shynds's blog

Stumbling on Happiness

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ISBN: 9781400077427
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Business Days
Published: Vintage - March 20th, 2007

Happiness is a warm puppy. Until you get the puppy home and it's chewing on your furniture and you wonder why you ever thought having a puppy would make you happy. This kind of thing happens all the time. The thing we think will satisfy our future selves differs greatly from reality when the future actually arrives. There's a reason for it. It's our brains. In this fascinating and hilarious book, Harvard psychology professor Daniel Gilbert explains the many ways our brains wrongly imagine what will and will not make us happy. My current self thanks my former self for having the good sense to read this mind-bending and hugely entertaining book. ~ Reviewed by Stan Hynds

The Grail Bird

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The Grail Bird: The Rediscovery of the Ivory-billed Woodpecker Cover Image
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ISBN: 9780618709410
Availability: Out of Print
Published: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt - April 18th, 2006

This is a joyous and suspenseful tale of one of the most exciting scientific rediscoveries in recent years. Tim Gallagher was already writing this book on the ivory-billed woodpecker, talking to numerous people who said they had seen one since the last confirmed sighting in the 1930's, when a very credible sounding report came out of Arkansas. From that point on he was in the swamp. And he saw one. The great Southern bottomland forests may be all but gone but this book gives us reason for hope. It is indeed the thing with feathers. ~ Reviewed by Stan Hynds

Long for This World

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ISBN: 9780618446483
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Published: Mariner Books - May 21st, 2004

What could have been a serviceable medical thriller becomes a moving elegy to family and humanity in this talented writer's hands. Byers takes a rare childhood disease and shows us how life is both fragile and brimming with promise. ~ Reviewed by Stan Hynds


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Jaco: The Extraordinary and Tragic Life of Jaco Pastorius - Anniversary Edition Cover Image
ISBN: 9780879308599
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Published: Backbeat Books - October 1st, 2005

Anyone who admires the beauty and virtuosity of Jaco's playing will appreciate this glimpse into his life and career. The bonus CD includes interviews and very early recordings. This is a good biography of a revolutionary jazz musician whose life ended tragically. ~ Reviewed by Stan Hynds

The Plot Against America

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ISBN: 9781400079490
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Published: Vintage - September 27th, 2005

"It could never happen here." After reading this novel I was almost ready to believe that not only could it but that it DID happen here. This is an audacious and extraordinary imagining of 1940s America under a Charles Lindbergh presidency and its shattering effect on a Jewish family in Newark. ~ Reviewed by Stan Hynds

The Last Best League

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The Last Best League, 10th anniversary edition: One Summer, One Season, One Dream Cover Image
ISBN: 9780306823107
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Published: Da Capo Press - May 27th, 2014

The best book I've read recently about the so-called (remember the football stat) national pastime is Jim Collins's The Last Best League. The author spent a season following the fortunes of the Chatham's of the Cape Cod League, the last great wooden bat summer league in the country. Many of the players who have come through the Cape have gone on to illustrious major league careers. For others, the Cape is their crowning achievement. This is a marvelous book about pure baseball, young men and small towns. ~ Reviewed by Stan Hynds


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