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mnoonan@northshire.com's blog

Simon the Fiddler: A Novel by Paulette Jiles - Book Review

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$27.99
ISBN: 9780062966742
Availability: Click Title for IN STOCK Location
Published: William Morrow - April 14th, 2020

This vivid story is about Simon Boudlin, an itinerant fiddler, who resists being conscripted in the Confederate army in the end days of the Civil War, after Appomattox. This novel is poetic, fierce, and elegant without losing the hard edge of historical facts. Like the song, "The Night They Drove Ol' Dixie Down," (The Band) the mournful beauty of this novel echoes the music: the two pieces feel as though they were written in 1865, and not in this century. Simply Beautiful. ~ Reviewed by Maeve Noonan


The Island Child: A novel by Molly Aitken - Book Review

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$26.95
ISBN: 9780525658375
Availability: Click Title for IN STOCK Location
Published: Knopf - July 28th, 2020

This debut novel made me curl up in a chair for 2 days, becoming enamored with these characters & places. This beautifully crafted book blend ancient Irish mythology & folklore with the crustiness & elemental nature of Island life and are reflected and reverberate in the story of outcasts Oona & Enda. This book catches and holds the winds that pull and buffet the west of Ireland and the souls that inhabit it. The Island Child belongs on the shelf next to John B Keane's The Field. ~ Reviewed by Maeve Noonan


The Convert: A Novel by Stefan Hertmans - Book Review

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By Stefan Hertmans, David McKay (Translated by)
$27.95
ISBN: 9781524747084
Availability: Click Title for IN STOCK Location
Published: Pantheon - February 4th, 2020

This is an exquisite, wondrously crafted book. Much more than a novel, The Convert blends fiction and the history of actual 11th Century biographical documents of Norman noblewoman Vigdis, who defied society, faith and family to marry the son of a Rabbi for love. These documents were lost until their rediscovery in 1969, found in a deep well called "God's Oubliette " where certain documents no longer in circulation are consigned. ~ Reviewed by Maeve Noonan


The Night Watchman by Louise Erdrich - Book Review

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$28.99
ISBN: 9780062671189
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Published: Harper - March 3rd, 2020

There are times when you need a Storyteller like Erdrich who will spin a tale, keeping all the common ills of real life lessons yet infuse it with real magic ( day to day sincere episodes of grace.) Erdrich's stories resonate in the marrow and teeth of my bones where the tendon attaches. That is how the Night Watchman feels to me. Here recent history of the 1950's US policy of Native American Dispossession is wrapped in family sagas. Louise is at her best here. ~ Reviewed by Maeve Noonan


The Everlasting: A Novel by Katy Simpson Smith - Book Review

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The Everlasting: A Novel Cover Image
$28.99
ISBN: 9780062873644
Availability: Click Title for IN STOCK Location
Published: Harper - March 24th, 2020

This novel was powerful, elegant, poetic, and philosophical. The novel reminds me of 19th Century stereoscopic views: imagery of a vista with two separate views repeated side by side and viewed through a viewfinder blend to create a unique 3 dimensional experience. In this novel spanning 2000 years of Roman History we have 4 lives in 4 different centuries and a fifth voice; a love-sick Devil experiencing slices of layered Time the reader can actually feel and smell the rich fetid moss covered land in the Eternal City; all exquisitely messily wrought ie. human. I love this book! ~ Reviewed by Maeve Noonan


The Lost Art of Scripture: Rescuing the Sacred Texts by Karen Armstrong - Book Review

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$35.00
ISBN: 9780451494863
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Knopf - November 5th, 2019

This amazing work is a companion to, and elucidation of, the award-winning TED Talks on The Charter for Compassion. Armstrong's endeavor is to broaden and deepen the understanding of the Sacred Texts from the world's major religions; their origins, and their ancient manner of teachings. By delving into the neurolinguistic science of right/left brain learning and studying how various societies have changed from ancient to modern learning strategies, Armstrong calls for reevaluation of our treatment of the texts, and how we ascribe words like transcendence, intuit, creativity, fundamental, literal and interpretation. Brilliant! ~ Reviewed by Maeve Noonan


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