Kelly’s Reviews

House of Rain

Craig Child's book certainly isn't the definitive answer to how the ancestral Puebloans lived or to what ultimately happened to them. However, broad careful reearch coupled with his own travels through their Southwest homes and sacred spaces such as Chaco Canyon and Mesa Verde provide some excellent clues. Guaranteed to give you goosebumps. Recommended by Kelly.

House of Rain: Tracking a Vanished Civilization Across the American Southwest Cover Image
ISBN: 9780316067546
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Published: Back Bay Books - July 1st, 2008

In this landmark work on the Anasazi tribes of the Southwest, naturalist Craig Childs dives head on into the mysteries of this vanished people.

Gulp: Adventures on the Alimentary Canal

I read somewhere that those of us who still think poop and farts are funny need regression therapy. We're stuck in the toddler stage. Sorry, I still think poop and farts are funny, and I think Roach's book is hilarious! (Don't skip the footnotes!) But she doesn't cover just the nether region. For instance, I learned some absolutely fascinating things about spit.

Gulp: Adventures on the Alimentary Canal Cover Image
ISBN: 9780393081572
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: W. W. Norton & Company - April 1st, 2013

Like all of Roach's books, Gulp is as much about human beings as it is about human bodies.

Of Woman Born: Motherhood as Experience and Institution

Still as pertinent and revolutionary as it was when originally published in 1976, Adrienne Rich's OF WOMAN BORN is an essential part of any feminist library. Rich reminds, one need not have been a biological mother to have experienced the resonance of motherhood.

Of Woman Born: Motherhood as Experience and Institution Cover Image
ISBN: 9780393312843
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: W. W. Norton & Company - April 17th, 1995

The experience is her own--as a woman, a poet, a feminist, and a mother--but it is an experience determined by the institution, imposed on all women everywhere. She draws on personal materials, history, research, and literature to create a document of universal importance.

The Long Secret

Remember those long summer days when you had nothing to do but what took your fancy--playing in the sprinkler, a cobbled-together game of baseball with the neighbor kids, a long summer afternoon of reading on a blanket in the shade. This was one of my favorite summer reads. Best of all, it is a sequel to Harriet the Spy.

The Long Secret (Harriet the Spy Adventures (Dell Yearling Book)) Cover Image
ISBN: 9780440418191
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Published: Yearling Books - March 12th, 2002

Harriet the Spy refuses to become ruffled when an unidentified person starts leaving disturbing notes all over the quiet little beach town of Water Mill. She's determined to discover the author of the notes. And she drags her friend, mousy Beth Ellen, into all kinds of odd and embarrassing situations in her efforts to reveal the culprit.

QUIET by Susan Cain

This is a user manual for the introvert in your life or for you, if you fall in that category. Where introverts have been made to feel somehow dys-functional or dis-eased, Cain reveals that, in reality, they are completely normal and often highly intuitive and creative additions to a healthy society. Buy it for a "shy" friend today. Recommended by Kelly.
Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can't Stop Talking Cover Image
ISBN: 9780307352156
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Published: Broadway Books - January 29th, 2013

The book that started the Quiet Revolution

HAPPY ALL THE TIME by Laurie Colwin

Happy though not sappy. What a pleasure to read about intelligent people who are slow to make decisions, but eventually make good ones in life, love, and career. A hardened 20th century reader, I kept bracing for the unpleasant turn. It never came. I never tired of the story or the characters. The book is genius.
Happy All the Time (Vintage Contemporaries) Cover Image
ISBN: 9780307474407
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Published: Vintage - March 23rd, 2010

"A luminous telling of two modern romances, a book that lingers sweetly and hilariously in the memory." --Dallas Morning News

THE TIGER’S WIFE by Tea Obreht

Yes, this s a novel about a woman doctor in war-torn Yugoslavia, but don’t let the description deter you. Not in a long time have I read such a lyrical novel. You’ll find yourself repeatedly believing the impossible can and must happen. In the midst of death, life goes on. Recommended by Kelly.
The Tiger's Wife Cover Image
ISBN: 9780385343848
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Random House Trade - November 1st, 2011


NAMED ONE OF THE BEST BOOKS OF THE YEAR BY The Wall Street Journal - O: The Oprah Magazine - The Economist - Vogue - Slate - Chicago Tribune - The Seattle Times - Dayton Daily News - Publishers Weekly - Alan Cheuse, NPR's All Things Considered

A PLACE IN TIME by Wendell Berry

Another in a wondrous series of tales about ordinary people in a rural Kentucky community. These are, at turns, funny, moving and reassuring. Berry’s language is right on and his heart is true. A great gift! Recommended by Kelly
A Place in Time: Twenty Stories of the Port William Membership Cover Image
ISBN: 9781619020498
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Counterpoint LLC - October 23rd, 2012

The story of the community of Port William is one of the great works in American literature. This collection, the tenth volume in the series, is the perfect occasion to celebrate Berry's huge achievement.

ONE-EYED CAT by Paula Fox

With all the vampires, dragons, and fantastical subjects out there, this is a refreshing story about an average boy, in an extraordinary situation--which every child can relate to. After accidentally shooting an older friend’s cat, Ned carries the secret until he can hardly bear it. This is a terrific tale of friendship and redemption. Recommended by Kelly.
One-Eyed Cat Cover Image
By Paula Fox, Erika Meltzer (Illustrator)
ISBN: 9780689839702
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Aladdin Paperbacks - December 1st, 2000

A Single Shot
Ned fired the forbidden rifle just once, at a flickering shadow in the autumn moonlight. But someone -- a face, fleetingly seen staring at him from an attic window -- was watching.

MY MOTHER WAS NUTS by Penny Marshall

Not only is Marshall a great director and physical comic, she’s written a hilarious memoir about a strange childhood in Brooklyn and happy but occasionally strained backstage relationships on the cast of LAVERNE & SHIRLEY. I laughed on every page. Recommended by Kelly.
My Mother Was Nuts Cover Image
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ISBN: 9780547892627
Availability: Hard to Find
Published: New Harvest - September 18th, 2012

Most people know Penny Marshall as the director of Big and A League of Their Own. What they don't know is her trailblazing career was a happy accident. In this funny and intimate memoir, Penny takes us from the stage of The Jackie Gleason Show in 1955 to Hollywood's star-studded sets, offering up some hilarious detours along the way.