Bryan Uecker from The Book Nook & Java Shop shares his top March book picks.
Adult Non-Fiction - Book Club Book: Short Nights of the Shadow Catcher by Timothy Egan
“A vivid exploration of one man's lifelong obsession with an idea . . . Egan’s spirited biography might just bring [Curtis] the recognition that eluded him in life.” — Washington Post
Edward Curtis was charismatic, handsome, a passionate mountaineer, and a famous portrait photographer, the Annie Leibovitz of his time. He moved in rarefied circles, a friend to presidents, vaudeville stars, leading thinkers. But when he was thirty-two years old, in 1900, he gave it all up to pursue his Great Idea: to capture on film the continent’s original inhabitants before the old ways disappeared.
Curtis spent the next three decades documenting the stories and rituals of more than eighty North American tribes. It took tremendous perseverance — ten years alone to persuade the Hopi to allow him to observe their Snake Dance ceremony. And the undertaking changed him profoundly, from detached observer to outraged advocate. Curtis would amass more than 40,000 photographs and 10,000 audio recordings, and he is credited with making the first narrative documentary film. In the process, the charming rogue with the grade school education created the most definitive archive of the American Indian.
“A darn good yarn. Egan is a muscular storyteller and his book is a rollicking page-turner with a colorfully drawn hero.” — San Francisco Chronicle
"A riveting biography of an American original." – Boston Globe.
Adult Fiction: Lincoln in the Bardo by George Saunders
The long-awaited first novel from the author of Tenth of December: a moving and original father-son story featuring none other than Abraham Lincoln, as well as an unforgettable cast of supporting characters, living and dead, historical and invented
February 1862. The Civil War is less than one year old. The fighting has begun in earnest, and the nation has begun to realize it is in for a long, bloody struggle. Meanwhile, President Lincoln’s beloved eleven-year-old son, Willie, lies upstairs in the White House, gravely ill. In a matter of days, despite predictions of a recovery, Willie dies and is laid to rest in a Georgetown cemetery. “My poor boy, he was too good for this earth,” the president says at the time. “God has called him home.” Newspapers report that a grief-stricken Lincoln returns, alone, to the crypt several times to hold his boy’s body.
From that seed of historical truth, George Saunders spins an unforgettable story of familial love and loss that breaks free of its realistic, historical framework into a supernatural realm both hilarious and terrifying. Willie Lincoln finds himself in a strange purgatory where ghosts mingle, gripe, commiserate, quarrel, and enact bizarre acts of penance. Within this transitional state—called, in the Tibetan tradition, the bardo—a monumental struggle erupts over young Willie’s soul.
Lincoln in the Bardo is an astonishing feat of imagination and a bold step forward from one of the most important and influential writers of his generation. Formally daring, generous in spirit, deeply concerned with matters of the heart, it is a testament to fiction’s ability to speak honestly and powerfully to the things that really matter to us. Saunders has invented a thrilling new form that deploys a kaleidoscopic, theatrical panorama of voices to ask a timeless, profound question: How do we live and love when we know that everything we love must end?
Local: Michigan Back Roads Series by Ron Rademacher
The Michigan Back Roads is a Michigan vacation getaway guide organized by region. Included are terrific towns, 3-day getaways, Michigan attractions, historic sites, unique lodgings, natural wonders, Michigan Gift Shops, tasty delights and Michigan day trips in each region! Use the map to find Michigan attractions, getaways and destinations in each region.
Michigan might be the most diverse state in the nation when it comes to the natural beauty it has to offer. Michigan getaways include lighthouses, waterfalls, sand dunes, unique historic destinations, lakes, Terrific Towns and out of the way day trips. You can take a drive of one hour to a wild flower sanctuary, unique shop or local museum. You can set out for a Michigan 3 Day Getaway, starting each day in unique beautiful lodgings while exploring the hidden and lesser known attractions in every region of Michigan.
Young Adult: Slope Rules by Melanie Hooyenga
Fifteen-year old Cally accepted her fate as one of the guys, so when she meets Blake, a hot snowboarder who sees her for more than her aerials on the slopes, she falls fast and hard. But their romance can only last as long as vacation.
Or so she thinks.
A twist of fate—well, her Dad opening another brewery in a new town—lands her in Blake’s school, but the charismatic boy she fell for wants nothing to do with her, and worse, the Snow Bunnies, the popular clique, claim her as their newest recruit.
Cally must learn to be true to herself—all while landing a spot on the ski team and figuring out who she is without her old friends. And when she finds out what Blake is hiding, she learns the rules on the slopes apply to more than just skiing..
Children: We are Growing! by Laurie Keller
Winner of The Geisel Award: given annually to the author(s) and illustrator(s) of the most distinguished American book for beginning readers published in English in the United States during the preceding year.
Walt and his friends are growing up fast! Everyone is the something-est. But . . . what about Walt? He is not the tallest, or the curliest, or the silliest. He is not the anything-est! As a BIG surprise inches closer, Walt discovers something special of his own!
Keller (the Adventures of Arnie the Doughnut) teams up with Willems for one of two titles launching the Elephant & Piggie Like Reading! series; vignettes featuring Willems's two pals bookend this story. "It is as exciting as watching grass grow," Elephant tells Piggie, holding a copy of this book, "because it is watching grass grow!" Indeed, Keller whisks readers to a vast lawn, where blades of grass are growing, though not at the same speed or in the same way. An early bloomer turns boastful ("I know, I know. I made it look easy"), but as the others grow, they realize that they all stand out in various ways, whether they're the tallest, curliest, or dandiest (in the case of a dandelion). But what's that buzzing noise? Keller's googly-eyed grasses brim with personality, her emphatic cartooning creates some wonderful slapstick moments, and raucous sound effects make the action of grass growing sound more like a five-car pileup. The underlying ideas—to stick to your strengths even when life (or a power mower) cuts you down, and that "We are all the something-est!"—are winners, much like the book itself. Ages 6–8.
Courtesy: The Book Nook & Java Shop in Montague
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