shynds's blog

Leading Men: A Novel by Christopher Castellani - Book Review

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Leading Men: A Novel Cover Image
Call or email to see if a used copy is available.
ISBN: 9780525559054
Availability: Hard to Find - May no longer be available
Published: Viking - February 12th, 2019

It's 1953 on the coast of Italy and Truman Capote throws a party. That's where we meet this beautiful and atmospheric novel's main characters, Tennessee Williams and Frank Merlo. Add a young Swedish starlet whose own story extends to modern day New York. The glitterati and the literati mingle, as do the fact and fiction, in this heartbreaking novel by this marvelous novelist. ~ Reviewed by Stan Hynds


Sounds Like Titanic: A Memoir by Jessica Chiccehitto Hindman - Book Review

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Sounds Like Titanic: A Memoir Cover Image
$25.95
ISBN: 9780393651645
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Business Days
Published: W. W. Norton & Company - February 12th, 2019

Everybody knows about lip-syncing. But fake playing? Believe it. In the early 2000's, the author made a living playing violin in front of dead microphones while loud recorded music by "The Composer" for whom she worked enraptured his adoring fans. In addition to being as kooky a true story as I have recently encountered, this is also a moving coming of age memoir. Hindman grew up in rural West Virginia, went to college at Columbia University, and wanted nothing more than to be a journalist in the Middle East. An expressive meditation on identity and authenticity. ~ Reviewed by Stan Hynds


The Current: A Novel by Tim Johnston - Book Review

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The Current: A Novel Cover Image
$27.95
ISBN: 9781616206772
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Business Days
Published: Algonquin Books - January 22nd, 2019

Two unsolved crimes, unrelated, ten years apart but close enough in proximity (the same river twice no less) for the characters in the latest crime to bring painful memories back to the surface. The intersection of the two stories is expertly handled in Johnston's elegant prose. A page-turning mystery and a deeply moving story. ~ Reviewed by Stan Hynds


Deep Creek: Finding Hope in the High Country by Pam Houston - Book Review

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Deep Creek: Finding Hope in the High Country Cover Image
$25.95
ISBN: 9780393241020
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Business Days
Published: W. W. Norton & Company - January 29th, 2019

I can't decide if Mineral County, Colorado is a piece of heaven or if it's actually heaven. Either way it is a wondrous Rocky Mountain paradise--a paradise beset by bitter cold, fires, various degrees of hardship and always exquisite beauty. Pam Houston has 120 acres of it and readers get a clear-eyed glimpse of life and death on the ranch in this marvelous combination of memoir and nature writing. Both deeply personal and wide-reaching, Deep Creek is about the human capacity to feel grief and joy all at once for the ground beneath one's feet and the planet as a whole. ~ Reviewed by Stan Hynds


The New Yorker Encyclopedia of Cartoons: A Semi-serious A-to-Z Archive by David Remnick - Book Review

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The New Yorker Encyclopedia of Cartoons: A Semi-serious A-to-Z Archive Cover Image
By David Remnick (Foreword by), Bob Mankoff (Editor)
$100.00
ISBN: 9780316436670
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Business Days
Published: Black Dog & Leventhal - October 2nd, 2018

The similar collection from fourteen years ago is now inadequate. Hundreds of new cartoons spanning nearly ten decades are included in this newly conceived two-volume, slipcased edition in an encyclopedic format (P is for Pianos, U is for Unicorns...) From sidesplitting to smirk-inducing to head-scratching. ~ Reviewed by Stan Hynds


Gone So Long by Andre Dubus III - Book Review

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Gone So Long: A Novel Cover Image
$27.95
ISBN: 9780393244106
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Business Days
Published: W. W. Norton & Company - October 2nd, 2018

In his new novel, Dubus reveals character as expertly as I've ever seen it done. The three main characters--Susan, a writer and professor in her forties, her grandmother, a tough, hard-to-love antiques dealer in her eighties, and Susan's father, whom she hasn't seen since she was three years old--are linked by an unspeakable crime committed forty years ago. Through each of their stories, Dubus explores themes of love and anger, forgiveness and condemnation and perhaps most of all the capacity to love and be loved. This is a slow burn of a novel that gripped me from start to finish. ~ Reviewed by Stan Hynds


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