shynds's blog

Mabel and Sam at Home by Linda Urban - Book Review

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Mabel and Sam at Home: (Imagination Books for Kids, Children's Books about Creative Play) Cover Image
By Linda Urban, Hadley Hooper (Illustrator)
ISBN: 9781452139968
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Business Days
Published: Chronicle Books - June 5th, 2018

A superb read-aloud for smart pre-schoolers and other youngsters. These captivating siblings know how to occupy themselves on moving day. They have three imagination-filled adventures--at sea, at the museum and in outer space. Brimful of humor, great vocab words, and wonderful illustrations. ~ Reviewed by Stan Hynds

The Best Cook in the World: Tales from My Momma's Table by Rick Bragg - Book Review

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The Best Cook in the World: Tales from My Momma's Table Cover Image
ISBN: 9781400040414
Availability: Hard to Find - May no longer be available
Published: Knopf - April 24th, 2018

Reading this marvelous book is like sitting down at the kitchen table with one great storyteller spinning family tales (some of which have to be at least half-tall) while another great storyteller (his mother) makes the best biscuits you've ever had in your life. I could sit there all day listening and eating.
Bragg writes like a person born to the art. His mother, however, had to learn to cook. And she did...from her mother who was also not blessed with native culinary talent. She learned from her intractable, hermit of a father-in-law who descended from the hills to save his son from starving. I don't know what was more savory, the stories or the recipes, but I loved every bit of this book and am only sorry I may never actually get to sit in Rick Bragg's mother's kitchen.
While reading this book I was inspired to make a batch of biscuits for my family. Margaret Bundrum Bragg would not have been impressed. She might has said something along the lines of "Well." ~ Reviewed by Stan Hynds

There There by Tommy Orange - Book Review

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There There: A novel Cover Image
ISBN: 9780525520375
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Business Days
Published: Knopf - June 5th, 2018

Tommy Orange has written a brutal and beautiful novel about the Native American experience in contemporary America that will open eyes and minds. It will simultaneously break and expand hearts. Most readers will not have heard a voice like his or a story like this. This is a story about Native Americans who strongly identify with their tribes. But they do not live on federal lands in South Dakota or other western states. This is a story about the urban Native American experience. The setting is Oakland. The many characters and plot lines weave their way to a final destination at an annual powwow in Oakland. I have never read anything like it. Tommy Orange’s writing is confident and utterly original. It seems impossible that this is his first novel. Sometimes--rarely—you feel privileged to have encountered a novel. There There is that rare novel. ~ Reviewed by Stan Hynds

The Heart's Invisible Furies by John Boyne - Book Review

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The Heart's Invisible Furies: A Novel Cover Image
ISBN: 9781524760793
Availability: Click Title for IN STOCK Location
Published: Hogarth - March 6th, 2018

A big-hearted novel following the life of Cyril Avery a man struggling just to live his life in mid-late 20th century Ireland. It's a struggle because Cyril is gay and times were what they were and Ireland was what it was, never mind the Catholic Church. It's a deeply tragic story shot through with enough hilarity to make it a comic novel. ~ Reviewed by Stan Hynds

My Ex-Life by Stephen McCauley - Book Review

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My Ex-Life: A Novel Cover Image
ISBN: 9781250122438
Availability: Hard to Find - May no longer be available
Published: Flatiron Books - May 8th, 2018

In your first sitting with this wise and very funny novel, you will quickly won't be going anywhere for a while. McCauley's voice is as warm and winning as his characters. I loved this novel about real estate, SAT's, one creep, real love and the bonds of family. ~ Reviewed by Stan Hynds

The Optimistic Decade by Heather Abel - Book Review

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The Optimistic Decade Cover Image
Call or email to see if a used copy is available.
ISBN: 9781616206307
Availability: Out of Print
Published: Algonquin Books - May 1st, 2018

Heather Abel packs so much good stuff into this hugely appealing novel exploring the grand themes of idealism and disillusionment. Set at a summer camp on Colorado's western slope before the outbreak of the Gulf War, Abel's young characters struggle with what it means to lead a meaningful life, how to care for and about a place of fragile beauty, how to navigate strong cultural differences, and how not to get caught having sex. A very thoughtful romp! ~ Reviewed by Stan Hynds


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