Notes From the Shire

The Emily Dickinson Museum: A Poetic History

A few years ago my wife and I were planning a trip to coastal Massachusetts. I had gotten her to agree to a detour to the Springfield Armory Museum in Springfield. She wasn’t unhappy about going, but she would not have elected to go of her own accord. While looking for other diversions along the travel route she recalled that the Emily Dickinson Museum was also in Massachusetts. Having majored in English and being a long-time Dickinson fan, she was pleased to find that the Museum is in Amherst, along the I-91 corridor, along the route to Springfield. It was settled. We were going.

I am not a poetry enthusiast and never really have been. There was a brief time in high school when I thought I was, but it didn’t last long. I was exposed to Dickinson in my high school American Literature class but was lucky enough to dodge the poetry bullet in college. Surprisingly, I was not at all down on visiting the Dickinson homestead. (Read More...)

Emily Dickinson's Poems: As She Preserved Them Cover Image
ISBN: 9780674737969
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Belknap Press: An Imprint of Harvard Universi - April 11th, 2016

Emily Dickinson Cover Image
ISBN: 9780974638980
Availability: Click Title for IN STOCK Location
Published: Shirespress - October 29th, 2013

Six Nonfiction Picks for People Who Don’t Think They Like Nonfiction

Textbooks don't usually top the list of fun reading. Most of us can recall the dry prose and formal style from our high school and/or college textbooks, but few of us recall them fondly. This is a tragedy. The world is an interesting place and a lot of really amazing things have happened (and continue to happen). Fortunately, not all nonfiction writing is textbook-dull. These six exciting titles will entertain as well as smarten you up. (Read More...)

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The Disappearing Spoon: And Other True Tales of Madness, Love, and the History of the World from the Periodic Table of the Elements Cover Image
ISBN: 9780316051637
Availability: Click Title for IN STOCK Location
Published: Back Bay Books - June 6th, 2011

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Your Inner Fish: A Journey into the 3.5-Billion-Year History of the Human Body Cover Image
ISBN: 9780307277459
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Published: Vintage - January 6th, 2009

Resurrecting a theatrical warhorse

After a rocky try-out period in Detroit and Washington, no one was prepared for the rave reviews and the lines-around-the-block business that “Hello, Dolly!” received when it opened at the St. James Theatre in New York in January of 1964. The show won a record 10 Tony Awards and became the longest running musical in Broadway history until it was surpassed by “Fiddler on the Roof.” Carol Channing’s performance even eclipsed her memorable turn as Lorelei Lee in “Gentlemen Prefer Blondes.” She would play Dolly Levi more than 5,000 times, winning a Tony over a formidable new star on Broadway -- Barbra Streisand, who would exact a sort of unintentional revenge five years later when she was cast over Channing as Dolly in an expensive and ill-fated movie adaptation. (Read more...)

Children's Review: Escargot by Dashka Slater

If given the choice, few would name the snail as their favorite animal: neither fast nor vicious, the snail tends to be little else than a curiosity, a slimy acquaintance relegated to the garden. In Dashka Slater’s (The Sea Serpent and Me; Dangerously Ever After) picture book Escargot, however, one precocious snail hopes to leverage the species into the reader’s heart by confronting assumptions about snails as both reader and snail “race” to the end of the book.

Escargot meets readers at a mollusk’s eye level in its opening pages. (Read More...)

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Escargot Cover Image
By Dashka Slater, Sydney Hanson (Illustrator)
ISBN: 9780374302818
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Published: Farrar, Straus and Giroux (BYR) - April 11th, 2017

Behind the Scenes with Giants of Modern Music, Part I

Some of us develop reading habits and patterns we may not originally realize we are forming. For me, I have only recently discovered in myself, over the past few years, a fascination with music biographies. (Read more...)

Stevie Ray Vaughan: Caught in the Crossfire Cover Image
ISBN: 9780316160698
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Little, Brown and Company - June 5th, 1994

Joni Mitchell: In Her Own Words Cover Image
ISBN: 9781770411326
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: ECW Press - September 9th, 2014

Of Mice and Children's Books

You do not want to get me thinking. When I do, I ask myself things like: “What is the most popular animal in children’s literature?” Like me, you might think cats and dogs followed by horses. But the fact that I have seen so many books with mice as the main character, or mice that serve a role in a story, is what got me thinking in the first place. While no scientific research has been completed, I would bet you a book or two that mice might just be it. (Read more...)

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Word of Mouse Cover Image
By James Patterson, Joe Sutphin (Illustrator)
ISBN: 9780316349567
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: jimmy patterson - December 12th, 2016

The Adventures of Sophie Mouse 3 Books in 1!: A New Friend; The Emerald Berries; Forget-Me-Not Lake Cover Image
By Poppy Green, Jennifer A. Bell (Illustrator)
ISBN: 9781481485241
Availability: Click Title for IN STOCK Location
Published: Little Simon - October 4th, 2016


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