadors, Lost Colonists, and Other Adventurers in Early America Cover Image
$24.00
ISBN: 9780312428327
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Picador - April 27th, 2009

Bookseller: Eric
Title: A Voyage Long and Strange


Comments:

True or False?

Tony Horowitz's previous book, Blue Latitudes, is Eric's favorite travel book. [True]

You'll be entertained and illuminated when you read this book. [True]

Roasted Iguana is quite tasty. [Debatable]

We Americans are seriously misinformed (educated) about our own history. [Very True]

You should buy this book! [True!]


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Hannah Coulter (Port William) Cover Image
$16.95
ISBN: 9781593760786
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Counterpoint LLC - September 30th, 2005

Bookseller: Eric
Title: Hannah Coulter


Comments:

Berry brings us once again to his fictional Port William. His best fiction, I think, since "The Memory of Old Jack" (one of my top five all-time favorite books).

For the firt time, tho, for those of you who know Berry's work, the modern world is beginning to creep in. It's refreshing in a bittersweet sort of way. An American master at his peak.

Take a look at Berry's poetry and essays, as well; they're wonderful.


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Blue Latitudes: Boldly Going Where Captain Cook Has Gone Before Cover Image
$22.00
ISBN: 9780312422608
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Picador - August 1st, 2003

Bookseller: Eric
Title: Blue Latitudes


Comments:

I loved this book! With a journalist's eye, Tony Horwitz paints a fascinating portrait of a complex historical character. Born to impoverished parents, Cook rose to a positionof sumpreme respect in the class conscious British Navy of the 18th century.

If you enjoy Bill Bryson's work, you'll love this as well (though I think Horwitz is the better writer of the two).

I know, I know, what a cliche, but I couldn't put it down.


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Prince of Thieves Cover Image
$16.00
ISBN: 9781416554905
Availability: Backordered
Published: Scribner Book Company - July 17th, 2007

Bookseller: Eric
Title: Prince of Thieves


Comments:

Simply put, a great story beautifully written. Atmospheric in the style of Dennis Lehane w/the insight into human nature of a mature author. Those who know Charlestown will especially relate. A pretty grim story, not for the feint of heart.

I take exception with the "thriller" label noted on the dust jackt. That's way too simple a tag for this finely wrought, hard-edged but poingnant novel. My favorite of the year.


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Skeletons on the Zahara: A True Story of Survival Cover Image
$17.99
ISBN: 9780316159357
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Back Bay Books - April 12th, 2005

Bookseller: Eric
Title: Skeletons on the Zahara: A True Story of Survival


Comments:

These guys make the Essex whalehips survivors look like a bunch of wimps! I loved this book. The life of an early 19th century seaman, desert Arab life and culture, natural history, it's all here.

So well written (based on extensive first person documentation) and evocative. I'll never complain about being thirsty again. Ever.


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In Siberia Cover Image
$15.99
ISBN: 9780060953737
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Harper Perennial - December 26th, 2000

Bookseller: Eric
Title: In Siberia


Comments:

Since few of us are likely to motor 1500 miles up the Yensei River (ever heard of it?) to dine on sturgeon and reindeer steak, In Siberia takes us very close to the real thing. If you enjoy Peter Matthiessen, or Bruce Chatwin, you'll surely like Colin Thubron. A fine book about a forbidding and mysterious place.


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Straight Man: A Novel (Vintage Contemporaries) Cover Image
$16.95
ISBN: 9780375701900
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Vintage - June 9th, 1998

Bookseller: Eric
Title: Straight Man


Comments:

Have you ever been in a serious conversation with someone and noticed that they have a poppy seed caught in their teeth?
As much as you want to point it out, convention dictates that you remain silent, lest the serious tone of the conversation be lost
The protagonist of Russo's new novel, one William Henry Devereaux Jr., not only points out the poppy seed, but willingly suffers the social consequences for his own candor as well.
Like Sully in Russo's Nobody's Fool, Devereaux is his own worst enemy. Self-deprecating, highly intelligent, wickedly funny, he is also mired in the quicksand of middle-age and sinking quickly.
This is a wonderful book. You'll find yourself laughing out loud and reading passages over simply because Russo puts words together so well.
Straight Man is clearly not for all readers. The cynicism is often relentless and the middle-age-crisis theme limits the book's audience. But for a thoroughly engaging novel, extremely well written and funny, Straight Man does indeed stand tall.


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Ordinary Wolves Cover Image
Email or call for price.
ISBN: 9781571310477
Availability: Out of Print
Published: Milkweed Editions - August 1st, 2005

Bookseller: Eric
Title: Ordinary Wolves


Comments:

Ever had lynx stew? Ever been the only white person in an Eskimo village and felt the sting of racism? Author Seth Kantner has.

This is a remakable first novel. A coming of age story, contemporary, echoing the naturalist school in American literature.

Jack London with a joint in his hand.

Take a look at the info about Milkweed Editions on the last page. We're proud to sell their books!


Berkshire Stories: History - Nature - People - Conservation Cover Image
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ISBN: 9781584200284
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Lindisfarne Books - July 1st, 2004

Staff Pick Badge
The March: A Novel Cover Image
$17.00
ISBN: 9780812976151
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Random House Trade Paperbacks - September 12th, 2006

Bookseller: Eric
Title: The March


Comments:

Like some huge snake slithering through Georgia and South Carolina (A 60 mile wide slither). Sherman's troops left indelible scars still seen and felt today. Above all, the march was about people. Soldiers and slaves, poor and rich, brave and cowardly, hungry and satiated.

If Charles Dickens had written a book about slavery and the Civil War, this would be it.

Unforgettable characters populate this book, all determined to survive by any means possible.

Doctorow richly deserves all the accolades he's been receiving for The March.


Jennifer Government (Vintage Contemporaries) Cover Image
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ISBN: 9781400030927
Availability: Out of Print
Published: Vintage - January 6th, 2004

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Atonement (Movie Tie-in Edition) Cover Image
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ISBN: 9780307387158
Availability: Out of Print
Published: Anchor - November 6th, 2007

Bookseller: Eric
Title: Atonement


Comments:

If you enjoy good writing- I mean the kind of writing where you reread sentences for the sheer appreciation of the author's craftsmanship, Ian McEwan is for you. A master storyteller, McEwan with sharpness and wit unmatched. He reminds me of a mixture of Henry James and John Cheever, with a healthy dollop of Kafka. Worhty of all the glowing reviews it's received, Atonement is at once a psychological novel rich wit hunforgettable characters, and a story of the English class system.


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The Smallest Color Cover Image
$16.95
ISBN: 9781582432526
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Counterpoint LLC - November 25th, 2002

Bookseller: Eric
Title: The Smallest Color


Comments:

Well, this was a nice surprise! Having a mid-life crisis? This book may offer a few clues as to the way out. Funny, poignant, well-written with a totally engrossing plot, Roorbadh's style is very reminiscent of Richard Russo's sharp witty self-deprecating books. Keep your eye on this author; he's going places.


The Worst Hard Time: The Untold Story of Those Who Survived the Great American Dust Bowl Cover Image
$15.95
ISBN: 9780618773473
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Mariner Books - September 1st, 2006

Bookseller: Eric
Title: The Worst Hard Time


Comments:

John Steinbeck and Woody Guthrie had it only partly right


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Three Day Road Cover Image
$17.00
ISBN: 9780143037071
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Penguin Books - April 25th, 2006

Bookseller: Eric
Title: Three Day Road


Comments:

Why do we not hear about terrific Canadian writers such as Joseph Boyden? A good reading buddy told me about this (Thanks, Paul!) and am I glad he did- I see that Jim Harrison has written a blurb for it and I can see why, their styles are similar. The comparison to All Quiet on the Wester Front is apt, and it's definitely not for the squeamish, but I have no problem "staff picking" this beautiful work of historical fiction.


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Soaring with Fidel: An Osprey Odyssey from Cape Cod to Cuba and Beyond Cover Image
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ISBN: 9780807085790
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Beacon Press - April 1st, 2008

Bookseller: Eric
Title: Soaring with Fidel: An Osprey Odyssey from Cape Cod to Cuba and Beyond


Comments:

I'm not a birder, but i loved this book. With just enough science to make it enligtening an d just enought beer to make it funny - and fun.
David Gessner embarkes on the kind of solo sejourn most of us wish we could take but our lives always seem to get in the way. Gessner's life does occasionally get in the way in this funny, wise and readable book, but somehow, he pulls it off.

He knows ospreys well and by the end of the book you have nothing but admiration for these magnificent birds.

For readers who know Cape Cod, the story begins in the marches of Brewster.

Very reminsiscent in style to Beill Bryson and Tony Horowitz(Blue Latitude).
 


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Knockemstiff Cover Image
$16.95
ISBN: 9780767928304
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Anchor - March 10th, 2009

Bookseller: Eric
Title: Knockemstiff


Comments:

If it's hope you seek, don't look for it within these pages. "Not for the squeamish!"- the cover should warn. This is Winesburg, Ohio on speed. The same desperations are here beautifully portrayed in this gritty first book. Violence, betrayal, lust, hopelessness- they're all here. God help me, but I loved it!


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Red Rover Cover Image
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ISBN: 9780143113546
Availability: Out of Print
Published: Penguin Books - July 29th, 2008

Bookseller: Eric
Title: Red Rover


Comments:

We originally got this in hard cover and it sank like a stone. Not because it wasn't worthy, I assure you. Just out in paperback, I was drawn to the cover, read it and loved it!

A haunting, lyrical, sweet story of Montana lives, hard-lived, converging unwittingly at the end.

Another of those books where I find myself constantly re-reading a sentence simply to marvel at how beautifully it's written. And those beatiful sentences all add up to make Red Rover one of the best fictions I've read in a long while.


Staff Pick Badge
The Law of Dreams: A Novel Cover Image
$17.00
ISBN: 9780812978001
Availability: Backordered
Published: Random House Trade Paperbacks - August 28th, 2007

Bookseller: Eric
Title: The Law of Dreams


Comments:

Honestly, the rhapsodic blurbs on the back say it far more eloquently than I ever could.

All true.

one of teh best - if not the best - novels I've read in years. You'll be up late with this one, trust me!


Staff Pick Badge
Stone by Design: The Artistry of Lew French Cover Image
By Lew French, Alison Shaw (Photographer)
$30.00
ISBN: 9781586854430
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Gibbs Smith - August 1st, 2005

Bookseller: Eric
Title: Stone by Design


Comments:

OK, it's settled, we're selling the Bookloft and I'm becoming a stone mason...

Check this book out and prepare to be inspired to go out and gather stone and start stacking.

Lew French combines the unique qrtistryof Andy Goldsworthy and the functionality of Yankees like Helen & Scott Nearing to create some truly magnificent work. And all without an ounce of mortar. This is a beautiful book - and reasonably priced.


Staff Pick Badge
Fruitless Fall: The Collapse of the Honey Bee and the Coming Agricultural Crisis Cover Image
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ISBN: 9781596916395
Availability: Out of Print
Published: Bloomsbury Publishing PLC - August 20th, 2009

Bookseller: Eric
Title: Fruitless Fall


Comments:

80% of the food we eat is dependent on the pollination of bees. 30% of bees have disappeared, suffering from the mysterious Colony Collapes Disorder (CCD).

Do the math and start getting scared. I am, both as a beekeeper and as a guy who eats to survive.

Truly an important book with a message equally as important as Rachel Carson's Silent Spring. Will a fruitless fall follow a silent spring?

Hint: it's not cellphone towers causing this malaise. But it is being caused by our own callousness towards Mother Earth.

Told in an easygoing, non-academic style, Vermont writer Rowan Jacobsen offers a sobering portrait of an insect, an industry, and just maybe, of a planet in peril.

An excellent book!


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Empire Falls (Vintage Contemporaries) Cover Image
$16.95
ISBN: 9780375726408
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Vintage - April 12th, 2002

Bookseller: Eric
Title: Empire Falls


Comments:

Annie Proulx's comments on the jacket say it best. This is Russo's masterwork to date. Like Russo's other books, this is about ordinary people doing ordinary things. Seen through RR's eyes, though, they become extraordinary. Very funny and poignant with an uncharaceristic serious twist at the end. My favorite book of this year.


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Articles of War Cover Image
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ISBN: 9780385512770
Availability: Out of Print
Published: Doubleday Books - February 1st, 2005

Bookseller: Eric
Title: Articles of War


Comments:

A realistic, spare first novel that captures well the madness and chaos of war. After all of the "Greatest Generation" lit of late, it's kind of refreshing to discover a novel about a coward. A coward for all the right reasons... he's young; he's scared of dying; he's traumatized; he runs; makes perfect sense to me.

But like Stephen Crane's Red Badge of Courage, the youth in this story runs towards an understanding of himself and his place amidst the madness.


Staff Pick Badge
Through Black Spruce: A Novel Cover Image
$16.00
ISBN: 9780143116509
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Penguin Books - February 23rd, 2010

Bookseller:Eric
Title: Through Black Spruce


Comments:

You're right, you've never heard of Joseph Boyden, but you soon will, mark my words.

Readers of Jim Harrison & Louise Erdrich will love this new fiction (my favorite of the year so far) by Boyden, a Canadian of mixed blood heritage. Readers of his amazing first novel, Three Day Road, will recognize characters and story lines in Through Black Spruce.

From the dangerous bush country of upper Canada to the Manhattan club scene, Boyden paints an unforgettable portrait of two broken and seemingly disparate people whose lives have been touched by loss. How they triumph over those losses is told with great empathy and a deep understanding of what it means to be an Indian - and a human - in the modern world. I loved it.


Staff Pick Badge
Saturday Cover Image
$16.95
ISBN: 9781400076192
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Anchor - April 11th, 2006

Bookseller: Eric
Title: Saturday


Comments:

This is a book that takes more than a few pages to get into, but, once you're drawn in, you are held by it.

Much of it is stream-of-consciousness, sharing the thoughts of the protagonist as he goes about his day as a successful neurosurgeon, and as a husband, father, and son. The tension builds from an incident in the day that he thought he'd handled well. It comes back to him several times during the day, ratcheting up the suspence.


Staff Pick Badge
Border Songs (Vintage Contemporaries) Cover Image
$16.00
ISBN: 9780307456267
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Vintage - July 13th, 2010

Bookseller: Eric
Title: Border Songs


Comments:

Fans of the old TV show Northern Exposure will find a similarity with this quirky, warm and engaging novel. I tore through it in two days.

6'8" dyslexic Brandon Vanderkool has become a veritable idiot-savant of a bad guy-catching border patrol agent when his father (himself a fascinating character) boots him off the family dairy farm. What follows is a rich story of people divided; geographically, morally and politically. And Brandon, the one person who intersects them all, has the unwitting gift to bridge those gaps with brawn and grace.

Like Plain Song and Peace Like a River, and with a healthy dash of Carl Hiassen sprinkled in, Border Songs captures well a sense of place - in this case the Northwest Washington border between the U.S. and British Columbia - with perfect pitch. And what a cast of misfits! I guarantee you will long remember Brandon Vanderkool, as sweet and gentle a protaganist as ever I've discovered in a book.


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The Blade Itself Cover Image
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ISBN: 9780312360313
Availability: Out of Print
Published: Minotaur Books - January 9th, 2007

Bookseller: Eric
Title: The Blade Itself


Comments:

Here's one for that airplane trip, the beach, the long car ride-whatever-wthe perfect vacation read. Not high art by any means, but a heck of a compelling story & so well written. With rave reviews Marcus's debut novel is being rightly compared to Dennis LeHane. Only these are Chicago Irish pals, not Boston. And one of these "pals", Evan, is as bad as they get. Evil is carnate. Author Marcus Salkey's reputation is on the rise, no doubt about it.


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By the Lake (Vintage International) Cover Image
$16.00
ISBN: 9780679744023
Availability: Backordered
Published: Vintage - April 8th, 2003

Bookseller: Eric
Title: By The Lake 


Comments:

A book where nothing seems to happen, yet everything does. I kept having the feeling that I was in 19th century rural Ireland and then a car would intrude into the scene or a fax would arrive. If you want action, this isn't for you. This is best read on the back porch in the early evening with a glass of wine and the chore list done. Language is king in this quiet, beautiful book.


Staff Pick Badge
The Places in Between Cover Image
$15.99
ISBN: 9780156031561
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Mariner Books - May 8th, 2006

Bookseller: Eric
Title: The Places in Between


Comments:

"I stopped, sat down, got up, walked ten more minutes, and then, because I felt exhausted, sat down again, half buried in deep powder. My feet where wet, my hands were cold..." That's a fairly common description from this very uncommon man and his remarkable sojourn.

Not a pretty book to read in a lyrical sense, but amazing nonetheless. Stewart's knowledge of Afghan history and culture and of the current geo-political scene is stunning and informs his story throughout.

Ghenghis tried, Alexander failed, the Russians and now the U.S. have all tried to "unify" this rugged land of disparate tribes and ethnicities.

The shear audacity of this walk--and of the author--is what lured me to it. Well worthy of the glowing review it received upon publication from the NYT Book Review. A paperback original.


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A Walk in the Woods: Rediscovering America on the Appalachian Trail Cover Image
$7.99
ISBN: 9780307279460
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Anchor - December 26th, 2006

A very funny book! Also, insightful and educational. As the real trail is an important part of our Berkshire landscape, Bryson's call for conserving it speaks all the more true. A great gift. I loved it


Staff Pick Badge
The Adventures of Captain Underpants: Color Edition (Captain Underpants #1) Cover Image
By Dav Pilkey, Dav Pilkey (Illustrator), Dav Pilkey (Illustrator), Dav Pilkey, Dav Pilkey (Illustrator)
$9.99
ISBN: 9780545499088
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Scholastic Inc. - August 27th, 2013

If it's peace and quiet you want, don't invite these boys to your child's birthday party. George & Harold, ooes, here, have a certain- how should I say this- ZEST for life! They are decidedly NOT Jack & Annie of Magic Treehouse fame. Funny, irreverent, and great to read aloud. Kids who are drawn to Captain , and not all are, always come back for more.