jfine@northshire.com's blog

Jonathan Fine - Receiving/Shipping Dept Manager in Manchester

Jon is the receiving manager and unofficial wellness director at Northshire and has worked here since 1998. He loves all things guitar- and listens mostly to blues, classic and selected contemporary rock, and most of all, music that defies genre- most especially The Derek Trucks Band. He loves the Maine coast and most frequently finds himself reading sports non-fiction, music memoirs and selected contemporary lit fiction. Personal gods include guitarist Derek Trucks and writer Ann Patchett.

All That She Carried: The Journey of Ashley's Sack, a Black Family Keepsake by Tiya Miles - Book Review

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All That She Carried: The Journey of Ashley's Sack, a Black Family Keepsake Cover Image
$28.00
ISBN: 9781984854995
Availability: Click Title for IN STORE Location
Published: Random House - June 8th, 2021

In her detailed, heartfelt and heartbreaking analysis of "Ashley's Sack", the slave-era artifact passed down amongst three generations of enslaved women in South Carolina, Tiya Miles shines a blinding, microcosmic light onto the inhumane darkness of slavery in the "Old South". One fundamental truth revealed being how little history actually survives of slaves and their culture given that the keeper's of "American History" are, first and foremost, white Americans. While there are no known written records left by Ashley, her mother or her daughter, Miles brilliantly uses the simple text on the sack itself to piece together, bit by bit, from the historical record and the records of female slaves that did end up a part of our historical records, what it truly meant to be a slave and, specifically, a female slave in and around Charleston at the peak of this long, dark chapter in American history. It is not a pretty picture, but is a significant one that all Americans should make time to "view". ~ Reviewed by Jon Fine


Turbulence: A Novel by David Szalay - Book Review

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Turbulence: A Novel Cover Image
$15.00
ISBN: 9781982122744
Availability: Click Title for IN STORE Location
Published: Scribner - June 8th, 2021

From airport to airport (chapter names are all laid out as "YYZ- SEA" etc), Szalay etches fine-line impressions of the loves, disappointments and mortality faced by a series of individuals, one per chapter. A character who we've been introduced to in the course of the previous chapter, becomes the feature player for the next one. It is a compilation of compelling and concisely drawn short stories laid out, end to end, each one linked by tales of human connection. ~ Reviewed by Jon Fine


The Bomber Mafia: A Dream, a Temptation, and the Longest Night of the Second World War by Malcolm Gladwell - Book Review

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The Bomber Mafia: A Dream, a Temptation, and the Longest Night of the Second World War Cover Image
$27.00
ISBN: 9780316296618
Availability: Click Title for IN STORE Location
Published: Little, Brown and Company - April 27th, 2021

This is Gladwell's first foray into straight historical expose, yet his trademark incisive revelation of unexpected truths is on full display. I was mortified, actually, physically revolted by the truths revealed here. Gladwell's editorial self-control is commendable- his thematic elements regarding the beginnings of the Air Force in the years immediately before and then during WWII draw the reader into these “founding aviators” abiding goal to use aerial combat as a significant force towards the benefit of all, including combatants; ie. to shorten wars and lessen overall casualties through the use of targeted aerial assault. What actually happened, in spite of these goals, will stay with me forever, Hirosihma and Nagasaki perhaps not being the worst violence ever inflicted on an enemy by the U.S. Military. ~ Reviewed by Jon Fine


Jimmy Page: The Anthology by Jimmy Page - Book Review

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Jimmy Page: The Anthology Cover Image
$60.00
ISBN: 9781905662616
Availability: Click Title for IN STORE Location
Published: Genesis Publications - October 20th, 2020

This is a hefty work that may require a team lift to even get onto your lap. But that is no small coincidence given what is contained within. This is not just a juicy compilation of Zeppelin/Page memorabilia; one does not have to be a fan of the group or artist to fully appreciate the depth of what is offered here. The photos of Page's extensive personal collection of memorabilia along with his accompanying notes are a true insider's guide to a significant slice of Rock and Roll history. ~ Reviewed by Jon Fine


The Road to San Donato: Fathers, Sons, and Cycling Across Italy by Robert Cocuzzo - Book Review

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The Road to San Donato: Fathers, Sons, and Cycling Across Italy Cover Image
$24.95
ISBN: 9781680512441
Availability: Click Title for IN STORE Location
Published: Mountaineers Books - September 1st, 2019

This one took me off guard in the best way possible. What starts off as an enjoyable ramble about a Boston area father and son mountain bike trek through the hills of Tuscany to the town of their patriarchal homeland becomes so much more upon their arrival in San Donato. It is not just the reader's growing emotional stake in the lives of the two main protagonists (narrator and father), but the history of that small town and its role in protecting the lives of Jews during WWII is both remarkable and truly touching. And if that doesn't put the tear in your eye, Cocuzzo's artful, auto-biographical tale of family, heredity and father and son, multi-generational bonds will do it for sure. Highly recommended. ~ Reviewed by Jon Fine


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