Caste is the book that I'm encouraging everyone to read! This eye-opening book has led me to view everything I see and hear with a new perspective. Ms. Wilkerson's research and writing are top-notch, comparing the racial caste system in this country to the caste systems of Nazi Germany and India. Her analogy of living in a house with serious structural issues is spot-on. We might not be personally responsible for creating the systemic racisim that exists in this country, but we live in this house now, and it's up to each of us to work toward getting our house in working order -- working for everyone.
These days we can all use a little warm and fuzzy in our lives, and nothing will lower your blood pressure faster than turning the pages of this book loaded with photos of best friends Henry and Baloo, a dog and cat who go everywhere today and cuddle like you've never thought possible. And if you love the book, you should grab Henry and Baloo's 2021 wall calendar as well! https://www.broadwaybooks.net/book/9781975418847
This is my pick for these days of armchair traveling, visiting every continent and even possibly exploring your own backyard. This gorgeous book, authorized by Wes Anderson, tells the story behind 200 of the most beautiful, idiosyncratic, and inspiring places on earth, with quirky landmarks and undiscovered gems. The photographs and narrative provide a passport to inspiration and adventure, whether you leave home or not!
You all know Jacqueline Winspear from her much-loved and bestselling Maisie Dobbs series. Now, with her memoir of her own hardscrabble beginnings in England, she reveals the hardships and joy of her family history, giving insight into the woman behind the series. This heartfelt yet humorous memoir portrays a childhood of rural poverty overcome by hard manual labor, the effects of war on her family, the love that sustained them, and Jacqueline's own life-long dreams of being a writer. This book is a gem.
One of my favorite books in recent years was Thunder & Lightning by Lauren Redniss, a fusion of storytelling, visual art, and reportage, all about the weather. Now Redniss turns those same talents to the story of Oak Flat, a controversial area of land that is held as sacred by Native Americans. Oak Flat is a serene high-elevation mesa that sits above the southeastern Arizona desert, fifteen miles to the west of the San Carlos Apache Indian Reservation. For the San Carlos tribe, Oak Flat is a holy place, an ancient burial ground and religious site where Apache girls celebrate the coming-of-age ritual known as the Sunrise Ceremony. The conflict pits one of the poorest communities in the United States against the federal government and two of the world's largest mining conglomerates. Once again, Redniss combines deep reporting with haunting artwork to anchor this human narrative, and her glowing colored-pencil illustrations capture the surreal magic of Southwestern landscape.
When you want to learn about birds, you turn to David Allen Sibley, and this book is just the best of them all. Oversized and gorgeously illustrated, the book answers the most frequently asked questions about the birds we see most often, covering more than 200 species and including more than 330 illustrations. While the book includes fascinating new scientific research, it is presented in a non-technical manner, making it a great gift to nonbirders and the bird-obsessed alike and can be shared with people of all ages.
I loved this novel and was so sad when I had to say goodbye to the characters, always a sign for me of an excellent novel. Character-driven, profound, and nuanced, the book explores relationships and family, and the messiness of both. And it involves a bookstore owner, so there's that. I love Richard Russo's description of the book: " Monogamy is an old-fashioned, slow burn of a novel that allows readers to dream deeply. . . full of depth and contrast and lush detail." I hadn't read one of Miller's novels for a while; this one has inspired me to go back and read some of her others -- after the holidays, of course.
This northwest-based memoir comes from a fellow bookseller, Tina Ontiveros of Klindt's Booksellers in The Dalles. It is the story of a northwest native, born into timber on both sides of her family. rough house tells of a hardscrabble childhood of turmoil, with a a charming, mercurial, abusive father and a mother struggling with small-town poverty. Searingly honest and richly emotional, the book follows her trail through working-class towns and forests of Washington and Oregon and her own journey into adulthood. Another bookseller, Deborah Reed, describes it as "Reminiscent of Raymond Carver if Carver had given a voice to the women and children faced with the troubles and misdeeds of men." Well said.
We have been eagerly awaiting something new from Portland author Vanessa Veselka ever since she read here from her first novel, Zazen. We're thrilled to announce that it was definitely worth the wait! The Great Offshore Grounds was named to the longlist for this year's National Book Award for Fiction. This wildly original, cross-country novel centers on two half sisters: Cheyenne and Livy. In its review, Publishers Weekly says "Veselka blends fascinating details of seamanship, cab driving, and boot camp with intimate, spot-on descriptions of contemporary American poverty . . . This gritty and unsentimental work is compassionate, funny, and deeply human." And Roxane Gay calls it "a magnificent beast of a novel." I concur.
Not everyone is willing to put their earning potential in jeopardy for causes they believe in. Megan Rapinoe has been willing to do that, coming out publicly as gay and using her visibility to advocate for marriage equality, as well as taking a very public stance to protest racial injustice and police brutality. In this memoir she tells of her childhood in a conservative small town, her own personal journey into social justice, and the obligation we all have to speak up. Besides being an Olympic gold medalist and World Cup champion, Rapinoe was a star for the University of Portland Pilots women's soccer team, so she's one of us!
We're still in a glow from Michelle Obama's visit to Broadway Books on her Becoming book tour (that will never fade). While we don't expect to be welcoming her husband to the store -- although you just never know -- this book is definitely near the top of my give and get list. Don't tell my mom, but she's getting the audiobook version of this book from me for Christmas this year. Best of all, this is only the first volume of a two-volume memoir! So there is more to come. This first volume tells the story of his improbable odyssey from young man searching for his identity to leader of the free world, describing in personal detail both his political education and the landmark moments of the first term of his historic presidency. Oh, those were the days....
I love big, meaty biographies, so I always get especially giddy at this time of year because fall annually sees so many delious ones popping up. This year is no exception. I have already overindulged myself with them, and I have several more on the "give" list. There are too many to list them all, but here are a few of the other biographies that have caught my eye this season: Eleanor Roosevelt, James Beard, JFK, Jimmy Carter, Malcolm X, Jon Meacham, Jimi Hendricks, Adrienne Rich, Abraham Lincoln, Mozart, Beethoven, John Steinbeck, and Joe Biden, our new president-elect.