Let Me Be Frank with You: A Frank
by Richard Ford. In
four eloquent, moving, often cynical yet funny,
always insightful linked stories, Bascombe,
now retired, views his fellow New Jerseyites
as they cope with the aftermath of Hurricane
Sandy. Elegant writing explores the physical,
moral, emotional landscape in this splendid
book. ~ Louise Jones
The Book of Strange New Things
by Michel Faber. As a missionary on another planet, his wife waiting on Earth, Peter has little trouble introducing Christianity to his alien congregation while the effort to maintain his marriage becomes arduous. This beautifully written novel unfolds slowly to leave a lasting impression. ~ Amelia Stymacks
The Laughing Monsters
by Denis Johnson. Rogue intelligence officer Roland Nair lands in Sierra Leone to reunite with his friend Michael Andriko, a man of divided loyalties. This post-9/11 tale of intrigue, romance and deception is deft at obscuring the truth, with both characters drawn into a tangle of violence and disconnection. ~ Amy Palmer
by Jane Smiley. The first book in an ambitious, century-spanning trilogy about an American family. Like Steinbeck’s immortal Joad family, the Langdons manage to endure despite hardships, deprivations and tragedy. Their determination provides the bedrock for their children’s future and, not coincidentally, for that of an entire nation. ~ Alden Graves
by Chuck Palahniuk. The closest thing to a romance from The Fight Club author, when all American women suddenly choose to stay home with a new line of “marital aids” – products with something more sinister inside them. A black comedy that turns into absurd science fiction – and it’s quite a ride. ~ Chris Linendoll
by Colm Toibin. This delicate character study, set in Wexford, Ireland, follows Nora for three years after her husband’s death. Like waves lapping at the shore, each incident breaks and swirls with varying degrees of intensity, always gently pushing her forward while allowing her to remember and still grow. ~ Karen Frank
A Sudden Light
by Garth Stein. A fantastic exploration of family, generational guilt, a haunted mansion, manipulation, love, money and big trees, from the point of view of a teenage boy trying to save his parents’ marriage and purge the ghosts of ancestors. This book is raw, human and enchanting. ~ Chris Morrow
Family Furnishings: Selected Stories, 1995-2014
by Alice Munro. A brilliant introduction for the uninitiated and a necessary acquisition for lifetime admirers of this remarkable storyteller. Her many literary prizes are well earned, culminating in the Nobel Prize for Literature in 2013. A princely gift for the heart and mind. ~ Karen Frank
Five beloved holiday classics in beautiful new editions - collect all of them or stuff one into a stocking for traditional holiday pleasure.
A Christmas Carol
by Charles Dickens. This quintessential holiday story became an instant best seller when it was first published in 1843 – and is still a joy to read.
The Night Before Christmas
by Nikolai Gogol. A hilarious Christmas story based on a mischievous Ukrainian folk tale, by the Russian master.
by E.T.A. Hoffmann. The inspiration for the classic ballet is still a wondrous story of magic and celebration.
Celebrate Christmas in Victorian England with these stories by the great English writer.
Wood Candle Holders ($7.99 to $12.99). Candle holders made in North Carolina from polished pieces of chestnut and are sure to become a family heirloom. ~Monique Proulx
Big Wheel Hour Wall Clock ($100.99, 16”X21”). Designed by Wil Van des Bos, the large-geared wheel rotates as the time changes, with the hour in the top position. An impressive Steampunk timepiece.
Bee Snug Warming Cushion ($20.99). Lovely cushions filled with flaxseed and scented with ‘Nectar of the Bees.’ Pop it in the microwave and then lay the cushion on your neck to relieve tension or use it to warm your feet at night; can also be chilled in the freezer to help reduce pain and inflammation. ~Monique Proulx
Good Grief: Life in a Tiny Vermont
by Ellen Stimson. Stimson’s life is full with love, food, kids, candles, humor, pets – and grief. This wild ride began last year with Mud Season and ends with her serenity and quiet wisdom, accepting that good grief is the product of a good life. ~ Karen Frank
Not My Father’s Son: A Memoir
by Alan Cumming. Hilarious, heartbreaking and devastatingly stylish, just like Alan Cumming. A compulsively readable account of Cumming’s tumultuous relationship with his father. ~ Lily Ringler
by Anne Lamott. Even in times of desperation or hardship there are tiny moments of grace: the small victories of daily life. In perfectly chosen words, Lamott shares her wisdom and insight with self-deprecating humor and an emphasis on faith, family and forgiveness in this ultimately uplifting and optimistic read. ~ Jennifer Canfield