Adult Books

The Everybody Ensemble: Donkeys, Essays, and Other Pandemoniums by Amy Leach - Book Review

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$26.00
ISBN: 9780374109660
Availability: Available for Pre-Order Now
Published: Farrar, Straus and Giroux - November 16th, 2021

This odd little collection of stories - or are they essays? - either way, they're weird and absolutely delightful. They say a lot if you listen closely, but in the most charming way possible, with animals. ~ Reviewed by Arabella Peterson


A Passage North: A Novel by Anuk Arudpragasam - Book Review

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$27.00
ISBN: 9780593230701
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Published: Hogarth - July 13th, 2021

A young man travels into the ravaged northern part of Sri Lanka to attend the funeral of a woman who, after losing both of her sons in the country's civil war, became his grandmother's caretaker and close confidante. The journey stirs memories of a passionate love affair with a political activist and guilt feelings for his own determined detachment from the death and destruction swirling around him. Incorporating the ancient customs and traditions of an exotic place, this is a remarkably insightful look at human suffering; what must be fought and what must be accepted, what can be borne and what cannot. ~ Reviewed by Alden Graves


The Prophets by Robert Jones, Jr. - Book Review

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$27.00
ISBN: 9780593085684
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Published: G.P. Putnam's Sons - January 5th, 2021

The Prophets is a thunderous novel, gorgeously written and brutal in its indictment of antebellum slavery. Yet this narrative also takes us to a fresh perspective by centering two gay young slaves, Isaiah and Samuel, at the core of this story's Mississippi plantation culture.
The Prophets ultimately becomes a vehicle for staging universal human frailties and failings, oppression and power, identity, courage and the critical role of heritage in histories. Religion, sexuality, social norms, love and loyalty all enter the stage in this rich and sonorous narrative where ancestors hover ever present throughout - whether with a shadow, a whisper or a magnificent roar. I have never read anything quite like it. ~ Reviewed by Nancy Scheemaker


Mr. Beethoven by Paul Griffiths - Book Review

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$17.95
ISBN: 9781681375809
Availability: Available for Pre-Order Now
Published: New York Review Books - October 26th, 2021

Besides living a little longer and crossing the Atlantic, Griffiths’ Mr. Beethoven is about the most carefully informed and deeply researched historical novel that I’ve read. The Handel and Haydn Society of Boston did reach out to Beethoven for a commission, and in this charming fantasia the Romantic titan comes to the young United States, composes an oratorio on the Book of Job, and learns a variety of sign language that existed on Martha’s Vineyard. Griffiths brings to vibrant life not only the composer, but the world of amateur musicians and pompous divines in provincial 1830s Boston. ~ Reviewed by Dafydd Wood


On Juneteenth by Annette Gordon-Reed - Book Review

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$15.95
ISBN: 9781631498831
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Published: Liveright - May 4th, 2021

The Pulitzer Prize winning-historian of Thomas Jefferson and the Hemmingses of Monticello has crafted a slim, powerful book of history, family narrative, and memoir. Annette Gordon-Reed who integrated her grade school offers a distinct look at this country’s history of racism through the prism of Texas. From the Alamo (the origins of the Yellow Rose) to Six Flags (named after those that flew over Texas including the Confederate) On Juneteenth is a deeply informative and moving book that masterfully weds historical and cultural revisionism and personal memoir. Gordon-Reed has not only written one of the greatest books about Texas, but she brilliantly articulates the danger of an uncritical worship of historical figures. ~ Reviewed by Dafydd Wood


Vanderbilt: The Rise and Fall of an American Dynasty by Anderson Cooper - Book Review

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$30.00
ISBN: 9780062964618
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Published: Harper - September 21st, 2021

Cooper's family history is rich in drama, ambition, dissipation, and especially money. Examining his ancestors' actions with a cool, compassionate eye, Cooper reveals, time and again, the essential truth that genuine wealth comes in a currency that cannot be bought. ~ Reviewed by Mike Hare


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